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Gone Fishing…


 

We are headed to Charleston, South Carolina with our fur girl, Victory, for a vacation!  We are very much looking forward to a breather and break away!  The blog will be back with regular content in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, if you are in a blog-reading mood, you are warmly invited to visit the archives — the links are shown below.

Dog Related posts

Dog Rescue posts

‘Dog-Centric’ Artists Interviews

For Artists posts

Photography posts

Personal posts

Victory Related posts

Tips for planning and vacationing with your furry family member

Additionally, if you are interested, here are some links to some of our previous vacations — Nova Scotia, 2011; Nova Scotia, 2012; Vermont, 2013; Vermont and Québec, 2014; Vermont and Québec City, 2015; and Lake Michigan, 2016.

Happy Summer!

 

Around Here: June

Happy June!  Another month has just about flown by once again.  I took a bit of a break from the blog recently; however, below are some items that have occurred around here in June!

-I am still working on the next steps concerning my long-term photography project.

Victory is finally over her urinary tract infection (UTI), as we have been making numerous vet trips over the past two months.  Her last culture finally came back clean, no bacteria!

-we have been going to our neighborhood pool and enjoying our time at the pool!

-we started using the Big Green Egg!

-enjoying date nights together!

-we recently went to Pups in the Park again for the third year in a row!  Victory had a great time and the weather was, thankfully, beautiful!

-we also went to an Orioles game as well!

-enjoying time together outside.  With the warmer weather, we have been taking more walks outside during the evenings, when it is cooler, and Victory loves the walks while she rides in her Hound About!

-continue to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-we finished the third season of Better Call Saul, a great series!

-we finished the first season of the Last Tango in Halifax.

-we are getting ready to leave for vacation; we are really looking forward to a reprieve from everything, even if only for a little bit!  We’re hoping that it will not be too hot!  We can’t wait to take Victory to the beach!  I’m taking her into the ocean this year, while she has her life jacket on, of course!  I have a few good books I hope to read as well!  One of the books I am looking forward to reading is the memoir, The Bright Hour, by Nina Riggs.

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym and on walks!

-achieving 10,000 steps most days via my Fitbit!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Tuesday!

 

Pups in the Park

This weekend we took Victory with us to Pups in the Park at the Nationals!  This is our third year going to Pups in the Park with Victory!  The weather was beautiful and we had a fun time together!  We even got tickets to go back in September with Victory!  Below are some images and iPhone photos from our visit!

 

 

 

Take Your Dog to Work Day!

You probably heard about “Take Your Child to Work Day,” but did you know there is also a day set aside each year for welcoming your fur family members into the office?  Every June features a “Take Your Dog to Work Day” when many employees “hire” their four-legged furry family members for the day.  This year, “Take Your Dog to Work Day”,  which falls tomorrow on Friday, June 23, has been celebrated annually since 1999 in the United States.  The unofficial holiday was created by Pet Sitters International as a way to encourage dog adoption and to celebrate the love and joy dogs bring to the lives of their ‘pet parents.’

However, some employers have “Take Your Dog to Work Day” everyday!  Dogs are even now welcome at the Interior Department!  There are many positive aspects to allowing dogs in the work place, perhaps a reason for this growing trend with employers.

Dogs in the office bring calm and promote wellness.  Employees are required, out of necessity, to take regular breaks to walk the dog, which is good for their physical health and provides a welcome break.  Dogs also have a calming effect on people — their natural joy and positive energy is a stress reliever and morale booster.

Dogs also foster happier relationships between humans, too.  When someone is walking their dog around or has a dog at his/her desk, other employees are more likely to talk to him/her.  The dog provides a nice way to start a conversation between two people whose work may not cross paths ordinarily.  Further, and importantly, this can also open the door to collaboration and creativity!

Unfortunately, our fur girl, Victory, is not yet permitted at the office.  However, Victory is a loyal companion in our home office.  She loves to either be on her bed, shown in the iphoto below, or she likes to sleep by my feet under the desk.  During the warmer months, I am guaranteed that Victory will provide a ‘bath’ for my feet and toes, never missing a spot!  Working with Victory by my side is always better!

 

Around Here: May 2017

Happy May!  Another month has just about flown by once again and we are already near the middle of the year already!  Below are some items that have occurred around here in May!

-I finally FINISHED the body of work and draft copy for my long-term photography project!  There were many times, along the way, where I never thought I would ever get to this point as there have been many moving parts to this project, which has been an enormous undertaking.  At times, it was difficult to keep the faith and not succumb to fear and doubt, and trust that the pieces would eventually fit together, even when I could not see the forest through the trees.  However, I am glad that I kept going and pressed on, over the past nearly four and a half years.  I still have a ways to go to usher this body of work into the world, but I am really happy to reach this point.

