Awww Monday and Sparks: Best Therapist

The best therapist has fur and four legs.

My apologies for last week. I posted early, but because of a business trip, I didn’t get to visit anyone’s Sparks or Awwwwsome photos while on the road. I promise to do better this week.

I think every one of you would agree with the above quote. There’s no therapist like a devoted fur baby cuddled up beside or in our laps to take away the stresses of life. Who else can we tell our deepest, darkest secrets to and not worry about being judged? They rarely try to “fix” problems, opting only to quietly listen to us vent, cry and whine. There’s no awkward moments of silence where no one knows what to say. They might even try to distract us from our worries by bringing every. single. toy. they. own…with only the good intention of offering to lighten the mood with play.

Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation reports the benefits of a human-animal bond helps reduce anxiety and decrease blood pressure. And, spending time with an animal can enhance positive feelings of well-being. It’s no wonder there’s been a rise in the number of emotional-support animals. The Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work reports that after one week of having an emotional support animal, there is an 82% reduction of the symptoms of PTSD.

So, perhaps all this world needs is for everyone to cuddle up and talk with a fur baby….whether it be a dog, cat, horse, rabbit, ferret, llama or a hamster!

Blog hopping today with Anne’s Sparks and Sandee’s Awww….Monday. I guarantee the linked posts will bring a smile to your face and inspiration to your week.





Cabo says, Hello Summer!

Hello Summer! Hey…….wait a minute…..I think I might resemble that remark. Can’t understand how Mom can say that. She always says I’m the smartest puppy she knows.

In case you missed my introduction, you can read it HERE. I’ve jumped up to 14.5 pounds in just three short weeks. Everyone keeps talking about the size of my paws…….but I think they’re pretty perfect just the way they are. All I know is it’s getting easier to clear the step from the backyard into the house, and I’m able to catch the little white dog that lives next door. Boy, I rolled her a couple of times last night real good while we were chasing each other!

So, it’s my first official day of summer, and there are sooooo many things to get into tear up discover. I’ve really only just begun. So far, no shoes, socks or clothing have been sacrificed to my razor-sharp teeth. Whenever I get into something really interesting, all of a sudden I find a substitute chewy bone in my mouth. What’s up with that?

But I did discover I luuuvvvvvv watermelon….and strawberries….and peaches…..and apples! I found out I even like green beans and broccoli. I hope Mom lets me come with her to the garden soon. I could be such a big help.

I am part Golden Retriever so, of course, they got me my own pool! The Poodle in me keeps trying to suppress those water instincts, but I’m sure I can overcome those negative vibes before summer ends. And it’s so much fun when the litter mates play in there too!

I have to admit, I do tend to get into some trouble from time to time. It seems to come when all I want to do is play….rough…with my mouth…..on their fingers. But I have all this pent up energy and am so happy to share it with anything that crosses my path! And, I am a little mouthy at times, especially when I’m hungry.

Because of this, Mom and Dad have decided it’s time for me to start learning something called “manners.” They say words like Come, Sit and Wait. And then there’s the one I don’t care for so much. No.

I’m hearing that one a lot lately.

It’s very hot outside now because it’s summer. Duh. What? You sit outside on a 90F day in a fur coat and tell me how YOU like it. My yard does have lots of shade, but……

This is my preferred napping location, but just to show I’m flexible, I’ll relocate to various AC vent around the house. 🙂

That’s all for today. Take care, stay cool, and may all your puppy dreams be sweet.

Sick kitty

Guess I can cross another item off the bucket list. I didn’t realize this experience was even on the list, and it was definitely a first for me.

One of our kitties is sick. A few weeks ago, I noticed Midget, the smaller of the two upstairs cats, looked thinner than usual. She’s always been a small cat so she can’t really afford to lose much weight to begin with. I began watching her and found out she would eat a couple bites of her food and then walk away. Her sister, Bridget, was more than happy to finish off her meal so I always saw empty bowls and never thought much more about it. But, when I thought about it, it occurred to me she had been reclusive and non-interactive as well.

Midget fluids 4

I felt this warranted a trip to the vet. Weigh-in showed she had lost 2 pounds and was dehydrated! That’s not good. 😦

Multiple scenarios were presented as to the reasons for her behavior changes…all of them very expensive. After two office visits, blood work, two rounds of IV fluid injections and some pain meds, the vet’s best guess was there was some sort of infection in her lungs…cause unknown. We could hospitalize her and they would continue to give her daily IV fluids, pain meds and observe her for a few days or…………………….

