Belated Birthday

So you are now all acquainted with what Chinese New Year is like in the Powell household, but I neglected to tell you about the other celebration that was held!

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It was somebody’s birthday on Saturday, and being the crazy dog lady that I am, you know I couldn’t NOT make something of it! Fair warning: there are about to be a lot of pictures of some really cute dogs coming up.

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It was a true puppy party! Daxter had the support of big bro Harry…

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… as well as cousin Oreo to help him ring in the big 0-2!

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Equipped with a giant rawhide from his aunt and cousin (which he immediately trotted away with) and a Busy Buddy from Harry and me, I think that he made out pretty well!

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I picked up some pupcakes for the birthday gang from Dogma Bakery, and I think the rest of the photos will speak for themselves. Call me crazy if you like, but this ish makes me happy, okay? And I like to think that it made the birthday boy happy too. 😉

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So put my mind at ease: am I the only crazy person who does this kind of birthday celebration for her pets? And do you judge me for it? I mean, even if you do, it’s not like it’ll stop me in the future. I’m just curious, hahaha.

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Oh, he’s definitely judging me. But I don’t care. 🙂

Shave and a Haircut

Two bits!

So my hair appointment isn’t until this afternoon (the results of which I’m sure you will be waiting for with baited breath!), but there were a couple others that did get their hair, uh, did yesterday! As with any good makeover story, allow me to share with you the befores:

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Eyes? Who needs eyes?

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The hobo look is so hot right now.

Harry and Daxter received LONG overdue haircuts last night, and they’ve never looked better! Because getting two dogs professionally groomed is so expensive, I try to maintain their haircuts on our own and only go for a full-out groom a few times a year. Despite a few not-so-successful self-grooming attempts at first, we’ve actually gotten pretty good at it! That said, it is still nice to see them so sharp, dapper, and above all, CLEAN — as only a pro can do it. Voila!

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I hate you for doing this to me.

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But damn it if I don’t look good.

Sorry if this is a little more for those of you (crazies) who may not be as canine-inclined as me, but c’mon. They’re pretty cute, right?

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Actually, I just traded in Daxter for a brand new dog.

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Harry, on the other hand, is pretty much the same. Only cleaner.

You know, between the torturous grooming sessions, the number of sweaters I make them wear, and the amount of time they spend in front of a camera, they really do put up with a lot. Aside from their cuteness, their tolerance is hands-down the number one reason why they are so awesome.

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Whoops, you blinked!

Now, the pupsters getting their haircuts on, of course, made me think about my own looming groomery. I have an appointment with hair dresser to the stars, Sarah, who saved me from a horrid self-haircut a year and a half ago (though apparently I haven’t learned my lesson, since I keep cutting my own bangs anyway, haha) and has never steered me wrong. I’m trying to maintain the self-control necessary to grow my hair back out, but since my hair is starting to teeter dangerously on mullet territory, I definitely need a trim.

Enter the most incredibly awesome waste of $1.99 ever: the Hairstyle app!

Through the magic of the iPhone (and my knack for buying unnecessary things), I have now discovered many new looks for myself, and a new way to feed my self-obsession! You get the gist, of course: you take a picture of yourself, line up the hair, and get to play with multiple styles and colors for a full head MAKEOVER! Wheeee! To my surprise, some of the looks were actually fairly realistic and doable…

Some were slightly more far-fetched (and make me really anxious to grow my hair out for reals!)

And some are just wrong on various levels.

And yes, that last one is what I would look like with Snooki hair…

… and Ginnifer Goodwin hair… and Ariel hair. Kekeke.

ANYWAY. The point is that I’m not really sure how my hair is going to end up post-haircut today, but it’s fun to experiment. Also, the app is obviously way, way too much fun. But hey, since I ask for your guys’ advice on pretty much everything else, I’d love to hear your opinions on how I should have my hair cut during this in-between, still-growing phase! Do I cut it into a new style? Just have her even it out so it can grow (this seems like a boring option). Thoughts?

Some Boots Ain’t Made for Walkin’

So, Christmas came a little bit early this year for someone.

Pugz Line 'em up

For who, you ask?

Booties

Why, for ME, of course! BWAHAHAHA.

Li'l Booties

Aren’t they amazing?

I hate you.

Yes, I bought Pugz for Daxter. They were meant to be his Christmas present, but I just couldn’t keep them under wraps. (Badoom-ching!)

Rage. Closeup

I’m pretty sure he’ll hate me forever. Worth it.

Harry in Boots

Don’t worry, Harry got in on the action for a little while, too. I’m an equal-opportunity schnauzer exploiter. (They really are good dogs to put up with me, aren’t they?)

Really? Why me?

And in case the above photo-showcase wasn’t enough to horrify delight you, please enjoy the following video of Daxter trying to walk in them. (Click through to view the video if you’re reading this in email!)

Happy Friday!

Homecoming (Giveaway!)

Look who’s back!!

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Daxter is back home after his stay at the hospital and is on the road to recovery!

