Morgan and Jenny were living one perfectly happy life... and then one day they decided to spice it up with some crunching, chewing, barking, little fun. So get comfy, make yourself at home, and enjoy our little blog of chips and dip (o)..

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Big Baby

We have had our pup for almost 3 weeks and she has grown 20%!!! Can you imagine growing that much bigger in 3 weeks? Just imagine the growing pains, and seriously no wonder she seems to eat every leaf, root, dirt clod, paper, trash and cord laying around... Ok, I'll admit it, she eats everything - but can you blame her?
The other day I left her in the car (which I had been doing often, and won't anymore) for about 15 minutes. When I came out, despite four chew toys and bones scattered about my car, she had eaten half way through my seat belt. It is no longer functional. So, what does that count on the point system? An attempt to take my life? I think it deserves 50 points which brings the total to:
Chipson 53 Morgan and Jenny 0

Good thing she has a cute face, and is in every single way adorable and cuddly. Oh I love her so much. Why must she be out to kill us?

Friday, February 11, 2011


Since Morgan wrote about his pup-related injury, I thought I'd share mine. This morning, I awoke to a sharp pain in my right ankle/calf tendon (despite the fact I studied biology, I avoided anatomy like the plague and will thus refer to it quite comfortably as my ankle/calf tendon). As Morgan limped about this morning with his broken foot, I, perplexedly, followed suit and the two of us hobbled about. I had not figured out the origin to this tendonitis until I took Chipson out for her morning jog, when suddenly it all came clear.

Every day if I want to maintain sanity and control in the house I take the pup out for a nice long run or a MILLION walks. Since she is a puppy, I am not supposed to really 'jog' with her until 18 months, but with her energy I cannot justify running on my own and walking her recommended few minutes a day. Yea right, this dog needs SERIOUS exercise. So today despite my inflamed tendon, I had to take her out, and hoped the jogging would help with the pain. Not even two minutes after I started running Chip darted in front of me, turned and jumped up causing me to stop fast, mid-run, in an awkward lunge. BAM SWOOSH OHEFPOEPOJFWOIEHPOJSF LIGHTNING PAAAAAIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNN!

And with the flash of pain, a flash of understanding came over me. This habit of darting, turning, jumping and stopping me in my tracks is completely common for our little Chip - thus creating a seriously inflamed tendon. So, Chipson 2, Morgan and Jenny 0.

Someday, I pray, we will figure out a compatible running program. Because, quite honestly, if Chip isn't running, I may lose all the skin and feeling in my wrists and hands. A teething, overly-energized puppy is no match for my once peaceful life, but Chip, I am learning, and as you lie in your bizarre post-run stupor, I am plotting ways to tame you, to calm you, and hopefully even the score.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Break a leg! (foot)

So, Chipson challenged me to a wrestling match last Friday. Not being one to deny a challenge, I gave her my best shot....and ended up with a broken foot.

There I was, running all around the house with the dog always close behind. At one point, I was at the front of the couch, while she was at the back. She had been chasing me round and round, but was growing bored of the game. To spice things up, I slowly made my way to side of the couch to lure her to chase me again. As soon as she started moving, I made my move and hurdled the couch on one miraculous display of athleticism....almost. My left foot clipped the backrest on the couch, and my controlled bound turned into an awkward fall. Seeing my impending doom in front of me (our hutch that sits several feet behind our couch was threatening to disfigure my face), I made a split-second decision to sacrifice my right foot.

I didn't hear the classic "pop" that most broken bones make, but I definitely knew something wasn't quite right. So I rubbed some dirt on it, walked it off, and coach put me back in. Ok, not really. As soon as Jenny was done drying my tears, I put some ice on it, and went to bed. I spent a few days limping on it before we noticed that there was some meaningful bruising going on in the area I had hurt. Sure enough, after seeing the doctor today and getting x-rayed, I have my first broken foot! My fifth metatarsal has a well-defined crack in it, but there is apparently not much we can do about it except wait it out.

