You can’t succeed if you don’t try…

Well I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, but I’m not going to lie, my personal fears have held me back. Will I be good enough, will people want to read what I write, what will I talk about, and the list goes on and on. But today I decided to say “screw it”. How will I know if I never try. If I fail, I fail, but at least it won’t be because I didn’t even try.

First a little about myself. I’m in my early forties and happily married to my highschool sweatheart.  I work full time, struggle with the normal day to day stresses in life, but overall we have a pretty good life. We don’t have any children, but we do have 2 furbabies. A mixed breed dog named Rosco and a Dogue de Bordeaux named Brogan.

I love to cook, struggle with cleaning (it’s not my favourite thing to do), love photography, paddle boarding (or really anything involving water), animals (especially my dogs), reading, and most recently learning about essential oils and incorporating them into our day to day life.

My goal is to share some of my interests and ideas with all of you. Maybe some of my ideas, recipes or hints and tips will help someone else out. Or if nothing else give you a little escape from your reality.

dogs · Journal

Kane chronicles – 19 weeks

Kane has definitely gotten more brave and WAY more energetic than he was in past.  He drives me a little batty now when he is bored. Thankfully it has warmed up and we have been able to do longer walks and he can play outside with Rosco in the yard too. I am also very grateful that he is easy to tire out with training. Working from home means I’m around all day with him. He is a lazy bones in the morning and generally only gets up at 8:30am, which gives me an hour to enjoy my coffee in peace and quiet. When he does get out of bed he goes outside and then snuggles with me until noon. When I get up to make my lunch he figures it must be time to play and wrestle and generally make a pain of himself.

Cuddling in the morning

After I’m done eating I usually do a little training session with him and sometimes that plays him out enough for a few more hours of cuddles and sleeping while I work, but sometimes it’s not enough and he bugs Rosco until he comes and plays with him. I’m very thankful that Rosco is such a great big brother and will play with Kane for hours on end.

We also finished our puppy classes this week. I’m sad that they are over, it was an outing for me, and I’m happy to say I learned some new training tricks, which I will share in future posts. Kane also loved them, the first class I had to coax him in, the last few classes he cried to get in because he was so excited for them.

Puppy school graduate

Because he is so young (as all the pups in this class were) the trainer recommended that we all work with our puppies on what we learned, but don’t start another class until they are a couple months older. Which fits with what my plan was. I want to put him in swimming and do that for a bit and then we can figure out what class to do next. I know I was very interested in the scent tracking class that they offered and I think Kane might really excel at agility. However, he is young, so we will make those decisions on what we should explore next when he is a little older and his brain can hold focus for more than a few seconds 🙄

The one thing that we NEED to focus on with him is building confidence when meeting new people. This last bit he has started “bluffing” at new people. He kinda barks, but it’s more a puff when he blows his cheeks up and backs up when he meets new people. If they keep coming for him he barks and backs up. Tail between his legs the whole time. I find if people ignore him he warms up faster, but most people see a puppy and want to say “hi” right away, so I am getting people to offer him treats and get him to sit or shake a paw for them. That seems to work almost as well as people just ignoring him until he comes to them. The problem of course is that due to the covid19 restrictions in our area it is hard to get him to meet new people consistently. The trainer from our puppy classes suggested bringing them to pet stores, which I think is a brilliant idea and I will try with Kane next week. Stay tuned for how that works for us.

dogs · Journal

Kane chronicles – 18 weeks

The cold has not broken, and this week Kane was absolutely crazy. He was full of energy and trouble almost all day today. He is a bit of an energizer bunny and not being able to get out and burn off some of this energy has made him a little bit of a nut when he is awake.

He is still a cuddle bug when he isn’t racing around like a maniac and he is a sleepy head in the morning, often getting out of bed an hour after the rest of us. It’s kinda comical how tired he is in the morning.

Cuddling with me while I’m working

We have 1 more week of puppy classes left and then we have to figure out what we want to do next. He enjoys it and so do I. It’s an outing for me and a way for him to meet new people. I also love training in class settings because it helps him learn to listen to me no matter how much fun he could be having paying attention to other puppies and people. I’m trying to decide if I want to do more obedience, agility or swimming next. I have to pick something new or we won’t be doing anything, because I think everything is booking up pretty quickly. Apparently everyone got a covid19 puppy.

It’s looking like it might warm up this weekend, thankfully because it’s been a long stretch of not being able to do anything. No one but Rosco likes the cold weather.

