Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

The Command From Hell – “YOU Stay!”

LOL It’s not as bad as it sounds! I don’t know how this got to be a regular part of our doggie commands, but it’s too late to turn back now! πŸ™‚

I'm not moving until that oven door is CLOSED!

Whenever we want Daisy to sit and stay, that’s what we say – “Sit. Stay.” Nothing unusual there. This is always coupled with and reinforced by hand signals. And she does listen, even if we only use hand signals and say nothing.

I’ve suddenly realized, though, that whenever I mean business, I say, “YOU stay! YOU stay!” Where’d that come from?!

Well, today I remembered where it came from. When Daisy was younger but already understood the “sit” and “stay” commands, I was baking scones. I told Daisy to sit and stay in the doorway of the adjoining family room, which she was doing just fine. I had the oven door open and was pulling out a tray of scones when Miss Daisy decided she wanted to see what I was doing. Into the kitchen she trotted and rounded the corner by the oven just as I had the scone tray halfway out.

I panicked, immediately getting that one-second flash-vision of her burning her tongue or her little nose on the hot, open oven door. Or worse yet, in her typical Daisy-nuttiness, she’d just jump onto the door to get closer to the scone aroma, at least with her front paw.

I screamed, “NO DAISY!!!!” and tried to shove the tray back into the oven and close the oven door to protect her from burning herself….but the scones were on parchment paper and the whole sheet full of 9 scones slid forward into the oven, most of them going directly onto the heat coil (fortunately we replaced that oven not long after – no more coils!).

Well, the parchment immediately started burning, smoke came up from the cranberry-almond scones, the smoke alarm just outside the kitchen door started blaring, and I was yelling, “OH NO OH NO!” over and over.

Is it safe yet?

This scared the living heck out of young impressionable Daisy. I had an hour-long cleanup of scone chunks and crumbs from the kitchen floor, super-hot oven racks and oven door – after my first priority of pulling out flaming parchment without letting it hit the wood floor or me. During that time I know I was shakily muttering, “Oh no. Oh my gosh” and the like, which probably helped to further freak Daisy out, hearing all that distress.

Of course, there was a much longer cleanup inside the oven after it cooled down. Not fun.

Since then, whenever I start to open the oven door (even if the oven isn’t on), Miss Daisy high-tails it out of the kitchen with her ears flying behind her. I decided this was a good thing.

I capitalized on that by saying “YOU stay!” in what DD calls an “accusational voice” while I wanted her out of the kitchen. It’s worked, and when I say “good girl”, she knows it’s safe to come in and she’s going to get a little treat.

But DD pointed out the fact that anytime it’s a “take-me-seriously” situation, I automatically employ the “YOU stay” command emphatically, and I guess Daisy relates it to the Great Oven Incident of 2010, because she listens VERY well! LOL

So who trained whom? Did I unknowingly train her to take that command seriously or did she train me to give her a very firm command when there’s a potentially dangerous situation for her? LOL Either way, at least we understand each other! πŸ˜‰


The Dog Who Cried Wolf

I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place.

I tell you I HEARD something!!

Daisy barks at everything AND nothing. Now, I know dogs have exceptionally keen hearing, but you’ll see how this case is different when you read the circumstances surrounding Daisy’s “cry wolf” routine.

When we’re in the kitchen/family room/living room area of the house, she only barks when she actually hears something unusual. But when we’re anywhere else, she goes into these constant barking tirades like an intruder was breaking down the door with an ax.

I can’t figure out why she does this. And I don’t want to tell her to stop because I DO want her to bark if something is actually awry.

I end up wasting time running around to check and make sure everything’s secure. So I decided to stop doing that in case it was providing entertainment for Dear Little Daisy. Dear Little Rascal Daisy.

I can't believe you fell for it AGAIN....

It didn’t matter. She still barks at phantoms. And it always leaves me wondering if I’m picking the one wrong time not to check.

Does anyone else’s dog do this? Any ideas how to stop her from crying wolf and teach her to only bark at actual sounds? How do I turn a faker into an honest watchdog? πŸ˜›

Happy Friday and a great weekend to everyone!


Daisy’s Wish List

If Daisy could have anything she wanted, here’s what I think would be on her Wish List:

Just see how you'd like having your quirks exposed all over the internet!

