Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 5 Reasons Why I Love Writing a 'Mostly' Dog Blog


A lot can happen in a blog year. 280 posts worth of stuff, to be exact. 280 days of sharing thoughts and images on a virtual page. 280 chances to make an impression - share something helpful - hone writing skills - spread joy. In a nutshell, regardless of who or what I choose to write about, those are the most important reasons why I have a blog at all.

But for today, with this final, 279th post of the calendar year, I'd like to share the top 5 reasons why I specifically love writing a mostly dog blog (beginning with the most important). 

#1 - The community! Dog people (including people who don't have a dog, but enjoy reading about them) are some of the kindest, warmest, most supportive, talented and compassionate people I know. In other words, YOU are the reason I enjoy this blog so much. (Note: Please remember this when you get to #2.)

#3* - I love dogs and I've lived with them much of my life. I'm most comfortable writing about familiar things - and I am passionate about their (and cats', too) causes.

#4 - Jon Farleigh and Dewi were born to be written about and in pictures. They are hilarious. They provide endless fodder.

#5 - Dogs can't read and don't care whether they took a bad picture. 

#2**  - I GET TO TALK ABOUT POOP!

Yes, it's the truth. Best of all, though, YOU LIKE IT (when I talk about it - not the actual poop)!

Starting with the time I wrote about Jon Farleigh NOT pooping in the rain (at MyCorgi.com), you shared how my (and JF's) unfortunate predicament made you crack many horizontal smiles. (You had not yet, as you barely knew me, shared about cracking vertical smiles.) And that made me happy!

Not pooping in the rain. Not no way. Not no how.

Then there was the time that Jon Farleigh ate some hair and used the carpet to dislodge a dingleberry. Who knew such a sorry story would attract so much attention?!

Please look away from me and my humiliation.

[Don't stop me now, I'm on a roll of toilet paper...]

And then there was that one time when Dewi ate something disagreeable, and I wanted to tout the digestive health benefits of feeding mashed pumpkin to dogs. Except because of the serious nature of the subject, I decided to use the code brown word "Hershey" for each instance of the word "poop." Remember that one?

Eat some canned pumpkin and have a nice Hershey!

And other than some of you developing a sudden aversion to chocolate syrup, I think this article was one of my most helpful. Pumpkin really is one of those miracle foods - whether the Hershey is flowing or hung up in the chute. :)

~~~~~

Well, I don't know about you, but I feel a whole lot better now that I've gotten that out of  my system!

THANK YOU for the best first blog year I could have ever imagined!

And with that, since I've got the weekend off...

May 2011 go out with a boom-boom BANG!

and

May you have a swimming (like jolly kids who've just been dropped off at the pool) New Year!


(More regular blog programming will return on Monday.)

P.S. Anyone else think it's about time that the Browns get to the Super Bowl? Maybe they should play on real grass more often.


*#3 is out of order, so...
**#2 got stuck on the bottom.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Doggie Holiday Card Outtake and Confessions

A few things:
  • Both the dogs' holiday card headbands came from the Dollar Spot at Target. They were marketed for children. I get ALL the dogs' headbands/holiday accessories at Target. 
  • During the dogs' card shoots, they were confined in our spare bedroom with me and all three children. If it had just been me and the dogs, they'd have been placed on a tall table
  • Peanut butter treats (received from Cardi Claus) flew through the room (literally, through the air) freely and often.
  • For Jon Farleigh's kissing card, I bribed Eldest Child with $5 to hold a peanut butter dog treat between her lips. (That's not bad, is it?)
  • She took the bribe, but interestingly, I didn't use any of those photos. Oops.
  • In the photo I did use, Jon Farleigh planted the sloppy kiss with no treat coaxing whatsoever. 
  • This is how they looked after that un-coaxed sloppy kiss.
I'z THE MAN!

It's possible that at least one of us needs counseling. :)

 ~~~~~ 

Okay, so you may or may not know that tomorrow is December 29, and that tomorrow will mark the one-year anniversary of this blog. 

I can't even put into words how blown away I am that I've made it this long. 

 So instead of fretting about it, I've decided to take tomorrow off.

Okay, that's not entirely true. I do have a thing or two (divided into more than one post) to say to commemorate The Chronicles of Cardigan's first anniversary, but I can't tomorrow, because the Christmas cash in Middle Child's pocket is in flames and I have to take her to the mall to extinguish it.

