Tag: adoptdontshop

Photography Challenge Day 11: Remembering Chewi

It’s slightly sad, but fitting that it has taken me two years to finish your collage.

Your passing was the one that came from left field–while we knew your time was coming, we weren’t expecting it so soon after losing Piranha.

It has been two years since I had to say goodbye to Chewi—her cancer had progressed to the point that it was far more humane to let her go to the rainbow bridge, than trying to keep her here with me.

We adopted Chewi in June of 2002—technically she was suppose to be my younger brother’s dog, but since he was recovering from hip surgery—I was the one that did the nightly dog training (she slept with me and I took her out at night as needed). Pretty soon it was apparent that I ‘stole’ her as she bonded with me a little more than with my younger brother (but he got a puppy the following year from friends up in Wisconsin).

Chewi turned out to be a golden retriever/chow mix—but she was the sweetest dog there was; she never met a stranger that she didn’t want to say hello to, and up until it was time to let her go, she acted far younger than her years.

Chewi investigating the snow in Boston

When we went for walks, she had one speed—warp. She wanted to explore everything and anything, and loved splashing in the water. Boomer Lake was a blast for her, as she could get a drink, get wet and make bubbles. When we took her up to Lake Vermilion—she enjoyed the water there as well. While she did find the yellowjack nest—she only showed minimum signs of pain from the numerous wasp stings she sustained on her nose.

Chewi enjoying a dip in Boomer Lake

She was a one of the kind dog—while I never got her DNA sequenced, we realized that she was unique when she continued to play as normal after getting spayed. We actually had to take her back into the vets to get her stitches repaired—it was then that we realized that her pain receptors must have been mutated as she never really showed any signs of pain.

She saw me through the final few years of undergrad, all of graduate school, and then

managed to see more the country than me when I decided to take a postdoc position in Boston. Since I have anxiety issues with driving, I hired pet movers to take her and Pancakes (my cat) out to Boston for me—they got to see the country, as they traveled both west and east on the move out there and then the move back home two years later.

Anyone in there??

I do regret that move—only because she became the only dog for two years and I didn’t have a roommate—so there was no other human around during the hours that I was at work and in hindsight that wasn’t totally fair to her (though she did have Pancakes for company).

During our time together, we walked around Boomer Lake countless times, explored various parts of the neighborhoods where we lived in Boston, enjoyed traveling (though she did insist on sitting on my lap in the car), and being outdoors.

I know that last year she and the others that have crossed over the rainbow bridge helped guide my hand in adopting Chaos right before Christmas (I mean his foster family had even named him Chewy). He seems to share numerous traits with those that have passed; that it feels like there is a small portion of them here with me now (though I know Chaos is a dog into his own right).

So, Chewi girl if you’re looking down from the bridge—remember I love you, I miss you, I haven’t replaced you, and I will see you someday at the bridge.

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Happy National Black Dog Day

So besides being the first day of October (that means there are only 92 days left in the year), a full moon, it is also National Black Dog Day.

Rolex and Chaos when they could share a chair

This is the day to try to encourage the adoption of a dog that has more dark colored fur. This is because there is still the stigma against dogs (and cats) that have dark fur—they’re less likely to be adopted, but also more likely to be abused or hurt due to the stupid old wives tales from centuries ago.

Rolex deciding she wanted to sit on the plant table

We have two puppies—one is mostly black with white splotches of fur (she is a boxer mix), and the other is brown/black but also has a good amount of white fur as well. Both of these puppies love to play, and lighten the days with their antics.

Chaos sleeping on the bed

If you are a animal lover, aren’t allergic to dogs (or cats), and are able to—brighten the day, both yours and the animal by adopting an dog (or cat) that has dark fur. They are no less deserving of a loving home than the others.

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2019: A Year in Review

So 2019 has come to a close, and now it’s time to reflect back on the year (with its ups and downs, hills and valleys).

This was the year that I decided that I needed to do some type of major shakeup career wise—this wasn’t to say that I was totally unhappy with my job—something needed to change though. I had decided that I would hopefully either transition into an industry position, or I would resign my position, take some time off to re-center myself and then refocus on my job search. I ended up going with option number two—my “reboot break” started shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday.

I’ve realized over the past few months that I’ve more or less been in a “coasting” mode for the past couple of years—never really thinking of where I want to be in five or ten years, just focusing on trying to get through the day and the week to the weekend. It’s hard to figure out the next direction to go in, when you’re stuck in the weeds with nothing but a slightly broken oar to propel yourself—you don’t get very far.

