Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fun Day!

We had a few friends over today and I took this opportunity to break out some "paw-ty" paper products, which I've been dying to use. 

Although Moxie spent most of the day sleeping, despite having guests, we still had a great day. I do admit that I wish she were awake more, but at the crazy rate she's growing, it's no surprise her little body needs lots of rest. 

We hung out, enjoyed mimosas, cheeses, hot honey and caprese salad -  and frequently tried to wake Moxie up. She briefly emerged from slumber to entertain us all, but we wanted more.

Of course, as soon as everyone left, we had a bat-pig outta hell - much to my delight. Racing around the apartment, it was what I had waited for all day.

And she absolutely loves her new toy, which was a gift today. Another great PetStages one. Perfectly tiny for her little mouth and another freezer baby!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Holding Court

Moxie has been "holding court," receiving many visitors since coming home two weeks ago. From grandparents to friends, from cousins to neighbors, it's been a steady stream.

We look forward to welcoming more visitors tomorrow and Monday, and will be doing so with some custom cookies from Name That Cookie on Etsy. 

A great gift for any dog lover, as soon as I spotted this, I couldn't resist.  

Here are the pre-baked sugar cookies. Admittedly, they're quite tedious to cut out (and a set of chop-sticks is helpful/necessary), but worth it as they're oh-so-cute!

And finally, the finished product. 

I'm sure our guests will enjoy them. 

And they're not too bad, if I do say so myself. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Got Moxie "Paw" of Approval

We play with a lot of toys around here and while no expert, have some yays and nays from our own first-hand experience.

The Got Moxie approval is my simple way of saying that it's worth a try, based on a number of criteria which will be outlined with photos and explanations.

Our first review will focus on a few Petstages toys; Puppy Cuddle Pal, Toss & Shake, the Cool Teething Stick and the CrunchCore Bone.

Moxie sleeping with "relaxing baby."
Puppy Cuddle Pal 

Manufacturer's Description: 
  • Provides warmth and comfort for your puppy or dog
  • Buckwheat packet inside can be microwaved to provide warmth
  • Soft, cozy shape can be cuddled for comfort when sleeping or stressed
  • Knotted tail for chewing
  • Plush shell can be machine washed as needed
My Thoughts:

This is Moxies favorite Petstages toy. She sleeps on it like a pillow and it always goes in her crate or on trips with her. It's been so good and effective, we've never even had to microwave it. It holds up to chewing (the package is right, the tail is ideal for small mouths to chew on) and it's feet are what I imagine is a soothing feel to chew on. Being that it's in the crate, a few washing a have been necessary and it's nice to be able to take out the buckwheat packet and give it a thorough hand washing. It dries pretty quickly too. Moxie loves her "relaxing baby."

Rating: Three Paws out of Three! This Toy's Got Moxie!

Toss & Shake. 

Toss & Shake

Manufacturer's Description: 
  • Provides enticing interaction while strengthening the bond with your dog
  • Floppy balls attract dog’s attention for enhanced interaction
  • Ring handle is easy for owner and dog to grasp and toss
  • Sound offers added interest and fun
My Thoughts:

This is Moxie's second favorite Petstages toy, and she loves the blue color (which is part of her visible spectrum), along with the rattling balls. It's great for our daily game of fetch and I'm continually impressed with how well she retrieves and drops with this toy. The only thing I don't love about it (which Moxie disagrees on, I know) is the fact that the five balls dangle on sturdy ribbon. What's the problem with that? It resembles a hand and in this nipping phase, I definitely don't want to encourage that or have her get confused (though I'm quite confident she know the difference between this toy and a hand). 

Rating: Two Paws out of Three. There's Moxie in this toy. 

