Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Myth of Fingerprints

The adoption paralegal just called.  The twit police officer who took my fingerprints a few weeks ago did it poorly, and they were smudged.  The state adoption office has rejected them.  Bastards, all.  I now have to go pay to do it again, and wait until next Wednesday to get it done.  I'll be getting a letter from my lawyer's office about the crappy first version, and trying to get around the fee again. 

The delays seem interminable.  If I weren't in such a fabulous state of mind, I'd think that the state was dragging its heels.  It is hard to know which public employee is the gem and which is the imbecile who scored less than 70% on their civil service exam and sucks at their job.  And votes Christian Right, and saw that we are both women.  Not that all Christian Right voters are idiots; clearly not, since this country is in the quagmire at home and abroad that Bush has led us into. 

Now I'm grumpy.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Free stuff

I scored this toy from Craigs list. The kind soul was just giving it away - it is an earlier version of this $50 toy from Hearthsong. Pequita loves it to distraction, and although it is too mature for her, we get a lot of joy out of it already with close supervision.


video

Standing Orders

It's not that I've gotten out of the habit of posting or anything. Monito has started to almost crawl and stand. Mostly, I'm grateful that he's heading towards walking, since he weighs a ton and I'm strong, but TIRED of carrying him all over. I didn't know how good I had it with Pequita walking and entertaining herself and Monito content watching the whirling dirvish that is his sister. Now he wants to stand all the time, and can all but pull himself up onto solid objects. He needs constant attention, since he regularly falls over and whacks himself on the butt, head, whatever. Since he cannot really get back upright without a little help, he cries for me to prop him up and is not satisfied until he is upright again. I put him down in a lovely pile of fun non-choking size toys and sit down to blog. In seven minutes, this is the scene. The green footstool on the left is where he started. He is now, mysteriously, across the room wedged against a table playing with the basket of toys that he could choke on. That big stain on the rug near the coffee table? The huge mug of coffee he pulled off the table this morning, narrowly missing his body and instead only smashing my favorite 8-cup capacity hand thrown pottery mug. Sigh. The rug is in the washer as I type. Can you see that instead of one nice wool rug we are using two 4 x 6' cotton rugs overlapping? It isn't lack of desire for beauty, or of a sense of style. With two babies, two dogs and a puppy, I need to be able to launder my floor coverings. Also, I did pledge to buy less - or was it nothing? - this year, and we already owned the rugs.

Here is the scene we play out over and over.
What a relief it will be when he can do this by himself.

The first reader to remind me of the last statement when I start complaining about how hard it is to run after two kids will owe me an ice cream sundae.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Loss

I'm going to try to make cookies tomorrow for a beloved friend who had a bad 7-week ultrasound today.  Since there is nothing anyone can do to make a dent in that kind of sorrow, I figured cookies are a good plan.  Even with two fantastically beautiful kids of our own, I still resent people who get pregnant (and get a live baby out of it) on their first try; I still envy people who don't have to suffer miscarriages and resort to IVF to get a live baby.  I pity people who get pregnant by accident, since no one should have to take this responsibility on without being as ready as they want to be.  But damn, damn, damn, I remember the pain of the losses so vividly that it takes no time at all to tear up when I hear someone else's bad news.

Date Night

My parents, when visiting, hold to the concept that they are here to hang out, be helpful, and luxuriate in their grandbabies.  My dad does a lot of work on one of the two laptops he travels with these days (retired or not, Type A is Type A).  My mother spends an exhausting amount of time cleaning, tidying, cooking and doing whatever is useful in addition to lots of childcare, play tea parties and baby rocking.  This is not to understate the game attitude that my dad has towards all things baby; he plays, tends, makes the remote work to play yet another Thomas the Tank Engine episode.  He also is keeping a running tally of diapers changed so he can exact a comparable number from his grandkids when he is old and needing his own tending.  Today he installed the magnetic invisible child locks on the dining room hutch and cabinet, securing the liquor bottles from prying hands.  Pequita is quite interested in the few miniature bottles of vodka and the like that we have in front of the jugs of gin and tequila.  (Hey, I like martinis and margaritas. It is cheaper to buy the half gallon bottles.  Anybody who has a problem with that isn't invited over for the next Mexican Festival Night.)

