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Category Archives: Corgi

Separation Anxiety

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Oh, hello blog. I hope I did not lose any of my dedicated readers (all ten of you). I was on vacation down in the land of the South and then I got lazy for a while when I got back. Inexcusable, I know, but that’s my excuse.  The plan to visit the ‘Rents for 4th o’ July had been in the works for a while, but it wasn’t until about 2 weeks prior to departure that we realized we would have to do something with Moriarty. I immediately set out to scour Yelp for all the dog kennels in Chicago. Some were straight up ridiculous (“Upgrade your pup to an executive suite for just $20 more per night”) and almost all had at least a few horror stories in their reviews. The anxiety began to set in.

I probably wouldn’t argue if you said that we are attached to our dog perhaps to an unhealthy level, but that’s just the way it is. I convinced myself that leaving him for 4 nights would send the clear message to him that we no longer loved him and had abandoned him forever. Now, I don’t know if a dog would even be able to think at that level, but that didn’t make the worry any less. We finally settled on a boarding joint recommended by a friend, that was modest in price and “suites,” but seemed to have a dedicated and caring staff, with plenty of Facebook pictures to prove their dogs aren’t chained to trees all day and fed rats. We dropped off Arty a couple hours before take off, and I would be lying if I said the look he gave us as he walked down the hall didn’t stick with me the entire time we were gone. I know, I know, I make myself sick with this ridiculousness, but I can’t help it. Texas, meanwhile, was great. We enjoyed the company of family, and more importantly, visited more than once the home of the best donuts IN THE WORLD.

When we got back into town we rushed to the kennel, cursing the Chicago traffic the whole time, and ran through the doors, envisioning some sort of movie-scene leap into arms reunion. As it was, it took them about five minutes to get our dog away from his puppy friends, and when he saw us, he was clearly a little confused. This just confirmed my fears that he had believed he was abandoned forever. Actually, after the 30-minute car ride home, he slowly came around to remembering us, and becoming the same great/crazy pet he was when we dropped him off.  Pictures from the kennel proved he was perfectly content while we were gone, and all the anxiety was probably just one-sided.

On a terribly sad note, we got word last night that Moriarty’s best friend from the neighborhood, a 9 month old bull mastif puppy, that was about 12 times his size, died of some sudden onset crazy respiratory virus. We were sad all night, and still are, even though he was not our dog. It also put into perspective that it is not embarrassing (well, not THAT embarrassing) to worry and fuss over and love our pup like we do, because if that had happened to him, we would be heartbroken.  That is all, I will be back to blogging about bacon etc. tomorrow. I apologize for the absence. Here’s a bonus lovely picture of Chicago skyline taken by The Wife to make up for it.

Puppy Pride

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This weekend was the Pride parade in Chicago. We live pretty much adjacent to the most fabulous part of town, so of course went down to check out the festivities. We decided to take the pup down and observe from a slight distance. I came away with a deeper understanding that no matter race, nor gender, nor sexual preference, everybody loves a corgi.

Moriarty kissing Gazpacho. Gazpacho is a boy, but we're okay with that.

Pretty sure he likes the attention.

He is pretty hugable. It's true.

 

I'm not saying we have the cutest dog in the city, but I'm not saying we don't.

Chipotle float was by far the most modest.

 

Super Exciting Married Couple Date Night!!!

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If you know the Wife & I, you know we really know how to party it up big time (can’t you tell by the “bigs” Potbelly’s sandwich above?) It appears as though summer or Spring or whatever it is now has decided to stick around Chicago finally and that means we can get out and walk around the hood without having huddle under an umbrella or put on gloves for the first time in about seven months. What, then, does a young married couple living in the big city do on a Saturday night you wonder? Well it starts off with dinner at the finest hot sandwich joint in town, then leads down the street to the newest froyo shop, of course.

There are literally three frozen yogurterias within 20 steps of each other along Belmont. The award for worst name goes to “Tang Cups,” which we obviously passed by to head to the newest and bestest “Forever Yogurt.” All sarcasm aside, it is pretty damn amazing frozen yogurts. Pictures is Lavender honey/cake batter with berries and Intelligentsia coffee/Red Velvet cake yogurt with heath and butterfingers. Yeah, I said it. RED.VELVET.CAKE.YOGURT.

