Life Surrounded by Hope

I’ve been having a rough time for the past several months, especially since my Callie became ill and then received her angel wings. This post from my “sister from a different mister”/very dear friend was exactly what I needed this morning.

Mystical Journey

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Long ago in the midst of a horrible separation I wrote my ex a letter in Spanglish expressing how I felt during the many years of our union.  In those days I took very little responsibility for what I brought into that relationship.  It was easier to blame him for most of it. It was comforting to tell the stories of victimization and believe I had no handle in things.  I am embarrassed to say that my ego was huge.  It was arrogance and an unwillingness to take participation in the choices I had made.  In this letter I expressed that Hope was a thing of the past.  I, in full blown sarcasm, told him that Esperanza (which is Hope in Spanish) was an old woman living in Peru on some mountain, and that she didn’t live in our relationship anymore.  Hope was not available. The blame from both of…

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A Tired Dog Is A Good Dog

First of all, today is Ducky’s 4th Birthday, so Happy Birthday to my sweet little demonbrat! 

Now, how often have we all heard and/or said “a tired dog is a good dog”? Dozens? Hundreds? I’ve lost count in my own case. 

I became spoiled with Callie and Shadow as they grew into mature adults. As puppies and younger adults they were pretty wild. Callie was the independent ring leader; and Shadow just went along for the ride. Anything Callie did Shadow had to at least try to keep up. And Callie always made sure her little sister was at her side. But as they got older they mellowed out.  

Then Ducky came along and turned everything upside-down and sideways.

What made Ducky tired yesterday was six hours straight of playing with her daycare friends at the Valentine’s Day party. 

Although Ducky’s boyfriend wasn’t at the party, they spent a full four hours playing together a few weeks ago. They wore each other out. Take a look at these pix that Casper’s mom took of the two of them.

   

  

  

  

  

  

Aren’t they cute together? 
 

Pet Blogger Bloopers Round-Up

 

Welcome to the Pet Blogger Bloopers Roundup for February, hosted by The Lazy Pit Bull.

This year we decided to get together with other pet bloggers and do something that’s different and promises to be a lot of fun. We get to share a photo that didn’t go as planned. And when you live with a dog like Ducky, that happens a lot! Now it will be worthwhile to hang onto some of those photos that probably should get deleted, and share one each month that made us laugh or shake our heads when it popped up on the computer, and hopefully will give our readers a laugh too.

I don’t remember exactly which post I was trying to put together when I took this photo (maybe it was “Play With Me”); but even though I decided not to use it, I loved it so much I couldn’t delete it.

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Play With Me!

  
Sometimes Ducky gets loud when she wants to play, but if not for DaddyDog I wouldn’t mind it that much. 

After some rough-housing with my slippered feet, she is konked-out and quiet on her little mat in front of the couch. (No doubt she’ll be back up and being our wild child again soon.)

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Thanks to our Black and White Sunday Blog Hop hosts, Dachsund Nola and Sugar the Golden Retriever! Happy Sunday Everyone!

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Smiles for Sugar

  

This is a blog hop for a sweet dog, Sugar the Golden Retriever. She’s having surgery this Friday to have a mass removed from her spleen. Oz the Terrier organized this blog hop to show support for Sugar and her mom and dad. The theme is “When I See Sugar Smile…” to tell her family how much Sugar’s smile means to each of us.

Sugar and her mom were among my first “blogging buddies” when I first transitioned my blog from personal thoughts to stories about my life with my own Golden Retriever dogs, Callie and Shadow. Sugar is a beautiful senior Golden Girl who always seems to have a sunny smile on her face and a sunny attitude toward life. She also has a human mom and dad who love her very much and do all they possibly can to keep her healthy and happy.

When I see Sugar’s smile on social media and her blog, I can’t help but smile myself.  As a mom to Goldens of my own, I can certainly relate to the anxiety and concern Sugar’s mom, Rosalyn, is experiencing right now. I want Rosalyn and her hubby to know that my heart, my thoughts, and my prayers will be with them – and with Sugar – tomorrow. And, to know that my sweet Callie will be watching over Sugar like a guardian angel for them.

Here are our smiles for Sugar…

  
  
 
  

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The 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge 

It has been a few years since I participated in the annual Pet Blogger Challenge; so I decided this would be a good year to re-join the fun. So, let’s get started.

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.

