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Coffee With Butter – Bulletproof?

Have you jumped on the coffee with butter bandwagon?

It seems like everyone I know is doing some version of this “diet/energy” plan.

I think it’s just another food fad like so many others.

And yet …?

I’m going to try it for a few days anyway.

(If there’s ever a time when I could use more energy, it’s the first few weeks with a new puppy.)

The idea was popularized in the media by the “bulletproof coffee” website.

However, I’ve been told there are places in the world who have been drinking coffee similar to this method “forever.”

There are a lot of celebrities drinking a version of this “new” coffee too.

Basically, you add butter to your coffee … and depending on the version you choose, a few other things too.

You then blend the hot drink in the morning instead of eating breakfast.

It purportedly gives you a lot of energy and cuts down on food cravings.

Butter in coffee sounds pretty disgusting to me, but I have a friend who has been drinking her version of “bulletproof” coffee for a few weeks now and says she loves it.  In fact, she tells me she looks forward to it every morning.


If you go to the bulletproof website, they will try to sell you their version of everything.

Most of the people I know are buying their own coffee and additives.

I’m starting today with my first attempt at energy coffee.

I’m going to make my own (good quality) coffee, add Kerrygold (grass fed) butter to it, add in some form of caprylic acid – possibly coconut oil, a teaspoon of Great Lakes gelatin, a small amount of vanilla extract, and depending on the taste – possibly a drop or two of stevia.

By the way, I am adding the (flavorless) gelatin because it’s good for joints … and my damaged body can use all the help it can get.

I’ll report back next week and let you know:

1)  If I am even able to tolerate the drink itself.

2)  If I notice any increase in energy.

3)  If I notice any decrease in appetite.

In the meantime, if you’ve tried this “fad,” I’d love to hear what you thought/think of it.

Did you notice any changes?

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Fred the Newf: Eleven Weeks Old

Fred came home just over a week ago.

Today, Fred is an eleven week old Newfoundland puppy.

I admit, Fred’s first week was not always easy.

Fred needed a lot of love his first week in a new environment.

Fred wants to be a lap dog.

If he could, he would cuddle with me all day long.

I don’t think Fred realizes how big he is going to be.

Yesterday, I left Fred alone in his crate for two hours.

Fred escaped.

I’m not sure how he did it, because when I came home his crate was latched shut.

Does Fred have opposable thumbs hidden somewhere?

In my absence, Fred wreaked havoc – as only a puppy can do.

In fact, when I walked back into the house Fred was eating one of my photography books.

Processed with VSCOcam with 1 preset

I’m pretty sure Fred is just in a hurry to learn as much as he can about photography?

Fred thinks he can learn photography by digesting books about it.

(A lot of people think that too!)

I think Fred’s favorite thing, his first week home, was getting to lick the tupperware container which held remnants of cooked pumpkin.

Fred LOVES pumpkin.

It’s the craziest thing.

Fred also likes the Santa Ana winds.

The winds haven’t been really strong, but because I live in a canyon they’ve been noticeable.

Fred wants to stay outside in the wind for hours and hours.

He likes to chase all the blowing leaves.

There’s only one problem …

The winds give Fred a bad hair day.

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January in Orange County

I thought I’d give you a break from Fred photos today.

(I can’t seem to stop posting Fred photos on Instagram, though, in spite of myself.)

As nice as it is to emerge myself in puppy breath,

The real world asks for me to create art, handle business-related work, and do a lot of other stuff.

(Not all of it is stuff I want to do.)

Today, I thought I’d give you a look at January in Orange County.

It’s a very beautiful place to “winter.”

(And photograph!)

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

It’s been an unusual January because we had snow on the foothills for that *one* day.


We got a little rain last weekend.

But, mainly it’s just been nice weather.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Whenever possible, I try to go out for a walk and/or hike around sunset with my camera.

The colors of the sky never disappoint this time of year.

Of course, I love the mountain view from my backyard too.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I took the above photo last weekend.

The mountains are like a living entity … always changing in appearance and mood.

I’m constantly back and forth … ocean/mountains followed by mountains/ocean.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

You can’t really blame me?

P.S.  I can’t wait until Fred has completed his parvo vaccines and he can go shooting with me!

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Oh, Fred!

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Fred.

Fred at ten and a half weeks.

Many people are not very familiar with Newfoundlands or have misconceptions about them.

I can understand that confusion.

Newfies are less common than many other breeds –

Especially here in Southern California.

So far, everyone who has met Fred has commented he is smaller in real life than he looks in photos.