Chipson: 1, Morgan :0

(Not my foot)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Morgan's dad owns a pie shop, and so for the longest time I shied away from making pies - for obvious reasons. However, lately, I can't seem to make enough. Leftover soup? Make pie? Leftover spaghetti sauce? Make pie? Random assortment of vegetables soon to go bad? Make pie. So I invite you, dear friends, to embrace the remainder of this winter, stalk up on some veggies and soup, and make pie.

Last night, since I had an abundance (like 2 pounds) of spinach in the fridge, asparagus, portabellos and chicken - I could think of no better way to consume it all than in the shape of a delicious flaky cheesy pie.

It's simple, get a good pie crust recipe (or pate brise) and for the filling, just start by sauteing and steaming the ingredients. Next, add milk, butter and flour (if you want a creamy sauce) add just enough until the consistency is right, let it simmer for a while and voila! In the case of this pie - with a lot of relatively bland veggies, I added a lot of asiago cheese and some cayenne pepper to give it a kick, and sort of a cheddary taste.

I usually only bake my pies for like 45 minutes to an hour, yesterday we baked it giving us enough time to run Chipson into the ground at a tennis court. One day, she may learn that it is fun to run after a ball we throw, and even more fun to continue bringing it back to us. Right now, she just looks at us like we are crazy. I think she honestly has no idea why she should go get the ball that she JUST ran and brought back to us moments before. I agree with her, looks like we have a smart dog (or so I keep telling myself).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Great Dog Escape

As you may have picked up before, Chipsanne is our little Devil Dog. However, I have yet to describe why such a name is warranted, other than as Morgan mentioned, her pooping peeing 'a-plethora' problem. So now on to reason two: anxiety disorder to the max.

We picked up Chip at a shelter and she was assumed to be 3 and a half months old. As is protocol, she had to be at the shelter for 3 days before being adopted so the previous owners could claim her. Unfortunately, Chipson's family did not come looking for her... which I guess, was quite fortunate for us, but maybe a bit scarring for her. We are guessing, since the pup was found roaming the streets, that since she was perfectly healthy, groomed, and seemingly domesticated and mildly trained, she had been owned before. However, as we have learned, she is QUITE the runner, and when given the opportunity to be a little free she has taken off like an Olympic track star. So, we believe she escaped from a home and perhaps ran to a different county, or her owners simply decided to give up. Either way, she got caught, and stuck in a shelter for 3 days before we swept her off her paws and put her into our lives. Now, perhaps as a result, she has SEVERE anxiety disorder. She will cry at the door when you are in the shower. She paws at the door while you are in the bathroom. She follows you around EVERYWHERE and since the closest she could possibly be to you is RIGHT between your two legs, she has very sadly, more than once been stepped on or tripped over.

We sort of love that she adores us so much, but in an attempt to break the habit, we keep leaving her alone and paying less attention to her when she seems to beg for it. The first time away from her our carpet was destroyed, and I found more poop in the house than I had EVER seen come out of her all of the days we had her combined. The second time, I decided to use the crate (we have heard good things, but she LOATHES it). My mom had come over for the day and we wanted to go out to lunch. We put her in the crate and went downstairs to listen a few minutes before we left. As we listened, the dog turned into vicious dinosaur, and screams, barks, roars were emitted as the crate was obviously being rolled across the room. Suddenly we heard the pattering of her paws, followed by more terrified yelping and then scratching at the door. The devil dog had escaped.

Attempting to never leave her alone except for small increments at a time, by Wednesday I felt like I was under house arrest. So I decided to buck up and do something I knew she'd hate. I put the crate in the car and Chippy and I went to Costco. When I got there I lured her into the evil cage with some treats. Quickly I closed it,TIED the zippers together to prevent escape, shut the trunk and headed in - at least I knew the car wouldn't be ruined when I got back, and her barking though frightful to passerby's wouldn't bother the neighbors. So relaxed, I headed into Costco.

