Tag Archives: Schnitzel

She Says… Puppy Love

Schnitzel and Owen sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

No, really. I can’t keep them off of each other.

It’s hilarious. And precious. And sweet.

Schnitzel and Owen’s relationship has grown from new friends to intrigued by each other to rough-housing with each other to total and utter love-fests. A dog IS a boy’s best friend.

Although he doesn’t perform in the video, he is freaking hilarious when he shouts that “Shneet-show” is a “LABWADOODOH”.

I don’t know how people without dogs entertain their children. Honestly.

She Says… A Dog is a Boy’s Best Friend

A dog may be a boy’s best friend, but OUR dog may not be Owen’s best friend for very much longer if he keeps treating him the way he has for the last few days.

Talk about playing rough. He’s practically mauling the poor dog.

We’ve been working really hard on gentle hands with Owen ever since his teacher told me he “loves his friends a little too hard” at school. (Read: he tends to hug other kids to the ground). Owen is one of the toughest little cookies I’ve ever seen. He is like a rubber ball and bounces right back when he falls down or hurts himself. This comes in very handy since he is also incredibly rambunctious and fearless and is constantly cracking his head on coffee tables (he currently has a black eye from doing this over the weekend) and walking into walls and tumbling off of things he’s climbed on. It’s less helpful when he’s being handsy with his friends on the playground and doesn’t realize he’s hurting them.

It’s not that he’s a mean kid or a bully. No, I’ve only very rarely seen Owen push or be forceful in a mean or aggressive way. He just loves so darn much that it knocks people over. Mr. Social wants to be all up in his friends’ business. All the time. He likes to sit on laps and hug and lean and cuddle and climb all over people. Over the last few days this rough play has come to a climax at home with Schnitzel.

I thought by now we had mastered the art of gently patting the dog (Owen will touch him so gently and say, “Niiiiiiice”). But lately those sweet, gentle pats have turned into smacks and then Owen will grab a handful of fur and climb right up on the dog like a mountain. I’ve even seen him try to stand on his back.

He giggles so uncontrollably and contagiously that it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to scold him.

And, usually the dog doesn’t even put up a fight (though he’s starting to get up and walk away, which is great, except then Owen rides him halfway across the room and then falls off, which is pretty dangerous since Schnitzel is the size of a small horse).

Oh, and the other thing? The other thing they’ve been doing together is making out. Owen will open his mouth and stick out his tongue and THE DOG LICKS IT. I remember my parents saying we did the same thing with our dog, and we turned out ok, but eww. Yuck. Trying my best to nip that one in the bud right away (but how many times a day can you say, “No tongue, Owen! Do not let the doggie lick your tongue! Hands ONLY.”).

Soon Owen will be mounting and licking his friends at daycare now too. Oy.

Any suggestions for how to curb this behavior? Or at least encourage being gentle? Of course I want him to have fun with the dog and I know he’s just exploring what his body can do, but someone is going to get hurt (him… or the dog… or the unsuspecting daycare friend who Owen decides to ride and lick…). Yesterday I started a sort of “time out” where he is separated from the dog when he starts playing rough, but so far he thinks that is the beginning to a hilarious game of hide-and-seek/tag as soon as the (very short and unsuccessful) time out ends. Not so effective.

*SIDE NOTE: Please excuse Owen’s strange outfit in these pictures. He came home from school and peed through his pants, so we opted for pajama pants instead of another pair of jeans. Someday he’ll kill me for posting these… and the naked bath pics…

She Says… When the Cat’s Away

… the kittens will play.

Isn’t that the saying?

While I’ve been working late the last few days, Owen learned a new trick. And instead of correcting this behavior, Benjamin giggled along with him and took a video. Thanks for your help, Daddy.

It IS hilarious. But it’s also kind of frustrating. Because although it keeps Owen giggling while he’s eating, it also means just about nothing goes in his mouth. And, you know, though Schnitzel is the right weight right now, that’s not going to last very long if he’s eating all of Owen’s food!