I'll be back Friday. See you then!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Doggie Holiday Card - Gone with the Wind Edition

As originally spoken by Rhett Butler to Scarlett O'Hara in the 1939 film, Gone with the Wind...




~~~~~

And on that high note, 

Merry Christmas!

and

Happy Winter Holidays!

Stay warm, be safe, find comfort and joy, and please, watch out for dogs wearing mistletoe!

See you back here on Wednesday, December 28.

P.S. In case you haven't seen it, Jon Farleigh, Dewi and I are featured at the literate blog Coffee with a Canine today. All new photos! All new info (well maybe not all new). Go see! :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Doggie Holiday Card - Ironic Last Words in Children's Literature Edition

Adapted from The Gingerbread Man


...Only in the real story, 'twas the fox who had the last laugh. 


Coming tomorrow: Jon Farleigh's card!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Of Buckwheat Pancakes, Ham Skillets, Sugar Plums and Rudolph

At my house we have a tradition on Christmas morning of eating pancakes with some sort of terribly bad for you salty pork product - usually bacon - as long as I'm not the one doing the cooking. You might also be interested to know that although it's evidently more nutritious than the Hungry Jack(TM) buttermilk pancake mix that I usually buy, I've never been adventurous enough to pick up a buckwheat variety. I'm terribly wimpy when it comes to trying new foods.

There is a first time for everything though, right?
Anyone out there like buckwheat pancakes? Bacon? Ham?

So who else (other than me - thanks to me) has warm fluffy stacks of sweet and savory comfort on the brain?

Yes? Oh good! Now feast your eyes on these warm fluffy stacks of comfort!

First up: Buckwheat!

Oh, yeah, I'm good for you, alright. Move over Hungry Jack!

Buckwheat (and all the other warm stacks of comfort I'm about to show you) is available for immediate adoption through Richmond Animal Care and Control in Richmond, VA. He is a lab-blend baby just dying to "fill you up" over the upcoming holidays.


And what pancake breakfast would be complete without the savory goodness of a...

Ham Skillet?!
(yes, people, that's his name, and I think it's brilliant)

How can you possibly resist me and a side of biscuits?
Could you not just eat up this little hound-blend baby?

So, are you dreaming of food yet?  Maybe visions of...


Take me home and I'll not only dance on your head,
but I'll dance right into your heart!

Sugar Plum is a light orange tabby, twinkle-toed baby girl, who'd love to make your dreams come true!

Alright, let's see...I mentioned Rudolph in the title of this post, so I have to ask:
What human being doesn't like some of that "misfit" reindeer's story at this time of year?

Remember the classic stop-motion animated TV special? Got a favorite character? Can you relate to anyone in particular?

How about Hermie the Dentist?

Come get me off this island and I'll be your forever bestie!

This ambitious young lab-man might not be able to fill your teeth (thank goodness), but he sure will fill your home and heart with his beautiful smiles!

Okay, so if you know the Rudolph TV special, you know that during that particular year, due to a pesky abominable snowman (and some heavy snow), it was nearly the year without a Santa Claus. [shudder]

And of course circumstances like those called for heroic actions. Yes, friends, the one man in all the North Pole who could (and did) wrangle a Bumble:

Yukon Cornelius!

Bumbles bounce and so might I. But I want nothing more than to be your hero.
Will you let me?

Yukon is a brave young pit bull with a soft coat and a soft heart (behind that tough exterior). He sure could use a warm home and bed lap to take a load off upon. ;)

~~~~~

So I know it's nearly Christmas already, and we're all busy, and that to these furry babies, our human holiday is really and truly just another Sunday in the shelter. And although it would be wonderful if somebody somewhere sees this post and is moved to go spring one (or all) of these furry guys out of their temporary lodging before December 25, I'm not counting on it. And that's okay. I know they are all going to find their true forever homes soon (hellooooo?? have you seen them?? and did you see those names???).

I really just wanted to give you and your friends and family the gift of having the opportunity. I'm thoughtful like that. :)

P.S. I like my pancakes with mounds of butter and (light) maple syrup.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Now why hasn't someone thought of that? Dog Inventions

Instead of bitter apple spray, someone should have invented temporary jaw paralysis spray. 




