our puppy is a genius

Blue update #2—Weeks 10 & 11

In the past two weeks we dog sat another puppy, marveled at Blue’s genius, and had a potty training regression.  

My favorite things about the past two weeks:

  • Transitioning to only getting up with Blue once every night.
  • Getting lots of good puppy snuggles and kisses.
  • Watching tiny Blue climb up and down our stairs.

My least favorite things about the past two weeks:

  • The great potty training regression of 2018.
  • Hand bruises from sharp puppy teeth.

Things I have learned:

  • That Blue is really really smart.
  • That Blue is already great at posing.
  • That Blue loves to please us.

Blue has gained over five pounds since we brought her home.  At her eight week vet visit she weighed 10.8 pounds and at her 11 week vet visit, she weighed 15.8 pounds.  We feel pretty good about her size and are hoping she is right in the sweet spot when she is an adult, which should be between fifty-five and sixty-five pounds.  She is happy and healthy and still learning daily.  It is amazing to watch her pick up on things.

For the most part, things got easier for us as a family these weeks compared to the first two.  I have definitely grown more attached to our high energy fur ball and absolutely love her snuggles and puppy kisses.  She is really good at hugs and snuggles, especially when she is tuckered out after playing with a puppy friend.

On the weekend Blue turned 11 weeks, we dog sat our friend’s puppy who is one month older than Blue and twice her size.  He is a shepherd mix—a herding breed—and is much more calm and less high energy than our girl Blue.  He is also better at sleeping through the night than she is.  And while they were both mostly house trained in their own homes, this weekend turned into utter chaos that caused both dogs to regress a little bit.

Our visiting pup wasn’t sure how or where to potty at our house, so he decided that inside was the perfect spot.  We had a lot of accidents the first couple days, especially because he refused to go outside.  At first Blue just observed this, but eventually she started to go inside as well.  As you can imagine, this got pretty frustrating.   

The short story is, we got the dogs on a strict schedule for going outside.  If they weren’t in their crates, they were going outside every twenty minutes, whether or not we thought they had to go.  This cut down on the accidents dramatically, and improved our relationship with them as well.

Dog sitting also emphasized repeatedly how intelligent our Blue is.  Not in comparison to the other dog, but just in the way that she would help him when he didn’t understand.  For example, he was terrified of going down our stairs, so Blue got right next to him and went down every step with him one at a time.  He also kept chewing my carpet, so Blue finally laid a chew toy across his paws and showed him to chew on that instead.  I have never been more proud in my life.

We are growing closer daily, and as Blue learns more and more, Will and I enjoy her more and more.  Often times before bed you will find the three of us sitting on the floor and playing with a ball or rough housing.  By the end of week eleven Blue weighed in at almost 19 pounds.  It’s safe to say she is heading into a big growth spurt!  She is still fearless and resilient.  We didn’t go a lot of places during these two weeks and she is definitely learning that the house is her den.  We still keep doors to a couple rooms closed to avoid temptation for her, but in the rooms she is comfortable, she is great at only chewing on her own toys.

Until next time,
Jamie out

Read more: 
Weeks 8 & 9Bringing Blue Home


A Thursday in December.

#everydaymoments December #everydaymoments December #everydaymoments December #everydaymoments December #everydaymoments December #everydaymoments December #everydaymoments December #everydaymoments December #everydaymoments December #everydaymoments December #everydaymoments December #everydaymoments December
  1. Breakfast.  The last time I went grocery shopping I was hungry and therefore couldn’t resist the two for four Poptarts.  I always eat them without frosting.
  2. My wakeup has been around six am now that we have a puppy.  It’s kind of nice.  I get to see the frost on the grass and the sun rise on my house.  I enjoy not being in a huge rush every morning.
  3. I work part time as a digital marketing manager, and the rest of the time as a photographer.  This day I took photos of a house for a real estate agent.
  4. Blue was very excited when I got home.
  5. She wasn’t very interested in going potty.  Mostly she just wanted to play.
  6. Reality.  Sometimes we don’t get to the dishes for a couple days and things pile up.  There’s just two of us, but in a tiny kitchen it can get out of hand pretty quickly.
  7. Blue doesn’t understand chores.
  8. A lot of her non nap time is spent playing, or her asking to play.  It’s pretty cute.
  9. She loves rough housing and we try to teach her to chew on toys, not on people.  Clearly it’s working well.
  10. I spent over four hours editing photos and watching Grey’s Anatomy in the afternoon.  So much so that I forgot to feed and take care of myself (even though I remembered to take care of my pup) and got super sick and nauseous by evening time.
  11. Which was great because Will’s work had an ugly sweater Christmas shindig downtown that evening.
  12. After eating some food and spending the evening with good people, I felt much better and we snapped a cute pic in the chilly weather on the walk back to our car.