I’ve tried catching the food before it is dropped and saying a firm “no” (while hiding my own laughter, of course). But Owen thinks that is even MORE hilarious.

What’s a mama to do? I know, I know… lighten up? Let him be? Probably. But I’d also like for him to eat something.

She Says… Our Other Baby

I know most of the time I write about Owen, so aside from the “dog & baby show” posts I write, you may forget about our OTHER baby. Our FIRST baby.

The furry one.

The one who entertains Owen like no other. The gigantic lovemuffin who doesn’t realize his own size. Who is taller than me on his hind legs, but has irrational fears of things like garbage bags and stairs.

About a week ago I noticed Schnitzel had some little red bumps on his skin and he seemed to be scratching a bit more than usual. He is outside playing a lot, and since we moved we’ve spent a lot of time outside on our deck while he lounges in the yard, so I thought maybe they were little bug bites. Then two days ago I noticed that he was itching a spot on his knee so much that he had rubbed away the skin and it looked pink and raw. No time like the present to find a new vet!

Turns out he has a minor skin infection (hence the itching and red bumps). But that’s not all. Apparently it is standard practice to do a yearly lyme test at this new vet since now we’re out in lyme disease country and not in the city. Schnitzel’s first lyme test was positive! Eeek! Since he isn’t acting sick at the moment and hasn’t had a known case of lyme disease in the past, the vet said that it probably means that he was infected by a tick previously but his body fought off the infection successfully. I am disappointed that our old vet never checked for such a thing; we had no idea! Anyway, apparently lyme disease can mess with the dog’s kidneys, so we did a urinalysis to see how he’s doing in that department.

Side note: Do you know how funny it is to get a urine sample from a dog? They had a vet tech come outside with me after our appointment to see if we could “catch” a sample. The vet said that some dogs are so nervous they can’t pee (that’s the opposite of what I’m like when I’m nervous!), so they could send me home with a cup to get the sample on my own. Are you kidding me? My dog is huge. I’m not going to climb underneath him and hold a tiny cup in his urine stream while wrestling with his leash thankyouverymuch! Thankfully Schnitzel was not one of those scared non-pee-ers (whattagoodboy), and he peed immediately when we walked outside and the vet tech was the one who scrambled and squatted to catch his pee. Problem solved.

So we went home several hundred dollars poorer (but well worth it for a healthy pup!) and with a bag of antibiotic pills for the rash. The vet will call me today with the results from the urinalysis. My fingers are crossed that all is well. Schnitzel is 5 years old and has been healthy as a horse for his whole life. Nothing more than an ear infection and some dry skin issues as a puppy. Let’s not break this streak now, mmmkay?

Also, now that I write that… what’s up with my babies and their weird skin issues? Owen and his eczema and Schnitzel and his rash. If it’s not one baby, it’s the other!

Any tips on giving pills to big dogs? I have to give him 2 pills, twice a day with his meals for the next 10 days. Yesterday and today I stuck them in peanut butter and he thought it was a treat and wolfed it down, but a few minutes ago he just threw up everything he ate for breakfast. Poor doggie dog.

She Says… Home, Sweet Home

Well, we’re here. The move day went as well as could be expected (though move days are never “smooth”, right?). We woke up as normal, woke Owen up, and Benjamin took apart his crib (the last piece of furniture standing in our whole house) while I gave him a bottle. We wanted to try to minimize disruption to Owen’s schedule as much as possible, so I drove him, Schnitzel and a carload of breakable things out to the house after his morning bottle. That means Benjamin was left to do all of the last minute packing, directing the movers, and cleaning. Yikes. Bonus points for Daddy.

So being the obnoxiously organized person that I am, I had a list of all the things I needed to put in a last-minute bag to take with us to the new house that morning (you know, the important stuff like diapers and my cell phone and the all important lovey). It was packed and ready to go when we said our goodbyes to the old house and headed off for the new.

