Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘standard poodle


Unseasonably warm weather for WINTER!

Yes, when these pics were taken it was technically still winter. The tail-end mind you, but still winter!!! WOW!


In all my years of living in Ottawa (and there’s been a lot of them – 14 in total!), somehow Sue has never seen downtown Ottawa (a.k.a. The Market) or Parliament in the summer. Weird. So, to remedy this pitfall Niko, Sue, Frasier and I headed downtown the other day to do our duties as tourists and see the sights of our beautiful downtown.

Now, Ottawa hasn’t been the coolest of places these last few weeks. In fact, we’ve been having a record breaking heatwave and it really just hasn’t been bearable to be outside for too long. But, despite the heatwave, and considering that it was a touch cooler on this particular day, we braved the Parliament trek. And as you can see from Frasier’s tongue, the heat was still pretty tough to handle. Good thing we had lots of water because all four of us were pretty thirsty by the time these pics were taken.

PS – Niko officially started crawling today! More on that later…


I’ve written before about how our standard poodle Frasier shows his love and affection for Baby Niko. From my perspective this love usually comes in the form of some sort of slobbery kiss on Niko’s face or neck, (or it could just be Frasier’s way of cleaning up any leftover morsels from lunch). Either way, Frasier has proven to be both gentle and patient with our Little Man. Niko has always shown interest in this big fur ball, but it wasn’t until this week that he actually displayed (or is it that I just finally clued in to his signals?) genuine affection toward our huge pooch.

Whenever Frasier shows up, after being in another room, or after Niko’s nap, Niko greets him with a huge smile and will inevitably reach out to “pet” him. He just loves to see Frasier and “gently” (we’re working on the gentle part – and that’s where Frasier’s patience is evident and appreciated) pet his fur. It’s so cute to see. Niko’s whole face lights up when Frasier saunters in. So, despite my qualms about integrating puppy and baby, all seems to be going better than I hoped for!


Have you ever tried and tried and tried to teach your dog a trick only to have him repeatedly do it the wrong way? Or not even a trick necessarily, but just basic commands: sit, stay, come, fetch, etc. I’ve always wanted a dog who would fetch a ball and bring it back. With Frasier we are pretty lucky: he can be off leash, stays pretty close by and (usually) comes when we call him. And, he loves to chase balls; it’s bringing them back, that’s not down to perfection. More often than not, he’ll chase the ball like crazy, pick it up when he gets to it and then just drop it where he is and continue on, which ultimately turns me into the fetcher.

But today, yes today, today something magical happened. He returned the ball, very close to me. Well, three times very close to me and twice in the bush near by. But still, this is a big improvement on his track record. And what was the secret to our success? Dog biscuits? No. My command of the dog? No. Pure luck? I don’t think so. It was the Little Niko Man! Yup, the three of us headed to the park and I lay out a blanket in the shade, for Niko with some toys for him to play with. Seeing as Little N was on the ground, I really couldn’t go after the dog to get the ball back, so I just stayed put and this is how it worked. Picture Frasier running full blast toward the ball and then running (almost) full blast back with it. And oh oh, heading straight for the baby! Hope this turns out OK. But then he just dropped the ball at the edge of the blanket and waited for me to throw it again. It was one of those times I wished I had my camera but didn’t. Maybe I’ll stage the shot again later, and insert the picture after the fact. I was so impressed with Frasier, and with Niko, who turned out to be the dark horse, my very own miniature Dog Whisperer.


Well after riding the emotional roller coaster they call real estate, it seems that our ride has come to a stop and despite a few (OK, OK, a lot of) queasy stomachs along the way, we survived, in tact, and are now preparing to move to our new house! Yes, our place is SOLD: courtesy of our real estate prowess (we sold privately), and we have bought our new home and move in in about two weeks!!! A few weeks ago, I described what we wanted in a new home, and for the most part we got it. After looking at many, many places, I realized and had to accept that we couldn’t get everything we wanted (in our price range); but what we did end up buying we are very happy with! Actually it has everything on my wish list except for a fenced yard, and it’s pretty much move-in ready except for some tightening up here and there and a roof that needs to be replaced.  There are even a few bonuses to the place: hello (two-piece) en suite and hello walk-in closet!

Overall, it’s been such a fast process, although at times it felt agonizingly slow. We’ve definitely learned a lot about real estate, all the while testing our nerves, which my sister Carolyn has now aptly classified mine as made of steel (and in the real estate business I think that’s a good thing). However, even though she says they’re made of steel, that was really just a facade and mostly I felt like a jellyfish the whole time. But alas, all is done, and we are on the move and so looking forward to moving in to our new place with the Little N Man and Frasier!

Note: I have set a goal for myself to pack a few boxes a day until we actually move. These pics show my attempt to start on the boxes and my two little helpers, which needless to say are also keeping me busy!

Click to support my blog


Poor little Sophie almost suffered her demise today. Thank goodness all she actually suffered was some slobber, and she’s used to slobber, just not the canine variety, per se.