Homestead Mama and I had a sweet moment of nursing babes to sleep next to each other on Valentine's Day, and prying the squished chocolate cake out of Pequita's hands the next morning that we forgot to get off the coffee table in the living room; we wanted more, however.  Tonight our favorite romantic restaurant was having a French theme night with a band playing French cafe songs (very Django Rhinehart meets Edith Piaf) and we had a really exceptional meal while my parents babysat.  We put the kids down to sleep and careened into our 8:45 pm reservation right on time.  Frankly, that is a late dinner reservation even for our childless days - we just aren't the late-night-out couple.  I used to be, and could be still if I were single, but H-Mama is assuredly not, and she's a lot of fun to snuggle up to with a movie or a book or a game of Backgammon.  My palate is still rejoicing - our shared appetizer was a roast beet, endive and goat cheese salad.  I had the roast duck with Israeli cous cous and fig reduction.  H-Mama had pork loin with smoked black beans and roast squash.  We shared a bottle of cabernet and finished with our usual dessert, molten chocolate lava cake.  We didn't get home until 11:17 pm.  Monito was on my mom's chest in the rocker in the living room dozing as my parents watched CNN rehash the democratic debate.  Pequita, as always, could sense with her uncanny baby receptors that H-Mama was within 25 feet and started to cry as soon as H-Mama had let the dogs out.  We were in bed within a few minutes of returning home.

It was lovely, made even nicer when they agreed to babysit again tomorrow night so we could go to happy hour with our friends from  the mom's group.  Margaritas and tacos, and then home early enough to put the kids to sleep and make a nice meal.  We're trying out this aged steak recipe by Mark Bittman - basically dry out some nice cuts of steak in your fridge for a couple days and then grill them.  I'll make my favorite brussel sprouts with toasted pecans and brown butter as a side, and we'll try out dad's easy no-knead bread that he has rising on top of the TV cabinet for the next 14 hours.  (I'll be putting a new loaf in the breadmaker tomorrow morning just in case.)  I guess cooking is one thing I don't do much since Monito and I miss it - we are still eating leftovers of the Moroccan Stew with organic goat meat and the venison chile that I made earlier in the week.  Having my parents here allows me to spend a little time in the kitchen, which I really miss. 


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Grandparents are here

I am busy getting things done because I have my parents visiting.  I do have a lot to post, and will try to get to it today.  It is so luxurious having extra hands around the house - this must be what it is like to have a staff.  I've always wanted a butler.

We hired a woodworker to start finishing things around the house.  I am overjoyed.  I'll post pictures of before & after, so you can follow along.  Best of all, if we pay him in cash, he'll work for about half the going rate of our other subcontractors. 

Oh, and Momma Penguin asked who we voted for.  Hillary.  I like that she has 15 years or so more experience on the hill.  I also like that she's got things so well thought out, and already knows her alliances and will be able to get going right from the start.  I don't like that she is so universally hated by so many; it will inhibit her ability to do anything and that is worrisome.  I would be very happy with Obama, too.  It feels lovely to have two really positive candidates to choose from - I don't actually care which one goes to the final election.  I just hope the Dems win so we can bring some balance back to the world before the next Republican stint in office.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pequita's Lead Level Retest


I just got a call back from the pediatrician's office. Pequita's blood lead levels are 1.1, down from a high of 9.25, with 10 being considered toxic levels.


I'm ecstatic. I admit that I teared up when the nurse told me. I was quite worried. Damn clawfoot tub.


I'd appreciate it if anyone reading this make a point of spreading the word that antique cast iron bathtubs and sinks can leach significant lead into the warm water that children bathe in, wash their faces in, and brush their teeth in.

Monday, February 11, 2008

We Did Vote, By The Way

We were in the car with the babes loaded up on our way to the polling place before we asked each other who we were voting for. Initially we canceled each other out, but arrived at a consensus in time to cast our ballots. Once again, the kids saw the process. I didn't vote until I was well into my 20s. I don't intend our kids to be passive in that way. They will see every year, and be involved in the discussion as soon as they are old enough to understand.

My Beloved Boy

Monito is blossoming. He is eating everything we pass within 2 feet of his mouth. He wants it all much faster than I can get it to him, and certainly faster than he can feed himself. He grunts and squeals when I am not fast enough with the oatmeal & pears, noodles, graham cracker, acacado, rice, lasagna, whatever. He is far more demanding than Pequita was about food. He then must rest, having consumed a full measured cup of food or more at any sitting.