I think that’s because Fred’s feet are so big, it makes him look enormous in photos.

In reality, he’s still a brand new baby and (for right now) about a third the size of a retriever.

Fred weighs 25 pounds now at ten and a half weeks.

Fred will grow to be larger than a retriever, however.

(I’m using a retriever as my example because most people “know” a lab or golden.)

Newfoundlands are a “giant” breed.

Fred could reach 150 pounds at adulthood … give or take.

Newfoundlands are very CALM and very GENTLE dogs.

They’re considered the very best breed for children.

Lots of famous people have had Newfies … George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Lewis and Clark, Samuel Adams, Lord Byron, President Ulysses Grant, President Rutherford Hayes, President James Buchanan, Emily Dickinson, Humphrey Bogart, Bing Crosby, and Bobby Kennedy.  (Supposedly Bobby Kennedy’s Newfie was allowed to attend high level meetings and took a disliking to Edgar J. Hoover.)

Napoleon would have drowned when he fell off a boat if not for the rescue efforts of a Newfie.  There have been many recorded (amazing) water rescues by Newfoundlands throughout history.

Nana, the dog in the movie Peter Pan, was a Newfoundland.  The author created Nana based on inspiration from his own Newfie.

Newfoundland dogs are high maintenance dogs, though, and definitely not for everyone.

The lifespan of a Newfie is typically 10 years.

(Of course, you hear exceptions on both sides of the spectrum.)

Yes, Newfoundland dogs drool.

Fred doesn’t yet, because he’s a puppy.

But he will.

They don’t drool, however, as much as some breeds do.

They also don’t eat as much as people assume.

I’ve already gotten so many comments about how much Fred will eat.

In reality, an adult Newfoundland doesn’t eat much more than a lab or retriever does.

(They do eat more as puppies because they grow at such a rapid rate.)

Newfies are “water driven” and are considered the strongest swimmers in the dog world.

They “need” to swim and if that means swimming in their water bowl, so be it.

(They also LOVE to retrieve/rescue everything/everyone out of the water.)

Newfies need daily brushing and are “high maintenance” dogs.

They can have expensive health problems.

Fred is on a very healthy, special, diet to try and prevent some of those problems.

I’ve been asked if Fred is okay living in a warm climate.

Fred was born in San Diego.

Fred has a “cooling bed” in our house, a swimming pool, and the Pacific Ocean to cool off in.

Fred will be just fine living in Orange County.

Newfies definitely aren’t the right breed for most people.

Fred, however, is perfect for me.

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Fred’s First Weekend

I promise not to post about Fred (my Newfoundland puppy) every single day.

But honestly, the first week with a new puppy is all consumed by puppy.

Especially when the puppy is an adorable fur-ball like Fred.

Fred – 10 weeks old and feeling sleepy.

Fred has had an exciting last few days.

His puppy “well check-up” on Friday was very thorough.

My vet was very impressed with Fred … and very impressed with the great work of his breeder.

Fred made friends with everyone in the vet’s office.

He wowed them with his easy-going demeanor, his smarts, and especially his abundance of fluffy-fluff.

Fred enjoyed the cool, rainy, weather over the weekend too.

We don’t get a lot of rain here in Orange County, but it’s great for a Newfie when it happens.

Fred experienced his first rain drops.

(He tried to eat them!)

Fred is very interested in all the hummingbirds that live in my backyard.

Fred loved his first puddles.

Fred learned a lot about sticks over the weekend too.

Fred is very interested in sticks.  (And yes, Fred has a white spot on his chest.)

We also had family and friends visiting for the last few days.

I think Fred enjoyed being the center of attention.

Fred has learned a lot in his first few days home.

I have had a few people inquire about what type of training Fred will get to help him along his journey.

Fred can’t be out and about around other dogs yet because he isn’t fully vaccinated against parvo yet.

Over the next six weeks, I’ll be working with Fred on house training and basic obedience.

Fred has a crate … which he loves.

Fred loves his crate because it was introduced to him gradually and as a positive place to be.

I crate train all my dogs and it is great if it is done correctly.

If you aren’t familiar with crate training you can learn a little about it here.

Fred goes in and out of his crate whenever he wants.

If I’m home, Fred naps in his crate willingly, and with the door of the crate open.

If I leave, I close the door of the crate so Fred doesn’t eat  the house  something he shouldn’t while I’m gone.

(Like all puppies, Fred can be quite naughty at times!)

I’m using clicker training for basic obedience.

