Thursday, August 23, 2012

Never-Before-Seen (Cedar Chest) Cardigan: Jon Farleigh & Dewi Go to Doggy Camp on a Farm

So tomorrow, for only the second time in their 2.6 years of life, Jon Farleigh and Dewi are going to overnight doggy camp (while we humans take a short, much-needed no-pet vacation).

I'm not one bit nervous, though, because there's a gem-of-a pet boarding facility, tucked away on a farm that borders a Virginia scenic byway, within a few miles of my home.

Truthfully, I fully expect the dogs to have a blast (which should quell any pang of guilt that creeps up while I'm doing the same)! Wheeeeee!

Please accept my apology for not revealing our vacation destination (just yet), but I will tell you this: We will have no shortage of animal interaction (at least part of the time)!

And in light of these upcoming adventures, I thought it would be appropriate to re-publish something I wrote two Thanksgivings ago (on, before this blog even existed) after driving Jon Farleigh and Dewi to their first-ever doggy overnight camp experience.

Originally published on November 24, 2010...

A Thanksgiving Wish from Jon Farleigh and Dewi

Over the river,

The James River from our car window

And through the woods...

Historic Route 5 (Virginia Capital Country scenic byway)

To our doggy vacation-place-in-the-country we go.

Resident (not for eating) turkey on the farm!
Sweet resident doggy (Anatolian Shepherd)

Us getting ready to check into our suite (and check out the amenities)

Happy Thanksgiving!
The End

Jon Farleigh and Dewi


See you all next week! 

P.S. My blog writing has come a long way since November 2010, don't you think? I mean how could I have just cut off the song parody mid-verse?? How rude! ;-)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Panhandling Bug Photo with Horrible Caption

It was yet to be seen whether, in the survival of the fittest, nature would select or reject Marty Mantis.

Photo credit: Moi! (aka yours truly)

If you ask me, praying mantises' gifts are largely underutilized. ;)

Also, I took this photo years ago, but for some reason today, the insect spoke to me. hehe

OK, I'll just be bugging off now!

Friday, August 17, 2012


A few weeks ago, in the kitchen just before dinnertime, Middle Child, who likes to help, suddenly and with heart-stopping alarm, blurted out, "Mommy, what happened to Dewi's head?!"

And in a fit to find out, I sliced through the webbing that connects my thumb to my index finger (just kidding!). Sorry.

What I meant to say was that I dropped everything (literally on the counter) and rushed over to assess the situation. And then burst out laughing. (No, not because I'm a psycho.)

It turns out that earlier in the day, when I had planted a big smooch on top of Dewi's head (as I often do), I left a big ole lipstick stain as evidence. :)


What you should take away from this is: Be sure and clean the bloody smooches off your pooch, lest you frighten an unsuspecting child.

Now, have a bloody great weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reason #163 to Volunteer at Your Local Shelter: No One Is Shocked by Your Naughty Pet Story

Not the actual buns; however, the convo was real!
Say, for instance, when you mention that your husband called you in the middle of your girlfriend's birthday dinner at a fun restaurant to tell you that your CAT (not dog, CAT) ripped into the package of hamburger buns (for his and the kids' dinner) that was on the kitchen counter and ate three of them.

To which you replied (after determining that the cat was behaving normally), "Say wha'???" (while thinking to yourself that if he expects me to go to the store right now and buy him some more buns, he's smokin', well, you know, because he knows how to drive a car!).

However, luckily for him, he was only calling to ask whether he should still feed the cat his dinner. (huh??)

But instead of the other shelter volunteer (to whom you are speaking and working alongside) looking at you with a furrowed brow and politely muttering "okaaayy" (as if it were a question - because she was stupefied) and changing the subject, she giggles and chimes in, "Oh my gosh! I thought my cat was the only cat who likes to eat bread! We had to put baby latches on all our kitchen cabinet doors because she opens them and drags all of it out!"

And, for the record, this conversation could have easily been about dogs.

Uh huh.

So what are you waiting for, friends?! Find a shelter and go volunteer! :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bad Nursery Songs with Elizabeth: Old MacDonald Was Crazy (E-I-E-I-O)

For my "Old MacDonald's" husband and Marianne (whose comment inspires me). ;)

A song parody of Old MacDonald Had a Farm for your Wednesday enjoyment...


