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Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Sign

Most everyone in the blogosphere has heard the devastating news about the loss suffered by the Houston Pittie Pack. And how the bloggers have come together - not just to offer comfort and support, but through Pip's comment donations and the ChipIn for Sandra and her family, a bit of financial support to help get the family and the remaining pack members back on their feet. Coming at Christmas this seems like an even worse tragedy. But coming together to comfort, give, help...isn't that what the real spirit of Christmas is all about?

Today, as I drove through Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, I kept seeing Shelby's name on signs: Shelbyville, IN, Shelbyville, KY, Shelbyville, TN. Each time, I thought of those five lost furbabies. The last time, it seemed to me as if this had to be a sign - a sign that they are safe at the bridge, and a sign that they will not be forgotten.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Giving Comfort

I was going to post something holidayish before I head to Florida, but today I read Pip's blog about the fire in Houston that took 5 pitties from the Kissa-Bulls. I didn't know them, didn't follow their blog, though I think they may have commented on the Two Pitties in the City blog that I do follow. But the loss of such a big chunk of a family, especially at the holidays is something that is just breaking my heart. Yes, the family lost their material possessions, but the loss of five of their furbabies must be just devastating. If you have a chance, please go over to their blog ( and offer just a bit of support and comfort. Remember to hug those you love - furred and human - and hold them close.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Halloween Reminder

Once again I've received a picture of Rainy, dressed up by her mom, this time celebrating Halloween. Every time I think of her, I think I should have just kept her instead of giving her back. The only part that makes me feel so good is that she's happy in her home, with her two brothers. She was the right pug, it just wasn't the right time for me. Now it's the right to find the right pup again!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Lilac Festival in Heaven

Today is a sad day, yet a day to celebrate quite a life. Lilac over at Tales and Tails has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She was quite the lady who made demands, worried about Timmy falling into the well, and kept her family entertained in her own way. She was quite a lady! If you can, go over and give a little support to her family.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Livestrong Day 2011

Can you imagine a world without cancer? I think most everyone has in one way or another been affected by cancer - either first hand or through a close friend or family member. Great strides have been made. More can be done. For those of you who are dealing with this, Live Strong! The rest of us have got your back!

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Blog Lull

You'll notice a certain lull in my blog for the next few weeks. Once again, I'll be traveling, with spotty internet service and no real keyboard to post with (I'm just taking an ipod touch). But I can read and will try to keep up with everyone's blogs and respond when I can.

It seems as if I'm going to miss not only the start of the football season, but the start of autumn. Yes, I know that September 1st is the meteorological start of autumn, but it's been in the 90s since the month started! That is all supposed to change Sunday as the temperature will drop. I love the cool, crisp days of autumn, without the need for the AC or the heat just yet, with the leaves painted such pretty colors and with a pot of chili on the stove. I'm hoping when I come back there will still be that early fall feeling in the air. I will be home in time for the start of the hockey season!

One of the other things I'm going to miss is the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. It will be strange to be out of the country on this milestone anniversary. While the specials have already started, and people will remember that terrible day, and remember the victims and their families, and hold ceremonies at Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville, I will remember the tiny Canadian town of Gander where many planes coming into the US from overseas were forced to land once the airspace was closed. My September 11th will be different this year, remembering, but also going forward, continuing on, living brave, as the Ad Council commercial said.

Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone in the US, and Happy weekend to everyone else! Keep blogging, I'll be reading!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What I Did On My Summer Vacation, Pt. 2

The next stop on our family vacation was Colmar, France. The town is in the Alsace region of France and had gone back and forth between French and German control for many years. It is called "Little Venice" for an obvious reason. This charming little town is also the birthplace of Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty. A walk around town, a farmer's market, and some yummy French wine completed another grand family vacation day!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What I Did On My Summer Vacation, Pt. 1

Last month I took a family vacation for two weeks in Europe. The trip started in Basel, Switzerland with an afternoon checking out the town, including the town hall and our first church of the trip, the Cathedral of Basel. The next day we headed out on a ride through part of the Alps, including a cog wheel train to a restaurant surrounded by mountains. One town we stopped in had a sign that suspiciously looked like a pug! Arriving back after a full day of touring and eating, a St. Bernard mix was waiting to greet us! What a grand way to end the first full day of a trip than with a good meal, good times with family, and good wine! More to come!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nobody Gets Left Behind...or Forgotten

The blogger world is a little sadder today with the loss of Lilo. And what makes it even harder is it comes shortly after another grand lady, Molly O'Mally left us. I never had the honor of meeting either of these two fine ladies, but I do know that reading their blogs brought a smile to my face. I remember finding Lilo's blog - Tales of the Great Rock Eater. 'What the heck?' I asked myself. Then I read her story and yep, she ate a rock! On O'Mally's blog I mostly found Hank taking charge, but every so often, O'Mally would wiggle her sweet little face into a post. Now there will be a few less smiles, a few less sweet faces, an emptiness in the blog world. But as with the other losses this past year, these sweet girls will not be forgotten. As a different Lilo once said, Ohana means family; family means nobody gets left behind.....or forgotten. Lilo and O'Mally were part of the bloggy family, and will not be forgotten.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Pug Beach Day, Sorta

This morning looked foggy and dreary outside, but I knew it was going to be an exciting day. I was taking the train north about two miles to get to the Montrose Dog Beach to meet two puggies I hadn't met before. I arrived and spotted Michele and Gerry (Tiffy's mom and dad) and met Jami and Shaun (Apollo's mom and dad) and then I got to meet the puggies! Things were chilly and foggy at the dog beach, but the dogs didn't seem to mind. And after a few days of really hot temps, days that were definitely not pug-friendly, this cool day seemed perfect for running.

The pugs were going in every direction! Tiffy? Apollo? Where are you guys going? Tiffy loved running with the big dogs but would come running to daddy if they scared her a bit. Apollo stayed closer to the people, not running far from his parents.

Apollo finally sat down to rest for a minute, without other dogs running past and sniffing and barking.

Tiffy finally got to cuddle a little with her mom after running off on her own with the big dogs. Look at that cute little tongue!

After a while it was time to get out of the wind and the cold and the fog on the beach and get some food! While Apollo had some yummy oatmeal and fruit, Tiffy tried a few sweet potato fries and a piece of banana (though she may have helped Apollo clean his plate, too). What a great day for the puggies -- off leash running, people to meet and greet, and food! Thanks for letting me tag along and meet two wonderful puggies and their parents!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Of Weddings and Wizards and Waterfalls

At the end of the first week of May, I packed up the car and drove down to Florida for a family wedding. Well, it was actually two weddings -- once in the church, and once outside by the water at a lakeside Inn. The best part about the whole trip was getting together with family -- we all came in from several states and were able to spend some quality time just visiting in between the wedding festivities.

At the end of the Florida trip, the day before I drove back home, I went with my cousin Susan to Universal -- more specifically, to the Harry Potter Experience! We did the Castle ride three times, stopped for a break twice for butter beers, and had lunch at the Three Broomsticks. Of course we had to stay hydrated -- it was somewhere around 95 degrees!

After three days of being home from the Florida trip, I boarded a plane for Manchester, New Hampshire and went hiking in the White Mountains with a friend. We saw numerous waterfalls which were running quite nicely thanks to a wet winter and spring. From Ripley Falls to Arethusa Falls we climbed over roots and rocks, through brush and mud, but managed to see some great sights. Along the way we saw that elusive New Hampshire moose in the wild and a farm with alpaca. This spring has been quite busy so far! What have you been up to?

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Times They Are A-Changin' But Oh the Possibilities!