~ A couch in front of the biggest window in the house, facing out so she could watch the birds and critters in luxury.

~ Blankets all over the house so she’d never have to run around looking for one.

~ Big fluffy pillows scattered about – she LOVES lying on pillows like a queen!

~ Toys that she could destroy and eat….safely.

~ A Stepford Mom who would play with her all day, pet her all day, and replace all those eaten toys (oh wait, she has that last one! LOL). And who’ll let her eat whatever table food she wants and happily follow her around with a vomit bag.

~ A continual stream of trips to new places, new friends, and a regular influx of new shoes to sniff, topple, and lick.

~ A blog tattling on her family’s silly, nutty, funny, and annoying day-to-day activities! LOL

What would be at the top of your pup’s Wish List?


Daisy the Canine Teabag

She’s tenacious. She’s stubborn. She plays hard. She’s….Daisy the Canine Teabag! LOL

Daisy loves playing tug-o-war with her blanket, aka her best buddy. I know, we broke a basic rule of training BIG time by allowing this, but it’s just so darned fun! I think it takes more discipline to stop a human from playing tug-o-war with a dog than the other way around. πŸ˜‰

Those steel jaws of hers absolutely refuse to let go of the blanket when we play. She whips her head back and forth like a wild animal trying to shake its prey to death. She growls up a storm, and those growls range from high-pitched maniacal growling to deep, steady, long rumbling growls. And everything in between, including multi-toned growling LOL! What a nut.

But the funny thing is that when we pull the blanket upward, she still hangs on. Her front half just floats in midair as she growls away – anything to hang on! So I started doing a gentle up-and-down motion, thinking the light bouncing might encourage her to let go – nope. She just bounces up and down with the motion, looking like a canine teabag. πŸ™‚


Daisy’s Creative New Nook

Daisy’s found a little hide-away that’s so cozy and comfortable for her, I may never make my bed again (good excuse, right?).

Daisy has discovered that when the bed’s unmade and the comforter is dragging on the carpet a bit, it creates a soft little nook where she can curl up and be tucked in at the same time. It’s become one of her favorite places when someone’s in the same room!

This is the life! πŸ™‚


Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal Go To Dinner

I just had to share this observation with you, even though it has nothing to do with Daisy.

George, I TOLD you we should have come earlier! πŸ˜‰

Our bird feeder ran out of seed this morning. Naturally, DH put the big jar of seed away in a spot that’s inaccessible to me, so these poor birds will have to find another source for the day.

But a funny thing happened. The male cardinal landed on one of the perches, checked for food and, finding none, he cleverly hopped around to each perch on the four sides of the feeder, checking the openings on each side.

Discovering that his favorite food source had run dry, he looked around, then flew away. Seconds later, Mrs. Cardinal flew onto the perch and double-checked for food.

So I ask you – is the animal world any different than the human world when it comes to relationships? If a man goes into the fridge looking for milk and finds none, doesn’t the woman always go in right after to double-check his claim?

The only difference is that in the human world, the woman usually FINDS the milk that was staring the man in the face the whole time….



Daisy Eats The Wall

Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. What I should have said was that Daisy ate a few chunks of the wall.

I was a baaaaad puppy....

DH is extremely handy around the house, and right now he’s replacing the shower walls in the master bath. He’s stripping the shower walls right down to the beams and even replacing the sheetrock with cement board, which is supposed to be better for bathrooms as it’s more resistant to mildew. (He’s not one to do things in half measures!)

Of course, Daisy has been ultra interested in all the unusual things being carted in and out of the house, plus the sounds of drilling, sawing, and hammering. Some sounds have her watching like a hawk, others have her running for the hills (especially the loud electric saw).

The first day of work, DH got pretty far. He stripped everything and replaced the sheetrock with the cement board. It was a very humid day and he got pretty tired from all those hours of work in such humidity. So, once the cement board was in place and he’d spackled all the joints, he decided to leave the cleanup for another day. All the bits and pieces were out of the way, so we could use the rest of the bathroom normally.

Daisy's Motto: Chew first, ask questions later!

I had a bad feeling about this.

I was working at the other end of the house when I realized things were too quiet. No Daisy. No eyes boring into me, no sleeping puppy at my feet, no sounds of Nylabone destruction.

