Category Archives: My dog Sandy

Back to school

Today was my first day of class at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where I am pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a concentration in Aerospace Logistics. Assuming I am able to stay on track with my class schedule, I plan to complete the program in sixteen months.

It is normally a two-year program, and can be completed in one year if one is so inclined, but sixteen months has a nice ring to it.

Puppy Mission Rescue

We frequently hear stories about how our returning soldiers often struggle with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and yet very little (if anything) on the small things in life that mean so much to these brave men and women. So when I saw a story today about The Puppy Mission Rescue I knew I needed to blog about it.


Two dogs
My dog is a 3-year old Golden Retriever/Yellow Labrador mix female named Sandy and my roommate’s dog is a 2 year old Standard Poodle male named Max. They both sleep in my bedroom at night; Sandy typically lies on my bed for a few minutes before settling on the floor where she prefers to sleep while Max has taken over the right side of my bed and moves around throughout the night. The other night I walked into my bedroom and he was already settled on my bed with a toy between his paws. I wish I had taken a picture of his because he looked so adorable.

I don’t speak dog, and neither of them speaks English, and yet we communicate with each other constantly and in real time. We play with each other, we enjoy nighttime walks together, we play jokes on each other, and we sit close to each other or position ourselves so that there is physical contact between us. Regardless of how crazy or stressful life is I always know  Sandy and Max have my back.

Now imagine that you suffer from PTSD and the only one that can reach you and anchor you is a stray dog that you befriended on a remote military base in a dusty foreign country. Imagine finishing your tour of duty and heading home but having to leave the dog behind to face an unknown future and potential death. If you are a dog lover then you already understand where this is going. If you’re not, spend some time reading the stories and testimonials on The Puppy Mission Rescue website and you will.


Today is Sandy’s birthday!

Today is my dog Sandy’s birthday! She turns 3 years old today.

Sandy on my bed on her 3rd birthday

Sandy on my bed this morning

From 10 months to 3 years
When Sandy and I first met she was around 10 months old. She was a rescue, and her name wasn’t my first choice, but it suited her coloring so I stuck with it. I was initially hesitant about bringing her into my home and becoming her pet parent because I had little experience beyond playing with other people’s pets while visiting but I was ready to take that step in my life, and she seemed to like me, so it seemed the right thing to do at the time. It was initially weird to come home each evening and be greeted by her and her brother (my roommate had become a pet parent less than a week before Sandy moved in and I was still getting used to that change) and add dog hugs, a potty break, dog dinner, and poop pick-up to my more usual evening routine. I laugh now when I remember standing outside waiting for both dogs to “go potty” before bedtime but then it was serious business – installing the dog door sometime later was definitely a good idea.

The first time I bathed her was an odd experience for both of us – the tub in my bathroom seemed like a logical choice but, after she jumped out while soaking wet, the shower became the next logical bathing location. I was a nervous wreck on our first vet visit but the staff at Family VetCare here in Chandler are very welcoming and engaging and our vet Dr Travis Wodiske is wonderful with dogs. I was a nervous wreck on our first visit to the local bark park – I wasn’t totally convinced that she would come to me when it was time to leave but she did. Our first walks together were less walks together and more her dragging me around the neighborhood on a leash. That was also how we navigated the PetSmart store each Saturday during basic training classes until I finally got a handle on how to establish myself as the dominant one in our relationship.

my bed on her 3rd birthday

Chilling out because it was cold and rainy this morning, which is unusual for the Chandler area

Sandy and I have come a long way together since our first meeting. I love that she lies on my bed at night and greets me first thing in the morning. I love how she thumps the floor with her paw and tail to indicate when she wants a tummy rub. I love how she occasionally spreads her food on the floor, even though it makes a mess. I love how she gnaws on a hard plastic toy when she gets really excited about something. I love how she runs outside when she hears an ambulance siren and howls in sync with it. I love how she came by just now to say hi before running outside again.

In the 2 years and 2 months that we have been together she has matured, I have matured and, while we’re not yet finishing each other’s sentences, I often know exactly what she is thinking. She’s a wonderful dog and I love her dearly. Happy birthday Sandy!

my bed on her 3rd birthday

Just chilling out this morning on my bed


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Need a break? Walk a dog!

Need a break in your busy day, or just need a different perspective every now and then? If you answered yes, then you should walk a dog.

