Belle’s Birthday


Yesterday was Belle’s 8th Birthday! I can’t believe I’ve had her for 8 years, or that she’s 56 in dog years. She’s still super energetic and drives us just as crazy as she did 8 years ago. We were too busy having a lazy day yesterday to celebrate so we had a “Belle Day” today instead.

First, we took her to Petsmart to have a little puppy shopping spree. Of course, she mostly barked at other dogs and begged us to hold her.

Daddy trying to help her pick out a toy
Daddy trying to help her pick out a toy

Then, we took her to Sonic to have her very own ice cream cone. We never give her table food, but we know she loves ice cream thanks to my parents. While we were living in Albania for a year, Belle lived with her Grandparents in Texas, where she was slightly spoiled…and gained a few pounds.

ordering her ice cream
ordering her ice cream
and enjoying her ice cream
and enjoying her ice cream

We ended the day at the park because her favorite thing (besides chasing sticks) is going for walks with the family.

That’s her new bone in her mouth..I think she likes it

park baby

I think Belle had a perfect Birthday, she even got what she wanted most…to have the cat locked out of the house.

Just kidding...I let the cat in immediatly
Just kidding…I let the cat in immediately

Happy 8th Birthday Belle!



Picnics in the Park

I mentioned in a previous post that I am going to try to spend as much time as possible in Central Park. I am happy to say, I have been doing a fine job with this plan. Today is rainy and dreary, but prior to now we have actually had some beautiful spring days. Over the weekend I had two picnics in the park, and was able to lay in the grass and soak up everything that makes Central Park so perfect.

Even our walk to the park is beautiful!
Even our walk to the park is beautiful!

yellow us


The various colored tulips, the bright pink cherry blossoms and the fragrant magnolia blooms are almost overwhelming. Everywhere I looked there were people gazing at the them, photographing them or even painting them. The few weeks when all the tulips are in bloom are similar to the Autumn weeks when all the leaves are orange, red and yellow. It’s so beautiful, short-lived and you can’t help but feel lucky to witness it.

tulips red closeup painter

After we ate our sandwiches, we spent lots of time people watching. There were numerous brides taking portraits, families playing frisbee, and thousands upon thousands of tourists. Tons of tourist means tons of tourist traps. Around every bend was a performer. Sunday in the park consisted of accordion players, artists, singers, dancers, bubble makers, food vendors and masseuse.

bubble bowbridge


We were really enjoying our time in the park, but Belle was having the best time. Anytime we take her to the park she is so full of energy and excitement that it seems she will explode with happiness at any moment. She barks, runs, jumps and chases every stick and child in sight. Everyone thinks she is the most adorable thing ever when they see her running and fetching sticks. I never understood why, but Zoey just pointed out to me that New York dogs do not play with sticks. Interesting…

belle bellestick


6 weeks left to enjoy this beautiful park! I love New York! Hopefully, I will be able to find this much beauty and relaxation in my new backyard.


Feeling Funky

Okay, it’s been a couple of days since I’ve posted because I have been in such a funk. I am lonely because Husband is still in Nashville. Work has been busy and fun, which just depresses me. I have come home and cried often this week because I cannot believe I won’t see most of these children again. Then, there’s the packing and the cleaning. Remember when there was a major exam in high school or college and you needed to study for days and days, but for some reason you ended up organizing your closet and cleaning out your junk drawers instead? I’ve done a lot of stuff the last few days, but not a lot of packing. Then there’s the job hunting. All of this = funk, and not the superfly music genre kind.

Today, I decided I had to get out of my funk and turn things around. It was beautiful and sunny today so I called up Zoey and had her join me on a long walk through the park.

Did I mention it was beautiful today?
Did I mention it was beautiful today?

As soon as we got to the park we regretted not bringing a blanket and a picnic. There were families playing frisbee, babies chasing bugs, puppies running everywhere and thousands of people laying in the sun. (As soon as NYC reaches 60 degrees on a weekend you will find 100’s of girls laying out in bikinis at the park…people are desperate for some sunshine and nature here.) We tried to ignore our desire to picnic and lounge since neither of us brought snacks or cash, and roamed around taking gorgeous photos of the cherry blossoms instead.

