Thursday, January 28, 2010

Espresso in the Sun: A Break from the Rain

Ever since I got back to school from winter break, it has been endless gray days of tulle fog, rain clouds, and overcast. The mud, cold, and dark was starting to get to me.

And then the sun came out. Today was the first day I truly saw the sun in my town for almost two weeks. Besides revealing how ghastly pale I've become, the sun provided a much needed break from the winter doldrums.

This morning, when we were waking up, Espresso headed into the living room as normal. But today she didn't meander in the dining area and hall. She ran straight to her sun-patch.

There is one spot in our living room that has a streak of sun from morning to early afternoon. Espresso will spend hours sleeping in the sun, only moving to follow the sunbeam as it moves across the carpet.


I don't think I've ever seen such doggie-joy as Espresso in her sun-patch this morning.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rainy Days

The weather has been pretty miserable in most of CA. Around here, if its not actually raining, the ground is so muddy you get covered in filth in two seconds, the pavement so slick you slide on non-rubber soles, and everything outside is soaked so you get wet anyway. It hasn't been warm enough today, our first day without rain in a week, to change much.

Espresso hates the wet and cold. She's pretty convinced that the rain is trying to drown her from above and that getting wet is a form torture we have devised for her.

It is adorable however to see her prick her feet up one-by-one, attempting to keep the wet grass from her butt and belly. This is also quite a challenge for a dog who has 2 inch legs in 2 inch long grass. She leaves the most adorable paw prints though on the sidewalk too.

After trudging out into the wet and muck, nothing beats curling up with a warm blanket on the couch - Espresso seems to agree with me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shopping Excursions

So a new market opened up across the street. Why would I care about this so much to write about it?

1) This is a small town. And a bad economy. Pretty much anything opening up is nothing short of a miracle. Seriously I'm surprised someone didn't spot a crying statue on opening day.

2) I'm lazy. The nearest market is about a 10 minute drive which means that when I'm in the middle of cooking beef stroganoff and realize I forgot to buy sour cream, I no longer need to postpone dinner 30 minutes, overcooking my egg noodles horribly.
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3) Now we have yet another place we can take the puppy on excursions. Of course she can't go inside, but it still gets her out of my apartment and gives us more chances to socialize her. The picture to the left demonstrates Espresso anxiously awaiting for her daddy to finishing buying our beer and ice cream.

The place is very local friendly and apparently doggie friendly. I've already seen three doggies tied up outside awaiting their owners patiently. They even have a water dish for the exiled canines. And yes, that water dish is big enough for Espresso to swim in.

When we first went to the store (sans Espresso) to get food, we being obsessive dog owners immediately checked out the over-priced pet aisle and found the perfect squeaky-rubbery-solid-yet-pliable-so-less-likely-to-be-destroyed-by-dachshund-teeth squeaky bone. It's now her new favorite and she's spent hours gnawing and chasing it.



I'm pretty sure in Espresso's mind the dog toy we bought her on our first shopping trip beats walking over in the rain for mommy and daddy to get junk food.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Espresso & Friends: Lola

I apologize for the lack of updates this week; I was in Las Vegas with my sister.

I haven't stayed in contact with many people from high school; an exception is my best friend who really is more like the sister-I-never-had. We both not only love to cook, eat, shop, talk, and travel - we both own dogs.

My sis got her puppy- Lola - about two years ago. Lola is some Chihuahua mix and was bought from a lady outside of a petstore who wore grills. No joke. I can't say I advertise this as a way to procure a puppy, but Lola has been completely healthy and is completely trained whereas my purebred-reputable-breeder-obtained-puppy has a birth defect in her leg and continues to pee on my carpet daily. Guess I can't knock ladies with grills.

I was the very first person to puppy sit Lola ever when she was just a few months old. Ever since I have loved seeing my "niece" whenever I visit home. This last Christmas, we were able to introduce Espresso to her cousin.

Both of them enjoyed playing chase and wrestle. It was hilarious to watch considering Lola had the height advantage (Espresso literally fit under her) while Espresso could use this to her advantage to dive under her component and escape.



This picture demonstrates well that Lola at less than 10 pounds tops Espresso (who is about 10 lbs) by several inches.

