What I learned this weekend about having two dogs

Hello! Happy Monday!

So the highlight of my weekend was having a chance to dog-sit for a couple of friends for a night. Sharky is pretty much Osa’s equal in every way. Same size. About the same level of energy. Both black dogs who love to play. I was looking forward to seeing what life with two dogs might look like, having grown up with 2+ dogs at any given time (not to mention cats, chickens, fish, birds, rabbits, etc.)

So first things first, here’s the cute stuff:

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Both dogs love cheese. But not as much as me, so I didn’t feel like sharing.

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It was hard to get a picture of them both sitting outside, because they were generally a big blur of chasing and wrestling this weekend.

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When it’s time for dinner, dogs go on one side of the gate, and humans with pizza go on the other.

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…that is, until the doggies need a break from bugging each other. Then they both are in time out.

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Osa wasn’t too happy when I took Sharky inside and left her. This is her way of letting me know. Subtle, right?

So here’s my insight from the weekend:

This weekend, I realized something. Two dogs don’t behave like two separate minds. They behave like one dog with a lot of momentum.

Let me explain. Let’s say I call to Osa, and she has two choices. Either she comes, or she doesn’t. Being pretty generous to my training of her, we’ll say there’s a fifty-fifty chance that she obeys. Given this, you’d think that with two dogs, you’d have two cases of this: each dog has a certain likelihood of obeying, given their disposition, right?

Nope. See, with two dogs, they enter this kind of pack mentality. If you give them both a command, they BOTH have to want to obey it to have it happen. If one or both of them doesn’t want to obey the command, neither of them will. That takes a fifty-fifty likelihood down to this:

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…about one in four. (and yes, the middle school science nerd in me revels in using a punnet square to explain this idea.)

Now, let’s say, as a hypothetical, that my dog isn’t that well trained. Hypothetically. Let’s say that in reality, it’s more likely a one in three chance that she’ll actually do what I say. Sharky’s a much more solid guy. This would be a better illustration of my weekend:

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So that’s my big lesson I learned. The collective mind is more powerful than the individual will. Just like the Borg. Or wolf packs. Or hey! Middle school kids. That kind of came full circle.

And today? Osa is missing her friend, and still dead tired from her weekend of fun:

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Things that are making me happy today

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Having one of those days when I feel pretty inexplicably giddy. Here are a couple reasons I can think of:

  • Passing around a book I liked to my feminist male friends.
  • Reading on the bus
  • The amazing weather we’ve been having in Portland
  • Getting to know new coworkers and feeling like I’ve found “my tribe”
  • My cuddle puppy
  • Meringue Cookies from Whole Foods
  • Working on my friend’s wedding invitations
  • Finishing Friends on Netflix! Now I can move on, finally.

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Erin’s First Post-High School Book Report and Hey March is Women’s History Month

We should all be feminists.

That’s what I came away with to after reading this essay by Chimmamanda Ngozi Adichie. Although I’ll admit, I held this belief long before opening these pages. I’ve recently read Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun and loved them both, so when I saw this 52 page book, I knew it would be a perfect bus reader.
We Should All Be Feminists on Hey Hey Erin May
If you’re interested in an articles that well summarize this book, I’d recommend this article that calls it the most important book you’ll read all year, or here.
One thing I like about this book is that it’s accessible as a primer on what it is to be a feminist. It uses plain language and interesting anecdotes.
On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, the message is nuanced enough for the well versed and well established feminist by speaking to the  inherent complexity in the term.
I especially identified with the way Adichie felt she had to qualify what “type” of feminist she is:
…since feminists are women who are unhappy because they cannot find husbands…I decided to call myself a Happy Feminist.
These qualifications keep going until she’s calling herself a “Happy African Feminist Who Does Not Hate Men And Who Likes To Wear Lip Gloss And High Heels For Herself And Not For Men.”…when really being a feminist is being “a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” Doesn’t that sound simpler?
This resonated with me in so many ways; as a woman, a hardworking professional, a wife, a blogger, a fashion loving lady, a sister to three boys– and all aspects of my values, traditional AND modern, are part of how I identify with being feminist.
Because March is Women’s History Month, I thought I’d share a few links I found particularly relevant, given my recent read:

Manic Monday!

Hello and happy Monday!

Portland is having a beautiful run of weather. This weekend was spent in long walks with my puppy, and hanging out in the sunshine. Just 20 minutes outside and I’m already a little crispy–I blame my pale, translucent native Portland skin.

Osa also loved the warm weather. Can you tell?

Osa also loved the warm weather. Can you tell?

Here are some fun links for your week!

  • I love this article on how to stop apologizing all the time! It’s something I’ve noticed myself doing, and if nothing else reading this article helped me become more aware of my own habits.
  • Elsie shared some of her Hand Lettering Tips on A Beautiful Mess a while back, and it’s inspired me to start back up with my typographic drawings! Now I’m looking for different fun turns of phrases to illustrate. Open to suggestions!
  • With Spring upon us, the time for gardening and outdoor projects is also here. This DIY Chevron lattice Trellis from Remodelaholic is fun!
  • I’m starting to feel like I’m the only one in Portland who doesn’t know the joy of making my own Hummus. It’s seriously come up 2-3 times in the last month! Here’s a recipe I’m going to try out this week.
  • And if you need a laugh, I can’t help but giggle about this video. “My name is John Daker.”