I’ve also realized that I’ve been trying to focus on too many different areas at once (health/fitness, finances, moving my career forward, and trying to find time to do crafts to balance things out), that I’m going to try to focus on just two to four areas (health/fitness and moving my career forward are tied for number one, and then it will probably be personal/professional development (tied for number two, and tied into both areas at number one), and then some time for crafts.

This was I can probably set up an monthly calendar easier with just those “three” areas instead of considering them four to five different areas. This should also mean that I have more ideas for blog topics throughout 2020 as well (which is one area that I felt that I didn’t push forward enough throughout the year).

In terms of health and fitness—I’m slowly making my way back to a routine that works for me. I will probably stick with the workouts provided by Beachbody, but figure out the best nutrition plan on my own. I know that I have a major sweet tooth, and instead of depriving myself (and ending up binge eating sweets), I allow myself some sweets and try to balance it out with more fruits and vegetables throughout the day. I’m pretty sure that there will be more posts on nutrition and fitness throughout 2020 as well, as I work to get into the best shape of my life (I’m thinking of some trip later in the year that would require me to be in better physical condition than I am currently).

We also adopted a puppy back in May shortly after mother’s day. My mom decided that it had been long enough since losing her dog, that she was willing to get a puppy. So we adopted a boxer mix, renamed her Rolex and it’s been a crazy ride ever since. Then basically a week before Christmas, I decided that I really wanted a puppy (I know that I will never be able to replace Chewi), so I went with my brother to the animal shelter and adopted a blue heeler/collie/shepherd mix. Now we have a period of adjustment—Rolex is a little jealous of the puppy (mainly the amount of attention that I’m giving him)—but I chose the right name for him—Chaos (since I was getting him right before the holidays—I knew that I was going to be bring chaos into the house). Now, as I start looking forward again on my job search—the position/location will also need to be puppy friendly (nearby parks and so forth).

In terms of personal development I managed to read nineteen different books (though several of them were challenge books—where you pick a topic and try to work on it for a month or so). Several of the books related to finances (mine are okay—which is why I’m able to do the reboot break right now), decluttering (something that I really need to do—both for myself and ease my parents into it as well), and then just some good old fashion self-care (reboot break, and being reminded that I shouldn’t be waiting for others to give me a ‘permission slip’ to live my life). I’m hoping that in 2020, I double the number of books that read in terms of both personal and professional development.

I had gotten back into doing oracle/tarot card readings for a good portion of the year (quit doing them the last few months), and realized yet again my pulling back was due in part to me trying to fit in to molds that I don’t belong (worry about what prospective employers might think if they come across my instagram account). But I was reminded with reading a couple of books last month that I shouldn’t be waiting on a ‘permission slip’ from others—it’s my life and I doubt that I would be wanting to work for any company that doesn’t value everyone’s spirituality.

I had wanted to travel a little during 2019, but those plans never came to fruition—either due to not having enough vacation time earned, the weather (one major “fear” earlier this year was being stranded somewhere due to the weather and losing money since I wouldn’t be working & would have used up all my vacation time), or just not being able to decide where I wanted to go.

Hopefully in 2020 there will be more travel—both for mental health (since I’ve realized it has been over a year since I’ve taken a vacation) and networking/job search/hopeful job interviews, or a combination of the two types.

So while there was some change in 2019—there wasn’t as much as I’d hoped for—but I did manage to plant the seeds for change (namely in quitting my job) to occur in 2020. As we head into a new year and decade I need to remember that for 2020 I’m going to focus on “grow (th)”, “change”, “achievement(s)”, and “success”.

And remember: Progress over perfection. I’m also going to remember to “evaluate the people in [my] life; then promote, demote, or terminate. [I’m] the CEO of my life”.

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Photography Challenge Day 173: International Cat Day (Short Post)

So since today is International Cat Day–it is only fitting that the winners of today’s photography challenge are the cats.

Pyewicket wasn’t too happy with the closeup……..

So we have three cats (all adopted from the local humane society). The eldest cat (by about a year and a half or so) is Pyewicket, our calico cat.

Then we have our “breakfast duo”: Waffles and Pancakes.

Pancakes, my black miniature panther.

We got Waffles and Pancakes within a few days of each other–Waffles was adopted first, and then I saw Pancakes picture on the site, and fell in love. It had been almost a decade since I had lost my first cat, Bigfoot (who was also a black cat–though he had more white on him than Panny does). Pancakes is my little cuddle bug at night, and in the morning. She loves to sit on my lap–and does a good job of reminding me when I spend to much time on the computer.