Not just for exercise
With two young (3 years old and 2 ½ years old) and energetic dogs in my house, I initially saw our nightly walks as a distraction to my evening activities. I had email to read and reply to, new email to compose, product ads to post, a website to maintain, phone calls to make etc. and having to switch gears and strap on leashes , grab a supply of poop bags, my cell phone, and then get dragged out the door with two excited dogs. It may be needed exercise for them but it was a nightly chore for me. Until I started noticing that the benefits of the nightly activity was not just for exercise.

A dog’s take on a walk
Both dogs have very different opinions when it comes to walks. My dog Sandy sees it as a social activity. She likes to stroll along checking out the different scents that she encounters. When she detects one that interests her, she likes to backtrack and investigate it a little more, regardless if the pursuit of the scent drags her dad through bushes or deep into someone’s lawn. My roommate’s dog Max, on the other hand, tends to be very focused on the walking activity. Other than stopping to urinate at his usual spots he is all about getting exercise. His sister’s start-and-stop walking style clearly annoys him but occasionally he will join her and attempt to assist with her scent investigation.

Other dogs must be barked at, regardless of whether they are also out exercising with their pet parents or barking behind a secured fence or wall. Cats must be chased at all costs. Standing pools of water must be walked in. Any dog-less human encountered on a walk must be treated with suspicion; barking at such humans is always an appropriate reaction.

Second layer of canine activities
A second layer of canine activities happens on a walk. It’s fascinating to walk both dogs interact together as they jostle for the prime sniffing spot. Sometimes one yields to the other and other times the winner does so purely by brute force. On occasion they work together to attempt to trip their pet parent or tangle the leashes at the very least. Their continuous body language speaks volumes and it is fun to watch how they communicate with each other, and to me, as the walk progresses.

Brain downtime
During these walks I get some exercise, fresh air (at least as fresh as one can get while walking in a suburb), and some welcome brain downtime, and I return to my laptop refreshed and energized to continue working. For their part, the two dogs drink some water and then settle down for a nap; apparently dragging the human out of the house and around the neighborhood is tough work.

What is your experience with walking one more dogs simultaneously? Comment below and let me know.

I’m an Independent Brand Partner of Nerium™ International, I’m eliminating my wrinkles and fine lines effortlessly with NeriumAD, and you’ll always find great information about NeriumAD and Nerium™ International at my website:

Is this dog art?

My dog Sandy has a weird habit of dropping food on the carpet when she eats meals but with dinner last night she took the habit in a whole new direction.

Dog food dog food everywhere
When she eats, she often takes a mouthful of food, walks a few steps away from the food bowl, and then drops the mouthful of food on the carpet. Sometimes she will then eat it before going back to the bowl for the next mouthful and to repeat the process while other times she will leave the dropped food where it fell on the carpet and return to the bowl for another mouthful and to repeat the process. It’s something she has done for as long as I’ve been her dad, and it’s kinda fun to watch her do it.

The interesting part is that she only does this occasionally; usually she will eat directly from the bowl without spreading food everywhere. Her brother Max has picked up the habit from her but thankful doesn’t do it that often; usually he prefers to play the role of the vacuum and eat the dropped food that she ignores, eschewing the other bowl of food completely. It’s like a well-rehearsed comedy routine between the two of them.

Was she creating art with her dinner?
Both of then had mostly ignored the food bowls last night at dinner but later in the evening Sandy started eating. I was watching a rerun of “The Big Bang Theory” so wasn’t paying attention to her. But then I looked over and she had dog food everywhere! The pictures below don’t do the scene justice or show the scale of how much food she had dropped over such a large portion of the family room carpet.

Dog food on the living room carpet

Sandy dropped dinner all over the living room floor last night instead of eating it

Food on the family room carpet

This is what the family room carpet looked like last night once Sandy got done distributing food everywhere

She wasn’t inclined to pick it up either, and Max wasn’t around to eat any of it, so I got down on the floor and started collecting it. She started taking the food out of my hand as if she was going to eat it and then began dropping it back on the floor again.

That got old fast.

Breakfast this morning
I was intrigued by what would happen at breakfast this morning and she didn’t disappoint – check out the video that I shot of her this morning dropping food on the carpet in the family room again. The other dog in the video is Max, and you’ll see him doing his vacuuming routine later in the video.

Have you ever seen a dog do something like this with their food before? Comment below and let me know.

I’m an Independent Brand Partner of Nerium™ International, I’m eliminating my wrinkles and fine lines effortlessly with NeriumAD, and you’ll always find great information about NeriumAD and Nerium™ International at my website:

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