We are so proud.

Cosmo Acclimates

With the bare minimum of encouragement, Cosmo is proving to be a fair bet for agility trials. He found this out on his own, and we're encouraging it wholeheartedly.
video

I took him to the vet today, since he's had nothing but diarrhea since we brought him home. He was on a 5-day course of worming meds, and once those finished he should have been set to rights. No such luck. The vet said that he is most certainly not a Labradoodle, most likely an Airedale - Poodle cross. This is actually good news, since I wanted a terrier and love Airedales. Medically, though, he could have used some care in the past few months. He has gastroenteritis and giardia, a nasty little parasite that is easily treated. This explains the upset bowels a far sight better than stress. I had him tested for heartworms and we'll get those results in a few days. For now, he's on a special food that is high in protein & easy to digest, an antibiotic and a probiotic flora supplement. The vet said he should be markedly improved in 2 - 3 days. Phew. Both the vet and the vet tech commented on what a fantastic dog he is - one of the truly special ones. We happen to agree. It will be nice to have him out of the kennel and lolling about the house with the other dogs.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hometown Love

I met some friends for brunch on Saturday. We are planning another big moms group family party, where we rent out a gymnasium and each bring a big toy or wagon or slide. Potluck food, a little spiked punch for the parents, and loads of fun. Lots of talk of travels, food, children's issues, you know, what constitutes edgy topics these days. We had our party planning discussion over fried eggs with apple, potato and sausage hash and lattes (mmmm) and then headed off to the new boutique baby store a block away. It is delightful - the owner had been running it out of her home for a while, and just got a storefront. She had all the fun, funky and expensive toys that I'd been reading about on the web but never got to touch. All things cloth diapering, maternity and nursing garb, lead-free toys, the perfect birthday present for my nephew who is turning two (!) in March. She also carries many different types of slings and carriers; I rented a KarmaBaby pouch sling to see if it would work for us. I have been meaning to whip up a pouch for ages out of some of my extensive fabric stash, but the time keeps eluding me. I could really use a pouch NOW, since I have to haul at least one baby outside with me for a quick potty run with the puppy. My wrist pain makes carrying a floppy 25 lb + baby around while also holding onto a vigorous dog on a leash more than uncomfortable. (Have I mentioned how excited the concept of getting Cosmo trained to the invisible fence makes me?) Anyway, the pouch sling will work but is fairly unattractive - they call it mocha; I call it ugly brown. I shall cut a pattern and find the time to make one. We did manage to talk the store owner into offering a door prize for the party which will be fun. I could easily spend a gift certificate in there! We'll approach a few more local stores. It is good that the moms group is 50+ strong and growing. There is a lot of power in numbers.

I had time left before H-Mama expected me home, so I zipped to the feed store to get nice big raw shank bones with bits of meat on them for the dogs. Big crowd pleaser, those. Anything I can do to help Cosmo piece together the difference between baby toys and dog toys is good. The baby toys do smell less like beef - he ought to be able to grasp that. Then on to the grocery store for a few items and a rolicking nice chat in the magazine section with a couple of novice knitters debating the necessity of following what the pattern said and actually buying a bowl the size of your head upon which to dry a felted hat. Um, you have your HEAD which is the exact right size to mold it to, right? These two pleasant women pegged me for a new mom immediately as I was swaying markedly as I perused the renovation mags. They had seven boys between them - egads! Then home to my family and a lovely warm afternoon in the house with the weather raging outside. As the afternoon wore on, we all needed a bit of distraction so we went off to the science museum with the kids. Pequita loves the turtles at the sea turtle display especially right now. After only an hour, we had closed down the place and we popped by Target to get some toxic fluid to keep my gas from freezing in the predicted 5 degree weather. We had a family nurse in my favorite spot in the Global Bazaar - private, but not hidden, with lots of gewgaws for Pequita to mess around with. They had a lot of boats on display in the mall, and I wanted to let Pequita play on her favorite, a huge pontoon boat with white leather seats. No go, though - there were a bunch of teenagers hunkered down. I figured that we could scare them off if I tromped up there with the baby, but I actually said to H-mama, "No, let's let the mall rats have their fun on a Saturday night." Um, when did I get OLD?

