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Current blog look inspired by and dedicated to Chance, Blaze, Fiona and Zappa who all kicked ass against cancer and liver disease.

Brut Quote

Brut Quote

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Just needed to unplug for a while...

Too many things were getting me down.  I am struggling with some depression and needed to withdrawl from the outside world for a while.  Staying close to dogs and hubby, I started getting the camera out and taking some pictures.  I almost forgot how much fun that can be, even when they are not all about
the dogs! 

This is Lake Michigan of the Great Lakes around Michigan and parts of it are still frozen.  It was chilly out that way and you could feel the dampness in the air.  Still beautiful though.  We have seen some of the best sunsets on this lake though Lake Superior (another one of the Great Lakes) has some great ones as well.

We still have small mounds of snow that we are waiting to melt.  This spring has been one of the slowest to warm up and one of the coldest.  We are still gathering wood for our wood furnace to keep warm at night as it gets below freezing.
About 12 days old
My seedlings for my garden are coming along nicely.  I have tomatoes, cucumbers, green and hot peppers, lima beans (which I'm having no luck with) and pumpkins.  I'll be adding a handful of other seeds that I will sow directly into the garden like cabbage, carrots, radishes, green beans and corn.  It is always a race with out short season to try to get the most out of it.

And here they are now at a month old!

And we can't have a post without at least one dog pic...Check Brut out!!

 What a stud!

Brut is styling his own, one-of-a-kind punked out look, making the most of his winter to spring swing.  I have a special shot of Brut's new look that I'm saving for tomorrow's Wordless Wednesday.  Make sure you come back to check it out!

That's all for now at the house of the 24 Paws of Love.

Happy Tuesday to everyone! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How do you handle writer's block and blogging?

When I started blogging I posted 7 days a week and ran it like a business.  I'd read the how to's of growing a blog and making money on them, but I never wrote like it was a business.  I mean I was talking about my dogs.  The loves of my life besides my husband.  The creatures that saved my life over and over again and still to this day never stop teaching me about unconditional love.

It didn't take long to get tired and I cut out the weekends because they were always so busy and hectic and it became impossible to get to the computer anyways.  I still enjoyed writing and posting and your comments.

After my hospital stay almost 2 years ago, I cut back to 3-4 days a week.  I was going through a difficult healing process and it was all I could maintain.  Still for the love of writing and the dogs.  Until I started getting writer's block that kept reoccurring.  Over and over I kept running into this wall and my love for writing began to dwindle.  It took away the one thing I loved as much as the dogs and that was writing about the dogs.  How could this be?  After deciding to give up the money making bit, taking a break from doing reviews and running ads I am struggling to write a post.

It doesn't take much for me to pressure myself.  I've always been hard core when it comes to writing.  And I've never wrote on a regular basis like this.  We are coming up on 4 years of blogging in a couple of months.  And after the waves of creativity have crash, I've hit that wall again.

How do you juggle life and blogging?  How do handle your own internal pressures?  Are you able to go with the flow and blog when you feel?  Or do you keep a schedule?  What do you do when you hit writer's block?  Do you get it often?  Or just once in a while?  I really like to hear your thoughts.   

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Therapy Dogs-Zappa's Love Stare

In continuing with sharing my personal struggles with PTSD, I'm sharing how my dogs have developed into my own personal therapy dogs, without any formal training from me.  This next experience is another of those when the Zappa saves me from myself.

Monday, April 14, 2014

How it all comes back around

Brut was waiting for a walk.  His nervous, excited energy was a bit more than I could handle at that moment.  I was mentally whipped and had been through my own share of anxieties for the day and Brut wasn't helping.

I crossed the line into the Front Dog territory.  Where the demeanor was calm and peaceful and in such contrast to Brut's whining and pacing.

The Front Dogs and I went outside where Chance and I played with his favorite toy.  The fishing rod with a toy on the end of a springy line.  We did a review for this toy 2 years ago and we were still using all the original equipment except for the small plastic fishing rod that it came with, (It broke the first day) and modified it with a real fishing rod.  Best. Game. Ever. if you have prey driven dogs.  Chance and I ran all over the yard, while I swung the toy every which way and he tried to catch it.  He has some amazing jumps, twist and turns and I was challenging him with some new moves of my own.  Chance had me laughing so hard that my anxieties were soon forgotten.

After my outing with the Front Dogs, Brut was still waiting for his walk and I took him for one of the most relaxed walks we've ever had together.  No fears, no anxieties.  Brut and I weren't even "talking," we were just content to be with each other.  For once my mind just wandered and I could tell Brut was feeling pretty loose as well.

 The sun had just set, the air was mild, the neighborhood quiet and Brut and I had a wonderful walk under the moon light.  Just the two of us.  Just how we like it.    

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Sorry we've been missing you.  The weather finally broke and we've been letting off our cabin fever steam!  Like getting back to a regular dog walking schedule.   Whew!  It seemed like for a while winter was never going to end.

We had a little scare with Blaze last week, which has also taken precedence.  One of her teats was swollen and from describing it over the phone the vet thought it might be a mammary tumor.  It turned out it wasn't.  It was her milk duct filling up from being in a false pregnancy, but it scared us enough, especially hubby, Mark, that we decided we are going to have her spayed.  Blaze has been having false pregnancies after every heat and they have intensified with each year.  A false pregnancy is when the body and mind mimic that of a true pregnancy, but there are no puppies.  The teats can be swollen and produce milk and the "mother" hoards toys and guards them.  It is genetic, as Silver went through them as well.  It's cause by a hormonal imbalance and can cause moodiness, depression as well as symptoms of being overly motherly and clingy.

Our cut off time for Blaze to have puppies was 6 years old and she is now 6 1/2.  It was still a difficult decision as the vet said Blaze could safely have puppies until she was 7 yrs. old.  Pyometra is a serious condition in older unspayed female dogs and can be deadly if not treated within 48 hours.  It was another scary thing I would have to watch for and there aren't always signs of it.  It is another reason we have decided to spay her.  Her health and well being, both mental and physical are worth more than having puppies.

It was a sad decision and will be so final.  We kept Blaze open with the possibility of raising our own sled dog team and to carry the line of Brut and Silver, but the fear for her life is far more important.  We know there are plenty of dogs out there looking for a home and I guess we were just hoping to have the best of both worlds.

We are so glad that Blaze is OK and we want to keep her for as long as possible.  And we know for us, that means having her spayed.  We haven't set a date yet, but we will let you know when it is because no matter that this is a common surgery, it is still our baby going under the knife and we will need all your thoughts and prayers to get through it.  And we thank you in advance for that.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Tribute

The new phase of our new blog look is dedicated to Silver ~My Black Beauty~ and to all of the Black Beauties in the animal kingdom.  Like the black dogs and cats that get overlook at shelters whether by stigma or superstition and for reasons I do not understand, this blog is for you.  May someone look beyond the color of your fur and see the real beauty you are inside to take you for your furever home.

Too many are lost and forgotten.
    Taking a moment to remember.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Brut Tundra Walk

No you are not having a winter flashback!  This is our spring so far.  These pics were taken a couple of days ago.
 Brut waiting for a walk, while looking in at us through garage door.
Yes, the snow is really that high in that spot.