Return of the Smile
Wednesday Advice Smackdown

Ceiba Compleat

Holy crap. I have a DOG. How did this happen?

I’m still not really sure. Prior discussions of a dog have always gone like this:

Amy: Wah. Am bored. Want a dog.

Jason: Will you wake up on the weekends to walk it?

Amy: No. No I will not.

Jason: Then I don’t think we should get a dog.

Amy: Okay. Let’s go buy me new shoes instead.

Why Ceiba?

But then, you know, shit happened. It’s been a bad summer. When I looked at Jason all teary and blue and said, “I want a dog,” a few weeks ago, he didn’t ask about waking up on the weekends. He thought it over for a few moments and said, “We should get a dog.”

So we started looking. Our requirements were as follows:

1.  Dog must be smaller than Max so Max will not get his fat precious ass kicked.
2.  Dog must not be poofy, puffy or sheddy.
3.  Dog must not yap yap yap all the livelong day.
4.  Dog must be a girl as Amy has dog-penis issues.
5.  Dog must be insufferably adorable and delicious.

Right before we left for Miami, we submitted some applications to adopt some homeless dogs. Some puppies that had been abandoned. A little poodle/Italian greyhound mutt. A miniature pinscher named Chula who had been hit by a car and now has three legs.

We were all ready to come home from vacation and go get our puppy. Except we were turned down. By SHELTERS. We were turned down because we didn’t have a fenced-in yard.

Let me tell you, there are few blows to the ego that are worse than being told you are not good enough to care for a three-legged dog by an animal shelter. So on Sunday we gave up and started calling breeders because Amy wanted a puppy and wanted a puppy NOW ALREADY. Ceiba belonged to a woman who bred show dogs and had just been deemed too small to compete. Whatever.

Her tail and ears were clipped, which is the breed standard for show dogs, and it makes me sad. I’m sure her tail and ears were perfect and adorable before. But I’m glad she’s ours now and she’ll just be a scrappy little puppy instead of a show dog.

Why “Ceiba?”

The breeder named her Mimi. She kept making some joke about “Minimize Me” being her full name and we laughed even though We Did Not Get It.

My family already has two pets named Max and cats named Maizie, Mollie, Maggie, Misty and Maddie. No more M names. NO. MORE.

We went through about a dozen names on Sunday and none of them were “it.” We wanted something that was “us.” Max was named after Jim Carrey’s kid in Liar, Liar, because we LOVED Jim Carrey, back before he got pretentious. So we were going through all the miscellaneous crap on the TiVo, looking for inspiration.

Amy: Roxie from Chicago?

Jason: Smeagol? Arwen?

Amy: No Lord of the Rings names. We are not that lame. Rory from Gilmore Girls?

Jason: Look, you got your wimpy little dog. Don’t push it.

Amy: Anything from South Park?

Jason: Mr. Hankey?

Amy: HAAAAAAA. She looks like a turd too.

In the end, we went with food. Anyone who knows my husband and me knows that eating out is probably the one thing we love more than drinking, but mostly because it involves drinking. “Ceiba” is a really great restaurant in D.C. It’s the scene of the infamous middle-aged drunk people making out and licking faces incident. (Click HERE and HERE for the story and the pictures.)

It’s also some kind of tree…or something. But she was really named after our love of mojitos.

Why Ceiba, Why??

In the last 48 hours, I have become singularly obsessed with my dog’s bathroom functions. Jason and I have not had a single conversation that did not revolve around Ceiba’s bladder since Sunday night. I have seriously called him just to report on her poop. Where she pooped, what she pooped and how I reacted to the poop.

Poop poop poop.

She was litter-box trained…at some point. She’s a little rusty now. We had big plans for eschewing the litter and getting her to go outside, but within a day we were back to applauding her for peeing sort of on a training mat that was kind of next to the litter. Yay Ceiba!

But she’s trying so hard to please us and is remarkably well-behaved. She’s responding to “no” and her name and wants to be held and praised all the time. She wants to play with Max.  Max wants her to die. So…there’s still that to deal with.

But we have supplies! Crates! Clickers! Toys! A Puppies For Dummies book! That is too advanced for us and makes me cry in frustration because I am going to TOTALLY FUCK UP THIS DOG.

