Friday, December 30, 2011


This is the funniest video I found on You Tube. This is totally something we'd do to Mylie or Watson :-)


Friday, December 9, 2011

loving the snow!

Mylie and Watson love to play in the snow. She sits by the door and cries becuase she wants to play. Whenever I let her out she runs around, chases Watson, then he chases her, then she lays down in a pile of snow and shakes her whole body.

As I write this, she's looking out the window longingly and whimpering... "pleeeeeeeese Mom?? Can't I go out and play?"

Ok Mylie...... We'll go play.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Mystery Costco tree

Every year since as long as I can remember, my family has gone up to Rum River tree farm to cut down a fresh Christmas tree. It is an all day event because the Rum River tree farm is on the other side of the world (ok, just Anoka) The trees cost about $40 each, and lately we've been hard pressed to find one over 5 feet tall! We have all been disappointed with Rum River, so this year my brother Mike, (aka "Gooch") and his wife, Ericka, suggested we go to Costco. Costco?!

I'm all for change, and the trees were taller, Costco is about 5 minutes from our house, and they were only $29. Michael and I were totally on board. Save time and money? Heck yes. We still needed to make sure to have an "official" family tradition (for my brothers), but we decided to make a new one. My older brother, Mark, and his wife, Molly didn't attend this year. It was a combination of him being busy and him boycotting the tradition change- those Strickland boys don't do well with change. This tradition change was only acceptable because it was initiated by Gooch. If I had suggested it, it never would have been allowed. We'll get Mark and Molly to come next year :-)

Since we've never done the whole Costco tree thing, Gooch and Ericka wanted to get there bright and early at 9:30 when they started selling trees. They were afraid Costco would run out of all the good ones.  We quickly discovered that would not be an issue, they had a HUGE truck full. The thing about getting a Costco tree is that you can't see what it looks like. They are all wrapped up and shipped from North Carolina. You have to guess what it might look like. Gooch and Ericka asked for the biggest tree they had, and got a good 8 footer. Michael and I opted for a more conservative 7 1/2 footer, and my parents got a 7 footer. Michael and I were lucky ours wasn't taller, because we discovered that we have 8 foot ceilings, and the tree with the star just barely fits in our living room. After we all got our prize "mystery trees", We went back to Gooch and Ericka's house in Eden Prairie for hot chocolate and waffles.

While we were drinking hot chocolate, Gooch unwrapped his tree. Luckily it was the prettiest tree we'd all ever seen! Discount, mystery, Costco tree... Score! Michael and I had a very nice looking tree as well, and from what I hear, my parents is also very nice.

No Watson! You can't eat the tree!
When we brought the tree inside, Mylie and Watson instantly wanted to eat it. While we were getting the base ready, we found Watson gnawing at the top of the tree, yikes!

We gave in temporarily...
Michael and I put the tree up while we listened to Christmas music, the dogs chewed on part of the tree that we had cut off,  and Michael made Irish Coffee. Making Irish coffee is Michael's new talent. Ever since we went to San Francisco and visited the famous Buena Vista cafe where they claim Irish coffee was invented, Michael has been hooked. He makes his Irish coffee using the same recipe they do at Buena Vista in SF.

Michael, Gooch, and Ericka helped me choose which colors to decorate the tree this year. I was vetoed on all my great ideas.  A colored tree (too boring), only green/gold (too packers), only purple with gold (too Vikings), only blue (too Jewish...wait, a Jewish Christmas tree in an oxymoron...) and finally decided to just go with a neutral gold/silver theme on my tree this year, and I also decorated it with some dried hydrangeas from my back garden.

Now that the tree is up, I have to watch Watson closely because he thinks all the ornaments on the tree are toys for him, and the tree stand is a giant doggie water dish. Last year we gated off the tree entirely, but this year he's been pretty good about staying away after we scolded him the first few times.

He looks sweet, but shortly before this picture was taken he was trying to eat the ornaments.

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall clean up

This weekend we did a little fall clean-up, and Mylie and Watson helped....
...well, not really. They actually just played in the leaves, chewed on some sticks, chased each other around the lawn, and drank the water from the bird bath. 