It is nice just to be able to able to walk around, even if it’s hard to make it half a block without someone fawning over our pups and even when the Yankees are in town for the whole weekend and our hood is filled with extra annoying New Yorkers. Hey, jerks, just because our city is cleaner and our pizza is better doesn’t mean you have to come into town and talk louder than all get out as you walk down our streets. Sorry if anybody reading is a New Yorker, but really, get over yourselves.

How do you finish off such a rowdy and thrilling night?

Finishing up a series that we have taken three years to get through somehow. I swear, if things don’t turn out well for Bubbles, I am going to cry and then punch something. Who knows what late night craziness might be in store afterwards? Maybe a second trip to the froyo shop, because we are crazay like that.  I hope your weekend is just as enjoyable.

**giggle**

 

 

We All Lose Our Marbles From Time To Time

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Yesterday was the fateful day we took Moriarty to get fixed. He seemed to handle it pretty well and doesn’t appear to hold any resentment towards us. He has been laying around lethargically more than usual, and looking longingly out the windows, but I am just going to attribute that to his pain meds. The best part of the whole ordeal was my  interaction with the front desk tech at the vet. It was like 7:30 in the morning and maybe I was a little sleepy mumbley, so the conversation went like this:

Him: “What’s your last name?”

Me: “Ford.”

Him: “Okay great we have your file here, if I could just have you sign this surgery liability waiver and we will get you checked in.”

Me: “Sure.”

Him: “Now, this is a grade one procedure, so we don’t expect to have to do any extractions, but if we do need to we will call you prior.”

Me: “Excuse me? No extractions?”

Him:  “Well yes, it’s a grade one dental procedure so there shouldn’t be any need for extraction.”

Me: “I wasn’t aware of any dental work with a neuter.”

Him, confused: “What did you say your last name was?”

Me: “Ford.”

Him: “Oohhh I though you said Bowe. Yes of course, here’s your file. Castration it is, no dental surgery.”

I’m glad he made the mention of extraction because there would have certainly been some confusion when I came to pick him up and his balls were still intact. Things I can only imagine would be even more awkward for Bowe.

As a reward for his bravery, Moriarty’s kennel was expanded while he was in surgery so he now has more room to stretch out, which he was really happy about, even in his cone of shame.

 

In other news, Chicago has been incredibly hot and humid the past few days and the small window A/C units we have aren’t getting the job done. It was time to take emergency cooling-off measures:

Yes, I do have my own aluminum extra wide Slurpee straw, problem?

 

Sometimes Our Dog Makes Music Videos

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It’s silly, and cloyingly cute, but  we make videos of the dog sometimes. In case you missed the winter hit video, here it is:

And now that it appears this Chicago winter has finally broken, it was only appropriate that we go to the park and make a cell-phone-camera-shaky new vid. Notice how much he has grown, le sigh.

The only banana bread recipe you will ever need.

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Would I lie to you?

What’s that you say? You already have a trusty banana bread recipe? This one is better…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What’s that? It’s your great great grandmother’s recipe that won the blue ribbon at the Oklahoma state fair in 1909? This one is better.

Banana bread seems so simple, yet there seems to be a lot of bad banana bread out there. Dry, bland, nutless excuses for possibly the king of all quick breads. Here I present to you the king of kings, a recipe borrowed from here and there, perfected over years. You want to argue with me, you better be able to put your bread where your mouth is.

What you need:

*1 cup pureed RIPE bananas. Now, a lot of recipes specify a number of bananas, but how is that going to be consistent? Usually between 2-3 yields a cup. I just whisk the hell out of them in the stand mixer, but do whatever works for you, don’t just mash them with a fork though. This will not do.

*1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

*3/4 cup white sugar

*1/4 cup brown sugar

*1/2 cup European style butter. This is important. Always use “European Style” butter for baking. Need an explanation why?  Plugra is available just about everywhere.

*2 eggs

*2/3 cup sour cream

*1 teaspoon baking soda

*1 teaspoon baking powder

*1 teaspoon orange zest

*1 tablespoon orange juice

*1 big handful pecans (not optional.) What, you usually use walnuts? Inferior nut.