Like yesterday? She tried to jump off my lap. I tried to grab her because she's clutzy and delicate and not supposed to jump off things for a few more months because her bones are so wee. All I ended up doing was sort of tripping her in mid-air and she crashed to the floor. On her head. She started to wail and howl, so I wailed and howled. Jason came running and I shrieked that I broke our puppy and oh my god, etc.

She was just fine. As was I. After a stiff drink, anyway.

I just love her so damn much already. Am so bringing her to JournalCon because my heart breaks whenever I leave her. And my heart melts when she looks at me and I laugh when she kisses my face and I've had a big goofy smile on my face ever since we brought her home.

I'm really glad we got our dog.

Why You Came: Ceiba Pictures

My camera cannot keep up with the Thunderbolt Of Puppilicious Energy That Is The Ceiba, so these aren't great. She's not quite so demonic looking. Or so blurry. I'd actually describe her as sharp. Crisp even. But here they are.




Oh damnit, now I want a puppy. And I so totally don't want a puppy.


Oh my. She is the prettiest thing I've seen today, aside from my husband, son, 3 dogs, and 2 cats (dont want to piss anyone off) but she is way cuter than anyone that works in my office.

And our cat, bambi? who hated the new dog so much she growled all the time at everyone? Is now super-friends with the new dog and the CHASED each other last night. You just wait, Max and Ceiba will be curled up together in no time. hehehe.


very cute dog. now I wanna dog...


Okay, the "Max would kill for an ass like that" pic totally cracked me up!! I shot water out of my nose at that comment! My cat also has a fur toy, but seems to think that is his weird little sex toy, so we've decided to put that away as the weird little kitty orgasm noises had to stop.
Love the new puppy!!

type a

i'm with martha. i soo don't want a puppy, except for that now i do. toddler is soooo mad at you right now!


Um, yeah. Have I mentioned that I used to live in DC? And that maybe I'll drop by for a visit while I'm back there next time, and just perhaps I may need to totally dognap Ceiba? Yes, these things are all true.


Oh love, love love love! Great pictures, post more! I'd buy her that velvet pillow without a second thought!

Then again, I am the queen of obsessed dog parents. My dog has beds with down blankets and pillows - one in the bedroom, and one in the living room. Sick, yes. What can I say, I never got married or had kids, so I have lots of love to give. And free time. :)

You won't screw her up, you'll do fine. That's a great puppy book you bought, and you are doing the best possible thing by applauding her when she pees where she is supposed to. Shoot me an email if you ever have puppy questions, I've read about twenty books on the subject and have been through endless training schools and programs (my dog is huge, so he has to be perfectly trained).

Ahhh, to go through the puppy phase again. Seems like a pain when you are going through it, and then you will be so sad when it is over...



Welcome to being a crazy dog person Amalah!

I am sure you are a great puppy parent and she will grow up fine. If not, blame your husband, that is what I do.


Yeah!!! Minpin pictures! Be careful of the bells on those reindeer antlers...she can chew 'em off and swallow them in a heart beat.


Man I can sympathize with the whole "you don't qualify for a shelter animal" crap. When I got my middle cat (yes I have an oldest, middle and youngest cat, I'm in training to be an old cat lady) I went to three sheleters before a kindly foster cat parent allowed me to adopt Rory. Yes Rory, from the Gilmore Girls.


I love her ears-- she looks so alert all the time! Alert and awaiting further communication with the Mothership. So true.

Anne A.

I just had to de-lurk to say...EEEEEEEEEE!!!!! OhmygawdheissofreakinCUTE! And the "ALL YOUR BASES ARE BELONG TO US"? Cracked my shit up! Hee!


Ok, this is the second journal entry that I have read today with pictures of aDORable puppies. The universe is trying to trick me into getting a puppy when (like Martha and type a) I really really can't. My two cats are already convinced that I need to quit my job in order to lavish more attention upon them.

You may spot me at Journal Con as I will be the lady squee'ing all over dear Ceiba. Wait, that might not make me stand out. Oh well.