Sunday morning we went to the dog park to romp Cosmo. Since he isn't allowed loose in the invisible fence yet, he needs to RUN once in a while, and my town just fenced in three acres in the park for dogs. As we arrived, the 20 mile-per-hour winds picked up and a lot of snow started blasting down and the temp dropped to about 15 degrees. Most folks took their dogs and ran, but we just loaded the snowsuited kids into the stroller, snapped on the rain covers for some wind protection and took off for a walk. My kids watched Cosmo and Homestead Mama romp inside the fence as we walked around the perimeter. My Phil & Ted's stroller made it through two inches of snow on a grass path beautifully. Somewhere along the way they both fell asleep, and H-Mama and I had a nice time sitting in the warm car with sleeping babies watching the storm. Very peaceful, and their aren't too many moments like that together.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Airplane

After working out Cosmo at the dog park, Hottie Friend worked out a bit herself with Pequita in the parking lot.

video

Required Toy - Who Knew?

Sadly, as our daughter is the kid who eats crayons and draws on her face with markers, she hasn't been able to draw much, and she yearns to leave her mark on the world. We encountered a Magnadoodle at playgroup yesterday. Oh, lordy, the glee. The joy. The bloodcurdling scream that erupted when we had to leave it behind. We drove straight to Target and bought a travel sized version for the car, and the full size living room model to take inside. She's been toting it around all day by its handle, and comes running to me yelling when she is ready to have it cleared off. I can't believe no one told us about this thing!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I Named Them All

But it took me an embarrassingly long time.

Kentucky I understand having to stew over, but Delaware? Sheesh.

Hypochondriac

All in all, I'm a pretty healthy person. However, I have a lot of surgical excitement in my life; sometimes it seems like if it can happen, it will happen to me. Yeah, most of my surgeries stem from a car accident, which is bad luck, not bad health. But then I've also had my appendix out, my tonsils out, had my nose broken enough to require 2 surgeries to fix it (Hottie Friend hits a nice line drive); one of my ortho fusions failed and I had to have it redone and spend a second 3-month stint on crutches in one year; after a 10 days in hospital after my car accident I was about to be sent home when I got a systemic infection due to too many antibiotics which required an extra 10 days in hospital, blood transfusions, feeling like I wanted to die, etc. I wanted a lovely med-free birth, and ended up with a c-section. I'm not even adding in the idiot incidences, like dropping cabinets on my foot. Sometimes I feel like a hypochondriac when I worry about symptoms for regular daily things.

I currently have some chronic pain that I don't know how to handle. What I am calling carpal tunnel may be something else - I've only really had it since being pregnant, but it is worse than ever now. I have serious pain in my hands, along the knuckle and up the wrist and forearm. Sharp, scorching pain that zaps me when I bend my wrist to put on the Ergo sling, or pull off baby pants while changing a diaper, or pick up a baby. I am almost unable to open the dog crate for Cosmo. I can't open jars, push myself off the floor with my hands, or carry groceries well. My hands go numb regularly; it is not unusual for me to wake up when Monito cries and have to shake the feeling back into my hands before I can pick him up at night. It hurts so much that I have awakened a sleeping baby with my loud gasp after attempting to crate the dog. I did buy a wrist brace and wore it for a while, but misplaced it. It helped some, but it is damned hard to deal with soft sensitive babies with a club for a hand. I have been going to acupuncture for it, which also helps, but that is $65 per session and isn't covered by insurance. I'm not going to go any more until I've exhausted the treatments for which I won't have to pay out of pocket. I also have serious pain in my feet, along the balls of both feet. It feels, frankly, like the same pain in my hands. What the hell is that about? Arthritis? Lupis? Nature's way of telling me I'm too fat? Sigh. I like knowing how to fix things. This soft tissue crap is so amorphous and vague. Some medical professional is going to make a mint off of me.

As Promised, a Silly Walk

Not much of one, since the tubbie was filling and we couldn't keep prancing up and down the kitchen runway. (She picked out her own outfit, by the way.)

Why I Love Nursing

Because when he is full, he pulls away from his task and does this.

Warning - may melt heart.



Monday, February 4, 2008

Monito Stands!

Monito has been largely happy sitting and watching while Pequita flits about him. Lately, though, he has started to really make headway towards crawling and standing. I can prop him up against things and he'll stay there indefinitely. He can even hold himself at an angle to see the TV when Pequita is watching Thomas the Tank Engine.

