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:
- Being Jamie – a blog post about how Jamie came to have such an active Facebook page.
- Remembering Rex, Celebrating Jamie – the story of the Samoyed that inspired us to get Jamie and then Alice.
- Air Alice – a compilation of photos of Alice leaping through the air, as she does often.
- Dogs & Cats – photos of Jamie and Alice with Fish and Ike, their feline friends.
- Jamie’s First Week – photos of Jamie as a puppy.
- Alice’s First Week – photos of Alice as a puppy.
- Earl Peak Hike – Jamie and Alice on a spectacular hike in the Cascade Mountains.
- Rock Creek Trail – one of Jamie and Alice’s favorite hikes.
- Seattle at Night – photos of Jamie and Alice on nighttime walks in Seattle.
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:
Are they spayed/neutered? Yes, all of our dogs and cats are spayed/neutered.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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!