Ooohhh, it's so nice to see you making a home for Ceiba. She looks quite well-adjusted, I must say. And NOT devil-like in any way. Do you just LOVE the pee-pee pads? I see they are strategically placed in the kitchen for optimal absorbancy. Nice.

Dy--ing here over the couch/mid-air incident! I can relate to the mommy-guilt because my puppy has supposedly sensitive knees and I OBSESS over them. AND, I accidentally stepped on my kitty's tail once and he made a sound I've never heard come out of a cat in my life. It was a shriek, like a dog yelp on crack, and I cried for 2 hours because I hurt him and begged him to forgive me. And for one month after that I cried every time I thought of that noise, which kept torturously repeating itself in my head. Boo-hoo!

I LOVE Ceiba! And want to see pics of her with Max. Hope Max feels the love too.
P.S. It's been 6 years, and my cat STILL wants my dog to die. FYI.


Aww, little snookums! I am cracking the hell up at the obsessive picture-taking and the puppy paraphernalia taking over your home. Laughing because I have SO been there.

Also? Snarkywood is my new favorite site. Maybe you've heard of it.


Everyone has a dog except us, dammit! What great pics, but OH, those EARS! Poor thing! She looks so happy to be home with you! :) :)


Insanely jealous of your puppyfied household. Hope Max survives, he'll learn to master the dog soon, I'm sure.


So cute!! Love the name, too. Ditto Sarcomical on the couch/mid-air incident - when my 10 month old puppy was brand new, I shut his paw in the door trying to keep him inside, and he cried the most pitiful, heart-wrenching cry that I started crying too, and I ran to my husband crying "I broke the puppy! I broke the puppy!" Took me a long time to calm down. Haven't managed to do anything similar to my kittens yet...

Good luck! You'll get through it...


We have three cats and if we could get away with it we want to get a pug. Seeing your baby girl makes me jealous.

Don't take this the wrong way, but to me, the tape makes her ears look like antlers. There is that one picture of her diving at the feather thing and she so looks like a reindeer. Alien? no, Rudolph? yes.


I was not raised a dog person - I have now had the privilege of being owned by 2 Shih Tzus! (Only one is still with us) And no, I do not keep his coat long like little doggy Swiffers (though that would make part of my life easier!) The whole peeing thing - can I tell you?? We had been in our new house for maybe, 15 seconds and my dog christened the landing. The movers were hysterical and laughing their asses off "you wanna get that before we bring the furniture in??". Comedians. Anyway - good luck and smushy hugs to Ceiba!!


Okay, I had the whole "I want a puppy" thing, but now? I have graduated to "I NEED A PUPPY! LOOK, AMY HAS ONE!"

And okay, so you want a dog to look a certain way but PUH-LEEZE! Enough with the tail docking and ear cropping. She really has beautiful lines though. I could see how she could be a great show dog, even this small.

Oh yeah, and remember that whole "Hubby doesn't want a yappy foo-foo dog" thing? Guess what kind he has decided he wants: a long haired mini dachshund. How is that not foo-foo and yappy? Anyone?

Anyway, congratulations! She's a beauty!


Really cute puppy pictures, and mad props for the reference to an obscure movie quote ("Yap, yap, yap all the livelong day")from a semi-obscure movie (Postcards from the Edge). Or did you not mean to do that and I just look like a dork because I can quote from "Postcards from the Edge"?


What a cutie pie!

Don't worry about the potty training set backs, dogs adjusting to new environments get stressed and 'forget'.

Praise her when she does well and ignore the mistakes. It should resolve on its own.

If it does not, some negative reinforcement can be used for her mistakes. A loud, growly no for example or a firm tap under the chin (you're not trying to hurt the dog, just a firm tap).

I'm all for positive training, but it does not always work and we found with potty training a positive/negative combo was more effective than either alone.

So try positive, but don't beat yourself up if you have to do some discipline to drive the lesson home.

Our dogs are happy and well adjusted. They don't hold the pottytraining against us! And all our training methods were vet approved.

Good luck and much joy,



How do you pronounce Ceiba? I'm guessing chaybah, but really? Not that sure.


How IS that pronounced? Thank the Lord IHOP isn't your favorite restaurant!

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