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Information: Adopting a Rescue Dog

This blog would never have existed if it has not been for our sweet dear Biscuit.  He changed our lives and he brought us our beloved Victory, who we absolutely adore, as well.  Doug and I cannot imagine our lives without a furry family member, and we will always choose to rescue a dog in honor of Biscuit and Victory.  However and importantly, we hope to not be in the position to rescue another dog for quite some time — we absolutely love our sweet Victory and we cannot ever imagine life without her.  Alex and Victory love each other, too, and I am so grateful that Alex gets to grow up with Victory!  Below are some ideas and considerations for those of you looking to possibly adopt a dog who truly needs a home.  I am also excited to share my long-term photography project, inspired by Biscuit, on the topic of dog rescue, hopefully in the near future.  The revisions are finally close to completion!

Start looking on Instagram or online: There are thousands of stray and abandoned dogs all over the country that need homes.  Looking at rescue organizations on Instagram or online will help provide a sense of the landscape of the rescue dogs available for adoption.  If you see some dogs you are interested in, you can usually meet them in person at regular adoption events.

Go straight to a shelter:  There are shelters all over the country where many dogs are available for adoption.  Shelters are usually the only open-admission facility, so space can be at a premium for these dogs.  As a result, some of these dogs are facing being euthanized, so remember that time is of the essence for these dogs.

Go straight to a rescue: There are also many dog rescue organizations all over the country.  There are breed specific dog rescues as well all over the country, especially if you have your heart set on a particular breed of dog.

Do not be swayed by the “cutest” dogs: Many times some of the more “sad” looking dogs just need to get cleaned up with a good bath and grooming along with receiving some much needed love.  Also, a lot of these dogs are in cages for the first time in their lives.  Thus, it is important to keep this in mind.  It also takes a while for these dogs to really come out of their shells.  This was the case for both Biscuit and Victory.  Once they knew they were in a safe environment, they both blossomed physically and emotionally.  Now, Victory and Alex literally run our household!  Doug and I are constantly providing ‘cherub care and support!’

Ask Questions:  When you are contemplating adopting a rescue dog, ask the shelter/rescue many questions.  For example, Are they good on a leash?  How do they respond to children?  How do they respond to strangers?  Do they enjoy being petted?  How do they react to other dogs?  Do they like to play?  Do they show any aggressive behavior(s)?  Do they respond differently to men versus women?  Ask anything that you believe is important for you to know.  Of course, after asking your questions, if you are interested, it is best to meet the potential rescue dog in person to see how you feel and connect with the dog.  Many times, people have told me that they just felt a connection with a particular rescue dog and knew that the particular rescue dog was meant to be adopted by them.  Or, alternatively, others have told me that a particular rescue dog  reminded them of another dog they lost.  It is all very interesting how animals come into our lives.

Consider a senior dog: Puppies, like babies, are a lot of work!  Older dogs have benefits because they are calmer and usually potty trained and socialized, depending upon the dog.  Many older dogs need homes and need people to take a chance on them.  Our beloved Biscuit was an older rescue dog, likely older than what we were told, but we had the best two-and-a-half years with him, and we would never trade our time with Biscuit for anything.

Prepare to sell yourself: Rescue organizations, in particular, will want to know your living situation: Who lives with you, and how old are they?  They will want to know your dog history, and if you have one, they may want to speak to your vet.  They will call references and ask if you have a plan to walk the dog while you work.  They are looking to see that you are not a fair-weather dog parent.  A good way to convey that you are not is to ask a lot questions.  Later there will likely be a home visit, at which point the rescue group will want to know how you will treat your new dog by asking you questions and providing possible scenarios to gauge your responses.

Prepare for your new rescue dog: It is important that you find a good vet that you like and trust; purchase a leash and the requisite dog gear for your new furry family member; consider pet insurance; register your new rescue dog with your local health department/government agency; and most of all, get ready for your life to change in a wonderful way!  You will save a dog’s life and in turn, your life will be equally enriched.

Most of all, I hope, that if you are interested in getting a dog, that you consider dog rescue!  Our sweet Victory and Alex are pictured together below!

 

Christmas Time: Visiting Santa

This past weekend we took Baby Alex and  Victory to visit Santa, an annual tradition!  The girls were both very good!  Of course, Santa and his helpers remembered our beloved little fur girl, as this is Victory’s fifth time visiting Santa!  Santa also welcomed Baby Alex with open arms, too, celebrating her very first visit to see Santa!  This is the only Santa in our area that welcomes both of our girls!  You can see Victory’s previous trips to visit Santa hereherehere, and here.  Victory wore her Holiday velvet ruff and Baby Alex wore a burgundy 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 Baby Alex’s and Victory’s first visit together with Santa are shown below along with images of Victory from the previous four years’ visits with Santa!  The time really does fly by too quickly!  We are so grateful for our fur girl, Victory!

Additionally, each year, I have a photo ornament made with Victory and Santa for our Christmas tree!  This year, I made an ornament of our Baby Alex and Victory together visiting Santa; and one of Victory visiting Santa!