He is also quite happy, still, to sit in his throne and let his sister fetch him toys, which she mostly does of her own accord whenever he whimpers. Being catered to suits him. Monito walking will suit me just dandy, as the boy is still huge and HEAVY for me to carry everywhere. Yes, I know that babywearing is best, and that many people wear their babies in slings for the first few years. I know that, and I wear him all over town now. But those people must have puny little 50th percentile babies.

Tubbie Time

Our house is a little drafty sometimes, and it has been frigid outside; evening tubbie warms us all up. We have needed the hot soak as well because Pequita's butt has been sorely affected by fruit intake. She loves citrus, melon, kiwi, all of it. She gets such a bad diaper rash from it, though. Soaking heals it up as fast as possible. It is torture to hear her scream and cry when we have to change a diaper. We have added bubbles to Pequita's time, and she loves it. Monito can't have bubbles yet since it takes two hands to hold him and I can't manage the wand at the same time I am keeping him from going under. Monito looks so much like me and my dad as babies it is amazing.

I am sure I needn't comment on the scorching cuteness of the two of them. We only tandem tubbie if both moms are present, since the extraction, drying off and diapering process is a bit sketchy with only one of us. Pequita LOVES her 'naked noodle time' (phrase coined by her Boston Aunties for her male cousin, who actually has a, uh, noodle, but it is such a nice alliteration that we kept it) and is happy as a clam to bop around the bathroom and house naked as a jaybird freezing her tuchus off. She does, thoughtfully, stop running while she pees on the floor, which minimizes mess, but so far for her naked noodle time can totally happen with a diaper and slippers on. Phew. She has started channeling the Minister of Silly Walks*, which has us doubled over at times. It can be hysterical. Her current favorite is the goosestep. I'll get video and post it soon.


*If you had to click on this link to find out what that was, shame on you. What were you watching when you were 11 years old if not Monty Python? Poor Homestead Mama didn't get it up in the Adirondacks; she missed seeing it in the critical developmental period - about 8 to 14 years old - and so now when I make her watch it, doesn't understand why it is funny when King Arthur says to the Black Knight, "What are you going to do, BLEED on me?"

R.I.P. Dodger

Sorry. We don't get many opportunities for cliffhangers here at Homestead Mom.

The dog is alive and well. Homestead Mama and I couldn't remember the name Dodger to save our lives, and repeatedly called him many other things. I was in the process of putting post-its with his name on them around the house to remind us what to call him when I realized that maybe his new name just wasn't the right fit for him. He is a bit goofier than a dog named Dodger should be. He is also huge and furry - we decided that Dodger was the name for a smaller, sleeker pooch.

Meet Cosmo, in all his furry, goofy, playful, drippy chin glory. Yes, this name is sticking, I promise.

Cosmo Kramer wasn't exactly a namesake, but certainly the spirits match. When I saw the new pup run into the master bedroom and skid across the floor on his uncoordinated paws and bump into H-Mama, the name was cemented. He is a funny dog, and needed a funny name.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Let Them Eat (Cheap) Bread

Our grocery just increased the cost of our favorite artisan bread, Rosemary and olive oil French bread, to $4 per loaf. Offensive. I read about the Perfect Bread Recipe on this site
and whipped out the fantastic bread maker my mother gave us a few years ago. A couple hours later and we had...crap. The recipe sucks (if you accidentally use 2 cups of white corn meal instead of whole wheat flour, and your only yeast is from 2005.)
It was so rock hard, so unrisen, so disappointing that I made another loaf immediately with newer yeast and the correct ingredients. Behold! Bread for pennies. Next time, I'll add the rosemary and olive oil and set the bread maker to the French setting. We'll save a ton of money using the machine, now that Pequita is in love with bread and butter slices. Set to the two pound loaf, it is bigger than Monito's torso.

First Night Chez Homestead

Just when you thought the blog couldn't get any more annoying with endless stories of the babes, I get a new dog to talk about! and show you pictures of! and discuss ad nauseum. Lucky, lucky readers.

The first night with a new being in the house is the worst, be it new baby, new dog, new roommate. Last night with Dodger was no exception. You can imagine the confused whimpering, the intermittent barking, the explosive diarrhea in his crate at 2 am...wait, yeah, well, we didn't expect that either. Too much change, too many new foods, too nervous, we hope, versus real illness. Lots of trips outside through the night (no different from the baby waking us up, really), lots of training time in his crate today, lots of Immodium medicine, and we are at almost twelve hours later with no more blowouts. I'll get him a vet appointment tomorrow, but he seems ok at this point.