Since it has been a while, I’ll pretend it’s the first time. I’ve actually been blogging for about five years. I published my very first – and very short – post on December 6th, 2010. In the beginning I had no real direction in mind. I pretty much posted about whatever I felt I needed  to get off my chest. Eventually it morphed into a blog about my (then) two Golden Retrievers, Callie and Shadow. And then about Ducky – our shelter rescue demon dog – as well.

2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?

I have absolutely no idea. Truthfully, I didn’t accomplish much in 2015 either on the blog or because of it. Especially from August on, when my beloved Callie was diagnosed with lymphoma. I had a hard time focusing on anything the last four full months of the year.

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

I didn’t really have a favorite post during the year, but looking back I’d have to say my three favorites were the two about Callie’s early life and the one about Shadow’s early life. They were such cute little fluff balls!  Looking Back at Callie’s Early Life, Looking Back at Callie’s Early Life Part 2, and Shadow’s Early Life.

4. A common theme from last year’s challenge was that many of us wanted to increase the size of our audiences. Whether or not we intend to monetize our blogs, it seems we’d all like to reach more people. It feels good to know that we’re connecting with others, sharing a laugh or supporting a cause, and it’s motivating to see those numbers grow! What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?

Actually, I didn’t really try all that hard to reach more people. My hubby sometimes gets into these “moods” where any time that I spend on the computer – for any reason – is, according to him, because I’m addicted to it. (I could say the same about the time he spends watching television. Sometimes I have.) So, I tried – at times – to limit the amount of time I spent on the computer to early mornings before he got up and late nights after he went to sleep. And while Callie was sick, I tried to use only the phone to take whatever pictures I could of her and her sisters (especially Shadow).

5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)

According to the WordPress stat monkeys, my most popular post in 2015 was “My Heart Is Broken” which I wrote and published the day after we said goodbye to our precious Callie. I guess it was popular because I poured my heart and soul into it. 

6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)

One?? There are so many I can’t possibly pick just one. I will say though that every blog I do read faithfully appeals to me because of the humans’ love and devotion to their non-human family members, be they dog, cat, rabbit, bird, or some other animal.

7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?

Ha! Resources that improve my blog? That’s a good one! I take most of my photos with my iPhone 5s. For the others, I use either my little Canon point-n-shoot with bells and whistles I haven’t figured out yet. Or, I scan in pix from years ago. Personally I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook, usually ignore Google+, Instagram and Pinterest, and totally stay away from Twitter.  

8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?

Just be true to you. If you try to be like someone else it will come across as phony and you will lose credibility. None of us want that. I know it sounds like a cliché but it’s true.

9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?

I recently started a new blog dedicated to all my furry kids. My goal is to tweak it and make it as much mine as the current one is. I have not yet decided whether or not to transfer the content of “My Golden Life” to the new one. But I don’t have to make that decision any time soon. However, the new blog will eventually become my primary blog. Hopefully by mid 2016.

10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?

Not right now but I might come up with several things as I move forward with the new blog.

Well, that does it for me for this year’s challenge. Why not join the fun? It’s a great way to “meet” new pet bloggers and get some really great advice. Don’t forget to link up below. And be sure to visit the other bloggers who are participating this year. Many thanks to Amy at Go Pet Friendly for designing and hosting this fabulous blog hop!

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The New Blog

The new blog’s display name is In My Heart 4Ever, and you can check it out by following the hyperlink.

It’s far from completely set up, but I’ve got the About page, a page about Kissy (my first “fur-baby”), and a page about Callie (each with a picture). Plus a very short first post entitled “Welcome!”

I’m using the same WordPress theme for the new blog as I currently use for this one, but with a different color scheme. That may change at some point, but right now I like the clean look. I hope you’ll leave me a comment either over there or here and tell me what you think about it so far. One note about the picture of Kissy: it was taken 17 years ago, long before any decent photo editing programs were available at a price I could afford so it’s a little “fuzzy”.

See you soon with some more “news”.

I hope everyone had a safe and healthy and, of course, a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Sisters At Last?

I think – maybe – Ducky has finally accepted the fact that Shadow is her friend and older sister.  

I made a very short video out of eight photos I took with the phone on Sunday afternoon. (Thank you, Mr. Google.) I put two of these pix in my last post, but this goes so fast you might miss them if you blink.