Waffles–sleeping on top of the cat condo

Not the best picture of Waffles, our Russian blue cat–but lately she has decided that the top of the cat condo is her spot to sleep (though that is where my cat usually likes to relax). This is our little troublemaker–she doesn’t like change (and lets you know), and isn’t above possibly starting things with the puppies.

I know find it funny that we’re in a “age reversal” with the animals–when we got the cats, we had several dogs, but they’re were all in their adult years. Now we got a puppy (and my brother got one last year), the cats are in their adult years and are acting like it. I swear if they could talk it would probably be nothing but “get off my lawn”, “turn the music down” and “in my day” from the cats to the pups.

I have realized that when I move–I will need to bring in a kitten (after a few months) so that Pancakes has company, and then after say another six months or so maybe get a puppy and hopefully that will all turn out nicely.

Happy International Cat Day!!! Do your cats and dogs get along all the time?

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National Mutt Day

Happy National Mutt Day!! This is one of the two days of the year that are dedicated to the mix breed dogs that usually wind up in animal shelters hoping to get adopted. Most of our dogs have been mix breeds, that we either adopted from shelters or from friends (though there was one that we did pay a little more on to buy). I know that there are people that have allergies so they need dogs with shorter fur or that shed less (so in those cases are willing to spend the money on a “pure bred” dog), but I think in truth if you aren’t going to be breeding dogs (for show, hunting, or sled racing) you should go to the pound and adopt. Some of our mutts have crossed over the rainbow bridge, and some are still with us, though two of them are getting up there in the years. I know that after Chewi passes, it will take me a while before I decide to get another dog, but I will and I know that I will go to the local animal shelter and adopt another lovable ball of fuzz that will hopefully be with me for another fifteen or sixteen years.


Remember: Adopt, don’t shop.

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Ending of National Pet Week (Short Post)

Well National Pet Week is winding down, and will hand over the “national” week tomorrow to wildflowers.


The final picture for national pet week went to Boozer today. She is the “baby” of the family–she was adopted back in December 2011, and is our second large breed dog–the first was the St. Bernard Speedbump. Boozer is a large breed “mutt”–she is half bearded collie and half great Pyrenees. Which makes her 200% stubborn, and 150% possessive of anything she thinks is hers (including any plastic flamingos that she has decided are chew toys).

She is a sweetheart of a dog (though she does have her issues and problems), and can a handful at times (especially with two elderly dogs in the house), but she has a personality.

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National Pet Week: Pancakes

Tonight’s photography subject: Pancakes.


Well I’ve been trying to get stuff done on the computer, though all I really managed to get completed was deleting a post in progress, because I didn’t like the way it was flowing. Luckily, Pancakes decided to come and demand her fair time on my lap, so I was able to start thinking of another post, and here we are.

National pet week is starting to wind down–tomorrow is the last day, though every day should be pet day. When you decide to get a dog or a cat, it is a life time commitment (at least 10 years [depending on whether it is a dog or a cat and then the breed of dog or cat]), and one that shouldn’t be made lightly. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve had dogs and cats my entire life (there have basically been nine of each throughout my life and three of each are still living [though two of the dogs are rather up there in the years]), and once I move it will be awhile before I get another cat and dog (as I will have Pancakes with me).

Pancakes is a very large short hair domestic cat (as I call her my mini panther), that has a very unique personality. We’ve only had one other cat that I can think of that also likes to play with crinkled plastic (and I’m not talking about the little crinkle balls). If the plastic is long enough, she will carry it around in her mouth like a snake. She also loves hair ties (which is why, even when I get a hair cut I make sure that I have plenty of hair ties on hand for her).

She also demands that the water level in the water dish be at a certain height (that way she can still see if any other animal is coming near her, plus it cuts down on the whisker fatigue). She also at times has this habit of spitting out particular pieces of dry cat food if she doesn’t like the texture (sometimes its the orange ones and sometimes its the pinkish ones).

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National Pet Week: Waffles

So today’s installment for national pet day is Waffles.

Where is that crinkly ball??

Waffles was wanting to know where the little crinkly ball had been batted to. I think all three of them were treating it like a soccer ball, but none were really wanting to share it–if someone didn’t go after it quickly enough, one of the others jumped in and took over playing with it. I think she’d been woken up by someone either racing past her, or they bounced the ball off of her as she was curled up on the floor.