Alarm set in.

I called to her. No response. Did DH remember to close the bathroom door when he finished working in there?

I raced to the other end of the house, and there was Daisy, standing in the middle of the bathroom, tongue flicking. O-M-G.

I don’t know how much debris was on the floor of the shower, but I know that one large, thick chunk of sheetrock was gone. It was about the size of a large Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. And there was that tongue, flicking with satisfaction.

I panicked. I pictured waking up the next morning and seeing Daisy’s limp body with froth covering her mouth. Or watching her get more and more lethargic over the course of the evening. Or vomiting up a storm. Should I just call the emergency animal hospital and see if she should get her stomach pumped as a precaution?

I'll just give Mom my Sweet Face and she'll forgive me anything!

Instead I consulted Ol’ Reliable – the internet. I looked up “dog eating sheetrock”, and shockingly, there it was – plenty of references. What I found out is that some dogs actually chew walls – intact walls – because of a lack of calcium in their diets. Imagine that!

There are also dogs who do it for attention or because they don’t have adequate chew toys.

So why did Daisy do it? Because it was there. It was small, on the floor, and therefore hers. She doesn’t normally chew intact walls (thank goodness!), but anything on the floor is fair game to her.

So from now on DH has to either clean up after himself when he’s doing a project or shut the door behind him. And I’ll try to panic less when he inevitably forgets to do either. πŸ˜‰

UPDATE: Daisy was fine after her sheetrock snack. No after-effects at all. In fact, this silly puppy keeps running up to the bathroom door (which I now keep closed tight!) and sniffing hard underneath it, clearly wanting to return to the scene of the crime. What a nut!


Daisy and the Predictability of Life

I hate routine. I’m not a routine-oriented person. When I worked in the corporate world, the thing I hated most (besides the politics) was the strict routine of going to the same place at the same time every single day, and doing generally the same things with the same people.

Do what you will, I know EXACTLY how things work around here!

Up at 6. Out by 7. In by 8:30. Break at 10:15. Lunch at noon. Break at 2:30. Leave at 4:30. Home at 6.

And then do it all again the next day and the next, month after month, year after year. It’s just not for me.

I know lots of people feel a sense of stability and security with a daily regimen like that, but not me. I get stir crazy.

Once I resigned from the corporate world, I felt f-r-e-e. As a freelance journalist (notice the word “free” in there LOL), I make my own hours and write about different things all the time. Every person I interview for articles is different, every client is unique, and researching diverse topics opens up new worlds for me.

I love it.

Daisy, on the other hand, is a creature of habit. And even though I do everything possible not to fall into any routines (including changing the order in which I do everyday tasks just so I won’t get bored), she’s shown me that certain things are completely predictable, no matter how much I don’t want them to be.

I know what you'll do even before you do!

When I first come out of the bathroom in the morning, there’s Daisy sitting outside the bathroom door waiting for me. (I gotta say I love that! Nothing brightens up a morning like a cute little face waiting for you at an ungodly hour.) She trots ahead of me and stands by the computer, knowing that the first thing I’m going to do is boot it up. Then she grabs her blanket for the inevitable trip down the hallway to chat with DD while she gets ready for work.

As soon as I walk out of there, she trots on down the hallway and plops herself on her blanket next to the computer chair, knowing full well that’s where I’m heading. I hate being that predictable! Once DD comes in, she knows we’ll see her off at the door and watch her drive away.

As I close the front door, Daisy either parks herself once again by the computer or jumps onto the sofa where she can see me at the computer. As soon as I stand up, she trots to the bathroom door and waits, knowing I’ll be getting into the shower.

See what I mean? Predictable.

I guess it’s unavoidable. I may do small everyday tasks in different order to try to trick my brain into believing that there are no routines in my world, but Daisy has shown me that I’m only fooling myself. ::sigh::

Maybe someday I’ll rock her world by showering first, moving the computer into a different room, and having DD leave through a different door. I wonder if her whole day would be off-kilter…. πŸ™‚


A Birthday in the Daisy Family

Taking a brief break from Daisy Doings to share something yummy with you. πŸ™‚

Last week was DD’s birthday, so naturally I made one of her favorite dinners – homemade spaghetti and meatballs. And for her birthday cake, she requested my flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache.

