A Look Back - July 2019

July has come and gone. I wish it could have lasted forever. It’s been a month that we will never forget. It started with us traveling the world and ended with adding a new member to our little family and the announcement of a nephew on the way. What an incredible it was!


RECAP OF THE MONTH

I posted 17 days worth of posts already, so recapping the first half of July would just be repetitive. The month began in Luxor & Cairo and ended in Singapore. We had such an incredible trip, all of our flights were on-time, the hotels nothing but luxurious, and the stops made for memories that the three of us will never forget.

We arrived back on Monday the 15th at around 10AM, grabbed our bags and took a taxi (with no air conditioning) back to our apartment. It was a long ride but we made it and rested up. We were back at work the next day and did everything in our power to recover from the jet lag. What that ended up looking like is us going to bed at 7PM and waking up around 3AM. With each passing day that got better and better.

The Frasier Story

When Friday arrived ready or not it was the day Jenn and I had anticipated for almost a year. In fact now is as good of a time as ever to back all the way up. In April of 2010 Jenn and I purchased a Goldendoodle. We both wanted a puppy, thought we were ready for a puppy, and purchased an 8-week old puppy who we named Bentley. We were living in Irvine at the time in a townhouse and I was commuting to Pomona and Jenn to Rosemead. Although Bentley was an angel we realized quickly that we didn’t have the time, finances, or ability to take care of him. A week later we tearfully returned him to his breeder. It was a tough decision but the right one for us at the time. Looking back I have a ton of regret over everything about Bentley. Part of me wishes we would have pushed through, toughed it out, made it work, but the other part of me looks back on the last ten years and realizes it was for the best.

Two years later we purchased yet another Goldendoodle (we did not learn our lesson), this one from Ohio, and it was a disaster from the moment we picked him up (we named him Sawyer). He was off the walls; the most hyper puppy we’ve ever met. We knew once again this wasn’t a fit and once again returned him to the breeder and vowed to not make the mistake a third time.

And so that brings us to 2018. When we made the decision to move to NYC one of our first goals was to get a dog. We wanted something to ground us in the city. We live in the Upper West Side which is known for strollers and leashes. We aren’t ready for kids so we decided we were going to give a puppy one more try. We did far more research, and landed on a breeder who trains their Labradoodle puppies. Towards the end of 2018 we put a deposit down on a litter and waited. A few weeks before that litter was ready to be born we got word that the mom of that litter wasn’t carrying any puppies (an empty sack). We were devastated but moved our deposit to a new litter and a couple of months later, on February 22nd, 2019 Frasier and six siblings were born (5 boys and 2 girls). When the litter was born we actually didn’t know which puppy was going to be ours so we scoured the pictures guessing. When they turned eight weeks the breeder interviews each of the soon-to-be puppy parents for what they want in a dog and a few days later make their announcements for who is getting what dog. We found out we would be getting “Blue Boy” and we were both thrilled. He was then immediately assigned a trainer (for us it was Esther) and for the next three months we got weekly updates every Friday (which we called Frasier Friday) with a description of what he learned and pictures/videos to go along with it. Friday nights at 5PM (sometimes later) became events for us.

Fast forward a couple of months and a lot of Frasier Friday’s and we arrived on July 19th when we rented a car and made the 4 1/2 hour drive from Manhattan to Williamstown, New York. We left at 6:30AM and got there at a little after 11 AM (a few minutes late for our appointment). After going through some paper work and supplies Esther brought out Frasier and wouldn’t you know it he went straight to licking Jenn’s face (smart dood). after the introductions were made we went through his training regime, took him for a walk, and not to far after noon we were back in the car and on our way home.

He almost immediately fell asleep in Jenn’s arms in the back of the rented Prius and for the first half of the drive back to our apartment he didn’t make a sound. We stopped at a rest area, got gas, and had an Auntie Anne’s pretzel and took him for a walk. I’ll never forget how excited we were to see how well he listened and handled on the leash. He went to the restroom right away, smelled around and we were back off in the Prius no problems. It was probably an hour later when we heard a loud scraping noise coming from below our car. I thought we must have snagged onto something on the road but no when I pulled over the plastic under carriage of the car was dragging. I tried my best to shimmy it back in place and kept driving. Unfortunately that lasted 30-seconds before it started making a worse noise. Luckily I was able to find a much better spot on the side of the road where I somehow managed to get it back in place and we were able to make it back to the Upper West Side without it falling apart. The entire time Frasier hopped on Jenn’s lap ready to protect her from whatever the noise was. She knew he was a keeper from that point forward.