30 minutes later, I returned and my heart sunk as I saw her head in the window... not the crate. As I approached (her yapping seemed to have never ceased) I realized that ONLY her head had made it out of the crate. The rest of her body was stuck inside, and the whining was due to not only fear of separation, but probably pain. Cesar Milan (The All Mighty Dog Whisperer) says to show no emotion, and avoid greeting your dog when you return home from being out. So I calmly loaded all the groceries into the car watching in horror as the crate was being tossed to and fro her body-crate-covered desperately trying to keep up with the direction and desires of her head.

When I finally went to her aide, I realized that her head was completely stuck. I really had no clue what to do, and not wanting to give her comfort, but rather discipline (another Cesar trick) I was at a loss as to how to calm her down and get her out. People passing by stopped and looked at the frantic bouncing crate about to fall out of my trunk with a puppy's head sticking through it as I sat helpless on the asphalt. Great - 4 days of motherhood, and already somebody is going to report me to puppy services or something.

Eventually, she calmed down enough and I was able to push her head back inside the crate. Needless to say, we have yet to close that crate door since. Furthermore, the other day, I heard destructive pouncing and tearing coming from the blue room (where we keep all her stuff) and I found her attempting to destroy her crate. She was successfully toppling, pouncing, pushing and pulling the crate all over the room. I got the message. No more crate.

I'm beginning to wonder, who's training who?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Potty Training

I'm really not looking forward to potty training a baby human someday....potty training a puppy that thinks it's a baby human is difficult enough. After hearing stories from coworkers about kids that smear poop all over bathroom walls, I figured potty training a puppy must be a breeze. Fail.

When we first adopted Chipson and were staying at my parents' house, we took her out as often as we could to help her get used to doing her business outdoors. In fact, the first two times she peed were outside, so we thought she may not even need that much training. Then she pooped next to my parents' bedroom. Then she rolled in poop when we stopped off the freeway on our way home from Spokane. Then she pooped in our stairway. Then she pooped in our guestroom. Poop, poop, poop.

Peeing also hasn't been that great. If we left her alone for more than 30 seconds, she seemed to find a chance to pee on the carpet somewhere. If we take her to the door to go outside and pee, she couldn't seem to contain herself and would pee in the mudroom. There were a few occasions where I was putting my shoes on to take her out only to hear the piddle noise, and was then forced to pick her up mid-stream and run outside (with only one shoe on) before she was all done just so I could say, "Good girl!" when she peed outside. The problem is that if you don't clean up 100% of the "scent" she leaves behind, she will still recognize that "spot" as a good place to mark again - with a vengeance.

Then came Wednesday, February 2. 2011 - a day that will go down in history. She finally started getting it! Jenny was in the living room when Chipson, who was at the top of the stairs, started to whimper. On a hunch, Jenny took her downstairs to see if maybe, just maybe, if Chipson was trying to let her know it was time. Sure enough, as soon as Jenny took her outside, the desert of our walkway turned into "A River Runs Through It." Later that night, I was in the kitchen when Chipson again began to whimper at the top of the stairs. "No," I thought, "lightning does not strike twice." But even a broken clock is right twice a day, and after taking her outside, it was clear that Chipson indeed needed to pee again.

She's still not 100% there, but is well on her way. I would hardly consider ourselves to be dog whisperers, but at least we know our house won't have to always smell like, well, you know. She really is a great dog that is full of love....and poop.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Our Chipper Chippy Chip

People say that new couples get a dog as a way to postpone the women's desire to have a baby. I guess, they think, that as a women starts getting a little baby hungry, giving her a puppy will satiate that desire for at least a few years.

Well let me make this very clear, I was in NO WAY baby hungry, but having a dog DEFINITELY ABSOLUTELY ENTIRELY EMPHATICALLY has made this little Dipo family say "no" to babies for like the next ten years.

