Sunday, February 22, 2009


We have two dogs in our family: the dynamic (dastardly!) duo, Cupcake & Puddin'.

We bought Cupcake as a Christmas gift for our little family when Bri was 7 years old, Christine was about to turn 5 and Molly was a little more than 2. Cupcake is a Bichon Frise that apparently came from one of the more notorious puppy mills in Louisiana. As soon as I found this out, I submitted paperwork to the appropriate organizations to provide evidence that the guy running the place was still in business. I found this photo of the puppy mill's Bichon's online, so one of these dogs could be Cupcake's parents:

Anyway, out of those humble origins came our puppy.

This is Cupcake, shortly after she joined our family. We quickly realized that the traditional Bichon hairstyle was going to be too difficult to maintain, so Cupcake looks more poodle-like than Bichon-like. Bichon's are supposed to be in the 14-18 pound range... Cupcake has been weighing in at 20-24 pounds since she has to eat a special (fattening) food that prevents kidney & bladder stones, which she seems prone to getting.

A year after we bought Cupcake, we thought it might be a good idea for her to have a playmate... someone to keep her company while we were at work & school all day. As fate would have it, a woman with a surprise litter of English Springer Spaniel puppies was at the vet's office the day we had Cupcake in for shots. She had a few puppies left to find homes for and was only asking for reimbursement of the shots that the dogs had already been given... and that's how we came to own Puddin'.
So small and cute that she could fit inside the little hideout in the cat post. Below are Puddin's parents, Sassy & Jake. Puddin' looks just like Sassy, but weighs as much (or probably more!) than Jake.

Puddin' still sleeps draped over Cupcake... and Cupcake doesn't seem to mind at all.

Early in 2008 Puddin' developed a thyroid condition, causing her weight peaked at 75 pounds.

In the summer of 2006, Puddin' learned to swim... and now we can't keep her out of the pool! It's become one of her more annoying traits as she'll track water onto the ceramic tile floors of the sunroom, making things a little treacherous.

So, there they are... Cupcake & Puddin'.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I'll first introduce the singular member of the family: Crystal, our red-"headed" corn snake. I bought her a month or so before I turned 40, figuring that the girls should experience a variety of pets during their childhood... but mostly I bought her because snakes are interesting pets to have.

This is Crystal on August 19, 2007 the day we bought her. It took a little time for the girls to get comfortable with her. A few months ago, Crystal was big enough to start eating live feeder mice instead of frozen pinkies and fuzzies. Watching Crystal eat has become a favorite spectator sport in our house... popular with kids and cats alike.

The above is a photo of Crystal eating her first kill. The best part is when the mouse's tail is sticking out of Crystal's mouth like a piece of spaghetti. At the moment, Crystal eats 3 feeder mice every week, unless she's about to shed... which is another popular spectator sport, but one which we rarely can indulge in because Crystal frequently sheds at night.

The above photos are from January 2008, which was the first time we witnessed her shed. We were lucky to catch the whole process. She shed again during the day a couple of days ago and, again, we caught it pretty much from the start. Below is a short video I shot of Crystal wiggling her way out of her old skin.