K is for Kind #AtoZChallenge

Our dog, Ari, was under a year old when she came to live with us and when she was three, our grandson CJ joined the family also at the age of three. We weren’t sure how Ari would be with kids or how CJ would be with a dog. It was love at first sight.

CJ has always felt a kinship toward Ari because they are close in age. We don’t have the heart to tell him that dogs age faster than children do! I have loved watching these two grow up together to the ripe old age of eight! And when little Beej was born, Ari became a “mom” and we’ve witnessed her growing into that self-proclaimed position.

Ari has taught her boys how to share and how to handle it when your playmate won’t give up a toy. She has shown them that beds, chairs and laps, no matter how small, are always big enough for one more. She instilled in them the importance of reading by being a great listener when they have shared books with her. And because of her attentiveness inside the house and in the outside world, that you always watch out for the people you love.

Most important of all, I think she taught them how important it is to be kind to others, just because it is the right thing to do. And I’m happy to report that this life lesson is coming along nicely!

“This is why every kid needs a dog and every dog needs a kid!” -Unknown

This post is doing double duty between Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Kind and the A to Z Challenge.

Happy Saturday (from the one still behind in this challenge)!

-Kat

 

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D is for Dog #AtoZChallenge

  • “Happiness is a warm puppy.” -Lucy VanPelt
  • “The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” – Andy Rooney
  • “The dog lives for the day, the hour, even the moment.” – Robert Falcon Scott
  • “The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too.” -Samuel Butler
  • “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” -James Herriot

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Happy

The Daily Post- WPC- Smile

Have a great day!

-Kat

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Pets

Our dog, Ari, is the star of Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Pets this week. Ari entered our lives when she was less than a year old and now she is a mature lady of 8! She is affectionate, impertinent, obnoxious, nurturing to her baby (Beej), loyal and determined. Her personality is so much larger than her 25 lb body and it’s hard to remember a time when she wasn’t with us. She makes us laugh. She has given us heart failure when she has gotten lost (2 times). For such a small pup, she takes up a huge place in our hearts.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” -Charles M. Schulz

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Have a great day!

-Kat

A Word from Ari

ari-and-vacuumAri here!

I have a bone to pick with you humans. Really….I do!

It has to do with your obsession with cleaning. Seriously. A little dust or fur never hurt anyone. It’s good enough for me to lay with, right? Besides, it’s incredibly rude to steal all the good little tidbits and smells I have been saving.

I spend hours carefully deconstructing my toys, piece by piece. Do you have any idea how hard it is to take apart a stuffed animal with your teeth while holding it between your paws (which do not have thumbs!!!)? I put a lot of time and effort into pulling out those beady little eyes and ripping out each ear, arm, leg and tail. Those parts are perfect little nuggets to suck on. And that fluff? There is no greater satisfaction than to nibble a hole into my victim toy to begin the de-fluffing process and look up minutes later to be surrounded by piles of glorious stuffing and a much deflated piece of animal pelt. (A dog can dream, can’t she?)

AriBut no. You cannot let the fluff and body parts lay there- signs of a productive afternoon. You rush around gathering it all up and tossing it into the trash. And I’m not sure what is worse- the insult of sitting there watching you do it in front of me or the injury felt when I come back in from an outside visit to…. you know… only to find that you threw my treasures away!?!?

And let’s not forget the various crumbs. Oh, those scrumptious morsels that drop unseen by you people! They are so very tasty and they leave a savory residue on the carpet that I could lick for days. Well, that is unless you vacuum them up!!!

Sometimes if I’m really lucky, a bug will find its way into the house. There is nothing more fun than trying to catch one of those little buggers!! The flying ones are the best because I love snapping in the air, trying to catch them in my mouth. Yet you create such drama every time you find one. It’s bad enough when you scoop it up on a piece of paper and toss it outside but when you roll up a newspaper and pulverize it? Sheesh! I could have done that myself. Why do you insist on spoiling my fun? Especially the tricky ones that have stingers. I still haven’t quite figured out how to conquer them but how will I if you keep interfering?

Is it really worth all that extra work? First, when you pull out the vacuum cleaner, it never fails that the last person to use it did not empty the canister. This requires you to take it outside and beat it against the trash can to loosen up all the dust and fur that is caught in the filter. The sound of you banging in the trash like that causes a major commotion as I have to warn the neighborhood that it’s okay and no one is being hurt- just you setting up to steal all my fun.

Then it never fails. You can’t figure out the right way to put the parts back together again so depending on the day, it takes you longer to reassemble the vacuum than it takes you to actually use it!