Thank you to our hosts for the Barks and Bytes Blog Hop, Jodi of Heart Like A Dog and Linda of 2 Brown Dawgs. Follow the links below to check out some really fun blog posts. Please use the linky tools below to join the fun or link back to our hosts.

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Ooooooh Ducky!  

This crazy little dog of mine is going to be the death of me one of these days…

A few months ago – early in the summer – the little monster snuck past me downstairs at the back door and tried to nip the Terminix guy on the ankle. (Thankfully, I grabbed her before she could bite and he was really nice about it. But I was mortified and Ducky got quite a scolding, in front of him.) 

Then, last-week Monday when I went down to daycare to pick her up, I learned that she had gotten into quite a tussle with one of the other dogs over – are you ready for this? – one of the chairs!  The way I understand it, Ducky and this other dog arrived on this chair within a split second of each other and Ducky bit the other dog on the ear. She acted like a spoiled-rotten little brat over a chair. And she lost all chair privileges for the rest of the afternoon. The other dog did not retaliate. She just walked away and ignored Ducky.  When Maria  told me about Ducky’s shenanigans, I was upset. Not with Maria, but with Ducky. I asked Maria if the other dog was okay and she assured me she was. “It was just a small, pinprick size bite, and it will heal quickly. Dogs will be dogs…” But biting another dog, other animal, or a human, is unacceptable behavior in our home; and isn’t tolerated without some form of punishment. So I was glad that Maria and her employees did not let Ducky get away with her nonsense and meted out the punishment of lost privileges. I called Maria on Tuesday to check on the other dog, and she’s fine. The bite had already scabbed over and was healing. 

So, Ducky has been on probation yet again, all week. For the most part she has been a good girl. But last Wednesday, when I came home from a last-minute shopping trip to Target and PetSmart with a new (inexpensive) dog bed for the living room, the demonbrat side of her surfaced again. Ducky tried to claim the new bed for her own. As Shadow sniffed at it, the brat started growling at her. Hubby and I both scolded her as poor Shadow just walked away. We didn’t put the bed away; but Ducky knew why she was scolded…she didn’t make another sound the rest of the evening. A few times since then she has tried again to claim the bed, but she was scolded again each time.

And then yesterday afternoon she did this….  and this…

 
Now tell me: How can I stay upset with my little demonbrat when she acts so sweetly toward her big sister?!  I can’t. Plain and simple. And she has been good as gold today.

Hope everyone has a safe, healthy, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Happy Boxing Day!!!

My mind is all jumbled today with random thoughts and ideas, so forgive me if this post seems jumbled as well.

First of all, I hope everyone has been enjoying the 2015 Holiday Season so far, regardless of which holiday you celebrate at this time of year.

It took until Christmas Eve day for me to feel like truly celebrating. Up until then I was just muddling through each day, wishing Callie was still with us and missing her physical presence. I decided on the night before Christmas Eve day that I was not going to allow the four-month anniversary of Callie’s spiritual transition to dampen my Christmas Spirit. The rain was bad enough.

Then my good friend and fellow pet blogger, Susan Kottwitz of Talking-Dogs.com sent me a poem on Facebook titled “The Night Before Christmas At Rainbow Bridge.” Although it made me cry, it also made me smile. And it gave me great comfort as well. I was able to make it through the day without tearing up again over thoughts of my sweet Callie.

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On Christmas Eve day, I helped Santa finish our Christmas shopping. I went online and made a donation to the Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. It was one of Hubby’s and my Christmas gifts to each other, in memory of our slightly older Golden Girl.

Hubby and I had decided to keep Christmas “low key” this year, so the only gifts we actually wrapped were the toys we got for our grandsons, Will and Henry. On Christmas Day, I made the sizing adjustments to the new collars for Shadow and Ducky, attached their tags to the new tag holders they also got from Santa, and put their new collars around their necks.

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Aren’t the new collars cute? I just love them! I’m hoping the new tag holders stand up to Ducky’s rough-housing play with both her daycare buddies and her older sister!

Oh! I almost forgot to tell you! I’m still working on the new blog’s setup…I hope to have it ready to go live on New Year’s Day but don’t hold your breath. I still have a lot of end-of-the-year stuff to do for my non-blogging life first.  When it’s ready, I’ll let you know here on My Golden Life, complete with a link.

Well, that’s it for us today. 

Posted in: Christmas Spirit | Tagged: Christmas, Christmas spirit, Ducky, Hubby & Me, Shadow

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