October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

GraceSugarI’ve had animals in my life for as long as I can remember.  We had cats and dogs when I was little and I loved all of them, but it wasn’t until we adopted our first dog, Sugar, that I felt like I really connected with dogs.  Little Bit fell into our lives a few years later and fit in quite happily with our family.  After Sugar and Bitty died, I knew I wanted dogs in the house again – the silence was deafening – but I didn’t want to rush into adopting another dog to fill a void.  I was still missing them too much.  I started walking dogs at the local SPCA and there came the day when I was allowed to walk dogs on my own.  (The SPCA has a wonderful volunteer program that equips you to manage dogs in a safe manner.  You’re only allowed to go solo after several trainings.)  I walked about 8 dogs that day and the last dog was Woody.  To this day, I don’t know how I knew he was the one, but he was and that night he was home with us.  Ellie came along a few months later (that’s a story for another time) and this past July, we adopted Mindy.  We weren’t planning on another dog, but when the opportunity presented itself, I just knew she was meant to be with us.  I’ve told you all this for a reason.

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has declared October as the month to Adopt A Shelter Dog.  I’m, hopefully, a better dog owner today than I was 25 years ago when we adopted Sugar.  I still have tons to learn, but to be a responsible pet owner, I think it’s important to consider a few things before you adopt a dog or a cat.

According to the ASPCA’s website (www.aspca.org), there are some things to consider if you want to be a responsible pet owner.  Caring for a companion animal goes far beyond providing food, water and shelter. It takes research and careful planning to bring the right pet into your home, and to make sure your lifestyle is the right one for your pet.

IMG_54781. Why do you want to adopt a pet?

Are you looking for the loyal and steady companionship that an animal can offer? Are you hoping to fill the empty place left after a pet has passed? Maybe you want a companion for your child. Knowing why you’re preparing to bring a pet home will help you to determine the species and breed that will fit your lifestyle.

01bd4a78c1ea32fad20ae18ea541edde15eb14e6ee2. Are you ready to make a long-term commitment?

When adopting, you are making a commitment to care for an animal for the rest of his life—that could mean 10 to 15 years for dogs and up to 20 years for cats. As you go through lifestyle changes such as moves, the birth of children and new jobs, your animal will remain a permanent part of your life. If circumstances change, will you still be able to care for your pet?

IMG_57313. Do you know what kind of pet is right for you?

Your personality and lifestyle, along with challenges such as space restrictions and amount of time spent at home, should be explored to determine what pet is right for your household. Research different breeds and ask shelter staffers what animals they recommend—they’re experts at making perfect matches!

IMG_01174. Can you afford to care for your pet’s health and safety?

Owning a dog or cat costs more than the initial adoption fee. Food, veterinary care, spaying or neutering and proper identification—that means a collar with tags and a more permanent form of ID such as microchipping—can add up.

IMG_49025. Will you be able to spend quality time together?

Dogs thrive on several hours of exercise and companionship every day, and pooches who are constantly left alone can develop behavioral problems. Cats are healthiest and happiest indoors and love to be treated to energetic play sessions with their human families. If your work demands that you travel often, or if you’re out of the house most days and evenings, this may not be the right time to adopt.

100_42806. Are you prepared to deal with an animal’s health challenges?

Fleas, allergies and sudden medical issues are just a few of the health-related problems that potential pet owners may face. Can you care for your pet if he gets sick?

IMG_00147. Are you willing to train your animal companion?

Lack of training is one of the most common reasons that adopters return pets to shelters—are you willing to solve behavior problems? Basic training helps dogs and their owners communicate better, strengthening the relationship overall. And taking the time to understand why your cat does what she does, especially when it involves her litter box and scratching habits, will help you avoid potential problems.

IMG_57628. Are you prepared to pet-proof your home?

Whether it’s tightly sealing your garbage cans or paying attention to dangerous decorations during the holidays, you’ll need to make your home safe before adopting. That includes keeping toxic foods, pet-unfriendly plants and dangerous household items out of paw’s reach.

9. Is your living space adequate for an animal companion?

Be sure to choose an animal who will thrive in your home. If you’re attracted to energetic large-breed dogs, but live in a small apartment, will your pooch have enough room? If you live on a noisy street, will it disturb your cat? Also consider that many landlords don’t allow pets or place restrictions on having them. Be sure to check out your “house rules” before adopting.

