Update on our sweet Blake

Remember my posts about adopting sweet baby malamute Blake?

If you don’t, you take take a peak at them – Picking a Puppy Already??, Bringing Home My New Puppy…, and Life with Blake…

Well, at the end of March, Jon and I made the difficult decision to give Blake back the to breeder we bought him from.  This was one of the most difficult decisions Jon and I have ever made.  But, we made the decision that was in the best interest of Blake.  We live in an townhome in an urban area, and Blake was growing much larger  than the “typical” alaskan malamute.  So, we made the decision that finding him a home where someone was home with home more often, and where he had a backyard with acres to run and play would be much better suited to his size and temperament.  It broke my heart to let him go, but I know he is happier in a place where he has a round-the-clock companion and lots of land to run run free.

To sum it up, here’s the first picture we took of Blake when we first picked him up from the breeder.  This August 13, 2011.  He was such a cute little puppy, we had no idea that he was going to grow to so much so soon.

Typical Alaskan Malamute males grow to be about 90 pounds, but it’s not unusual to see larger males top 100 pounds or more.  Blake was the biggest male of the litter, so we knew he was going to be a big boy, but we had no idea how big he was going to be.

As a puppy, Blake grew and was right on track in terms of size.  He had no problems finishing his breakfast and dinner everyday.  It was to watch, when we fed him, he acted like he had never eaten in his life.  And if Zeke, our German Shepherd didn’t finish his food for dinner, Blake was more than happy to lend a helping hand =)

Wherever we took Blake, we received tons on compliments on how handsome he was, and how friendly he was.  Blake definitively had a good temperament, beginning from puppyhood.  He liked to play with all dogs, big and small.  Going to the vet was always an adventure with Blake.  He wanted to play with the other dogs, “demanded” attention from the staff =), and was the center of attention (of course!)

Here’s a photo on our way to the vet one day:

And then he grew like a weed!  I don’t know what was in the food we were feeding him, but he shot up like a weed!

Here’s a photo from back in October 2011…he still looks like a puppy, but he’s getting bigger!

And a few more from Autumn 2011, talking a nature walk with my parents:

And then Blake at Christmas, check out how big he got (so quickly might I add!):

It was about this time we realized that Blake was going to be “bigger than the average bear.”  Since Blake was a little puppy, I would hold him on my chest like little dog.  The problem with that is, as he got older, he still believed he was a lap dog, and could still cuddle up with mommy and “plop” right down on top of me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some good puppy cuddle time, but Blake got just a little too big for laying on me.

And as a puppy, we had to overcome housetraining, which meant during the day while Jon and I were at work, he was in his crate.  Blake didn’t mind, he went into his crate voluntarily, because we taught him that his crate was his “home,” but we felt bad because Zeke, our German Shepherd, didn’t need to be crated during the day.  We felt like we were putting him in jail, even though realistically we knew that wasn’t the case.  Crating training, when done properly is a good thing for a dog.  It gives them a secure, quiet, place to hang out at home, a personal den where he can find comfort and solitude while you (the owner) know he’s safe and secure (and not tearing your house to pieces while you’re away from home).  Want to know how you’ve crate trained your dog correctly?  They will go into their crate during quiet times to rest while you are at homebecause that’s their own little bedroom.  For more information on properly crate training your dog check out the The Human Society’s website HERE.

So, by Spring 2012, Blake was HUGE!  He was only nine months old, but bigger than the average fully-grown Alaskan Malamute (and still thinking he was a lap dog, sweet doggy).

Zeke is about seven years old, and about sixty three pounds.  So, he at this point he was outweighed by our PUPPY by about 30 pounds, and Blake always wanted to play.  Zeke is getting old, acting like an old man, and didn’t want to be bothered all the time by his little brother.

So, here was Blake in March:

and my favorite picture:

 What a sweet face!  He is so precious, sweet, and so loyal.  And when he’s with you, he gives you 110% of his attention – he’s completely focused on you, loving you, listening to you, trying to please you…

That’s why this was such a difficult decision for us.

But when we put in perspective — we live in an urban area, in a townhome, with a small backyard.  Yes, we are lucky enough to have our home backup to a county park where we walk the dogs regularly, but Blake needs a place where he can just run free, not on a leash, especially being on the large size of a large breed.

Jon and I couldn’t bring ourselves to take Blake back to the breeder ourselves, so my Dad and Step Mom made the drive with Blake back to the breeder.  They had to admit it was difficult for them to give him up too.  They even contemplated keeping Blake, but the same issues arose — Blake need for expansive land to run and someone who could devote lots of attention to him.  But, alas, they did it.

The breeder was impressed with Blake’s <beautiful> appearance, temperament,  and good health.  She noted how well took care of him (of course, my doggies are my babies!).  She looked after him for a few days to get to know him, then put an ad out to find a good home for Blake.