Fred is a very quick learner.

In fact, everyone who has met him so far has been amazed at how smart he is.

I would tell you Fred’s already house broken, but if I did he’d be jinxed and have an accident.


Because Fred is in training to become a service dog, it’s important he be exposed to a lot of different people/sounds/experiences.

I can’t take him out to potential parvo exposed places yet, but I can make sure he gets used to cameras/camera equipment and car rides.

He has a mini (so far, empty) backpack so he can get used to the feel of wearing something on his back.

I can also make sure he hears lots of different types of sounds so he doesn’t become startled or fearful when he’s, eventually, in a variety of settings.

I’m inviting people of different sizes and types to the house.

All of these things help Fred assimilate into his new life.

Once Fred is fully vaccinated against parvo, he’ll be enrolled in a puppy obedience class.

The point of the class will be more for socializing than anything else.

I have a trainer who will be working with Fred and I on a one on one basis.

I also have two great options for service dog programs.

I haven’t picked which one I’ll use yet.

My needs are very different than a blind person’s or those of someone in a wheelchair.

I need help carrying things.

I need help opening heavy doors, etc.

Fred will learn to step in and be my right arm.

Fred will learn to carry things like grocery bags with his teeth.

He will carry heavier things like lenses in his backpack.

(He’ll only do this once he’s grown up enough so it won’t hurt him.)

I’ve networked with other people of various disabilities with Newfie service dogs.

Having a “pull rope” with me will allow Fred to open heavy doors.

(The rope can fit over the handle of commercial doors so Fred can pull to open the door.)

Fred will not be working all the time.

Fred will have lots and lots of time to just be a dog.

He will get to swim in our pool and the ocean.

He’ll get walks and hikes and lots of great dog adventures.

Fred will, in fact, be treated like royalty.


When I need help, Fred will know how to help.

It won’t happen overnight.

It will take time.

So far, Fred had shown lots of promise.

He’s a quick learner and he’s eager to please.

If all goes well, maybe Fred can also get certified as a therapy dog.

I’d love it if Fred and I could help people.

So many people have helped me since the car accident,

It would be great if Fred and I could give back a little of the love we’ve received.

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Fred’s Second Day Home

Fred and I were very tired on Thursday because Fred did not sleep well on his first night at his new home.

Fred 5 10wk © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

I’ve had dogs before, so I knew to expect a rough first night.

Puppies are used to being with other dogs.

When they suddenly find themselves in new surroundings it can be overstimulating.

And maybe a little lonely and scary too.

(Although, I have to say Fred seems to be very happy.)

In any case, Fred and I got no sleep on his first night home.

It made his second day a little difficult because I was so tired.

But, Fred and I managed to make the most of our day anyway.

For instance, after Fred swam in his bowl of water he tried to eat it.

He thought that was a lot of fun.

Fred 3 10wk © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

We were both happy to see Fred’s x-pen (exercise pen) arrive.

I can put Fred in his “playpen” for a few minutes when I need to do something and can’t keep an eye on him.

And yes, I do crate train my dogs but the pen is nice to give Fred more room when I’m busy doing dishes/laundry/whatever.

I think Fred has already gained a pound or two since he came home.

He seems so much bigger already.

Fred 4 10wk © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Fred has giant bear paws.

I’ve been around a lot of Newfies and I still can’t get over the size of Fred’s paws.

Today, after my visit with Paul Newman, I will be taking Fred for a “puppy well check-up” with my vet.

Over the weekend, we will be establishing more of a routine.

Fred has already learned to “sit” since he came home.

Fred is a smart guy … even though he does have a typical goofy-Newfie face.

Fred is protective of me already too.

Yesterday when the electricians showed up, Fred growled at them and instinctively moved in front of me.

I think their big, clanking, tool belts looked/sounded threatening to Fred.

Fred barked at them.

I told Fred everything was okay, and Fred settled down once I reassured him a few times.

I wasn’t expecting Fred to be a watch dog … just a service dog.

Apparently, Fred feels it’s also his job to make sure I’m safe.

One of the electricians told me, “That dog’s love for you is very clear.”

It made me smile.

Fred has already bonded to me.

It’s also nice to know Fred is looking out for me.

If I ran into trouble while out shooting, I’d have a hard time protecting myself (or my gear) one-armed.

I carry pepper spray, but it looks like Fred is going to provide a little extra protection too.

Of course, I don’t want an aggressive dog.

But, it’s nice to know Fred thinks it’s his job to step up if he thinks I’m threatened.

