Foto Friday: Splish Splash

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George in the water

Kalaloch Beach, 2013

Weekly Quotation: Dr. Seuss

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“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
– Dr. Seuss


Foto Friday: George the Gentle Giant

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This week is a special Foto Friday. My family’s dog, George, passed away this week. We called him ‘George the Gentle Giant’, since he was kind even though he was a large dog. He was a wonderful dog and will be missed. He’s now in a better place with no pain. I have many photos and great memories of our dog George.

Book Review: A Dog’s Journey

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A Dog’s Journey 

Written by W. Bruce Cameron
Published: May 8, 2012
Genre/Topics: Adult Fiction, Humorous, Animal Life
336 pages 

A Dog’s Journey is a direct sequel from A Dog’s Purpose that is written by the same author. You can read A Dog’s Journey first, but I suggest it adds more information and emotion if you read A Dog’s Purpose first. The book is entirely written from the dog’s viewpoint, so it’s often very humorous about why dogs behave a certain way. I won’t lie there are sad moments in the book that honestly made me cry, but there are many joyous moments as well. Here are some quotes from the dog that may make you wonder what exactly your dog is thinking, but it doesn’t wreck the story. ‘As far as I was concerned, having cookies so tantalizingly close to my nose without being given a treat of any kind was the big tragedy of the day’. ‘He would tell me to sit and then give me a wonderful treat, even though Sit was the easiest of tricks for a dog’. ‘It cannot be a dog’s purpose to understand what people want because it is impossible’. And I think this is the best quote: ‘I didn’t trust people who didn’t like dogs’. In this story, the dog protects a girl who often struggles in her life. The dog is always present and attempts to help whenever possible. Personally, I preferred A Dog’s Purpose but I enjoyed both. You’ll wonder what your dog is thinking and appreciate them even more.

A – Z Photo Challenge: X is for X-axis, XX Chromosomes, & Xmas

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I had a very difficult time finding things to fit the letter X. Finally, I looked into the dictionary and found just one page. So I needed to be creative.

X is for X-axis. This photo represents the horizontal lines of a basket.
X is for XX chromosomes, which is female. I took this photo of a woman at a park in China.
X is for Xmas, which means the Christmas holiday. This is a photo of my dog decorated in Xmas ribbons after we opened gifts. (Personally, I don’t use the Xmas expression.)


Click here for more X photos!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Two Subjects

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This week’s photo challenge is a little complex. (At least it seemed more complex to me.) The goal is to have two subjects in each photo. I went on a walk with my dog and took some photographs. I tried to keep an open mind for two subjects.

Here is a photo of a swing from a tree. You can't have one without the other.
Here is a photo of a flower-pot hanging from a lamppost. Unfortunately, the flowers died from last summer.
Here is a photo of a bench at a bus stop.
What dog can resist a fire hydrant?
Here's a little interaction with the fire hydrant.

Weekly Quote: Louise Rosenblatt

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Text is just ink on a page until a reader comes along and gives it life.

Louise Rosenblatt 

Book Review: Elephant & Dog Friendship

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Tara & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends

Written by Carol Buckley 
Photographs by Carol Buckley
Published: 2009 by Putnam Juvenile
All Ages, 32 pages
Topics: friendship, animals

If you haven’t already heard about this unlikely friendship then this will surely make you smile, even though there’s a sad mention in this post. Tarra performed in the circus as the only roller skating elephant. In 1995, Tarra came to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Unlike a zoo where animals remain in cages, the elephants in the wildlife sanctuary roam freely throughout 2,700 acres. All the elephants except for Tarra found an elephant companion. However, that changed when Tarra awoke to find a stray dog next to her. Soon Tarra and Bella went everywhere together. One day, a caregiver found Bella injured in the grass and was taken to the vet. It was unsure whether Bella would be able to walk again, since she had a spinal cord injury. Every day Tarra remained in the same spot waiting for her friend and finally searched to find Bella. Tarra waited outside for her friend while Bella rested. When Bella discovered that Tarra was outside, she attempted to run to the window. Finally, the caretakers realized that the two desperately wanted to see each other so they carried Bella to reunite with Tarra. Tarra welcomed Bella with gentle elephant trunk pets. Tara returned each day until Bella was well enough to roam. Sadly, Bella died in October 2011. The friendship between an elephant and dog prove that we can look beyond any differences and understand each other. The back of the book provides information about the Elephant Sanctuary.

