Life With Pike

About nine months ago, while sitting on a blow-up mattress in our new (and bare) Seattle studio apartment, me and Sean began talking about all the things we were excited about doing. The number one on both of our lists was to finally get a dog. I have always been fond of big dogs because most of my upbringing was spent around bigger dogs. I adore their awkward size and the clumsiness that comes with it. I felt safer with a bigger dog and would always feel comforted whenever I laid next to one, like Roman, my mom’s German Shephard.

Soon after that night, me and Sean decided to find the biggest dog possible that would also be fun to take on hikes with us. One evening while walking home I noticed a young girl struggling to cross the street while her dog was trying to pull the leash from her hand. The dog was huge and had the most beautiful black, brown and white coat. He looked so happy and playful and I fell instantly in love. I looked at Sean and pointed “that’s our dog.”

Almost four months and a rough Friday morning later… I am now asking myself why did we decide to get a dog again?

Pike is almost 15 weeks and close to weighing 40 lbs. That’s 40 lbs. I carry down three flights of stairs about three times a day because he struggles with going up and down stairs still. Let me just mention that it’s just our staircase he has problems with and has no issues with other staircases. In fact, we are fortunate enough to live on a street where almost every apartment building has a staircase leading up to the main door in which Pike loves to climb. Two to three steps and then we have pick him up and carry him back down. My arms haven’t stopped shaking and my biceps are huge.

Mornings have become strategic. One thing I have always looked forward to doing with Pike was taking him for early morning walks. I wanted to make sure he had a little exercise before being left for the day so he could rest and sleep. Today, for example, was a perfect morning to start with some fresh air, light walking and a little pike and me bonding.

First the harness needs to get over his head…. I’ll use a cookie to distract him and do it as quickly as possible. Next the leash, give him the other half of the cookie so he won’t jump up and grab the leash from my hand. Okay everything is on and we’re walking… to the door… to the staircase… down the stairs… and more stairs… stairs again… out the door and down he goes.

We make it about 10 feet before he falls down to the ground and sits staring at me.

Not again Pike… this tends to happen when he’s realized Sean is missing from heading into work earlier than I do. I tried to bribe him with a cookie and sing “let’s go” in three different variations. Nothing. Next I tried the cheese because he cannot resist a little bit of string cheese and it works… for about two more feet before sitting down again. Next what happens is a little tugging, some in place dancing /jogging and Pike is exactly where the walk started.

Since Pike has arrived things have definitely changed for me. I shower less or most of the time I time my showers to make sure I can finish in under ten minutes before all the couch pillows are on the floor. Baby gates are the perfect barriers to stop intense puppy licking after putting coconut oil on my legs and arms. “Leave it,” “sit” and “stay” have become the most important words in my life along with “go potty.” Believe me when I say that your entire day can depend on whether or not you remembered to say “go potty” at least twenty times.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and so it is Pike’s. In fact, he loves it so much he celebrates it every morning with a daily humping. My morning wouldn’t be complete unless he grabs onto my leg and humps away until I am literally out the door for work. I take it as a sign of love and appreciation. I assume he is just thanking me for the wonderful bowl of food he just devoured, although sometimes it does feel a little clingy. I mean sometimes it would be nice to not get humped on at 6 AM, but a girl can dream.

Here are some other things you should know about Pike. His favorite game is tearing and shredding potty pads and then peeing all over them. Before he poops he will chase his tail, bark and then jump around before finding that sweet spot. At 15 weeks, he can almost already pull me over when another dog walks by and at fully grown he’ll weigh around 130 lbs. Pike likes to sleep under the bed or couch but is fast approaching to being stuck since he is getting bigger every day. He has figured out how timeout works and is now harder to bribe with cheese (his absolute favorite snack). He pees and poops in the middle of puppy classes while other dogs never do. He also likes to poop in the middle of busy intersections while the countdown begins for pedestrians to finish crossing. Why did we get a dog again?

Don’t misunderstand this post and think I am just complaining to complain because I am not. Me and Sean knew exactly what we were getting into but you’re never prepared enough for how hard it would be. I was also never prepared for how much I would love Pike and how I couldn’t possibly imagine him not being around. I couldn’t imagine not having moments when he’s is half asleep and climbing into your lap to lay down for a cuddle. How happy he looks when he’s outside walking in the sun with both me and Sean on either side of him. How when everyone who passes him truly adores him and tells me how much better their day just got because Pike walked by them.