Good job Fred!

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Fred’s First Day

Fred came home yesterday.

Fred is ten weeks old today.

Fred is adorable.

Fred Day1 10wk © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

My son holding Fred.

Fred is happy.

Fred is exhausting.

(I say that with a smile, but it’s true.)

Fred was very busy learning about his surroundings and getting into everything he can find to get into.

Fred is getting a lot of love and attention.

Fred wants to follow me everywhere I go.

(It’s as if he’s already learned to heel because he walks right with me, off leash, at all times.)

Because Fred arrived a couple days before I thought he would,

I wasn’t 100% ready for him.

Today, some gates arrive.

The gates will help me contain Fred to the areas of my house with brick flooring.

(Life will be much easier once the gates arrive.)

Fred has kept me so busy, I didn’t have time to take many photos of him yesterday.

This isn’t the most flattering photo of Fred, but it does look very bear-like, I think.

Fred 2 10wk © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Look at the size of Fred’s paws!!

Fred was the biggest pup in his litter … and by the size of his paws, I’d say he’ll probably grow-up to be quite large.

Fred will be a good photo assistant eventually.

I know this because Fred was very interested in  eating  my camera.

Today the electrician arrives to give me a super-duper-high-power electrical outlet.

I need it for the cow blow dryer I will be using to dry Fred after he swims/bathes.

And …?

Life with a Newfie begins!

A special thank you to CeCe Guyatt of Trinity Cove Newfoundlands for being such an inspiring person and breeder.

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Today Fred The Newfie Pup Comes Home!

Fred, the Newfie puppy, is scheduled to come home this morning.

Throughout this process, I haven’t let myself really believe I was getting a service puppy.

I think I had post traumatic puppy purchasing stress syndrome from my previous experience.

Even as the date approached, a part of me was convinced the breeder would cancel everything at the last minute.

I know that sounds crazy,

But it happened before which means it could happen again, right?

Even as late as Monday night, I waited for Nice Breeder to do a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde on me and snatch the puppy out of my arms.

Instead …?

She opened her arms, hugged me, and said, “Welcome to the family!”

I almost cried.

I feel SO fortunate to have met such a nice person.

Originally, I had figured Fred would come home next weekend at the soonest.

(I made this assumption based on my work schedule and the breeder’s work schedule.)

But, my son only has a few more days to be in California so we made some adjustments.

As a result, I found myself running all over yesterday doing puppy-related errands.

Today will be spent quietly as we acclimate Fred to his new home.

I do have one appointment midday, but my son will be home with Fred while I’m gone.

I don’t think Fred could be in better, more loving, hands.

I’ll try to snap a photo or two if I get the chance.

(Fred will probably become one of the most frequently photographed dogs in the world?)

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Puppy Breath

Yesterday, “the” litter of Newfoundland pups had their final health check up.

Last night, my son and I went to visit the litter to make the final pick of “our” puppy.

(This entire process has been handled WAY differently than it was throughout my Bad Breeder Experience.)

I had an idea of which puppy I’d be picking as I drove to see the litter.

And …?

I did not pick that puppy.

I surprised even myself.

Here is a (poor quality) photo of my new pup:

Pup 1 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

He will be coming home to live with me/us tomorrow, Wednesday.

On the drive home last night, my son said the puppy “looks like a Fred.”

I told him we couldn’t name him Fred because the “lost puppy” from Bad Breeder Experience was named Fred.

My son told me I needed to name this puppy Fred, regardless.

And …?

I surprised myself, again, by agreeing.

Our new puppy is now named Fred.

Let me tell you a little about Fred.

Fred is huge – even by Newfoundland puppy standards.

Fred weighed 23 pounds at approximately nine weeks of age.

Fred has huge paws.

Fred’s dad is an extra-big Newfie and I think Fred is going to be extra-large too.

Fred is not perfect.

Fred has a minor “flaw” or two … flaws I found endearing.

(For example, Fred has a tiny “kink” in his tail.  It isn’t visible, but if you feel along his tail you can find it!)

I explained to Fred I have flaws too.

I told Fred about my bum arm.

I asked him if he’d like to be my helper.

Fred didn’t seem to mind my flaws at all.

In fact, Fred seems eager to become my ever-present assistant.

I decided I didn’t mind Fred’s flaws either.

I could have picked a different pup …

An “unflawed” pup.

But, I discovered I didn’t want to.

I think Fred and I are well suited for each other.

We can make our flawed way together ….

In fact, I think our imperfections make us just perfect together.