Having had Dodger for about a day now, I assess him thusly. He scores a 75 out of 100 right off the bat; his temperament is fantastic, he is playful, game, extremely responsive to our tone & commands even while he understands none of what we say or want yet. He is gentle with the babies, nuzzling them and being pretty respectful of their space without being sketchy or timid. He wants very much to romp with Luna and Cody, and is as respectful of the growly boundaries they are setting as any 11-month old pup can be. His two bad habits are that he is EAGER to interact with the cats, and I'm not convinced that he wouldn't bite them if given a chance. He's been repeatedly scruffed and rolled for this interest, and is now wary of the cats, tracking them but doing much less barking and chasing. His other distasteful habit is humping, primarily Luna. She will have none of it, and his desire and drive should diminish as the hormones diminish. This is the biggest problem with male dogs.

That all being said, he has no bad habits. He is learning fairly quickly, and is happy to be treated with cheese or hot dogs. (Um, no more until after the bowels have returned to normal, though.) He calmly follows H-Mama or I around the house as we go about our business, which is good, as it means he is our bitch. Um, I mean he accepts us as alpha.

I'm feeling more optimistic in the light of the new day. He laid down in my lap this morning while the kids ate breakfast in their booster seats on the floor in the living room and watched Thomas the Tank Engine. Dodger let me brush him, groom him, snip mats out of his coat around his ears and face, let me roll him on his back, legs splayed open, while I trimmed his toenails. Anyone with a whit of dog experience knows this is unbelievably good. He actually fell asleep on his back while I worked on his face. Homestead Mama is starting to fantasize about an agility champion or two in the household. (A, he is like your beloved god-dog Moody was , but less afraid. You will love him when you meet him, my German friend.)

I have but one serious regret. Pequita is love with the kennel we set up in the living room for Dodger. She walks right in, pulls the door shut behind her and organizes her toys on the padded bed in there. Had we known she'd like it so much, we'd have brought it our for her weeks ago. She cries when we make her get out to give Dodge some quiet time. (And right now, he's asleep at my feet on the hard dining room floor while I stand and type this. Sweet boy!)

That black saddle thing on his belly? A 'belly band' I whipped up last night. It presses his willy up to his belly, making it hard to mark (pee) in the house. He apparently did this in the rescue lady's house; he's shown no sign of it here, maybe because we have only females. Better safe than sorry, I say. I have no time to clean pee off the walls. It was a lovely pair of Danskin velour lounge pants that I had in the give-away pile. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Addendum

One of the reasons we adopted this dog over other possibilities was because of his submissive temperament, which would mesh well and easily in our household. I suppose it goes without saying that if that is lacking, then we've bitten off a lot more by adopting a dog who needs training to learn all the basics, sit, stay, don't pee in the house. The other 'handful' dogs, the Aussie, the lab mixes we saw, all had the basics down already.

We're holding fast, but oh, lordy. We are not all that good at simplifying our lives.

And did I mention that New Dog wants to play with the cats (at top speed)? They hate us right about now. He's friendly and politely interested in the kids, though.My goodness, he looks tiny when curled up in the crate in the living room. This is good, as a small 'footprint' in the house is a good trait in a 60 lb puppy. We've found that he likes mozarella sticks, which will help training immensely, since he turns up his well-fed nose at our usual dog treats.

New Pooch

We just brought home the new dog, and he shows no submissive behavior like they said. This does not mean he is being aggressive, though. As I suspected, when we met him he was cowed by a new kennel at the rescue place, strange dogs, all the uncertainties of life outside his former home. He has much promise, but his name might change. Gus was a name for a calm, goofy dog. His first order of business was to put his feet up on the counter and sniff the baby's food. I was hoping NOT to have another forager, as life is very peaceful with two dogs who quietly wait for food to fall to the floor. Oh well. We'll get him trained. He is happily in the Homestead with a slightly confused & concerned Cody & Luna, but they're faring well.

60 lbs of fuzzy. Probably named Dodger, after the Artful Dodger in Oliver! the musical, because of his ruffian like self and counter foraging. We'll see.