Watson liked the leaf blower. He kept trying to get right in the path of the blower and try to catch the leaves as they blew around him. Mylie was not so excited about the leaf blower and avoided it at all cost. 

The puppies were not very good helpers, but they definitely make fall clean up more fun.

Happy fall!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Where are the Wuolletts?

We weren't going to dress them up this year, but Michael and I attended a halloween party on Saturday as Waldo and Wenda from Where's Waldo, so we decided to recycle our costumes on Mylie and Watson. (Wait.. who am I kidding, if I didn't already have costumes I probably would have bought them something.)

The Waldo costumes worked great. Watson was a champ. He just sat there completely still while I took photos. Mylie was extremely annoyed and it took a lot of treats to keep those glasses on her head.

Tonight they played in the kitchen while we handed out candy to the record 26 kids who came to our door. We have learned our lesson over the years. The first year we purchased full sized candy expecting over 100 kids. We had about 17. The next year we decided just to buy 70. We again had about 15. Last year we purchased 50 and had 13. This year we knew we'd get it right and bought 1 box of king sized Reeses. The kids who did come to the door were thrilled. In fact, they must have told their friends because this year, we had 26! Whoo hoo!!! However...the box only had 24. Michael ran frantically to the gas station to buy some extras, and I think he went a little overboard. He came home with another $50 worth of misc. king sized candy, and some extra candy for the neighbors who had also run out. After we had replenished our supplies, we only had 2 more kids (and it was the same 2 kids who had come earlier when I had run out).

Oh well. Next year we will buy 2 boxes, Hey- maybe next year we'll break 30! :-)

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A day at the apple orchard

Today we went to Minnetonka Orchards. They allow dogs, so Mylie and Watson got to come and enjoy the fun. Our whole young couple's church group was supposed to go, but we planned it very last minute, and a few of the couples who were planning to go had something come up, so it ended up being just Mike and me, and Ryan and Lindy. We had a great time.

Mike and Watson with Ryan and Lindy

 First we saw the chickens, lamas, and sheep. Mylie and Watson were quite intrigued, but then when Mylie got too close to the chicken and got her nose pecked, she was not amused.
"whoa, what IS that thing?"

"here little chicken!"

Right as Mylie is getting pecked by the chicken through the fence. She jumped back so fast, i'm shocked i got this photo.

family pic

Ryan and Lindy
We saw our friends Ryan and Katie and their two kids at the orchard and had lunch with them. They also go to Wooddale, and used to be in our young couple's class, but they just happened to be at the orchard today.
Lunch time! Apple brats, apple donuts, and apple cider with Ryan and Lindy and the Munsons
Mike was sad because they didn't have Harlson apples out yet. Those are his favorite. We bought some zestar apples, which are pretty good. We had planned to actually go and pick the apples today (because the's what you do at an apple orchard, right?) but we decided it would be easier to just buy the already picked ones.

We let the dogs eat an apple, it was pretty cute. We didn't let them eat the whole thing, but they had fun.

We had such a fun day! The weather was beautiful, it really feels like fall now though, which means soon it will be winter....BOO.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

He ate WHAT?

Today, Watson takes the prize for chewing stupid things. I had been home for about 5 minutes and the dogs were excitedly running around the house. I asked them to go find their ball so we could play, and Watson returns a few minutes later with the handle to my razor in his mouth. I immediately took it from him and realized that the 4 bladed razor head was missing. Michael and I stopped everything we were doing and frantically started looking for the razor. 

It started with us pinning Watson down and looking down his throat. Watson thought it was a game and tried to wrestle with us and give us kisses. There was no blood in his mouth, and no visible cuts. 

We searched every room and it was nowhere to be found. Just as I was starting to think he had indeed swallowed the 4 bladed razor head, I found it hiding under the bed in the guest bedroom. All four blades completely smashed up and the plastic casing completely torn apart. I seriously don't even know how he could manage to rip this apart! 

