The Day We Got a Corgi

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Today is a very special day. This is the anniversary of the day we brought little baby Joey home. (Edit: Yesterday was the very special day. I’ve come down with a nasty bug that hindered all productivity yesterday, including this post.)

Mr. B and I spent the better part of a year weighing the pros and cons of getting a puppy. Some days it was the best idea ever, and other days we considered the responsibilities of puppy training and thought “nah, better not”. We researched breeds, scoured rescue shelter websites, and talked about the joys and messes that another dog would bring into our lives.

Mr. B fell in love with Corgis, and after considerable research, we decided a stubby little herding dog would be a perfect fit for us. Still, we weren’t sure we were ready for the commitment of adding another dog to our busy, on-the-go lifestyle. It wasn’t until the beginning of last year that we were once again perusing tricolor Corgis on the internet, that Mr. B declared that was what he wanted for his upcoming birthday: a puppy. I didn’t give it much thought, he’d been making similar declarations for a year, and the dedication to this particular decision never lasted very long. This time was different, though. The next morning, the first words out of Mr. B’s mouth were “I’m getting a puppy!” Holy crap, I realized, he’s for real this time.

And so, it was an unseasonably warm Sunday in January when Mr. B and I made the three-and-a-half hour journey to visit a Pembroke Welsh Corgi breeder. As we pulled into her driveway, the breeder stood on the stoop holding the puppy that we immediately fell in love with. From the moment we met him, Joey stole our hearts. He was friendly, sweet and playful, not to mention so stinkin’ cute! We couldn’t believe no one had snatched him up yet – so we did just that. We loaded him in the car and brought him home. (And took about 3,937,569,348 grainy phone pictures of him.)






Over the last year, Joey has brought so much joy to our lives. He is the happiest, kindest, friendliest soul, and I can’t imagine our little family without him in it. Bringing home a new puppy is a huge commitment, but even with all of the chewing, the dog hair, the obeying-commands-only-when-he-feels-like-it, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. The love I have for this fuzzy little creature is at crazy-obsessive levels. HE’S JUST SO CUTE.

Thanks for making us smile, Joey. We love ya, little buddy!


Herding Cattle: What Not To Do

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This is post was one of the first on the blog, but since it’s one of my favorite accounts of Joey (and since I’m pretty sure only my mom and Mr. B ever read it), I’m re-posting it today for a link up with Jackie and Karly.

Jade and Oak

Back in the early days of spring, we took Joey to meet the cows for the first time. He’d been up to the cow pasture once before, but that time he decided to wait by the truck rather than follow Mr. B into the herd. This time, Mr. B and I coaxed him into the pasture with us. He wasn’t exactly stoked about it, but he did join us.

The cows were curious about Joey,




but he was not equally intrigued by them.


What the...?!?!

What the…?!?!

Please get away from me. Please?

Please get away from me. Please?


He tried hiding behind me



and behind Mr. B.




He also tried seeking refuge between my feet


Check those hot boots. Farming can be sooo sexy.

Check those hot boots. Farming can be sooo sexy.


and in Mr. B’s arms.




When none of this worked, he ran from them. It backfired – they chased him. Which is the opposite of what is supposed to happen when a dog herds cattle.






Hopefully, with a little bit of practice, he’ll figure out that he is supposed to be chasing them. Fingers crossed.


Happiness: What Joey Has Taught Me

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I found a (huge) tick on Joey yesterday. I was able to remove it without much of an issue, but (a) ewww, and (b) it was the second tick in three days. It was time to re-apply his flea and tick meds, but before I did, I called the vet to see if I should try something different. We decided to keep him on the same product, but the vet strongly suggested that he be vaccinated against Lyme disease ASAP.

So yesterday afternoon, Joey and I took a little trip to Dr. D’s office. In that short little trip, I realized just how much I could learn from Joey. Even though he’s still a youngster (he’s 11 months old today!), he is so wise.

Joey being all wise. Or just watching some birds.

Joey being all wise. Or just watching some birds.

Here’s what he’s already figured out about life:

1// Expect good things. This was Joey’s third trip to the vet since we brought him home to live with us. The first trip, he got his booster shots. The second trip, he got…umm…snipped. His third trip, he was still so excited to be there. He really expected it to be a blast, despite the fact that he’s never actually had a good time there. I think we could all benefit from that optimistic attitude.