*2 teaspoons vanilla extract

*1 teaspoon cinnamon

*2 tablespoons brown sugar

*dash of nutmeg

*dash of salt

Lets get it on:

Preheat oven to 350, grease a normal sized loaf pan.

Toss your pecans in a small pan with the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Toast on low until sugar has melted and caramelized and you nuts are toasty. Once cool, chop ‘em up.

Cream together your softened butter and sugars. Get it good and fluffy.

Add eggs, vanilla, orange zest & juice, mix well.

Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Mix well.

Fold in sour cream, banana, and pecans.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes.  It is crucial not to overcook and dry out your ‘nana bread. Take it out of the oven just at the point where you think it MIGHT not be done. Trust.

Let cool, at least mostly, before you start grabbing it with your grubby paws. At top is pictured with butter and TJ’s apple honey butter. Top with whatever you wish, or just top with more banana bread.

Side note: is it normal that Moriarty LOVES bananas? You can’t eat one in peace without him wanting to get at it, and he sat in the kitchen with this look on his face most of the time I was baking this.

You're going to share, right?

The Genesis of Moriarty

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First day home, lots of sleeping and being confused.

So this is our dog. His name is Moriarty. We named him after Dean Moriarty from Jack Kerouac’s On The Road because we knew he would be an energetic, mischievous, manipulative so and so. Corgis are like this some by nature, and our breeder described him as particularly ornery. The Wife liked him the best regardless and it was to be. Which brings me to the topic of breeders. It seems that recently, people have some disdain for getting a dog from a breeder. Obviously, if you got your dog from a pet store you are still a complete monster, but now getting a dog from a breeder seems to be looked down on by some, especially in our neighborhood. We observe this as we take Arty out for walks and people often, more often than I would think, ask where we got him from.  We say we got him from a breeder in Indiana and about 50% of the time, people tend to give a slight nod or look of disapproval, then introduce us to their wonderful rescue. “We think he is part corgi!” they often gush.  Now, let me state that I have nothing against rescue services. I think that for the most part they are doing a fantastic service. I just don’t think they are for everyone.  In our case, we had a size limitation, we wanted a dog that would be compatible with our lifestyle and we wanted to raise a dog from puppyhood.  For these reasons, a breeder was the obvious way to go. After carefully selecting a breed, we diligently researched breeders in our area, had extensive phone communication with the chosen breeder, made the four-hour drive to middle-of-nowhere Indiana to visit the pups when they were just four weeks old, then returned a month later to take him home.  I would venture to say that if prospective dog owners went through the process we did, there would be less dogs in shelters. Not every dog is right for everyone, and I think a lot of the time you are taking a gamble by getting a rescue, not knowing exactly what it’s personality or temperament may be beyond what the shelter says. This is why those same dogs often end up back in the shelter. Reading over this to myself, it comes off as somewhat self righteous and preachy, but it’s not intended to be. Rescues are great for some people, especially those with experience raising dogs. For first time pet owners, like ourselves, I truly believe the breeder route was the more responsible way to go. I don’t even hold resentment towards the rescue foster pitbull that bit two holes through our dog’s ear on the corner. I just wish that it didn’t seem like we have to defend our decision to peeps on the street.  Anyway, that post seemed pretty heavy, so here are some adorable puppy pics to lighten the mood.

Caught mid crazy dashing around session

Corgi butt

Bachelors and Bocadillos

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The Wife is out of town for work/a family visit for five days and that means I have the run of the place for the first time since gettin’ hitched.  Time to turn this condo into a bachelor pad. Problem is, I don’t think I was very good at being a bachelor when I was one.  It’s basically going to equate more talking to the dog as though he is people, singing along to Bruce Springsteen at louder levels, more cereal for meals that aren’t breakfast, and all the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens I can handle.