When will he learn!? Actually, I guess I should say when will we learn. This dog really will eat anything he can get his mouth around. That'll teach me not to leave my razors out within reach. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

The bird bath

My parents bought me a beautiful bird bath for my birthday last week.
I love it, but so do Mylie and Watson. It has been hard to explain to them that this bird bath is not for them!
Hey, Watson! Look what I found!!

Oh, fun! it is just our size

It was so nice of Mom and Dad to put a water bowl in the back yard,
and I don't even need to bend down to drink out of it!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Watson!!

It's Watson's 1st Birthday and he got to celebrate it at Doggie Day Care and with an ice cream party at home. 

The doggie day care even posted a special bday message and photo on their facebook page for Watson. Here are some bday highlights. 
Jumping into the pool at the Canine Club and Spa (Mylie is in the front- Watson in back)

Sharing a toy in the pool

What a fun day!

"Do I have to wear this silly hat?"
Birthday ice cream! 

mmmm....peanut butter flavor

Mylie loves ice cream

Happy Birthday Watson! You are 1!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Frog fun

The other night there was a green frog stuck to the sliding glass door. It was really hot outside and really cold inside, so I think the door maybe felt cool. He stayed there for a long time. The dogs were really intrigued. They stared at it for a long time, barked at it, and even licked the window.
Michael thought it would be fun to bring the frog inside, so I hesitantly agreed. This was a mistake, because this jumpy frog jumped from the sink, to the wall, to the toaster, to the spice rack... all while i'm screaming "AHH!! Get that thing out of my kitchen!!" Michael and Mylie were trying to catch it, (Mylie put her paws up on the counter and tried to catch it in her mouth- ick) and Watson sat in the middle of the floor and watched me have a fit, tilting his head at me as if to say "Mom, why are you yelling like a crazy lady?"

Michael finally caught the frog, and put him right where he was, and he stayed on the glass door for the rest of the night (well at least until we all went to bed). Watson and Mylie sat by the frog for about 30 minutes licking the window and staring at it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Corn cob update

Yesterday I blogged about Watson throwing up a second corn cob and how happy we were that this was all over. 

...or so we thought!

Watson was uncharacteristically snuggly last night and wanted to be next to us at all times. Then this morning he didn't want to eat, threw up what he had eaten, and proceeded to eat as much grass as he could outside. I just let him eat the grass knowing that his tummy must still hurt. 

We waited it out and he threw up yet again. 

At this point, I am late for work, and Michael is not feeling well either. (I told him he should try eating grass like Watson, but he didn't seem to think that would help :-) He decided to stay home so he could feel better, and that made me feel better about leaving Watson. 

The thing we were most worried about with Watson was his lethargy. He just wasn't himself. I called the vet from work and they said to bring him in. I got a second opinion from my co-worker who runs a dog rescue facility and she agreed that lethargy is a bad sign and he should be seen. Michael monitored him a bit longer and when he never got his energy back up, and threw up one more time, we knew something bad was happening.

The vet tested for peritonitis, which came back negative, then she did an x-ray and found that his stomach and small intestines were distended. that is very bad. That usually means an obstruction, which could mean emergency surgery. She gave him barium and monitored him throughout the rest of the day and did another series of x-rays to see how he had progressed. Finally, at about 7:00, we came in and saw Watson and the x-rays. The vet seemed optimistic because whatever was in his stomach had passed to his small intestine. The next step was to get from small intestine to large intestine, so she let us take him home. 

We have to bring him back int he morning, but the best news of all is that he passed another piece of corn cob tonight (we found it in the backyard). This is VERY good news, because at least a piece came through. There is one more piece we were monitoring on the x-ray, so we need to pray that passes tomorrow so he doesn't have to have surgery.

Poor Watson.

Michael and I feel terrible because this whole mess could have been avoided if we hand't left the garbage in his reach. We know he'll eat anything he can get his mouth around. We need to be more careful :-( 

He's sitting sweetly next to me on the kitchen floor as I write. Hopefully tomorrow everything works itself out and we don't need to go to surgery. 

