Charlie - Curious in the garden

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This post is, more or less, a treat for those of you who love updates on Charlie and have asked about her new life with K & Stella moving in.

This summer was the first full season that Charlie and Stella have lived together (in case you missed it, here was that announcement back in February). So far, it’s been going great, though we’ve had to adapt as we go to new routines, different pet quirks, and just kind of let the dogs sort the details out for themselves.

Charlie watching out window

As much as I’d like to make most of my posts DIY-friendly and informative/full of tips, sometimes, I just plain want to document some of these memories to go back and read someday. So, I thought it would be a great opportunity to just share a ton of their cute photos of the pups from this spring and summer. If you’re the all-DIY-all-the-time type, then I’ll also be sharing tips for keeping the pups cool this summer in a separate post, and I’ll interlink that when it goes live.

Charlie & Stella’s First Summer at the UDH


Charlie has been simultaneously curious and aloof at the whole backyard build thing. She LOVES the new deck and perches on it whenever she goes outside. I think it’s just a higher spot in the yard to make her feel like she’s getting a good survey of her domain. She’s the ever-dutiful watcher of things.

Charlie sniffing things out

Charlie resting on edge of deck

Charlie investigating the back yard

(that scrap wood bench can be found here – free plans too!)

Charlie has adapted to being a “big” sister pretty well. While I’m not 100% certain of Charlie’s date of birth, she was born in the spring of 2011, which makes her just a few months younger than Stella. But because of how much bigger she is, Charlie and Stella both seem to agree that Charlie is Stella’s protector. Stella takes cues from Charlie on when to bark at possible intruders (aka, the mail guy and/or neighbors), and Charlie will put herself between Stella and any perceived harm.

Stella following behind Charlie

For instance, when we last took them to the vet, Stella was taken by the nurse and got her shots first. Charlie paced around the room until she returned. Charlie sat in front of Stella when they were reunited, making sure they didn’t take Stella again (❤️). But, the joke was unfortunately on her, because Charlie needed to be grabbed for her shots next!

Charlie is a bit clumsy, so she doesn’t always notice when Stella walks underneath her. I guess the blame is really on both of them, since Stella should probably learn not to go hiding under Charlie’s feet when Charlie is excited and jumping around.

Charlie - Curious in the garden

But, Charlie seems to know how to be very gentle, too. Whenever Stella gets in the mood to play, Charlie pretty much just allows Stella to jump at her face, nibble on the folds of her jowls, and pester her (well beyond what I think I would have patience for).

Charlie has also become more of a homebody. She is happiest when all four of us are around, and noticeably paces/worries if one of us is gone or breaking routine for too long. I think as she gets older, she’ll crave more and more routine. Some days, she still seems like the goofy puppy who didn’t know how to use her limbs. Other days, I realize how gray her muzzle has gotten and how much she seems to enjoy a Sunday of nothing. [sniff]… I just love this girl.

Charlie napping


Stella flat-out LOVES that I’m home during the day for work. She does this really cute thing where she crawls up onto K’s pillow to snooze as he gets ready for work. But as soon as she feels like she wants me to be awake too (or I crack ONE eye open just a LITTLE), she leaps on my face with her little paws outstretched and kisses/nuzzles me until I’m up. I am not at all a morning person, so I think the universe has given me the one wake-up routine where I can’t get cranky. It’s too adorable.

Stella sleeping on top of pillow

Stella has also learned Charlie’s barks. She knows the difference between what we call Charlie’s “protest bark” (such as if she wasn’t fast enough and the patio door was closed before she realized we’re now in the back yard) vs. the “POSSIBLE INTRUDER OR FOOD DELIVERY” bark vs. “K’S HOME K’S HOME” bark.

She’s also good at milking how tiny she is for all it’s worth. She knows I’ll baby her, and she knows how to tug on K’s heart strings like a master manipulator. She has thing she does where her eyes seem to take up 90% of her tiny body, and you turn into a puddle of love and obedience and yes you can have my last bite of my sausage biscuit, anything for you.

black dachshund with big puppy dog eyes

Stella also LOVES to hunt. And dig. And look into trunks for mystery animals (the photo below is a bird bath K’s parents will scratch on to make her think something’s inside of it). She can dig giant holes in no time at all. But again, her size is one of the funniest things, since she will flat-out disappear in my gardenia bushes or in the ivy that separates me from one of my neighbors. Sometimes, all you see is a little shimmy of the plant to know where she is. She’ll emerge covered in dirt and looking very proud. I have a video in my IG Stories of one of those dirty bath times, so I’ll try to convert that for you guys here so you can see!