“Increasingly, the work I’m doing is in service to an idea rather than just to see what something looks like photographed.  I’m trying to explore how I feel about something through photography.”  — Sally Mann

-our pools open this weekend and we are looking forward to a long weekend together including time at the pool (weather permitting) and going to a bbq!

Victory is all ready for summer and she loves and she is ready to eat yummy food her Daddy cooks on her Big Green Egg, pictured below!

-enjoying date nights together!

-enjoying time together outside.  With the warmer weather, we have been taking more walks outside, and Victory loves the walks while she rides in her Hound About!

-continue to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-finished our gardening for this year and we finished getting our deck furniture ready to use to enjoy the nicer weather!

-we are getting all of our house windows cleaned next week so that we can see out of them again!

-enjoying many snuggles with our fur girl, Victory, who is currently recovering from another urinary tract infection (UTI).  The medicine is helping her, as she is prone to these infections, that we battle a few times a year, it seems.  She also had another bath this month, which she never enjoys, but she smells and her fur feels so good after the process is complete!

-we finished the final season of Rectify.

-watching the fifth season of The Americans.

-finished reading Devotion by Dani Shapiro, a really good read!

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym!

-achieving 10,000 steps most days via my Fitbit!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Friday!  Wishing you a nice long weekend!

 

Tangible: Photo Books

I believe it is important to make images tangible.  I recently completed making hard cover photo books via Artifact Uprising, beginning with our wedding through 2016.  It took me a while to make each photo book, but I am so glad that I did!  They all very in number of pages and only one image appears on the right hand side with the left hand side blank to allow one to focus on one image at a time.  In each photo book, I selected and included only the images that I really liked.  I am now caught up so that I can work prospectively instead of retrospectively.  We look forward to our vacation this year, and I plan to make another photo book as well.  I am still working on framing fine art prints to hang in our home, an ongoing project.  These tangible images brings joy and I am happy that we will have these books, capturing memories, for years to come.  I highly recommend this process, which allows you to relive the memories while making the photo books!

The photo books include as pictured from right to left below: our wedding; our honeymoon; our first trip to Nova Scotia; our second trip to Nova Scotia; our trip to Manchester, Vermont; our first trip to Québec (Montréal); our second trip to Québec (Québec City); and our trip to Lake Michigan.

 

 

Happy Wednesday!

Loving: Spring 2017

Happy spring!  We are so happy that spring is officially here!  Below are the items I am loving, so far, this spring!

 

 

1. Mara Hoffman bikini – I love this bikini and the Mara Hoffman line.  We are ready for our pools to open next month!

2. DKNY Underwear – Lululemon stopped making my favorite underwear, and I had to find an alternative; and the DKNY underwear is very comfortable and a close alternative.

3. Toms’ Shoes – I love love these new shoes by Toms.  They are very comfortable and they are a little bit different in design.

4. Lululemon Hotty Hot Short — I love these new shorts!  I have several pairs, which are very comfortable to work out in.

5. Hourglass — This book is a beautiful memoir about marriage.  I love this quote from the book, which is so true, “Change even one moment, the whole thing unravels.  The narrative thread doesn’t stretch in a line from end to end, but rather, spools and unspools, loops around and returns again and again to the same spot.  There is no other life than this. You would not have stumbled into the vastly imperfect, beautiful, impossible present.”

6. Pocky – I like Pocky, especially the green tea covered biscuit sticks!

You can view other things I love here!

Second Keeneland Visit

We recently visited Keeneland again located in Lexington, Kentucky, a place that Doug enjoys visiting.  Doug’s Mom also joined us on our visit to Keeneland.  The weather, unfortunately, was not as nice as last year, but we still had fun betting on the horses.  We won on almost every race, and we even picked two winners, one of which was named “Victory to Victory” similar to our fur girl, Victory, shown in red below!  A few images from our time in Keeneland are shown below!

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

 

Around Here: April 2017

Happy April!  Another month has just about flown by once again!  Below are some items that have occurred around here in April!

-continuing to work steadily on finishing my long-term photography project — an image at a time — I should be able to finish next month, fingers crossed, as I am down to the final stretch!

-enjoying date nights together!

-enjoying time together outside.  With the warmer weather, we have been taking more walks outside, and Victory loves the walks while she rides in her Hound About!  (We know that she is really spoiled!)

-we celebrated 3.5 years this month with our fur girl, Victory!

-we visited Keeneland again, and we won on almost every race!  Coincidentally, one of our horse picks that came in first place was named Victory-to-Victory!

-in addition to our trip this summer, we planned a special trip in honor of Doug’s birthday this summer!  It will be fun!

-continue to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home!

-started our gardening for this year and getting our deck furniture ready to use to enjoy the nicer weather!

-we had to get a new car, as one of our cars, unfortunately, died.  (There is never a good time for this to occur).