Finally, you never understand what my problem is. You think that maybe I don’t understand what that horrible machine is doing but I know exactly what it is doing. It’s clearing away my evidence of a job well done, or my stress reliever parts- especially the ears!!!, or my snacks and smells! I’m offended at both it and you and I’m determined that everyone know exactly how I feel.

Sooooo, the next time you open the closet door with the intention of cleaning- give yourself a break and me a treat and shut that door!

ari paw print

 

 

Saturday Morning Walk

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”  -Henry David Thoreau

It was the perfect Saturday morning. Not too hot. Not too cold. Sun shining. Clouds- but not too many. And two lovable companions.

Little Beej is a year and half old and loves to go for rides in his stroller. He is usually silent, just taking in the view like a sponge. He loves trees and leaves most of all.

Ari, on the other hand, keeps things lively. She pees her way up and down the block, stopping to let leave her mark long after she is dry. She warns every biker within view to BACK OFF, even if they are a block away and have no intention of crossing our path. She is selective in her interaction with other dogs. The feeling is mutual because the dogs always respond in kind.

Both Beej and Ari enjoyed watching the train pull into the station. Then we made it to the fountain and had the farmer’s market in our sights when Ari decided enough was enough. As self-appointed protector of all children, she severely reprimanded a father who swung his daughter up in his arms. She scolded the mother who took her child’s hand to lead him back in the opposite direction. Her enforcing tone is loud and piercing.

She was voted out of the town square unanimously. We left amidst her frenzied protests and annoyed people glaring our direction and everyone was relieved when we were back on our block, well away from any signs of activity.

And as we walked up to our house, Beej began his own protest when he realized that the walk was over.

Overall it wasn’t that bad of a start for a Saturday and I really couldn’t ask for a sweeter pair to keep me company.

Happy Saturday!

-Kat

This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Candid

I have always taken a lot of photos of my kids and now grandkids. A LOT. Because of this, their tolerance for getting their picture taken has decreased and I find myself asking them to say “cheese” only when I know the moment is right. The result is that I take more candid shots of them. Granted it isn’t easy because after a lifetime of me hovering in the vicinity with a camera, they are on their guard and at any given moment will whip their heads around to glare at me. Fun, right?

It was hard to limit myself and it was even harder to choose what to share for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Candid Photo. 

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Andrew leaving for school
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Beej trying to get Woody to stand up
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Ari hard at work with Beej getting into trouble in the background

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Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 15 – Under

Every week Hugh, from Hugh’s Views & News, challenges us to find a photograph fitting his prompt. Last week, much to my dismay I was unable to produce a single picture for his “wrong position” prompt! This week I find myself with the opposite dilemma. Apparently I just love taking pictures of things under things. It wasn’t easy but I finally chose 2 pictures of our dog, Ari. Oddly enough, she finds herself under things all the time and I have the photos to prove it. Poor pup! Details on how to participate in this challenge are included at the end of this post!

Undercover Pup
Ari is happiest when she’s covered with a blanket, often preferring to have it cover her completely with maybe the hint of a paw or nose showing. 
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Who can that be peeking out from under the bandana?

Want to join the fun? Here’s what you need to do.

1. Take or choose a photo that you’ve taken that shows an object, person or something that is under something else. 
2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 15 – “Under”
3. Add the photo(s) you have taken to Hugh’s post and tell us a little about what you are showing.
4. Create a pingback  or leave a link to your post in the comments section on Hugh’s post so that other participants can view your post.

Not sure how to create a pingback? Click here for a step by step guide on how to create one.

How I Met Kat

When I was just a puppy, I wound up in a shelter but I didn’t feel very sheltered. Mostly I was scared and I hid in the back of my crate, waiting for Kat to find me. Kat’s my mom. I don’t remember where I came from. All I know is that wherever it was, it caused me to be afraid of storms, wind, men in hats, and men holding things like hoses or guns.

I can still remember the first time I saw Kat. She was at the shelter by herself, and she bent down to look into my crate. It was hard to see me because there was another crate stacked on top of mine, and I was hiding in the back. She peered at me and said, “Well, hello there.” Then she read the card on the outside of my crate and looked at me for a few seconds in silence. As she walked away, my heart dropped. I thought that I had seen something in her eyes but I guessed that I was wrong.

Then a few hours later she was back with Grandma. (I LOVE Grandma! She always pets me, and scratches behind my ears and talks to me!) Kat was describing a cat that she wanted Grandma to see as they passed but she stopped and said, “And then there’s this one here.” She and Grandma crouched down and looked at me. “Hello again,” she said softly. And then they were gone.

