Monday, December 26, 2011

Dallas at Christmas

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Chris found a headband for her with a small piece of mistletoe attached. She's exhausted here because we just spent the night chasing her for kisses.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Poor Dallas. I became intent on dressing her up, and she indulged me, unentertained though she was. The block's first trick-or-treator was an adult pillsbury dough boy. Inexperienced in the concept of Halloween, Dallas was most certainly not willing to accept him on her block. And this became one of the few times she absolutely found her voice. "Sound the alarms! Sound the alarms- I'm not sure what this guy is, but he is MOST unusual!"

After the dough boy, neighbor Liz sat with Chris, Dallas, and myself on the front driveway and effectively handed out 900 pieces of candy in two hours. Dallas and I were the only two of the foursome dressed up.

A 'Wicked Halloween': Elphaba & Galinda

"I wanna be popular"

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dallas' First Birthday

We adopted Dallas, so we really don't know when her birthday is. But, we adopted her at 3-4 months old, we can pretty much guess she was born sometime last October. So, one cool autumn evening, we invited our friends (and their dog) to the house (actually, the back yard), bought her a little dog-biscuit cake and roasted s'mores to celebrate. OK, maybe that was more for us then her, but I didn't hear any complaints concerning the black lab friend or dog-biscuit treats.

 Dallas prepares for her cake...

She's literally drooling.

"Team DU" Noelle & Maree helping us celebrate.

 The dogs stayed pretty close to 4 year old Maree, during the marshmallow roasting.

 Black labs, united.

After treats, getting birthday snuggles.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Laura's Visit

The first week in October, my sister, Laura visited us for a weekend and met Dallas for the first time.

This is Laura- she's an environmental engineer in Seattle who just returned from a clean water conference in time to lecture Chris about the importance of cleaning up after Dallas. Apparently, she also likes to hold blue herons...sort of.

 Coffee - meet Dallas. Dallas, coffee.


Having a heart-to-heart with someone who truly understands.

Man that sun is bright.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thank God for Doggie Day Care

So we have become one of those couples. Yep. THOSE couples. We actually take our dog to day care twice a week. But we have a very very good reason why: it works.

When I started a new job last month, Chris and I worried that Dallas would chew down the house. We could just imagine the Caesar episode of "Good Dogs Gone Bad," starring Dallas DuMont. It would involve chewed up furniture, permanently poop-soiled floors, and lots of teeth-barring (have you seen those episodes?!) Hard to imagine, considering how uber-submissive Dallas really is, but we did have slight justification for our worries: In April & May, when I was doing consulting work in Wilmington, returning home only for weekends, for two months, she all but ransacked the house under sole provider Chris' care: flip flops, bathroom rugs, a jacket, pillow and magazines, even the crown molding around the floorboards- all destroyed. She even dis- eared a beloved stuffed chimpanzee. So we worried.

Immediately upon starting my job, we found a doggie day care near Chris' work and signed her up. She loves loves loves other dogs, so easily passed their test (they check for aggression, which is good) and two days a week comes home with Chris from work absolutely exhausted. Where we typically arrive home to such eager energy, racing around the house and grabbing a chew toy, Dallas now glides right past us, tunnel vision-ed to her favorite chair, falls asleep immediately and stays asleep until the next morning. Even then, she'll humor us for a walk and breakfast before falling back to sleep again, even before we've left for work that day.

And so far, starting my second month, all walls, pillows, and flip flops are fine, stuffed animals have been able to maintain the remaining ears, and excluding one unfortunate incident involving a significant amount of peanut butter, floors have been safe. All thanks to doggie day care twice a week.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Robin & Chris go to Jamaica

Leaving Dallas at the kennel is like leaving a kid inside a candy shop for a week. As I'm tearfully saying my goodbyes, she rarely looks back, all too eager to join the "cool kids" who apparently all hang out, there.

Aug. 6-14 we took a trip to Jamaica, just so she could visit her friends. And while I'm unclear on how she spent her time, this is how we spent our's.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dallas and the Umbrella

Every once in a while, we scare the puppy, purely for our own entertainment purposes.... and I sometimes think to myself that we should never have been trusted with a dog.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dallas Solves a Problem

Digging isn't tolerated at the DuMont household.... well... there are exceptions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

101 Degrees

She's not the smartest dog on the block, but we love her just the same.

At 101 degrees outside, today, Dallas prefers to go outside to lie in the sun...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Biting Off More Than She Can Chew...

Occasionally, during walks, Dallas will find a fallen tree or super large stick in the forest, and literally attempt to drag it along behind her. She'll give it a valiant effort for about 20 seconds before she realizes its much too heavy for her. But she still insists on trying.... every... single.... time. We live in a forest, so this is A LOT of sticks.

So, imagine her surprise when this really big stick fell from the trees and landed RIGHT in her back yard!

 It made her so happy, its been living in our yard ever since.

 And saves us lots of money on chew toys.

The Dangers of Surfing Near an Island...

Dallas and Robin try indoor surfing with a less than stellar ending...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Outgrowing the Ottoman

Dallas is only allowed on one piece of furniture- mostly because her persistence outweighed ours'. It's the Ottoman which provides a footstool for the overstuffed chair in the formal living room. Oh how beloved that previously underutilized piece of cloth and cotton with legs is! From it, Dallas can watch everything that happens in our front yard (which happens to be a lot now that the neighborhood swim team is in session and children are constantly passing our house to get to the pool!)