He gets his last vaccinations next week. I’m anxious to see what he weighs. He is getting close to Rosco’s height, but is definitely still a lot leaner.

dogs · Journal

Kane 17 weeks

Well technically he is 18 weeks old tomorrow (how is he already 4 1/2 months old) but as of today he is still 17 weeks, and I’m writing about this week, so the post title still works 🙄

This past week has been brutally cold…like -40 without wind cold some days, and since Kane barely likes -10 we have done no outside activities. He runs out, goes potty, and races in as fast as his cold feet will get him back inside. It has led to him being a little less sleepy and a little more crazy in the house. But that’s okay, I feel his pain. I’m going stir crazy too.

Because it was so cold we worked on our training and this week in puppy classes we moved to the next step of “leave it” and he caught on first try and nailed it each time since. No matter how much more we have challenged him. We haven’t practiced loose leash walking either, but he was a rock star at that in class too. He even got compliments from the trainer on how well he was doing. He is very eager to please, and crazy food motivated, so it makes it much easier to train.

He has mastered the art of following the sun around the house

To try to help him with some of his excess energy, and boredom, we also started some treadmill training. The first step is supposed to be just stepping onto the treadmill, but the first time I had him walking on it at a slow speed. The second night he wasn’t as focused on what he was doing, so didn’t walk on it as well, but would still get on, take a few steps, let himself slide off the back and then go again. So we will continue working with him on that. It’s not as nice as getting out for a walk with him, but it will definitely help when he is full of energy and it’s too cold to burn it off.

He is about 44lbs (I picked him up and weighed us together, but he was a little squirmy, so that’s just an estimated weight) and is almost as tall as Rosco. It’s crazy how fast he is growing. We have a group chat with his siblings and it’s amazing to hear about all the similarities between the litter mates. Genetics definitely play a big role in their personalities.

He definitely has more energy than our Bordeaux’s did, but we are really enjoying him.

main dishes · recipes

Homemade calzones

Start with a great dough:


1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp warm water
3/4 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp olive oil
add oregano and parmesan to dough

I triple this recipe so that we can have leftovers the next day


mix first 3 ingredients in bowl and leave for 5 min

put rest of ingredients in bread machine, add yeast mixture and run through dough cycle

place in bowl and refrigerate overnight

take dough out and let it get to room temperature for 2 hours before using

If you are in a rush you can use it the same day, we did tonight and the calzones were still great.

The filling can be a mixture of whatever you like. Tonight we made a pizza mixture, you chop up everything you would put on a pizza, cube your cheese, add in a small amount of pizza sauce (just until everything is coated) and we always add a little parmesan and Italian seasoning.

Roll your dough into small circles, about 1/8” thick, put your filling in, fold and pinch, make slits and then put an egg wash on top. We also sprinkled Italian seasoning and parmesan on the dough.

Ready to bake

Bake at 425 for 15-20 min (or until golden brown).

dogs · Journal

Kane Chronicles – 16 weeks

Kane is officially 4 months old, we have now had him in our lives for 1/2 of his. He is turning out to be a great guy. He is catching on to the new things we teach him quickly and is always eager to do training sessions (probably because he is so food motivated ðŸĪŠ), but no matter his reasoning we love that he is eager to please. His puppy classes are going well. He is showing more confidence and less fear, so although he doesn’t get to play with and meet the other people in the class being around other people and dogs and having to follow commands is helping him.

He still isn’t a fan of the cold, but loves playing in the snow (and ice) if it is mild out.

Kane playing with chucks of ice he breaks off

Rosco has put him in his place more times in the last week than he has before, but Kane needs it. He is a little rough at time and when he gets excited he forgets all semblance of manners. Rosco reminds him he can’t be a complete jerk. We are also working on him not jumping or putting his feet on people. “Off” is said to him often and he is slowly learning that when he sits or stands by people he gets attention but isn’t getting rewarded for putting his feet on people. He will be a big guy and no one appreciates a dog that jumps.

It’s kinda sad that he doesn’t have as much confidence around new people as he should (or I should say I hoped he would). It is really hard to expose him to new people with all the covid19 restrictions, but we are doing our best, and he does warm up after a few minutes. So we are making progress.

He makes us laugh with some of his antics, he still has puppy goofiness and who can help but laugh at that.

He checks to see what you are doing by popping his head over the back of the couch instead of coming around
Still needs all his winter gear for walks or he just shivers
Loves to snuggle and is a great co-worker while I’m working from home

I have taken a lot of pictures and tried to document his growth. The above pictures show his trip home and his trip to the vet for his vaccinations. Hard to believe he has grown so much in his few months with us.

