December 14, 2014

Monday Mischief: Everything Is Irresistible

It's Christmas, and Rita is finding everything irresistible. 

First of all, there's the "dogs at the beach" themed tree I put up. She LOVES the smell of the starfish and shells on the tree! It's a bit of Momma-mischief to put something so smelly on the tree, but so far this year she's been good and hasn't stolen anything off the tree!

December 9, 2014

Dog-Inspired Xmas Windows and Forced Xmas Crafting

If you've followed the blog for a while, you know that every Christmas my sisters and I get together to paint my one sister's windows. It's always a dog theme, featuring her pup Indy. (Last year was Fleas Navidad. If you'd like to see a retrospective of some of my faves, check out the guest post I did at Peggy's The Writer's Dog blog 2 years ago.)

This year, we also did a bit of "forced crafting." That's what my family calls it when someone gets the idea to do a little crafting project, and the rest of us are forced to join in. (It's like a forced march, but more fun. And you end up with cute things to bring home.) I'll share pics and how-to instructions from our craft at the end of the post for those who like to get crafty!

Now, back to the windows. This year the theme was Muttly Kalikimaka, so of course we have Indy on a sandy beach wearing a lei, with the ocean behind her. 

December 7, 2014

Monday Mischief: A Spa Technique the Dog Hates

Last week, the hubs and I went away for our first ever vacation at a spa. (Although I scheduled some posts to go up while we were away, we were mostly "unplugged" so I wasn't able to reply to comments or visit your blogs. I missed you guys!)  While we were at the spa, we took a lot of classes, including one on myofacial release - basically using tennis balls to massage your fascia (the thin connective tissue that wraps around your muscles and most other structures in your body).

Rita is not a fetch-crazed dog. She has several tennis balls, but mostly ignores them. Oh, she'll chase them a time or two if you initiate a game, but she quickly gets bored and her tennis balls just lie around the house.

December 2, 2014

December 1, 2014

A Gift for You - A Free Anthology!

No mischief today - just a little giftie from me to you guys! I've got a Fido-friendly fictional short story coming out in an anthology, called A Cup of Christmas.*

The anthology will be FREE (!) from Tuesday, Dec. 2 and for the next 3 days. Thereafter, it will be priced at $1.99, and ALL proceeds will go to First Book, a children's literacy charity.
"Cindy Lou" from my story

November 25, 2014

Wordy Wednesday: Thankful! #ShareGratitude

Thursday is one of my most favorite days of the year here in the US: Thanksgiving!

So, in the spirit of a holiday that is all about gratitude (and FOOD - one of me and Rita's fave things!), we are joining the Share Gratitude hop!

I hope you don't mind if I get a little wordy, while I share a combined list for Rita and me.

November 23, 2014

Waiting: The Reverse Angle AND a Winner!

Last week, I showed you how it looks when Rita is waiting on Reggie. This week, we've got a view from the other side of things.

Here's Reg waiting on Rita's arrival. He's not quite as patient as Rita. He waits by the door...

November 16, 2014

Pet Cancer Awareness & A #Giveaway!

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month. I know there's also a PCA month in May... but who am I to tell whoever organizes these things to coordinate their months?? Besides, the more awareness, the better, right?

So, today, to hopefully help make people more aware about pet cancer, there's no mischief on the blog... instead, we've got some pet cancer detection tips and a little giveaway!

Several years ago, the hubs and I did a canine cancer walk to raise money for Morris Animal Foundation. At that event they said that ~25% of all dogs will get cancer. 
Our familial unit back in 2011 at the MAF Canine Cancer Walk

November 11, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Something Lovely with Something Icky

Do you ever wonder how your beautiful pups can stand to put some of the grossest things in their mouths??

This lovely girl is up for adoption at Helen Woodward Animal Center where I volunteer each week. There were plenty of nice, clean tennis balls to play with, but of course she wanted to play with the icky, muddy one! (Thank you to the genius who invented the ChuckIt! I never had to actually touch the thing!)

November 9, 2014

Monday Mischief: Puppy Mischief - What To Expect!

I wish I'd known about the Monday Mischief blog hop back when we had Abby. That girl was a master mischief maker!
Cutest puppy ever. 100% filled with mischief.

November 4, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Sending Good Thoughts

Today we have a special request for our friends over at The Three Little Pugs

Stella Rose, Margaret Mae and Angus McConnell have a human family member, Macey, who needs good thoughts and prayers. You can read about (and see super adorable pictures of) Macey here

November 2, 2014

Monday Mischief: "I am NOT a Rabbit!"

Did you know that Saturday, Nov. 1 was "National Cook for Your Pets Day"?! (That "for" is really important in that title...) I didn't realize it until I flipped our PetPlan calendar over to November - which I did a day late.

But even though I didn't know it was NCfYP Day, I did recently start cooking for Rita. She's always eaten a good quality, grain-free kibble, with some organic canned food of one type or another mixed in. Pretty much no matter what I buy, and no matter how much she loves it on day one, but day 3 she's bored of it. Plus I got tired of always having to pick up cans of stuff for her, so I started cooking for her, and stirring this mix of organic meat, root veggies and green veggies in with her kibble.

