Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wordless "Why Wake?" Wednesday

The more things change, the more they stay the same...
"after eating breakfast, I go back to bed.  doesn't everyone???"

p.s.  for more frequent Maisie updates and pics, please "like" our Facebook page if you haven't yet!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

New(ton) Beginning

You may (or may not) have noticed that the tagline for the blog has changed.  That's because Maisie and I no longer live in the Windy City!  We survived the loooong trip from Chicago to Boston thanks to my friend Curtis, who served as our designated driver for all 18 hours (through six states and numerous blinding rainstorms).

I still have a few boxes left, but all the major tasks are done.  The first thing I did was set up Maisie's crate area in the kitchen, initially to keep her out of the way of the movers.

Curtis also helped me unpack, tackling the kitchen and even organizing an entire cabinet of Maisie's stuff.

Maisie is kind of confused and nervous but has found some good napping spots to help take the edge off.  The couch is still one of her favorite places, and I now can check on her from the dining room on the second floor.
can you find the snoozing pup in this picture?  

The dog bed remains another preferred sleeping location, of course.

Maisie also enjoys lounging on the (hideously patterned) big angled stair between the first and second floors.

As well as the same location on the staircase up to the third floor (thankfully with less offensive carpeting).

It also doesn't hurt that Maisie has her very own backyard at the new house!  While it isn't large enough for her to really run around, she still managed to have a mini-pit fit zoomies session out there yesterday morning.  I confess, I have not taken her for a walk on leash since we got I'm loving the yard as well!

But since this is Maisie we're talking about, it's no surprise that not everything has gone smoothly. When the Verizon technician arrived yesterday to set up my services, Maisie lunged at him and had to be put into the crate where she immediately began to cry.  I set up a baby gate in the kitchen doorway, thinking that would give her more room to roam and therefore calm her down.  No such luck.  The installation appointment ended up taking four hours and Maisie was completely freaking out the whole time.  She may appear to be smiling in this picture, but in fact she was a panting, drooling, shaking, whining mess of a dog.

We have Maisie's new daycare meet and greet/interview today and I sure hope she makes a better first impression there than she did with the cable guy.  Fingers crossed!  In the meantime, I am attempting to just go with the flow, per the fortune cookie I received last night with my Chinese food delivery.

Happy holidays, everyone!!!

p.s.  for more frequent Maisie updates and pics, please "like" our Facebook page if you haven't yet!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Birthday Girl

Sorry again for the lack of posts lately...packing and working remotely and searching for a place to live have been taking up ALL my time.  I probably won't be back on a regular schedule until after the big move.  But I couldn't let today go by without acknowledging that it is a most special's Maisie's 4th birthday!!!

Maisie plans to spend most of the day doing all her favorite things, such as snoozin'...


Froggin' out...

Snoozin' in a different location...

Soakin' up hot air from the heating vent...

Chewin' on an antler...

Chowin' down on a bully stick...

And in the midst of chaos and moving boxes, finding some peace and a soft place to lay her head.

Happy birthday, little monster, my sweet baby, my cross to bear.  I couldn't love you more.

p.s.  for more frequent Maisie updates and pics, please "like" our Facebook page if you haven't yet!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Minus a few days in Boston, I'm home for a few weeks before the big move.  Since Maisie isn't going to daycare, I've re-hired Chicago Dog Runner to take her out for a run once a week.  This morning was the first session and Maisie was super excited to see our runner Claudia again.  Claudia's initial comment upon seeing Maisie was "I forgot she was so little!"  I later received this summary email from her:

The run with Maisie today went really well. It's like we just picked up where we left off and Maisie seemed to be having a blast. We ran about 5.3 miles together and I hope to run even further with her next Thursday.