Tonight we have puppy classes again, this is the 1/2 way mark and then we will have to decide what we want to do next. There is a place in the city that does swimming, I’m calling it puppy swimming lessons, but I know they call it something else. Regardless of what it is called I really want him to be a confident swimmer, so that is definitely on the list of things to do next.

Last week we also did a little dog park walk, it was pretty cold, so it was just us, a friend and her older dog. So a perfect experience for him. He proved his recall is fantastic no matter where we use it.

dogs · Journal

Kane chronicles – 15 weeks

Time is flying by…how is he almost 4 months old already?

Kane enjoying a bully stick

We went to our first puppy class on Wednesday. He was a little nervous at first but it didn’t take him long to come out of his shell and show off his smarts. There were some things that covid19 affected and some things that were the same as last time I did puppy classes. The one thing that covid19 affected is the puppy free time at the beginning of class. At every other class I have attended the puppies got a bit of free time before class to play and socialize on their own. I loved that aspect because they got to play with other dogs their own age(ish) in a controlled environment. But because there are so many strict rules with covid19 we aren’t allowed to pet each other’s dogs or come within 6 feet of each other, and of course hand sanitizer and masks are mandatory. Kane was eager to meet the other puppies and spent a bit of time crying to let me know that he was disappointed with my “rule” that didn’t let him go play and meet the other puppies…if only he knew how disappointed I was as well.

Covid19 rules and limitations aside the class was a huge success. I learned a few new things to help him build confidence and I also think training in different environments with distractions is so important to having a well rounded dog. This class is focused on positive reinforcement and encourages clicker training. There were a few people that chose not to use a clicker, but the majority of us did. The other thing I like is that the trainer still took time to work with all of our dogs so that they experienced different trainers and realized they have to behave and follow commands from other people.

We came home with “homework” which we have been doing numerous times throughout the day. He catches on to things really quickly. So I’m anxious to see how he does this week.

The weekend was bitterly cold (-30 Saturday and -44 Sunday), there wasn’t much wind, but both dogs weren’t interested in walks…And neither was I. So we enjoyed some cuddle and couch time and worked on our homework. I was looking forward to working on leash walks, but I guess we will have to do those this week when it warms up a bit. I also missed his weekly picture to track his growth, but we can try and get one this week I guess.

dogs · Journal

Kane chronicles – 14 weeks

Kane was 14 weeks old this past Friday, I continue to be amazed at how quickly he is growing, and how time is flying by. He keeps us busy (and entertained).  The poor guy loves the snow, but really struggles with the cold. Lucky for us he is very cooperative with getting dressed in his boots and jacket to go out.

14 week photo
Sporting his boots and jacket
It was +2 on the weekend, so he got to enjoy snow with nothing but his collar and harness

We have been working on all his existing “tricks” and added in shake a paw last week. He is doing so well with clicker training, he has all the things we have taught so far down pat. His first puppy class is tomorrow, so I am very excited about that. Not only will I get to see people, but it will add in some normalcy into getting a new puppy.

I wanted to take a minute to talk pet insurance in this post. I have had Insurance on almost all of my pets and can’t say enough good about it. When I was in clinic I saw hard decisions made because of financial issues and I never want to be in that situation. Brogan maxed out a $10k insurance plan and I only paid 10% of that. I wasn’t thrilled with the company I was with for Brogan, and realized a plan with a limit wasn’t great so before I got Kane I did a lot of research on insurance plans. I decided that Trupanion was the best fit for what I was looking for.

If you are getting a new pet or have one and have been thinking about insurance I definitely recommend you take a minute to check them out:

My pet is protected with Trupanion and I thought you should check them out! They offer medical insurance for cats and dogs and it gives me so much peace of mind. Use my link to check them out:

dogs · Journal

Kane Chronicles – 13 weeks

Well he is almost 14 weeks and I’m just writing his 13 week post…but I committed to one post a week (to myself) so better late than never…

We started clicker training with him this week. I had done it with my 2 rottie’s and with Brogan and Rosco in puppy classes, but had since lost my clicker. I ordered a few off Amazon and we introduced him to it this week. It’s amazing how easy it makes marking and shaping the behavior you are looking for. I had to refresh some of my timing, it’s pretty easy to click and reinforce something incorrectly. I accidentally got him looking away instead of lifting a paw (for shake a paw) and now he randomly offers that. I will definitely work on something to go with the look away though. Maybe are you ashamed or embarrassed…something that can be a cute trick. He is eager to please, but has a short attention span, so training sessions can only be a few minutes before he loses interest or quits trying. If it’s a trick he knows that’s a different story, but learning something new is kept short and sweet so no one gets frustrated.

