It’s COOP day!

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To know me for a while is to recall how I used to be the CRAZZZY DOG LADY.

It all began with our black lab, Barkley.

We loved us some Barkley and yet he didnt seem as happy as he could be.

He seemed lonely.

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sad sad puppy face.

So, once he demonstrated he was responsible enough to care for a pet (I kid. I kid),  we bestowed upon Barkley a puppy.

A companion.

A (longstoryshort) bullmastiff from AFRICA.

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note the thick rope of drool…

I brought these two creatures everywhere.

Walking. Driving. Hanging out.  I was never sans two furry, drooly, crazy canine companions.

If youd asked me back then how I found my weight training motivation Id have answered by pointing to the Dynamic Dog Duo.

I needed to be STRONG or Id have been overthrown as pack leader, relegated to sleeping in the kennel & forced to able around Chapel Hill on lead.

We three were a team.

We looked out for each other. 

We slooooowed down when one of us was injured or just not feeling up to par.

We’d lick each others faces when we had writers block and an article was due in an hour.

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This one tore his ACL.  TWICE.

After the arrival of the Tornado my love for the canines grew as I witnessed *her* doggie affection.

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she oft mistook this one for a pony.

Her very first word was, in fact, DODDIN.  The Tornado-version of the word dog.

Our shared love of the Doddin bled over into my creative life, too.

As I watched the duo frolic & play—two characters were born.

One a nervous, fastidious and, in my mind, obsessive numbers crunching accountant-type:

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The other a loveable lug whose sweetness eclipsed his lack of….raging intellect:

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The pair was inseparable in picture book writing as in life.

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guess who had a toothache he tried to ignore?


Years passed and both canines went to the great dog park in the sky (pour out some dogfood for our fallen homies).

Memories lingered of lessons learned yet I was not ready for another dog/to start the cycle again.

Until now.

We’ve researched.

We’ve negotiated amongst ourselves.

We’re bring our new dog, Coop—who we met last week—home *today.*

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a mildly nervous COOP & TORNADO


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(photo credit Tornado)


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And with that Im off.

We’re off.

It’s the last day of school (I know. We shall totally be discussing this one over coffee…) and the FIRST DAY of Coop’s new life with us.


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a face this misfit does love.


  • Any *overall* dog-tips for this onetime crazy canine lady whos probably forgotten alot?
  • Any HOUSE TRAINING reminders for a misfit who hasnt done that in eons?
  • Boxer owners? Boxer lovers? Any breed-tidbits I need to know?



many many many thanks to all of you who helped me figure out what breed was best for our family.  your patience was never ending…


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  1. says

    Awww cute!

    Overall dog tips: don’t tolerate anything now that you won’t want to tolerate later. E.g. jumping on people, licking faces, begging for food, etc.

    House training: a crate helps (for short periods of time in the beginning). The dog has a drastically lower chance of having an accident when in the crate (e.g. long enough for you to prep and have supper)

    We had a boxer growing up. They are hyper but adorable! I would do some early puppy training to make sure walking on a leash is gonna be okay (without crazy pulling). And exercise. Lots of exercise. Daily.

    Have fun! :-)

  2. says

    ahhhhhhhhhhh! I’m so so so so so (so x’s 1000) happy for you! Coop is adorable. I’m sure boxers are like bulldogs and you gotta keep those wrinkles clean!!

  3. says

    Oh Miz, he’s adorable. Such a sweety! I hope you all have so many happy times ahead of you with Coop (great name).

    I don’t have many tips. We were so lucky with Bella when she came to us as a pup. She never broke anything or chew on anything, she was a fast learned for the puppy pee training. We were really lucky.

    Have fun! And please keep posting pics because I love dogs.

  4. says

    good luck!! this is so awesome and i know how excited tornado is!! i’ve always thought boxers were such cool dogs. we just have a little 8 pound furball haha

  5. says

    Yeah for becoming a crazy dog lady again! we adopted our “senior dog” about 5 years ago and have loved her every day she’s been here. She’s a great addition to our family.

    Dogs love veggies and if you ever have trouble with weight, substitute dog treats for carrots and green beans (in their dog bowl of course). :)

  6. says

    May Coop bring you many years of joy! My best advice? Training, training, training. A well trained dog is a the best thing you can do for him (and yourselves).