The other day I went to the bank to make a deposit, and couldn't help overhearing a conversation between an elderly woman and a bank employee. Apparently the bank has recently started charging for check images on monthly statements and the woman didn't understand how else she could get to see the checks that were paid. The bank employee, patiently trying to assist her, said her statement showed the check numbers that were paid; but I wouldn't see the front of the check, said the woman. You could always get a free picture of your paid checks through online banking; but I don't have a computer, said the woman. Change had come, and this woman wasn't able to handle the change.

Back when I was little, I remember adults talking about 'the good ol' days' and about how "things today just aren't the same." But things never can be the same. Change comes, life goes on; people adapt, even if they don't necessarily consider it progress. Maybe it's not quite as drastic as the Borg's message of Assimilate or Die, but change eventually has to be accepted, because change is coming whether you want it to or not, and if you don't accept it, it will roll right over you.

I was talking to a family member yesterday, and mentioned the last Harry Potter movie coming out in July. She said she was sad that the series was ending, that it wasn't going to be the same without a new movie/book. Wanting to hold on to something from the past isn't unusual, but before the Harry Potter series started, some other comfortable thing was coming to an end; some other comfortable thing made us sad that it was ending or going away or changing into something...else. And that opened up the way for Harry Potter.

Change comes. Sometimes we have a choice, sometimes not. What defines us, however, isn't the change itself, but how we respond, how we conduct ourselves, whether we allow change to bowl us over, or allow ourselves to roll along with the change.

I meant to post this the other day, the last day of April, since April is National Poetry Month. But, I guess I'm taking a different road, and saying that everything doesn't have to be done the way it's always been done. So, as a late acknowledgment, here's a poem about choices, and about not always doing what's always been done.

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day and Easter

It's spring, at least by the calendar, and by the amount of rain we've been having lately. It's all part of the cycle of our Mother Earth, isn't it? April showers bring May flowers they say. And this year a late Easter falls just after Earth Day, which is today. It's a time of renewal, Easter is. Of rebirth. And just like the renewal of life in spring, we can all renew our commitment to the planet. There are little things you can do, and big things you can do, but it's important to do something. Thanks to Angel Stubby we all became more aware of our impact on our world, and with the 'Green Stubby' report, Winston is carrying on that good work. I've become more aware of all the plastic we use in our everyday life. You know all that plastic is made from oil, and we all remember the devastating effect oil had just one year ago. So why are we using all that plastic? I already use reusable bags when I go to the store (you know the kind, just like Dutch wore on his nose in Puglet's green video last year!), but I've got plastic containers, and plastic wrap, and plastic CD holders, and so many other places where plastic is being used. My goal is to cut down on the plastic I use, and the plastic I buy (and that includes all that extra packaging that is in nearly everything in stores these days, including that hard plastic wraps to prevent theft that cut your hands when you try to open them), So, what are you doing? What changes are you making? Earth Day and Easter, a weekend combination of renewal, rebirth and recommitment. And a time to smile and remember, too, with a picture of Rainy (now Lola) I received yesterday from her mom. Happy Easter and Happy Earth Day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Birfdays and Hatch Days and New Pugs, Oh My!

Since I've been busy following the antics of Butler Blue II, there's been a lot going on in the bloggy world. Macaroni has joined the Smushie Ranch, little bitty Archie joined Melissa's family and is watched over by Angel Emmitt, Tiffy joined Michele's family and is being guided by Angel Stubby, today is Salinger's fourth Birfday (Dude!), and Gilbert's 10th Hatch Day. And just like spring brings in all that is new, the bloggy world is sprouting, and growing and flowering, bringing new life, new dreams, new hopes with every new day.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Keep It Going

I have some things I want to blog about, but for right now, I have to keep it going. What is "it"? Why it's Butler Basketball! And who's that cute pup? Why that's Blue II, the Butler mascot! Tomorrow night, for the second year in a row (!!) Butler is playing in the NCAA Finals. And for the second year in a row, there has been an exception made and Blue will be allowed courtside to support his team! Go Dawgs! And Go Blue II!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different!