2// Everyone is a potential friend. All you have to do is say smile and say hi. Seriously, everyone. He saw playmate potential in every creature that he encountered yesterday: the litter of two-day old boxer puppies, the chubby pug who clearly didn’t feel well, the cranky cats, all of their human counterparts, and every single person who worked at the vet’s office. And his approach is so simple and effective: he just smiles and wags his nubbin and everyone offers a friendly response (well, except the cats).

3// Don’t bite back. When it was time for his shot, Dr. D asked me to hold Joey’s head. This seemed smart- the pinch of a needle could hurt and frighten the poor little guy, and you can never be sure how he’ll react. But it never occurred to Joey to retaliate when he felt the prick, he just tried to turn his head as if to ask “hey man, what are you doing?!” The world would be a much nicer place if we’d react like Joey did; we need to seek answers first, rather than respond to a perceived slight with aggression.

4// Forgive quickly. Joey immediately forgave Dr. D for giving him a shot. As soon as it was over, he went right back to smiling at the good doctor and wanting to play with him. Joey didn’t seem to totally trust him as long as he had the syringes in his hand (he’s no fool), but he still had the general expectation that they could be buddies.

5// If it’s coated in peanut butter, don’t question it. To be safe after the tick bite, the vet gave us a bottle of antibiotics. Daisie has been known to suck the peanut butter off of pills and spit them back out, so I was afraid Joey may try to do the same thing. Nope, he just gobbled it up. He appreciated the extra treat without questioning it or putting too much thought into it.


He’s just such a sweet little soul, you can’t help but love him. He’s friendly and happy all the time. I really think the world would be a happier place if we took a lesson from Joey and embraced everything that life has to offer. Just start with a smile.





The Dog Can’t Be THAT Smart…Can He??

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Yesterday morning started out like any other. A bit chillier than we’re used to, but normal. (Despite the 80+ degree days, we’ve had temperatures dip below 40 degrees some nights.) I woke up, let the dogs out for their morning potty, fed them breakfast and poured myself a big cup of coffee.

Right away, Joey started whining at my feet. Sometimes he “forgets” to potty while he’s outside because he’s too busy tormenting Daisie, or sometimes he just has a lot of energy and just wants someone to play with him. Annoyed, I went back to the door and opened it for him to go outside again. He didn’t. I picked up a toy and dangled it to see if he wanted to play – he didn’t.

I had no idea what he wanted, but he continued to cry at my feet and would not leave me alone. He was pacing around the living room, going back to the fireplace and (I assumed) checking out his reflection in the glass. (He has a recent fascination with the fireplace – he’ll climb up on it and watch himself in the glass.) Finally, he went back to the fireplace, propped his front feet up on the stone ledge, and whined some more.

“Is this what you want?”, I asked and flipped the switch to turn the gas fireplace on. Never did I think that’s actually what he wanted. He prefers to be cold most of the time, and really, what dog begs to have a fire in the fireplace? Dogs, or at least my dogs, beg for food, water, potty breaks, and attention. Not fire.

As soon as he saw the flames light up, Joey curled up in a ball right in front of the fire (not a normal spot for him). He slept there soundly for more than an hour, peaceful and content.

There’s no way he bugged me because he wanted the a fire to nap by, right? I mean, he’s a 10 month old puppy – he can’t really be that smart…can he?

I have no photos of Joey curled by the fireplace (sorry), so here are a few pictures of him sleeping when he was teeny tiny (you’re welcome).










Also, a bit of news: this is the 100th post here on Rural Rookie. So, here’s a picture of Joey all dressed up in a bow tie. Clearly, he’s celebrating the blog milestone.



Let’s Take a Moment to Talk About My Dog’s Tongue

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Tall Tails Link Up

It was early evening when I finally got a chance to sit down and write today’s blog post. Naturally, I couldn’t come up with a thing to write about, so I decided to take the dogs for a little hike. I took my camera with me, figuring the beautiful light would give me a chance to practice playing with my fancy pants camera.

