Introducing Homie BarkyBottoms, the newest addition to our family! I love dogs. I’ve grown up with dogs as a kid, walked dogs in college, and had roommates who owned amazing dogs. I’ve always wanted my own dog and I’m overjoyed to finally have one.
I apologize I didn’t bring you a recipe this week. I made a spiced gingerbread loaf but it didn’t turn out. The taste of the loaf was meh and the glaze didn’t pair well. I won’t post a mediocre recipe just for the sake of it. I baked peanut butter cookies this week, buuuuuuuuuuut
Kieran and I ate them all. So, I won’t be sharing the cookies either.
Since I don’t have any recipes to share, I’ll introduce you to our new fur ball baby, Homie Barkybottoms.
I’ve wanted a big dog for as long as I can remember but I didn’t possess the most important elements of dog ownership (space, time, and money) until now. During my tenure in Chicago, I lived in a cramped 800 square foot condo with no backyard. Now I live in a 2,000 square foot house with a fairly large backyard! Plus, I’m unemployed so instead of being away from the house at work all day, I have ample time to train and play with my puppy!!
Kieran and I began our dog search on petfinder.com to find our Homie. On Petfinder, we came across an adorable puppy through the adoption group Lucky Paws Rescue. I emailed Lucky Paws and asked if the puppy was still available. They told me the little guy had been adopted by another family that morning. I asked if they would send me the adoption prescreening paperwork so I could get the ball rolling, they happily obliged. Two days later they sent me an email (with the 2 pictures posted below) asking if I had any interest in adopting her.
I freaked the fuck out, knowing instantly this was Homie. I immediately forwarded the email to Kieran to see if we could adopt her. He instantly emailed back gushing about how cute she was. I replied back to Lucky Paws saying I was dying to meet her so they arranged a meeting at a Petco the following day.
The following day was a doozy, I lost my job. I figured losing my income meant losing out on the new puppy, but Kieran didn’t care, he wanted a dog as badly as I did!! We drove 2 hours to meet the adorable 2 1/2-month-old fur baby. We arrived at Petco early so we killed time by wandering around the store. Suddenly, in walks a woman holding a puppy. We locked eyes and she smiled at me. I’m pretty sure I erupted into a happy dance in the middle of Petco. 30 minutes later we officially adopted Homie Barkybottoms and were ready to take her home.
That is, ready to go home after we purchased puppy supplies. We set Homie down in the cart while we shopped. Kieran snapped the photo below.
Owning a puppy has been rewarding and immensely challenging. I adore Homie most days but other times I think what the fuck did I get myself into. I’ve trained other dogs in the past but it’s been years since doing so. To brush up on my training skills I did some research and discovered Zak George, a dog trainer who specializes in using positive reinforcement techniques. We taught Homie how to “sit” “stay” “lay down” and “leave it” within a couple of days of her adoption. Zak has hundreds of free YouTube videos teaching tricks and behavioral training to every dog breed you can imagine. If Homie becomes difficult we’ll watch and re-watch videos to get a better handle on her behavior. Homie has her challenging moments but overall she’s an amazing puppy.
We crate train Homie and we’re lucky she took to it immediately. The first night we brought her home (pictured directly below) she slept in her crate without making a peep. She usually goes to sleep in her crate around 9-10pm and sleeps soundly until 6-8am. During the week I crate her from 9-12pm then from 2-5pm even though I’m still unemployed. We also crate her anytime we leave the house for a couple of hours to run errands. The crate training helped with potty training, it developed a consistent schedule for Homie, and it allows me to work on Shock Munch and projects around the house without having to supervise her.
I look forward to when Homie Barkybottoms can sleep in our bed and be left unattended in the house, but for now, I rest easy knowing she loves her crate.
Our little Homie is growing rapidly. We brought her home 2 months ago and she’s already tripled in size! I miss how little Homie was but I enjoy seeing her grow. Before you know it, Homie will be a 60-80 pound dog. I’m looking forward to
strapping on a saddle and riding her around the house owning a large doggie.
Socializing Homie has been relatively easy since our friend owns a new puppy too. Their dog, Coyote, gets along famously with Homie, so we try to get together for a playdate once a week. Homie has played with an array of other dogs too, she’s been amazing with them. Our vet told us to focus on one-on-one playdates for now, but soon we’ll be taking her to dog parks. I can’t wait.
We additionally socialize Homie by taking her to The Bucket Brigade once a week. The bar staff has been amazing towards us and we’ve met the nicest people there. The bar allows dogs in their enclosed patio so we’re able to take Homie off leash to mingle. Everyone we’ve met just adores her. I drop a pile of treats in the middle of the table where everyone’s sitting so people can take turns getting Homie to do tricks or basic commands.
Every time we visit The Bucket, patrons of the bar ask us the same 3 questions.
- How old is Homie? The answer is (currently) 5 months old.
- What type of dog is she? Homie is mostly German Shepherd but is mixed with Chow Chow, mountain dog, and terrier.
- Why did I name her Homie Barkybottoms? So I can say Homie don’t play that when she doesn’t perform a trick for someone.
The best part about The Bucket Brigade? It’s located directly across the street from our front yard so if Kieran and I get tipsy, neither of us have to drive home!
I think the hardest part about owning Homie, at this point, is not being able to go hiking or snowshoeing with her yet. Our vet warned us to not over exercise her. Homie is growly so rapidly if we over exercise her growing joints it could cause health problems for her when she’s older.
We’ve taken Homie on short hikes that last an hour, but our longer 3-4 hour hikes will have to wait. I’m eager to take her camping, hiking, backpacking, and snowshoeing. Homie’s going to blow her little mind when she sees what’s in store for her. The night we adopted Homie we had a 2-hour drive back home. I vividly remember kissing her little head whispering I’m going to give you the most amazing life. I’m impatiently waiting for her to grow up a little bit more so she can finally experience it. Soon Homegirl, soon!
I’ll leave you with the final picture of Homie below. We finally own a home large enough to have a Christmas tree! The Christmas lights we purchased make weird light patterns on the floor, wall, and ceiling. Kieran attempted to capture those lights in a picture when Homie Barkybottoms photobombed the photo at the last second 😀
I’ll be back to posting about food next week, thanks for stopping by!