Only one problem. It was still sitting in our old bedroom while I drove away.

Mayjuh oops. So I arrived at the new house with a single diaper that (thankfully) had been stuck in my purse at another time, no wipes, no lovey, and no cell phone. Since we haven’t gotten cable/internet/phone set up in our new place yet, I was in a technological black hole with no way to hear how the progress was going at the old house or when the movers would be on their way to the new house with all of our stuff. Mommy fail.

It also had all of Owen’s toys in it. So we waited. A long time. Thankfully Owen is easily amused — who knew that cabinet doors with child locks on them would provide endless hours of giggles and entertainment? All he wanted to do was pull on them and figure out how to open them. To be honest, though, I’m still learning how to open them too; I have smashed my fingers trying to push down the little tabs so many times in the last few days. Also, I don’t know what people without dogs do to entertain their children when they grow tired of toys. Schnitzel was an awesome distraction! They chased each other all around the house and laughed and laughed. It is AMAZING how much more space we have to play in. Owen and Schnitzel are both in heaven. (Big news! As soon as I had Owen in my arms, Schnitzel ran up and down the stairs and through the baby gate without any issues at all, unlike the last time we were at the house. What a crazy brave dog.)

I changed that one diaper as strategically as possible in order to have it last until reinforcements arrived.

The weather felt like summer and I took Owen and Schnitzel outside in our new yard. Schnitzel pranced like he had just won a lifetime’s supply of treats in the doggie lottery (it may still be a small yard in most peoples’ eyes, but it’s a HUGE improvement from our old yard!), but Owen was not so sure about this weird green stuff sticking out of the ground. I put his little feet into the grass (which he has never really touched… that is a testament to the weather we’ve been having and a sad side effect of living in the city) and immediately he curled them up, refused to stand, and burst into tears. Poor city baby doesn’t know what to do with nature! That will change quickly, I hope.

Finally the movers arrived and I bounced Owen around while we directed them. Master bedroom! Master closet (more on this later — there is a whole ROOM designated to the master closet)! Basement! Office! Kitchen!

Now all we have to do is unpack. With a wriggly toddler intent on eating everything we pull out of a box. And working full time. Hmmm. Anyone want to come over and help?



She Says… Whoa

Whoa. Two weekdays in a row without posting? Sorry, folks. Yesterday I headed to the new house and worked from there so I could meet with an electrician and a painter to get some things organized before we move in. They were both SUPER nice and able to accommodate us before the move date, which is awesome. I could be wrong, be people seem nicer out here 🙂 In Boston I always felt like people like plumbers and electricians were pretty much just out to steal my money. Maybe these guys are too, but at least they do it with a smile.

I brought Schnitzel along so he wouldn’t be at our other house alone all day. I wanted him to begin to get used to the new house as well.

I’m sure we’ve written about it before, but it’s worth saying again… Schnitzel is a HUGE baby. He is the sweetest, gentlest, funniest dog, but he has more than his fair share of irrational fears. Maybe it’s the poodle in him — too smart for his own good. He’s scared of trash bags. I think it’s the way they move on their own when the trash settles. He’s scared of plastic bags blowing in the wind. He’s scared of the vacuum cleaner (we call it “Schnitzel’s Nemesis”). He’s scared of hallways with corners. If he can’t see the end of the hallway, he won’t go down it. Now, I realize this is very smart, actually, because it means he won’t get stuck in a dead-end tunnel. But it also means he won’t go down stairways that have a corner, like to a basement.

Apparently he’s also scared of stairs that have open railings (and openings between the stairs, forget it). You know how I know? Because he won’t come upstairs in the new house. When we were looking at houses we used to joke “We can’t buy this house because Schnitzel won’t be able to go up/down the stairs”. When we found this house we thought he’d be fine; there’s a wide staircase with solid stairs. One thing I didn’t consider, though, is that the spindles on the banister are open, and I think he’s scared to go up because he can see straight down. Crazy dog.