Welllll, 293 pictures later (not an exaggeration, I actually took 293 pictures on our walk) I still had no blog post ideas but I did have some lovely photos of the country in the fall.


Obviously, I also took a couple hundred photos of the dogs. Daisie took in the view,


while Joey went for a dip in a puddle.


But as I perused the pictures, I noticed a trend: Joey’s tongue is all over the place.


I mean, we’ve noticed that his tongue is pretty long, but I never noticed how much time it spends out of his mouth.


It’s everywhere.


Most of the time he looks so handsome (says the not-at-all biased dog-mom)…



…but the tongue thing…well, it makes him look like such a little dope.



Oh, well, at least he’s got a cute butt.



It’s Just…Different. And We Love It.

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Sami's Shenanigans

My family has a “camp” in the country, which also happens to be not far from where I live now. Growing up, we spent every summer weekend there. We call it “the farm” (because it used to be one, before my family bought it) and it was – and still is – my favorite place in the world.

Now that I live closer, it’s easier to decide to head to the farm on a whim, which is exactly what Mr. B and I did on Saturday. We were going to pick up the tractor, and ended up staying there for a few hours to mow grass and do a little bit of work. It was wonderful.



While we were up there, I noticed something strange: the dogs lose their minds the moment we arrive, and continue to act like little crackheads until we leave. The farm is a place for the extended family to get together, so we usually aren’t there alone. I just assumed that the dogs’ excitement was a result of being around other people and dogs, but after this weekend, I’m not so sure.



As soon as we pulled up to the gate they started bouncing around the car. They bolted out of the car as soon as we opened the door and ran and played for hours.







I understand their excitement over the fresh air, open spaces, all that nature to explore and revel in, but…we have that at home. I mean, we live on a farm. There is a hay field right next to our house. There is a creek in the woods behind our house. Yet, when I open the door and let them outside with the same amount of freedom that they have at the farm, they aren’t nearly as thrilled about it. They do play in the yard and occasionally explore the woods and field, but not with the omg-life-is-GREAT enthusiasm that they reserve for the farm. It’s odd, but adorable.

Honestly, I can’t really blame them, the farm is a magical place. It’s enough to make anyone so filled with joy that they go all batshit crazy and run around like a maniac. Well, it has that effect on me, at least.



Can I At Least Have Some Coffee First? Please?

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A new morning routine seems to have developed around our house, and I can’t say I’m loving it. I already find myself repeating the phrase “Joey! No means no!” far too many times a day. Lately though, I’m shouting it before my coffee mug is graced by the hot, caffeinated goodness.

Joey is a morning person, Daisie is not. This is nothing new. Up until recently, Joey had to entertain himself in the mornings because Daisie refuses to be his playmate before 9 a.m., but it never seemed to bother him much. A few weeks ago, however, he discovered that he could force the issue.

Every morning when we wake up, the first thing I do is let the dogs outside to pee. When I let them back in, Daisie goes straight back to bed – our bed. That’s ok, Mr. B and I don’t mind. But Joey does because he’s ready to play, and if Daisie is on the bed then she is out of his reach. His stubby little legs can’t get him up that high.

"Come on! Let's play!"

“Come on! Let’s play!”

So to prevent this, he now runs into our bedroom with her and herds her away from the bed. If he beats her in there, he hides under the bed. When Daisie approaches to jump up, he darts out with a playful yip like the evil little clown that he is, effectively stopping her from returning to her lazy slumber.

"I know what will convince her to play with me! An early-morning sneak attack!"

“I know what will convince her to play with me! An early-morning sneak attack!”

Well, this doesn’t fly with Daisie. And she tells him so with her get-the-hell-away-from-me bark. This bark is much different than Joey’s playful bark, but he doesn’t seem to notice (or mind?) and keeps going. He will run and jump around her, wagging his little tail nubbin and barking about how happy he is that they are playing. (Did I mention that this is all happening about 5 minutes after we wake up? And that we get up pretty early? Usually between 5:30 and 6:00.) Daisie then tells him again, while still trying to get around him and back up on the bed, that no, she is not playing. I know this is the message she is trying to convey because she repeats it loudly, sometimes with her teeth bared. (No worries, she’d never actually hurt him.) In response, the joyful little dope just happy-barks louder. Unfortunately, his up-beat demeanor does nothing to chip away at the unpleasantness of Daisie’s response.