The Elephant Sanctuary Information

Weekly Photo Challenge: Winter

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I haven’t posted a weekly photo challenge for a few weeks, since I’ve been busy with the holidays but I’ve found winter photos. I’ve already posted a few of these, but I still enjoy them. Bundle up and stay warm.

Here is frost on my car window on a cold winter morning.


Weekly Quote: Dr. Seuss’ Christmas Grinch

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What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

― Dr. Seuss (How the Grinch Stole Christmas!)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting

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This week’s photo challenge is waiting. The first thing I thought about was waiting in long lines whether at the store or DMV. (You’ll really be waiting there.) Instead, I decided to focus waiting upon Christmas.

This is an advent calendar that my mom made. There’s a small ornament in each pocket and a new one is hung every day.  It’s fun seeing the tree become decorated.

This is a photo of our advent wreath. The first week of course is waiting.

Here is an adorable Christmas dog waiting for a treat.


Thankful Thoughts: Sleep

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Today’s thankful thought is getting enough restful sleep. Today’s Black Friday and you won’t find me standing outside in the freezing temperatures at 4am to score a deal. Instead, you’ll find me sleeping in a warm bed. All the food yesterday made me extra drowsy. I’ve done the Black Friday crazy shopping day once and that was enough for me. So go ahead and ‘score’ your deal, I’ll see you when I awake.


Health Benefits of Sleep: 

– Improve Memory
– Avoid Accidents
– Improve Grades & Job Performance 
– Maintain Healthy Weight
– Sharpen Attention
– Lower Stress
– Decrease Anxiety & Depression 
– Positive Mood
– Spark Creativity 
– Keeps Your Heart Healthy
– Naps Freshen Your Day 
– Helps Your Body Make Repairs 
– May Prevent Cancer
– Hormone Production for Growth 
– Tissue Repair (Beauty Sleep) 
– Promotes Longevity 
Tips for Better Sleep: 
– Keep the bedroom quiet, cool, and dark. 
– Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol three to six hours of bedtime. 
– Avoid heavy meals three hours of bedtime. 
– Use bedroom only for sleep –  not for watching television, playing video games, office work, and other distractions. 
– Write a “worry list” or “to do” list before bed, so your mind is free to sleep. 
– Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, but no later than three hours before lights out.
– Put work aside two to three hours before sleeping.
– Nap no later than 8 hours before bed.
– Drink warm milk or decaf tea before bed.
– Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day…even on the weekend.
– If you fail to fall asleep within 25 minutes then get out of bed and read something. 
– Make the bedroom pleasing with comfortable pillows, lavender, and clean 
– Pamper yourself with massage, meditation, soothing music, yoga, positive imagery, or  a warm bath.
– Dim lights two to three hours before bedtime and get out in bright sunshine when you awake. 
– Get a doctor’s advice about taking sleep medicine. 
– Consult a sleep specialist if you have difficulty sleeping. 
I think the world may be a tad happier if we all had a nap during the day and received enough sleep.  

Thankful Thoughts: Furry Friend

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Yesterday’s thankful thought was the importance of loved ones, but today’s thankful thought highlights a loved one of a different sort. My dog George is always present with no judgements. He gives his full attention to what I say, especially with special rubs behind the ears or treats. He’s ready to pounce at the first chance for a walk. (Sometimes I wonder if he knows that I’m actually taking him for a walk.) He keeps me warm and protects me from any harms. Although, many times the ‘harms’ just make me laugh.

Read A Dog’s Purpose to wonder what your dog is thinking. I’ve already read the book twice!

Here’s a post about reading with your furry friend.

9/11 Book: Dog Heros of September 11th

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Dog Heroes of September 11th: A Tribute to America’s Search and Rescue Dogs

by Nona Kilgore Bauer, photographs  by Isabelle Francais

Nonfiction, 232 pages

Dog Heroes of September 11th isn’t a children’s book, but it’s a new perspective on the event. The book gives tribute to dogs and their handlers during moments after September 11, 2001. There are 78 dogs featured in the book with wonderful photographs and descriptions about their jobs. Being a search and rescue dog takes a lot of training and long hours yet these dogs love their work.  Many of these dogs received medals  for their service.  A search and rescue dog’s work is often indispensable during missions where people can’t fully complete the job. I think people will enjoy this book, because dogs relate to people at a personal level during difficult situations.