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Posts from the ‘Dog Related Information’ Category

Transition: Integrating Your Furry Family Member

Before Alex arrived, Victory was our ‘only child’ for nearly five years!  I previously wrote a blog post about preparing your furry family member when a baby arrives.  However, this post, today, is about continuing to integrate your furry family member upon the arrival of a child and it can also be applied to a major life transition.

Even though our hearts expanded in every way, we are so, so grateful, and this is the best season of our lives, it was a big change for everyone when Alex arrived, including Victory.  Our overarching goal was to be sure that not too much changed for Victory, even though a whole lot changed, if that makes sense!  We are all in a groove now, getting sleep, figuring out things as we go, which is great for everyone!

First, we included Victory in Alex’s birth.  Victory was at the hospital, the day after the birth, and it was so lovely and memorable.  I am very grateful to the hospital staff for being so accommodating with our request.  Victory was a hit with the hospital staff, and she got right up into the hospital bed by with me, by my side, and she did not want to leave!  Our entire family was together, for the first time, and I will never forget that time together introducing the girls to each other.

Second, we always encourage Victory to be with us wherever we are in the house.  She knows that she has free reign of the house, but we wanted to be sure she knew that she was still, of course, a part of all family activities, and that would never change.  So, from the very beginning, she learned to go in Alex’s room and be apart of our daily routines, etc.  It is very special to hear Alex say, each morning, “Hi Tory!” and waive her hand to Victory with a big smile!  It warms my heart as Victory always follows me into Alex’s room each morning, even during the times when Alex’s room smells like a bathroom, if you get my drift!  Victory wants to be apart of everything, which is so great!  And, she has and continues to be extremely patient and tolerant of Alex since she was born.

Third, we encouraged the girls to bond.  We never kept Victory away from Alex (Victory has never been aggressive to anyone); in fact, we encouraged her to sniff and interact with Alex.  (There, however, have been times that we have had to keep Alex from Victory).  And, since Alex was quite sick, this winter, both girls have really bonded, and it is so great!  Victory loves licking Alex, and Alex knows not to pull on Victory’s fur or chase Victory, thank goodness.  So they reached some sort of mutual understanding, even with limited verbal communication, between them!  Victory knows so much, and is quite remarkable how in tune she is with everything and every person in our home.  Victory has been by our side meandering through mountain tops and valleys, and she is so loyal and she is always there for all of us, and we never take that for granted. We feel so grateful for her.

Fourth, we also continue to take Victory on outings, which she always loves, and Alex loves them, too!  Even in the dead of winter, when there are not too many options for places to take Victory to, there is always Lowes, on standby, which Victory and Alex love!  We also take Victory with Alex, year-round, to get soft-serve ice cream at TCBY, which is a hit with Victory!  We are very much looking forward to the spring, just around the corner, and the summer where there are a myriad of options for outings with our girls!  Victory loves outings and it is always a ‘morale boost,’ for Victory, especially during the winter when she can get cabin fever, at times.

Fifth, we continue to take Victory on vacation with us!  Even though it is not always easy to find a rental that accepts both a small dog and a small child, we make it work!  Doug is always really good about finding places for us to stay!  Victory has been on every single vacation with us since we adopted her in the fall of 2013!  We would not have it any other way!

Finally, most of all, our love never waivers with Victory, and we spend time with only Victory each day.  She loves her time with us!  She is our fur girl, forever!  And, she is such a great ‘big sister’ to Alex!  You can see their love reflected in the recent images, below.  Doug and I are so fortunate.  We love our girls with our whole hearts.

All of this said, if you take the time, and make a conscious effort, to include your furry family member during a big change or transition, such as adding another family member, it will work out for everyone in the long run!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog Rescue: Beer Cans

Have you heard about the recent heartwarming story about a dog, Hazel, shown in the blue bandana below, that was reunited with her family after being discovered on a beer can?

Hazel went missing in Iowa roughly three years ago.  She is reunited with her family after being featured on a beer can in Florida via Motorworks Brewing helping to raise money to build a local shelter in Manatee County.  Hazel, 7, was one of four dogs chosen to have their smiling profile picture featured on the beer cans at Motorworks Brewing in Bradenton, Florida, in hopes that they would get adopted.

Monica Mathis, who now lives in Minnesota, was scrolling through social media when she spotted a story about a Florida brewing company featuring adoptable dogs on their beer cans.  “I was looking at the dogs and I was like oh my gosh, that’s Hazel,” Mathis told CNN.

Hazel left the Mathis’ home one day in 2017.  “She was an escape artist; she was very good at getting loose,” Mathis told CNN.  Hazel known as “Day Day,” entered the shelter in March of 2019 as a stray, Hans Wohlgefahrt, with Manatee County Animal Services, told CNN.

