Meet Lexi! Our Standard Schnauzer Puppy…

Those of you are friends with me on Facebook already know that about a week and a half ago, we brought home a cute, black Standard Schnauzer (Mittelschnauzer in German) puppy named Lexi.

We had been waiting since the beginning of the year; waiting for the mating to take place, waiting for the scans confirming there are puppies, waiting for the birth and then meeting her and then waiting for her to be old enough to leave her Mama.

So how has it been? It has been wonderful, stressful, funny, worrying and all the emotions in between. Just like being a first-time parent. We are first-time “parents” to a puppy.

Now i have had dogs before but they were already adult dogs when i adopted them. Raising a puppy is very different and although i had read 1.5 books (still reading the second one) on this topic, nothing quite prepared me for the reality of it.

i had an idea of how i thought things would go in the first week. Of course, i expected it to be hard but i never expected to be at my wits’ end, wondering how i can get her to stop peeing in the house!

Well, it turns out that i was giving her too much correction for her other behaviours and made her nervous around me. But i thought i was protecting her from harmful things she should not put in her mouth or destroying our soft furnishings.

It’s a good thing the breeder we got her from is a friend from church so i didn’t have to go asking for advice in German. i got a tiny talking to about my expectations of a puppy vs an adult dog. i have to say that after i adjusted my expectations and relaxed a bit on her trying to eat every piece of leaf and bit of dirt/rock, it has been better. The fact that i can write this post is proof that we are adjusting better to each other.

Tobias really wanted Lexi to take to him, so she sleeps in his room. There was stress on both sides about liking each other at first but after going to puppy school and getting some knowledge, Tobias is now quite good with her and is more confident with her. He helps out with feeding, walking and playing with her.

Unfortunately, the husband has been unable to take part as much as he would like to because he’s constantly away for work but Lexi really likes him as a rough and tumble playmate when he is around.

So while we expect some ups and downs (hopefully more ups), we will keep calm and carry on with puppy 😉

Here are some cute pictures of Lexi for you to enjoy. You can follow Lexi on Instagram (lexischnauzer).

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Fruits of the Garden…

So the pumpkin plants did make it through and have fruit now! Thank God! i have also harvested the pears – they were yummy. But we lost more than half to wind, birds and insects. Still it was much better harvest than last year! Here are some photos for you to enjoy 😉

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Book Review: Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult…

This is my 4th review of a Jodi Picoult book so you can say i like her books… a lot. i have read way more than four of her books and have liked each one. But i have only started writing reviews a few years ago.

This one took me a long time to finish because i got really emotional about the story and the characters; so much so that i had to stop a few times, take a break from it, then carry on again.

Picoult’s books are always emotionally draining to read (not a bad thing) because readers will come to care for her characters very much.

51a3hqmpafl-_sx315_bo1204203200_The gist of this story involves Paige, whose mother left her when she was five, and she always felt like she is missing something because of that. Her father tried his best but being a man from a generation which did not express themselves very much, it was hard on Paige. She leaves her hometown, hoping to get into art school in Chicago but ends up falling in love and marrying an ambitious young doctor, who seemed the perfect man. But when they have a baby, her past secrets and doubts about her self-worth and ability as a mother cause her to run as she tries to find answers in her past in order to come back a better mother/person.

This story hits close to home for me because which woman has not doubted herself when she first became a mother. i doubt myself, even now, sometimes. While Paige struggled with her doubts, i remembered how i felt when struggling with similar issues. i also got really angry at her doctor husband who seemed so absorbed in his career and his own family issues. i wished i could have gone into the book and shaken him awake, and i wished i could have said to Paige, “You are doing just fine.”.

If you are a first-time mother reading this, please know that you don’t struggle alone and that you are doing just fine.

By the time i was half-way through the book, i was begging for a quick resolution. But Picoult was not done. There was more to explore and it is worth the effort to stay with the story and worth the wait as the resolution is good.

Picoult has done well exploring the theme of motherhood, not just from Paige’s point of view but also from the viewpoint of her run-away mother and her rather famous and strong-willed mother-in-law.

i am not going to say much more about the story because i want you to enjoy it for yourself. So go read it and let me know what you think.

Here are some other reviews of Picoult’s books: 2013, 2015, 2016.

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