Tara at 16.5 weeks!

Tara weighed in at 26.4 lbs at the vet this week when we had our second round of boosters. We’ve posted some 16 & 17 week photos. Enjoy!Here is my “Five Things To Love About Tara”1. Her eyes — Each day her eyes seem to look more and more like Cadi…

Tara weighed in at 26.4 lbs at the vet this week when we had our second round of boosters. We’ve posted some 16 & 17 week photos. Enjoy!

Here is my “Five Things To Love About Tara”

1. Her eyes — Each day her eyes seem to look more and more like Cadi’s (Cadi is her mom). And I have to say Cadi has the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen on a berner.
2. She doesn’t lick our face, but she does do this adorable thing where she “noses” us very gently with her soft wet nose. It’s too sweet for words. Is that a ‘berner thing?’
3. Her hair — I love her fuzzy puppy hair, and right now she is developing some 1920’s flapper-style waves on her back. I love it! I’ve seen the afro that eventually shows up on the older pups and I cannot wait for that phase!
4. Her big beautiful paws — I love to touch them, although I admit I am just partial to paws in general. But her paws are so big and soft and many of them still pink. And I love how big they are in proportion to the rest of her skinny body.
5. Her blaze — It’s like a lightning bolt, and right now I’m reading Harry Potter and love the character Rogue from the X-Men, and she totally reminds me of them and their magical powers. Maybe we should change her name to Rogue . . . Hmmm. 🙂

Ok, I couldn’t write just five, so here’s a few more . . .

6. Her personality — Tara is sweet and also smart and has a strong personality. She is definitely carving out a unique space for herself within our family and really teaching us how to be big dog owners.
7. Tara has a zest for life and is always willing to try new things, new environments, and meeting new people. I know she might go through a fear stage at some point, but right now she is rearing to go at all times! She’s even willing to try peeing in icy rain . . . 🙂
8. She makes us laugh out loud, a lot! She still has a bit of a clumsy puppy walk and gets really exhuberant about her recall and just today Sam called “Tara come!” and she was standing in front of the couch and he was sitting at his desk behind the couch. And instead of going around the couch she got so excited she went over the couch (although did not jump off the back) and got right up next to him.
9. Tara loves to sleep with all four paws in the air, and it is hysterical. She is really into comfort, and she doesn’t mind getting into whatever position gleans the most comfort no matter what it looks like.








Adventures of Kiko the Pug and His Furry Friends 2009-03-14 15:49:00

Tara chillin’ with toys and Kiko at about 15 weeks. Tara likes to burrow and snuggle, and she also likes to get in Kiko’s bed with him. We caught a few glimpses of this on camera. Tara is NOT fond of the camera, however. I think she does not like the f…









Tara chillin’ with toys and Kiko at about 15 weeks. Tara likes to burrow and snuggle, and she also likes to get in Kiko’s bed with him. We caught a few glimpses of this on camera. Tara is NOT fond of the camera, however. I think she does not like the flash. When she sees the camera coming she often tries to attack it and I get a nice photo of the inside of her mouth.

Lastly, there are a few shots of Kiko in a deep sleep with a caption “Puppies wear me out!” and Tara totally passed out on the floor after a vigorous play session!

Adventures of Kiko the Pug and His Furry Friends 2009-03-14 15:44:00

Here are some photos of Tara at 14-15 weeks of age. These last few weeks she has grown a lot! We are visiting Meadowbrook Park that day and she had a blast meeting new people and other dogs!







Here are some photos of Tara at 14-15 weeks of age. These last few weeks she has grown a lot! We are visiting Meadowbrook Park that day and she had a blast meeting new people and other dogs!

Adventures of Kiko the Pug and His Furry Friends 2009-03-14 15:20:00

Ok, ok, I’ve been remiss at starting this blog for Tara and Kiko. Well, here goes nothin.’ We brought Tara home on January 16th at 8 weeks old. She is now 16 weeks old and counting! I am going to post some photos from 8 weeks until about 14 weeks, to g…





















Ok, ok, I’ve been remiss at starting this blog for Tara and Kiko. Well, here goes nothin.’ We brought Tara home on January 16th at 8 weeks old. She is now 16 weeks old and counting! I am going to post some photos from 8 weeks until about 14 weeks, to get you started in seeing her development. Please note that the earliest photos start right above this paragraph, and then her photos get older as you move up.

Green Tara… aka the Puppy post!

Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

It’s been quite some time since the old man in our house, Mr. Bentley, passed away.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I missed him as much as I did (even though he was really a momma’s boy).

Liz was ready for a new dog a lot sooner than I was.  She was looking at rescue groups and searching for breeds long before I was ready to even think about it.  Something inside her just knew that our lives needed another furball running around the house.

Me, on the other hand…  I was perpetually on the fence.  Liz would show me some breed and I would always find something wrong with it.  Or I would say something vague and unhelpful like…  “too small” or “too big” or I would point to dogs I knew Liz didn’t like and say things like…  “Oh this breed is really awesome, let’s get that one.”

In general, I simply wasn’t prepared for a dog.  I was stressed out at work, and the economic downturn made me wonder if I would be working at all.  The winter had forced me back to driving, not to mention the cold itself which sucks no matter how you slice it.  Finally, the reality of living two lives (one in Chicago and one in Champaign) was dragging into its third year.

