Pupsicles for Kira

It’s a hot summer; a very hot summer for the northeast. Everyday is in the high 80’s to 90’s with humility, weather we don’t normally see until the end of August if at all.

In-spite of the heat, Kira loves being outside even if that means she’s panting and over heated when I finally call her in.

So how to keep Kira cool?

I’ve been pursuing pintrest and found an easy solution: pup-sciles .


You can buy puppy ice-cream and pup-sciles these days in high end stores. Although I did see one even at Walmart the other day. But they can get expensive. Why not make something cheaper at home?


Besides, I already make our own popsicles and fudgesicles at home during the summer. For more on this see:

So for pup-sicles, I started with little plastic used lemon ice cups that can be used once or twice then thrown away. Kira loves to chew through anything, especially if it’s had food in it, so I didn’t want to use my tupperware.


Then I took a batch of frozen bananas, about 5 or six, and defrosted them in a bowl.

Hint: If you have bananas that are getting brown throw them in the freezer, they are great for smoothies and to replace eggs in baked goods.


When bananas get really ripe, frozen, then defrosted you can cut open one side of the banana and then use the peel to slide the banana goo into a bowl. I know it sounds gross but that is pure natural sugary goodness.


Then I spooned in about 1 Cup of natural peanut butter. I’ve learned to use low or no sugar natural peanut butter because Kira will get hyper off of the sugary stuff, and it’s healthier for us too.


Next I scooped out about 1 Cup of coconut oil. With how dry and hot this summer has been Kira’s coat is getting dry and she’s scratching herself often. Coconut oil is great stuff for lots of reasons but for dogs the oil helps to keep their skin moist and hair shiny.

A little vanilla extract and cinnamon and I blend it all together until smooth like peanut butter or cookie dough.

Then I spooned these evenly into the rinsed out and clean lemon ice containers. It gave me about 6 of these cups 3/4 full.


So now we have a healthy dog treat that will keep Kira cool and help heal her dry itchy skin that she actually LOVES to eat!


For those who like easier to read instructions here you go:


1 C natural or low sugar peanut butter

1 C coconut oil

1 bunch 5-6 large banana either over ripe or frozen and defrosted

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

6 cup size containers (or more depending on serving size you want to give)




Mix all ingredients on high with a blender or electric mixer until smooth

spoon out mixture evenly among the containers

place filled containers into one larger tupperware bin or tray

move tray to freezer for at least 2 hours or until ready to give to your puppy!




This is also a great mixture to use to fill Kongs or other treat dog toys.

Even better fill those toys with this mixture then stick them in the freezer. When it’s a hot day or you will be gone for most of the day take it out of the freezer and your dog will be happy for quite awhile.




Happy Birthday Kira!

Kira our hound/terrier mix puppy is a year old! I say puppy because she may now have a mostly adult body but she still has the energy of a puppy.


We don’t know her actual day of birth, but we estimated based on paperwork and guessed she was born around the first week of July.


To make it easy to remember we decided to give her the birthday of 4th of July. When I told my family this, my grandmother said she is a firecracker puppy! My mom agreed saying she is definitely a firecracker.


Kira at 8-10 weeks old


Kira a few weeks before her birthday

Kira is very curious and full of spunk. Mostly obedient now, she still will test the boundaries. We are now working on teaching her to settle, to calm down and sit when she sees a cat, person, etc. outside and wants to hunt or to guard us. We are also hoping to teach her roll over very soon.


For her birthday treat she got homemade whipped cream with blueberries and a homemade banana, oatmeal, and peanut butter treat. I know a little spoiled.


trying very hard to be obedient as I take a picture


She also has some new toys coming in the mail. We are trying out a few new toy brands for our super chewer, more on that to come.

Kira update: adult puppy


Our puppy Kira is 11 months old; an adult puppy. She has not lost her puppy coat and she has times of crazy energy but she knows the rules and routine and follows them (most of the time) without stubbornness.


Since our last update we have done a genetic test on our furry family member to discover she is not a lab at all! She is mostly American foxhound, American Stafford Terrier, and a little Chow.


We had guessed she could be part chow because some siblings are very fluffy, plus she has spots on the bottom of her tongue, typical of Chows. We would not have guessed the other breeds, but with research about personalities and behaviors it makes sense. She is all nose, can track anything, but she is also all muscle, very agile, and alert. So we have a tracking/hunting dog also with guarding instincts.


With all the yard work we have been doing (more to come). It has been a task keeping  her from eating the fertilizer, plant food, weed killer,  (even gravel) that we have been laying down. It’s like she is a two year old with shiny objects.


We just recently went back to Stony Brook and were able to do the full trail both ways! In the past Kira’s attention span meant that we only would make it part way. This time the park was crowded but she did not jump on a single person, something we have been working on. For more on this see:



Even though she is almost an adult, Kira still has many new experiences. At the park she was curious but afraid of balloons and strollers both items she has not seen before.


This past week Kira had another new experience, the groomers.  In the past she has been scared of brushes, not a huge fan of baths, and requires treats  to  cut her nails. With this in mind, I stayed for the appointment.


I was shocked and impressed at how well she did. The groomer was able to not only clip Kira’s nails and give her a bath but also trim down her winter coat with an electric shaver, something I thought she would be completely scared of. But the groomer was great with her and Kira is adaptable.


It’s hard to believe we have had Kira in our home for nine months. She has challenged and frustrated us, but also impressed and surprised us. We are glad to have her.



Kira update

Kira is now 6 months old and definitely in her awkward teenager stage where not all of her body is the same or right size.


She loved having my parents here last month and it was a great opportunity to practice not jumping on people.

