Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

September 30, 2011

September 2011 – Family Update

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 4:22 pm

September Highlights:

Meet Spike

This month, we adopted a chihuahua named Spike. Everything came together shortly after we decided to visit a local rescue group who specialized in smaller dogs. Almost immediately, the kids fell in love with the smallest dog the group was fostering — Spike. This spirited chihuahua helped his cause immensely by quickly settling into Luke’s lap and staying put as Luke stroked his new furry friend. Lilah and her friend Tory also chose Spike as their favorite dog and began talking about the various outfits they could buy for him. Pretty soon, we had a chorus of kids telling us they wanted Spike. Cathy and I did not want to commit to getting such a small dog, especially a puppy, so we told the kids we could not get him at that moment since we were on our way to a social function. However, we let also let the kids know that if Spike was still around the following week, we’d look into “possibly” adopting him. The kids were a bit disappointed by the news, but they understood the situation – kind of ;-).

The pet adoptions only happened on weekends, which meant that we would have to wait an entire week to get a chance to adopt Spike. What a week it was. The kids refused to take any chances and hounded us to call or e-mail the rescue group to see if Spike was still around. Almost every day, the kids would ask if we were going to adopt Spike. Cat and I tried keeping our answers neutral and this helped the kids get more realistic about the possibility. Soon the kids were prefacing their dog adoption questions with the clause “if we get Spike.” Much to the delight of the kids, Spike was still available the following weekend and we made the decision to just move forward and bring this spunky little puppy into our home.  It’s funny, because as we drove to the rescue place, we recalled a dream Luke had expressed many weeks earlier about getting a chihuahua and naming it Jalapeno, something we all thought was cute at the time, but now here we were taking the steps to make this dream a reality. We gave Luke and Lilah the option of renaming Spike to Jalapeno, but in the end, they went with Spike, which made sense considering they had made a big emotional investment in that name with all their daily inquiries about him leading up to the adoption.

So what kind of dog is Spike? Well, he’s got a lot of energy and he is always trying to to get your attention so that you pick him up and put him on your lap. Since chihuahuas tend to be somewhat high strung by nature, Cathy and I both had the kids watch some of the Cesar Milan’s Dog Whisperer videos, then we stressed the importance of providing a calm environment and ignoring Spike when he jumps to try to get our attention. Only when Spike is sitting down do we pick him up and we don’t pick him up all the time so that he doesn’t expect to always be in our laps. Still, it’s tough to maintain the discipline. The other day I came home and yelled out “Spikey” nice and loud, which caused the little guy to sprint toward me in excitement. Cat had to remind me to enter the house calmly and not wind up our little pup. Sometimes it’s tough to hold back on the enthusiasm, but in the long run we will all be better off if Spike is a calm and well adjusted dog.

Having Spike in the house is great, but it’s also been an adjustment since we’re dealing with all the accidents that come along with potty training. He also “talks back” which comes in the form of growling when he is being territorial or possessive of the lap he is sitting on — something we are correcting little by little. We also don’t leave him in the house alone for more than 3 hours at a time. And we can’t leave him outside because he’s so small he’d be an easy victim for a coyote or hawk. One nice thing is that he’s easy to pick up and take with you in the car on quick trips. He’s also crate trained which means that when we do leave him alone in the house we don’t have to worry about him getting into things. He simply curls up in the back of his crate and snoozes away. He also sleeps through the night in the crate which we keep in Luke’s room. Luke is very happy about this and looking forward to the day when Spike can sleep with him on his bed.

Family Athletics

This month was also full of family sports activities as Lilah competed in two swim meets, Cathy and I raced at the Carpinteria triathlon, and Luke started playing basketball. Lilah continues to do well at swimming and I enjoy her quiet competitive spirit. She doesn’t really talk about wanting to beat people, but I know the desire to win is there when I see her closely monitoring where her competitors are during a race. Here’s a picture that captures one of those moments — she actually ended up tying for first place in this event (the 50 yard butterfly).

For the second year in a row, Cathy competed in a relay team at the Carpinteria triathlon. Last year, she ran the last leg of the race (a 10K run), but this year she switched it up by taking on the bike section. She did very well as she managed to navigate the nearly 25 mile long course in one hour and twenty nine minutes. Pretty impressive when you consider the course was not flat and included two pretty steep hill climbs. Cathy thought it would take her at least an one hour and forty minutes to complete the bike leg so she was absolutely thrilled to learn she had shattered that expectation by 11 minutes. I had a good race as well, but the field was really strong, which meant I finished just outside the top 10 in my age group. I was happy with my 5K run however, where I manged to run the last mile in 6:41, which is by far the fastest last mile I’ve ever run in a triathlon — definitely a nice way to end the season.

Luke skipped fall baseball this year, opting instead for some YMCA basketball. He had his first game at the end of the month and scored a basket within the first few minutes. He didn’t score after that, but he did plenty of running around and defending. He seems to take great pride in shadowing the man he is guarding, running all over the place to try to deny his man the ball. He just needs to work on conserving his energy a little better as all that running around really wipes him out.

Lilah Attends Her First School Dance

We received a letter from Lilah’s school indicating that there would be a middle school dance. I wasn’t sure if Lilah was going to attend, but while I was standing with her in the lobby of the YMCA another mom we know asked Lilah if she was attending the dance and she said yes. I pretended not to know anything about the dance and said something to the effect that I had not even granted approval to attend such an event (obviously in jest). Lilah gave me one of her looks and then continued to talk to the mom about the dance. A few days later I came home just in time to see her going off to the dance with her friend Tory. She was wearing make up and all ready to go. Before they left, I took a picture of them and gave them my standard line about not kissing boys (they both scrunched up their face in disgust).

More next month…

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