There will be no more corn cobs eaten at our house! Even though the corn cost about $.19 to purchase, it has cost us over $700 so far getting it out of Watson. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Watson, corn cobs are NOT for eating!

On the 4th of July, we had our families over for a BBQ. There were like 16 people, and lots of food. As we were cleaning up, I caught Watson in the garbage. I managed to pull a corn cob out of his mouth. It had already gone partially down his throat and it looked like he was going to swallow it whole!

Later, I saw that he got into the garbage again!  I had put it away, but he found it. I got there just in time to see him finishing off a corn cob. I was shocked and very worried. I couldn't believe he would eat a whole corn cob. I didn't see him do it, but I saw the corn kernels on the ground, so I figured he had finished off the whole cob.

The next morning, Watson pulled the garbage down from the counter and we thought he might have eaten yet another corn cob. We weren't sure. (And yes, at this point we put the garbage in the garage)

I googled what happens when your dog eats a corn cob and read about many horror stories of dogs dying, dogs having very expensive and dangerous surgery, and dogs getting very sick.

We prayed that he'd be ok and the next evening he threw up the cob, almost whole. It was in 2 chunks, as if someone had broken it in half. We were very happy to see that, we joke that we didn't think we'd ever be so happy to clean up vomit.

We thought all was ok, until last week when he started to get sick again. Not throwing up sick, the other end... He had plenty of energy and seemed ok, he was just clearly not feeling well. In fact, last Thursday night he broke out of his kennel and got sick in 4 spots on the carpet.

After spending over 1 hour cleaning up the mess, I ran to target and bought which we now realize was a great purchase - a hand held steam cleaner and some super strength pet cleaning solution.

Tonight is where the story comes to a close. Watson always comes when I call him, but tonight he didn't. He was eating tall grass in the yard like a crazy dog. He was eating that grass so quickly, it should have been a sign to me. I know dogs eat grass when they are not feeling well to help them vomit.

About 30 minutes after I brought him in, Mylie and I were watching the Bachelorette (like we do every monday) and we heard Watson throwing up. Sure enough, he threw up a second corn cob! That cob has been in his stomach now for almost 3 weeks! It was disgusting. It looked like a soupy salad with 3 pieces of whole corn cob, and a bunch of green grass on top. (no, i did NOT take a picture)

We got to put that steam cleaner to good use again tonight. It may turn out to be one of the best purchases we've ever made :-)
"Sorry I made a big mess, mom!" 

We're just glad Watson is feeling better. No more corn, Watson!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Aren't they cute??

At work, Michael was chosen as the "3M spotlight of the week" and they asked him some goofy questions about his life and plans for the summer, and asked him for a fun picture. We took this one out on the deck with the dogs and his banjo, and I just had to post it here.  Aren't they cute!??

Michael and I this this picture totally shows the dog's personalities. Watson smiling with his tongue out, and Mylie looking all coy and sweet.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Swimming at the lake

It was a perfect day on Sunday, about 85 and sunny. The dogs wanted to play outside, but it was so hot we felt bad for them.

We decided to try to find a place to take them swimming. It is really difficult to find places along the lake that are "dog friendly". We live a couple blocks away from Lotus Lake, so we are a short walk away from a little beach, but we don't take them there when people are swimming.

There is a dirt path off the beach that goes around the lake, so we continued walking and found a little patch of sand just off the beach that was perfect for our swimming spot!

I packed some beverages, towels, and snacks in a bag which I hung from a tree (so the dogs wouldn't get it all wet and so they wouldn't eat our snacks.)

The dogs swam in circles and chased eachother, tried to eat the lilly pads, and brought us all the sticks they could find. We saw our neighbor, Marissa, at the beach and Mylie and Watson swam right up to her and gave her kisses.

Mylie and Watson LOVE swimming, and they slept like babies that night. We will definitely be swimming more often this summer at Lotus Lake!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Watson loves TV

Sometimes at night when Michael and I are watching TV in bed, a show comes on that really intrigues Watson and he just stares at the TV. It all started when I was watching some awards show and Mary J Blige came on TV in a sparkly outfit and was singing something. Watson sat up straight, stared at the TV and started to pant, to the beat of the music. It was hilarious! He pants all the time becuase he's always hot, but this time it was seriously to the beat of the music. He doesn't care for the Bachelorette or any other boring reality TV, but if the show has bright colors or music, he's hooked.