We could do it at home.

Whaaaaaat? I think my face must have shown my reluctance and panic because she quickly assured me it wasn’t that difficult to give subcuticular IV fluids to a cat. I had serious doubts. But I took the fluid bag and a bag of needles home, along with the pain meds and an antibiotic.

For the next two days, I stressed about attempting this procedure. Then, I couldn’t remember the demonstration the vet gave me in the office. So, I consulted an expert source, YouTube. And sure enough, there was a wonderful video on how to do it.

The fluid bag hangs in the laundry room. Midget is instantly suspicious. I’m still anxious.

Midget fluids 1

I take out of the needles and try to wrap my head around what I’m about to do, all the time thinking there’s a good reason why I didn’t pursue a career in veterinary medicine….and this might be top of the list.

Midget fluids 3

Google suggests I practice inserting the needle in an orange. So I grab a orange and follow the instructions.

Midget fluids 2

And it’s not so bad…..but it’s not actual skin so I’m still doubting I can even do this on something with a heartbeat. Finally, it’s obvious this cannot be put if off any longer. I attach a new, clean needle and beg Entrepreneur to help me. To my surprise, he agrees. He has some background in surgical procedures but hates cats so I’m a bit suspicious on exactly how much help he will be.

In the end, I mustered up enough courage to actually insert the needle into the scruff and her neck (per the YouTube demonstration) and the fluids start to flow. Midget is amazingly tolerant of my inexperience and I know she feels my anxiousness. But both of us survive and she doesn’t seem traumatized. As of this post, I’ve given her 6 treatments and, together with the antibiotics, she seems better. And, she is still speaking to me.

And it occurs to me that way back in January, I chose a word for 2015. That word was fearless. The word was chosen because of life’s uncertainty with Entrepreneur’s kidney cancer diagnosis. Seems silly to attribute that big word to this scenario, but the fact is that I did have to overcome a bit of fear and trust that I could do this.

So many times we avoid situations because of fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of making mistakes. Fear of what others will think. Fear of confrontation. Whatever it is and whatever the reason, sooner or later we all must face our fears. And then make the decision to conquer or run from it.

Fear is nothing more than the perception of a situation. Danger is real….fear is a feeling. For sure, there are dangerous situations and being fearful is justified. But many times how our mind perceived a challenging situation can be very powerful in what actions we take. When fear confronts us, we need to analyze why we are afraid. We need to set our emotions aside and be completely honest with ourselves before we can accurately assess the situation. Once that assessment is made, we need to objectively assess the perception of ourselves and decide if we believe we can move forward, past the fear, and accomplish what needs to be done. It’s easier to take risks when you completely believe in yourself. Doubt yourself and you’ll never take any steps forward.

Fear:  False Evidence Appearing Real.
~Author Unknown

Nothing in life is to be feared.  It is only to be understood.
~Marie Curie

Linking up this week with Lisa over at Life Through the Lens

Snow? NOOOO!!!

tanner-Nov 2014
Textures by Kim Klassen: Minus 43, 65% soft light; Chase, 60% overlay

A dog owns nothing yet is seldom dissatisfied. ~Irish Proverb

They both waited in anticipation. The snow….in mid-November….arrived to mixed reviews. The child in me was super excited to see the flakes fall. The rational adult said, NOOOOOOO! Before Thanksgiving is entirely too early for winter to begin.

Nov snow

But start is has. Temps in the 20sF with single digit wind chills. Way. Too. Early.

But Tanner and Peanut would hear none of these rational reasons. There were snowballs to make…and snowballs to catch. So Peanut and I found our boots, gloves, hats and coats…ventured outside. In the snow. In the cold.

And Tanner was waiting for us.

 peanut Nov snow

 Simple pleasures.

Peanut Tanner Nov snow

Linking up with Texture Tuesday and Texture Twist
Texture Tuesday texture-twist

Photo Blogging Challenge: ONE

Well, I missed the deadline. PJ over at A ‘lil HooHaa‘s March photo challenge came and went. And I missed it. 😦 I had the best of intentions but life just got in the way. I know that’s not really a great excuse….but it’s the only one I have.

So, I’m finishing up and hoping to get it posted before the linky thing shuts down. This month was quite a challenge. You’d think ONE would be fairly easy…but, sadly, that proved not the case.