In the meantime, as I was stewing in my juices…  Liz was learning about breeds.  She studied Keeshonds, Irish Wolf Hounds, Akitas, Brussels Griffon and a few others.  We even went to a couple of dog shows.   One breed stood out above all the others throughout this process:  Bernese Mountain Dog.

The funny thing about the Bernese Mountain dog…  was that Liz had found a breed I couldn’t find something wrong with.  Sure… they’re big, but they’re not too big.  They have incredibly gentle temperaments.  Sure they shed a lot, but so do pugs (though not as much due to the size difference of course).  So, I was basically stuck with saying stuff like…  maybe next summer or after we leave Champaign-Urbana.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.  Or I would point to the economic downturn and say something like… dogs cost money.

By this point Liz had joined us in a Bernese Mountain Dog rescue group…  and we had an opportunity to foster Carly, a wonderfully sweet 7 year old that was eventually adopted by a family in New Jersey.  I think that experience really cemented it for Liz, and I could feel the ice in my personal stress pond starting to melt a little.

Liz then started contacting breeders.  It wasn’t that we would have been less happy adopting a full grown dog, but Liz wanted the puppy experience.  It’s possible that some kind of biological clock was ticking, but I think part of it too is that Liz wants a dog she can train for therapy work… and that’s much harder to find in a rescue dog.

Anyway, she talked to a few breeders, and finally settled on one in Salt Lake City.  Coincidence or convergence…  either way, we had a chance to see the breeder, Mary-Ann Bowman, when we visited SLC last fall.  You can check out her blog at… http://www.kaibabbmd.blogspot.com/.

I think that by now you know what this is building up to.  Mary-Ann’s beautiful Berner, Cadi, had a litter soon after we visited SLC.  There were 8 puppies…  4 boys and 4 girls.  As the puppies were growing, Mary-Ann posted pictures and stories, and Liz would show me the photos every day. Over the course of eight weeks, I started getting a bit more excited about the idea of getting a puppy.  At some point I started checking the blog on my own without Liz’s prompting.  I mean… once you start seeing the pictures, how can you resist?

One interesting tidbit about this particular litter of puppies…  Even though Liz had expressed an interest with the breeder, we weren’t entirely sure that we were going to get one of the puppies.  You see, there were several people interested in this litter.  I’m glad we made a connection with Mary-Ann on our visit to SLC.  I’m fairly certain that’s what put us over the top in Mary-Ann’s eyes.

OK…  I think you’ve suffered through enough of my crappy writing.  Without further ado, I am proud and happy to introduce to you all…  Kaibab’s Green Tara, aka Tara, our new puppy.  She is named after Green Tara, the buddhist goddess of compassion.  So…  after all my griping, guess who named the dog.  That’s right.. me.  Liz was right.  It was time for a new puppy.

And now… what you’ve all been waiting for…  PUPPY PICTURES!!!!

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Brakes!!!!

Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

Took my car to get a checkup today.  Just your normal maintenance.  Was told that I need brakes…  and a battery.  Unfortunately, that will have to wait until I have more money.  At the very least I need to get a second opinion… because you should always do that especially after the prices they quoted me (over $1000 because I need new rotors too…  Gah!).

I miss my old shade tree mechanic ( st_sardonicist knows what I’m talkin’ about).

Brazil: FAIL!

Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

I thought a bit before posting about my cosmic FAIL! regarding our trip to Brazil.  But now that we’re finally here (and it’s hovering around 0 degrees back home), I figure it can’t hurt anymore.

Our flights to Brazil were supposed to leave from Orlando.  The original plan had been to fly down to Orlando, spend a day an a half there with Liz’s mom, then fly on to Brazil.  Liz and I have done a fair bit of international travel so we thought we had taken care of everything.  We get to the counter, the agent looks at our passports and informs us of our epic FAIL!

We somehow missed the part that Brazil is one of a handful of countries that requires that you get your tourist visa prior to departure.  Generally, this sort of thing is reserved for countries where we don’t have good relations or countries with closed borders (like China or Iran).  So yeah…  we’re at the ticket counter, we’re ready to go on vacation…  and we’re told…  NO VACATION FOR YOU (until you get your visa).

So after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, we decided on a plan.  Drive down to Miami (we were already in Orlando) and visit the Brazilian consulate to get our visas.  Reschedule flights. 

The Brazilian consulate only accepts visa applications M-F from 10am to 12pm.  That’s right… only 2 hours a day.  Oh yeah… they absolutely, positively won’t turn them around on the same day.  Nope… they won’t even turn them around in 24 hours.  Yep, it takes two days.  So we decide we’ll drop off our applications on Monday, then return to pick up our visas on Wednesday.

Oh… but that’s not all.  Rescheduling international flights so near to Christmas is tricky if you don’t want to end up paying an arm and a leg.  As you can imagine, we’re already paying an “arm” to get to Brazil, we could get onto just about any flight we want if we want to throw in the “leg”.  We opt for the least expensive option…  which would only cost us a change fee.  Unfortunately, it means that instead of leaving Orlando on Saturday, the 13th, we leave on Saturday, the 20th.

So…  we lost a week in Brazil, but we gained a week in Florida (though parrt of it was spent tracking down our visas and getting a new flight).  So while it was definitely some piss poor planning on our part regarding the tourist visas, we still ended up winning by missing out on some seriously brutal winter weather back home in Illinois.

Oh…  and we’re finally in Brazil where it is going to be in the upper 80s for the remainder of our stay here.  It’s hot and sticky, and I love it.

Love,
–sam