IMG_429310. Is your family ready for a pet?

If your kids are still toddlers, you might consider waiting a few years before adopting, as pet ownership ideally is a team effort. Children who are mature enough can happily share pet-care duties. You may also have another pet at home who’s not yet—or may never be—ready to share his kingdom with another animal.

There’s a lot to consider when bringing a dog into your home.  But when you consider all the questions, you’re armed with the knowledge needed to bring the right dog into your home and that makes all the difference.  All three of our dogs are rescue dogs and we wouldn’t have it any other way.  They have brought such joy into our lives.  And, yes, there have been challenging times and behavior issues to overcome, but it’s totally worth it.  They teach me more about myself than I think I teach them.

I’ll end with this:  So God Made a Dog

Here’s to the dogs,





“We think everyone should adopt a dog (or two or three) from a shelter.  We know how it feels to be in a shelter and we prefer being at home with our mom and dad.”

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Garage Sale Haul

This past weekend I went to several garage sales with a group of friends.  We have a realtor in the area that arranges neighborhood garage sales.  Usually they’re 300+ homes all in the same area, but this one was 90+ homes.  We actually made it to about 75% of the homes whereas with the 300+ sales, we barely make a dent.  It was a beautiful day on Saturday, not too cold, not too hot (sound like Goldilocks), the people were friendly and fun and the sale didn’t start until 8am.  Usually we’re out there by 7am, but we weren’t going to complain about sleeping in.  By 11:30 we were ready for lunch and the rest of our day.

I’ve been “in-love” with garage sales for a few years now.  It’s a treasure hunt and the prices (most of the time) can’t be beat.  Normally I find things that I “think” I’ll use and because it’s so inexpensive, I’ll buy it and then it ends in MY garage sale.  This time I had a plan!  (and what’s that about the best laid plans…)

This time I told myself I could only buy something if I had a definite purpose for it.  And I think I did pretty well.  I’m sharing my haul here along with my plan for the item as a means of accountability and fun.  So here goes…

IMG_0580<–These Christmas ornaments will go perfectly on my wall tree.  Cost:  $.50IMG_0581

I’ve wanted to do a collage of my dogs and this frame is the perfect size.  Cost $1


IMG_0582IMG_0583<– Aren’t these adorable.  They’re only a couple of inches tall and have teeny little scoops.  I’ll use them for my glitter.  Cost $1

I’m always on the hunt for beads.  These strands were $.25 each and will be used for many a bracelet.

IMG_0584IMG_0589<–I installed a curtain rod in my craft room under a set of cabinets for hanging cards.  These clip rings are the perfect size.  Cost:  $1

I’m always on the hunt for cute –> containers to hold small crafting items.  I found two of these for $1 each.

IMG_0585<– Found these tart tins ($1 for all) with the purpose of making pincushion holders like these featured at Just Something I Madeb16d101058add938d1a49d623aa2f4de



IMG_05863864de2b1818b210f547a57d90c42dd02c5178f351c9ba47f689679d29348b2c<– For some reason wine corks were quite the rage at this sale.  I picked up 3 – gallon sized bags for $1 each.  Initially I didn’t know what I was going to do and then my friend suggested a note board idea.  After some searching on Pinterest, I found a bulletin board idea with painted corks that caught my eye as well.  Hope I have enough corks.  Cost $1 per bag.

IMG_0587IMG_0588I’ve been looking for a 3X5 card holder for a while and this one is perfect.  I’ll give it a fresh coat of paint and then set it up to store my scraps of paper that aren’t small enough to throw away but aren’t big enough to end up in my paper scrap file.  It even came with plastic dividers.  Cost $3.

IMG_0591A fresh coat of paint and this carousel will be perfect for my craft supplies.  Cost $1.



IMG_0592Gazing ball2Golf tees.  Now I don’t golf, but these bags were $.25 each and the tees are perfect for this project I saw on Pinterest.  I’m fascinated with miniature gardens or fairy gardens and making the things to go in them.  This is a start.
And finally my favorite…  Cost $.75 + 3 AA batteries

How do the dogs feel about him?  Ellie was interested enough to sit and listen, Mindy bolted into the backyard and Woody walked up to it, sniffed it and attempted to remove its head.  So there you have it.

Do you enjoy garage sales and if so, is there something you’re always on the hunt for?