Old MacDonald wuh-uhz (was) crazy. E-I-E-I-O
To her "farm" (which already consisted of four humans, Buster, Albert and Charlie {cats-now gone} and Molly {dog-also gone}), she added a Tigger. E-I-E-I-O


With a "We don't need 4 cats!" here, and a "But, she's so sweet and she lived here first!" there.

Here a...there a...everywhere a...blah blah.
Old MacDonald wuh-uhz crazy. E-I-E-I-O
(Note: From here on out, the verses will be abridged.)

Meanwhile on the "farm"...

Welcome, tiny fifth human!

Bye, bye, Buster. >^-^<

Old MacDonald wuh-uhz crazy. E-I...
To her "farm" she added an Eva. E-I...


With a "That's the meanest cat I've ever met!" here, and a "But, she can't help that her life has sucked until now; she'll come around; just wait (a reeeally long time) and see!" there.

Here a...there a...everywhere a...blah blah.
Old MacDonald wuh-uhz crazy. E-I...

Meanwhile on the "farm"...

Bye, bye, Albert. >^-^<

Old MacDonald wuh-uhz crazy. E-I...
To her "farm" she added a Lulabelle. E-I...

Do you really intend to go out in public dressed like that?

With a "Does the vet think they can find her a home?" here, and a "They offered to try, but I think the kids are already attached to her." there.

Here a...there a...everywhere a...blah blah.
Old MacDonald wuh-uhz crazy. E-I...

Old MacDonald wuh-uhz crazy. E-I...
To her "farm" she added a puppy. E-I...

I need you to love me and squeeze me and call me Jon Farleigh.

With a "I kind of had my heart set on a blue one; can we just look at the blue puppy, too? here, and a "But, WE'RE IN LOVE already! [sigh] OK sure, let's go meet the little blue guy." there.

Here a...there a...everywhere a...blah blah.
Old MacDonald wuh-uhz crazy. E-I...

Meanwhile on the "farm"...

Bye, bye, Molly. /(^.^)\

Old MacDonald wuh-uhz crazy. E-I...
To her "farm" she added a second puppy. E-I...

Hi, let's be forever friends! I'm fond of the name Dewi, you?

With an "I love this puppy." here, and an "I love him, too; maybe they could be BFFs???" there...

...And then these types of scenes started happening, here:

[In the car at the vet's office]
Dewi [a little dopey] to Jon: "Hey, dude, how's my drivin?"
Jon to Dewi: "I think we're parked, man."
(10 points if you can guess what movie that's from!)

And Old MacDonald (who was, by this time, crazy and poor) surmised that writing a blog was far cheaper than talking to a professional, so she started The Chronicles of Cardigan, there.

Here a...there a...everywhere a...blah blah.

Old MacDonald wuh-uhz crazy. E-I...

Meanwhile on the "farm"...

Bye, bye, Charlie. >^-^<

(In the interest of brevity ;), I'll just skip the verse about the three foster kittens.)

Old MacDonald wuh-uhz crazy. E-I...
To her "farm" she added a foster cat named Maddox (and you know how that turned out). E-I...

I just met you, and you are this is crazy, but take me home
 and buy me a sock monkey collar, maybe?

(Oops, my bad! Wrong song parody.)

With a (beaten down and weary) "We don't need 4 cats." here, and a "So, I'll just foster him forever!" there.

Here a...there a...everywhere a...blah blah.

Old MacDonald wuh-uhz crazy. E-I...

(This verse added 3/6/2013)

Old MacDonald wuh-uhz crazy. E-I...
To her "farm" she added a Bertie. E-I...

Look deep into my eyes.

With a (dumbfounded) "We CANNOT have five cats. But, dang it, I like this one. [holds kitten and looks deeply into his eyes] Yep, this one's alright." [cue awkward silence] here, and a...

"OK, kids, which cat (besides Bertie and Maddox), oh, and Tigger - because she's too old - and Eva - because she would scratch someone's eyes out and die of a broken heart. Oh well, I guess that leaves only Lulabelle. Who wants to find Lulabelle a new home?"


Here a...there a...everywhere a...blah blah.

Old MacDonald wuh-uhz crazy.  


I told you those vowels could make a person crazy, didn't I?

You may now return to your (previously) good day!

Monday, August 13, 2012

If I Could Draw the Animals Like This, I Wouldn't Need a Dang Camera!

...But then, I'd have to teach them how to play freeze tag...and hire an Olympic-caliber sprinter to tag them at my beck and call. Oh, and then they'd get fatigued from staying in one place for too long (and fat from eating too many treats).

