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Around Here: November

Happy November!  I am not sure how it is already the end of November and the close of 2016 is soon upon us.  Below are some items that have occurred around here in November!

-continuing to work steadily on my long-term photography project — an image at a time.

-we took a trip to Dewey Beach with Victory!  (A few short iPhone videos from our trip are shown below.)

-enjoyed our last visit to the Eastern Shore for crabs and fish this year.

-enjoying date nights together!

-burning fall candles in our home!

-making crock pot dinners together — which are mostly prepared by Doug!

-Victory had a urinary tract infection (UTI) this month, which was treated with antibiotics and she is now UTI free!

-getting ready for Thanksgiving!

-finished and ordered our Pawliday card, custom stamp, and seals!

-getting ready to decorate for Christmas around the house!  We ordered our live tree from Maine online that is going to be delivered later this week!

-Victory recently received her Christmas sweater to wear when she goes to visit Santa again next month!

-currently reading Love Worrier.

-finished the second season of The Americans.

-listening to a myriad of fun podcasts!

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

Happy Tuesday and wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Victory: Photography Project — 92

Beginning in January 2014, I started a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog this year!  My goal is to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories, while capturing moments of our everyday.

This past weekend, for the long weekend, we took our fur girl, Victory, to Dewey Beach!  The weather was nice and Victory loved the beach.  There were not too many other people or dogs on the beach, so it was perfect, in Victory’s eyes!  Each time we went to the beach, we walked several miles, and Victory was never ready to leave the beach — she dug her back legs into the sand and she would not budge and she turned around to head in the opposite direction we were heading!  This was the first time Victory dipped her little paws into the Atlantic Ocean!  The sunsets were very beautiful.  We had a fun time together and Dewey Beach is very dog friendly, thankfully!  It is always nice to visit the ocean!  A few images from our trip are shown below.

Happy Tuesday!











Things I Love: Fall 2016

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




1. S’well Bottle – I recently gave the S’well bottle to Doug as a gift, and I quickly decided that I needed one, too!  They keep cold beverages cold, and hot beverages hot!  I love the sleek design!

2. Magic Lessons Podcast – I really enjoy the Magic Lessons Podcast.  There are so many great episodes.  If you like hearing about other creatives’ pursuits and how to handle and deal with fear and the unknown, you will be sure to enjoy this podcast!

3. Hot Apple Cider K-cups – I love hot cider, and these K-cups are really great, especially if you like hot apple cider!

4. Mantra Bands — I love Mantra Bands.  My friend just gave me one recently, and I love it!  These make great gifts, too!

5. Planner — I am ‘old fashioned,’ and I like having a paper planner to keep track of work and personal appointments, items, etc.  I have used this weekly paper planner found on Etsy for the past two years, and I love it.

6. Perfect Over Present – I recently finished reading this book and really enjoyed it.  This book provided a refreshing perspective on life.

You can view other things I love here!

Happy Thursday!  We hope the you have a great, long, and restful weekend!  We are headed to Dewey Beach for the long weekend with our fur girl, Victory, for a respite and to celebrate some long-awaited good news!

Second Chance Dogs Documentary

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) documentary, Second Chance Dogs, was recently released on Netflix.  The film follows the stories of six extremely fearful dogs rescued from cruelty and taken to the ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, located in Madison, New Jersey, showcasing their heartwarming journey to finding a loving home.  Launched in 2013, the ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center is the first and only facility dedicated to rehabilitating dogs suffering from severe fear due to puppy mills, hoarding, and other cruelty.  You can view the trailer to Second Chance Dogs here.

Happy Monday!





Service Dog Case Goes to the U.S. Supreme Court



Have you heard about the recent U.S. Supreme Court case involving a young girl and her service dog named Wonder?  This past Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case involving Ehlena Fry, a young girl, and her service dog, Wonder, a hypoallergenic goldendoodle, and a school district that barred Wonder from its premises.

