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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

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Location: Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

100 things about me

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Taco at 11 and 12 weeks

Train ride!!!

Watching a hawk.

Chillin' like a boss.

Grandmommy and Grand-dog.

Morning nap.

Taco chillin' like a boss

Mom left today

...but we pre-celebrated her birthday six times, and introduced the grand-dog.

Late summer backyard plum harvest

The tree is in our neighbour's garden, but the branches bring the fruit to us over the fence.

Tonight is vanilla ice cream and as many of these as we can handle.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Taco at 10 weeks: Napping and making friends.

First serious weekend nap together.

Making friends in the village.

My two favourite red-heads.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I have not yet begun to pose

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Beauty can be very, very noisy.

Babies cry.  Puppies are babies.  Puppies cry.

It occurred to me the other day -- as I withstood a yowling that would qualify as acoustic torture under the Geneva convention -- that it somehow seems normal to be less tolerant of puppies whining than we are of babies crying.  We don't like it when babies cry, but we expect it. And we mostly give babies a pass.  After a few days with a puppy, however, enough is enough, right?  "When will this dog learn to shut up?"

So, we expect puppies to learn faster than babies.  We're expecting an animal with a fraction of human intelligence to learn faster than humans.  And we think we're pretty smart.

The ones learning fastest are Flame-Haired Angel and me.  A little bit of sleep lost, but so far we haven't had to call in the puppy super nanny.

We're all learning each other's rhythms and finding out what's fun and what's not.

And one of us is looking less like an under-stuffed sausage and more like a dog. But only just.

Taco at 8 weeks old and 1 week home.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I like blue-eyed red-heads

Taco's eyes will eventually change to be the same beautiful caramel colour as her coat.  But until then: wowzers!

Totally OK with being a ridiculous dog-parent

Being a childless couple in our mid-forties, we are an easy target.  Proclaim our besotted-ness with Taco to be the obsessive fulfillment of unsatisfied parental instinct, and most would presume you've got a prima facie case.  But I reckon it's barking up the wrong playpen.  I've been dog-obsessed my whole adult life, and baby-obsessed...well, never.  Having put off being a dog-parent until I felt my life stable enough to have the dog relationship I want, I've been hankering a long time.  So far as I know, it's not baby substitution.  It's simple wish fulfillment.

But I can't say it'd make any difference.  I am just as crazy about her either way.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Taco's first day home

There are words, but the pictures are better.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Introducing Taco Spencer

We finally chose.

Two weeks from now, one of the puppies will come home with us.  But we hadn't yet chosen between the two girl pups in the litter.  We had been waiting as long as possible before choosing, so we could get a better sense of any difference in temperament between the two girl pups.

Yesterday, the breeder -- Sara Egan at Waldecke Gundogs -- told us she had someone else interested in the girls.  So, now we had to choose.

Sara has been great.  We've been talking with her since late last year, and she had given us our pick of the girls.  But with someone else wanting a girl, we wanted to give Sara certainty.  We zoomed over, last night, before anyone else got their heart set.

There wasn't much in it, in the end.  Both girls are gorgeous.  Both sweet and curious: neither pushy nor timid.  But one just seemed more comfortable than the other, and Sarah advised us that pup was slightly closer in appearance to the pup's mom -- a dog Flame-Haired Angel loves.  So, that was that.

And here she is: Taco (posing with my other favourite red-head).

She's not yet entirely comfortable away from her litter-mates.

But her brothers don't seem the least bit fussed that she's getting all the attention.

Taco comes home in two weeks.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Our first visit with the puppies.

We went to visit the girls, today.  Their brothers were there, of course.  One big pile of four-week-old Vizsla puppies.  But we were pretty focused on meeting the girls.  And figuring out which one would be coming with us three weeks from now.

We thought we'd meet, introduce ourselves, and, somehow, choose.

We met. We introduced ourselves. We held. We played. We fondled.  We became smitten.  They napped.

But we didn't choose.  Yet.

But here they are in the pink collars: the girls.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

One of these puppies

Either the second from the left, or the farthest right is ours.

Two weeks old.

Thursday, June 05, 2014


A few days ago, at 1 week old.

Now just a little more than 6 weeks until mayhem at Badger's Craic.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A laid-back way to become 47

A lovely day to stroll through London with my sweetie, go on a little adventure, and relax with friends at the end of the day.