Hazel did have a microchip, however, the contact information for her owner was outdated.  With no method of contacting Hazel’s owners and when no one came forward to claim her, Hazel went up for adoption.

Mathis submitted vet records and photos to the shelter and she was able to claim her long lost dog.  While it is unclear how Hazel made her journey to Florida from the Midwest, Wohlgefahrt said she is healthy and a very happy pup!

What a wonderful story and a unique way to promote dog rescue!

 

Christmas Time: Visiting Santa

This past weekend we took Alex and  Victory to visit Santa, an annual tradition!  This year, however, went a little differently than last year — Alex was not keen on Santa this year.  (We even tried putting Alex on the floor by Santa, but that did not work either.)  Someday, she will get a good laugh from these photos, below, as you likely will as well!  Alex is very brave and fearless when it comes to everything, except for strangers and doctors, which I suppose are one in the same.  (The pediatrician says this is very normal for her age.)  So, this is how our pediatrician and dental visits go, shown below, and Alex does not give up easily at all!  Thankfully, Santa is extremely patient!

Victory, our beautiful fur girl, did very well, like always!  Victory also tolerated her sister well, too!  And, of course, Santa and his helpers remembered our beloved girls, as this is Victory’s sixth time visiting Santa and Alex’s second time visiting Santa!  You can see Victory’s previous trips to visit Santa here, hereherehere, and here.  This is the only Santa in our area that welcomes both of our girls!  Victory wore her Holiday velvet ruff and antlers; and Alex wore a burgundy corduroy dress to coordinate for their visit with Santa!  All proceeds from visiting Santa are donated to a local dog rescue, a very good cause near and dear to our hearts as Biscuit and Victory are rescues.  If you are interested, be sure to check with and visit your local pet stores to see if there is a Santa in your area that specializes in furry family members!

A few images from Victory’s and Alex’s second visit together with Santa are shown below along with images of Victory with Santa from the previous five years!  The time really does fly by too quickly!  We are so grateful for our fur girl, Victory!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victory’s visits to see Santa, 2014-2019!

 

 

The girls’ visits to see Santa last year (left) and this year (right).  Great change occurred in a year!

 

Additionally, each year, I have a photo ornament made with Victory and Santa for our Christmas tree!  This year, I made another ornament of our Victory and Alex together visiting Santa, a memorable visit; and one of Victory visiting Santa!  I also had personalized ornaments for Alex and Victory made for our tree.  I will get Alex an ornament each year, a tradition we had growing up!

Below is our decorated little live Christmas tree from Maine that we order online each year; and, this year, Alex was not willing to sit by our tree long enough for me to take a decent photo, so we will try again, at some point!

 

 

 

We have so much to be grateful for this year!  We are looking forward to celebrating our second Christmas together with both of our girls!

We hope that you are enjoying the Holiday season!

Interview: Hugo Coffee Roasters

Interview with Claudia McMullin, Owner, Hugo Coffee Roasters

 

Recently, I had the opportunity and pleasure of interviewing Claudia McMullin, owner of Hugo Coffee Roasters, located in Park City, Utah.  What makes this company unique is its commitment to dog rescue.  I also love the names of the coffees, which are dog inspired, which you can read more about in our interview below!  Additionally, you can learn more about Hugo Coffee here.

 

KATHERINE CARVER: My husband and I recently learned of Hugo Coffee, and we love your mission supporting rescue dogs.  How and when did Hugo Coffee come into existence?

CLAUDIA MCMULLIN: Hugo Coffee originated as a coffee shop in the Park City, Utah, Visitor Information Center in 2013.  By 2014 we realized that, in order to serve our customers the highest quality blends with consistency and trust in our supply chain, it was important to develop our own roasting capabilities.  Hugo Coffee Roasters was developed and currently provides a line of premium coffees, cold brew and espresso, which is sold in our retail shop and to numerous Utah wholesale customers, including grocery stores, restaurants, and corporations. 

Hugo Coffee was founded by in 2015 and is named after my handsome rescue dog, Hugo.  In a former life, I was the Executive Director of the animal rescue now known as Nuzzles & Co.  Animal rescue is in my DNA and that of my brand!   Hugo Coffee gives 8-10% of proceeds (not profit — meaning I give regardless of whether my company makes money) of all sales of its retail products to animal rescues.

Hugo Coffee’s Mission Statement: Hugo Coffee’s mission is to save dogs by roasting superior fair trade, organic coffee.

Hugo Coffee’s Vision Statement: Hugo Coffee’s vision is to become the go-to coffee for animal lovers nationwide.