So, nevermind. I would still need a dang camera*. Grrrr.

Enough jibber jabber, though...

Hi, Dew Dew Baby! :)

Just (if you haven't already today - on FB or Twitter) look at this likeness of Dewi that Bailey's person (who blogs at Bailey Be Good!), the artist behind, drew! 

(Imagine my surprise upon seeing this in my blog's Facebook feed this morning! Talk about a good way to start a Monday!)

Anyway, "Drawing Mom" saw Dewi's photo on my blog and drew him (without my solicitation) to be part of her non-commissioned "in-between" drawings portfolio. How cool!

Have a hankering to get your pet's photo turned into a piece of fine art?
Maybe you should go check out!

* Still no news on the broken camera front, but I appreciate all the support. :) I'll let you know what happens. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dear @NikonUSA : You've Had My Camera for 2+ Months; Return It (or call me), Maybe?

With humble apologies to my regular readers.

To whom it may concern at Nikon USA:

I regretfully write this letter because I have received no response from your customer service department after multiple calls and two weeks (as of this writing) of waiting (and I am emotionally exhausted).

On June 4, I approved repairs to my Nikon COOLPIX s9100, a camera, about which I have publicly raved, on this very blog, on many occasions. (Click link for the full list of posts.)  

Unsolicited advertising in my blog's sidebar
(I'd really love to remove the part about it being in repair.)

I am well aware that your company has never heard of me, and with my modest blog readership, would never have asked me to advertise your product, but as a serious blogger, who publishes hundreds of photos of her (and others') pets, having a good camera with which to take them enhances the quality of my work. In short: I share the brand of camera I use as a courtesy to my readers - because the photos (of which I am proud) make them smile.

This past May, at a public sporting event, where I photographed several spectators' dogs, there was an unfortunate accident that resulted in damage to my camera lens. After determining that the cost for Nikon to repair it versus me purchasing a replacement (even though I could have purchased a new s9100 - which is now discontinued - on closeout for less than half of the suggested retail price), I elected to go with the repair. I was even prepared for the possibility of having to wait several weeks (in the event parts would have to be ordered from Japan). (And incidentally, discovering a "Parts Hold" on my account, several weeks ago after inquiring online, satiated my need to call your company for several weeks.)

On August 1, however (after waiting nearly two months), I called your customer service department at 1-800-645-6687 to inquire about the lingering hold. The associate, unfortunately (after placing me on hold to check on it), could not provide any information. He then offered to send "an e-mail" to the service area and, upon their reply, would send me an e-mail (within 24-48 hrs. of my initial call) with their response.

Having heard nothing back from this associate, I made a follow-up call, to the same toll-free number, last Friday, August 3. The associate who took my call, although empathetic, explained (after putting me on hold to locate the associate who took my first call), that the service department had never responded. She then assured me that she would "take over" my case, but that regretfully (just as I was told during my first call), she would have to send an e-mail (marked "urgent") to the service department, and that I should expect an e-mail response within 24-48 business hours. I wanted badly to trust her since she had sounded so genuinely concerned.

Today, one week later, without having received that promised e-mail, and with "Parts Hold" still showing up as my repair status online, I am writing this letter.

Please know that I understand that things happen, and that just as the Parts Hold status indicates, my camera might simply still be in the queue for a (seemingly back-ordered part from Japan). What I do not understand, however, is how Nikon can be okay with ignoring its customers. I know that my point-and-shoot COOLPIX is relatively inferior to your more expensive SLR cameras (and that possibly this has somehow made me less of a repair priority), but it is the camera I purchased (after doing hours of research) and it makes my picture-taking a joy.

All I ask is for someone at Nikon to afford me the courtesy of a response, including an honest estimate about when I can expect my camera to be repaired and returned to me.

Thank you for your time.


Elizabeth K.
Creator/Author/Amateur Photographer
The Chronicles of Cardigan

P.S. I will provide my service order number and/or customer service reference number (from my call to Nikon on 8/3) upon request.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I Kept Him Because His Breath Burns My Nostrils, Plus a Few Other Counterintuitive Reasons

I need to clear something up.

It might seem as if I just adopted a lovable older shelter cat, who was passed over merely for having some chronic lower urinary tract issues.

Hi, there.

Furthermore, it might seem as though I kept him for myself simply because I couldn't bear to part with him, not to mention the fact that he looks like my dearly departed Buster*, is a Cardigan Welsh kitty AND has a name that means "fortunate" in Welsh.

