This is Mika

Over the years I’ve had this blog and sporadically posted, I’ve written about Zoey and about Mika.

The Captain and my husband Jack

Zoey passed away 3 years ago and we still miss her. One day, she went outside with my husband, (her best friend in the whole universe) and laid down and didn’t get up. We carried her back into the house carefully, certain that she had a spinal issue.

She didn’t.

She had a tumor on her spleen that had ruptured. Even with the extreme surgery, we lost her.

Jack and Zoey

We waited a year before we let another dog into our hearts. A year because that’s how long it took, not because it’s a magical amount of time and then suddenly…POOF! …The grief is gone.

No. It isn’t.

I thought we’d foster some K-9 friends and get our puppy fix that way, but in September of the following year, after returning from a wonderful Irish vacation, I started looking for a pup to adopt as our very own.

TA DA!  This was Mika two years ago.


And this is what she looks like now.


I love this dog. There’s no other way to say it but outright. I love that she’s always happy; that she loves me unconditionally; that she just wants to be with us all the time no matter what we’re doing; that she wants us to be happy. All the reasons that people love their dogs…because the dog isn’t the high-maintenance being…WE ARE!

Okay, I can see why that might offend you. I’ll speak for myself…I AM!


She’s going to be 2 years old a week from today. TWO! I’d love to say it went quickly, but in those two years, we’ve amassed a number of experiences I’d rather not live through again:

  • We got asked to leave puppy class. And when I say ‘we’ I mean that I was asked to take Mika to a different class! Or no class, as it turned out in the end. This was because she reacted excitedly to the other dogs. Hell, she began reacting as we hit the parking lot! She knew who was in there…her BFF, the Golden Retriever who always wagged her direction when we entered.


  • We moved on to private training at home, which she loved even more because that trainer, Charmagne Shremshock, brought really fabulous treats and even better toys!
  • With our newfound confidence, we joined an Agility Training Class. IMG_4478
  • We quit an Agility Training Class after Mika decided she HAD to play with the new Golden Retriever who looked an awful lot like the first Golden Retriever who always wagged her direction when we entered class. Can you blame her? Neither can I…except that she faked me out. She stood at my side, so serene, so calm, so obedient (thank you, Charmagne), until I relaxed my death grip on her leash. And then she lunged! I fell backward and Mika kept going toward her prize…the Golden standing so innocently beside the Cat Walk. She pulled me across the gymnasium floor on my back! We weren’t asked to quit that class…but I quit.

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(Sure she looks innocent NOW!)

  • She nipped our ankles every time we walked across our living room.
  • She chewed everything she could sink her teeth into and some things that she couldn’t sink her teeth into.IMG_3136
  • She unrolled rolls of toilet paper.
  • She emptied waste baskets.


  • She thought kitchen countertops were just another level of ‘floor’ and therefore NOT off limits.
  • She learned how to open interior doors.
  • She learned how to howl…yes, HOWL, and not at the moon. The moon has nothing to do with Mika’s howling.
  • She decided going for a walk meant it was time to audition for lead dog on a sled team.



And then, about a month ago, she decided she’d had enough of this puppy stuff…on her own, though I wonder if my twitching eyes and nervous ticks had anything to do with her decision. At any rate, she’s not perfect. She’s not totally mature or a master at K-9 Etiquette, especially when she just meets you and has to…apparently is driven to…stick her nose up your butt.


But she’s my lovable, cuddle-able, 100% charming mutt and I love her!

Do you have a dog? Show us pictures already!








IMG_2199This is Mika.

Mika is in heat.

We aren’t having her spayed until her growth plates close. This could be 10 months from now when she’s 18 months old…but my husband and I are contemplating closing them down in about four months.  This would split the difference in protecting her from certain cancers and hip dysplasia. Waiting won’t guarantee that these conditions will stay away, but they put the odds in her favor.

We want the odds in her favor. She’s our second empty nest dog; our first having crossed the rainbow bridge almost two years ago. Empty Nest Canines are spoiled rotten, given too many privileges and get more boxes from Amazon than you do.

Empty Nest Canines are taken to dog school, doggie daycare, and dog parks. They sleep on your pillow in the middle of the afternoon and they groan when you roll over in the middle of the night.

Empty Nest Canines aren’t taken to a vet; they have appointments with doctors who are trained in integrative veterinary medicine and receive acupuncture, chiropractic massage and Chinese herbals. Empty Nest Canines hear a ton of baby-talk, have color-coordinated leash and collar sets and raincoats for the spring rainy season. They wear boots when it’s icy, sweaters in the fall, college sports wear during football season, and LeBron jerseys during basketball season.

Empty Nest Canines do fancier tricks than eating your kids’ leftovers and cleaning their cookie crumbs out of the carpet. They roll over, play dead and know their right paw from their left.  IN other words, Empty Nest Canines get all the attention you used to give your toddler and they wear their diapers too!

Well, they aren’t called diapers for canines; they’re Hygiene Pants. The difference, I suppose, is that little hole in the back for the tail.  I learned this just recently when my puppy went into heat.

Diapers…or Hygiene Pants…whatever you might call them, they still evoke the same sentiment: I can’t wait till this part is over!

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