Jamie Samoyed FAQ

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This post covers some of the questions we’ve been asked most often on Jamie’s Facebook page, as well as some topics that we think about often, even if nobody ever asks about them. in addition to the information you’ll find on this page, here are links to a few blog posts, articles, photo albums and other information about Jamie and Alice:

The Basics

How old are Jamie and Alice? Jamie is nine months older than Alice, and he was born on November 14, 2009. Alice was born on August 23, 2010. So as of mid-2016, Jamie is 6 years old and Alice is 5 (and will turn 6 in August).

Are they related? Yes – Alice is Jamie’s aunt, even though she’s nine months younger than him. Alice’s father, Rocky (Ca Am Ch White Magic’s Super Star O’Zima), is Jamie’s grandfather. For more information about Jamie and Alice’s pedigree, see their pedigrees:

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So they’re Canadian? Yes indeed, Jamie and Alice are Canadians by birth. They each moved to the Seattle area around the age of 8 weeks – Jamie on 1/10/2010, and Alice on 10/24/2010.

Are they spayed/neutered? Yes, all of our dogs and cats are spayed/neutered.

Social Media

When did Jamie start posting to Facebook? Jamie started on Facebook in the spring of 2010, and he started on Twitter the day he arrived in Seattle, 1/10/2010. He also has a Flickr photostream, and that’s where you can search for specific photos (since Facebook has no decent search option, and Twitter doesn’t always keep old content online).

We never post directly to the Twitter account any more, but we have things set up so that everything posted to Jamie’s Facebook page appears on his Twitter stream also, for those who only use Twitter.

Can I re-post photos of Jamie and Alice? Sure – we want people to see the photos, that’s why we post them in the first place! Name attribution is always appreciated, and on Facebook we prefer if you simply Share a photo, so that people who like the photos can easily follow Jamie’s page.

Why don’t you let people post on Jamie’s wall or tag themselves in Jamie’s photos? These features have been abused by people wanting to use Jamie’s page to promote their favorite cause, so we turned them off. If you’re actually pictured in one of Jamie’s photos and want to be tagged, let us know and we’ll tag you.

Why don’t you post more videos? We love photography, and enjoying taking pictures and sharing them. We don’t find video as interesting, so we don’t do as much of it. We’ve done a few videos of Jamie and Alice, which you can find on the Dougerino channel on YouTube. And we recently compiled a page with links to 40 videos of Jamie and Alice.

What are your long-term plans for Jamie’s page? To not make any plans for it. Seriously – we’re just doing this for fun, not to make money or save the world or anything. We’re not interested in having a goal beyond the simple fun of sharing our Samoyeds with others who enjoy them.

Travel

Do Jamie and Alice really like to spend so much time in the car/truck? With Jamie, the answer is an unequivocal yes: he absolutely loves to go for a ride, any time to anywhere for any reason. Alice was the same at first, but in August 2012 she started to resist going for rides sometimes. We don’t know why. One interesting detail is that she first showed aversion to riding in the truck right after her first boat ride (on Harrison Lake in British Columbia); maybe she prefers boats! [NOTE: as of February 2013, Alice seems to be back to enjoying rides, and it’s now been months since she resisted going for a ride.]

Where have they traveled? Jamie has been to these states in his first three years: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Alice has been to all of those except for North Dakota. As for Canada, they’ve both been to British Columbia (where they were born), Alberta, and the Northwest Territories as well. We suspect they may hit all of the continental US eventually.

Do they go to work every day? Yes, most days they come to work at Microsoft with us, although they very rarely come inside into our offices. We work in buildings on opposite sides of Microsoft’s corporate campus, and a typical day at work goes something like this: Doug goes in to work early, Megan comes in later in the morning with the dogs, they take a nap in Megan’s parking garage, one of us takes them for a walk at noon, they take a nap in Doug’s parking garage, another walk in the afternoon, then another final nap before going home (or sometimes Doug takes them home early and works from there for a while). We also have days when one of us is tied up all day so the other one handles the dogs alone, and about once a week we leave them home with a dog sitter.

Why don’t they wear seat belts? Or ride in a crate? Why do you let them play with golf balls? Why don’t you work with them on commands? Or … <other things people think we should do to keep them safe and healthy> We take their safety very seriously, but we’re not actually interested in debating these sorts of topics on Facebook. We believe that after a few decades of having dogs, a person has a track record that tells you more about the safety, comfort, and well-being of their pets than can ever be gleaned from a Facebook photo or status update. We’re doing our best to give Jamie and Alice healthy, safe, enjoyable lives. Here is some more information about how we’re raising them.

The Cats

What are that cats’ names? Fish and Ike are the blue/gray cats (they’re brothers), and Murg is the tabby cat. Fish and Ike were born in 2001, and Murg was born in 2002. Fish died at age 15 in 2016, and as of this writing Ike and Murg are healthy senior cats.