Other images include our decorated little live Christmas tree from Maine that we order online each year, along with a few images of Baby Alex and Victory in their matching red outfits by our Christmas tree, including our personalized Christmas stockings!

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

We hope that you are enjoying the Holiday season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographs: Pumpkin Patch

This past weekend we went to the Shenandoah Valley with our baby girl and fur girl, Victory, to visit the pumpkin patch!  It was our first time together visiting the pumpkin patch as a family of four!  The weather was beautiful!  Last year, Doug found a dog friendly pumpkin patch and animal farm, Hill High Farm, located in Virginia, for us to get this year’s pumpkin!  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!  We also took our baby girl and Victory to Zaxby’s in Winchester, Virginia!  Victory was in heaven!  We enjoyed our time together; and a few images from our trip are shown below.  We hope to return again!

Happy Fall!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Years In

10 years of marriage.  14 years together.  You are my favorite human being and soul mate.  You never let me walk through anything alone; and life without you would be totally unfathomable.  I admire your character, patience, sense of humor, and your kindness that you show to everyone.  Most of all, you are my very best friend.  You are the greatest gift of my life, and each day spent with you is truly a gift.  I look forward to many, many more years together, knowing that we can get through anything together.  Each year gets better with you always by my side through everything.  This has been an exceptional year filled with many changes with our expanding little family, a positively wonderful gift!  I have truly enjoyed seeing you become an incredible dad to our cherubs!  You are the best part of who I have become!  Happy tenth anniversary, my love!

 

Are You in the Photos?

Prior to having baby Alex, I was the person always taking the photos, and while I appeared in some images, I did not appear in too many overall.  Now, having a baby, I want to have some images where Doug and I are photographed with our baby girl!  A few times in the past two weeks, we took a look at the weather and then did some impromptu photo shoots together.  (I just made sure to dry my hair, which is a treat these days!)  It is easy and it does not require much time or planning!  We hope to take advantage of the weather through the fall and take some more photos together, as our baby Alex is not going to be small for too long, and we want to be able to capture this time with her in our arms, to hold onto forever!

I even think when we are out and about, we will start asking people, even strangers, to take photos of us with Alex and Victory.  I want to have Doug and I represented more in our camera roll!

I still do impromptu photo shoot with Victory and baby Alex, a few of those recent images appear below, too!  I try to always keep my camera on hand, especially when I think, “I want to remember this moment!”  It is always fun to capture the everyday, the moments we are most likely to remember versus only capturing the “big” events and milestones.  Play time in the mornings is a favorite for baby Alex and Victory, who is now fully integrated with her sister!  Victory joins play time and story time each morning and Victory licks baby Alex literally from head to toe, including every fold and roll!  It is adorable and I think Victory knows that she is a ‘big sister’ or a ‘co-mamma!’  It has been really wonderful to witness Victory’s love for her sister!  Baby Alex is aware of Victory, but she has not yet fully ‘discovered’ Victory — we can’t wait until this happens!

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

 

 

 

Jones Soda: Please Vote for Biscuit!

I submitted this image, shown below, a few years ago, while our dear Biscuit was still alive, and I was notified recently that Biscuit is a ‘staff pick’ to possibly appear on the Jones Soda label again!

In the image, Biscuit is sitting with many bottles of Jones Soda with his image appearing on the Jones Soda label.

I would be most grateful if you vote today via the link below, which only takes a second and helps increase the chances of Biscuit getting on a Jones Soda label again!  (Also, please feel free to share — 1 vote per I.P. address is permitted!)

*Vote Here: http://gallery.jonessoda.com/gallery/view.php?ID=1322367&offset=1

 

Thank you!

Around Here: February 2017

Happy February!  Another month has just about flown by once again!  This has been a busy month for us.  Below are some items that have occurred around here in February!

-continuing to work steadily on my long-term photography project — an image at a time — I am getting so close to finally finishing, about 12 percent of the project remains to be completed and the project is taking shape!

-making homemade dinners with Doug, while trying new recipes and old favorite recipes, too.  Here is an old favorite recipe.  We make a really good homemade pizza, too!

-enjoying date nights together!

-enjoying time outside.  It has been unseasonably warm here for February, which has been really nice.  We have been able to open our windows and let in fresh air along with enjoying long walks around the neighborhood together!  Victory loves riding in her Hound About!  We hope spring will officially come soon!

-going to the dog park with our Victory!

-finished making all of our photo books from 2008 through the present via Artifact Uprising and we have ordered almost all of them!

-started getting fine art prints printed to frame and hang around the house.  This has been on my list for some time, which I hope to finish this year!

-we finished our taxes!

-we made some clothing donations in our attempt to adopt the Marie Kondo method!

-enjoying many snuggles with our fur girl, Victory!  She had her first dental this week and she is doing well, thankfully!

-started the second season of The Missing — it is very good and keeps you on the edge of your seat!

-started Big Little Lies — we are only one episode in, but it is pretty good.

-I was not able to get to any reading completed this month, unfortunately.

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

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

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

Happy Wednesday!

 

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Five Year Blogiversary!

