Happy 4th of July












Milo and the eyesore

Poor Milo scratched his eye on our walk last night which resulted in a visit to the vet first thing this morning. His little peeper was all swollen and he kept swiping at it with his paw. As usual, he was a bit excitable but very good (especially when he had a thermometer shoved up his ass).

After some tests, the vet concluded that he had some abrasions on his left eyeball. She gave me some drops for him and instructed me to give him Benadryl three times a day and to come back Monday. She also gave Milo something he wasn’t too pleased about.

I know I shouldn’t laugh at my poor sick dog but you should have seen him struggling up the stairs to the apartment. Hilare.

I think he hates me now though.

Picture of the Day: will swap dog for BlackBerry

Wanted: one fully functioning BlackBerry, with all buttons and back of case intact. Available: puppy. Seven months old. Tends to chew things. Don’t take your eyes off him.

The great roadtrip of May 2011

As I write this, I’m standing at the kitchen counter in our new apartment in Phoenix. Since we don’t have any furniture yet (apart from a bed and one chair from Ikea, which we take turns sitting on) I now do everything from this spot: email, Skype, eat, lean, sob quietly. My legs ache from standing around all day but the end is in sight because I think we found a nice couch at the weekend, and a possible table and chairs. Hopefully, there will be lots of sitting in my not-so-distant future.

We’ve been here a week today, and despite the distinct air of emptiness in the house, I feel settled already. I’ve met some really nice people and am more than happy to grow old here and never move house ever again for the rest of my life. Plus, the fact that the weather has been in the 30 degree range since we arrived ain’t bad either.

Our roadtrip from Oregon took nine days, and thanks to my nerdy little schedule, we made good time and were able to relax along the way. We went whale watching in Depoe Bay on the Oregon coast, camped in the Redwoods State Park in Northern California, spent three days in San Francisco, drove on the Pacific Coast Highway and stayed in Pismo Beach, Huntington Beach and Palm Springs before we crossed the state line into Arizona. We mostly stayed in Motel 6s where we could as they’re very dog-friendly, as well as being cheap and clean. Milo was a little champ through all the travelling, apart from one or two days when he didn’t eat or got sick and the tick he picked up when we camped. So gross.

Here are some pictures from the trip for your delectation. Please enjoy.

This is where Milo spent most of our days without a peep out of him. Good dog.

Depoe Bay, where we saw (bits of) a grey whale (not pictured).

We also saw some big fat sea lions (pictured).

Local royal wedding humour. Fnar fnar.

One of the zillions of little towns we drove through on the 101. Can't remember the name.

Crossing the state line into California. Hide your fruit and veggies.

Our spot in Elk Prairie Campsite. We were a bit underprepared so we won't be doing that again for some time.

In case you didn't know, redwoods are quite tall.

Dinner. Giant marshmallows (me) and wieners (Eoin).

Like I said, redwoods are big. And old.

Our first glimpse of San Francisco. Such a pretty city. Stunning views from every street.

We arrived via the foggy Golden Gate Bridge. FYI there's a surprise $6 toll on the other side.

Gorgeous houses on Alamo Square. Wantsies one, please.

Alcatraz. One of the highlights of the trip for me. The audio tour is enthralling.

The beach at Carmel-by-the-Sea. Cutest little town ever. Clint Eastwood used to be mayor here, fact fans.

We stayed two nights in Huntington Beach, which has an off-leash dog beach. Milo couldn't believe his luck.

The only picture I have of Palm Springs. 'S okay though, cos I'm defo going back.

And that’s how we got here. Travelling in America so easy, with lots to see. Hopefully we’ll get to do more very soon.

“Milo, stop humping your brother!”

There’s a phrase I never thought I’d hear myself say, but I did, on Tuesday, when Milo was randomly reunited with one of his littermates.