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You know it’s a beautiful day when you can get such great photos on your phone. We eventually had enough of the walking and the watching other people sunbathe, that’s when it hit me…I have money on my Starbucks app*! So, we did the obvious and walked to the closest Starbuck’s stocked up on snacks and beverages, walked back to the park and lounged away.

There were so many people with adorable dogs all around us. Half of us let them off their leaches and played fetch with our loves. That is until two dogs began wrestling, one began playing fetch with someone else’s croquet balls and Belle started growling. There were also a dozen babies having a field day with all the pooches.

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While Zoey and Belle were playing together I took a cute photo to send to Husband. He then took a cute photo of his friends playing in TN to send back to me.


I am still laughing.

We had a great day and evening eating junk food and duct taping a mold of Zoey’s body (I’ll have to explain that last part later). I think the funk has gone.

My friend Sara sent me this quote the other day because it reminded her of me. I was honored she thought of me because I love Audrey, and glad to be reminded of what “I believe”.


I also believe moving, packing and job hunting will all get easier. Tomorrow is another day, and tomorrow I will pack.


*I actually only had a few dollars left on my Starbucks app, so I had to reload it (which is possible to do on my phone), however I forgot my password. After numerous attempts I called Husband and had him reload it from his phone in Tennessee. Zoey and I are obviously desperate and pathetic. Heaven forbid we just walk home to get our wallets!

Monday Funday

You probably know now that my weekends consist of Sunday and Monday. I actually had to go to work both Sunday and today (only for a couple of hours), but that didn’t ruin my weekend. Husband has been out-of-town, as well as sister-in-law, so I decided to use the weekend for some much needed relaxation, organizing and cleaning. Fun right? I had a great brunch yesterday with several relatives and spent the rest of the day shopping (only for necessities of course…yes, Husband, Sephora is necessary).

Today, I had a doctor appointment,  a little work, but the rest of the day was glorious. I woke up to snuggles from my love pup and a very sunny city.

photo IMG_4852Belle and I took a nice walk, searched for new homes, played with her new toy (Petunia the porcupine) and bought some Gerber daisies to brighten up the desk.

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After I left the doctor, I rewarded myself with Starbucks, a great phone conversation with one of the best girls I know, and a coffee date with another good friend.


Got to love the trains.
Got to love the trains.

I also got to snuggle my cat-nieces to death today. I’m the best sister-in-law ever and I’ve been cat sitting for Zoey for the last four days. These cats are super needy, but I still love em’.

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Now, I’m home eating delicious delivered vegan food (“chicken” and avocado sandwich, fries and a butterfinger “milkshake”) and watching the worst guilty pleasure, The Bachelor. Belle is busy being a Diva and hogging my favorite pillow.

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It’s been fun, but I can’t wait to see Husband tomorrow!


Snow Day

Last week was an intensely cold week. NYC stayed below freezing ALL week. I wanted to stay inside wrapped in blankets all day every day, but sadly I am a dedicated employee and forced myself out of the covers to walk to work each day. Husband was working out of town for a few days, so I made plans to spend at least my half-day off Saturday doing nothing.

Anytime Husband goes out of town I plan to take advantage of my alone time by cleaning the entire apartment, working out every day, and reading lots of books. By the time Saturday (my last alone-day) rolled around I had not cleaned a single thing, worked out zero times, and had not even bothered to look for my Nook.

No problem I thought, after work I will clean hardcore, do a yoga DVD, and spend the rest of the evening reading while cuddled on the couch with Belle. No big deal.

Then, it snowed.

I really wanted to play in the snow. I really really wanted to let Belle play in the snow.

I have so much anxiety when I do not complete a task or to-do list that I almost had a panic attack trying to decide between playing in the snow and cleaning the apartment. Luckily, Husband called mid-crisis and told me it’s cruel to not take Belle to the park on a snow day.

So….we went.