Cool Teething Stick.
Cool Teething Stick 

Manufacturer's Description: 
  • Can be frozen to soothe gums and satisfy the urge to chew
  • Outer shell freezes to provide soothing relief for tender gums
  • Crunchy when frozen, helps satisfy your dog’s urge to chew
  • Streamers, flags and ribbons add interest
My Thoughts:

It's a little harder to evaluate this one, since we use it exclusively as a freezer treat, so Moxie isn't spending as much time with this one as the first two. That said, it's another quality Petstages toy and she does enjoy the "frozen baby." It's especially a hit when some of the water makes ice on the ribbons. At this stage, her teeth are breaking through at a rapid pace. The shark teeth get more dangerous every day. And approved chewing toys, coupled with one that is soothing, is a hit in my book. 

Rating: Two out of Three Paws. Frozen has Moxie. 

CrunchCore Bone.
CrunchCore Bone

Manufacturer's Description: 
  • Crunchy sound that dogs love
  • Won't collapse like water bottles 
  • Durable inner core keeps shape
  • Great for dogs that love to chew
My Thoughts: 

Pretty sure Moxie's little baby mouth is too small for this one right now. Additionally, her jaw is not quite strong enough to actually crunch the bone yet. While she likes it and does enjoy the sound it makes, it's not a favorite yet. That said, just this morning it was her first choice. I do love the idea and a fellow Frenchie mom said that water bottles are a huge hit with her adult dog. I'm sure Moxie will be loving this soon. 

Rating: One out of Three Paws. There may be some Moxie to come!

Overall, the Petstages products are good quality, enticing, made with purpose and well worth the money (and they're reasonably priced too). Petstages got Moxie - and Three Paws!

Stay tuned for more product reviews, updates and musings. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Meeting Family and Friends

Moxie's made the rounds throughout the tri-state-area, meeting many friends and family. From her ride home from Canandaigua, to a walk (aka carry in her travel bag) to Little Italy, a cab ride to The Wall Street Journal and an Uber home - she's been safely and thoroughly exposed to a variety of people and things. Additionally, she's had at least a visitor a day, and we're very pleased with how she's learning to interact with other people. 

While I previously posted that she had met humans from age three to 95, that's now updated and she's actually met people from three to 98! We attended a large birthday celebration for Rob's uncle down in New Jersey on Saturday and she met the uncle's mother, who is a sharp and fabulous 98. 

In addition to that, she met many more people including most/all of her cousins, her great grandmother, wonderful aunts and more. 

She was literally held by nearly a dozen people at that party (there was a "wait list") and to my pride and comfort, she was amazingly good. She even had Nanny, who is very hard of hearing, speaking quite loudly right in her face as she proclaimed her love to the puppy. While I felt a bit bad for Moxie, it was so cute and Nanny was just in love. She held her for a long time and the happiness was painted all over her face. 

Nanny with Moxie.
On another occasion, Moxie also got to meet her Grandma and The Lady, Rob's mom and my mom, respectively. 

Mom with her "furry grandbaby."
The Lady with the pooch. 
She bonded immediately with both and it pleased me so. 

She also met her Aunt and cousin (sister cousin missing from the pic and there will be one to come).

Auntie and little cousin. 
And another cousin!

Lots of love for Moxie!
She's had lots of friends stop by too and there are more to come - continuing throughout the weekend. We had a former co-worker and friend come for dinner last night, a friend over tonight, Fantasy Football draft party tomorrow (there will definitely be a post about that) and more on her busy social calendar! 

It's really a blessing that she's so happy to be socialized so much and has quickly become a loved, cherished and welcomed part of the family.

Speaking of family, they're so in love with her, they want to put her name in the Secret Santa grab bag this Christmas - how funny is that?!

Not surprising though, as she's already received a good deal of presents!

Crazy Puppy!

I think we're entering a new phase of puppy-hood. 

Our innocent infant Moxie is growing up at warp speed and what was once a docile, gentle baby is quickly turning into a crazy, feisty toddler! One could even say, "that girl has moxie."

She's getting bigger by the day and has doubled in size, in the mere nine days we've had her. Her teeth are more visible and more dangerous each morning we check them. Baby-play is turned into mucho rough housing, nipping, pulling and so much more. She's pushing her boundaries, asserting her independence and often raising hell!

