Romping in the Snow

February 1, 2015

You have to enjoy winter in whatever way you can find. And running through the snow with joy and grabbing a snack is one of the best ways. Georgia’s got it together!



The Butter Thief

January 17, 2015

The beneficial health effects of butter are debatable on a few different levels. Is it the good kind of fat? Is there too much fat? Is it all natural? Regardless, almost everyone likes real butter and especially a rather food focused German Shepherd I live with.

A few moments of inattention. A slight lapse in concentration. A distracted task and whoa, a stick of butter is stolen off the counter. Once should be enough to learn that lesson. But, no, it happened again within a two week time span.

So, 2 sticks of butter stolen within a couple of weeks. On the upside, that’s really good for a dog’s coat, the extra oils make it so soft. On the down side, so much fat for a dog could lead to pancreatitis. [If you worry, consult your veterinarian.] This has not happened to this particular German Shepherd.

Empty Butter Dish


It’s only after the fact that I learn the dog in question actually has some restraint. So, if 2 sticks are too much to eat in such a short span of time, what’s a dog to do?

Well, save it for later, obviously, by burying it in the yard. And with temperatures at or around 0 degrees Fahrenheit, it is preserved perfectly.

How does this come into play and why would I know that saving the butter for later was actually the strategy? Finding evidence of butter and dirt on my sofa and chair cushions was quite a surprise. Just like a bone, she tried to bury it between the cushions. I am probably lucky she didn’t try to bury it in the bed.

Thank goodness for microfiber fabric.

Moral of the story:

  1. Put the butter away as soon as you are done using it.
  2. Never walk away from the kitchen with food sitting out.
  3. Always clean up food and dishes right away.
  4. Accept and enjoy the foibles of your dog, but be mindful of the dangers of eating people food.

Your dog can read your mind, or rather your actions

September 6, 2014

Sometimes it takes me longer to get out of the house than I’d like. It usually happens when I’m going to work. See Georgia knows what day it is and she knows where I’m going and she knows when she will be left behind.

I put my shoes on every day and I tie them, but the first time I put them on every day it means we are going for a walk and Georgia doesn’t want to delay me in that process. Weekdays, after our dog walk, the second time I need to tie my shoes, she will come and sit on my feet, inserting her head neatly in the way of my hands so that she impedes the process of shoe tying. It takes a good 5 minutes of extra love for her to finally give up and cede to the fact that yes, I am going to go to work and leave her at home.

She knows the context of my actions because of the type of clothes I’m wearing, the time of day, the routine of the morning. And she inserts herself hoping to disrupt when it’s not what she wants.

Dog love is beautiful in its simplicity. Stay with me!


Don’t Go!


Georgia vs. Woodchuck

May 26, 2014

This morning, Georgia let herself out and caught a woodchuck in the backyard.

Oh God, Oh God, Oh God!

I was still in bed, but heard a screeching noise, so leapt up and saw her with this huge thing in her mouth and my heart nearly exploded. 

I’ve heard stories of woodchucks being very vicious and causing dogs a lot of damage. Georgia had it by the neck, and was shaking it and shaking it and shaking it. To her, it was a really fun squeaky toy because it made noise and fought back, what a challenge. Ack! 

I’m watching this from upstairs in the kitchen yelling and trying to think what to do. Nothing, as it turns out. When she got it sufficiently subdued, she brought it through her dog door into the basement. I raced to shut the kitchen door so she couldn’t bring it into the actual house. I didn’t want that thing in my living room or on my bed. Ewwww! 

When I heard her go back outside, I went down to the basement and she had left it, right there, at the bottom of the stairs. 

It wasn’t dead! Oh God, Oh God, Oh God! 

I got a shovel and even though it tried to chew on the shovel I pushed it until I could get it on the shovel, took it outside and threw it over the fence. I’m sure there’s something else I should have done, but Ewwww, again!

Georgia appears to be fine. There was a drop of blood just below her eye, but I couldn’t tell if that was hers or the woodchucks. 

I’ve discovered I’m not an adrenaline junkie. A couple hours later and my heart still feels 3 sizes too big.

At her core, Georgia’s a protector and she was protecting her territory.

Oh God!

Kind of makes this toy seem irrelevant.