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Turns out that Central Park was hosting its annual Winter Jam on Saturday! Winter Jam is a free festival that offers concerts, quidditch matches, food trucks, winter markets, skiing lessons, and a whole lot more! We had so much fun walking through the festivities.

There were pro snow boarders showing off their skills.
There were pro snow boarders showing off their skills.


The "ice lounge"
The “ice lounge”


We even found a puppy food truck that served organic, holistic, and lactose free dog treats. Lucky Belle had her own bacon peanut butter flavored ice cream!


She LOVED it.
She LOVED it.

I had to carry my spoiled frosted pooch home because the salt on the sidewalk (used to melt the ice) burns her feet. Anyone know of good dog shoes for small dogs??


I made it home in time to clean the apartment before Husband got home, I considered my walk through the park a workout, and I read several online menus before ordering dinner. I considered my goals accomplished and have no regrets spending a snow day in the park!


Off The Leash

I am getting better and better at this whole “waking up early” thing people keep talking about. My weekend this week consists of Monday and Tuesday (Happy Rush Hashanah!), and I have actually got out of bed at 6:30am BOTH mornings. For anyone keeping track I’ve done that 3 times in the last week. None of which were on actual workdays, but whatever. It’s so much more exciting to get up for a day of fun than it is for a day of work.

Yesterday, was truly a miracle, because not only did I get up with the sun, but so did Husband! We decided to wake up and take our one and only child/pup to the park for “off-leash” hours. Central Park allows dogs to be off their leash before 9am and after 9pm. I’ve done this with Belle once before, but Husband has yet to experience the awesomeness of no-leash hours.

NYC may be a concrete jungle, but it is also a city of dogs. Take one walk around our neighborhood and you are likely to find all sorts of fancy breeds, rescued mutts, enormous pooches, and tiny ones pushed in strollers. Zoey and I both have a (bad?) habit of loving on all the dogs we see. We can’t help but cuddle all the furry balls of cuteness being walked all around us. Being at the park before 9am is the holy grail of dog watching/petting/loving.

Belle grew up in both Texas and Tennessee and had the luxuries of large backyards, deer filled hills, and fields of grass to wildly chase bunnies and squirrels. In the mornings we could simply open the door and allow her to unleash her energy in the countryside. She still adored going on leashed-walks around our neighborhoods, but was also free to roam the yard leash-free (if raccoons and skunks were nowhere in sight).

For the last year Husband and I have felt really guilty about keeping Belle in our tiny apartment and only allowing her outside if she’s on a leash. Being attached to a leash makes playing fetch in the park a lot less fun, for both of us. So, yesterday, when we arrived at Central Park before 7am and immediately took off her leash I was 50% thrilled to let her run free, and 50% afraid she’d keep running and never turn back.

The entire park was filled with hundreds and hundreds of dogs roaming free. We saw poodles, Dalmatians, Mastiffs, Chihuahuas, German Sheppard’s, Corgis, Terriors, and tons of mutts and mixes. Every dog and owner were happily running around, playing fetch, and chatting to other dog lovers. It was so nice to be around other people who get it.

Dog owners relate the same way parents relate. We see another dog shoving his nose up our dog’s arse, and before their owner can apologize we give them the knowing “don’t worry, we get it look”. Then, when our dog turns around bears her teeth and begins loudly yipping at the butt sniffer, we receive the same knowing look. We’ve all been there. Our dogs are our loves, but we know they are often disgusting, misbehaving messes.

We walked Belle until 9am, when all the leashes were instantly latched on again. We bid farewell to our new doggy friends and walked home. I imagined Belle would pass out from exhaustion and we would use the quiet time to be productive. (i.e Husband will read Reddit and play Black Mesa, while I work on lesson plans and write blogs)

Belle immediately grabbed her favorite toy and excitedly jumped up and down, ready to play fetch over and over and over again, I fell asleep while watching Kelly and Michael, and Husband actually read Reddit and played Black Mesa.

We are looking forward to many more early mornings in the park before the weather starts getting too cold.

Also, if you have a dog, you must must absolutely must read this.