    Boxer’s are also high energy, so I bet he will love your playouts!

  7. says

    What a beauty! My answer to the standard Miss Universe question of “How would you change the world?”… I’d give every person a dog.

  8. Sarah MomRunningonEmpty says

    I too am the crazy dog lady. After losing our first Dog when Danger was 3 we waited till he was almost 6 before I was ready again. Retraining myself was by far the hardest part of the process. Remembering the doggy details changed everything from a weekend away to a trip to the grocery store! We just grew our family with crazy doxie #2 and he has proven as different from #1 as could be! They add so much love to our lives :) enjoy the tide with Coop!

  9. says

    Big snorks from the three pugs, and congratulations from me. No training tips, as we’ve completely given up on that stuff. The pugs rule the house, and we’re just servants.

  10. says

    we adopted our puppy last summer and he is the king of the house! he sleeps in our bed, jumps up to greet you. I am semi embarrassed but I love him so much! He is the sweetest dog ever and because he was abandoned as a pup I can’t say no to him! But I do suggest puppy training school. It was good for us, not really for the pup! We went to our local pet co for it! Good luck, he is soooo adorable!

  11. says

    OMG. That face! Makes my little doggy loving heart melt.

    Good luck today. I have no advice – while I’m a crazy dog lady and I love my dogs and my family used to breed and show dogs – I SUCK as a dog trainer and my dogs know it. Although I’m the alpha person, they secretly rule the place.

  12. says

    How about that good ole word patience! ;)

    Loved all the older pics & the story of your life with pets!!! :) Adorable!

    Coop looks like a cutie!!!

    Man I can tell you stories of all the animals we had as kids from dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, hamsters & more – drove my dad crazy when we brought a new one home but then he always loved the dogs!!! :)

  13. says

    I am so excited for you! Coop is adorable and he’s going to be a great companion for your family. My only tip, and I’m sure you know this, is to make sure that he is trained properly on the leash for walking. Since I’m sure the Tornado will want to be handling that for a while, she’ll need to be able to control him and Coop looks pretty strong.

    • MizFit says

      AMEN TO THAT. I think the husband didnt…ponder this piece? :-) Mamabear so did. Im hoping the trainer can help all three of us–tornado me and coop :-)—and IM ALWAYS OPEN TO TIPS.
      It takes a village for me to assimilate this DODDIN! into the family :-)

  14. says

    Love his face! We have a boxer neighbor who I just adore–they have so much enthusiasm for life. Enjoy this special experience!

  15. says

    I’m here behind the keyboard saying in my best doggie-owner voice “hooooooozagoodpupeeeee!”

    If you cherish your socks, you will secure them in drawers and laundry baskets. That’s what we went through when Lucky was a puppy. Also lamp cords. And chair legs. Oh, and TV remotes. And dog beds.

  16. Kelley Burrus says

    A blast from the past. I remember it well! Happy new dog day. I’m sure you, the man and XXXX will have a blast this summer getting to know each other. Congrats!

  17. says

    Coop has a GREAT home!! Congrats to him and to you :) No tips from me. I’m raising Al on “intuition”! LOL

  18. says

    Not sure how old Coop is, but as you all adjust to one another and find where you are in the ‘pecking order’, I’d recommend Tornado feed Coop. That way he knows that she is above him & it may help ease both of their anxieties.
    Lots of socialization with people & other dogs on & off leash.

  19. says

    Coop is so very sweet, and so very lucky to be coming home with you all. Heartbreaking to hear such awful stories of what our rescues have endured before us, but heart-filling in every other way – thank you for rescuing!

  20. says

    We have a boxer/pitbull mix. And we love him. he’s the cutest dog on the planet. Super hyper though! He’s a big fan of tug-o-war. I also recommend Nylabone toys. He destroys anything else in 5 seconds!

  21. says

    Welcome Coop! WIshing you many happy years together. IT’s been 13 years and counting since I’ve done any housebreaking (unless you count toddlers) so I probably forgot too!

