First of all, I wanted to say Thank you! to everyone for the adorable Tucker birthday wishes and comments.  He had a vet appointment today and he’s doing great.  He needs to put on a little bit of weight, so he’ll be dining on hardboiled eggs (in addition to his stinky dry dog food) at breakfast and dinner.

Both Kostas and Tucker are very fit and lean dogs–Kostas actually weighs 20 pounds more than Tucker!  He carries his weight in his huge ears 🙂


Moving on to recent reads…

Cold, snowy, icy weather the past couple of weeks has meant I’ve been A-OK with taking some time to read.  Here are the last few books I’ve read:

A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass – My niece suggested I read this book and I’m glad I took her recommendation.  It’s definitely in the YA genre so it wasn’t too taxing.  The book is the story of Mia Winchell and her struggle with synesthesia – her senses mingle and so words and letters have color for her.  She tries to hide this from her friends and family, but she is struggling in school so her parents take her to a series of doctors.  Mango, the family cat, is also central to the story.  No spoiler alert here, but the ending is sad.  I was intrigued to learn more about synesthesia.

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell – The overall premise:  two young sisters are forced to take care of themselves after the “mysterious” death of their parents.  The friendly neighbor takes the girls in and starts to get suspicious that the parents are not coming back from their trip to Turkey (this is what the girls tell people – their parents left town).  This story pulls at the heartstrings and is a brilliant debut novel.  On Goodreads I only gave this 3 out of 5 stars because it was just so depressing.  The ending was a real shocker and I think when I closed the book after finishing it I let out a very audible sigh because I’d been taken on an emotional roller coaster.  All that said, I still recommend it.

Hikikomori and the Rental Sister by Jeff Backhaus – If you read this, try to read it when you have time to dedicate to getting through the entire book in one or two sittings.  You’ll want to get to know the characters and find out if/when they are successful at starting over.  Thomas and Silke Tessler live together in their New York apartment but Thomas has sequestered himself in one room–for the past three years.  The Tessler’s son died and Thomas feels to blame.  Thus, the seclusion.  He only goes out at night for groceries – microwave dinners and instant coffee.  Silke wants her husband back.  She hires Meguni, a young Japanese immigrant attuned to the hikikomori phenomenon, to lure Thomas back into the world.  This is a complex story and I enjoyed it because I learned about hikikomori and felt invested in these characters.

These books have been a bit deep–I may need to read a book about puppies and rainbows to bounce back!

How is your Monday?  Any book recommendations to share?

Happy 12th Birthday Tucker!

Tucker is 12 today!

TYou can read his 11th birthday tribute here.

A couple of things have changed for Tucker in the last year–he has lost most of his hearing so his world has become much more visual.  Typical strong-willed Tucker, he doesn’t miss a beat and just keeps wagging his tail and enjoying everyday.


Tucker gave us quite a scare on 12/31/12–his body was riddled with infection.  QAG was out of the country – this was my worst fear–that something would happen to Tucker when QAG wasn’t here to be with him.  Thankfully Tucker’s amazing vet team diagnosed the issue and got him on an aggressive treatment plan.  About 48 hours after starting treatment, Tucker was back to himself.  But not after first enjoying a little TLC from me and Kostas.


We’ve also noticed a change in the relationship between Tucker and Kostas.  They still get at each other about things like tennis balls and food bowls, but there’s a lot more of this going on between them

T and K

T and KThat never would have happened a couple of years ago.

I’m also happy to report that I’ve let a little light into Tucker’s world in the past few months.  In the form of peanut butter.  Just as I never got to have a big wheel or eat sugared cereal as a child (terrible, I know), Tucker grew up in a home where licking dishes in the dishwasher, licking out containers, and helping in the kitchen were not allowed.

The funny thing is that he’s almost worse than Kostas now when it comes to being in the kitchen.  Could it be because in order to get him to take his meds in December/January, I gave them to him doused in peanut butter?


This weekend Tucker will get extra hugs and kisses.  Everyday is a gift with our pups!


Any fun pet stories to share?  Do you allow your pet to clean out containers (yogurt, peanut butter, etc)?