Poodle and Our Park Make The Paper

As part of a column writing class I’m taking this semester, I’ve written several op-eds on different topics (from Wikipedia to technical education). My favorite is a piece on our local park and the importance of parks for building our community here in Somerville. You can read the piece here. But pieces are always better with a visual, so here are a few of my favorites of Charlie, our park and our friends over the last year.

Charlie the Poodle Turns 2!

Two years ago, on September 30th, the creature that Tom and I treat like our child was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I tricked Tom into meeting standard poodle puppies during a weekend trip with our friends Mindy and Kelli to take in an LSU v. Mississippi State football game. We fell in love with one poodle, Charlie, because he walked straight into the front door while looking in the other direction.

When we called two days later about buying Charlie, the breeder told us that he had already been selected, and worse, there were no puppies left to adopt. I may or may not have shed a tear in my office cubicle. I was so disappointed.

Several days later my phone buzzed with a text from the breeder. The woman who had originally gotten the poodle puppy was not able to take him. Would we still be interested in the puppy? Duh. No brainer. And just like that Tom was tricked into a puppy, and Charlie the Poodle became an Allin.

It has been two years full of moments we treasure and moments we want to rip our hair out. To celebrate Charlie’s second birthday we want to thank all of you who have tolerated his jumping, nibbling, drooling, barking and nuzzling. We love you for it and so does the poodle.

Happy Birthday Charlie the Poodle. Bring on year 3!

Dog Days for Charlie the Poodle

Cambridge is heating up. The poodle is napping on cold floors, and the dog days of summer are upon us. IMG_3287As I’ve written about too much already, we live in a terrifically dog-friendly area. Between the dog parks, vet, and groomer around the corner, Charlie has all he could ask for without having to get in the car. Which also saves Tom and me from the car full of poodle drool that inevitably comes from putting him in the 4runner whether it be for 15 minutes or 15 hours (we’ve done both).

We did, however, have to put him in the car to head to North Hampton, NH a few weeks ago. But it was totally worth it to see Charlie romp around the beach and play chicken with the waves.

Back at home, Charlie has also made friends with Tudor, a 5-year-old boy. Tudor lives across the street from our park and religiously comes out to play whenever he spots Charlie from his window. Tudor loves to ask the other dog owners at the park “How old is your dog?” and then proudly tell them that Charlie is only 1 1/2 years old. Charlie chases Tudor around the park with his bike or soccer ball, and eagerly awaits Tudor’s shorter-than-usual toss of his tennis ball.

Even though Charlie gets lots of play time at the park with friends like Tudor, I’m also gone most of the day now because of my internship with EchoDitto. Lucky for us, EchoDitto loves a good pooch party in the office from time to time. Last week, both Charlie and Rascal, Nicco’s westie, spent the day in the office together. Charlie didn’t stop exploring the office or even sit down until about 3:30 in the afternoon, so all the Ditto’s got a bit more of Charlie than they probably anticipated. But we made it through the day, and he only shredded 3 Wikipedia stress balls (in case you forgot it is a tech firm, that will confirm it). He also got invited back. I, however, was exhausted after monitoring him and working all day and do not have plans for him to return in the near future. Overall, Charlie gets a B+ for office etiquette given he is a less-than-2-year-old poodle.

It’s pretty great to be a poodle AND an Allin. You get to travel, make new friends, and enjoy a comfortable work-life balance. Some days when Charlie is really lucky he even gets a few cheerios or an ice cube. Maybe as the dog days of summerIMG_3239 heat up even more he’ll get multiple ice cubes.

Until Next Time.

An Allin Update: In 4 Acts

It has been a while since I’ve updated on our Boston adventures, so away we go!

Act 1: ImprovBoston

In the true Gleitsman Fellows spirit several of the fellows headed out last Saturday to observe the budding leaders of Boston’s comedy circuit. Improv Boston, located in Central Square, put together a great line of still-developing stand up comedians for a full, but cozy audience. Each comedian gets about 5 minutes to strut their stuff.

My favorite was the guy who talked about how he just started dating a white girl. He calls her up to see what she is doing, and she says she is taking her dog to the vet. “I’m so sorry. What’s wrong with it?” he asks. “Oh nothing,” she says “Just taking him in.” “White people take their animals to the vet when nothing is wrong with them?!” He busts out laughing. This is a Fact. Truth.

My family has done it. And it was absolutely hilarious. Why do people take perfectly healthy animals to the vet? The comedians at Improv Boston definitely don’t get it.

Alex, Jenny, Tom, Robert and I all had an awesome time, and I would recommend it for an affordable, accessible Saturday night plan. The venue also serves snacks and beer, and it would be a solid after dinner activity. For all your comedy dorks out there, they have a Magic the Gathering improv show this Friday.

Act 2: Birthday Dinner Singing

Two of our favorite people at the Kennedy School, Will Denn and Kousha Navidar celebrated their birthday within two weeks. Adding mine into the mix during the same time period, made for a fantastic excuse for a dinner party. Fresh pasta, salad, and Ina Garten’s Baked Brownie Pudding, made for full, content bellies. We even had the chance to sing happy birthday to ourselves all at once. The night made Tom and I really grateful for so many of the quality people we’ve been able to build relationships with thus far in Boston.

Act 3: The Never-Ending Winter

We’ve had our fair share of snow during our first Boston winter. We’ve actually had more snow than Tom or I have seen combined in our entire lives. There have been several morning where we are both trudging to Harvard Square together chanting “Why am I going to work right now? Why am I going to school right now?” We have been good winter sports, but even Southerners with thick skin need a little reprieve. March is coming this weekend. Please send warm thoughts here for us.

Act 4: Games & New Friends Keep Us Warm

Now, you think I’m going to talk about new human friends. You’d be wrong. Tom and I got to meet two of our online dog crushes last week, and they fully lived up to the hype. Paco (white) and Azuki (auburn) are the pets of Diane and Jen respectively. Two (human) friends we met during our adventures in Somerville. Both of the pet/owner combinations were able to come out and meet Charlie, and I fell even more in love with both of them. So did Charlie.

Finally, our other (non-human) new friend is Area 4 pizza in Union Square. Listen up people. They have the trifecta– baller pizzas, coasters with riddles to solve, and pre-1995 video games for you to play. Go. Enjoy. And be sure to call Tom and I and invite us before you do.

Until Next Time!


Poodle Play Time

It has been too long since Charlie the poodle and I have been able to make it to the dog park here in Somerville. But today we made it, and it warmed my heart the same way it always does… and exhausted Charlie the same way it always does. A quick post to share some of our actions shots from the play time.