But lately, we've begun facing a new problem...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Attack of the Jack

Jack DuMont (Chris' Dad) & Mary (Chris' Mom) came to visit this weekend. This is what happened...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dallas in the Garden

Carrots, cucumbers, basil, blackberries, blueberries, sweet potatoes, strawberries, watermelons and tomatoes. Also I have zucchinis which will soon take over the planet. I'm afraid to weed them because 1- they are ALREADY huge and so obviously need no help from me, and 2- there are humongous spiders who love their gargantuan leaves, and yes I worked with cheetahs and chimps and great horned owls and porcupines. Still.... these are SPIDERS we're talking about. 

Anyway, these are what I've got in my garden- mostly began from seeds, but a few from seedlings. Next year, I'll be better prepared and buy my seeds from the Seed Savers Exchange. Just finished Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" which will set you straight on best farming practices, as well as the importance of buying local produce or growing it yourself. In fact, I'm really into restaurants which purchase locally grown produce, too.

So far, I have lost one sweet potato plant and one raspberry bush to the great plant avenger, Dallas. Both on Chris' watch, while I was in Wilmington. Which I have pointed out to him, on more than one occasion.  

But, if I'm honest, two is far fewer plants than I expected to lose by this time.

Is this the face of a sweet potato murderer?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Easter's Lake Snake

Easter Sunday was beautiful in Charlotte. I was home from Wilmington, where I'm currently consulting on a project (four hours away from home) and only enjoying my family (Chris and Dallas) on weekends. Easter was one of such weekends.

Around noon, I decided to take Dallas on a stroll to enjoy the gorgeous sunshine. On our walk, we encountered an enormous millipede. Brightly colored and crawling across the sidewalk, I was enthralled as its body slink-ied across the path in a fluid formation, one leg after another. I gasped and bent down to get a closer look. Dallas stopped to see what I was looking at. But she looked up. So I pointed. And she looked past it. So I held her head in the correct position only several inches from the millipede. And after about five minutes, I gave up. She never did find the darn bug.

Ten minutes later we were home, and I announced to Chris that I was taking Dallas to swim in the lake. He was a bit worried about letting her off leash, but I insisted that he worried too much, and that she'd be fine, only suggesting later that he throw a few treats in his pockets.... "just in case."

We crossed the street and I let her off the leash. Dallas ran smack toward the lake and within ten seconds, found a 2.5 foot long snake sunning itself on some rocks on the shore. Seriously. She couldn't find a millipede on a sidewalk in front of her, but given 52 miles of shoreline, she'll pick out the one rock with a huge snake immediately. We screamed and she ran away before it could strike (or she could), and proceeded to spend the next ten minutes doing her "am I in trouble?" run- racing back and forth between us, fast as she possible, to avoid being caught. I kept myself between her and the snake the whole time, with my back to the snake, to keep her away.

Chris yelled "What should I do?" So I suggested he start "chucking treats at her." He looked at me like I was kidding. I wasn't. So he did.

Of course, Dallas is a lab, so when she finally realized he was throwing food, the entire game stopped and she came right to him, allowing him to easily leash her back up again, and lead her safely away from the snake.

We certainly don't want to deny Dallas a good swim in the lake, as she IS definitely a water dog, but with six venomous snakes native to our neighborhood (she found a dead copperhead two nights ago on a walk and water moccasins are also indigenous), we're not likely to risk taking her off the leash again until she gains some... maturity

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dallas' First Trip to the Beach

May, 2011: We took Dallas to the beach for the first time. Here is a clip of our adventures in Wilminton, NC.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Laughter- Dallas & the McMillan Kids

Laughter is an amazing thing. Especially when it just won't end! This was captured in February, when Dallas was much smaller, as were the McMillan kids- two doors down!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mac & Dallas

Dallas' best friend is Mac, a black lab in the neighborhood that looks like her spitting mirror image. I daydream about the two of them mirroring each other, in slow motion, first with one raised paw, and then with the other, to the astonishment of the neighbors. We could take this on the road. 

Mac was also born in October 2010, and was adopted from a shelter shortly before we found Dallas. In fact, Chris and I question the potential for a DNA match. 

And when they get together, they do NOT stop playing. AT. ALL. Even to breathe. Which is especially funny because Dallas is much thinner and faster than Mac. And he knows it. So he's begun just sitting still amidst her crazy racing bouts. And if he waits long enough (a good .2 seconds), sure as a tiger has a tail, she'll come to him. He unwittingly proves his point this way.

Together, the furry black pups toss and tumble and tug on each other, two balls, all teeth and tummies. No matter how many time I scold Dallas playfully, "Dallas! We do NOT drag others around by their faces!" She'll still grab Mac's in her teeth and try to drag him around until he tackles her and returns the favor. And they can't see, hear or understand anything else when they are together in their world- completely focused on the fun that is "togetherness." 

Here are some photos of "Umoja"- the spirit of togtherness.

AND... after a full day of MacPlay, Dallas will fall asleep anytime, anywhere, and in any position....
Yes, she really is completely & sound asleep, here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mom Visits Dallas

Mom's first trip to North Carolina!

We also spent some time on the NC coast, in Wilmington.

 This is the Wilmington Ghost Tour. As always, Mom took notes. Our guide found that particularly entertaining.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Kim Visits Dallas!

Our good friend from San Diego, Kim has been living in England for the last 14 months or so, and came to Charlotte on business for the week. She & Dallas got some good ole fashioned girl time together!