Ehlena, who was adopted by a couple in Michigan, was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that greatly limits her motor skills but not her cognitive ability.  When Ehlena was 5, her pediatrician recommended that her parents get a service dog to enable Ehlena to become more independent.  As a result, the Fry family raised the monies needed to obtain Wonder, a service dog, for Ehlena.

The Fry family talked to Ehlena’s school about the dog, but when Ehlena brought Wonder to class with her, she was told the service dog was not allowed.  Wonder was intended to help Ehlena perform more functions by herself to enable her to become more independent.  Wonder was trained to hit handicapped buttons for Ehlena; open and close doors; pick up items Ehlena dropped; and, most importantly, to stabilize Ehlena so that she could make transfers from her chair to her walks, or form a walker to a toilet seat.

Once the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) agreed to represent Ehlena, the school district allowed Wonder in school for a “trial period,” but it did not allow Ehlena to use him as a service dog.  In fact, Wonder was relegated to the back of the classroom and could not accompany Ehlena to recess, lunch, and other activities.  Then, at the end of the school year, the district said Wonder could not return in the fall.

Having a service dog for Ehlena, the Fry family maintains, is akin to having a service dog for a blind student instead of requiring the student to navigate the school by holding on to the arm of a teacher.

“One of our whole goals in getting Wonder for her was that eventually, the more she was able to use Wonder and navigate her environment, that she would need the aide less and less,” says Ehlena’s mother, Stacy Fry.

As a result, the Frys home-schooled Ehlena and then transferred her to another school district where Wonder was welcomed with open arms, a very different welcoming in contrast to the former school.  Wonder went to class and lunch with Ehlena; he was in the staff section of the yearbook; he had his own ID card; and he was in the class picture.  And, according to Ehlena’s mother, the relationship between dog and kid was integrated into the school seamlessly.

However, the school district has argued that if the Frys had simply followed the process under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), it would have likely been sorted out within months.

At the heart of the case is a legal question: whether the Frys were required to exhaust their options under the IDEA — which requires an administrative hearing and does not allow for monetary damages to be awarded prior to bringing a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as the Frys did.  In their claim, they requested unspecified damages and attorney fees, but U.S. District Court and the 6th Circuit ruled against them.  However, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear this case.

The Fry’s lawyers and the ACLU, which has been working with the Frys, argue that prohibiting the service dog, Wonder, was not an educational matter but one that denied Ehlena her “independence at school and constituted discrimination at a public facility” — which falls under the ADA.

The family can sue for damages under the ADA, but only if the eight-member Supreme Court agrees with their interpretation of the case, which extends back several years.  The Frys brought the case against the Napoleon Community Schools and the Jackson County Intermediate School District, located in Michigan, in 2012.

The ACLU says the ruling, which should be available this coming summer, could impact students with disabilities across the country, if it allows them to sue under the ADA without first exhausting administrative procedures under the IDEA, which may not even provide the relief they seek.

You can view a video of Ehlena and Wonder here, which is shown below.


*The above image is courtesy of the ACLU.


Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  I cannot believe how quickly the time is flying by that it is already time for Halloween!  Victory was a lioness last year; a butterfly two years ago; a ladybug for her first Halloween; and, this year, she is a fifties girl, shown below!  You can see over the past three years how much Victory has changed!  Victory will help us hand out candy tonight in her costume, along with her pumpkin masterpieces carved by Doug, also shown below.  Doug spent many hours carefully and diligently working on his Halloween ghost-themed pumpkin!  Additionally, here are links to pumpkins carved by Doug last yeartwo years agothree years ago; and four years ago — all dog-themed pumpkins!

We hope that you all have a wonderful Halloween!





Around Here: October

Happy October!  It is officially feels like fall, our favorite season, with cooler temperatures and the beautiful foliage.  Below are some items that have occurred around here in October!

-continuing to work steadily on my long-term photography project — an image at a time.

-we celebrated Victory’s birthday!

-we celebrated our wedding anniversary!

-we took another trip to the Eastern Shore for crabs and shrimp with Victory!