He’s still sleepy and having some, er, backend issues, but it’s nowhere near as bad as before. In fact, the doctor said that it is normal, and the main thing is to make sure he can eat, drink, and keep his meds down. He actually has a really good appetite, which I am beyond thrilled about since he had lost 2 whole pounds! And while two pounds is not generally a lot for someone like me, to a 17 pound dog it is a big effing deal. As long as that’s the case — and so far so good (knock on wood) — he is definitely on the up and up. $1,800 well spent, and I really do say that without a trace of irony (and luckily, thanks to pet insurance I’ll be getting a large chunk of it back.)

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Phew.

All I can really say is this: you know that emotional roller coaster I am constantly referencing was talking about? Well, hopefully this is the last loop-de-loop on that ride. I am SO ready to get off. And I’m sure that you are all ready to move on to happier things too! Can you tell how much my mood has already improved?

Now, due to the many hours that were spent at the emergency vet clinic, lack of sleep, and dehydration due to crying (don’t bother acting as though you’re shocked), I don’t really have much to talk about today. So for now, let’s just revel in the fact that it looks like Daxy is going to pull through. In fact, let’s revisit all the things that I said I’m thankful for last week, and put Daxter’s recovery as number one with a bullet.

While today’s post might not have too much going on, be forewarned/get excited for all the festiveness that is about to come. It is officially CHRISTMAS SEASON (slash whichever holiday you’ll be celebrating: Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus, etc.) and that means cookies will be baked, decorations will be hung, and dogs will be clothed. What, you think a little life-threatening sickness was going to get Daxter out of sweater season? Ha! Think again.

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Oh, and don’t think you’re being spared of this fate either, Harry.

What you looking at, fella?

And okay, so I lied about there being absolutely nothing of interest in this post for you. In fact, if you’ve made it this far there’s something fun, festive, and most importantly (as always) FREE! In order to celebrate Daxter’s momentous-ish homecoming, the impending holiday, and just because I like you, I have a giveaway for you!

My awesome graphic designer Bailey (who designed my logo, header, and sweet business cards!) just launched her new business, think pretty, ink. She has a line of adorable, personalized holiday card designs, and is offering a free holiday card design to one lucky winner!

Ways to enter (leave a separate comment back here for each thing!):

1. Check out think pretty, ink.‘s Etsy page and comment on which design is your favorite (and don’t let the models in the example above bias you, hehe.)

2. Like think pretty, ink. on Facebook!

3. Blog/tweet/facebook about this giveaway! Make sure to reference @shrinkinggretch (Twitter) or my fan page (Facebook) and link back to this post! (Short link: http://bit.ly/sFe0Fu)

I will be randomly drawing a winner on Friday, December 2nd, so get your entries in and your list of holiday-card-worthy recipients ready! It’s going to be a grrrrreat day!

Update: And the winner is…

Sara L.! Congratulations! Email me and I’ll put you in touch with Bailey. Happy Holidays!

Highs and Lows

Happy (?) Monday, everyone! I hope everybody survived their holiday weekend unscathed and with only an extra 10 or 12 pounds around their waists (heh.) Surprisingly, I’m actually glad to get into a bit of normalcy over the next week or so. Until the craziness of the next holiday settles in, that is. Not that this unusual for me, as you are all painfully aware, but even with all of the Thanksgiving festiveness, the past week has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. Ups and downs, highs and lows, it’s been a trip. Here are just some examples of each:

Feast!

High: The socially accepted binge that is Thanksgiving Dinner.

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Low: Not getting to spend Thanksgiving with my family (fur-family excluded).

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High: Completing 7.02 miles in preparation for the 15K coming up on Saturday (!!!)

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Low: How sore I already am, less than 24-hours later. And I only actually ran for half of it. Also a low? Seeing the race course and elevation map:

WHY SO HILLY?! Just kill me now. Ow.

High: The amazingness that is The Muppets Movie. Seriously, go see it right now. Mah-na mah-na.

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Low: Coming home post-movie to a sick puppy. Not that you need the specifics, but let’s just say my night — and day — included more than one messy clean-up. 🙁

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Extra Low: My sick puppy continuing to be sick, waking up every half-hour Saturday night to check for anything that may have spewed from either end, and, after 24+ hours of vomiting and diarrhea, finally making the decision to take him to the emergency vet at 10 PM last night. Prognosis? Undetermined, of course. It could be any number of things: upset stomach, parasites, blockage, gastrosomethingitis… They wanted to keep him overnight and IV-this and X-ray-that but even with my awesome pet insurance my monetary situation forced me to stay on the conservative side here. Which makes me feel like a horrible pet parent just saying so, but you know me: any sign of worsening or further trouble and I’ll be speeding (literally!) straight back to the Hope Center. But for now, at least my $585.00 procured a few meds and instructions for taking care of my little guy. Therefore, I’ll be playing the roll of Doggy Nurse today and hopefully things will go smoothly… for both of us.

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So, yeah… with all that, I’ve been doing some (more) emotional yo-yoing. And while mentally I know that Daxter is going to be okay, it’s still very worrisome. Oh, plus there’s the fact that I’m running on approximately 85 minutes hours of sleep thanks to getting home at 1:45 AM from the Doggy ER and Daxter’s frequent trips outside. I’m sure that my emotional instability will only continue to worsen as time goes on… and as I get closer and closer to Saturday’s race. For the latter, I know I just need to keep telling myself that I just need to FINISH the race: time be damned, pace be damned, other people’s opinions be damned. Right?

…right?