Note: Jon Farleigh did chew the furniture pictured...when he was a puppy. This photo was actually taken yesterday, and while he had been chewing on the plastic bottle, he did NOT eat some experimental canine lockjaw spray. In other words, I made the story up trying to be funny. Doesn't JF look funny? I just made that same face and cracked myself up. You should try it. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Which came first, the crazy blog or the crazy blogger? aka My 2010 Doggie Holiday Card

The official start date of this blog is December 29, 2010. Here is that first post, from the archives.

~~~~~


My daughter and I had fun making the card. :)  It really was sweltering the morning that I took the picture, but I just had to get the fire in the shot.

Here's my original post on MyCorgi.

2011 Editor's note: We had fun MAKING the card (at fotoflexer.com). But because this was my first blog post and I was too timid, I was ashamed to come right out and say that I'd rather take a sharp stick to my eye than repeat that miserable photo shoot

I'm so glad I no longer have to pretend that I have a corn cob lodged, well, you know where!!!
(What a difference a year makes.)

~~~~~

So there you have it, folks. The finished product of the nightmarish photo shoot. I guess it was worth it.

Would you like to see a couple other uncut photos from that day? Yes? Okay, here you go.

Do you smell burning hair?

We're sorry, you must have us confused with dogs who would
do anything for their unbalanced person. 

:)

It's a crazy time of year. Try not to go crazy this weekend!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

I called this one: 'The Nightmarish Doggie Photo Shoot Before Christmas'

Okay, so as if the family photo shoot wasn't hard enough, I decided last year to do a second, dog-only holiday card. And let me just say that it was exponentially harder. So hard that for every posed holiday photo I've taken of them since, Jon Farleigh and Dewi have either been placed on a concrete wall outside or on a tall table (you might have noticed). Corgis sit still when they have no where to safely go. :)

Anyway, I published a little blurb about the nightmarish photo shoot from 2010 on mycorgi.com last December, and here it is, from the archives.

~~~~~

December 11, 2010

Spent a good two hours this morning trying to get a nice, respectable holiday photo of Jon Farleigh and Dewi in front of the fireplace. [silence] With my point and shoot camera. [silence] Took about 70 photos. Not one decent photo in the bunch. Nope. In fact, it was like a two-hour obedience lesson gone horribly awry. (sit, stay, down, stay, sit, down, STAY!) I quit after this picture.

Me want cookieeeee!


(Oh, in case you're wondering, Jon Farleigh and Lulabelle the cat were running laps around the couch.)

~~~~~

Come back tomorrow to see the "finished" product!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sloppy Kisses, Anyone?

The second of my 2010 Christmas card outtakes:

(Click to enlarge.)
Hold on, let me get that bit of icing off your chin.

Now that I look back at these, the bloopers are so much cuter than the "perfect" one I sent out. This year, I will know better.
Now, watch them do exactly what I ask the first time. (The dogs, not the kids.)

More to come!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Importance of Enunciation When Including a Dog in Your Holiday Card Photo Shoot

When the photographer I said, "Say Cheese!" Jon Farleigh and Dewi heard "Okay sneeze!"

(Click photo to enlarge.)
At least they were obedient, right? ;-)

This is an (obviously cropped and blurred to protect the immature) outtake from last year's Christmas card photo shoot. I haven't attempted this year's photo shoot yet. I still have no idea what I want it to look like. Of course, what I want and what I get are rarely ever the same. :)

So let's see... while I'm on the subject of holiday preparations and festive pet photo shoots, I've got a few other humdingers from last year that I'd love to show you. (Being that my blog didn't exist at this time in 2010.) 

And because over the next several days I'll be running around like a chicken with her head cut off, trying to remember not to forget to buy someone a gift or a platter of cookies for a class party, you might get to see all of them (and nothing else...ahem) this week.
(Hint: It's easy.)
Just sayin'.

Lastly, please know that I have not decided to stop replying to your generous comments, nor have I elected to stop commenting on your wonderful blogs. (See above paragraph for my excuse.)

Just remember: Patience is a virtue.
Thank you.

Now, go have yourself a good night (or morning)!

Monday, December 12, 2011

You better watch out...

...Cause if you do this again, Santa is going to cry.

Dewi casing the room from on top of the coffee table.

Oh hai. I was just imagining what the world would look
like if I was a German Shepherd.


Note: This is today's Rumpus Report. I couldn't fit it on Twitter (and didn't want to fit it on Facebook).

Don't know what got into the boys today. It started out like any other Monday. Except that I picked up after the kids last night. Well, that and there's a fresh Frasier Fir (aka Christmas tree) standing in the corner of my family room. It smells heavenly. 

Jon Farleigh and Dewi have not been heavenly.