I was walking through my living room when I spotted her utterly alone and all nestled in on Frasier’s humongous dog pillow, with the telltale sign of fur by her feet. I know Sophie’s popular but didn’t realize what a temptation she was for our pooch. We’ll have to be careful where we put her next time. Niko wouldn’t be happy if he lost his beloved little giraffe to the jaws of his huge poodle.


The other day I was lamenting the fact that I do SO much laundry and also commenting that one day, when he was ready, Niko would be learning how to do it himself. But today, the little guy surprised me when he started feeding the dog. Yes, at only seven months old he’s already helping out. What a kid!

This is how it all transpired. Picture lunch time: Little N is sitting in his highchair, I’m trying to feed him and Frasier our poodle is hovering around awaiting any morsels that will inevitably hit the floor (good little wet mop that he is!). Anyway, when Niko notices that Frasier is there, he leans over and tries to feed him (or it may be to pet him, but when he’s got a handful of cereal caked on his fingers, Frasier can only interpret this gesture in one way). So, regardless of Niko’s intentions, Frasier takes the bait, swooping in with full licking power and slurping away the mush clinging to his tiny master’s hand.

Now, I know this isn’t the cleanest of habits, and for the most part I do discourage it, but I have to admit that it’s kind of cute when Niko leans over in his chair, and reaches out, only to have Frasier reciprocate! Two little pals, just enjoying each others company.

Note: Last pic –  “Busted!”


One good thing about snow is that it can cover things up. Freshly fallen snow for example is like a white blanket, instantly covering the unsightly messes strewn about on city sidewalks, in parking lots, etc. Now that the snow has melted, I can clearly see the state of the parking lot behind my house, and quite literally, all the crap that used to be so conveniently hidden. I use this parking lot everyday: it leads to the park where I walk my dog and my baby.

The current state of this lot is disastrous. Why don’t people pick up after their dogs!? I mean come on! It’s part of the responsibility, and otherwise creates a nasty reality for those of us who are left to tiptoe among the feces. It’s disgusting! If you’re going to have a dog, pick up! It can’t be the price that’s throwing people off: I buy 48 bags at Dollarama for 1$ (and they’re vanilla scented to boot). So what is it then? Laziness. A lack of respect for the community. Thoughtlessness. Selfishness. Idiocy. The list could go on and on…

OK, so it’s disgusting, but (strange as this may sound) I sort of got used to seeing it, seeing as I walk there everyday. Although, fingers crossed that sooner than later the city will swing down and give the lot a good hosing. Until then, I have come to somewhat temporarily accept the filth. I mean, beyond picking it up myself, what other choice do I have? But now, broken glass has started to appear. And not just a little bit (which would be bad in itself), but tonnes of broken bottles. The other day I counted six smashed up bottles, just within my field of vision. So now, not only are we tiptoeing among the dog poop, but also shards of glass. I mean seriously people, if you have a dog, why would you want to break glass where they walk (or unfortunately in some cases poop)? Deplorable really. Just deplorable.

The other day, one of my friends from the dog park even brought her own broom out and started sweeping up the lot so that her dog wouldn’t cut his feet. But, there is no way she could sweep it up all on her own; there is just too much. Good on her for trying though, and having some sense of civic duty. And today, like the icing on the cake, there was something else littering the lot. I wasn’t quite sure what it was: it looked like styrofoam, but there were wires coming out of it. As I got closer I rolled one of the chunks over with my foot, only to see it was a chunk of some statue’s head, whose unfortunate fate had landed him smashed up in this ever growing mess of a parking lot. “Oh dear statue, what were you before you came to this unfortunate end?” What a fate. What a demise…

Is this the environment where I want Niko to grow up? No. Is this area ideal for my dog’s paws? No. I think it might be time to move.


If there ever was a need for a doggie bidet, this story is it! Could this be my multi-million dollar idea? Hmm, time will tell on that I guess. But it’s true, a couple of days ago a doggie bidet would have come in quite handy.

Taking care of the little Niko Man I deal with my fair share of spit-up and doo doo, and for the most part I make a conscious effort not to blog (too much) about these particular adventures. But when it comes at me from both ends from my standard poodle, I feel it’s (a little) more socially acceptable to post my thoughts.

A few days ago I was commenting to my friend Mel, as we watched Frasier, my beloved dog trotting on ahead of us, “You know, I really want to get his hair trimmed, especially that area under his tail. I mean it’s getting kind of long and could cause a serious mess if anything gets caught in there. If you know what I mean…”. She had to agree. It turns out that my words were foreshadowing events that would take place later that same day!