Stella attacking tree stump

Also… she has a puppy blanket. It’s SO CUTE. It’s actually K’s childhood comforter, and now belongs to Stella. It matches literally nothing in the house and is thin and covered in pilling, so it’s a design blogger’s nightmare. But it’s so adorable how she knows it’s “her” blanket whenever it comes out of the wash.

Stella with baby blanket

Morning routine & nightly walks

Charlie has been training every night with K on their nightly walks around the neighborhood. I’m sad to admit that I was pretty terrible about leash training before, so I’m glad to see that she’s gotten a lot better!

Charlie on her leash at Ks parents

With the summer months and humidity being so brutal on them both, I’m careful to let them out in the mornings when it’s cooler; it also makes for some cute photos when the morning light hits.

Charlie in the morning

Stella in morning sunlight

Opposites attract

Ultimately, I think the pups are doing a great job at learning how to be together when they’ve both spent most of their lives being the only dog in the house. They aren’t really much for cuddling with each other, but they keep an eye on each other, follow each other around (Stella usually follows Charlie), and seem to miss each other when the other is gone (they reunite like they missed the other, but in a way like they don’t want to admit that they have).

Charlie and Stella napping on the grass together

I hope you guys enjoyed the PUP-date… get it? Let me know if you want more Stella & Charlie posts and I’ll be sure to include them a few times per year.

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  1. LUHVE the PUP-Date!!! They are part of your family, so it is fun to see a different side when you have a chance. Charlie has always had my heart! I love reading your posts. I don’t always comment, but always read what you write.

    1. Glad to hear it, Kim! I wrote this wondering if people really wanted to know more about them, and it looks like there’s enough interest to share more on them soon. They make life so much better (and funnier). More stories on them are a-comin’ whenever I find the chance to snap more pics!

  2. I love pup-dates. The one of Charlie in front of the flowers is gorgeous. And Stella has got some impressive eye power going on in that pic. ? The pic of Stella soaking in the morning sun is so precious. The one of Charlie in her “Queen of all I survey and subjects love me” pose made me laugh…so cute. And the one that melted my heart was the “I got your back, buddy’ while napping.??

    1. I agree, Gynneth! I like to say that Charlie always looks so REGAL whenever she’s laying down in the yard or on the bed. She just makes this killer pose, and it cracks me up. She’s vigilant and just looking over everything. Glad you liked the post!

  3. Absolutely I want more about the pups and your life in general. I understand what you mean about Charlie liking the wooden deck. We had a similar experience when we added a deck to our front porch. It was pretty high, maybe 8 feet above ground level, and our dogs thought they owned the kingdom. They spent a lot of time surveying the surrounding area.

    P.S. I love the DIY, too. ;-)

    1. Haha, love hearing that Linda! She really does have this look about her whenever she’s on the deck (or when she mounts the smaller deck on the side of the shed). She seems to have such certainty that this is HER land to protect. It’s adorable and still makes me laugh every time I catch her doing it.

  4. I love the dog posts and look forward to them, by the way I also have two dachsunds, and one is a long hair.

  5. I always enjoy your posts and admire your talent with all the DIY projects you do. You go girl! And … any stories about
    your doggies are the best. Thanks and keep up the good work.


  6. Cute pups. I love the deck. Your Hydrangeas are beautiful. I pulled up 3 of my Mom’s (she passed last Oct) and re-planted them at my house. They didn’t bloom this year. :( Hopefully next year they will.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your mom’s passing, Reenie. But I love that you took her hydrangeas to remember her. I’m sure they will come back after a full year of re-rooting — they are hardy, but if they are growing too close together or they have to recover somehow (such as if they get trimmed too late in the season, or if their roots are damaged from being moved, etc.) they take a year to come back. I’ve had some that have been moved or knocked down completely and they came back strong! In my experience, it always takes a couple of years for them to be comfortable, and then they start shooting off blooms left and right.

  7. Love, love, love
    I enjoy all of the posts. It’s what your life is right now, and the posts reflect that. Glad that the “kids” are meshing and happy. So stinking cute.

    1. Thanks Sandra! Working on one for winter (just took some video of the way Charlie greets K at the door, so I’ll have video + photos galore!).

  8. We have 2 mini dachshunds, so I loved seeing Stella in some of the posts about Ruby. I found your site as my hubby and I are starting our floating deck project. You sound just like me with the whole “giving no effs” about overspray when spraying paint. Our yard last summer had black spray paint all over it when I redid our patio furniture haha

    1. Lmao, I try my best but sometimes I have NO patience for covering things up properly and making sure overspray doesn’t happen!