That said, I wouldn't have it any other way. Though I'm glad to know this phase will pass in a couple of months. It's all part of being a puppy mom, what I signed up for and providing so much joy and laughter for we both. 

Here she is, on her "race course" around the apartment (and this was three days ago, so she's gotten crazier/faster/wilder since)!

It's amazing to see this little thing grow on a daily basis and I can't even imagine what kind of cellular activity is going on inside her little puppy body. Rob and I have both wondered if she gets growing pains and while she never seems to be in discomfort, between the teething and growing like a weed, she has to be. It's probably why she sleeps so much. 

And speaking of sleep, we're pretty much on a 1 to 3 ratio. One hour of awake for every three asleep.

And wouldn't I like to borrow some of her sleep time?! Last night is the first I wasn't up every three hours to bring her potty (was so thankful to get a full seven hrs). And here I am now, wide awake since 3:30 a.m. Again, though, I'm not pissed, nor am I complaining. Before going into this, you have to have an understanding that the first few months (up to a year) are nothing short of exhausting.

This is the most tired I've ever been. A regular 8+ hour-solid sleeper every night, I've pretty much been up every three hours since the 17th. I finally know how insomniacs like Rob feel. Sleep depravation is a weird thing and I've been feeling a bit impaired and spacey at times. But this won't last forever, and soon we'll all be getting good night sleeps!

(Interesting tidbit - allegedly, the rule of thumb is a Frenchie can hold it one hour for every month, up to about 6-7 months/hours. And as Moxie is a bit under three months, that's about as many hours as she can hold it.)

We're so very eager to be able to take her out on the leash to run some energy out of her, but we can't, due to the fact that she's not fully vaccinated. It should either be two or six weeks depending on what the vet says. She's due for her first visit this Tuesday and will have a thorough exam, along with the third round of vaccinations and a nail clipping too (those babies grow fast and get sharp!). She needs one last set of vaccines after that, so think we'll be able to walk her in early October. Hopefully that will make a big difference in getting out this pent up puppy energy!

Just thinking to Saturday, at a big family birthday party (more to come on that), she was the calm and low-key infant I first met. Now, she's a "bat pig" (as Rob's friend refers to them) out of hell! Running, chasing, biting - but thankfully, just being a normal, happy, well-adjusted puppy!

And one saving grace is the fact that she only goes at 100% for a short time. Before we know it, she's back to sleep, just like this.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Meet Moxie

Our first snuggle session. 
We just met Moxie as a little pup on Sunday and she’s easily and quickly made her way into our hearts. I never doubted that the love would be immediate, but I didn’t know just how hard I’d fall!

We’ve been talking about, and considering a dog, pretty much since we met, and finally this summer, decided the time was right. After an extensive breeder search (more to come on that), I found a wonderful women near the Finger Lakes in upstate NY, who didn’t just breed frenchies, but loved them too. You’d be surprised at how many shady and just plain bad breeders there are, and I personally came across a few.

Our first encounter with Moxie was ideal and the breeder led us into her puppy room, where she was waiting in a spacious exercise pen. Initially a bit nervous when put into my lap (both me and Moxie), not really making eye contact and shaking a little, that changed in about 5 minutes and we had already started to establish our bond.

We chatted with the breeder and soon embarked on our long journey home - a nearly six hour car drive, which is a lot to ask of a nine week old puppy. Fortunately she slept most of the time in my lap and even impressed us with a pee at a rest stop too.

In the car.
At the rest stop. 
Our first night went way better than expected and the crate anxiety I worried about never came. Nor did they crying or yelping all night. She was up a couple times to relieve herself (letting us know when she needed to be let out) and has been improving ever since. Now, she's willingly running to the bathroom (aka pee pads in the kitchen) and we're really impressed.

Just since Sunday, she’s visibly grown and changed, learning new things on a daily basis, honing her skills, and figuring out this new world.