So yesterday when I went upstairs, Schnitzel waited (and whined) at the bottom of the stairs. I couldn’t get him to come up. Then this morning Benjamin and I were at the house comparing paint samples (more on that later), and we went upstairs and encouraged Schnitzel to follow us. Finally, after much cajoling, he came. He was shaking and cowering, but he came. At the top of the stairs he ran immediately into the nearest bedroom (Owen’s room). Once in there (safe on the carpet and out of the view of the open railing), he wouldn’t come out.

We tried luring with treats, pushing, pulling, taunting, encouraging and ignoring. He stayed, frozen, in Owen’s room.

FINALLY Benjamin thought of the one thing Schnitzel can’t resist. “Do you want to go outside?” Schnitzel paced back and forth and whined. Benjamin bounced a racquetball on the kitchen floor. After a pause we heard the click of Schnitzel’s nails and he stumbled down the stairs. Safe and sound.

Now I’m not sure he’ll ever go back up there. Anyone else dealt with crazy pets and new houses?

Oh, right, paint colors. Wanna see? The pictures are totally not the same colors, but you get the idea. The kitchen is going from a sandy beige (which is most of the house) to a slate gray-y blue. Benjamin’s Moore’s Brittany Blue.

Dining room is going from wine-y purple-y red to navy blue. I’m totally in love with this blue color. Benjamin Moore’s Spellbound.

I know most of you haven’t seen our current house (maybe I need to do a little house tour before we leave for good!), but we lurve deep, bold colors. More to come!

She Says… Teaching an Old Baby New Tricks

Ok, so he’s not an old baby. But he’s learned some pretty adorable tricks recently!


#1 – Flushing the Toilet. No, we’re not potty training just yet, but since Owen is walking (assisted) and crawling all over the place, he often finds himself wandering in and out of the bathroom (don’t judge… we have a small apartment!). Recently he pulled up on the toilet and realized what an awesome sound he can make when he smacks the top of it. It wasn’t long before he figured out what that cool silver thing does too. It cracked me up so much I had to grab the camera. He flushes, I laugh, he laughs. Again! Again! We may be wasting some water, but the little cutie is learning cause and effect, and giggling about it is pretty contagious. And whaddayaknow, maybe he’ll be early with potty training too? All that interest in the potty… This little exploration into the wonderful world of toilets has made me realize just how many germs his little hands come in contact with every day (the flusher? gross!). Let’s just say we’re wiping down the toilet multiple times a day now and getting lots of practice washing Owen’s hands!

#2 – Climbing Stairs. This sort of happened by accident. Benjamin was joking around and set Owen on a step and told him to go upstairs. Hardy har har. We thought there was no way he’d be able to pull himself up over the step. He patted the step for a second, lifted a knee and all of a sudden the stairs were no longer an obstacle. Crazy! He’s a climbing machine. It’s AMAZING how fearlessly he’ll fall right down them, too. No sense of gravity or danger or edges or balance. Makes me cringe just to think about how easily he could roll right down the whole flight if someone wasn’t there to catch him. Having a early mover is wonderful and exciting, but there are so many potential hazards!

#3 – Playing Tag with Schnitzel. Best. Game. Ever. Owen’s new favorite thing is to “chase” the dog around the house and he giggles and gasps and chortles the cutest little belly laugh (whether or not Schnitzel is playing too). BFF.

She Says… 8 Months

My tiny man,

You are 8 months old! Well, you’re actually 8 months and 4 days old, Mama’s a little behind on getting this letter written and posted. It’s not a wonder, though, we’ve had a LOT going on in the last month.