-enjoying many snuggles with our fur girl, Victory!  She got another bath this month, which she never enjoys, but she smells and her fur feels so good after the process is complete!

Biscuit was a ‘staff pick’ again for Jones Soda!  You can read more about it here and vote here, which is greatly appreciated!

-started and we are almost through all of the seasons of the Bates Motel — a good series providing the back story to the film, Psycho.

-finished reading Hourglass by Dani Shapiro, a good read!

-also started reading Hallelujah Anyway  by Anne Lamott, also a good read!

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym!

-achieving 10,000 steps most days via my Fitbit!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Tuesday!

 

Dogs: Hospice Care

 

In a recent article, I learned about a wonderful hospice rescue for elderly dogs, which are not usually people’s first choice to choose to adopt when considering adopting a rescue dog.  Kim Skarritt is the owner of Silver Muzzle Cottage, a rescue and hospice for homeless old dogs.  It is the only type of hospice rescue located in Michigan and one of the few in the country.  Silver Muzzle Cottage takes dogs left being either by choice or by circumstance, as when a dog’s owner suddenly dies and nobody else claims their dog.  Skarritt began her rescue about two years ago, and she has taken in more than 70 dogs so far.  Almost all of them are old, many are sick, a lot of them are near death.  No matter how bad the dogs’ lives have been so far, Skarritt wants to make their last days wonderful.

“They don’t ask for much when they’re really old.  They want to be loved and cared for, they want food, and they just need a warm place to lay their head at night,” said Skarritt.  “At some point they were cared for, and then when they needed it most they’re not.  And that’s why they really need a place like ours,” according to Skarritt.

About five years ago, Skarritt purchased an empty tool and die shop on a remote industrial road and opened Bowers by the Bay, a dog fitness, rehabilitation and cage-free boarding center.  Her work was coordinated with local animal shelters where Skarritt became alarmed by a disturbing pattern.

“I kept seeing these 14-year-old dogs and 13-year-old dogs in shelters and needing homes, and I’m going, ‘What is that?  Who does that?'”

As a result, Skarritt telephoned several animal shelters throughout the state of Michigan and estimated there were approximately 900 senior dogs needing homes within a 500 mile radius of Elk Raids, Michigan, where the Silver Muzzle Cottage is located.

According to some local rescues and shelters, some people do not even bother bringing the old dog inside the shelter building.

“Sometimes they dump them down our road a little bit so it’s not right in front of our building.  But we do have cameras up,” said Tia Babera a kennel technician at the Cherryland Humane Society located in Traverse City, Michigan.

At the Otsego County Animal Shelter, people at times come in with a dog they claim was a stay they found, but it’s really their lifelong pet.  If the staff finds out the owner is lying, they’ll make them return and take their pet back, like the guy who recently brought in a tumor-riddled 15-year-old dog, pretending he found it.  It turned out to be his dog.

“They’re just looking for a scapegoat instead of taking responsibility,” said Christie Pratt, a 37-year-old animal control officer.  “We are a little bit harder here.  We will make them have a good reason to surrender their dog.”

These types of stories compelled Skarritt to purchase an empty storage building next door to her business, mentioned above, and opened Silver Muzzle Cottage as a nonprofit rescue solely for elderly dogs, which she defines as age 10 or older unless they’re terminally ill, in which case she’s take the dog at any age.

This is not a typical rescue — there is a large living room with couches and throw pillows, a fake fireplace with decorations atop the mantle, end tables with vases and a coffee table with a thick photo book about dogs atop it.  It is described as looking like a ‘normal house,’ except there is a bunch of dogs lounging on the couches.  “We wanted it to be a home,” Skarritt explained.

This is a home for her, too.  The dogs aren’t caged at night, which means someone has to be at the rescue at all times.  Since Skarritt could not afford to pay someone to do that, she moved into a small room at the corner of the house, with little more than a bathroom and a bed.

There are about 100 rotating volunteers to take the dogs for walks or car rides, or sit on the couches with the dogs and pet or play with them.

Most of the dogs get adopted, despite a short future, thanks to Skarritt’s persistence in spreading the world about the plight of old dogs.  But some are not adoptable as they have such little time remaining to live.

“For some people it’s too hard,” Skarritt said.  “They really can’t handle it.  But for those who can, they find it very rewarding.  We have to look at it in a positive light, otherwise it would be very depressing.  But it’s a win-win for us and it’s a win-win for the dogs.”

This is a wonderful project and I am hope more dog hospices develop around the country to help these elderly dogs that, inevitably and unfortunately, need a home in their final days.

You can read the article and view lovely images of the Silver Muzzle Cottage’s hospice and rescue here.

Additionally, Silver Muzzle Cottage is located at 201 EC Loomis Drive, Elk Rapids, Mich., 49629.  For information or to make a donation, call 231-264-8408 or see facebook.com/silvermuzzlecottage.

The above image is via Pinterest.