The New Guy

I am posting this for posterity, so that when I look back at this past winter and don’t look back and wonder why I wrote nothing about the best thing that happened all year – the addition of Mr. TylerMan Badoo Melty-face to the Walterses family.

We weren’t looking for a second dog but my friend was fostering Tyler and she was worried no one would adopt him because he was a big male pit bull who drooled a lot, but who was also a super love in spite of having been used as a bait dog and tortured.

At 65 lbs, he was quite a bit smaller than Riley (who also drools a lot), so we figured that those were problems we could handle and decided to take a look. Within a few minutes, it was pretty clear we were getting another dog.

Riley is generally a pretty happy girl (except when she feels like I am in danger) but it’s been a while since we’d seen her that happy – rolling around in the grass with Tyler, sniffing each other’s butts, tug of war, finding sticks, and all the good dog stuff. She made the decision for us. There was a bit of a transition period into our home but now there’s no separating them. Best friends forever, for real.

Tyler loves EVERYONE except cats and squirrels (but he and Maceo are coming around). So much so that he climbs into our bamboo planter to try and go see the neighbours on their deck and cries on leash when he can’t go and say hi to people and other dogs.

He even loves going back to the surgery center where he had 2 operations and a bunch of physical therapy!

When we got him he was scrawny, had some ear infections, a skin rash from a wheat allergy, and a torn ligament in his knee which our vet told us would likely lead to a tear in the other one. And it did – only a few weeks later. So we spent the winter walking around the house and then around the block…and then repeating it with the other leg, all the while going to puppy PT (which I renamed PB after seeing how much peanut butter was involved in the physical therapy). Luckily I worked from home for most of it and when I was laid up with my injury, both dogs stuck very close by…like usually on top of me.

We got a larger couch when we moved into this house, which is great because there are now regularly 180 lbs of dog on it (not to mention the dog hair) and Tyler loves sleeping.

It’s not enough for him to be on the couch, he also has to gather all of the pillows together and then he wants a blanket or two added as well.

I mean, he really loves sleeping.

He also loves his toys.

…and I’m pretty sure he loves his new home too.

The God of Frolic (and Naps)

Riley

The last two months have been an exercise in decision-making, with so many options brought out to help decide so many things. It’s tiring! And while it’s hella exciting, it’s also pretty unsettling not knowing what your life is going to look like from one week to the next. With all of the uncertainty and change, I needed something constant – and so we got a dog.

All the dog books will tell you that when your life is in chaos is the last point that you should consider adding a dog to it, but it seemed like a little routine and a lot of love wouldn’t be the worst thing right now. Plus, I’ve got lots of free time for training now that we’ve closed our company.

Riley

So we picked up Miss Riley on our way back from Seattle. She’s an American bulldog, which means that she gets mistaken for a pit bull or a Boxer puppy about 80% of the time, and has paws so big that she trips over them fairly regularly. She was 10 lbs when we got her at 8 weeks but she’s been growing steadily and won’t stop until she’s somewhere between 90 and 110 lbs. That’s a lot of dog!

Riley

Having a dog has been good in all of the predictable ways; being around something so pure and full of love, getting up early, going for lots of walks and spending time outside, taking lots of naps… and I maintain that even though many days we’re wall-eyed with fatigue and have gone through many, many paper towels. With all the walking and hanging out in parks I’ve had plenty of time to spend thinking about what I want to do next for a project or career (although I’ve not decided yet) but not much else. I always thought that I wasn’t any good at just hanging out but dogs are experts and Riley is already teaching me that being close to home and slowing things waaaaay down has been alright. It is impossible to plan one’s day around a puppy and that has been good for me too. I’m looking forward to going on longer hikes and being able to put her in the crate for longer periods of time so that I can go diving or out for dinner but I feel the calm settling in.

Riley

And slowly, decisions are being made and things are becoming less certain. We’ve decided to wait until next June to move to Seattle because it makes applying for a different visa possible, but it opens up some new options; whether to move houses or stay in Gastown, where and when I will work or go to school, etc… but we have a dog now.