If I had to pick one thing that characterized this last month, it would be SICKNESS. You poor little monkey, you spent the last 4 weeks going from one illness to another. First a high fever (so high I ran to pick you up from daycare and demanded that the doctor see you right away), which morphed into pneumonia (which necessitated our first trip to the ER on a night when Daddy was out of town for work — scary!), which was followed up by a rash, which we had to treat with meds that made you sick to your stomach. Boy am I glad that we are through that month! Despite all of those trips to the doctor and different medicines and symptoms, you were your jolly, laid back little self. Even sick, you are one of the happiest little people I’ve ever seen. At the hospital the nurses barely believed that you needed to be there because you were giggling and babbling so sweetly. Then they listened to your chest and were surprised at how sick you really were. We’ve had a few healthy days without any medicine in a row now, and let me just say, I much prefer those days to the sick days! Let’s try to make it to your next well visit (in a month) without any more trips to the doctor in between, mmkay?

The other thing you just couldn’t get enough of this month was STANDING. You are not satisfied unless you’re standing and stomping and practicing walking. Recently you’ve been climbing all over everything. You push right up from laying down and scramble yourself all the way up to a standing position on me, your crib, the couch, wherever you are.  You have always been an active baby, but this newfound ability to move move move is pretty amazing.

We keep saying that you’ll probably go right from sitting to walking, and skip crawling altogether, since all you want to do is stand and walk, but then once in awhile we see a glimmer of crawling. Just last night you were rocking on your knees and testing out lifting one leg and then the other to see if you could propel yourself forward. Since you’re so excited about walking, your “crawling” looked more like a weird Spiderman-esque, downward facing dog move with your butt in the air and you on your tippy toes and hands. You’re such a strong little guy, I don’t think it’ll be long until I’m chasing you down the hall.

You and Schnitzel have continued to develop your adorable friendship. When he comes into the room, your face erupts into a gummy grin and your eyes dance. You’ve started grabbing at his hair and sticking your fingers in his mouth. It’s a good thing he’s so tolerant 🙂 When friends come to play, Schnitzel parks himself right next to you as if he is your protector. Sometimes we don’t even need toys because you just sit and laugh and laugh at Schnitzel for entire playtimes.

Mealtimes continue to get more and more fun too. Just a few days ago something clicked and you began “chewing” (aka gumming… no teeth yet!) things like puffs and pieces of bread. I have been waiting for this milestone so I can introduce you to more table food. I’m so excited to expand your tastebuds beyond the purees you’ve already tried. Though you eat a wide range of foods and spices already, not having to mash everything up into a paste will be nice for both of us.

I baked some homemade bread (Daddy’s favorite) and gave you some of that. You seemed to really dig it, as you kept opening your mouth for more bites. But then I noticed one of your cheeks and one of your ears got fiery red after eating the bread. It wasn’t exactly like your eczema that we’ve dealt with in the past, it was much more like flushed cheeks, but in a very specific pattern. Not normal. I tried again the next day and unfortunately I’ve deduced that you may have a reaction to wheat. I’m sad for you if this turns into a real allergy, but I’m hoping it’s just a common baby sensitivity that you’ll grow out of. I’ve really got to keep an eye on your skin! It’s amazing what things set it off.

You’ve started crying a little when we drop you off at daycare in the mornings. At first it made Daddy and I a little sad, but then you started crying when we came to pick you up, too, so I’m confident it’s just a developmental phase that you’ll grow out of soon. It’s the only time I ever hear you cry! Other than that you are loving daycare. You love to be around people and whenever we’re in new places or places with other kids you are wide-eyed and amazed. You are incredibly social, smiling and grabbing everyone, whether you know them or not. You LOVE to be the center of attention (and judging by Daddy’s and my personalities… we know where you got that from!).

I love you so much, my perfect little person. I marvel at your huge personality that is becoming so evident, and the way your smile charms everyone around you. I wake up every morning so excited to see what new skill you’ll learn today, or what new sound you’ll make. We have SO MUCH FUN together. Every day is a joy.

I love you more than bears love honey. And that’s a lot.