Until next time,
Jamie out.

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

Will is from Utah and his parents still live in the house he grew up in.  He had the kind of locational stability growing up that I got jealous of and longed for a bit in my teen years.  He has three brothers and one sister and they all live in this little clump in the western states right now.  We took advantage of the closeness of family almost immediately after moving to Arizona and road tripped up for a big family reunion—his mom’s 50th birthday party!

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

Friday, July 6, 2018

I spent the day packing and cleaning.  I worked out (leg day), did laundry, and prepped everything to go so that the minute Will got off work, we would be ready to leave.

We loaded up the car, got gas, and by 4:56pm we were on the road, driving north for Utah.

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

One thing you may not know about me is that I’m actually really self conscious about taking photos and videos sometimes.  I hate being a bother, or getting in someone’s way, so I really dislike asking for people to pose, or move, or stop their lives so that I can take their photo.  This is perhaps why I love capturing candid moments so much—I don’t have to ask for a whole lot, except to allow me to photograph the moment.  (Disclaimer: if it’s an actual session where I’m photographing a family, for example, that’s completely different because the client has literally paid me to boss them around a little bit from behind my camera.)

Will is a huge blessing for me.  He notices moments too.  He sees things that are beautiful and he asks, “do you want to take a picture?  Do you want me to pull over?  I’m going to pull over.”  And then I get this little boost of confidence because my husband believes in me, and he can see the beauty in the moment too.  There was a lot of that on this road trip, and it really filled my heart.

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

It’s a little over 600 miles from our place in Arizona to his parents’ in Utah, and Will drove the entire way that night.  What a hero.  We listened to the music on my iTunes alphabetically by starting with the first “A” song that came up and tried to see how far we could get.  It’s weeks later now and we’re still trying to get to songs that start with a “B.”  We also listened to The Hobbit because we hadn’t finished it on our move out from North Carolina.

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

I passed out dead asleep a little after ten because I’m an old woman and really struggle to stay up late any more.  Will powered through, with only a few stops for gas and sustenance, and we arrived just after 4am to a very quiet welcome from his older brother John.  We slept another four hours and then woke up excited for a day of celebrating and reuniting.  

Will’s sister Cherie had a fantastic vision for their mom’s party, so we all became dutiful workers and errand runners and balloon inflators and amateur cake decorators for several hours.  Cherie even masterminded a couple balloon arches and jars full of cake pops to top everything off.  We filled things with helium and twisted crepe paper from the ceiling and I really regretted leg day after climbing up and down from stools for a while.

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

The party itself wasn’t a surprise, but all of the decor sure was, and Will’s mom Terri had the best reaction to the reveal.  Way to go, Cherie!

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

It was a great evening, complete with a taco bar (this girl needs absolutely nothing else in life but tacos), presents, a lot of cake pops, and fun 50 questions about life for Terri.  

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

All of the nieces and nephews were super pleased about the cake pops also.

Can you tell I like cake pops?  How many more times can I say “cake pops?”

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

These photos were taken about a year apart.  First of all, we’re missing a brother, but both times were super fantastic photo ops, and John always gives me the best faces.  

A crazy desert storm of wind and rain brought the party inside and we lasted long into the night with card games of all kinds.  My favorite is Nerts (very similar to Dutch Blitz)—think Speed and Solitaire combined, and then add about 10 people playing and your brain might explode if you aren’t prepared.  I have a tendency to test friendships with this game, because I’m very good at it and I don’t let other people win.

I’m also very humble.

I seem to remember rolling into bed around midnight after struggling to keep my eyes open for a while.  It was a blessing to get several hours of uninterrupted sleep.  

By the next morning, I couldn’t walk properly because of Friday’s leg day, and it was time for a Shugart style breakfast.  If you can think of a breakfast food, we probably ate it.  There are eggs and potatoes (my personal favorite), not to mention pancakes, sausage, bacon, french toast, coffee, tea, juice, milk, and all the fixin’s (as they say in the south).  I was way too interested in gorging myself to take the time to photograph the food, but Terri and I did make sure we rounded up all the troops to take a big family photo before everyone left.

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

This is my first big complete Shugart family photo that I’ve been in!  First of many!  I’m stoked to see how it changes over the years.  Also, I think every family deserves a token very-tall-man.  Thanks for being ours, BJ!  

We said our goodbyes, packed up the car, and set off again to head back home.  What a whirlwind adventure!  Just my kind, to be honest.  

Will and I stopped at so many gorgeous places for photos on the drive home that I think that deserves a blog post unto itself.  With Will and I combined, I think our future road trips might take a little longer than expected, due to many many stops for photos, and I’m totally okay with that.

Until next time,

Jamie out.