All that activity has resulted in a full day of canine slumber.  Maisie was so quiet that I actually forgot she was here...I didn't walk her all afternoon and she never even woke up to remind me!
 still sleepy-eyed 12 hours after the run

The dog runner is definitely money well-spent.  I haven't found anything exactly like that service in the Boston area, but there are some companies that offer hiking and outdoor playgroups so I will be investigating those further.  In the meantime, I was relieved to find a daycare for Maisie right by the new office.  It's run out of a house with a yard and is small with lots of personal attention...of course,  I still have to check it out in person.  It has good reviews and the owner seems like she really loves dogs.  On the downside, while she does accept mixes she doesn't take "purebred" pitties (whatever that means), which is a policy that obviously violates my usual "pit bull power" position.  But the only alternative open past 6pm in that part of MA is a facility that routinely has 130 dogs a day, all together in a big warehouse and I knew that would be an awful and terrifying environment for Maisie.  I realized in this case I need to set aside my pit bull activist persona in order to ensure the best possible situation for my little I am choosing the smaller daycare.  I strongly believe Maisie will be much happier there and that's the most important thing.  Forgive me, readers!

p.s.  for more frequent Maisie updates and pics, please "like" our Facebook page if you haven't yet!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Movin' on Up

As I said in my previous post, there was the possibility of a big change happening.  When we last left you, Miss Maisie Lou was eagerly awaiting the details.
 "I'm all ears."

Now, since it appears to be a pretty done deal, I can spill the beans.  Though some of you were sure I was getting a canine (or G-d forbid, human) sibling for Maisie, others wondered if we might be moving...well, the second guess was correct!  Although I only recently started my job, for a number of reasons it has not turned out the way it was supposed to.  So when I was contacted by a recruiter for a position in a suburb of Boston, I figured it couldn't hurt to at least check it out.  Turns out it's an amazing opportunity, and one that will really take my career to new places (literally and figuratively).

I have lived in Chicago my whole life...all my friends and family are here.  Knowing the move would be mandatory, accepting this position was one of the biggest decisions I have ever made.  I've got only about four weeks to try and sublet my current place here, find a new place there, hire movers, pack, then drive my car and my dog from Chicago to Massachusetts.  While Boston does not have a breed ban per se, they do have BSL in the form of a muzzle law and since there are no muzzles in my girl's future, we need to find a place outside the Boston city limits.  I am hoping to find a single family home with a yard for Maisie, but most rentals in the Boston area are not dog-friendly (regardless of breed) so the search has been tough thus far and I know compromises will need to be made.  Plus the cost of living there is surprisingly a LOT higher than it is in Chicago!

I wonder what Maisie would think if she knew about all this impending change.
"making major decisions without canine input???  that's it, I'm outta here!"

I am of course very nervous about all the tasks that need to be completed before the move and about how Maisie will react to completely new surroundings, with no constant other than me.  There will be a new house, new daycare, new dog walker and new doggie friends (and enemies) for her to get used to all at once and I'm afraid she'll be overwhelmed by the sheer new-ness of it all.  Personally, I pretty much feel that no matter where I live, if I have Maisie and we have a roof over our heads, I am home.  Hopefully that feeling will last.
"on second thought, will there be food at this new place?  I may consider reconsidering..."

Please stick with us as we make this major life change.  I'll be sharing our (hopefully big) victories and (hopefully small) defeats along the way.  It's going to be quite a project, but I believe it will all be worth it in the end!

p.s.  for more Maisie updates and pics, please "like" our Facebook page if you haven't yet!

p.p.s.  I just noticed that this is my 100th post...thanks to all my readers for not getting sick of us yet!  ;)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless "Wait, What?" Wednesday

Sorry I have been lax in my posting recently (Two Grad Students and a Pittie, you're putting me to shame)! There's some interesting craziness going on lately that could lead to a potential big change.  Maybe not.  But maybe.

I talked to Maisie about it and she could scarcely believe her ears!

p.s.  for way more Maisie updates and pics, please "like" our Facebook page if you haven't yet!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Castlewood Terrace

Today was a beautiful fall Saturday in Chicago...sunny and and crisply cool.  After running a ton of errands, I decided to take Maisie on a slightly longer than usual walk to let her sniff some non-everyday spots.