Let me pause here and educate you peeps about this amazing television phenomenon for those of you who may not know. It’s basically guys like this:

Dude looks legit.

laying out how aliens have come to Earth throughout history and done everything from collect DNA samples from all species (the real Noah’s Ark), to building the pyramids, to helping the Nazis build a time machine. Now here’s where it gets interesting. These are like hour and a half long episodes and I start off chuckling at the ridiculous speculations and exaggerations of these nut jobs, but I will be damned if by the end of each episode I’m not starting to think that maybe aliens have used ultra powerful lasers from satellites to manifest hurricanes in the ocean so large that they caused the ice age (actual segment of this show). Where was I? Oh yes, I catch some every now and then but The Wife can only stomach so much so I plan to get my fill of crazy this weekend.

The real question is what to do about food? See, I do most  all of the cooking in the house, and do a fine job of keeping us nice and “Midwest fit,” but I don’t really like cooking for one. Sure I would be happy just to alternate Chipotle and Five Guys every night, but I do have a little bit of self control.  So I basically eat whatever is easiest and on hand. Tonight that means a bocadillo. See, when we were in Spain for our honeymoon, it seemed like everyone was always carrying around little sandwiches. On the trains, on the beach, on the street, everywhere. It only took a couple of days before we realized these were not sandwiches at all, but bocadillos. Essentially, they are a small sandwich filled with jamon, maybe cheese, and maybe some tomatoes or roasted red pepper if you want to get really fancy. It is pretty much the perfect meal for any time of day, especially for a country so enamored with ham, and by the end of our stay, we too could be found in the park with a couple bocadillos wrapped in foil shoved in our satchels. I guess this is a recipe so here you go:

What you need

*Baguette-ish bread, something with a crust to it.

*Cheese. Chevre goes beautifully, a manchego would be more traditional. Anything you have that isn’t Kraft singles will do.

*Jamon serrano, iberico, prosciutto, whatever you can find. Trader Joes prosciutto here. How much jamon, you ask? That depends how Spanish you are feeling. Today, I am feeling very Spanish.

*Sundried tomatoes.

What you do

Slice that bread and put it together, man, you never make a sandwich?.

“But, what about sides, ” you ask “Just the bocadillo?”

Sides? What does this look like to you? A diner? You want a side, you put some extra damn jamon on the plate and call it a side.

This, people, is one of many reasons why I believe Spain to be the best food country in the world. More on this later.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a date with the pup and Ancient Aliens. Did you know that they came down and harvested most of our stores of gold to use in their own technology!?

"What happened to the strong female presence in my life?" He thinks to himself.

A puppy is not a practice baby.

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Sure we have plans for kids, somewhere down the line. But we knew as soon as we found a place, a puppy was a top priority. After finding out our condo’s dog weight limit, realizing our ideal dog (English bulldog) is basically a chronically ill creature that would never exist naturally–they can’t even conceive or give birth without human assistance.  We did a bunch of those online dog matching surveys and came up with mostly things we didn’t think were cute, and a corgi, a dog neither of us really ever knew about. Turns out they are the most awesome dogs in the world, as evident by the internet’s recent obsession with them.  So after much negotiation and heartache, we found a good breeder in the middle-of-nowhere, Indiana and anxiously awaited the day our dude was old enough to take home. Maybe I will gush more about this later, but the point of this post is how many people have made mention of how dogs are like practice babies. This is a very popular thing to tell newlyweds who have just acquired a puppy apparently. It is not the case, and I am here to lay out the similarities and differences between the two.

Things puppies and babies have in common:

*Cute, mostly.

*Lots of pee and poop. Lots.

*Demanding of your attention at all times.

*Is it hungry? Sleepy? Upset? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW? THIS THING CAN’T TALK!

*You will lose a lot of sleep

Things puppies and babies do not have in common:

*Puppies enjoy being shaken up a little bit. On the other hand, Never. Shake. A. Baby!!!

*Baby food is free for the first several months.

*Babies have an attached receptacle  to catch aforementioned pee and poop. Puppies don’t.

*When people stop on the street to admire or tickle your baby, you don’t have to worry about baby peeing on them or biting their gloves.

*Biting. As far as I am aware, babies aren’t born with a mouth full of tiny razorblades.

All told, yes, both are cute and cuddly, but I don’t consider our dog to be practice for a human freaking being that I am responsible for it’s entire life. You screw up with a puppy, maybe it turns out to be a growler. You screw up with a baby, maybe it ends up being the house slut on MTV’s Real World, or worse.

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