Our Family

The Dog - My name is Bogart, and I'm the official stay-at-home dog of our house. I was born in New Orleans sometime in August 2005, just a week or so before Hurricane Katrina made its second and third landfalls along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana. Animal rescuers found me huddling with about a dozen other orphaned puppies under the front porch of an abandoned house. I was arrested, had a computer chip implanted in my neck, then spent 18 hours in a trailer while being transported to The Land of 10,000 Lakes by Aussie Rescue of Minnesota. So it's safe for you to assume a few things about me: 1) I hate the rain, 2) Big Brother is constantly monitoring me (and Glenn Beck), and 3) I don't enjoy traveling at all. In fact, I will shake uncontrollably and drool all over the backseat of any vehicle in which I'm placed. Anyway, my family was fortunate enough to learn about me through the efforts of Susan, a long-time family friend, fellow dog lover, and honorary aunt to Claire and me. If not for Aunt Susan being bored at her job and incessantly emailing Stew profile upon profile upon profile of various dogs available for adoption at www.petfinder.com, I'd be blogging for some other family today. So after an intense adoption screening process consisting of a woman visiting their house to ensure they had a fenced-in backyard, Momma and Stew welcomed me into their lives in November 2005. About a year later, Claire arrived home with Momma from the hospital, and that's when the fun began. It was immediately clear neither Momma nor Stew had any clue as to how to care for this tiny, newborn baby girl.  So in December 2006, I launched this Stay-At-Home Dog blog in order to spill family secrets about the goings on within our house. I've been the sole blogger here ever since, but all good things must come to an end. After more than 20 years of blogging (in doggy years, of course), I'm turning over blogging responsibilities to Stew. But for the four faithful readers and lovers of my writing, you'll still be able to read what I'm barking about at Bogey's Dog Dish.

The Dad - My name is Stew. I'm also known as Papa, StewDog, Stewie, TwoDogs, Brett and - in certain circles - I'm known as Loretta. I was born in Pierre, South Dakota. I have a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of SD, where I enjoyed college life so much I "attended" for five years (except on Mondays and Fridays). To earn money in college I delivered pizzas, hosted keg parties, and even sold Avon... up until the day I was summoned to the local Hardees restaurant where I was met by the regional Avon representative - some 50-ish lady with several broaches on her sweater - who fired me for [quote] "not selling a single unit". Apparently my assumption that sorority girls use Avon was not exactly on target. I've also been a public servant for the State of SD when I painted stripes on highways, built concrete outhouses at rest areas, and even spent six years as a Community Development Specialist for the Governor's Office of Economic Development. That's right - I was a community organizer. After a life in public service, I moved to Minneapolis to work for a billion-dollar I/T staffing and technical services company, first as a recruiter then in the role of account manager.  And most recently, I was a manufacturers representative for a maker of high quality furniture which I sold at a modest price to schools, hospitals, government agencies and businesses. Now I'm a stay-at-home dad, which pays millions in intangible benefits but pretty much nothing in terms of real dollars. Unfortunately, there's going to come a day when I'll actually have to go back to work. But the fact our society seems to relish in transforming talentless, lazy, undeserving people into instant celebrities gives me great hope for my future.  Note to VH1 and/or TLC executives: Call me - I'm shameless!

The Momma - This is Linda. She really wants nothing to do with this blog beyond reading it from time to time. She's also our in-house blog editor just in case I write something to shame the family name, so she's a pretty busy woman. While she's extremely supportive of my desire to write, she has no interest in being in the limelight. But that's too bad because it has to be said that she is by far the most talented, caring and supportive person I've ever met. Plus, she's obviously gorgeous. To use a football metaphor, I out-kicked my coverage when I married Linda. Not a day goes by when I don't think how lucky I am that she's in my life.  Don't get me wrong. Despite my great fortune, I'm still prone to flying into a fit of douchebaggery for no apparent reason. I'm not the perfect husband. Far far from it, in fact. But I can't imagine there's a better wife out there then Linda, aside from maybe the woman who comes home with a winning multimillion dollar lottery ticket and says, "Don't worry, I'm not going to leave you. In fact, I'm sending you, your friends and this suitcase full of money to Vegas. Have fun and call me if you need bail money!" But I'm holding out hope that day will come.

Our Little Buster - This is Claire, who we sometimes refer to as "little Buster". She was born in October 2006 on the greatest day of our lives. From the second she nearly slipped through the doctor's waiting hands onto the birthing room floor to the moment you're reading this biography about her, she's been the most amazing gift we could ever wish for. Whoever said "They grow up so fast" wasn't kidding. It seems like only yesterday Claire was  learning to walk, careful to always prop herself up on a chair or sofa. When she wasn't making her way around the house she'd always hold out her arms pleading for you to pick her up. Now she jumps on every piece of furniture in the house and routinely declares, "I'll do it myself!" or "I don't need help!" She's very independent but also quite cautious... until she gets to know you, at which point you should be prepared to answer about 2-3 dozen questions delivered in rapid succession. A close friend says Claire's "the perfect combination of Linda and Stewie." It's true. Claire has Linda's beautiful eyes with my dark blue eye color. And like her Momma, Claire loves to work puzzles and create process flow analyses on her tot-size flip-chart. But, unfortunately, it's becoming more apparent each day that Claire's also inherited my inability to tell a story without meandering off on an unrelated tangent thereby never actually finishing the original thought. So, with any luck, she'll turn out more like Linda than me. The bottom line is we want Claire to grow up to be smart, funny, engaging, compassionate, independent and self-confident. Most importantly, we just want her to visit us when we're old, not out of a feeling of obligation, but because she wants to. Is that too much to ask?

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About This Blog

Commentary from a stay-at-home dad on daily happenings and misadventures while helping raise a wonderful little girl. The goal is to employ wit, sarcasm and/or humor to make the blog pseudo-entertaining. Then again, setting goals never really worked for me, but maybe you'll chuckle anyway.

OUR FAMILY - Provides a brief bio on each family member.

THE SAHD CLUB - A rip-off of the letter written by the kids from the 1980's blockbuster hit, The Breakfast Club.

THE DOG DISH - Here you'll find the occasional rant or story written from a dog's point of view.

COMEDY - Here you'll find stuff I think is funny, typically video clips, cartoons or jokes.

LINKS - Just what the name implies.

PAW-LITICS - More rants, typically directed at despicable politicians with whom I disagree.

VIDEO VAULT - Home videos of Claire set to some of our favorite songs.

BUY STUFF - My online store (that is if I ever actually create one).

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