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meet neva

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Hey, everyone! I’d like you to meet our new pup, Neva (NEE-vah). We brought all twelve pounds of her home on Saturday and have been sleep-deprived ever since.

finally home

This will be a short post because I began to develop a cold/flu thing of sorts on our long drive to get the pup. Also, puppy training is a lot of work for both humans and puppies! We named Neva after Mount Neva, a mountain in our local Indian Peaks Wilderness (Kaweah was named for Mount Kaweah in the Sierra Nevada of California). Neva also means snow. In the short 48 hours we’ve had her home, she has learned a lot of things! She is now sitting when she wants something (her way of saying “please”), going into her crate on her own, learning to be quiet in her crate, lying down, walking on the leash (she’s getting better about not biting the leash), going up and down stairs, and being ridiculously cute. I have to give major kudos to Jeremy who took over the majority of the training and cared for me when I got sick. He has been incredibly patient, gentle, and kind with Neva.

settling into her crate

leash work with jeremy in the yard

puppies need a lot of chew toys

her crate is her happy place

we love it when she sleeps

Over the weekend, Neva jump-started her social life when my aunt and uncle (visiting Colorado from out of town) came up for dinner and puppy time. The next day, Neva met my friends Erin, Erica (Erin’s sister), and Banjo. She takes to people right away, but she wasn’t so sure about Banjo for the first few minutes – I mean, he’s a big fluffy white dog! The great thing about Banjo is that he is super sweet with Neva (and in general). He would corner like a race car when she clumsily chased him (the back half always seems to have a different agenda from the front half), or nimbly jump over her so he wouldn’t step on her. But when she wanted him to chase her, he slowed way down and was careful not to scare or hurt the puppy. After Neva and Banjo got acquainted, we all went for a short (a really short) local hike to introduce the pup to the life of a Colorado mountain dog.

not so sure about this big white dog

warming up to banjo

super fun puppy playtime!

puppy’s first hike

when puppies are tired, they just flop down wherever they are – like between erin’s boots

It’s a big transition period for Neva and for us, but she is quite attached to both Jeremy and me. As I said above, it is hard work. Even with all of our experience with Kaweah and preparation for this pup, it can be challenging. However, Neva has made such progress already with positive reinforcement training and we are so in love with her – it is worth it. I look forward to watching her discover all of the joys of being a dog in this beautiful world we call home. Welcome to your life, puppy girl.

hello puppy

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

There’s no recipe today, because… puppy!

We went to meet our puppy over the weekend. Actually, we got to meet her and her six brothers – seven little chunksters in total. At six weeks old they were ridiculously adorable, stumbling clumsily over one another, drunk on puppyhood. I’m amazed that the universe didn’t implode from this ultra concentration of cuteness.

jeremy and puppy get acquainted

holding our little girl

checking out what the other littermates were up to

this little guy came up to investigate (and taste) my shoe

Everyone has been asking if we have a name yet. We have a name. We have several names. I’ve been keeping a running list of all the puppy names that came to mind in the last three months. Jeremy believes it’s best to name the dog after you have met her and gotten a sense of her personality. So for now, she’s “puppy” until we bring her home in a few weeks. She’s a very sweet girl – calm and curious and so, so little! She isn’t a fearful dog, which is good. And she’s just as rough and tumble as her brothers, but they are all pretty gentle with one another (as puppies go).

they flopped down frequently, because they’re puppies

jeremy got her attention

she’s got the right idea

hanging with her brothers

I’m excited to bring puppy home, but it’s not the same as when we first met Kaweah. I think back then, all I knew was the joy of getting a puppy of my own. Now, I know the joy of puppy, the sadness of watching her grow old, and the heartbreak of letting her go. Don’t get me wrong, I would not have it any other way. I promised Kaweah I would be by her side until the very end and I make that same promise to this pup. And on this journey together, we will have ourselves plenty of adventures and yummy snacks and cuddles and friends and lots and lots of love.

silly goofballs

five minutes later, they were sleeping in a pile

except this one passed out before he could get across the pen

pieces of a broken heart

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Recipe: hot smoked salmon and asparagus pasta

Jeremy and I want to thank you all for the touching comments, emails, messages, and other notes on Kaweah’s passing. We are in awe of your love for our dear pup and grateful for your kindness and well wishes. Thank you so very much. xo

The past week has been a bit of a blur as we try to resume life without Kaweah. Everywhere we turned we expected to see that cute little face staring back at us (presumably wondering if we had beef or cheese or apples to offer). And when I didn’t find Kaweah, I just sat down and sobbed. Or I stood and sobbed. I sobbed as I folded her freshly laundered towels and beddings. I sobbed as I put away her dog bowls. I did a lot of sobbing. It was hard being in the house without her – so we packed up and headed southwest. Kaweah’s absence is still felt, but it’s slightly less pronounced here in Crested Butte. Just slightly.

kaweah’s last sunset

my last photo of kaweah on the way to the vet

tags, leashes, and collars by the front door

I still miss hearing her soft snoring in the middle of the night, or watching her little legs chase bunnies in her dreams, or the funny way she would sniff sniff sniff EVERYTHING in the yard until it culminated in a giant sneeze. Getting outside has helped tremendously. Most of you know that the mountains are my therapy sessions. It’s incredibly beautiful right now too.

i spotted a gorgeous bull moose on my trail run last week

brilliant stormy sunset over paradise divide

wildflowers dot the hillslopes of the crested butte high country

While trail running alone, I can lose myself in thought for hours and think about Kaweah without crying. Occasionally, one of her nicknames will push from my lungs into the mountain air and I’ll smile at the memory of her goofy shenanigans. Cooking helps too. I went through one day of depression eating before I bounced back to a normal meal pattern. Prepping vegetables has been especially meditative. My mom told me keeping busy will help, and she’s right. I shot this pasta recipe a few weeks ago, with Kaweah at my side to catch any stray pieces of salmon. Blogging will help me find my way back to normal.

hot smoked salmon, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, white wine, fettuccine, cream, parmesan, butter, asparagus

drizzle olive oil over the asparagus

season with salt and pepper and grill (or roast)

slice asparagus into bite-size pieces

**Jump for more butter**