So let's see...despite my picking up after the kids (to, hopefully, avert the daily rumpus), this happened:
  • Dewi dug one of Oldest Child's cherished sock monkey slippers out from under two feet of folded laundry. (Confiscated with only slobber damage.)
  • Dewi found a ball-point pen and chewed off the bottom.
  • Dewi found a pencil and chewed it beyond recognition.
    Note to self: When picking up after children, check between couch cushions.
  • Jon Farleigh, Dewi and Lulabelle (cat) explored underneath and around the Christmas tree, knocking needles and bark all over the floor (the tree skirt, unfortunately, didn't catch it, as it was wadded in a ball in practically another room).
  • Dewi jumped up on every piece of furniture in my family room and office - just for fun. I know this because I got up to go check on him 149 times, just to find him perched atop a chair/couch/table, casually smiling back at me.
  • Jon Farleigh and Dewi barked wildly at the road repair crew that pulled up in front of the house. (I didn't know the road was broken!)
  • Jon Farleigh and Dewi took turns trying to get high enough (jump) over the windowsills to actually see the road repair crew. 
  • Jon Farleigh barked while I was trying to speak into a computerized voice-response service line, and I couldn't get through. (Apparently, those lines don't speak BARK.)
  • Jon Farleigh and Dewi followed me into a quiet room without windows (so I could hear the live tech on the phone who was helping me troubleshoot a laptop issue).
  • Jon Farleigh and Dewi started barking in the formerly quiet room because now the road crew was "trying to kill us all" with a jack-hammer. 
  • Jon Farleigh and Dewi followed me into yet another "quiet" place and (possibly due to raging testosterone levels) simultaneously humped Lulabelle the cat, who rightly screamed, but further agitated them, forcing me (while still on the phone with the tech - who probably thinks I live in a kennel) to use my chin and shoulder to hold the phone, body block the dogs and fling the cat to safety.

The good news is, I have three days left on my laptop warranty so they're fixing it for free (needs a new monitor). (The company probably decided it would be cheaper than paying the tech's wages for a marathon phone call with a deranged kennel dweller.)

Hope your Monday has been peaceful...and that your pets haven't made Santa cry. :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dewi and Tiffany Go Together Like Hooterville and Manhattan

But make no mistake - they DO go together!

Anyone remember the old TV comedy Green Acres?
(It's from the mid-60s, but still popular in reruns.)

Click arrow for 16 seconds of theme song.

Well, it was the first thing I thought of when I envisioned Dewi's debut at Tiffany & Co. (In case you're new to this blog, I took Jon Farleigh into the Tiffany at our local dog-friendly mall and promised that on my return trip to pick up some cleaned jewelry, I'd take Dewi along.) Naturally, as I cast the characters of the future blog post in my head, Dewi (my goofy, herding inferno) had to be Eddie Albert's character, Oliver (who longed for the land and fresh air of Hooterville), and Tiffany was going to be his high-maintenance, Manhattan shop-a-holic wife, Lisa, played by Eva Gabor.

It was going to be the perfect post! Dewi and Tiffany going at it to the lyrics from the Green Acres song. Move over "Biscuits at Tiffany's"!

But then, last Sunday afternoon, I took Dewi to Tiffany. And just as I was certain he'd plow through the counters (and human legs) like a bull in a china shop, the unimaginable happened.

Oooh, shiny things.

Look, mama! Pretty shiny things!

And, before I could say "in your dreams," Dewi had an entourage of adoring sales associates bearing biscuits. He was in doggie heaven, complete with a Tiffany-blue box and red satin ribbon.

I was too stunned to take a picture, but the whole scene went down just off camera, here.

Then, still on his cookie high, Dewi imagined himself in a diamond-studded leather collar...

Diamonds are a dog's best friend???
(Okay, so I made that last line up, but he WAS checking himself out in the mirror!)

Poor Jon Farleigh had to wait outside.

What am I, chopped liver?

Until he got to go in...

Who's chopped  liver now?

Good thing I can't afford to go back in; I think the free biscuits and lavished attention are going to their Corgi heads. So much for Green Acres. :)

*****

Here are a few more photos of the mall - just for fun!


Checking out the HUGE tree

I told you it was huge.

Dewi would rather drink straight from the spigot.

This little guy's doting person told us he's a Corgi x Pit Bull mix. Such a cutie!

I just noticed that dog in the background. Looks like he'd spotted us. ;)

And as we were leaving, we observed this meeting...