But then there she was again, bent down looking at me. She stuck her finger through the bars and I inched closer to give it a tentative taste. I saw her eyes stray back to the card that held all of my information. Grandma asked, “What does it say?”

Kat read the card, “Female, 9 months.”

“What’s her name?”

” ‘No Name’ ”

I heard a strange sound in her voice that matched that look that I thought I had seen in her eye.

There was a brief conversation that I did not pay attention to because my hope was fading away. My head drooped and my heart dropped as they walked away. I hoped Kat would come back again. In my heart, I just knew she just had to come back for me! I had been waiting for her to come for such a long time—-all the way since they had brought me into the shelter the day before.

When a worker came to get me, I panicked. I didn’t have time for a potty break right now! What if Kat came back and I wasn’t there? There were so many other dogs here at the shelter and she might end up taking the wrong dog home!!!

Instead of outside, I was brought to a small room and much to my surprise, there were Kat and Grandma. Kat sat down on the floor and I immediately crawled into her lap, curled up into a ball and drifted off to sleep.

I WAS HOME!

ari paw print

 

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge: Day 1

3 months ago, (okay, three months is way too long,  I know!) my friend, Meredith – Meredith’s Musings- Joie de Vivre nominated me to take part in the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. I really dilly-dallied on this one because I had this idea that I would become super organized and plan out all 5 days in advance…… and because I just could not decide on any photos, time passed. Since no one was going to give me a much needed kick in the butt, I decided to shove myself right into it and just DO IT!

So, for Day 1 of Five Photos, Five Stories, I’m flashing back 5 years ago to June 2010.

ari june 2010

Let me introduce you to our dog, Ari. She came to us from a shelter in late May, 2010. She was only 9 months old at the time, a very slight 11 lbs. She was a bit of an impulse addition, if you ask my husband. I had known for awhile that I wanted to get a dog. Our middle child was just ending junior year of high school and I wanted K to have the opportunity to bond with our new addition before leaving for college the following fall. I remember mentioning to my husband that I thought it would be nice and that the timing was right but according to him I never mentioned another word until I sent him the picture of Ari, who I had already adopted. Oops.

Ari grew to 20 lbs and a personality that is much larger. She does not like storms, wind, fireworks, men with hats, men holding anything that might be construed as a weapon, people singing Happy Birthday or people clapping. She is very opinionated and can hold her own in a barking contest. She is very protective of us and especially “her” baby, Beej.

Having shown us how well she can care for a baby, she feels it is high time she is allowed a pet of her own. She understands that her first choice- a kitten- is not practical since I’m allergic to cats but she will settle for a puppy. She does not understand why we told her no.

She loves singing along when Kris plays his bass clarinet or Andrew plays his trombone. She can chew a bone like nobody’s business and loves a good game of tug of war. She is the best licker in town. And she is the biggest baby- always wanting to be curled up in someone’s lap- all 20 lbs of her!

It feels as if Ari has been with us much longer. The kids got sad during a recent conversation when someone referred to “the next person to die” and I told them that could very well be Ari…. She came home with me one day and it felt like she had always been there. Although the smallest, she is certainly the loudest member of our family. I can’t imagine life without her.

The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.

Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge.

Accepting the challenge is entirely optional. This challenge is all in fun. 

Today, I nominate Prajakta at The Armchair Perfectionist .

Who Let the Dogs Out?

For most of my childhood, we had a pet. First it was cats and then dogs. I always swore I would never get a dog when I had kids. The thought of another living being depending on me for it’s very life was more than I ever wanted to deal with….especially one that would never learn to speak and tell me what it wanted.Undercover Pup

And then came Ari. She’s been part of our family for nearly 5 years and we can’t remember a time she wasn’t here. She is a big personality packed into a somewhat small body. (Depending on which suits her needs, she alternates between thinking she’s a very big dog and a small lap dog.) She barks too much sometimes and leaves doggy droppings all over the yard but the good definitely outweighs those 2 things.

There are major benefits to having a dog in your family. A dog is a faithful companion who loves you unconditionally. She offers many health benefits, such as reducing or relieving stress, fighting depression, making you more physically active and she’s good for your heart! I highly recommend getting a dog! cj and ari

More information on the health benefits of owning a pet can be found in these articles-

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Animal Planet- Top 5 Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

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What in the world is a BeWoW Blogger?

BeWoW stands for Be Wonderful on Wednesday. But really you don’t have to wait for Wednesdays. The idea is to post something about Wonderful on Wednesdays, though. It could be a  wonderful experience you had last week, a wonderful memory that came to you, something inspirational or motivational, maybe something encouraging, or just something that brings a feeling of wonderful to you that you want to share.