I just hope in the future our puppies get to have some girls' time like I did this week.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Party Animal

So I got a dog in college. That topic alone is worthy of its own entry, but the fact remains the same. I being a 20-something like to go out and do stuff with my friends. Especially since turning a 21-something, I often celebrate special occasions with alcohol (every Friday is a holiday in my book). However, I am also a responsible dog owner who doesn't like the idea of keeping Espresso couped up while I get to have fun. Solution?

Take Espresso to the parties.Initially I did it because it was a great way to socialize her - expose her to loud noises, large groups of people, people she didn't know etc. One of the first parties she ever went to was a Hawaii-themed birthday party. It was even more amazing since I wasn't the one who took her to the party - a friend brought her over from my apartment and I met them at the house. You can see my friends got her into the party theme.

You see, Espresso is a versatile beast who can go from a chill kick-back with some drinking games....


....to a high-class 21st birthday soiree for two of my best friends.

What I have found to be amazing is when I bring the puppy, people not only think its awesome, but she gets so much love there that she never wants to come home again. The only bad thing about bringing her has meant that when I do show up with out her everyone asks "WHERE'S ESPRESSO?"

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Puppies Dressed as Cats...and BANANAS!

As I was facebook stalking earlier today, a random friend from middle school who probably doesn't even remember me posted an adorably hilarious link on another middle-school friend who-doesn't-remember-me's wall.

What was this link you ask? It was a clip of the Conan O'Brian show featuring.....


I have dressed Espresso up as many things, but not as a cat. Maybe that will have to be Espresso's Halloween costume this year.

video

That is Espresso playing with a (de)stuffed cheetah/jaguar/kitty toy. I interpret Espresso's response to the Halloween cat-costume idea as a resounding "no." However, she also didn't highly approve of her costume from this year either, but I still forced her into the banana suit anyway.


It was on sale at Target for 8 bucks. I even took her onto campus with some friends for lunch to show off the amazing cuteness. This picture doesn't have the banana hat on because Espresso kept eating it and refused to walk around with it on. It was a miracle I got the first picture at all.


This is Espresso's "I am so humiliated - AND I have to be in public" look. I love having a 9 lb dog that I can force into tiny outfits.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Evil Bubble Wrap

Espresso gets very excited when we receive packages because sometimes they include things for her. My mom will often send doggie treats, little sweaters, or toys. Today however, it was merely my macroeconomics book that arrived.

There was a consolatoin prize however for the puppy: bubble wrap. Obviously the bubble wrap is evil and therefore must be conquered. Here are the steps to Espresso-domination:

1. First, you observe Daddy playing with the bubble wrap and are startled by the offensive noise it makes.

2. You bark and dance with the bubble wrap to figure out its weakness.

video

3. Next, you decide that the best mode of attack is direct. You leap, bite down and tug....

4. And tug....



5. ...and finally get the evil wrap within your clutches. You then pay it back in full for the noise it made at you by chewing on it.

And note: this method can be used on all evil things besides bubble wrap. This includes but is not limited to chew toys, socks, pens, balloons, etc.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nesting

This is the first post of probably what will be many about Espresso's nesting habit.

Now its very common for dachsunds to burrow or "burrito" themselves under blankets and pillows. For some adorable pictures of this, check out WeenieChic.

Espresso is not only a burrito-er, but she is a nester. I have seen her take upwards of 10 minutes digging, nudging, shifting, and moving around to get just the right spot. She has nested my blankets on the couch, my comforter on my bed, my sweatshirt on the ground, a shopping bag under the coffee table, and pretty much anything that is on the floor or couch that is vaguely fabric-like.

I try to keep a blanket next to my desk so she can hang out with me while I work (or blog). Last night she had to get her blanket just right.

video

Wait, that's not quite the spot.

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Now we are just right.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Disney Dogs

Every year my family goes to Disneyland the week before Christmas; crowds are normally low due to cold/rainy weather and holiday conflicts. As former southern California residents, we need our Disney fix once a year.

My lab from back home, Brandy, has come with us for the last five or six years we've been going, but this year Espresso got to join us at the Happiest Place on earth. Well, in the Happiest Kennels on earth anyway.