Pit Bull meets baby yellow Lab

Couldn't you just die?! :)
*****

Have gobs of fun this weekend!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The 3-Step Pathetic Chap's Guide to Preventing Dogs from Begging at the Table

Warnings: Not for the squeamish or faint of heart. Bloodshed is highly likely, therefore, DO NOT try this at home, unless you are a pathetic chap. On second thought, don't EVER try this at home. Results are NOT typical and are NOT guaranteed. Please respect animals and eat responsibly. 

So, we can't eat orange citrus fruit in the house without being harassed. I say that's a small price to pay, considering Jon Farleigh and Dewi have never begged for food at the table. And, no, we are not a vegan family.

We are, however, pathetic chaps (is there a feminine form of chap?). And this is how pathetic chaps do it:

  1. BEFORE YOUR DOG COMES HOME: Adopt a beautiful, yet exceptionally cantankerous and strong-willed cat. (Don't worry! The cat WILL mellow with patience and time, and before you know it, you'll be wrapped around its claws paws.)

    Example:

    Fine print: Cat must NOT be finicky and MUST have uncanny ability to sense when
    humans are getting ready to sit down at the table for a meal.  
  2. Allow cat to beg at the table. 
    (Note: By "allow" we mean that given the choice between getting a swift claw to the butt and dropping a shred of meat, egg or cheese on the floor, wisely choose the latter.)

    Observe how it's done:


    Caution!: Whatever you do, do NOT encourage your cat to sit AT the table, like this:



    Because you will inevitably be left with this: 

    We suggest wearing long leather gloves and protective eye wear when removing cat.

  3. AFTER YOUR DOG IS HOME: Slowly introduce dog(s) to hungry dangerous fluffy kitty. 
    (Note: Do not be alarmed by ear-splitting crying and wailing. This is normal and helps instill inter-species respectfulness. In other words, your cat has just scared the crap out of your dog(s).)

So as long as your cat is begging for food at the table, your dog(s) will not, because he fears for his life. 

Not begging, but respectfully observing
*****

If you liked this guide, just wait 'til you read the next installment: How to keep your dogs off on furniture!
(Oh wait, I already wrote that.)  


Editor's note: Although this is a truely pitiful story, Eva the cat is a cherished member of our household - whether the dogs choose to beg or not. Incidentally, Tigger and Lulabelle, our other two cats, do not fancy table scraps and have never begged for anything other than their designated cat treats. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Unless you're prepared to share that orange, I suggest you take it outside.

Orange is my favorite color...and snack food.
No member of my household has been able to peel and eat a piece of orange citrus fruit without the company of two furry beggars in over a year. This is because, once upon a naive time - after watching Jon Farleigh and Dewi longingly stare down the mysterious orange sphere that I had been systematically devouring - I thought it would be fun to give them a piece and then watch them recoil in shock at the unexpected blast of SOUR liquid blanketing their doggie taste buds. (Hint: Ever see a baby/toddler sucking a piece of lemon? Yeah, well that's what I was hoping for. I thought it would cure them of begging. I was so clever.) 

What actually happened, however, was - as you might have guessed - not as I had expected. Sure, they were taken aback by the exploding pockets of juice, but once those slippery segments were swallowed, they demanded more, and more, and more. I'm thinking oranges must be like Pop Rocks for my dogs. They're more fun on the tongue than going down. Whee! (whoops) 

This time of year is especially fun at my house, being that Clementines and tangerines are festive, and in season. I love both - especially Clementines. I just shared one with the dogs, in fact. 



And with that, friends, I implore you: don't be like me and give your dog something to eat unless you're prepared to share it with him for the rest of his days. And if you should falter, make sure it's something gross (to you).

(This has been a public service message from The Chronicles of Cardigan.) 



So I want to know: Do your pets have any "unconventional" tastes for food? Beg for anything "out of the ordinary"?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Our Afternoon of Furry, Drooly, Barky, Somewhat Unruly Blessings

Last Saturday afternoon, The Hubby and I loaded Jon Farleigh and Dewi into the car and made our way to the community-wide Blessing of the Animals at our local Presbyterian church. We were not the only ones who had the same idea:





In fact, for a sunny Saturday afternoon during prime holiday shopping season, there was great canine* representation. 




Large and small





Young and old




Stinky and mostly not




Clothed and naked :)




From many walks of life.



Definitely blessings.




The little doo doo heads. :)


*One family brought their cat. Our three (cats) did everyone a favor and participated by proxy.

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