Adventures In Puppy-ing

Ellie Kevin Lancaster, meet everyone. Everyone, meet Ellie Kevin Lancaster.

This is my sweet little Shih Tzu. She weighs only two pounds and has rank puppy breath, but she is mine and mine alone. She  happens to be a little terror and have quite the rambunctious spirit, but that’s why I’m so smitten.

Ellie has been a hoot since bringing her home. She arrived on the scene with a bout of fleas and worms–common puppy problems, but inconvenient and worrisome for this new puppy mom. Don’t worry, we took care of it, but for our first couple days of furry friendship, Ellie was calm. Stoic. Tired.

Of course she was. She felt sick, poor baby.

After getting her treated and cured of her puppy problems, my sweet Ellie blossomed into the minuscule maniac she was destined to be.  She sprints across the living room to the kitchen in a furry frenzy, in frantic pursuit of “Big Dog’s” food and treats. Big Dog is Kasper, our former “little” dog.

He’s now the big one.

She plays with her dog bed as if it were an oversized toy, dragging it across the floor and gleefully ripping her claws into the soft fabric. I’ll have to invest in a new one soon.

She leaves tiny little puppy puddles on the kitchen tile. At least she doesn’t like peeing on the carpet too, too much. She gets so busy explorin’ her new world, she forgets she has a teeny tiny little bladder.

She’s my little explorer.

Why the name “Ellie Kevin?” She’s named after two beloved characters from Disney’s Up, of course.

She embodies Ellie’s (the character) adventurous spirit so well. Seriously–each morning she sprints from her kennel and begins to explore her brand new world; she’s full of joy and puppy curiosity, and she’s so sweet and good natured. She wiggles and squirms when you pick her up. She’d rather be discovering new nooks and crannies; she loves to cuddle when she’s tired, but she loves stretching her legs.

She’s my adventurer. She’s my Ellie girl.

And Kevin? You know: Kevin, the bird from Up. Her middle name’s Kevin, ’cause Kevin’s a girl. (Duh.)

I love you so much, Ellie. I can’t wait to begin a new adventure with you soon. Graduate school is fast approaching, which translates to a move to a new town and a fresh, shiny beginning. I can’t wait to take it all on with you.

Adventure is certainly out there.




I Love You, Snoop

My best bud passed away the other day. My best bud had four legs, shaggy black-and-silver fur, a beard, and a stubby tail. He had the sweetest eyes, loved swimming in the summer, lounging on a pool floaty, and eating pizza crust.

His name was Snoopy, and Snoopy was seriously the best dog in this whole wide world.

I miss his howl. I miss his stub wagging back and forth every time I talked to him. I miss the way he used to paw at my hands, wanting me to pet his ears and his head.

I don’t think I could ever understand a person who doesn’t comprehend a pet/human relationship. Snoopy wasn’t just a dog–he was truly part of the family.

My whole little heart loved (still loves) him. He would lick my face when I cried. He was a part of my family for so long; we got him when I was in the fifth grade. I’m twenty-three. Snoop has been with us for the hardest–and happiest–of times. He grew up with my sister and me. We raised him. We carried him on our hips as if he was a toddler.

Our younger dog, Kasper, doesn’t understand. He still looks for Snoop. He doesn’t know how to bark when we walk in the door; that was Snoop’s job, and Kap followed suit. He rapidly blinks as if he’s about to burst into doggy tears. I try to give Kap lots of cuddles. He just lost his very best friend–the only friend of the same species he’s ever had.

It’s ok. I know we’ll feel better, and tears will give way to laughter and smiles, as cheesy as that sounds. We are already beginning to laugh at little things Snoopy did. He loved the words “cookie,” “leash,” “go,” “outside,” and “floaty.” He had a habit of laying in the middle of the floor on his back with his legs splayed in the silliest of ways. He’d relax and just go right to sleep. He loved snuggling under a bed–any space that was dark, quiet, and compact was his favorite space.

He would lay in the hallway that connected my room to my sister’s. He protected us. He would bark and growl at every unidentified noise. He would howl at every doorbell, he would tell the big dogs through the fence who was boss. He was only 20 pounds, but he could handle anything.

He was the bravest. He was my best bud. He was Snoop Poop, because his name unfortunately rhymed with “poop.”

I loved him so much. I know he’s lounging on a floaty, eating pizza, drying off in the sun, and laying in the shade somewhere that has an endless summer.

He loved summer because all of his girls were home.

I hope he knows his girls loved him so, so much.

Scratch that. I know he knows. He’s our Snoop Poop, and Snoop knows everything.


Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned From My Dogs

Hello there, everyone! If you’re new to reading my posts, WELCOME! I’m so excited for you to be here. I just have a feeling we’re going to be good friends. Really good friends. As a token of my thanks for your readership, I would buy you all one of those cute mini Frappuccinos if I could. Alas, I’m a poor college student. So… sorry about that. But go get one of those in celebration, anyway; they’re extremely cute and quite tasty.


Since I’ve been home for the summer, My dogs have been the best company. I miss them so much when I am away at college, so while I’m home, I savor each slobbery kiss, exuberant tail wag, and pathetic puppy dog gaze. Their names are Kasper (the little white one) and Snoopy (the sweet one. I’m biased). Here are pictures of them:

“Hi. I’m here to melt your soul with my sweet, gentle eyes.”

You can learn a lot from dogs. Since I’ve been home, I’ve been quite observant of my dog’s behaviors in particular–in my observations, I’m also drawing conclusions on how to be a decent human being.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned so far:

Be Selfish 

You read that right. Kasper is the king of selfishness. He goes quite overboard in the selfish department, actually; I’m talking about being selfish in moderation. Take a cue from Kasper and have some “me time.” When you’re rewarded a “cookie” (a.k.a. dog treat), savor that “cookie” till the very last crumb. Don’t feel the need to justify your enjoyment of your “cookies,” the things you love. Love them and protect them and growl at anyone who gets too close. Be selfish; enjoy what you enjoy and take time to enjoy it.

In Kasper’s case, the things he enjoys are cookies and sleep. Believe me, he takes the time to savor both. Take your time to savor what you love and don’t feel guilty.

Be Loyal to Those Who are Loyal to You

Snoopy is seriously the czar of loyalty and protection. He loves our whole little family–when my mom heads to work in the morning, he’ll stand watch between me and my sister’s rooms. He watches us as we sleep; it’s creepy, but he just loves us so much. He’s being loyal to the hands that feed him, to the humans that love him, to the owners that talk incessant baby talk to him. Be loyal to those who “feed you” and “give you belly rubs” (Analogies. Metaphors. These are not literal, just so we’re clear). Be like sweet Snoop and show loyalty to those who are loyal to you.

Snoop. You can’t read, but I love you, buddy.

Chase Your Own Rabbits

See previous post here, where I talked about Kasper’s most endearing habit that happens to be sort of inspiring.

Wag Your Tails

Who can’t help but smile when puppies wag their tales? Their happiness is contagious. Your happiness can be contagious, too; smile at someone today and everyday as if your wagging your own tail. You never know, you could be making someone’s day.

Kas has the funniest tail–it’s like a fluff ball at the end of a pig’s curled tail. Snoop has a stub, so when he wags his tail his little butt tends to follow suit.

They make me smile when they wag their silly tails. Smile your goofy, silly, amazing smiles just as my puppies wag their odd little tails. Happiness can be contagious.

There you have it! Now go live your life like little puppies. I would skip the inappropriate sniffing, however.

Chasing the Rabbit

Kasper is my sister’s little dog back home–small, white, yappy, and extremely cute.

Every single morning, Kasper stares longingly out the window. He yips and he yaps and he scratches at the door with his little feet. His eyes are fixated on a minuscule bush just outside our back door–a rabbit takes shelter there every single night. Kasper wags his tail and whines, begging for the chance to chase that rascally rabbit. We always open the door and let the little beast loose. He springs to action, stretching his pudgy white body as he gallops after the rabbit, the escape artist.

Kasper does this every single morning. Kasper also fails at catching this rabbit every single morning.

We, as imperfect humans, can learn a lot from this seemingly dim little dog. Even though he fails–and he fails miserably I might add, Kasper is an extremely non-athletic little dog, poor thing–he tries each and every day. He never loses his optimistic tail wag, he never loses his zeal for pursuing the bouncy bunny, and he never, ever gives up.

Kasper tries. Even though he fails, he tries.

Kasper isn’t lazy. He doesn’t lie around and waste the day (he might do this a little…he is a dog). Kasper works for success–his success has yet to be realized, but he keeps trying.

Maybe Kasper just needs another game plan. Maybe it’s time to ambush the rabbit, or set a little trap. One thing is for certain: as long as the rabbit is within Kasper’s reach, he’s going to try to catch it, no matter his past failures.

I think something very valuable could be learned from little Kasper. Don’t give up, no matter how many times you have failed. Keep trying, and trying, and trying. If things don’t work, go at it from a new angle.

You never know; one day you might catch your own rabbit.