Just looking cute as usual.
She's social and being well socialized - having met people from the ages of three to 95 - and she's about to meet a lot of new people today too, at a family party in NJ. She spent Monday in Little Italy, Tuesday met a new friend, Thursday at The Wall Street Journal - and has been held, kissed and handled by many new faces. It's great to see the joy that puppies bring!

Thursday morning during play session.  Good shot thanks to BarkCam (more to come on that, too)!
The time is already zooming by and before we know it, our miss Moxie Marie will be a full grown Frenchie. But we’re not there yet - and luckily so - because this puppy stage is just too freaking adorable and fun.  
Looking pensive Thursday night with our dinner guest.  
Last night in another photo shoot. Anchors away!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Toys, Toys, Toys!

Knowing what to expect when it comes to chewing - and puppy energy in general - we stocked up on toys, gifts and other items.

Some necessary...some not so much.

If you know me, you likely understand my penchant for shopping so this was a better excuse...I mean ever.

Here are some goodies:

The Shinola leash (a special gift). 
Some goodies for the Welcome Moxie Paw-ty. 
Hide a Squirrel.  
"It's cashmere Georgie." Of course, what any dog needs.   
The chow spot. 
PetStages Toys (the best and more on them).
There wasn't a questions of whether I'd have an anchor dog toy. 
For keeping clean. 
As the PR for WSJ, I couldn't pass this one up!
Cutters for cookies. 
Her snuggle pillow. 
And cuddle blanket - with her name, so no one steals it ;-)
A comfy sleeping crate. 
There have been lots more toys since her arrival (which we're all very thankful for!) and I'm sure there will be many more to come!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Props to Moms

I texted my mom yesterday and said, "Puppies are a lot of work. God bless you for raising a baby. I can't even imagine. We're a little over 2 days into this and feeling tired already!"

Tired indeed!
Seriously. Props to all moms. Especially human ones, because I can't even fathom.

I can't imagine how overwhelmed moms can and do get - when prepping and dealing with an infant and the fact that they have to raise a living thing. For the human moms, between "What to Expect When You're Expecting," lamaze and everything else, there's a lot to take in. 

I'm experiencing my own little mom shock already - and I didn't have to read that book or pant on a mat with my husband. It goes without saying thought, that when it comes to prepping, it can even get out of hand with a pup (but in a good, well informed, best practice way). 

We're referencing everything (thank you Internet, our French Bulldog book, the AKC Puppy Manual, etc.). I even caught myself referring to "they" when talking about how to raise Moxie. Like, "they say a schedule is imperative," "they say you should do this."

A couple of the books
All reading, referencing and worrying aside, I'm quickly learning that patience and repetition is key, as is a good partner to help. And to take a moment to brag, this dog may just be a prodigy - from her willingness to be in the cage to her promising housebreaking skills and her legit games of fetch.

A baby at play. 
And when it comes to shopping prep - buying the toys, pet accessories (no dresses though), and everything else this ridiculous market has to offer - I certainly have that covered. Stay tuned for a fun post soon to come on the cool stuff we bought in preparation for this spoiled pooch. Oh, and a Puppy Shower - yes, that's in the works too.

Some goodies for the shower. 
Despite all the frills and fuzz, when raising a pup, it seems that it all comes down to observation, intuition and common sense. 

Wait, isn't that how the world works too?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Officially a Dog Mom

Here I am. A brand new dog mom. Over the moon excited about our baby.

Moxie Marie in slumber.
I'll forgo the risk of being dramatic by saying this, but...

In less than 72 hours, I feel changed as a human and woman. Never being of-the-maternal-type, I’m already moved by raising an “infant.” This puppy's love is so gentle, pure and open. Everyone says, Frenchies really are different - and we’re quickly learning that they really are.

I'm looking at the world through a whole new lens and in some ways, as Savannah recently said),“I feel like life just started.”

Indeed, a whole new life for Rob and I, and we couldn't be more delighted.

I hope you’ll join this journey with us. Learn about where she came from, why I'm totally giving props to moms, the trials and triumphs of raising a pup, and much much more.

Stay tuned for more fun and adventure with the newest addition to our family, Moxie Marie.