We were in Hondo Park, the lovely off-leash dog park I go to at least once a week. It was warm and sunny for a change, so the place was kinda jammers. Five minutes after I released the hound I noticed he had made a little chum who looked a lot like him. Creepily so, actually. They were chasing each other and generally having the craic, as puppies do. After a quick chat with this little dog’s owners we deduced that Milo, and his new BFF, Briley, were in fact brothers. Their whole litter had been called after Santa’s reindeer because they were born before Christmas. Milo was originally named Blitzen (yuck) and Briley was Dancer (double yuck).

What are the chances? I’d always wondered what became of Milo’s littermates and now I can say that one of them, at least, has a lovely home. Briley goes to puppy school twice a week and is very obedient. In fact, he made Milo look like the village idiot. The two got on so well that, of course, Milo wanted to take the relationship to the next level, as usual. Incest is best, wha’?

Twins! Briley (left) has an even sadder face than Milo, something I didn't think was possible

Adorbs. So familiar and yet so different

Their first ever watercooler moment. Probably talking about the Timbers opening game


Milo, ever the sexual predator, tries to perform an act that's illegal in all 50 states. BAD DOG.

Briley’s owners said they often pop into Hondo Park so I really hope these two run into each other again before we go. They make a really cute combo, don’cha think?

Doggy style

If you think that animals wearing clothes is stupid or cruel or whatever DO NOT KEEP READING. You have been warned.

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Milo at five months

Milo turned five months old on Saturday. Don’t they grow up so fast? I know I complain about him a lot (here, for example. And here) and he’s definitely hard work, but he’s made such progress in just the last two months that I feel a little boast coming one. Uh oh, here it comes…

  • I’m proud, and relieved to say, that Milo is potty trained now! It was like one day a switch flipped and he realised that pissing on the carpet was gross. He has an accident about once a week at most, which is my fault because I haven’t taught him to say, “Excuse me, may I go outside to relieve myself? I’m bursting” yet.
  • He is doing really well at puppy school. That’s right, we all go off to a puppy obedience class on Monday nights. He can sit on command (he actually learned that before school (smug)), give me eye contact, “wait” and we’re currently working on “down.” We’re also learning “heel” but that’s proving tricky because neither of our hearts are in it.
  • He is now fully vaccinated against every disease a dog could ever possibly catch. His next visit to the vet will be for neutering in a few weeks because he still humps other dogs like it’s going out of fashion and I can no longer handle the embarrassment.
  • He has stayed away from home overnight and got an A on his report card. (Yes, you get a report card in which the kennel workers detail your dog’s behaviour, eating habits and, er, bowel movements.)
  • He’s had his nails done in the doggy salon and got a gold star for excellent manners.
  • He’s been into the city. We took him to the Portland Saturday Market last week which he enjoyed so much he had diarrhea for two days after (eating little bits of dropped food was the cause I suspect). He was a bit bold but only because everyone wanted to play with him. One man actually offered to buy him from me. The cheek! (Although if the price was right…)
  • He’s gotten BIG. I know he looks small in pictures but he’s actually a medium-sized dog and weighs 18lb now. He still has a cute puppy face but he’s getting too heavy to pick up for long periods and it hurts when he walks on me.
  • The most exciting thing I’ve discovered about Milo in the past couple of weeks is that he enjoys wearing little jumpers. This came as a shock to me because he’s very rambunctious, but I’m running with it and have ordered a few little presents for him online. Bear in mind, I cannot afford clothes for myself.

Milo at three months. Small. Dainty. And yet still looks like a little old man.

Milo at five months. A brute. Note he has ripped up and probably ingested most of his bed.


The only problem persisting is the poxy crate training. Eoin and I went for a wander around the fancy end of Portland on Saturday for a couple of hours and he was roaring his head off when we got back. I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t like to be stuck in a small dark crate myself either, but he even barks if I take out the bin and leave him loose in the apartment. He’s getting better overall though, so I’m just gonna continue doing what I’m doing and hope he just shuts up and gets used to it.