Hugo Coffee’s Values and Promise: Hugo Coffee is a friendly, playful, caring company with a focus on community – “Coffee with a Paws.”  Every time you drink a cup of Hugo Coffee, you are saving dogs too.  So, enjoy a cup, save a pup, and turn your daily ritual into an act of kindness.

Our key messages are Dog Rescue and Superior Coffee.  Our company motto is: “At Hugo Coffee we love two things: coffee and dogs … and not necessarily in that order.”  Our hashtags include: #drinkcoffeesavedogs and #drinkhugobehappy.

 

 

KATHERINE CARVER: How did Hugo, the namesake of your business, come into your life?

CLAUDIA MCMULLIN: I am a foster failure of baby Hugo at three weeks old.  Hugo came from a backyard breeder who tried to sell all of his puppies at three weeks of age and, when nobody bought Hugo, he dumped him at the local shelter.  Hugo was immediately rescued by the rescue I was soon to lead, Friends of Animals Utah was the name at the time, which is now presently known as Nuzzles & Co.  Hugo needed immediate fostering, and I volunteered.  After bottle feeding that sweet pea (Hugo) I could never give him up.

 

 

KATHERINE CARVER: How did you become involved in dog rescue?

CLAUDIA MCMULLIN: I had always had rescue dogs my whole life and was always crazy for dogs (and all animals).  I had been an attorney for a long time and really, really wanted NOT to be one anymore when I heard from a friend that my “dream job” had just become available –  being the Executive Director of an animal rescue.  So I applied, and got the gig!

 

KATHERINE CARVER: What dog rescue organizations do you support?

CLAUDIA MCMULLIN: We currently support Nuzzles & Co., Best Friends Animal Society, Paws for Life, and Canines with a Cause.  However, I will support any animal rescue.

 

 

KATHERINE CARVER: Can you tell us a little bit about the products you offer for sale?

CLAUDIA MCMULLIN: You bet!  Hugo Coffee offers a range of specially roasted coffees designed specifically and intentionally to appeal to a broad palette.  Each roast is created by Master Roaster, John Lynn.  John selects the importer, country of origin, and the farm from which to purchase the organic fair-trade green beans (note that although our beans are organically grown, they are not always organic-certified due to size of our small farm suppliers).  He then skillfully creates the consistent roasts and flavor notes of each Hugo signature roasts.  Each “recipe” is taught to all junior roasters and consistently reviewed for consistent quality assurance.

Each roast is intentionally named with a nod towards dogs.  Specifically, from darkest to lightest roast, Hugo Coffee offers Black Paw (French Roast); Bonafido (Med-Dark Roast); Rollover Breakfast Blend (Medium Roast); Howler Espresso (Medium Roast); and New Trick (Light Roast).  In addition, Hugo Coffee offers Downward Dog Decaf (Medium Roast); Dog Daze Cold Brew (Med-Dark Roast); and our Rotating Roasters’ Choice.

Hugo Coffee’s roasts are comprised of beans from various countries in various proportions and with various flavor notes as set forth immediately below:

  • Black Paw® (French Roast): South American origin with flavor notes of burnt sugar, dark chocolate, and spice.
  • Bonafido® (Med-Dark Roast): South American origin with flavor notes of bakers chocolate and dark fruit.
  • Rollover Breakfast Blend® (Medium Roast): Peruvian origin with flavor notes of maple, milk chocolate, and nuts.
  • Howler Espresso (Medium Roast): South American origin with flavor notes of chocolate, sweet dates, and toffee.
  • New Trick® (Light Roast): Central American origin with flavor notes of nuts, floral, and sweet.
  • Roasters Choice (Light Roast): Rotating single source bean from various countries and small farms selected by Master Roaster every 4-6 weeks.
  • Downward Dog Decaf® (Medium Roast): blend of beans from various and changing countries with flavor notes of banana bread, caramel, and cocoa.
  • Dog Daze Cold Brew® (Medium-Dark Roast): Central African origin with flavor notes of chocolate, nut, and spice.

 

 

KATHERINE CARVER: Where can people purchase your coffee, especially with the Holidays quickly approaching?

CLAUDIA MCMULLIN: You can purchase our coffee locally in Utah, at various grocery chains including, Whole Foods.  You can also purchase our coffeeonline at Amazon.com or via www.hugo.coffee.

In addition to coffee, we also have this great holiday gift box which includes a bag of Bonafido or Rollover and a box of organic dog treats.  Oh, and our artisan hand made mugs are pretty sweet, too!

 

 

KATHERINE CARVER: Where can people find Hugo Coffee online?