Happy Anniversary Georgia

March 12, 2014

Ten years ago today, March 12, 2004, Georgia and I became a family. While it’s been a little rocky at times and a little exasperating at times and many of those exploits have been chronicled here in this blog, it’s also been filled with joy and beauty and satisfaction.  My life is infinitely better with Georgia. Love you girl!

I dug up a few photos from 2004, which is harder than you think because that was before the smartphone camera was always in my pocket.

1 year old Georgia, 2004

1 year old Georgia, 2004

1 year old Georgia being coy. 2004

1 year old Georgia being coy, 2004


A Dog and her Girl, 2004


11 year old Georgia, 2014

I take many more pictures of Georgia these days and most of them end up on my Instagram account. Please follow me there to continue sharing the joy. :-)

Fettuccine ricche alla emiliana

December 29, 2013

Fettuccine with Cream and Tomato Sauce

My Dad makes this delicious pasta dish some time between Christmas and New Year every year. Over the years my Dad has modified it quite a bit as a concession to the heart, because he wants it to make your heart happy, your stomach happy and in turn that makes for a happy Dad. Also, who uses 5 eggs in pasta anymore or 3 sticks of butter or whole cream? It’s a wonderful holiday tradition and it wouldn’t be a holiday visit without this scrumptious meal.

Fettuccine dish

Finished Fettuccine dish

This is the original recipe with the modifications [noted].


1 pound sifted flour

5 eggs [2-3 eggs]

1 teaspoon oil

pinch of salt

Or substitute a similar dry egg pasta.


1 1/2 cups butter [1/2 cup or 1 stick]

6 ounce peeled tomatoes, drained [if whole, broken up or canned diced tomatoes]

Salt and pepper

2 ounces green peas, boiled [1/2 cup]

2 ounces sweet pepper, roasted, peeled, cut in strips [from a jar work just as well]

1/4 pound prosciutto (fat and lean), chopped

1/2 cup cream [half and half rather than whole cream]

1 cup of grated Parmesan [or combination of asiago, romano, parmesan]



Heap 1 pound of sifted flour on a suitable work surface. Whip 2-3 eggs with a few drops of oil and a teaspoon of salt. Pour the mixture into a well, scooped out of the mound of sifted flour. Kneading manually, bring the flour to the center and continue until the dough reaches a fairly consistent texture. [Add small amounts of warm water as the dough gets dry during the kneading process, this makes up for the extra 2 eggs that we left out.] Dampen a white kitchen towel with warm water , wrap the dough in it and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Roll and cut the dough into 1/2 inch wide strips. [This can be done ahead of time. We use a pasta maker which makes this a fairly efficient process.]

pasta maker

The pasta maker at work

Pasta drying

Pasta drying


Melt half the butter in a pan, add the tomatoes seasoned with a little salt and pepper, and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the peas, the sweet pepper strips, and the ham, and cook together for two minutes; remove from heat and keep warm.

Putting it all together

Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water, drain when al dente and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Then, in layers, pour over the cream, half the Parmesan, the remaining butter in softened lumps, and, finally, the tomato sauce. Allow to stand a few moments, mix, and serve on warmed plates; pass the remaining Parmesan at the table.

Layer cheese, butter, sauce on fettuccine

Layer cheese, butter, sauce on fettuccine

Serves 6-8

Copyright © 1972, Luigi Carnacina Presents: Italian Home Cooking

Georgia waiting and watching underfoot

Georgia waiting and watching underfoot

Take me with you!

October 19, 2013

I’m sure my attempt to leave the house yesterday would have been fit for a sitcom, if it was about a spunky dog and her girl. Sometimes Georgia lulls me into complacency, she watches me leave for 10 days straight and on day 11, springs into action and sneaks through the door before I can get it closed. So she escaped into the garage, where she kept running around the car and away from me. I opened the car door to corral her and she hopped in very nicely, in the hopes of an adventure. All car adventures usually lead to the park. I went to fetch the leash so I could get her out of the car, but she jumped from the back deck area into the back seat. So, then I open the door to the back seat and she jumps back into the back deck of the car. We did this dance about 3 or 4 times. I went away for a few minutes and left all the doors open. This did not convince her to hop out. I came back determined and finally caught her in the back seat and pulled her out of the car. I nearly had to lift 55 lbs of wriggly dog out of the car, that certainly wouldn’t have been good for my back.


The moral of the story: your dog loves you and wants to be with you all the time.


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