Post by the Pup

Belle again! Mom has visitors this week, and is just in over her head with having fun while working and juggling wedding plans, so once again, it’s Belle to the rescue. I really don’t know what my Mom would do without me. For example, how would she waste all her free time without having me around? Lord knows she spends every spare moment taking the most ridiculous/embarrassing pictures of me.

She snapped this one when I accidently fell asleep in the middle of playing “fetch”. It’s not my fault she always takes ten minutes to throw the tennis ball! Mom, is very easily distracted by the TV.

This one was taken when she was having a great time acting a fool, and I was forced to cover my ears. To think, they yell at ME for barking too loud!

Here’s one she took to send to Dad when he was out of town. I don’t get it…she is smiling like she is sooo happy. I wanted to let Dad know how much I missed him, hence the sad face.

I’ve blacked this one out of my memory completely.

As you can see, Mom is pretty camera happy when I’m around. So next time she says she’s too busy and overwhelmed, please remind her to stop taking pictures of me.

However, it turns out that my picture taking practice has turned out to be useful in my doggy life.

A few days ago my Mom and Dad took me to the big green park (the only place that seems to have grass in this city). I LOVE going to the park! I get to run around, chase birds and squirrels, play fetch for hours with all the sticks I could ever imagine, and no one cares if I potty in this grass.

On this recent trip though, I was stopped….by the PUPARAZZI!

I was just carelessly strolling along, no cute outfit, and my fur wasn’t even fixed, when out of the clear blue this older woman stops my parents and asks permission to take pictures of me.

Mom and Dad looked a little confused, but agreed that it was fine for this complete stranger to take pictures of me for her “compilation” she was trying to get published.

No one asked my opinion. I was not really in the mood for a random photo session at the park. Who am I? Tinkerbell Hilton?! I let everyone know that I was not in the mood by refusing to stand still. I just walked quickly around everyone and made the crazy woman chase me around with a her giant camera and talk baby talk to me while telling me how cute I am.

When she was done she took down Mom’s email and promised to send her the edited versions.

As we walked away I could here Mom and Dad talking about the “crazy” woman, and laughing about her  “compilation”. They even had the nerve to say these things in front of me! Their child who they just allowed to be photographed!! Who knows what website I’ll end up on!!!

….The “crazy” lady emailed Mom the pictures today…

Mom pulled these up, began laughing hysterically, and then called Dad over to look at my “glamour shots”.

Dad, also laughing, wondered how her final project would turn out.

Obviously, I was extremely nervous to see these pictures. They must be pretty horrible.

Wrong. I look gorgeous and glamorous! Who is that famous dog? Me!? Couldn’t be! No wonder that woman with the painted eyebrows and eyeshadow up to her forehead wanted to snap pictures of me. I was born to model. Just look at those cheekbones.

I think I’ve finally found my calling in life. So, for those who are interested, you can book me through this blog. Just leave a comment. I take cash, visa, begin’ strips, and squeaky balls as payment, and I charge by the hour.

(Also, I need a new agent. My momager isn’t cutting it.)

No autographs please!


No Dogs Allowed

A short story by Belle the dog.

So, my Mom and Dad often take me shopping. I think this is mostly because I need a walk, and they need to shop. So they try and kill two birds with one stone. Amazingly, dogs are allowed in basically every store that does not sell food in NYC. Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman’s, Barneys, Macy’s, Chanel, Gucci, they all allow dogs!  Even some restaurants allow dogs here.

For some reason, Mom and Dad tend to get nervous when they take me into an expensive store. In fact, whenever they decide to carry me, I assume that everything in the store must be pretty valuable. Once, they took me to Ralph Lauren when a big party was happening. There was free champagne, hors devours, a famous artists, and me! Mom and Dad even let me walk around (on my leash) as they window-shopped from floor to floor. Not one person seemed a bit nervous about my presence.

It’s not always so glamorous though… one time they told me they were taking me to the park, but Mom somehow became sidetracked and we ended up shoe shopping for over an hour! I can’t even wear shoes!

Another time, Dad and I were out for a nice evening stroll, when Mom called to let us know she was off from work, but decided to run to H&M to look for a new top. Dad thought it would be fun to meet her there. I thought it would be more fun to roll in trash, but Dad disagreed.