CLAUDIA MCMULLIN: You can find Hugo Coffee via the following links: www.hugo.com; Amazon; Instagram; and Facebook.

 

*All images are courtesy of Hugo Coffee.

Happy Halloween from our Super Girls!

Happy Halloween!  I cannot believe how quickly the time is flying by that it is already time for Halloween, one of our favorite times of the year!  We love the fall season!  It is Alex’s second Halloween!  Victory is Super Woman this year for Halloween along with her little sister, Alex, shown below!  We think they look pretty adorable!  (It is nearly impossible to get the girls to sit together for a photo these days without Alex running after Victory and then Victory running away, as a result!  So, we put them together in Alex’s crib and I took a few photos and I hoped for the best!  Last year, it was certainly easier to photograph the girls together!)  Victory (and Alex) was a unicorn last year; Wonder Woman two years ago; a fifties girl three years ago; a lioness four years ago; a butterfly five years ago; and a ladybug for her first Halloween, six years ago.

Weather permitting, Victory will help us hand out candy on Halloween in her costume and she will show off our pumpkin masterpiece carefully carved by Doug, shown below, of a toddler sitting on top of a pumpkin!  Doug spent almost seven hours, the other day, so earnestly working on carving his Halloween toddler pumpkin, in honor of Alex!  He did a wonderful job!  (Doug previously carved a dog on our pumpkin in honor of Victory!)  A short video of our lit carved pumpkin is also shown below.  Additionally, here are links to other pumpkins carved by Doug: last year; two years agothree years ago; four years agofive years ago; six years ago; and seven years ago!

Depending upon the weather, we may take Alex trick-or-treating to a few nearby houses in our neighborhood — we will just have to see how it goes, as Alex also goes to bed early, per her internal clock!  However, tomorrow, Alex is participating in a school Halloween parade!  It will be fun to see the kids’ costumes!  A few photos are shown below of the girls with the pumpkin Doug diligently carved!  (Alex insisted upon holding her bubbles while sitting next to the carved pumpkin!  She even eats her meals at home with these bubbles on her highchair tray!  And, she would sleep with them, if we let her!)

We hope that you all have a wonderful and safe Halloween!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a short video of the lit pumpkin Doug carved for us this year!

 

Photographs: Pumpkin Patch

This past weekend we went to the Shenandoah Valley with Alex and fur girl, Victory, to visit the pumpkin patch!  It was our second time together visiting the pumpkin patch as a family of four!  Alex is so much bigger as compared to last year’s pumpkin patch visit!  Alex is growing like a weed and she is changing all of the time!  The weather was beautiful!  Three years ago, Doug found a dog friendly pumpkin patch and animal farm, Hill High Farm, located in Virginia, for us to get this year’s pumpkin!  Alex loved looking at the animals, especially the llamas, and Alex and I rode a little train, which Alex, of course, loved!  (We recently took Alex to a petting farm, earlier this month, which she also loved, and she even rode a horse!)  Doug is still figuring out what he is going to carve on our pumpkin for Halloween this year!  Additionally, we visited a nearby local farmers market that had all sorts of unique items along with some of the best apple cider donuts and apple turnovers!  We also took Alex and Victory to Zaxby’s in Winchester, Virginia!  Victory was in heaven, as always!  We really enjoyed our time together; and a few images from our trip are shown below!  Also, here is a look back to our previous pumpkin patch visits: 2018; 2017; 2016; 2015; and 2014!

Additionally, I included a few photos from our field trip to another pumpkin patch with Alex’s school that took place earlier this month!  It was also a beautiful fall day, and Alex had a grand time, and she picked her very own pumpkin off the vine!

We look forward to Halloween next week — the girls will surely look adorable in their Halloween costumes!

Happy Fall!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few photos from Alex’s field trip with school to the pumpkin patch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victory: A Birthday Celebration — 8 years!

This past Saturday, October 12, marked six years since we adopted our sweet dear little Victory!  The time is going by much too quickly!  We decided to make October 12 Victory’s birthday — the day we went to Michigan and adopted our sweet fur girl.

As such, on October 12, we celebrated Victory’s birthday marking her sixth year with us since her adoption!  This also marks nearly fifteen months of being a ‘big sister’ to Alex!  This year, for Victory’s birthday, we did a pastel rainbow theme with a silver accent!  (As shown below, last year, we did pastel theme with a gold and silver accent; two years ago we did a gold and champagne theme; three years ago we did a light pink and gold themed birthday; four years ago we did a pink themed birthday; and five years ago, we did rainbow themed birthday for Victory!)  We purchased some fun pastel rainbow decorations, party hats, balloons, and a cream sweater for Victory, a tradition, in honor of her birthday!  Victory also enjoyed her very own prime rib that we got for her while on our anniversary dinner!  (Here is a brief video of our fur girl, Victory, on her birthday enjoying her prime rib!)  Victory looked absolutely adorable and beautiful on her birthday, as always, shown below!  This is the second birthday that Victory celebrated with her sidekick, Alex!  (These days, it is really difficult to get the girls to sit still together; however, a few candid images of our sweet girls together are shown below.)vvVictory had a fun birthday and she truly enjoyed being over fed!