I enjoy watching the cats play with their toys in the morning (Pancake particularly likes her crinkly plastic; and both her and Pye like playing with hair ties). Waffles will join in every so often, but enjoys going after bugs more than anything. It will be interesting to see what type of bugs she brings in from the garage this summer–I’m just hoping that junebugs are more or less dead when she brings them in.

Do any of your cats bring you insects as gifts–or do they bring you dead mice??

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Start of National Pet Week

The first full week of May was designated back in 1981 as National Pet Week by the American Veterinary Medical Association, to celebrate America’s more than 200 million pets, and to encourage responsible pet care every day of the year (petweek.org/about-npw.html).

So I thought that I’d share a picture of different pets over the week, and some background on all the pets that I’ve had over the years–plus a reminder to adopt, don’t shop for your next pet.

Chewi watching for food to drop

So I’ve always had pets my entire life–cats, dogs, fish, parakeet, and a rabbit. When we moved to OK, we left the rabbit with friends (it was difficult enough to move cross country with two kids, a dog, and three cats). The rabbit was cool, but it did chew through basically all the cords in the house (it was a “free range rabbit), so Stripe had to be rehoused. The parakeet, unfortunately didn’t last that long–Bigfoot, my cat managed to figure out how to open the cage (even after putting twisty ties on the cage door). The fish have always come and gone (certain species don’t live that long, and my one trial with an salt water tank was almost disastrous).

With the cats, we’ve had nine through my life: Ritalin, Bigfoot, Cyprus, Slash, Cesar, Gandalf, Pyewicket, Waffles, and Pancakes. The first six have passed over the rainbow bridge over the years–the last three are still with (the breakfast duo and Pyewicket).  With the cats, unless they managed to get out of the house and get lost (Cyrpus) or get sick (Cesar & Gandalf)–the other three: Ritalin, Bigfoot, & Slash all lived to be between eighteen and twenty years of age. Our cats have always had long lives due in part to the fact that we don’t let them out of the house (indoor animals always have a longer life span than outdoor pets or feral cats do).

Also with the dogs, we’ve had nine through my life: Ferret, Frodo, Shadow, Okie Thunderstorm (Storm for short), Chewi, Speedbump, Piranha, Spelunkers, and Boozer.  Again, six have passed over the rainbow bridge over the years (age or health related issues), and currently we have two (Chewi and Piranha) who are going to be both sixteen (Chewi) and fifteen (Piranha) this year. Both are starting to show signs of old age (loss of sight, hearing), and Chewi has other issues as well (cancer) that are starting to slow her down.

Choosing the correct pet is always important–are you in a house, an apartment, living alone, with others? What is your day like, how active? There are some people who are strict dog or cat people–I’m a both person–I’ve always had cats and dogs, and I will probably always have at least one or the other. Once I move again–I’ll be taking Pancakes with me (I’m not going to stress out my dog by putting her through another move, so she will be allowed to live out her life in comfort at home), but within six to nine months of being where ever, I’ll probably get a kitten so that Pancakes has a new playmate and someone else around during the day while I’m at work.

I know that there are people who also only want purebred dogs or cats (and we’ve had several over the years), but I would advocate going to the pound or animal shelter and find your next family member there. The number of animals that are abandoned, lost, found, and end up at an animal shelter are staggering–they also need a home, and while they may be a little more skittish than others, they love just as well as those that are sold by different breeders.

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Photo of the Day: Pancakes taking her daily nap

Well it was obviously the correct temperature in the house earlier today, as Pancakes decided that she was just going to nap on the recliner for awhile, before going under cover on the bed. I’ve noticed that if it isn’t too cold in the house on the weekends (or during the week if I’m working from home), she will spend part of one day in my room curled up on the bed near where I’m working. The other day (or later in the day), she will reclaim her space in the other bedroom.

Pancakes taking her daily nap

She enjoys laying in rocking chairs or on your lap, especially if she can have the full lap (and push anything out the way that she doesn’t like–like a laptop computer). I’ve realized that I spoiled her out in Boston, to where I’d let her on my lap in the mornings when I was eating my bowl of oatmeal (since I didn’t have a dining room table, I ate all my meals on the couch), and I could hold the bowl above her, so she couldn’t try to help herself to the oatmeal. Needless to say she shocked my father the other night when he was eating in the other room, she just merrily jumped up on his lap and expected him to hold his food above her so she could lay on his lap.

Needless to say, we have spoiled animals in our house–they’re all treated like they’re our children. Needless to say–they still haven’t learned how to close the door behind themselves when they let themselves in, but that is something to work on.

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