Today is the five-year Blogiversary of www.biscuitsspace.com in conjunction with my photography website.  It is really difficult to believe that five years have already passed by so quickly!  Many things have changed over the past few years, but some things remain the same, fortunately.

If it were not for our beloved Biscuit, I am not sure I would have ever started blogging and I know that I would not have started my long-term photography project, which is so close to completion, for which Biscuit and Victory are my inspiration.  Biscuit was such a blessing and gift to us.  Biscuit permanently changed our lives in so many positive ways and Biscuit sent us our precious little rescue sheltie, Victory, who we adore and love, shown below!  And, coincidentally, Victory is as old as the blog!

Thank you for reading this blog for however long or short you have been visiting!  I truly enjoy creating content for the blog to share with all of you, and I hope that you continue to enjoy visiting and reading the blog!

Thank you so very much!  xoxo

 

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Productivity: Finding the Time

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It is already near the end of January.  I have been working on finishing my long-term photography project for what feels like a really long time — almost four years this spring.  I am getting close to finally finishing!  However, the hardest part, for me, is finding enough time to finish this project.  Beginning this year, I have made a few changes, outlined below, which has helped me to complete this endeavor.

1. Identifying your most productive time: Everyone has a time of day where they are most productive and alert.  Figure out what this time is for you, as it is best to carve out time during these optimal times and leverage these times accordingly.

2. Getting up earlier: Several days a week I am waking up one to two hours earlier than usual.  I am most productive in the mornings and this time provides me with a quiet house, fresh eyes, and a clear mind to work before diving into the day.  It has really helped me, so far.

3.  Scheduling regular dedicated work time:  Often, the time escapes us very easily and, before we know it, the day is almost over.  To avoid this, I consistently schedule ‘work time’ devoted to my photography project, and I select times that will not likely have conflicts in order to make the work time possible.  I have found this scheduling really helps keep me on track.

4. Getting plenty of rest: I am able to do my best work when I have had ample rest, especially since this project requires significant concentration and focus.

5. Getting regular exercise: Exercise provides a reset, which is always helpful and, new, unexpected ideas often flow in during these times.

6. Taking breaks: It is helpful to take breaks when needed.  Breaks are essential and provide space and help provide a new perspective once returning to the work.

7. Avoiding interruptions: I have found it helpful to turn off my phone; email; and social media to prevent distractions.  It is amazing how small interruptions are very disruptive to making progress on a project.

8. Saying “No.”: It is really easy to take on more work and commitments; and then you find that the time that you have carved out for your project is gone.  While I am trying to finish my project, I have found it is best to limit any additional commitments in order to preserve work time.

9. Being Open: While you are working on a long-term project, the work and direction often changes.  It is therefore important to stay open, as these projects take on a life of their own, and this is where the ‘big magic’ happens.

19. Keeping the Faith: Having faith is probably the most important component to wading through any large endeavor.

“You have extraordinary treasures hidden within you.  Bringing forth those treasures takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion.  We simply do not have time anymore to think so small.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Sashi is Back for a Third Time!

Sashi is back for a third time!  I initially wrote about the first book in the Sashi Series entitled, Sashi, the Scared Little Sheltie!here; and I also wrote about the second book, Sashi Adopts a Brother, a continuation on the Sashi Series, here.  The author, Linda Greiner, recently contacted me and sent me her third book with illustrator, Morgan Spicer, entitled, Sashi and the Puppy Mill Girl, a continuation in the Sashi Series, which is now available for purchase!  A portion of the sales are donated to help Shetland Sheepdogs in the New Jersey area.

As those who have been reading the blog know, we love shelties and we are strong proponents of dog rescue and dog fostering — and all of the books in the Sashi series speak to these important issues.  This newest book, in the Sashi Series, introduces the story of Cinnamon, puppy mill dog who becomes a foster dog — and you will have to read the book to find out the ending to Cinnamon’s story!  So if you are looking for a fun children’s book to teach about the positive implications of dog rescue and dog fostering, I highly recommend this book and the other books in the Sashi Series.  And, if you love shelties you will for sure love this book!  The illustrations are vivid and beautiful, which brings this true story to life.  (All of the books in the Sashi Series are based on true stories).

Below is an excerpt from the author about Sashi and the Puppy Mill Girl:

“Anna and her mother love fostering Shelties through Shetland Sheepdog Rescue.  By taking care of rescued dogs, they help the dogs become ready to find a forever home.  They’ve already adopted two Shelties of their own, Sashi and Buddy, and their newest foster is a shy girl named Cinnamon who’s been rescued from a puppy mill.  Neglected and frightened, Cinnamon has a tough time settling into her new home at first but with help from Sashi and Buddy, Cinnamon realizes she doesn’t have to be afraid.  Now loved and cared for, Cinnamon learns to be happy and playful again and soon finds her forever home.  Based on the true story of Cinnamon, this tale addresses the reality of puppy mills while keeping the story light, warm, and accessible to young readers.”

 

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The above images are courtesy of Linda Greiner.

You can view a trailer of the book, Sahsi and the Puppy Mill Girl, here.