P.S. For your viewing pleasure… an outtake from our photo session:

Guess that’s the end of the photo shoot…

She Says… BFFs

A dog is a boy’s best friend, right? Well it took a few months, but I think Schnitzel is finally growing into that title.

Now when Schnitzel and I go in to wake Owen up from a nap or in the morning, you wouldn’t even know I was in the room. Owen locks eyes with Schnitzel and sticks his chubby fingers against the side of his crib so Schnitzel can sniff them and give them a lick. Owen’s gummy grin opens up and he just stares and smiles. When we’re playing on the floor in Owen’s room, Schnitzel will go downstairs and grab a toy, and then come up and nestle himself right next to Owen as he chews away, dropping the toy on Owen every once in awhile trying to entice him to play tug-of-war. Owen practices connecting his rolls and new skill of scooting to maneuver himself closer to Schnitzel so he can get a nice handful of his soft fur.

Schnitzel has always been a laid back dog, but his patience with Owen is practically angelic. He lets Owen roll into him and grab his feet and his whiskers, and pays him back with endless licks all over his face and ears and neck and head (and hands and feet and tummy and arms and on and on and on). He also has this playful growl that we call his “Owen voice” that he only uses when playing with Owen. It makes Owen smile and open his mouth and Schnitzel does his best to get his tongue in there reallyfast before I can intervene.

Wanna see? I took this video a week or two ago, before Owen learned how to roll over from back to tummy. Warning: Mommy Cam alert. This is not Benjamin’s beautiful camerawork. It’s long, unedited, and I almost drop the camera pulling a dog toy out of Owen’s mouth. But you get the idea 🙂

Since we spend so much time playing with Schnitzel during the day, I also spend a lot of time saying things like, “That’s the DOGGIE. DOG. DOGGIE. Doggies say WOOF WOOF”, which Owen finds hilarious. I am going to place a bet now that Owen’s first word is dog, or some derivative thereof, and not Mama. THAT’S a best friend.

She Says… Pangs

This morning the weatherwoman called for a balmy 40 degree day, so I was practically giddy about walking Owen and Schnitzel to daycare. 40 degrees is so much warmer than it has been around here! Apparently I forgot that “warmer than the last few months” does not actually mean warm. I still needed gloves. But it’s an improvment.

As we walked to daycare and Schnitzel stopped to sniff all of his favorite spots, I began to think about how different things will be in a few months when we move. We’ll still be able to walk most places (thank goodness!), so it probably won’t be that different, but we will need to find new routes and meet new friends and make a different routine. Schnitzel knows the way to daycare. He knows the walk we normally take. He turns into our street  before I do. He knows which people passing him by have dog treats for him, and the temperaments of all the neighborhood dogs. He knows which street lamps have the best scents. He adores our dog walker.

And although the rest of us can prepare to leave this house and look forward to moving into another one, Schnitzel cannot. One day he will be walking his normal path, and the next day we’ll be somewhere totally different. And I wonder if he’ll be sad. We’ll find a new groomer and new dog parks and new street lamps to sniff, but I wonder if he’ll miss this place. He’s been here since he was 8 weeks old, a tiny little puppy who wriggled in our arms and could barely walk down our street without getting tired. Everyone knows him, from the guy who sells hot dogs from his cart in the summer to the other dog owners who have little dog parties in the evenings letting their dogs off leash. Sometimes we’ll be walking down the street and I’ll hear someone yell, “Schnitzel!” from their car. I don’t even know who it is, but they say hi to Schnitzel.

This morning on our walk we saw no less than 4 people who stopped to pat him, give him a treat, chat with me for a moment. He waited patiently outside of daycare while I dropped Owen off, and pranced home, just like every other day.

I felt a little pang of guilt for taking him away from his happy home. And a little pang of sadness about leaving all the relationships we’ve built here. I know it will be an amazing opportunity to grow our family and create new memories, but it’s still a little sad to leave. Thank goodness we have until May so we can enjoy the beginning of spring here.