We made it home, took him on a short walk and let him roam our apartment a bit. I dropped off the rental car and we spent the evening monitoring his every movement and sound. Unfortunately for all of us Frasier joined us on the hottest week of our summer. It was 100 degrees both Saturday and Sunday so we woke up early both days, took him for long walks, and let him get used to his new surroundings. He had two accidents the first weekend and cried for a few minutes his first two nights in his crate but since that point (knocking on all the wood) he’s been perfect. Every night we put him to sleep and never hear a peep until Jenn lets him out and he says his good morning hello’s before going downstairs to the restroom.

His first couple of weeks at home were as close to perfect as we could have asked for. He’s so well trained, incredibly well mannered, and the easiest guy to take care of. He’s done incredibly well in daycare downstairs (in our building) and almost always is cuddling up next to one of us when we’re home. We went on tons of walks at Riverside Park and even took him to Central Park on the last weekend of July. He’s been groomed, gone to the vet, and just been an angel. Jenn has been the most incredible, loving, patient, and generous Mom to Frasier. She’s constantly talking about ways to make his life better, make sure he’s OK, and talk about fun activities we can do together as a family. She’s been absolutely incredible, like I knew she would.

For me I had my doubt going into this. The idea of changing my life for a dog, and the stress of caring for a dog overwhelmed me. There were a couple nights leading up to getting him that I couldn’t sleep I was so stressed. I didn’t want us to fail again. I didn’t want to have that feeling again like I couldn’t take care of something other then the two of us. I had asked Jenn that we not tell anyone (friends or family) about Frasier until months after we got him, just so I could feel comfortable telling everyone we got a dog and were keeping him. But since July 19th I can say that I love this guy and it has been an honor to raise him the past two weeks. It can be tiring, it’s not always easy, but 99.9% of the time he brings smiles to our faces, joy to our home, and is the absolutely perfect addition we always dreamed he would be. We are so in love with our Frasier and are so excited to have him in our lives. And so a couple of days after we got him, the dog came out of the bag (mostly because Amy called me out) but also because we knew that Frasier was ours and he wasn’t going anywhere unless it was with us.

Back to Normal Monthly Update

Frasier wasn’t the only new addition to the world that was announced in the month of July. Although Jenn and I have known since Mothers Day (I actually predicted it to Jenn two days prior to that) Amy and Ryan announced that they are expecting their first child, a boy, in early January 2020. We could not be happier for them. We had the honor of FaceTiming into their gender reveal which happened at a sonogram clinic in Riverside which confirmed everyones suspicion (except for me) that they were having a baby boy. Jenn and I can’t wait to meet our nephew in early 2020, and are so excited for them. It does feel a bit crazy as the oldest of four that the youngest of four is having a child first, but life works in mysterious ways.

The month of July ended. We saw Lion King around the corner while Frasier was getting groomed and enjoyed the ice cream social event that happened in our building. With each passing week we get more and more comfortable with our new routine, and if July is any indicator, August will be another great month.


TV WE WATCHED

We didn’t have the opportunity to watch a ton of TV during July. On the trip the only TV we watched was CNN/BBC and re-watched the first season of Fleabag one of our favorite shows in the last decade. When we returned from our trip we finished the 31st Season of The Amazing Race and the 2nd Season of Big Little Lies.


BOOKS I READ (OR LISTENED TO)

On GamersRead we’ve been picking our “favorite” books and so I picked A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer a book I read over a decade ago and was one of (if not the) first books I listened to on Audible. Re-reading it brought me back to the 91-Freeway driving from Riverside to UC Irvine. The other book I read this month was Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari which is easily one of my favorite books of the year.

 


MOVIES WE WATCHED

We were fortunate enough to go see Yesterday in Dubai at the Dubai Mall and we all loved it. Jenn and I saw Lion King right after getting Frasier. But the movie that struck my heart more then both of those movies was If Beale Street Could Talk which I watched on the plane home and was easily one of the best movies I’ve watched this year.


THEATER WE SAW

Sadly none this month, we were off traveling the world and raising our puppy!


GAMES I'VE BEEN PLAYING

With the trip and Frasier I haven’t played a ton of games. The one I played the most was New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe on the Switch which I played on several of the flights during the trip.


2019 GOAL TRACKING

Goal #1: Read 33 Books: I've read 23 books and am currently way ahead of schedule to hit my goal.

Goal #2: Run 300 Times: I’ve run 162 times so far in 2019. On track to hit the goal.

Goal #3: Keep Weight Under 140: I've yet to go over 140lbs

Goal #4: Eat at 12 Michelin Star Restaurants: Six so far, currently one behind plan.

Goal #5: 12 Monthly Recaps: 7 for 7.