Although I live on a residential street, it's within a very urban neighborhood.

So you might be surprised to learn that only one short block away from my house is a cul-de-sac populated entirely by multi-million dollar mansions.  This magical place is known as Castlewood Terrace.

The houses on Castlewood are all beautiful, but vary in size and style.  This is just a sampling...

Maisie practiced her "down/stay" in front of a home with Frank Lloyd Wright inspired architecture.

This yellow mansion is the largest building on Castlewood and is the view from my upstairs bathroom window.  The small gray coach house behind the fence on the right side is where Maisie and I live!

Towards the end of the block is another home with a design influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright's prairie style.

On the way back, we ran into my neighbor Wayne and his dog Buddy.  They graciously posed for a photo (though Buddy didn't seem too thrilled about it).

And Maisie ended the walk by doing her happy dance on some leaves in the grass!

p.s.  for even more Maisie updates and pics, please "like" our Facebook page if you haven't yet!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless "Why, Mom?" Wednesday

can't a lady eat her breakfast without an audience???

p.s.  for even more Maisie updates and pics, please "like" our Facebook page if you haven't yet!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Walks

Walking around the block in fall provides different scenery than our summer or winter walks.

Though a fair number of trees are still sporting greenery, there are dead leaves on the ground everywhere.

A neighbor down the street has already added a touch of autumn to her outdoor decorating.

The very rainy weather we experienced over the last few weeks has resulted in some unusual vegetation...
Always the worried mama, I was sure these 'shroomy growths must be toxic and quickly steered Maisie away.  She showed little interest in them though, so they must not be very stinky!

Maisie seemed happy to find a few still thriving plants to sniff (and pee on).

And expressed her annoyance at being forced to pose for pics with a typical stink-eye look!

p.s.  for even more Maisie updates and pics, please "like" our Facebook page if you haven't yet!

Friday, October 21, 2011


As previously detailed, Maisie eats raw food.  A few months back, I decided to investigate some less expensive options (including grain-free kibble) but ultimately opted to keep her on raw.  I did, however, change brands...initially because it was a lot less expensive than the first one.  Since then, the price has increased a bit (to around $3.70 per day for approximately 40 lb. Maisie), but I have kept her on it because she seems to be doing better on this food.

And by "better," my fellow dog people know I mean better poops.  Not to get too gross with details, but let's just say there is a more consistent firmness that was sometimes lacking before. Plus the dinner bar format is perfect for me because each bar is one pound...which just happens to be the exact amount Maisie eats every day.  They are conveniently pre-scored to be easily divided into two (or more) meals.

I have also started adding a few different things to one of Maisie's two meals each day, for added flavor and benefits.  I add a tablespoon of probiotic-rich Greek yogurt every other morning, and on the other mornings I switch between the same amount of either cottage cheese or applesauce (the no sugar added variety).

Maisie's breakfast yesterday was yogurt with beef (which I alternate with chicken to mix up the protein).

She loves it when I let her lick the yogurt-y spoon as an appetizer!

At the suggestion of Our Waldo Bungie, I also have been sprinkling a dental supplement over Maisie's food.

It took a while to see results, but now I think there has been at least a slight reduction in tooth discoloration so I am continuing to use it.  Unfortunately, the product's claim that it helps bad breath is pure fiction!

Since Maisie's food is grain-free, I give her grain-free treats as well.  When she's a good girl (or just extra super cute, like always), she receives a reward from the treat jar.

I also try to keep her Kong fillings grain-free, mixing any combination of yogurt, applesauce, sweet potato and/or banana with canned ground meat.  I put a little peanut butter in there every now and then too.

Regardless of what she's fed, Maisie still has to "wait" until I give her permission to dig in.  Sometimes she likes to show me how hungry she is in the meantime...I think that's so she can be sure I really appreciate her waiting.

The instant she's "free" to eat, she chows down.  The bowl is always completely empty within a couple minutes!

p.s.  for more frequent Maisie updates and pics, please "like" our Facebook page if you haven't yet!