Happy Gluten-free Birthday DD! πŸ™‚

I was a culinary maniac for two solid days! πŸ˜‰

Our little family party was lots of fun, but don’t you just hate it when your birthday falls on a weekday? You still have to work all day and you only have a few hours of party time at night, before you have to start prepping for the next workday. It’s a gyp – I think people should have a paid day off on their birthdays. πŸ™‚

Unfortunately Daisy didn’t get to partake of any birthday goodies. I make meatballs from ground turkey rather than beef, and we all know what happens to Daisy when she gets foul fowl into her tum….. She did get a couple small bits of unsauced pasta, though, which she scarfed down with gusto. In typical Daisy style. πŸ™‚

DD follows a gluten-free diet – she’s got a wheat allergy, as I mentioned in a previous post. I gotta say – with all the choices now in gluten-free dining, she doesn’t miss out on much anymore, and she can eat heartily while still staying a size zero! ::grumblegrumblegrumble::

This cake is decadently rich and incredibly sinful, but worth every bite. Depending on how you serve it – with chocolate ganache, a raspberry sauce, a caramel drizzle, or anything else your heart desires – you change it just enough to make it seem new. You can even make it in small, individual sizes for perfect dinner party servings!

Here’s the simple recipe (I halved it, which is the picture you see):

1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar
18 squares bittersweet chocolate, 1 oz. each (18 oz. total)
1 cup butter, softened
6 eggs
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease one 10 inch round cake pan and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the water, salt and sugar. Stir until completely dissolved and set aside.
3. Either in the top half of a double boiler or in a microwave oven melt the bittersweet chocolate. Pour the chocolate into the bowl of an electric mixer.
4. Cut the butter into pieces and beat the butter into the chocolate, 1 piece at a time. Beat in the hot sugar-water. Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Put the cake pan in a larger pan filled with boiling water halfway up the sides of the cake pan.
6. Bake cake in the water bath at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 45 minutes. The center will still look wet. Chill cake overnight in the pan. To unmold, dip the bottom of the cake pan in hot water for 10 seconds and invert onto a serving plate.

Personally, this method of removing the finished cake from the cake pan never works for me. It pulls away from the edges by itself, so that’s not a problem, but the bottom tends to stick pretty tight. Next time I’m going to bake it like I bake banana bread – with a single layer of wax paper underneath so it’ll pop out easily and I can just peel the wax paper off. Hopefully that’s the key!


Dog Outsmarts Chipmunk

A friend of mine has a Basset Hound mix, but this big guy is 90% Basset, complete with l-o-n-g floppy ears and sad, droopy eyes. He’s a sweetheart but also a hunter at heart, and he’s got the patience and cunning to prove it.

Basset Hound image via Wikipedia

Several years ago, he was in his backyard when a chipmunk dashed by. This was unacceptable. He took off after that poor little thing hitting speeds we didn’t know his stubby little legs and heavy body could even manage.

Chipmunk escaped, but Dog never forgot. Every single day after that, he went into his yard and planted himself in a position to monitor Chipmunk’s comings and goings. Sometimes he gave chase, sometimes he just watched with the eyes of a ninja. The wheels were turning.

Whenever he gave chase, Chipmunk would cut his trip across the yard short and disappear into a downspout. Dog would bark and bark and BARK at the opening, pawing at the spout until his owner finally took him inside.

This dog would NOT be bested. One day, he lay in the grass like a lion, watching and waiting. When Chipmunk made his appearance, Dog chased him as usual, forcing Chipmunk into the downspout.

This was no longer a good strategy for Chipmunk. Dog had a plan.

Using his powerful jaws, he clenched and chewed and forced and worked until he closed that downspout completely, trapping Chipmunk inside.

Unfortunately my friend didn’t realize what had happened for a few days, when rain started spilling out of her rain gutter. Sadly, it was too late for Chipmunk. It was also too late for the downspout. It suffered beyond repair and had to be replaced, and of course she put wire mesh over it to prevent future incidents at the hands – or should I say jaws – of her beloved Hunter.

And the moral is: Never underestimate the canine spirit. Especially when it’s mixed with instinct. πŸ˜‰


%d bloggers like this: