Category Archives: Dogs

What I’ve been Up to

Hello dear reader – however many are left after my admittedly long hiatus from blogging.

Welcome to 2013. Lots of exciting things going on this year, including graduating from UNC with my MPH in public health nutrition, and starting a new job at the local health department. I’ll also be finishing up my lease, and (fingers crossed) finding a place to live with Matt and our dogs. So here’s to new adventures!

Just to catch you up from my last post in August 2012

  • I’ve been faithfully exercising with my mobile app “Gym-pact” and have not had to pay money at all. I’ve actually made a few bucks myself. This means no missed workouts. However, I’ll admit that I’ve been easy on myself, and have only been committing to 1-2 workouts per week, which some weeks are just a casual dog walk. Therefore, I’m going to try to kick things up a notch this year, with some actual heart rate – increasing exercise choices. Harley isn’t much into fast or long walks anymore (more on that below), so the gym and bike will need to be my new exercise buddies.
  • Harley has had some health scares late last year. Ever since around Thanksgiving, it had been hard to get him to eat well. Physical exam and blood work all looked great, but something was clearly up. The vet (who I swear dreams about cancer) did some x-rays, and showed me a few very faint spots which she believes are pulmonary nodules, and recommended a very expensive oncology workup at the nearby vet school. I chose not to proceed with costly tests that wouldn’t change how I care for him, but felt terrible having to leave him for almost a month while I visited by family in TX during the winter break, followed by a 3-day nutrition policy seminar in DC. I’ve been feeding him a variety of canned food, as well as homemade satin balls (recipe here, although I bake mine little mini hamburger sliders). His weight has been stable over the last month, and we’ll hope for the best! I actually wonder if these “pulmonary nodules” are just scarring from his car accident / heartworm complications from years ago.
  • I’m in my last semester of courses at UNC, which means no more evil metabolism coursework. My remaining classes are: micronutrients (my last biochem class ever!), translational research and grant-writing, and then my master’s paper, which at this point in time is a policy brief regarding nutrition wellness policies in hospitals throughout NC and SC.

I do plan to continue blogging (don’t all roll your eyes), and will hopefully have some fun things to write about. Perhaps more recipes, book reviews, random thoughts, etc.

Have a great Monday and week!


whispering to babies and dogs

I dog-sat for a friend this past weekend, and heard back that the dog is missing me like crazy since being reunited with her mom. “What did you do with her this weekend?” my friend questioned me. “Nothing special. I worked on taxes and she played with Harley’s toys”.

Dogs and I have always gotten along. Even skittish rescue dogs seem to trust me and feel comfortable around me. Maybe I’m a dog whisperer. Or maybe my social awkwardness around humans leaves me better suited to animal bonding.

Either way, I have been trying to add “baby whisperer” onto my resume over the past few months. Not a baby of my own, of course, but a 5 month old that I’ve been babysitting a few afternoons a week this semester. Last month, the parents have transitioned to her taking naps in the crib and teaching her to self-sooth (rather than depending on the stroller and walks to put her to sleep). I have had a heck of a time trying to get her to sleep in the crib – she either seems mad/angry/crying, or extremely happy and wanting to play with her toys. But tired/sleepy/ready for naps? Rarely. This whole conundrum is frustrating – both for the parents (I assume) who are left to deal with a overtired baby (which you would think would make it easier for them to nap the next time… WRONG I have learned!) as well as frustrating for me, because I want to be able to excel at this!

Turns out maybe this baby whispering is harder than my nutritional biochem course this semester! haha

Anyway, I prepared myself for today’s babysitting, after reading up on their preferred parenting style when it comes to naps/sleeping routines. And guess what? The darling girl went to sleep within 10 minutes of me placing her in the crib! This gave me 90 minutes to study protein and vitamin biochemistry for our exam tomorrow. Success! Now we just have to hope that this continues on future afternoons together…

Merry Christmas Eve!

Happy Holidays from Texas!

It finally got cold here (under 50 degrees) today, just in time for Christmas. My Minnesotan grandmother is visiting this year for Christmas, and cannot believe how much Texans overdress. Honestly, I am a little surprised at runners wearing tights and fleece headbands when it’s still 55 degrees. Really?


Things have been going well here. Nice to have the family together and school over. My sister, now a college graduate, is frantically looking for jobs until she starts grad school next fall, and is not enjoying my scheduling/controlling of holiday activities. She vetoed the gingerbread village activity! The horror…

In tradition with Christmas Eve, Jenna and I do our best to prepare a variety of appetizers while we watch a movie. This year, the film chosen was “Midnight in Paris”, and the menu will include:

  • baked brie
  • sausage balls (Dad’s request)
  • mini quiches (the only thing that remains on the menu every year)
  • pierogies
  • nut logs (a new dessert – looks like baklava but in roll form?)
  • fruit plate

I’m currently listening to my grandma’s “Crooner Christmas” CD while proofing dough for cinnamon rolls. Every year, I have big dreams goals of baking something wonderful for Christmas morning. And yet, each year something seems to go wrong. Like the year I wanted to bake cinnamon rolls from scratch and left out the yeast. Or the year I made this huge strata, with too much nutmeg, to the point that no one would eat it. haha.

This year… I’m putting all my hope in Pioneer Woman and making a small batch of her acclaimed cinnamon rolls (although the family has voted for cream cheese frosting instead of her maple variety). Wish me luck!

I’ll leave you with some pictures of the dogs. Did I mention that there are 6 dogs in the house this holiday season? This includes the family trio (Sheff, Neuman and Annie), my Harley, Jenna’s Sullivan, and the current foster Buttercup, who is recovering from surgery this week. It can feel like a boarding kennel here sometimes, but we’re managing 🙂

image she makes the cone look good, right?

image if the dog beds are all full, lay on the stairs 🙂

Merry Christmas everyone!

wasted steps

Hey there. Ready for Thanksgiving? I sure am. I’ve already had 4 days off class, but haven’t stopped moving. There seems to be so much to do!

Today I had a nice little to-do list all ready to go.

First up, take Harley to our locally owned pet shop “Phydeaux” to pick out his 1 year rescue anniversary present. Yes, one year ago today my mother found Harley, dying on the side of our road in Tennessee. Today he’s a healthy, thriving boy, a registered Canine Good Citizen who makes everyone smile when they see him.

So… we headed out for a walk (I love that I can walk everywhere here!) and got to the store… only to see CLOSED. Harley’s head dropped in disappointment.

OK, not really. We just walked home. (and made a mental note to check store’s hours)

A few hours of studying later, I headed out for my dentist appointment. Excited that I could walk to the dentist’s office too, I set out. I got to the building, found the office number on the directory, but discovered an empty office with no name. iPhone came to the rescue, and told me that the dentist had MOVED location, to the other side of Chapel Hill! So now…. walk back to my apartment, get in the car, call the dentist and tell them I’m running late, and drive to new location. Thankfully, I made it in time and was able to get my cleaning and exam without having to reschedule. I had the usually lecture on flossing, but other than that was giving the thumbs’ up.

Next, I drove to Walgreens to pick up Harley and my Christmas card photos. Drove 10 miles to the Walgreens (Chapel Hill skimps on a lot of chain stores… the only Walgreens is right in campus with no parking), only to discover that I didn’t bring my photographer’s copyright notice with me, so the nice Walgreens employee cannot release the photos to me. Ugh.

At this point, I was just mad. 3 strikes in 1 day. Not acceptable! Turns out though, Dunkin Donuts was just next door, and 6 glazed munchkins seemed to make things feel better. Emotional eating? Yes. A dietitian emotionally eating? Yes. It happens.

The new Boy in my life (that’s a WHOLE other story…) was helpful via text messages, reminding me to keep breathing when I told him I wanted to “punch something” (not really… that would just end up hurting my hand). But really… a donut does the trick 🙂

So… I took Harley back to the pet shop when I got back (he won another walk so he was happy). He picked out a large beef saddle bone, and some peanut butter chewy treats. And in a few more hours, after I’ve gotten some more studying done and perhaps contemplated dinner, we will head out to Walgreens for our second attempt.

And tomorrow I get to drive 6 hours to the farm and enjoy Thanksgiving with the family.

Keep breathing everyone. The holidays fly by, but let’s enjoy it and not let the little things get in the way!

Brr friday

So yesterday it was in the upper 70s, but today we’re only seeing upper 40s. Crazy.

Thought you might want to see some fall pictures:


My pumpkin, carved last night with grad student friends.

wreath My Martha-Stewart-like fall wreath, made simply with a wreath form, yarn, and felt flowers.


Harley also pulled out his Lands’ End clearance hooded sweatshirt to wear today for the chilly weather. Not really, I put it on him and he hung his head low and looked pathetic. But, I think he eventually liked it.


Things are going well here. After returning from fall break it was a crazy week, but now I have time to chill in the apartment and get caught up on all things domestic. Such as going to TJMaxx and buying fall and winter-scented candles (important, right?), cooking eggs with my handy egg-cooker for convenient and filling snacks, and attempting a gym workout. My triceps are still pathetic, but I can now do numerous sets of squats with weights and not feel like a dead man the next day (success!).

The upcoming weekend also promises to be fun – book club, Indian food with friends (my first time!), and a take home epidemiology exam that we always enjoy 🙂

Sullivan – dog or fox?

Today’s post is dedicated to my sister’s furry, four-legged friend, Sullivan.

This summer, she became obsessed extremely keen on adopting a Corgi. She spent her days watching Corgi videos on YouTube, and emailing friends and family pictures. Then, she progressed to the next level – searching for a Corgi of her own to adopt.

If you know my family, you’ll know that we’re all PRO dog rescue. All of our dogs have been rescued, whether from shelters, other homes, or various dog rescue organizations. So, my sister started her search on Petfinder. Strangely enough, many of the Corgis available for adoption were noted to not get along well with other animals or children (generally not a good thing for an apartment dog), and one Corgi rescue even rejected her application on the basis of her being a college student and “not understanding the special needs of the Corgi”.

Determined and strong-willed, she pursued, eventually finding a Corgi mix in a Houston-area Shelter named Sullivan. From the pictures, he looked like a miniature Corgi. He was in good health (other than a flea allergy) and she was in love. Her application was fast-tracked (thanks to my mom knowing all the rescue people) and Sullivan came to be hers in June, after she returned from the family vacation to Florida.

Turns out.. Sullivan is VERY “miniature”. Like, 12 pounds. (I’m pretty sure Harley’s head weighs more than that).

He definitely has some Corgi in him, but also likely Pomeranian or Papillon. He has some serious attitude issues, barks at everyone (especially men of a certain race), chews underwear like it’s candy, and has cat-like behavior. Of course, we’re biased, being big-dog people. He’s like a foreign species to us.

But, we have all warmed up to the little guy and fallen for him. He may be spoiled (during this summer’s heatwave, he was often carried outside so his paws could be spared from the hot pavement) and full of spunk, but we all love him.

Honestly though, we just think of him as a little red fox 🙂