Until next time,  Grace




We’d just like to say that we think Woody’s reaction to the Christmas dog was a bit over the top.  I think maybe he thought it was another dog that was coming here to stay and he was letting you know that three’s the limit. 

Posted in Backyard, Recycling, Repurposing, Saving Money, Organization, Dogs, Homemade, Christmas, Accountability, Pinterest, sewing, Paper Crafting, Decorating, Garage Sale | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy National Coffee Day Everyone

IMG_0242Just the other day I was telling a friend how much I love coffee.

I started drinking coffee when I was in high school.  Having grown up in an English family I was a pretty committed tea drinker, but once I tasted my first cup o’ joe, I was hooked.  I still drink tea, but my go to beverage and the drink I want first thing in the morning is coffee.  I’m definitely a morning person, so my choice of coffee isn’t necessarily for the caffeine (although it certainly doesn’t hurt) but for the aroma, the taste, the warmth and, admittedly, the habit.  In the past 9 months, I’ve had to give up several foods and beverages, but thankfully not coffee.  These days I do have to say no to all the fancy coffee drinks like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Cinnamon Dolce Lattes and Mochas (too much sugar), but give me a regular cup of coffee with cream and I’m good to go.

IMG_2496I’ve written about my experience at Starbucks in England.  It’s quite an amazing feeling when you step into that store and they know your name and your drink order.  It helps that we go every day for two weeks, order the same drink every time and one of the baristas is named Grace.  Oh and I have a Starbucks Gold Card which is not available overseas.  It’s gets quite the attention from the Starbucks employees. There are other coffee houses we can choose, but we love Starbucks coffee and the free wifi is nice also ;-).

100_1811A couple of friends and I meet regularly at our local Starbucks to knit.  Knitting and coffee drinking really go together quite well.  I’ve knit many a dishcloth during these times as well as coffee cozies, scarves, hats Sockee Poos and Cattywampus catnip toys.  It’s a wonderful way to spend a couple of relaxing hours with friends, sipping my favorite beverage and plugging away at projects.

I’ve acquired a nice collection of ‘dog’ coffee mugs over the years.  Most were gifts (I’m really easy to buy for), but some I bought myself.  To be fair, I like all kinds of coffee mugs, but when I started to run out of space in our cupboards, I had to de-clutter and decided on a ‘dog’ theme since those mugs outnumbered the rest.




IMG_0551When it comes to the type of coffee we drink, I’d like to tell you that I’m a real connoisseur, but I’m not.  A lot of you reading this will cringe when I tell you’ve we’ve drunk Folgers for years because, frankly, we like it.  A couple of years ago, however, I had a cup of Starbuck’s Ethiopian coffee and was smitten.  For special occasions or if they’re having a sale, I will buy a bag of those grounds and just the other day, we picked up a pound of their Guatemala Antigua blend.  It’s our new favorite at the moment.

So what’s your favorite coffee drink on National Coffee Day?

Off to pour another cup and get on with my day,  Grace




My mom loves coffee like I love kibble.  When is it going to be National Kibble Day?  If they don’t have a day for celebrating Kibble, we should start one.  Recently my mom ‘updated’ our kibble bin and this is a picture of me with the old bin.  I was so sad, I sat by it all day until dad took it away.  Since then I’ve adjusted, but it was rough going for a few hours.

Posted in Coffee, Dogs, Knitting | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Highlights of my England trip


Me and Da

Every year for the past 17 years, my mom and I have gone to England to visit her dad (my Grandpa) for a couple of weeks.  Up until a year ago, he was taking care of himself and living in his own home.  In November of last year he fell and ended up in the hospital for a month.  (You can read about the details here)  Long story short, we moved him into a residential care home where he lives today.

We arrived home about a week ago and as I’ve processed the trip and reoriented myself with the jet lag, I wanted to share some highlights.



My mom and Da

Visiting Da
We call my Grandpa Da because when I was just learning to talk, I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) say Grandda.  All I would say is Da – so it stuck.  Spending time with him this trip was a blast.  He was back to his old self.  When we left him in January, he was still recovering from a nasty fall and his energy was sapped.  When we saw him a couple of weeks ago, he was full of wonderful stories, terrible jokes, absolutely loving his new home and eager to get on with activities (for a 95-year-old).