-we took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch!

-enjoying evening walks together with Victory in her Hound About, especially since it is cooler outside!

-enjoying date nights together!

-opening the windows and letting the fresh, crisp air into our home!

-burning fall candles in our home!

-Victory had her annual exam at the vet, and all went well.  She will likely get a healthy dental early next year to make sure her teeth are ok and to be sure nothing is festering.

-getting ready for Halloween and pumpkin carving!  Victory has her costume and her candy to help pass out on Halloween!

-finishing up working on this year’s Pawliday card!

-currently reading Unsubscribe, a good read!

-finished the third season of Transparent!

-started the first season of Westworld.

-listening to a myriad of fun podcasts!

-still using my Fitbit and I’m hitting 10,000 steps per day most days.

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

Happy Thursday!



Victory: Photography Project — 91

Beginning in January 2014, I started a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog this year!  My goal is to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories, while capturing moments of our everyday.

Last weekend, near Victory’s birthday, we took Victory to the pumpkin patch, an annual tradition, to pick out our pumpkins, which Doug will carve!  We all had a great time!  We still could only find one pumpkin patch located in Delaware, after looking in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, that would permit a furry family member to come along!  We had fun, Victory had fun, and the weather was just gorgeous!  After the pumpkin patch, we went to our favorite restaurant in Delaware, where furry family members are permitted on the patio — there were nine other furry family members on the patio, along with Victory, that evening!  A few images from our annual trip to the pumpkin patch are shown below.  You can also view images from our trip to the pumpkin patch last year, here.

Doug is carving our pumpkins again this year for Halloween so stay tuned!  Enjoy the photos below!

Happy Wednesday!













Victory: A Birthday Celebration — 5 years!

Today marks three years since we adopted our dear little Victory!  We decided to make October 12 Victory’s birthday — the day we went to Michigan and adopted our sweet fur girl.  (We also took the same approach with Biscuit’s birthday.)  Victory was likely one to two years old when we adopted her, per the Michigan Sheltie Rescue.

This year, for Victory’s birthday, we did a light pink and gold themed birthday!  (Last year, we did a pink themed birthday and the year before, we did rainbow themed birthday for Victory!)  We purchased some fun light pink and gold themed decorations, balloons, party hat, and new light pink sweater for Victory in honor of her birthday!  Victory also enjoyed some steak in lieu of birthday cake, which she gobbled down in no time flat!  Victory looked absolutely adorable on her birthday, as always, and she even smiled this year, shown below!  (She is always so cooperative with my ideas, and Doug blew up every single balloon!)  She had a fun birthday, a fun long weekend, and she enjoyed being over fed along with a trip to the Eastern Shore for crabs!  We are the lucky ones to share our lives with this wonderful, loyal, and loving being.

For Victory’s birthday, we gave her a new pink sweater and a new Orvis personalized canvas toy tote — for her ever growing collection of toys!  Victory also got a gift card from her Grandma and Grandpa in Michigan, which she will use to get some yummy treats!  We all had a great day together!  October is our favorite month, and Victory is looking forward to the pumpkin patch, carving a pumpkin, and sharing her Halloween costume!  (Hint — she is not going to be an animal this year!)

(All birthday decorations are from Oh Happy Day!)









Eight Years In

Dear Doug,

Happy eight-year anniversary!  I simply cannot believe another year has passed again.  I am not sure where the time goes.  So much has happened during this season.  It has been a season of great change for us, and I am fortunate to be on this path with you.  Much of this year has not been an easy; however, you have been right there with me, every step of the way, living in the present along with seeing where this path takes us.  I could not ask for a more supportive and loving  partner.  You are my best friend and my rock.  You are one of the kindest people I have ever met, who never fails to make me laugh.  Because of you, I am extremely fortunate to know true unconditional love and support.  This has been a really special month for us in so many ways.

I am so grateful and lucky to have you as my husband — you are my greatest gift.  Happy eight years!  Here’s to many, many more years together!

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”  —Lao Tzu