Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Piper - What Is She??

We we adopted Piper, the rescue had her listed as a Border Collie/Husky mix. Every time I told people Border Collie mix, I got some version of this reaction: "Uh oh, you're going to have your hands full!" So I started doing a little research and read that along with being one of the smartest breeds, Border Collies are also one of the most often misidentified breeds. After watching this cute video we decided to have her DNA tested.

It was a quick 2 swabs of her cheek with a special q-tip thing, and then a couple of weeks before we got her results back.

Say Hello to Piper, the Husky-Malamute-Terrier-Spaniel mix!! We are calling her a HMTS (hum-tiss) for short. :)

They analyze three full generations of her DNA. Out of 8 great-grandparents, 3 were Siberian Husky and 1 was Alaskan Malamute. The rest of her ancestors were mixed breed, with Airedale Terrier and Field Spaniel being the strongest statistical likelihood. Additional breeds that may have contributed were listed as Boykin Spaniel, German Spitz, and Toy Fox Terrier, although those were at a lower detection threshold. Her predicted adult weight was 30-48 lbs (an admittedly wide range).

So there you have it! No Border Collie detected at all! Just a plain ol' HMTS.

BD and I were both surprised that she has that much Husky in her, because the Huskies we have seen have all been relatively large dogs. Piper is pretty small (currently around 30 lbs), and we're not really expecting her to get a lot bigger at this point. But it turns out that the small end of the Husky size range is 21" and 34 lbs, and I guess mixed with the smaller terrier/spaniel DNA, has resulted in our small, spunky girl!

When we found Kip as a puppy, our vet in Louisiana took one look at him and said he was a German Shepherd and Treeing Walker Coon Hound mix. We did a little bit of research and, judging by the pictures and the breeds' characteristic descriptions, that was exactly what he looked and acted like.We never thought twice about it; he was always a Shepherd/Hound mix to us. I do still think that was the majority of his genetic makeup, but now I'm wondering what else was floating around in there??!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Conversations at 2.5

MC, watching me put on makeup: I try-on your makeup?
LA: No, not today. We have to leave in just a few minutes for music class.
MC: Daddy wear your makeup?
LA: No, Daddy doesn't wear makeup.
MC: Why Daddy not wear makeup?
LA: Well, Daddy chooses not to wear makeup.
MC: Oh, Daddy like him face plain.


MC and BD are playing salon - she has a big tupperware bowl that she's using to "wash" his hair. I come in the room, so I'm the next client in her salon. I lie down and put my head in the bowl.

MC: Oh my gosh! You have a lot of hair!


The moment I realize I may have taken the monogramming habit a little too far:

MC, looking down at her shirt: Oh no!! There's no M on here!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Piper - Settling In

Piper's been home and healthy for about 6 weeks now, and she's fitting in quite nicely around here. She was officially cleared from her Parvo virus during the first week in January.

She's finding a few favorite spots around the house and getting comfortable.

She started puppy school a couple of weeks ago. We take her once a week for a couple hours; it's a 6 week course with a certified dog trainer. 

So far she's learned focus, sit, down, and puppy push-ups. I am very much looking forward to the loose-leash walking training because trying to walk her on a leash is a little like trying to walk while tied behind a pick-up truck going 30mph. She is deceptively strong for her small size.

She is full of puppy energy but still remains relatively gentle and is very patient with MC's attempts to give her hugs and/or pick her up. We've had a few growing pains as we adjust from years with an older dog to months with no dog to now having a puppy and a toddler in the same house, but overall we are really glad to have her here with us.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pictures! (Dec 2014 - Jan 2015)

Here are some recent pics of our girl; MC is 2.5 in these pics.

Fried fish supper for New Year's Day.

Our standing Monday plans: Mama buys groceries and MC has lunch from the samples at the grocery store.

Carolina b-ball date night!

Pigtails and overalls...that's what toddlerhood is made of.

S'mores to celebrate New Year's Eve. At 6pm.

Taking advantage of a warm, sunny winter day by finger painting on the driveway.

Decorating cupcakes for BD's 35th birthday.

Taking a break while playing outside on a wet, cold winter afternoon.

Pancake topped with peanut butter and blueberries, and colby jack cheese slices - yummy lunch!

Taking a mama/daughter selfie.

MC working on "setting boundaries" with Piper. MC has been watching BD and me as we practice Piper's training from puppy school. (Piper ignores the food even though it is on the floor because MC has established a boundary; Piper makes the connection that the food is not hers to eat.)

Playing Kindermusik with one of her baby dolls.

Having afternoon tea and cookies.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Pictures! (Fall 2014)

It's been a long time since I've uploaded pics from my phone! Here are some pics of our girl from last fall; MC is 2 years old in these pics.

Playing on a shady playground on the last hot days of fall.

Pizza lunch as a treat after the flu shot.

Attentive parenting at its finest.

Her first UNC basketball game of the season.

(Washable!) Watercolor painting gone awry.

Blueberry carnage.

Future handywoman in the making!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Christmas with a toddler was so fun!! She's been telling us that Santa says "Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!" and pointing out pictures of Santa whenever she saw them.

December 25, 2014

She didn't quite get into all the excitement this year, but she did understand that Santa (who lives at the mall, according to her) brought her some presents and put them under the Christmas tree.


The guitar was a huge hit. We have a Laurie Berkner DVD, and anytime we watch it, she pretends to play the guitar just like Laurie. Her Kindermusik teacher also plays the guitar, and she is fascinated with it.

Her other favorite gift was a digital camera. She sees me take a lot of pictures, and she uses several of her toys as a pretend camera, so we figured she would enjoy having a camera of her own. It takes real pictures and has a screen on the back where you can preview the pictures - just like Mama's camera!

Her stocking was filled with art supplies - paint, markers, stamps (all washable ink!)...

a flashlight...

and a book of temporary tattoos!

Santa brought Piper some new toys and an elk antler.

Later in the day we had to improvise a strap for her guitar because her hands aren't yet big enough to hold the guitar and strum.

We had a fun Christmas, and now we're looking forward to a whole week of family fun while Daddy's off work!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Conversations at 2.5

LA: MC, you're my favorite.
MC: No, I'm not...I'm MayMay!


LA: How did you get so cute?
MC: I'm not so cute!
LA: You're not? Why not?!
MC: I'm still wearing my jammies!


Lately she's been very interested in everyone's 'real' names. So we've been talking about how she calls me Mama but my 'real' name is LA, and Daddy's 'real' name is BD.

MC: My name not MC; my name LA.
LA: Your name is LA? Then what's my name?
MC: Your name BD.
LA: Then what is Daddy's name?


MC: What Piper's last name?
LA: It's A_______.
MC: Oh! Just like mine!


MC: (after saying something funny) Dat joke, Mama. MayMay funny girl.


Often I tell her "Everybody ____ sometimes." Fill in the blank with 'falls down' or 'spills milk' or whatever she's upset about at the moment. So recently, we're in the car...

MC: Why we not moving, Mama?
LA: There's a traffic jam - a bunch of cars stopped up here for some reason.
MC: Oh! We moving again!
LA: Yep, all the traffic cleared up.
MC: Everybody clear up sometimes!