I was very happy to hear she was being stringent in the interview process, so she could find the perfect home for Blake.  It took a about a month and several interviews, but she found a good home!

A lady who was visiting her family in Pennsylvania (lives in Massachusetts) for the weekend saw the ad she posted for Blake, and came to see him.  She fell in love with him instantly! (Of course, who wouldn’t!?!?).  So, Blake went to his new home in Massachusetts.  She is a single woman with a large fenced-in backyard and a nice home.

Once Blake’s new owner took him home, we heard back from her.  This is what she had to say:  Blake does really well in the car, and she takes him everywhere with her.  Blake sleeps in the bed with her, but (not surprisingly!) takes up the majority of the bed – she’s working on getting him to sleep at the bottom of the bed (good luck with that, remember what I said about him liking to cuddle!), she bought a harness for him so she could control him better on the leash, she has been treating him with raw meat and fish, and last but not least…she took him to the vet and he weighed in at… 117 POUNDS! AT ELEVEN MONTHS OLD!


I am so glad Blake has a new, fantastic home, I am just sorry he couldn’t stay with us.

FREE Bowling for Children this Summer!

Here are TWO FREE Bowling for children during the summer offers!

Bowling is a great activity that is a group event (think family time) or time for your kids to meet new friends outside of school!

At Kids Bowl Free, select bowling centers and schools around the U.S. are participating in the First Ever Kids Bowl Free program.  It’s designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a SAFE, SECURE, and FUN way for kids to spend time over summer break.  At participating bowling facilities children are eligible to register for TWO FREE games a day, all summer long.  For more information, check Kids Bowl FREE HERE.

At AMF Summer Unplugged, kids 15 and under can bowl for free all summer long.  All you need to do is register HERE, and you will receive a weekly voucher for TWO FREE games a day, all the way through September 3rd!  Please note that shoe rental is not included in this promotion.  For more information, check out AMF Summer Unplugged HERE

Today is Diabetes Alert Day…

Did you know today is Diabetes Alert Day?

The American Diabetes Association Alert Day is a one day “wake-up call:” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test (CLICK HERE) to find out if they are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes.

For every Diabetes Risk Test taken, Boars Head (manufacturer of premium deli products) will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association, starting March 27 and lasting through April 27, 2012, up to $50,000.

The Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions, including those about weight, age, family history, and other potential risk factors for Prediabetes or Type 2 Diabetes.  Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those high at risk to contact their heath care provider.

For more information, check out The American Diabetes Association on Facebook, or follow them on twitter.

FREE Resuable Shopping Bags at the Disney Store and Target on April 22nd

On Sunday, April 22nd, both the Disney Store and Target will be offering a FREE Reusable Shopping Bag,!

At Disney Stores, you’ll need to bring in five separate plastic bags for a “trade in” for your FREE Disney Reusable  Shopping Bag (certainly worth it in my opinion!  Check out all the details HERE and find out about more upcoming events at your local Disney Store!

At Target Stores, I would go as early as you can, because this will be a “while supplies last only” promotion. Just go to your local Target and they should be a display set up neat Guest Services.  Check out all the details HERE and find out more about Target celebrating earth month (April).

Don’t Worry, I will remind you closer to the actual date of this event too!  Just wanted to let you know so you can add these stops to your Sunday, April 22nd agenda!

Enter to Win a FREE Zappos.com Water Bottle (5000 Winners)!

Through 9PM EST today, Dr Oz. and ShareCare have a sweepstakes going!

Head on over here to enter to win a FREE Zappos.com Water bottle There will be a whopping 5,000 winners!  The winners will be chosen on or around March 15th through a random drawing. Click here for the official rules.

Hold On To Your Seats, It’s Leap Day!

Holy hopping hairless hippos!  It’s Leap Day!

OK, perhaps I am being a touch dramatic.  But I am born on a leap year, so growing up, I always had friends that only had a birthday every four years.  Now THEY thought they were special.  Sorry guys and gals, that really doesn’t make you special.

Other than the fact we add an extra day to the calendar and make the year 366 days long instead of 365, what makes Leap Day so special?

Well, one year is actually 365.242 days long, so every four years we tack an extra day on the calendar to “catch up.”  However, there is an exception to the leap year rule involving centuries.  Since the year is just under 365.25 days long, adding one day every four years results in about 3 extra days being added over 400 years.  To compensate, century years are only considered as leap years if they are evenly divisible by 400 (therefore 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not leap years, and 2100 will not be a leap year.

Julius Caesar is the “Father” of the Leap Year, originating in 45 B.C.   The early Romans had a 355 day calendar and to keep festivals occurring at the same season each year, a 22 or 23 day month was created every 2nd year.  To simplify matters, Caesar decided to create a 365 day calendar, with the inclusion of a 29th day every fourth year in Februarius, thus creating a leap year.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII further refined the calender with the rule that leap day would occur in any year divisible by 4.