So, about 15 minutes later we arrived at H&M. Mom was waiting at the top of the escalator and we rode up to meet her. I love riding escalators, and I love my Mom, so I was very excited! I was shaking my nub the whole way up!

Right at the top of the escalator I felt I quick sharp pain in my back paw, but I was so happy to see my Mom that I ignored it and jumped straight into her arms. Mom and Dad talked for a while, my paw started to ache a little, and Mom’s shirt started feeling wet. At first, she thought I had a little accident. Please mom! Like I would ever do such a thing! But, then she and I realized her shirt was covered in my blood.

It turns out that the sharp pain on the escalator was 2 of my back claws being pulled out! I was not in much pain, until I was rushed home and Mom and Dad started examining it. This may come as a surprise, but Mom actually deals with these sort of situations much better than Dad. (Only because she knows this could never happen to her, and blood is one thing that doesn’t cause  a major panic attack.)

Dad was about to throw up with the sight of my blood and could hardly touch me. Mom, on the other hand, was fine with handling my wounded paw.

Being the nieve pup that I am, I assumed the worst was over.

But, it was far from over. Mom and Dad poked and proded at my little foot all night, and then forced me to go the Vet the next day! Isn’t getting my paw caught in an escalator enough torture for one week?! I swear I learned my lesson!

Fast forward to a couple weeks later, and all is better. My paw is possibly forever stuck in a “hook em’ horns” position, but it doesn’t hurt anymore. Now, if I can just convince my parents to not take me shopping again….

Maybe they won't find me under this blanket.


Belle’s Back!

Mom’s tired and stressed tonight, and says the blog will only get done if I write it. She’s thrown herself across the couch, leaving room for no one, and has stolen my favorite blanket that she claims belongs to her. She is now glued to the T.V. and crying at sappy commercials as she waits for SNL to come back. I guess I’ll take over from here…

New York has turned out to be a pretty cool place for a dog. I have always had pretty high standards for my living arrangements, and as it turns out, most dogs in NYC have pretty high standards. I fit in perfectly. Dogs get walked here ALL the time. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss having a big yard full of grass to run around in and chase bugs, but my parents can no longer just open the door and let me out when they feel lazy. They actually HAVE to put me on a leash and walk me EVERY time I need to go out. Yay!

On my walks I often see several other dogs forcing their parents to take them on walks too. Some of these dogs are incredibly instrusive. They walk right up to me and sniff me as if they know me! I let them know how incredibly inappropriate this by showing them all of my teeth and letting the Mohawk on my back stand all the way up. Other dogs tend to keep their distance and do not invade my personal space.

I’m not sure if you heard, but my parents sleep in a loft-style bed about 6 feet off the ground. At first, this was incredibly annoying because anytime I wanted up or down I had to whine loudly at my parents and stomp my feet before they’d listen to me and place me on and off the bed as I pleased.

It was not too long before they came to their senses and devised a solution to my little problem. Dad and Grandpa Mark built me my own personal doggy spiral staircase. I could have easily shown my appreciation by using the stairs immediately to get on and off the bed, but I knew better than that. I devised a plan that was sure to get me as many treats as possible.

See, anytime my parents beckoned for me to come up the stairs I would just stare at them confused and cry. Their next step, was to place me on the steps and call me up or down. Even then, I just sat, cried, and then began shaking to show how nervous they were making me. Finally, it all paid off.

Their last plan was to place a little treat on every single step. I still acted scared, so as not to give away my plan, but I slowly made my way up each step, ate each treat, and got an even bigger treat when I completed the steps. This lasted for a while. Slowly, they moved onto a treat every few steps, then just a treat at the top or bottom, and now? Now, do you know what I get??? I get scratched behind the ears, and a belly rub if I am lucky. Of course, now that they know what I am capable of, crying no longer works when I am at the bottom of the stairs. Oh well, it is easier to get in and out of the bed on my own.

Now, if I can just figure out a way to make Mom stop dressing me up like a fool….