When Walt Disney built the original park back in 1955, he built the Kennel Club to prevent people from leaving dogs in their cars. This day-service only kennel costs $20 for the day and includes food and water. The only catch is that you must have a copy of your dog's vaccination records (or have your vet fax them to you the day of, as many forgetful people do) and you are responsible for coming to take your dog out for pee breaks and walks every 3 to 5 hours (they make you sign a form saying you'll do this). But that's something any responsible pet owner should be used to doing anyway.

For example, the above picture of Brandy and Espresso was taken on one of their kennel-breaks right outside of California Adventure. And anyone who has been to Disneyland understands the picture to the left. Ignore the floating hand of my boyfriend - we didn't trust Espresso to stand there by herself.

Dogs are allowed in Downtown Disney and the large area between California Adventure and Disneyland. Doggies are even welcome on the tram from the parking lot to the parks. Non-service dogs just aren't allowed inside the actual park.

Correction. There is one dog allowed in the Disneyland.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Surpise

One of my best friends lives in Austin, Texas. She was unable to come home for Christmas this year, so we were forced to mail each other our gifts. However it was a really fun surprise for me to open her gift on my first day of classes.

It was even more of a fun surprise for Espresso.

According to Espresso, pretty much nothing beats a squeak toy with rope attached.

Well, almost nothing - a new twisty ball with a treat in it comes close.


I doubt my friend realized how perfect her gift was; the distraction of two new awesome toys kept Espresso busy, leaving me in peace to do the New York Times crossword book she gave me.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ahoy Matey

If you are a pet owner, I think you'll have a better time understanding the following: pets turn your brain into mush.

You think I'm kidding? Here is an example of a (perfectly normal might I add) conversation I had with my boyfriend one lazy weekend morning a while ago:

Me: What should Espresso's pirate name me?

BF (without a moment of hesitation): Cutie McDunderpants.

Me: Where the hell you get that?

BF: I dunno.

Me: I like it.

See, normal human beings would begin to wonder why the idea of giving a 9 lb dog a pirate name would ever come up, but pet owners will better understand how suddenly everything - from your pet's favorite color (yes, I acknowledge that dogs are colorblind but I'm SURE she has a preference in shades of gray..) to how to celebrate their birthday to what their pirate name should be.

So yesterday I was filling out Espresso's AKC registration form. About 6 months late but that's besides the point. I put "Espresso" for her registered name but noticed that the form specified for a unique name. Now I'm sure this is an issue for registering world class pedigree show dogs but I don't give a damn for my house pet.


So Espresso's official AKC registered name is now Espresso Cutie McDunderpants. Eat that for "unique" AKC.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

String Theory

My boyfriend and I have a problem. We are obsessed with watching the DVD's of the TV show The Big Bang Theory - a show about 4 nerds who hold University positions in physics and engineering. The topic of string theory comes up more than you'd think. So as we are watching our 10th episode in a row, I hear rustling on the ground.

Espresso has her own string theory.


That whir of black and tan is Espresso playing with a pile of balloon strings.

For my 21st birthday my parents had a dozen balloons delivered to my apartment (in my family balloons are a sacred right on one's birthday). She was TERRIFIED of the bunch of balloons. It took her at least a few days to get the courage to go into the dining area where they were. A few days more and she would do drive-by barks at the vicious things. Eventually as they deflated and fell to the ground, Espresso's courage grew and the inevitable balloon attacks occured. However, the balloons have long since popped, leaving a mass of tangled string behind. Which apparently is the best thing ever to a 9 lb. mini dachshund.

We haven't had the heart to throw the mass of string away yet. Even if everyday I fear shes going to strangle/trip/get caught in the what should be trash.


Would you have the heart to say no to that face?

Friday, January 1, 2010

It's a Dachsund Life

This is Espresso.


Espresso is a black and tan miniature dachshund, approximately 9 lbs. She was born on Nov. 19 2008, making her a little over a year old now.

She squeaks her toys for thirty minutes straight, eats my underwear, makes me come home early on New Year's Eve, and poops inside way too often.

I love her so much that I just want to squeeze her.

Everyday I think "Oh my God, that was the cutest thing ever." I am always talking about this insane little mutt (shes actually a purebred but I call all dogs mutts). And since my life isn't consumed enough by this creature, I figured it was about time I share her with the world and blog about Espresso, my life with Espresso, and all things Dog.