It's been a rough start to 2011 so far. The bloggy world has lost two of its very special gentlepugs in Stubby and Emmitt, there's been tragedy in Japan that seems to be continuing, and crazy weather has been affecting so many parts of the country. So, I thought it was time for a different post, a more uplifting post, a positive post! Now how can anyone resist the face of Blue II (yep, that's the pup above). He's the mascot of the Butler Bulldogs, who won their first game vs. Old Dominion 60-58 in the NCAA Tournament. Blue is a fan who dreams big (look at the size of that bone he has!) though he's an underdog. He enjoys life, and yet knows the value of a well timed nap. Like Blue, we can all reach for the stars, dream as big as our imagination can take us, live life to the fullest and funnest!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Keeping Those in Japan in Our Thoughts

This morning I woke up to the news of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan. From the early news stories, it became evident that the damage and loss of life from the earthquake and the tsunami was going to be pretty bad. My first thoughts were of Hawaii, as I've got a friend who lives on Maui. Thankfully, Hawaii and the U.S. mainland suffered only minor damage. But in these next few days, maybe we can remember the people of Japan, who are going through so much, and have lost so much. And maybe we can also remember the words of President Obama: "Today’s events remind us of just how fragile life can be....I’m heartbroken by this tragedy. I think when you see what’s happening in Japan you are reminded that for all our differences in culture or language or religion, that ultimately humanity is one." And whether it is in Japan, Haiti, Christchurch, or tornado alley here in the U.S., we're reminded that tragedy can happen anywhere, to anyone. So maybe you can keep those suffering through this latest disaster in your thoughts just a little bit as you go through your regular weekend routine.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Remembering Emmitt

Another dear friend has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Emmitt was always such a happy pug and his mom, Melissa was just the same - always upbeat, always bringing a smile to everyone's face. For right now, the world is just a little bit lonelier than it was before now that Emmitt isn't here, but he'll always be in our hearts. And perhaps we can celebrate his life with some mini meatloafs, and for all you pups out there, maybe you can put on the sweater you may have that Emmitt's mom made, and remember a wonderful friend. Run free, Emmitt!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

It was a year ago today that I surrendered Rainy, and I still miss her very much. I know in my heart I did the right thing and I know she's very happy with her family -- yeah, including the 'brothers' she likes to chew on, just a little nibble, I'm sure! I know that it wasn't Rainy, that it was me, that I wasn't ready. But I've learned so much from that short time with her that I know I will have a pup, not just now, but soon. After the snowpocalypse, which is mostly gone thanks to a couple days of warmer weather, after a major project that I hope will be done by the end of the month, after two major family trips in July and September, I'm hoping to start looking once again for a forever pup for me. I think my life will have settled down somewhat at that point, and I know I'll take what I've learned from Rainy and what I read from all the other dog blogs and be able to make the commitment to be a good dog mom. So Valentine's Day brings back memories of a day that started with a walk around the block and ended with so many tears, but in this year I have made a new start. So Valentine's Day is like a new beginning, a time to prepare and begin anew, watch that 20+inches of snow melt into puddles, watch the sun staying up in the sky longer and smiling down on us just a little bit stronger. Happy Valentine's Day, my friends, enjoy the possibilities!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Heaven's Sweetest Angel

I knew Stubby before I met him, Through his blog I could read his soul and knew he was a sweetie and when I met him at the NIPRA Valenpug Party, he was easy to spot - of course he was wearing one of Melissa's trademark sweater vests! I had the opportunity to visit with him a few times after that initial meeting and to say he was a special pug would be an understatement. Stubby went to the Rainbow Bridge yesterday, but he will not be forgotten. His sweet soul has touched so many people that his memory will keep him alive in our hearts. He is running free and happy now, smiling as only Stubby can! Enjoy an unlimited supply of Popeye's my furiend!