But, friends, sometimes things are not as they seem.

The truth is, I didn't adopt Maddox for any of those reasons. No, these are the reasons I adopted him**:

  • Well, you already know about his chronic (hell-fire) halitosis. ;)
  • He doesn't like to be touched on his belly, or legs, or ears, or tail.
  • He thinks swiping and biting are forms of affection.
    Caution! I swipe for fun! :)

  • He scares the crap out of Jon Farleigh and Dewi (because instead of running away from them when they're being bratty, he charges them).
    Don't worry; I'm choosing not to be bratty in this particular photo. ;-)

  • He slops his prescription wet food all over the floor (of my bathroom, where he is fed away from my other cats).
  • He sprays water when he drinks.
  • His tongue is really really looooong.
  • He sometimes forgets to put his long tongue back in his mouth after he grooms himself.
    Sometimes, I leave it out to air dry.

  • He sleeps a whole lot (read: he doesn't appreciate being kept awake for forced playtime and cuddling).
  • He's not a cuddler.
  • He claws at rugs and carpet.
  • He's much larger than your average house cat (and has two big extra claws on each of his front paws).

  • He's fond of hiding under the bed.

If he were sweet and cuddly and younger and had good manners, I would have written up a nice account of his foster experience (for potential adopters) and taken him back to the shelter. Just like I took back the foster kittens, who were all, incidentally, adopted within two weeks of being spayed/neutered.

Wait; I'm not sweet and cuddly??

Hold on while I think. Uh, NO.

I mean, really? Even if I coated it in crushed Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, I don't think I could write an accurate description of Maddox that wouldn't send the typical person-looking-for-a-nice-cat-to-adopt speed walking in the opposite direction of his cage.

But, you know what? Before I even inquired about fostering him, I knew taking in a less-adoptable senior cat with special needs would be nothing like beefing up and socializing three adorably sweet kittens (who would - barring something disastrous - have no trouble getting adopted). And I was prepared to deal with the fallout (read: keep him).

Maddox's groupies

And this is why, for the foreseeable future, I won't be fostering any other less-adoptable adult cats***! :-) (And please, Powers-that-be, if it's all the same, one Buster-look-alike Cardi-cat is plenty for me. Thank you. Amen.)

And folks, I think that's about it. Glad we're clear (on why I kept Maddox) now!

* No, I didn't adopt him because of this; I became fixated on him because of this!
** Of course, these aren't all the reasons: He purrs, follows me around, "speaks" to me, goes gaga over catnip, plays with toys, blends really well with my other cats, and charms my husband (with his looks). Also, we survived Eva's earlier days (so, clearly, we have the patience of Job). Oh, and I love him to pieces. :)
*** Kittens (when the time comes) are still welcome!

Editor's note: Post spottiness continues this week. :( But, on the bright side, spotty is better than nothing, right?! :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Greeting Card for the Foster Failures

Image created at

Failure is in the eyes of the beholder. :-)

Wishing you ALL sound sleep (and contented wakefulness) this weekend!

Editor's note: Thanks for bearing with me and my spotty posts, of late. Summer break is always a busy time for me and my family, and now that Maddox is a permanent part of it, the ensuing adjustments (to our daily routines) have got me more than a little preoccupied. That said, Maddox, Jon Farleigh, Dewi, the three other cats and my kids are all sleeping soundly as I type out this sentence. Must have been the foster failure story I told them. ;)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

6 Reasons Why You Should Read 'A Dog's Journey' (and 1 Reason Why You Shouldn't)

Image Source

You might also remember that at the end of the post, I mentioned that the sequel, A Dog's Journey (pictured above) - in which Buddy, the dog protagonist, finds himself on a life journey with a different human, Ethan's granddaughter, Clarity - had just hit the shelves and that I'd be reading it as soon as I could get my hands on a local library copy.

Well, I did. And I have. And here's what I think, starting with why you shouldn't read the book:

If you haven't read A Dog's Purpose yet. Trust me. Now, hurry up and read A Dog's Purpose!

And, the reasons why you should:

1 - 4) Refer to the first four reasons why I said you should read the first book. The same reasons apply here.

5) The dog's human is a girl/teenager/woman, which might make the story more relatable to female readers (it was to me). At a minimum, it demonstrates (in literary form) that dogs form equally strong bonds with humans of both sexes.

6) It's just plain fun.

Happy reading!

(P.S. I'll see you back here on Friday.)


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