We have now posted tickets to our next Strangerville Live, which will be on January 21 and 22 in SLC. It will feature Jolyn Metro, Whitney Call (JK! Studios), Meredith Muller, and Shelby Hintze. I will be hosting (assuming I can fit into my favorite muumuu by then). You can get tickets and info HERE. Please

Skylar put a bin next to the bed for Louie to sleep in. This idea came from our neighbors, The Perfects, who are right about everything. The bin came from them, too. They dropped it off just last week.

"This was better for our puppy than a cage because we could roll to the side of the bed and pet her from the top when she started whining."

As it turned out, this has been a miracle idea. My sleep has been substantially less interrupted than it was when I raised Duncan in Year Of Our Lord XXVII. Well, this is either because of the bin or because I have entirely abandoned Skylar in this.

He has six weeks off right now and I thought that was a good enough reason to let him raise this one almost entirely on his own.

"I did the last one," I explained to him. "Plus, this is your Christmas present. You really need to take responsibility for this dog."

I said that last part in the tone of parental lecture.

He's been a good sport about it all, even if the bags under his eyes haven't been.

Duncan, on the other hand, has not been a good sport.

My sweet baby boy is fully not on board with having a younger brother. Louie follows him from room to room. Duncan saunters out every time Louie catches up. Sometimes he gives us an over-the-shoulder glare. It's terrifying.

About once a day Duncan will tackle Louie and start screaming what I can only imagine are the worst of the dog language obscenities. We have to intervene so Louie can run out of the room crying.

"Do you think he's becoming traumatized?" Skylar asks each time.

We talked to a dog trainer who told us if Duncan his herding and occasionally growling at Louie, this may just be him teaching Louie some boundaries and we should welcome that.

"And if he draws blood?"

This morning I caught the two of them on the couch together, several feet apart. I figured this was a good sign and was happy enough with this progress, but then Louie army-crawled over to Duncan and cuddled up to him. I stood in silence, holding my breath, and I was willing to stay that way for the entire day if I had to.

This lasted for several minutes before Louie started rolling around and then fully off of the couch. Puppies are very stupid. Duncan sighed at me when this happened.

"I'm so sorry buddy," I've whispered to Duncan thirty or so times this week. "But you really need to be nice to Louie. He's just a baby!"

Then Skylar will walk into the room, his hair standing straight up, his Comfy wrinkled and covered in dog pee. "You know he can't understand you."

That's how I know Skylar is tired. He's stopped believing in The Gift of Tongues.

"I'll just watch him for a while. You go to back to bed," I told Skylar this morning around 7:00. I had meant to leave for work but I was starting to feel guilty.

Skylar slept for an hour or two while I rolled a ball across the floor over and over for Louie. Duncan stared at me from the couch, his eyes almost weeping "you used to do that for me."

Periodically Louie would step up onto my lap and start biting the shit out of my hands.

There are dog toys everywhere.

We spend our days climbing over baby crates and taking him out into the snow every 30 minutes to pee.

But damn, he's cute.

~It Just Gets Stranger