And she loves it.

October 28, 2014

I Love Halloween; The Dog Hates It

I love Halloween. I love seeing everyone's creative costumes; I love the spooky decorations; I love the candy. :)

Rita, however, hates everything about it.

She hates when Momma tries to put stuff on her (although she will tolerate it for a few seconds for a treat): 

October 21, 2014

Less Wordy Wednesday: Caption This Goofy Pic

I snapped this goofy pic the other day at Helen Woodward, where I volunteer, when 2 of my fave pups were playing under my legs. Wanna try and caption it?

I'm going with: "I dub thee Sir EatsALot!"

October 19, 2014

Your Dog Ate What?? A Guide to Edible Hazards

In my debut novel, What the Dog Ate, there's a lotta mischief going on. In fact, in the first sentence, we find out that both Maggie's dog and hubby have been up to mischief: "The vet handed Maggie Baxter a plastic specimen bag containing a pair of size-tiny lavender thong panties extracted from her dog; but they were not hers."
"Panties. Yum!"
When you write a book about a Lab with a "the-world-is-my-smorgasbord" attitude, folks tell you stories about the odd things their pets have eaten. (Note that all these dogs ended up being fine!) Like the dog that ate the zipper on his bed. The zipper! Or a friend's cat that ate the prescription pill her husband dropped. (I thought it was impossible to get a cat to take a pill??)

October 14, 2014

Blog the Change: An Easy Way to Help Animals

Today it's Blog the Change for Animals again, so I'm sharing a super easy-peasy way to help animals. It will literally only take a minute or two.

But... let's start with a photo of a smiling Rita:
"Cheeeeese! Wait.. really? Cheese??"
There's a purpose to that pic, because my easy-peasy way for you to help animals is to shop through AmazonSmile. Since I'm writing about AmazonSmile, I figured we'd start out with a RitaSmile.

September 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Rewards and Resolutions

I'm excited to share that my second novel, Rescue Me, Maybe, won a Gold Medal award in the Readers' Favorite 2014 contest in the Fiction - Animals category!

Rita looks way cuter in the medal than I do, so she'll model it. (As you can see, she was not super thrilled about the modeling gig. She would rather have a treat than a stupid medal any day! And just so you know... she did get a treat too, of course!)
"Momma, this is lame."

September 28, 2014

Monday Mischief: Time Is Slow When You Fast

The mischief was all on the momma again this week. Rita was due for her annual check up, and the vet we usually see was only available at 2:15. Since they wanted to do blood work, they said she needed to fast.

Here's a timeline of how the fasting news went over with Rita.

7:15am Momma breaks the news that there will be no breakfast.
"Uh, how's that, Momma?"

September 21, 2014

September 16, 2014

Less Wordy Wed.: Pups in Their New Homes

Remember ages ago when we had (wool) puppies for sale on the blog? [As as aside... those adorable little corgis were the only ones that didn't sell. So if anyone needs a felted tail-less (sorry Taryn) corgi....]

Today for Wordless (or as I like to call it "Slightly Less-Wordy") Wednesday, I thought I'd show you pics of a couple of them in their furever homes. Er... wait - their woolever homes?? Hmm. That doesn't work. Okay, in their new homes!

Remember our little Muttly?

September 14, 2014

Monday Mischief: You Mean... She's Not Mexican?

So, the mischief this time around was all on my part... I teased with you Rita's Wisdom Panel DNA test results last week and made you wait until today to find out what she is.
"Can you guess what breeds are in me?"
I mentioned that we had guessed a combo of GSD/beagle/terrier. Well, two outta three ain't bad.

September 9, 2014

Less-Wordy Wednesday: Travels with Reactive Rita

We are back from our road trip to Oregon with our reactive girl, Rita, and it was (mostly) a super fun trip!

Rita wasn't so sure about all the driving (she's fine with the down-time, but hates all the weird noises), so we tried to make sure she knew how fun road trips are...

Starting with a stop for an ice cream cone (which we split 3 ways):
"Okay, yeah. I could get used to this."

September 7, 2014

Monday Mischief: Sleepover & DNA Test Results Mischief

We're back from our vacation and blogging break! (Pics of vaca coming on Wednesday!) But before we went away, we had a sleepover guest - Reggie!

It was his first time spending the night, and there were a couple of mischief moments, like when he stole Rita's usual spot on the sofa!
"Hee hee! I stole Rita's spot!"

August 24, 2014

Monday Mischief: The Dog's the Thing

Okay, actually Shakespeare said: The play's the thing. But... we went to see a Shakespeare play - and it had a dog in it. And a play with a dog is really the thing!

That mischief-makin' pup totally stole the show!