01f3e11d88a286cc40b328414b8aeb3b0ea56620b9Stopping by Starbucks almost everyday
Da lives in a town that boasts one Starbucks.  And since he doesn’t have wifi at his house, we trek the 2 miles into town to grab a coffee and free wifi.  We’ve done this for the last couple of years and we’re well known by now — mostly because of the Gold Rewards card I use and because we’re creatures of habit and order the same thing every time.  By the end of our stay, I don’t even have to tell them my order, they just make sure we want the same thing and start brewing away.  We catch up on our email, post pictures to Facebook and enjoy our coffees.  It’s become something of a tradition.

01bd4a78c1ea32fad20ae18ea541edde15eb14e6eeSay hello to Thomas the cat and Ruby the dog
Thomas and Ruby live at Da’s care home.  They are well loved by all the residents and very mellow animals.  Ruby 0118fabd284ff9850e02846b7b74f9331906d6bdf4belongs to the director, but we found out that Thomas was actually a stray that wandered in one day and never left.  Ruby greets everyone by immediately dropping down for a tummy rub.


Spending time with my mom
I love seeing Da on these trips, but I also love being able to spend two uninterrupted weeks with my mom.  Life at home is so busy and we rarely get together to just hang out together.  We talk almost everyday, but just snippets of daily info not deep conversations.  On these trips we have lots of time for that and I’ve really come to appreciate the chats and the laughs.

01a41559528d0ccd7979dfdac44f7d5e4cc0fcc630Lunches in our favorite restaurant
We’ve been going to the Arcadian restaurant for our lunches for the past 16 years.  In that time, nothing has changed.  And I mean nothing.  The decor is the same, the staff is the same and the menu is the same.  Being creatures of habit and not partial to change, we’re completely okay with this.  We stopped in a few times this trip and the manager told us that the place is going to be sold.  We are bummed but it was a good run.  Time to find another place.

011171b2f54ff36c5445795b716de30028cf5cf21bVisiting friends
Our trips always include a visit to former neighbors of Da, who have become dear friends.  A few years ago they adopted a tiny bundle of chocolate fluff named Teddy and now he’s a bit bigger, but still a soft teddy bear at heart.  Claire (his mom) takes him with her to visit Da and we’re always eager to have a visit with Teddy and his mom and dad.


My brother (2) and I (4) just inside the kitchen.


That same door two weeks ago.

Trips down memory lane
We always stay at Da’s house when we visit, but this was our last time.  It’s going to be sold so we spent a good portion of the trip going through the house collecting sentimental items to bring home like photos, donating several bags to a local hospice charity and sorting out the details of a home that’s been lived in 58 years.  I found a bunch of slides of Da 0178d289eb7ae36aac950925a8f120472481138054at his work and others of me and my brothers when we were kids that I’d never seen.  It was a bittersweet time, but at the end of the day, it’s the people that gave the house life and now they’re not living there anymore.  Lots of happy, happy memories at #14, but incredibly aware of the fleeting nature of life.

0100b87018ccf34849e1d3d353e74b5dde4f166c10Connecting with the past
When my Nanna (Da’s wife) died, I was given her entire set of knitting needles.  She was an amazing knitter who sent us cardigans, jumpers and hats as kids and young adults.  I have a couple of cardigans that I still wear today that she made.  On this trip, though, I came across her sewing basket and a tin full of buttons that she used for all the knitted things she made.  I recognized a few of the buttons and felt more of a connection with her because of my own love of buttons (and everything craft).  I know it seems silly, but it was a really special find.

010e800f65e676be105d335ee583c677f08ffcd82bMiscellaneous Oddities01f7b1667aa981ab77bf8af22d924b9767b48cdcb3
We cooked most of our meals at home and when we opened the carton of eggs we found a feather.  That was a surprise.  And while shopping we found a display of American Hotdogs in a can.  I’ve never seen them in a can before so I just had to take a pic.

01c5b298447ad31e5f17313d0e7a9e4f538125c40aThis was the sunrise from our room on the morning we left to come home.  This was the last time we would see the sun from that location and I wanted to have that memory recorded.  While none of us are saddened by this chapter closing, we are all keenly aware of how fast life goes and how thankful we are for the happy memories we have.  Next year will be different, but that’s okay.  Life does go on.

Until next time,  Grace




“Woody and Ellie told me that mom would be right back.  And they were right.  They’re so awesome and I’m glad she came back.”