We are truly the lucky ones to share our lives with this wonderful, loyal, and loving being.  Victory has also fully embraced her ‘big sister’ role!  Victory is very attuned to her little sister and loves to greet Alex in the mornings!  It melts our hearts!  Victory continues to join us each morning and evening for play time and story time, in addition to all feedings!  We also do our best to keep Victory fully integrated in our outings as well!  We are so grateful and thankful for our Victory.  She means the world to us and we lover he very much.

For Victory’s birthday, we gave her a new: large sherpa blanket to use for her naps on our bed, one of her favorite places to rest; a cream sweater; and a gift card from my parents!

(All birthday decorations are via Sweet Lulu.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A look back at Victory’s birthday celebrations over the years…

 

 

If you are considering getting a dog, I hope that you consider adopting a rescue dog.  There are so many dogs in need of a good, loving home.  As shown below, Victory, a rescue, has changed so much physically and emotionally over the years since we adopted her, pictured on the left (image from Victory’s foster mom via the Michigan Sheltie Rescue).  You really can save a dog’s life, while simultaneously enriching your own life/lives.

 

Pups in the Park!

This past weekend we took Alex and Victory, in their matching jerseys, to Pups in the Park at the Nationals!  This was our sixth time, fifth year, attending Pups in the Park at the Nationals with Victory, and our first time with both Alex and Victory!  (You can view our previous trips to Pups in the Park: here, here, here, here, and here.)  

We had nice weather, although it was quite hot and humid for the tail end of September.  Alex loved seeing the other dogs, and she had no problem going up to the other dogs!  (We saw only one other sheltie at this game!)  Alex lasted about two hours after the drive to the stadium, with heavy traffic, and no afternoon nap.  Alex did pretty well at the game; she sat some of the time and she liked to roam in our row.  We were fortunate in that we did not have people sitting on either side of us in our row so that Alex, luckily, had some room to move around!  Importantly, Alex gave Victory a treat all on her own, during the game, shown in the short video below — it was so heartwarming!  (Alex had only done this once before, the evening before, while at dinner, and I was in the present moment and I was not quick enough to capture!  Alex was so proud of herself she clapped, we all did!)  Alex slept the entire ride home and Victory napped in our bed all day Sunday from being exhausted her outing to the game!  It was a fun time together; and I will always remember Alex’s and Victory’s first Nationals’ game together!

Below are several photos from our visit!  We look forward to going back for more games next year!

Happy Wednesday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few iphone images from the game!

 

 

Here is a video from Pups in the Park — Alex feeding Victory a treat!

Faye Moorhouse: Women and their Dogs

I am in love with illustrator Fay Moorhouse’s series, Women and Their DogsWomen and Their Dogs consists of nine paintings that portray the everyday life of the ordinary woman and her faithful furry friend.  This includes trips to the supermarket; bedtime; and trips to the park, which truly come to life in this handmade zine.  Moorhouse’s playful style creates endearing studies of people and their furry family members, while highlighting the humorous and intimate relationship we share with our canine companions.  Perhaps we see a little of ourselves in her work, shown below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above images are courtesy of Fay Moorhouse.

Date Night with Your Pup!

Doug and I aim to have one date night a month, which we covet!  (We, thankfully, have a few sitters that we use for Alex!)  However, this summer, it was Doug’s idea to start bringing Victory with us on our date nights for as long as the weather holds!  Victory has adjusted really well since Alex’s arrival and Victory is fully enveloped in our lives as we are in her life.  What we have found is that Victory is in seventh heaven on these date nights!  She is a smart sheltie girl, and we believe she knows that these are special times being spent with her!  We took Victory recently to an Italian restaurant, and she loved sitting on the chair next to us, during dinner, pictured below!  We then took her with us for gelato, which she also relished!  She truly loved being the ‘only child’ for an evening, like old times!  We love this time with our fur girl, Victory, too!  So, if you have a pup, I am sure he/she would love to go out on a date night with you, especially if he/she has other ‘siblings!’  At least it is may be an idea to consider . . .

 

 

 

Our girls riding in the car together, pictured below.