Sometimes I even provide voice-overs for them:

Daisie: Oh my god, get away from me!

Joey: Oh my god, I love you!

Daisie: Go the eff away!

Joey: Look how much fun we are having!

Daisie: I wish you lived somewhere else!

Joey: I’m so happy you’re my sister!

They go back and forth like this until I separate them.

Every. Single. Morning.

It’s loud and very enthusiastic.

Oh, and did I mention this happens before the sun comes up? Before I even get coffee.

It’s a good thing Joey is cute. (And it’s a pity that his good looks aren’t helping him win Daisie over.)

Tall Tails Link Up



Weekend Shenanigans, Farm Style

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It was a good weekend.

(Why do great weekends make Monday mornings extra sucky?)

I can’t even remember what I did on Friday. I think I just fiddled with some blog stuff and relaxed with some wine and my guy, but I really don’t recall. Clearly it was uneventful.

I do remember Saturday though, because it was awesome. My mom came to visit and we played on the farm. We visited the horses, enjoyed lunch and wine on the back deck, and then helped Mr. B and the farmers make hay.



While the menfolk were gathering up the bales of hay, Mom and I admired the awesome old farm equipment.



And when we were putting the hay away in the barn, we found this pretty girl:


She had four teeny little babies, who were so small their eyes weren’t even open yet. They were so precious! But, every time I would get near them, Mr. B and my mother would act like I was approaching (or holding or talking to or trying to kidnap) a ticking bomb. Ok, so maybe I’m liiiittle bit allergic to cats, but that wasn’t going to keep me away from four itty-bitty kitties.

After stacking almost 400 bales of hay in the barn, we came back to the house for a steak dinner and wine and cigars. (I really love when Mom visits, she spoils us.) We stayed up way past our bedtimes, but it was a blast.

Yesterday morning, my mom headed back home and Mr. B finished up some yard work. I spent the day getting ready for the week ahead and catching up on my blog reading. Later that afternoon, while I was lost in blogland, the dogs started losing their freaking minds and scared the living shit out of me. Turns out, Mr. B and Annie were standing in our front yard and the pooches didn’t like it one bit.

Mr. B brought Annie to the house to see if I had any cream for her sun-burned nose. (Because, obviously, it’s easier to bring the horse to the cream than it is to take the cream to the horse.) I slathered a little shea butter on her sniffer, and then Joey practiced his herding skills. In hindsight, we are re-evaluating the choice to let him herd a horse with a person on it (in the front yard, no less), but at the time we were just so thrilled that he wanted to herd something other than the Chihuahua.



Last night Mr. B and I snuggled up with the pups for popcorn and a movie, which was a great way to round out a great weekend.


Sami's Shenanigans

What did you guys get into this weekend? I hope it was fabulous!


Paying It Forward

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First of all, on a completely unrelated note (for those of you who don’t follow me on the Twitter or the Instagram), I have to share the latest adventure in puppydom.



did this:


Granted, it’s a spot under the bed, so we can’t even see it. And the carpet was only going to be with us for another month or two anyway, as our bedroom is getting hardwood floors soon. *happy dance!* But still. The little shit chewed not one, but TWO holes in the carpet.

Oh, wait, it gets better. Being the genius (with impeccable timing) that he is, Mr. B had the nerve to suggest – again – that we need another puppy. A third dog. Because the puppy stage is just sooooo much fun, and “we’ve gotten really lucky with Joey. He doesn’t destroy stuff.” Sure honey, we will pretend that the bar stool legs, dining room table legs, and coffee table legs don’t all have Joey’s teeth marks on them, and we’ll just let that little mishap with the carpet go unnoticed. (!!) (And as my mother later pointed out, “if we are keeping count, don’t forget about that baseboard he ripped off the wall.” Thanks, Ma, almost forgot about that one.)

For those of you who are just tuning in, I’m the one who is home all day, so the puppy-rearing responsibilities fall to me. Clearly, I’m doing a bang-up job. As such, I also get puppy-acquisition veto power, so I shut that ish down right away. Sorry, darling, we’re at capacity.