Posted in Travel | Tagged | 5 Comments

Fall is my Favorite

Picture 293I have to say of all the seasons, Fall is my favorite and today is the first day of Fall.  Even though the temperatures where we live are still in the 90’s during the day, the mornings are beginning to cool down.  Leaves are starting to turn into the brilliant shades of autumn and the thoughts of pumpkins, hay bales, candy apples and crisp morning walks with the dogs makes me giddy.

01e3b2b653804d90fc7ad192f7845b7fb27961e196_00001I’ve been filling the house with pumpkins galore (oh man do I love pumpkins), burning pumpkin spiced candles and decorating my wall tree with fall leaves and pumpkins.  I have plans for a vegetable garden starting next year and you better believe that I’ll be planting pumpkins.





I’m always amazed at how energized I feel during the Fall.  Even though nature is preparing for a long winter’s nap, I’m feeling relief from the long hot summer.

So inspired by Fall this year, I came up with a 2014 Fall Collection of my Cattywampus catnip toys.  I started making catnip toys about 8 years ago while I was volunteering at the local SPCA.  Even though we’re a dog family, I did have cats growing up and my love for knitting led me to design a catnip toy using fun fur.  I have over 20 different colors all with whimsical names, but this year I decided to add the 2014 Fall Collection.  The Fall Collection includes, Crazy Candy Corn, “Howl”-oween Hullaballoo, Pumpkin Spice Party, Colors of Fall and Candy Apple Pie.  In addition to the new collection, I’ll also be featuring Pumpkin Palooza in my Etsy shop.

IMG_0117IMG_0113 (2)Sheldon, my friend’s very agreeable cat actor, was willing to play with a couple of the toys for pictures.  He is featured here playing with Purrfect Purples and Razzy Red.  The toys are durably made with 100% acrylic yarn and stuffed with premium catnip. Guaranteed to drive your cats CattyWampus! 

I’ll finish with some of my posts featuring pumpkins.  I wasn’t kidding when I said I really love pumpkins.  Enjoy and Happy Fall!  Grace

Pumpkin Creme BruleePumpkin Pie Smoothie
Stitched Pumpkin Card
Pumpkin No Bake Energy Bites
Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub
Jack Be Little Pumpkin



“You know why I like Fall???  Cause I get to cuddle under blankets.  It’s the best!”

Posted in Decorating, Fall, Homemade, Knitting, Pumpkins, Yarn | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Planners, Organizing and Projects Oh My!


I think I love planning as much as I love lists.  There’s something very gratifying about mapping out an event or project; breaking large ideas into smaller ones.  The problem I often run into though, is that I like to plan more than execute.  I’m working on reducing my planning and increasing my do-ing.  It will be a lifetime pursuit.

I have been in search of the perfect planner my whole life.  One that really acts like a personal assistant/coach/mom/best friend/mentor.  I know, I have unrealistic expectations!!  I’ve recently come to the conclusion that the “perfect” planner is the one you use.  On that note, I’ve been experimenting the last couple of months with a handmade planner – one that meets my particular needs.

What I want in a planner (at the moment)

1.  I want all the pertinent information for all aspects of my life in one place.
2.  need to be able to add and subtract pages so I opted for a system using binder rings.
3.  I want a size that can easily fit in my purse, but be large enough to see my handwriting.
4.  I want tabbed sections (Tabs help me to feel organized. Weird, I know!)
5.  I want pretty and I want paper!!!  I’m more inspired by pretty stuff and as much as I love the digital age, I’m not ready to give up paper and pen just yet.


My Planner Assembly

For the outside of the planner, I found a recipe binder in the dollar bin at Joann’s and recycled it for parts.  I cut the front and back sections off, covered them with pretty paper and punched holes for the binder rings.  For the inside sections, I used the tabbed dividers that came with the recipe binder and my label maker to make the 8 sections.  The sections are: Calendar, Daily, Personal, Projects, Project Life, Journal, WWMD Blog and Ideas.

Calendar:  This is the monthly calendar section.  I like to see a whole month at a time.  It helps me not to overbook and subsequently not overtire myself.  I designed the pages myself and use scrapbooking stickers and stamps to decorate.  I also keep a pouch full of my favorite pens and pencils for highlighting.0130a6ddf672ee5374052e04e801e931c6bf3ff99c

Daily:  This is where I break down each day’s events, appointments, todo’s and projects.  Ihave symbols that I assign to each item and I try to keep my daily stuff to half a sheet.  When I complete an item, I color in the symbol.