He is truly the most wonderful, biggest pain in the ass, cuddliest and noisiest puppy who is constantly teaching me to be more patient. I now despise people when they say “it’s just a dog” because they really don’t understand the commitment it takes. To be responsible for this helpless, living creature takes a lot of you if you really want to do things right. We’re better with him than we were without him and I wouldn’t change a thing.


12 Days of Christmas

For the past twelve days I have been designing an illustration based on the famous "12 Days of Christmas" carol. I am not entirely sure as to why I decided to take on this mini project but have enjoyed creating it never the less. Sharing them individually to coincide with the past twelve days was fun but seeing them all together makes me even happier. Enjoy.


Home Sweet Home

I have a weakness for old, run-down houses because of their charm and character. I came across a designer who had designed beautiful illustrations of old homes in New York City and fell in love. I started thinking about the homes I've lived in the past and wanted to create my own illustrations.

I also want to dedicate them to my parents and thank them for always giving me and my sisters a place to live and call home. I am forever thankful to have always had that in my life.

No 31

It's to my understanding I technically grew up in another house prior to this one but I was so young I have no recollection of anything happening there, so it doesn't count. My best memory from this house was the street we lived on. A lot of kids we went to school with lived close by so we were constantly outside playing. Street wars, football on the flat's property and bike riding. It was purely childhood at it's finest. 


No 3

Our last house in England before we moved to America. I hated this house in the beginning because me and my younger sister had to almost change schools. Luckily, it never came down to that and my mum was wonderful enough to commute us to school everyday for thirty minutes. Sometimes those rides were a hassle but I also remember having the best time. We'd listen to old Mary J Blidge CDs, talk about our day and sometimes had to lean over the back seat to hold the trunk down since the latch was broken. We'd be laughing the entire way to or from school.

No 618

Our first American home. I loved this house, we all did. It was the best first house in America where we shared a lot of new experiences. The best part was the backyard. There were two swings hanging from the trees outback that we placed our trampoline by. We'd spend all day swinging back and fourth from the trampoline and make dramatic music videos. I loved this house and was sad to leave after a few years to pick up, change schools and start again.

No 2001

2001 was my least favorite house. I don't even like the illustration as much as the others because there wasn't a whole lot that was interesting about this house. It was pretty cookie-cutter and lacked in character but we still had some good memories there. It was also on a street filled with a lot of kids we knew, so we'd spend our entire summer outside playing with them. We didn't live here long and it became the last house we rented. Our family was ready to find our permanent home.

No 1304

When my parents took us to visit this house, I acted a little difficult. As soon as I saw that it was alone on top of a hill and not in a subdivision, I disliked it. I quickly got over that as soon as we moved in. This house was beautiful, it was so big and open and had the prettiest backyard. I had the nicest bedroom with the best view. I loved that bedroom and it remains to be one of my favorite places. A lot happened in this house. My sister got married in the backyard, Sean picked me up from here on our first date, graduations, proms and first job offers. This house will always remain a favorite and I'll always miss being there a little.

No 5412 TH2

My first apartment. I moved out by myself into my first apartment and it was both terrifying and exciting. I have basically lived at home my entire life, even throughout college so this was a big deal. I was ready and my parents knew it too. It was the perfect first apartment where I learned a lot about myself. I loved the responsibility, the independence and privacy. Don't get me wrong, I missed being at home sometimes where I didn't have to make my own dinner or clean the entire house. Those moments would come and go but I don't regret making the decision to leave home, it was the perfect opportunity.

No 2230 APT 101

The first apartment me and Sean shared together. When we came to Seattle for Sean's interview, we were also on the hunt for an apartment. We walked all over and most where either unavailable or too expensive. On our last night here we walked down near Belltown and I noticed this old brick building with faded painted letters on the back. It's charm caught my attention and I ran around the corner to see the front of it. I told Sean this is the place, this is where we should live. We've been at 101 for four months and have loved every part of it. A little cozy at times but it has definitely been the perfect starting point for our new life here in Seattle.