How did they get their names? Fish? Nobody knows. Ike? Short for Isaac, sort of named after Isaac Davis in Manhattan (Woody Allen’s character), but Megan just likes the name. Murg? Short for Miss Murgatroyd. Her original name was Saoirse (Irish for freedom), but it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Then Megan read two mystery novels in a row where a Miss Murgatroyd was murdered …

How do you tell Ike and Fish apart? Most often, by their tails. Fish’s tail is long and slender, with a forked tuft of hair on the end; Ike’s tail is short and thick, mounted as solidly as a fifth leg, with a big bony ball on the end (birth defect).

Here’s a photo showing their tails as well as some closeups of their faces – Fish’s triangular head and square face at the top, and Ike’s more rounded features at the bottom:

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Alice’s Stick-in-the-Neck Adventure

What’s the story behind all of those horrific photos of Alice from age 8-12 months (June-October, 2011)? If you were following Jamie’s page then, you know all the details (and we are grateful for your support). For those who weren’t around, it seems that Alice got a stick impaled in the bottom of her mouth and down into her neck, while running around at the beach.

We didn’t know anything was wrong until it swelled up a couple days later, and because some of the pieces of wood were hidden behind her jawbone and salivary gland, it took multiple surgeries, multiple ultrasounds and a CAT scan, and well over 20 vet visits to figure out the details and make it all right. The third surgery finally got the last of the wood in her neck.

The last incident that seemed to be related to Alice’s neck adventure was a seizure she had in January 2012, which may have been caused by all of the drugs she had been taking during the previous few months. Throughout the months-long ordeal, Jamie was simply amazing in his awareness, acceptance, and compassion for her. A great example of what Doug likes to say about having more to learn from dogs than teach them.

Here’s a summary of Alice’s stick-in-the-neck adventure:

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We also did some blog posts about the story as it unfolded, but we lost those when we switched blogging platforms and forgot they were there. We’ll probably never re-create them – those are painful memories, and Alice has moved on.

Favorite Things

If Jamie were trying to make a living, here are some products he’d like to be a spokesdog for …

Leashes? Jamie and Alice have always used Mendota Products leashes, which are soft polypropylene braid and come in various colors.

Harnesses? Jamie and Alice’s favorite harnesses are PetSafe Sure-Fit harnesses.

Car pillow? Without a doubt, the original Big Shrimpy pillow is Jamie and Alice’s favorite. Many times we’ve had one of those on half the back seat, and the dogs both sit on it and leave the other half of the seat vacant.

Toys? They have dozens of toys, and seem to like most everything, but Jamie has a special fascination with the Air Kong footballs. He especially likes it when you squeeze the football to remove the air and then toss it to him while it’s inhaling.

Food? Jamie and Alice have only eaten raw food their whole lives (with a few exceptions when it wasn’t available). They were eating raw chicken breasts (including the rib bones) when we met them at age 8 weeks, and since then they’ve eaten Darwin’s Natural Selections™, rotating between chicken, duck, and turkey.

Treats? They don’t eat many treats, and when they do eat treats it’s mostly Yardbird or other American-made preservative-free chicken jerky. Ike loves the same treats they do, and sometimes Fish even joins in the fun.

Their vice is beef marrow bones, which we buy from Darwin’s or our local butcher in Seattle, Bob’s Meats. They used to average a marrow bone a day, but we’ve cut back a bit.

Grooming? Grooming is not a “favorite thing” for Jamie or Alice, but we’ve had good experiences with a mobile grooming service in Seattle called The Dog Maniac on Wheels.

Miscellaneous

How often do they get baths? They probably averaged every 2-3 months the first couple of years, and lately we’re moving up to perhaps once a month. Like all Samoyeds, they have a knack for repelling dirt, sand and mud – it dries and falls off, and they leave piles of sand around the house in their favorite spots.

What kind of training have they had? Jamie and Alice haven’t had any formal training, as explained here. They both knew “sit” when we got them at 8 weeks, and Jamie attended one puppy training class with Doug but then they dropped out. Alice has never had any formal training, although Megan has taught both of them the soft bite. We’ve taught them no tricks, but they’ve taught us a few.

They know quite a bit about posing for the camera, from thousands of repetitions. (We’ve taken about 30,000 photos of them in the first three years.) Jamie knows to freeze and smile in certain situations, and Alice is quick to leap up on top of things if we convey that we want a photo.

Where do they sleep? Most nights Alice starts in Doug’s closet and ends up on his pillow, and Jamie usually divides his time between the floor in the bedroom and downstairs just inside the front door. And for those curious about the cats: Fish always sleeps on the bed with us (often on Megan’s head), Murg divides her time between on the bed (sometimes with Alice), under the bed, and downstairs, and Ike in the last couple of years has taken to almost always sleeping in the living room.