But, before I dive into the stories of the rascal that is now ours, let me give you a little background info as to how our hearts were won:

For about a month we have been very actively looking for a dog. All of our Saturdays were filled with puppy hunting, and the evenings were spent at an occasional shelter or on We sent out at least 30 applications for dogs in the Western Washington area, just so we could meet the dog. We found a few that pulled on our heart strings, and tears were often shed... well by me, but I cried enough for the both of us, as we struggled to adopt a pup.

I'm not sure that we were necessarily SUPER ready for a dog as much as we just realized that we both REALLY wanted one within the next year or two, and that right now, as a stay-at-home, sell-my-soul-to-the-internet-job-hunting wife, without plans of thoughts of kids for at least another 3 years, we really could not pick a better time to raise a puppy.

You see both of us have dogs at our parents' houses. Morgan has a weimaraner named Duke who is just the greatest cuddliest loving dog and a pure joy to be around. My folks have a black lab named Shadow, and I am 100% convinced that he is perfect in every single way. He does not beg, he does not get into the trash, or even eat snacks off a coffee table. He stays right at your side without a leash, and is loving when you want him to be, but independent when you are busy. I assumed since I was there all through his life, and Morgan all through Duke's that naturally we would be able to follow suit and raise the perfect dog. We also believed (quite naively) that our puppy would be perfect from day one.

Ha. Ha.

Anyway, this past weekend Morgan and I went to Spokane to see Brian Regan with his family. We stopped at the Wenatchee Humane Society to look for a dog, but as was typical, the dog we seemed to fall in love with, was already adopted. So come Saturday morning, despite a plan to go to every single animal shelter within a 100 mile radius of Spokane, we were feeling defeated. We went to like five places early in the day. Every single time we got to the shelter just before it opened we waited in line like (as Morgan said) shoppers at Wal-Mart on Black Friday. With no success we basically gave up, and my puppy hunt was feeling all too similar to my job hunt. Then, as a last ditch effort, we went to Spokanimal, a seriously ghetto shelter. There in a little cage, huddled against the door was this little black and white ball of affection with the saddest brown eyes. I went up to the door and it came straight to me leaning with adoration into my touch through the cage. We fell in love right on the spot. Sure enough, however, the paperwork was gone which indicated the dog already had someone interested in it.

After being defeated many times before I was NOT going to lose again. I, honestly, began scouring the cage door to see if I could puppy-nap it, that was how desperate I had become. Morgan went and waited in the mile-long line to get information about the dog. And me, in my desperation, went on a serious hunt. The family that had pulled the paperwork were being shown to the cage. I stealthily followed them to our pup's door, holding my breath. I stood there like a vulture waiting for an opportunity to dive in and steal the pup away from them at any sign of hesitation. Sure enough, the employee told the family that he shouldn't be adopted until their cat had been introduced to the dog. They nodded and began to pull away, and BOOM that was my opportunity! I swooped in, I cried "I don't have a cat, and I want to adopt him, what do I need to do?" My heart was pounding, tears were in my eyes. He looked at the paperwork, and said that the dog had literally just come out of his holding period, was fixed yesterday, and was in fact ready and AVAILABLE to be adopted!!!! HURRAY! HUZZAH!!!!

The entire time we talked to the employee he referred to the dog as a 'he' so when we went out and played with him, we naturally thought it was a boy, and we settled on the name Chipson Dipo. Ten minutes later, at the adoption checkout counter, we registered him as Chipson, and he was even microchipped with the name. Then the lady says something like "Oh she was spayed yesterday so take these pills..." To which Morgan was like "you mean neutered." The lady looks at him, repeats herself, and I swoop up the dog to check. Sure enough, 'he' was definitely a she.

Well, for the rest of this dog's life, everybody will think Chipson is a boy. My mom suggested changing the name to Chipsanne which I believe is quite genius, but sadly, she is already registered and her little tag is engraved... So you can call her whatever you want. I was raised by a dad named Stacey and am married to a man named Morgan. Names are totally cool when they are a little bit gender confused.

We took our pup back to the Dipo's, where she met Mittens the very angry cat, and Duke the very jealous boy. She was loving, adorable, and calm on that first glorious day...