0137ce51548da482c75b31c72d4f63b38e0e31895c  Here’s a list of the symbols –>


Personal:  This is where I keep track of personal stuff.  (I’d show you a picture, but it’s personal :-))



Projects:  I’m constantly coming up with projects for all the areas of my life.  I wanted a place to corral those ideas, so I dedicate a page to each major area.  There’s “Home & Property”, “Backyard”, “Dogs”, “Craft Room”, “Friends” so far.  If something requires more than 3 steps, I consider it a project and it gets a page.


Project LifeI keep a weekly album of our life called Project Life.  The layout is the same every week, so I made a template of the layout and use it to jot down thoughts and ideas about our days.  Then at the end of the week, I’m able to refer to my notes, grab the pictures and ephemera and finish the week.  I record significant and not so significant events.  In all this album documents the ‘every day’ of our life.


Journal:  This is a section I thought I would use more, but it’s becoming a place holder for blank paper.  The nice thing about the binder ring setup is that I can subtract the sections that aren’t working for me.  It’s not that I don’t like journaling; I just prefer to journal in a journal.  I might replace this section with “Quotes”.

wwmd blog:  This section is devoted to this blog-While Walking My Dogs.  Being that I’m not terribly consistent with my blogging , I thought it would be a good idea to develop a scheduling/idea catcher section for my planner.  I have lots to share, I just need to be more organized about it.

Ideas:  And this is for anything I’ve left out.  It’s filled with blank paper with no lines, so I’m free to draw, sketch, write, whatever.  It’s the place for the hair-brained ideas that aren’t project-worthy yet, but I don’t want to forget.

01acc8fbd794bc6d5d9d6e03a535fe9a3781c43821As you can see my planner is quite thick, but it contains everything I need (at least for today).  As I said in the beginning, the perfect planner is the one you use and I’m using this and getting things done.

I’ve talked enough for today.  I’ll follow up with Organizing and Projects in a couple of days.

What have you found that works for you???

Until then,





“We like that you have ‘walk dogs’ in your planner.  Like you would forget to do that????  You wouldn’t forget would you???  Better keep putting it in your planner – just in case.”

Posted in Accountability, Education, Goals, Homemade, Lists, Organization, Repurposing | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy Birthday Mindy and Happy National Dog Day!

Happy 8th Birthday MindyHappy Birthday Mindy!

Mindy celebrates her 8th birthday today.  She’s been with us a little over a month and we couldn’t be happier.  She has settled in quite nicely with Woody and Ellie and to our family routines.  She’s a sweet, gentle girl and is often found snoozing at my feet. We’re so happy she came to stay.

Mindy loves…



  • breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • morning walks
  • cuddling
  • playing ball
  • meeting new friends

Mindy’s Birthday Present

For her birthday I decided to make her a dog bed (version 2.0, I like to call it).  I made the base out of a sturdy cotton canvas material, inserted a Velcro opening (for easy laundering) and stitched on a snuggly, fleece top.  When it was all finished, I placed it on the floor for her to inspect and curl up on and she promptly jumped onto Mike’s chair to take a nap.  Not the reaction I was expecting!  She’s come round though and I’ve caught her enjoying 40 winks on her new bed.


Woody and Ellie will be getting replacement beds soon.  The set I made them 2 years ago really didn’t have any way to be cleaned and when one of the beds was peed on, it was time to come up with another solution.  The new beds will be able to be washed and dried in the event of accidents or just dirt from daily use.

National Dog Day

According to National Dog Day Founder, Colleen Paige,

“National Dog Day (Also known as: International Dog Day & National Dog Appreciation Day) is celebrated August 26th annually and serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day – for their law enforcement partner, for their blind companion, for a child who is disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage.”

There really isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn from my dogs.  They are such an integral part of our lives, make us laugh, demand our devotion, love and energy and their presence soothes our souls.  I really can’t imagine my life without a dog.

I’ll leave you with this (lengthy, but worth it) excerpt from the summation remarks of from George Graham Vest, a senator from the late 1800’s:

“The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death.”

How will you love and care for your dog today?




IMG_5277“Since we have a new sister (Mindy), she’ll be showing up here every now and then.  At the moment, we’re training her in the areas of cute pictures and cute remarks.  The pictures are turning out okay, but she’s got some work to do on the remarks.  We make this look easy, but it’s really quite difficult.”



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