Moving on…

What I really wanted to talk about is something that it making me oh-so-happy right now. The lovely Kate over at Another Clean Slate told me about this great link-up, Pay It Forward. Basically, the idea is to reach out to other bloggers with whom you don’t already have much contact (yet!), and do something nice for them. How cool is that? I LOVE this idea, so I rushed right over to Be So Happy to learn more about Stephanie and her fabulous little plan.

Blogger Pay It Forward


I love Stephanie’s whole approach to life; she’s all about finding happiness in the little things in life and spreading the good. I’m so excited to be part of this link-up – I absolutely love the idea of spreading the happy, making new friends, and making someone else’s day a little bit brighter! Join us, won’t you?


17 in 17

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There are 17 full weeks left in 2013, did you know that? Yep, there are. There isn’t anything overly-significant about that, except that I’m making a list of short-term goals, and the end of the year seems like a good finish line.

See, last week I stumbled across this amazing post over at Kayli Wanders. She created a list of goals for herself, but instead of things she wanted to do, her list was all about things she hopes to learn. That’s totally genius, right? So naturally, I had to borrow the idea.

My goal is to learn 17 new things over the next 17 weeks. What would I like to learn? So glad you asked!


1// How to make Hollandaise sauce. I hear it’s a little tricky, but I want to master it!

2// How to re-purpose a large piece of furniture. I have a children’s desk that I’m hoping to turn into a wet bar. It’s a lofty goal, I know. It’s been sitting in my basement for months now, it’s time I learn to do something with it!

3// How to polish a copper tea kettle. My grandmother gave me a really cool old tea kettle, but it’s very tarnished. I want to learn how to shine it up so it looks prettier in my kitchen.

4// How to take better photographs indoors. I know indoor/artificial lighting isn’t ideal, but since it’s unavoidable sometimes, I want to learn how to improve my technique.

5// How to play fantasy football. My friend talked me into signing up for my first ever fantasy football tournament, but I have no clue what I’m doing – yet!

6// The basics of dog agility. As I’ve mentioned before, I’d like to learn how to do this with Joey, so it’s on the list.

7// How to create a custom blog header with image mapping. There are a few things I’d like to spruce up around here, and my header is one of them. A few weeks ago, Sarah over at Venus Trapped in Mars posted a tutorial on how to do just that. I book marked it, but I’m making it a goal to actually sit down and learn how to do it. Since her wisdom helped me figure out how to quit being a no-reply blogger, I’m confident that her how-to will have me understanding it in no time.

8// How to install crown molding. We recently gave our spare bathroom a makeover, but it still feels like something is missing, so I’d like to learn how to install crown molding in there. Maybe once I learn how to do it, I can install it in other rooms of our house too.

9// How to make a pretty cat-eye. I can never get it right; my eyes always end up looking uneven. I’m not usually so incompetent with eyeliner, but the cat-eye baffles me. So I’m on a mission learn how to do it properly.

10// How to use manual mode on my DSLR. It intimidates me because I have no idea what I’m doing.

11// How to clean out Sally’s feet. Mr. B always has to do this for me because I’m so afraid I’m going to hurt her with the pick. (It looks sharp!) I need to learn how to do this myself, without hurting my poor horse.

12// How to make – and can – homemade salsa verde. I don’t think making the salsa verde will be hard, but I have no clue how to can anything.

13// How to make homemade laundry detergent – that smells pretty. I’ve made homemade laundry detergent before (it saves a ton of money!), but it doesn’t smell as lovely as the store bought stuff. I’d like to learn how to fix that.

14// How to make blackberry pie from scratch. It’s Mr. B’s favorite, so I’d like to learn how to make it for him.

15// How to make homemade doggie treats. If I’m spoiling Mr. B, I may as well spoil the fur babes too.

16// How to embed Grooveshark into blog posts. I spent hours trying to make this happen last week, and nothing I tried worked. I need to learn how to make it work, so that I don’t have to #backthatazzup with YouTube every week.

17// How to make GIFs. They make me smile every time you awesome ladies use them. I want to learn how to do it too!

Do you ever set short term goals for yourself? Are they ever about things to learn, or are they mostly things to do?