This week I was able to snap a photo of the mesmerized Watson with my phone camera. We were flipping through the channels and stopped on that Cat and mouse TV show, Ben and Jerry? I forget what it's called. Anyway, he couldn't take his eyes off it.  Funny dog....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend away

This past week I went to Chicago to stay with my friend Lauren. She and her husband had just relocated there from MN and also just had a baby. I went to visit the 2 week old baby and help her with house projects and keep her 15 month old enteratined as well. it was a busy time! Mike flew down on Friday and Lauren's husband, Jonathan, Mike, and I had a great weekend.

Mylie and Watson didn't come, of course- but they had their own wonderful weekend.

Mylie stayed with our favorite professor from grad school, Judy. Judy loves Mylie and has often said she would like to take Mylie for the weekend (but 2 dogs might be a little much for her). This was a perfect opportunity for us to take her up on her offer, because my parent's only like one dog at a time too, and they prefer Watson because he's a better runner, and absolutely LOVES my mom.

Mylie and Judy had a great time. Judy spolied her rotten. She took her on a few puppy play dates with neighbor dogs, brought her over to her daughter's house and they filled up a baby pool so their dogs could swim and play in the water, and she brushed Mylie every day. She even let Mylie sleep in bed with her. She said that every morning when she would open her eyes, Mylie would be standing over her staring at her as if to say "finally, lady! I thought you'd never wake up. Let's play..." We were surprised Mylie even wanted to come home yesterday.

Judy and me at my grad party
Watson had a great time with my parents. My mom said he was very well behaved and she took him running twice, and on 3 walks. Each run was 6 miles, which is quite a lot for the little guy! The most I've ever taken him is about a mile. He followed my mom around and sat on her feet whenever possible. He would sleep in his crate at night, but in the morning jump on my mom's bed to wake her up and snuggle. I also hear he woke up my little brother on Friday morning by tackling him and licking his face. Pretty typical for Watson.

I was so happy to see Mylie and Watson yesterday, but both of them were exhausted from all the fun they'd had.

Judy, Mom and Dad - Thank you so much for taking care of Mylie and Watson!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mylie and Watson are happy we are done with school

While Michael and I were in grad school, we often had Thursday night classes (plus one other night or sometimes Saturdays). This is why the puppies started going to day care on Wednesday, they would play and play and then be tired all day on Thursday and sleep. We wouldn't get home until around 10pm, but Amber (the neighbor) would let them out twice and feed them. I think they are going to be very happy to have us home around 6ish now every night of the week. 

Last night we had a big graduation party. I know it's not normal to have a big party after grad school, but I wanted one. Not a typical grad party, but a true celebration. We had a bartender, 2 caterers, and we had  catered chipotle and Buffalo Wild Wings.  I had been planning it since I started school, and every little detail of the party was something I planned during class when I was exhausted or worn out or wondering why I was putting myself through the torture of grad school, (ok, it was't that bad). 

Mylie and Watson didn't get to be outside for the party, until the end. 
They would have eaten everyone's chipotle and buffalo wild wings and cake for sure. In fact, today as we have been cleaning up, Watson has been going for the cake every chance he gets. I think Watson has a sweet tooth. Mylie goes for the boneless wings or ranch, but Watson is always going after the sugar. 

At the end of the evening when we were having a bon fire and most of the people (and the bartender) had left, we let the dogs out. My dad had brought glow sticks for everyone (if you know my dad, you'll know that this is hilarious, he is the most soft spoken, quiet, non-party guy) Mylie and Watson had their own glow stick necklaces and enjoyed the end of the party.

Now they can enjoy having us home more often since we are finally FINALLY done with school. It has been a good 3 1/2 years, and I can actually say I will really miss it. I will not miss all the time it took, nor the homework, bur I will miss the friends, and the professors, and learning something new every week.