He now happily goes in his kennel and doesn’t seem to cry much. I’m not always home once I put him in now, but he seems to be okay in it. He still has his calmeroo puppy in his kennel and a stuffed Kong and of course some treats. He goes in and out randomly throughout the day, but doesn’t go to sleep in it on his own yet. He would rather sleep with Rosco or by one of us.

Sleeping with Rosco

We still haven’t gotten a lot of leash walking in, just on our way home from our off leash walks, but I did get him a new harness that should work well. I like front clip harnesses for training. I’ve used head halters too, my 2 rottie’s loved them, 2 bordeaux’s hated them and Rosco is okay with them, but the front clip harness worked great with my 2 bordeaux’s so that is what my plan is for Kane.

He happily wore it around the house
We managed to get our weekly photo (after many bloopers)
He is wearing Rosco’s boots. Rosco doesn’t need them unless it’s much colder, so when Kane outgrows them we will order him his own.

All in all Kane is growing like a little weed, but is still SO affectionate and loving. He is learning new things every day and we couldn’t love him more.

Tomorrow he is 14 weeks old, so I better save something for next week’s post ðŸĪŠ

dogs · Journal

Kane Chronicles – 12 weeks

Hard to believe we have had him in our lives for a month. It seems like just yesterday I was on my way to pick him up. He continues to fill our lives with love and laughter. And we are so thankful to have him.

We continue to work on the basics. Sit is offered anytime he wants something and he does it the second you say the word, lie down isn’t offered as freely but he definitely knows it and does it when asked. Wait is still a work in progress, he can do it, but the word confuses him. So we are working on him doing it and rewarding it without a word. The word will come.

Kennel training is being worked on daily, he runs to his kennel as soon as you mention the word, wonders in and out numerous times throughout the day but still spends a bit of time crying once he is in it and alone. This emphasizes how important kennel training is to having a well balanced dog that doesn’t struggle with separation anxiety when he is older. It’s hard to be consistent with it when I am working from home, but because I understand how important it is we will continue until he is completely content in his kennel (and can be trusted unsupervised).  I can’t stress how important it is to have a kennel trained puppy. It helps then when they are at the groomer, or the vet clinic, or if they ever need to be boarded. Most importantly it helps them be calm and relaxed when you aren’t there. I don’t know how many dogs that we saw that had some level of separation anxiety when I worked in clinic, but even one is one too many. If you are one of the many people that got a new puppy during this pandemic and are working from home please make sure you set your puppy up for success by making sure he is kennel trained and is left alone some of the time. It will make your life so much better once your dog is older and life gets back to normal.

dogs · Journal

Kane Chronicles – 11 weeks

Another week with our new family member. He is definitely bringing a lot of joy and happiness. His joy is infectious… everything is fun and exciting and it’s hard not to laugh at his antics.

He went for his 2nd vaccination appointment this past week and weighed in at 20.8lbs. He won’t end up being as big as Brogan, but still should be in the 100lb range. He definitely has more energy than Brogan (or even Rosco) did as puppies…He actually reminds me a lot of Kira, our first rottie puppy. He is a fast learner and I’m sure I will be reading up on all sorts of trick training once we have the basics covered.

Rosco has been the best big brother. He tolerates Kane’s constant biting and wrestling and allows him to cuddle with him when he is tired.

Kane doesn’t love his kennel, but is definitely improving, he goes in happily and the crying doesn’t last long now. I think in part to keeping it fun (The best treats), and short and in part because of his calmeroo puppy. It is a stuffed toy that has a battery operated heart beat and a heat pack to make it warm. Kane snuggles with his “Teddy” whenever no one else is available.

Kane snuggling with his calmeroo puppy

He has sit and lie down perfected and is working hard at wait. That one is a little harder, but is so important in life. We are doing a little on leash on every walk to get him used to walking nicely on a leash, but since we are at the cabin we still do the majority of our walks off leash. His recall remains perfect. He can’t come back fast enough when I call. Almost beating Rosco back some of the time.

Puppies are so much work, but they are definitely worth it all.

I hope that all of you had a very Merry Christmas 🎄