  22. says

    Love, love, LOVE my boxer Jakey!!!! He’ll be 3 in October. Boxers seem very intelligent to me. Jake was fairly easy to house train. We just kept him on a schedule. I will say– Jake LOVED to chew anything he could get his paws on! Once we figured that out, we made sure we always had bones on hand for him so he wasn’t getting trouble for chewing the wrong thing. (If we were at coffee, I’d tell you the story of the time I discovered he consumed a barbie 3 muskateers dress– after it had *ahem* “been passed”) ha ha

    Good luck with Coop!! I know he’ll do great! :)

  23. says

    What a handsome dude! My littlest sister is a boxer. She’s the sweetest dog ever and love how when she gets SO EXCITED she bends practically in half. Things I do not love are her drool which are lovingly referred to as Charley Lovins or her stinky farts. Lol. Tornado will love her Coop! Can’t wait to read about their adventures together!

  24. says

    My friend had a boxer. Lovely dog. I remember he was very smart…and a lover of chewing all things…make sure there’s chew toys around!
    So excited for you :)

  25. Deb Roby says

    Overall dog tip: dogs sleep, get up and go outside. Additionally, dogs eat and go outside.

    My 2 have read that book.

    Then, all of you sleep in some old clothing you won’t mind losing. In the morning, put it in his cage and leave it there. He’ll sleep with your scents and quickly become part of your pack.

  26. says

    AWWWWWW!!!!! Welcome to your wonderful forever home COOP!!! I look forward to reading about his adventures with you. OMG, he’s CUTE!!!! Have a great first weekend with your new family member! (I’m so excited for all of you!)

  27. says

    Please tell your new canine pal I said, “bow wow” and “woof woof”. He needs to know he’s got bloggity-type friends ready and waiting to welcome him.

  28. says

    Congratulations, and this crazy cat lady has no suggestions, just loving that you have chosen a companion animal to share your lives.

  29. says

    Congratulations! I used to have a boxer mix and she was the best dog ever….so loyal and loving. Tornado will have a best friend for life! :)

  30. says

    I’m so excited for you. What a nice ‘happy medium’ between a bullmastiff and a frenchie or pug. Yes, boxers are supposed to be one of the most intelligent breeds! I love watching The Dog Whisperer, and have gotten lots of tips from him. He works a lot with kids too, teaching them how to be the ‘pack leader.’ Oh, and if he likes to chew? I should have taken out stock in nylabone. All of my dogs love them. They especially like the ones that have the little bumps on them (that are supposed to be good for their teeth.)

    Have fun!

  31. says

    Such a cute dog! I haven’t had to housebreak a dog in quite a while now, so I’ve probably forgotten a lot of it as well. Good luck though! I’m sure there’ll be a lot of fun times ahead!

  32. Angie says

    An excellent choice!! Boxers are extremely smart and love to show you, however, they get bored and will find their own source of “entertainment” that could prove to be destructible. High energy for sure, and (from following your blog for a while) looks to be a great match for your family.

    Patience and consistency are the best pieces of advice I have for training. My boy, Buster, a two year old thinks he’s a lap dog and is super affectionate. Be prepared for tons of “in your face” attention & crazy hi-jinks. He will be quick to test you and will keep you on your toes. Good luck and enjoy your new addition!

  33. says

    Awww, what a cutie! Congratulations! My husband and I just adopted our very first dog a few months ago and are still learning ourselves. Something we learned with regards to potty training is to never punish your dog for having an accident. They don’t understand that you’re punishing them because of where they went, just that you’re punishing them because they went. Focus more on praising them with love and treats when they go in the “right” place. :)

  34. says

    Coop is adorable. I want to smoosh that face. :) Not a dog family since Zliten is allergic but I do love me a puppy face!

  35. says

    Of course I’ve seen the pics on FB etc now. As I said there, I grew up with boxer dogs, though we got ours as puppies. I hope the Tornado continues to appreciate him as she gets older. I have to confess I kinda lost interest and had to be nagged to feed our dog!


  36. says

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  37. says

    Hi Carla,
    The best tip that I received for training a dog, is to have a dog crate where they sleep at night and have a separate dog bed isolated in another room in your house to punish the dog when they do something wrong. Use small treats with repetition and praise when they do commands correctly. Thanks for the post!