So here goes:

1. ONE dog
The pupper in the middle is ONE of the three dogs that dig holes in the yard reside at our house. Tanner is Entrepreneur and my dog, a Golden Retriever. The other two mixed breeds are, technically, Peanut and Twix’s four-legged litter mates. Their names are Peyton (left) and Dixie (right).

2 and 3. ONE grand girl is ONE month old
This is ONE of our two grand girls…the most recent one. She was ONE month old on March 3rd, and we are having a great time watching her grow and change.

ONE might also be interpreted as FIRST, so I’m playing fast and loose and including a few that fall into that category.

4. FIRST Kindergarten Registration for ONE grand girl
The Investigator and I took Peanut to Kindergarten Registration earlier this month. It’s the same elementary school her Mama attended in 5th grade. We reminisced while walking down the halls. Peanut was a little hesitant when it was time to go into one of the kindergarten rooms, but she was soon touring the school with the best of them.
kindergarten reg

5. FIRST college sporting event
While Peanut was on her trip to Louisiana with her dad, Entrepreneur, The Investigator and I took Twix to her first college basketball game. She thoroughly enjoyed it. No, really, she did. Can’t you tell?
first MU game

Many thanks to PJ for causing us stress throughout the month helping us pay closer attention to our surroundings to find stuff to link to the monthly theme! 🙂

Linking up with those who procrastinate on these types of blogging challenges.
You know who you are.
photo blog challenge

I have a first grader?

He’s six years old today. Roughly the age of a typical first grader.

tanner 7-2013


The funny thing is, both our daughters were also born on the 23rd day of their birth months. Weird, huh?

In many ways, he’s still just a pup. As a golden, he always has a goofy grin on his face. I swear he understands that when I put on my tennis shoes, there’s a good chance we’re going for a walk. That action usually results in him jumping around in circles doing a happy dance. I’ve had to actually hide my shoes in a bag and get in the car barefoot just so he doesn’t notice.

Tanner walk 1




This year he’s celebrating with two friends, Peyton and Dixie. And I’m sure they are having a party in the yard while their humans are at work.

Dixie Peyton Tanner

And we’ll probably top of the day with an extra long W-A-L-K. Who knows, I may let him hang out in the house an extra long time this evening.

tanner bed72

I really can’t top the post I wrote about him last year, so please skip on over to HERE for a recap of life with the the Tan-Man!

Happy Birthday Tanner! You adorable six-year-old pupper! You’ve come a long way.

Tanner pup

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign

Over at A ‘Lil Hoohaa, PJ’s theme for her July photo challenge is Signs. I thought this would be a slam dunk. After all, we have signs, of one kind or another, all around us! So without further adieu, here is my interpretation of Signs in my little corner of the world.

Street Sign
If you’re not familiar with the concept of a round-about to supposedly ease traffic flow at an intersection, this is the sign alerting you to slow down so you don’t careen around the tight little circle on two wheels. For the life of me I don’t understand why it’s so hard to have a 4-way stop and yield to the person who was there first, but evidently that is a difficult concept. The decorative graffiti is just a bonus sign to showcase how stupid untalented some people are.

Now, enough of the obvious.

Signs of a struggle
oak leaf
This lacy leaf is evidence of an all-out assault. Bug against tree. My guess is it’s cicadas since they are in full throttle around here now. The leaf may have lost the battle, but I think the tree is winning the war.

Signs of life
signs life-dogs
Or, should this be NO signs of life? Taking advantage of the cooler-than-normal temps this summer, Tanner and Payton enjoy taking little naps together on the back patio…every day.

Signs of success
sign success-tomatoes
Remember when we were prepping the garden with visions of fresh summer veggies? Well, despite Mom Nature’s attempts to discourage our efforts with rain and cool temps this summer, we have a few things that are surviving. I wrote off this cherry tomato plant as dead about a month ago, but it rallied and Peanut may have bite-size tomatoes….by September?

Signs of affection
sign love-carved heart
When walking during a break in the action at work, I came across a “billboard tree.” You’ve seen them…trees that evidently beg to be carved with someone’s message to the world. I wonder if J.M. knows he/she is the object of someone’s affection.

Go this way to PJ’s to see more of our interpretations of Signs. The Linky thingy showing everyone’s contributions should be up by tomorrow, August 1st.