Are you interested in getting together with other dogs in the Seattle area? We’ve learned the hard way that this can be a surprisingly complicated question. In general, the answer is Yes, but we have extremely busy lives (probably much more so than you’d think if you only know us through Jamie’s page), and we have friends and family we don’t have time to see nearly as often as we’d like. It’s fun to meet new dogs and people, but it may take a us a while to figure out something that works, and we’re definitely not able to commit to recurring plans. We also can’t reliably commit to plans during the week, as our work schedules are unpredictable and can change on very short notice. If you can understand and accept all of that, then YES let’s get together some time!

How can I get a Jamie & Alice calendar or book? We’ve put together some calendars and photo books for our own entertainment and have made them available for others to purchase as well. Note that we aren’t selling them ourselves — rather, Lulu.com and Blurb.com sell copies of them, and we don’t make any money and aren’t involved in the transaction or shipping, etc. you can find information about how to order the latest calendar (for 2017) here. You can find information about Jamie and Alice’s photo books here.

If you have other questions about Jamie and Alice, let us know in the comments below!

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6 Comments

  1. Karen S. LaBonte on

    Thank you so much for giving of your valuable time to share Jamie and Alice with all of us. I love signing into Facebook every morning to see what they are up to. My husband and I live in Michigan where we share our lives with our 2 Keeshonden and divide our time among our home, our motorhome and our cottage on Lake Superior. Our boys love the cottage the very best because they are able to run free on their beach every morning!

  2. Thank you for sharing all this info. Jamie and Alice are both gorgeous and look so happy :)
    I just started puppy training class with my 4 1/2 mo. samoyed girl. I got her three weeks ago. She is a great dog, very calm and well behaved, but I do have a problem with her pulling too much or freezing and not moving during our walks. Sometimes we can’t make it to the park because with this issue we can’t get “that far”. We live in Toronto which is annoying because of all the noise, construction sites, distractions, lots of very small dogs around (she wants to play, but most dog owners give us the unhappy look because she is a little too excited and big). I’ve seen your pictures and you walk your dogs a lot downtown Seattle. Any tips to keep her from pulling? I find it very difficult to keep her front leg in line with mine. I saw you dropped out their puppy training class and I found it funny because after our first class two days ago, I felt like dropping out as well. I felt the class was good for most dogs, but not really adapted to her needs …

  3. Hi Caro, congratulations on your Sammy girl! :)

    Regarding freezing on walks, Jamie did that quite often in his first few months but eventually he seemed to grow out of it. Regarding pulling, they both still pull too much at times although it’s become less common — it’s usually something they do right at the start of a walk when they’re excited about what’s coming, but then they settle into a rhythm where they don’t pull unless they see something really interesting. (SQUIRREL!)

    We haven’t really worked with them on leash technique, we just take *lots* of walks and they seem to have figured out how to go with the flow. When all is going well (as is becoming the norm), they walk out in front but the leashes aren’t tight. One thing we’ve done, not really intentionally but due to our schedules, is that we used to take them out in the mountains a lot when they were little, for long hours of off-leash time, and now we mostly walk them in the city. I doubt we’d have been able to take long walks in the city when they were younger and more easily distracted.

  4. I enjoy seeing Alice, Jamie, Murg, Ike & Fish on facebook. I have a facebook page for my Samantha Tortomasi (Samoyed), who passed away in Feb. at the ripe old age of 15. I still need to make our 8 year-old Kodi a page. Sam was an extremely wise Samoyed that loved cats and all other creatures 7 people. She was the kindest dog I have ever met and also one of the most fair-minded dogs too. She even made her doggie playmates at her doggie daycare play fair with each other. Overall, the breed is very bright and gentle. The “soft-bite” seems to be a Samoyed thing, also called “mouthing”. Ours have only done it when they are really upset. Sam was very quick to pick-up tricks too. We only taught her what she seemed to enjoy. Same with Kodi. He likes “High-Five” and actually TAUGHT me that he would do a play bow whenever I did my yoga pose “Downward Dog”. I think he was trying to do Yoga with me! We have always let them lounge all over our furniture, nothing is off limits. But Sam never seemed crazy about furniture, except for being on the bed with us. Kodi likes our recliner and couch, at times. I think it is AWESOME that you guys walk your Sammies so much!! We try, but don’t do hardly half as well, but they did travel with us everywhere. Kodi still does. He loves Jeep and car rides. He is very vain too. ( I had never seen a dog that liked getting A BATH, but hated mud puddles until i met kodi!) He expects everyone in the petstore to pet him. He is a spoiled boy, but still a gentle guy with everyone he meets. Samoyeds are awesome!!

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