Yes, I discovered the lovely outcome of what occurs when one spunky poodle pup (although he’s the biggest puppy I’ve ever seen!) greedily gobbles up table almonds – and no they weren’t meant for him, it’s just that Frasier is still learning the art of manners. The episode resulted in him getting sick – on both ends! The recipe went something like this: down the hatch with a mouthful of almonds (or as many as he could get until I pulled him away), then wait one day for the results. And the results were as follows…

You know how dogs, when they’ve got an issue, will endearingly drag their butts right along the carpet? Well, picture our poodle continually doing this, while I am scrambling to get my winter coat on and wondering if my friends Mel and Heather will be OK with Niko for a few minutes, as clearly Frasier needed to get outside, pronto. So, one prominent skid mark on the carpet (yes, you read that correctly!) and two minutes later, we were out the door, only for Frasier to frolic with a few puppy friends and then try and try to get what was ailing him out, but it was to no avail. Until, I noticed he was skidding across the snow, just as he had my carpet, and leaving skid mark trails to boot! Oh glorious day! But better he do that outside than inside. Anyway, it was then I noticed the large amount of caked dog dirt clumped under his tail. Hmm..what to do, what to do!?

Then brilliance struck! I’ll use this random stick to get rid of the dirty mess. Well, it turns out that stick wasn’t strong enough and its brittle pieces snapped and flew up in my face – fingers crossed that it wasn’t the pieces that had touched his dirty mess that were the ones that pummeled my face. I mean picture it, here I am out back, holding Frasier by the leash, while I bend over him holding his tail up, trying desperately to scrape away the dirty clump, only to have the stick snap in my face. Not a pretty site.

Even though the job wasn’t done, I had to go back home. Niko was in good hands, but those good hands had to get to the VIA Train Station to catch their ride back to TO. So, again, what to do what to do? Well, I walked Frasier home, and put him on the patio, while I cleaned the aforementioned skid mark, then careened him into his crate, the whole smelly mess of him. As they used to say on Seinfeld: “Serentiy Now”! But not for long, because it wasn’t long before I heard him start to yak. I rushed to him and pulled him out of the crate to brace his gagging body while he proceeded to upchuck pieces of sticks (he eats them when he doesn’t feel well), whole almonds and bile all over my floor! And again: Serenity Now.

When Borys got him, it was into the tub with this dirty poodle, and this is when the idea for the doggie bidet struck. All we had was some soap, our bare hands, and a trusty pair of scissors. Oh dear. Anyway, a good half hour later, he was much cleaner and after a good one-two with the scissors he didn’t have too much fur left under his tail. But what other options did we have?

Let me tell you, having a baby and a dog and being home with them in my second floor condo day in and day out, provides for lots of “fun” adventures. Despite this awe inspiring tale, I wouldn’t trade my situation – although in our next place, I definitely want a yard, that way I, uh…I mean Frasier, can run around outside like crazy.

Maybe when Niko gets a bit older he can help out with taking care of this lovely pooch. But as it stands right now, he has trouble just sitting on his own, so to have him lean over the tub and act as doggie bidet, doesn’t seem to be in his near future. Lucky little guy!

Note: Frasier often reminds me of that afghan pooch from the UK cartoon, What a Mess – and even more so, after this lovely little episode. See pic below.



How to integrate a puppy and a newborn? This question had been floating around in our minds since we adopted Frasier last April. When we got Frasier we knew we were expecting a baby in October, but seeing as we I really wanted a dog, we thought getting a pup before the baby was born would be a good idea as it would give us time to train him. So fine, one day I went out to get the pup and then the training and fun began.

Once we brought Niko home from the hospital, our philosophy was integration: Frasier wouldn’t be excluded from our family, just because he has four legs, a crazy tail and a spunky personality. I mean overall he is actually quite predictable, and although I don’t think you can ever trust a four legged friend 100% around a child, over the last few months our trust factor has risen considerably. Frasier mostly shows signs of curiosity towards Niko, giving him lots of puppy love and kisses. So much so, that I think we may have found a permanent babysitter for our little guy.

Borys and I often wonder who we will get to babysit Niko when the time comes? Now, I think we may have found a solution. And who is this new sitter? Frasier, of course! Just look how well Frasier is tolerating the little guy snuggling right in to him.  I am sure with a few short tutorials on diapers and feeding, he would catch on and be able to take care of Niko, no problem. After all, poodles are one of the smartest breeds, and his rates would have to be affordable considering we already supply his room and board!

As you can see in the pictures below, Frasier thinks putting Niko to sleep is as easy as one, two three. All it takes is:

1) A kiss to the hand

2) A kiss to the shoulder

3) A kiss to the head

And presto, baby N is sawing logs! Easy peasy. Frasier’s a natural! Let the babysitting begin.

Note: Pay no attention to the random hand in the right of the photos. It in no way signifies a lack of trust for the dog or any sort of feeling that these kisses may turn into love nips and then in fact have to be quickly nipped in the bud – no it does not signify that at all!


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 352 other followers

Like this blog? Vote for it! Just click on the brown box below for one vote. Thanks!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

  • bsw bsw: Here I am reading this blog 10+ years later with tears in my eyes. Just last Friday Frasier past away. He was an amazing dog and a cherished member of
  • Borys: You go girl!
  • alliwaw: Thanks Marion! Back to bball this Tuesday, so we will see how the wrist feels. Running, is a weekend thing...

Categories

Alli & Baby Niko

Top Rated