But it definitely confused her routine and we have been working on that this past month while I’m off of work. She’s getting used to the new routine quickly and now knows the time of day to look out the window waiting for Luke to get home.



She loves the snow even more than she did the fall leaves. She rolls around in it, loves digging for sticks in it, and snacking on it while she runs around. Our first day of snow she wasn’t even surprised by it just took it all in and ran in circles.


Kira has almost all of her adult teeth in, there was a week or two where her back molars hurt so much we had to give her some orajel (which she hates).  She has also a week ago was neutered. She did so well with the procedure and  is healing very quickly.


Kira with post surgery with her favorite soothing toy: leather stuffed animal

She has learned most of her commands well and now we are working on lay (lay down), and shake (shake off when wet). She also has a habit of chasing her tail until dizzy.


All in all she is turning out to be a wonderful, smarty little puppy.

Busy Holiday Season

It has been a very busy holiday season. Because I am a teacher not only is the holiday season busy because of holiday parties, gift-buying, etc. but also because I am grading final project and proctoring finals.


I am in the count-down, not to Christmas, but to the end of the semester. T-minus 8 days. In those 8 days I have 25 final tests and 17 research papers to grade. Almost there (with many cups of coffee).

That of course does not include:: taking, creating, and writing holiday cards, strategizing long distance about presents and wish lists, and planning holiday travels or outings.


In this busy-ness it is difficult to focus on the importance of the season, to find rest, to be present in the traditions and activities. But I have managed to enjoy participating in our church Christmas choir, going caroling, and of course holiday baking (more on this to come). These types of actives help me de-stress and re-focus.


This weekend Luke and I plan to get and decorate our Christmas tree and  the outside of the house. Both will be new challenges since we were not home last Christmas.

Plus we have to consider what to put on the tree with a curious almost 6 month old puppy (who I have already had to scold for trying to steal candy canes off a shelf).


But I am looking forward to it and am going to do my best to be in the moment enjoying these activities instead of thinking about grades and grading.

Anyone else struggle to stay focus on the importance of the season? Some advice I am working on myself: take breaks, do de-stressing activites, rest, laugh, determine to not over multi-task, and get time for yourself and others.

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season.

Kira’s first outting

Our lab-mix puppy Kira is now a little over four months old.


The past few months adjusting to a puppy have been a fun challenge. It was entertaining to watch Kira discover fall winds, rain, baths. It was especially enjoyable to watch her jump into the neat piles of fall leaves Luke made with the blower.


Through this process we have had to not only be patient with her as she became potty trained, and learned new commands, but we also had to be patient for her to be old enough to go out with people.


Finally she has all of her booster shots and her rabies shot. To celebrate last weekend we took her for her first official “non-vet” outing to a local state park: stony brook (for more on this see stony brook park). We got set with water, bags, training treats, and collapsible water bowl then drove to the park.


Although it was cold it was beautiful. There were many starts and stops along the way as Kira pulled on her leash, got over-excited, and went off the trail. The further into the trail we went the more she became comfortable with the pace and staying by our side.


We were not the only ones at the park. It was not crowded at all but there were some people and dogs. Kira loves people but is still learning about the different sizes and breeds of dogs.


It was a great chance to show her how to be social. But it also made us realize we still need to train her to not jump on people when she is excited and wants to greet them.


I was all set for a vigorous walk but quickly realized-this was a training session. We did not come close to completing the trail but it was beautiful and I know we will go back soon.



Meet Kira

Meet Kira!


This is our new little black lab mix named Kira. She is 10 weeks old and full of energy and mischief. We decided Labor Day weekend was finally the time to get another puppy. After everything that happened around Memorial Day and to our little puppy Sienna (for more on this see Goodbye Sienna) we needed the summer to regroup. Fortunately the adoption agency whom we had used for Sienna gave us a standing offer to get another puppy for no additional charge.


After exploring their listing we saw a litter of 10 black lab mixes, called, and drove out to look at them Friday night September 4th. We had the option of 9 out of the 10 puppies. It was a little overwhelming since last time we had our pick out of 3 (other siblings had been taken).


It took us two hours to play with and test out all of the personalities of the puppies before we chose Kira who was named Raider (because the original shelter had thought she was a boy). We picked up a puppy started kit from the adoption group with leash, collar, bowls, food, and toys and headed home.


Our first weekend with her we had her in the crate upstairs with us then moved her crate downstairs by the time the week started. It took awhile to get her into our routine and sleeping schedule but we are getting there. She is mostly black with brown eyes and brindle feet. We named her Kira, which is a Irish/Gaelic name, because it means “one of beautiful dark completion, dark hair, dusky with brown eyes”.


She loves spending time outside rolling around in tall grass, sniffing everything, digging, and running around. Kira’s favorite room is our upstairs office where she can play, nap, and most of all stair out the window while we work on our computers.


She is very smart and a little stubborn, she learned quickly how to climb up and down the stairs, now we have to put up a gate if we want her to stay on one level. Kira also learned how to climb up the baby gate we set up in the downstairs bathroom, to run away from us if she has something in her mouth she should not.


She is learning the command “sit” very well, knows her name (although sometimes she pretends to not hear it), and sometimes play fetch . Kira is still stubborn about commands “no”, “come”,  and “down” when she like to jump on us and is still learning that she cannot bite us when we play with her.


She has learned the broom is not a toy, the dishwasher is not a source of food and neither is the trash. She doesn’t like the rain when it’s cold outside but doesn’t mind a warm bath.


Kira is a lot of work right now and not completely house trained yet, but we are enjoying having her as part of our family.