Some folks from the hubs' work asked us to go to a play at San Diego's Old Globe theater, and they let us pick which one. I knew nothing about Two Gentlemen of Verona (if I had I might not have picked it...) but the blurb said there was a dog. So obviously I picked that one!
The adorable banners at the outdoor theater

August 20, 2014

Why To DNA-Test Your Dog

We've gone back and forth for a while now - well, years really - on DNA testing our pups. Back when we first started looking into it, there weren't that many breeds in the database, and we just decided to skip it.
We don't know what this angel was... just gorgeous!
Well, then I got the opportunity to talk to some folks about the Wisdom Panel 2.0 Breed Identification test kit. They were in San Diego attending a local event as part of a "Swab-a-thon" tour to test shelter dogs and help provide some info about their breed makeup to help match them to their furever homes. Isn't that a great idea?

I couldn't make the event, but they still sent me a home test kit to try out, and set up a phone interview with Harrison Forbes, who is a celebrity pet expert and dog trainer. (Check out his site - you might recognize him from appearances on Today or The View.)


Here are some of the questions and answers we discussed on the phone.

August 19, 2014

A Special Review - Memorial Jewelry

Those of you who've been following along I'm sure remember this picture I posted of my mother-in-law, Simone, and our angel Bailey as a Give Cancer the Paw tribute post. We lost them both to cancer. 

August 17, 2014

Monday Mischief: Chicken Treats?

You might recall (although, really, I'd be surprised if you did!) that I mentioned ages ago that there's a house in our 'hood that puts Trader Joe's molasses treats out for passing pups, along with a fresh bowl of water.
Rita munches a treat (note all the crumbs around her; slob)

August 12, 2014

Less-Wordy Wednesday: Hitting the Beach

I've written before about how we don't go back to the off-leash bay-front dog park anymore. (After The Worst Walk Ever we tried a few other times, but Rita doesn't have a perfect recall and I worried too much that she'd get in trouble with another crazy person.)

But recently we tried one of the many on-leash beaches. There are lots of beaches in San Diego where you can walk your on-leash dog - the only catch is that it has to be before 9am all year, and then after 4pm in the winter/6pm in the summer. 

August 10, 2014

It's Easy To Forget You Live With A Beast

Some of us put bunny ears on our dogs, or reindeer antlers. We let them share our sofas and our beds. We cuddle them and kiss them.
"I EAT antlers. I do not WEAR antlers!"
It makes it easy to forget that you live with a beast. Until they kill something.

August 5, 2014

#GiveCancerThePaw: Our Beautiful Angels

Today is our last Give Cancer the Paw blog hop. My co-host Peggy of the Writer's Dog and I invite you to join in and pay tribute to a special pet you've known and loved who has/had cancer. You can write a tribute post, share an old post about a beloved pet, or even just share a photo. Today I'm posting about our beautiful angels.

If you've been around the blog for a while, you know we lost both our beautiful girls, Bailey and Abby to cancer. Bailey had hemangiosarcoma, and Abby had osteosarcoma.

Join Us Wed. for the Last #GiveCancerThePaw Hop!

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the last Give Cancer the Paw blog hop. My co-host Peggy (of The Writer's Dog) and I have done what we've set out to do: raise awareness about canine cancer, share news of studies and treatments, and raise the "power of the paw" in fighting this evil disease.

August 3, 2014

Monday Mischief: Rita's First Ice Cream Cone

Since July 31 was National Mutt Day, and August 1st was the day we used to celebrate angel Abby's birthday (she would have been 5 this year; read more about her here), I took Rita to McDonald's for her first ever ice cream cone.

As you can see from the intense stare, she thoroughly enjoyed it.
"OMD. Where has this been all my life?"

July 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Dream!

Rita dreams of jerky treats. Plentiful. Chewy. And handed out with great regularity!


In Other Dreams...
I finished my manuscript for my third novel. (It's about a dog-mom, but that's all I'm sayin' about that for now.) I sent it off to my agent on Friday.

July 24, 2014

FitDog Friday: Keep the Dog Hydrated with a "Cleanbottle"

A while back I saw someone having a wee rant on Twitter about seeing lots of folks out walking/jogging carrying water bottles for themselves and not for their pups. 

Now... what made that person assume the water bottles weren't for the dogs? Sure some dogs prefer to drink from a bowl, but there's no reason a dog can't drink from a bottle. 

Angel Abby demonstrates how:

July 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Underdog!

At our house, we watch a lot of sports, and we usually like to cheer for the underdog. (Of course, with the San Diego Padres and Chargers, you're always rooting for the underdog, even when you're just rooting for the home team.)

There are other types of underdogs we like, too, though, like corgis!

They fit so easily under things! Here's Reg, who insisted on sitting under my legs when he came over for a play-date. 

July 20, 2014

Monday Mischief: Wrongfully Convicted

Rita here at the keyboard...

I want to tell you about a recent miscarriage of justice!

My cousin, Reggie, and I were wrongfully convicted. We were thrown behind bars without the benefit of a trial before a jury of our peers!

Here we are in the hoosegow. (You can kinda tell by this shot that Reg gets wrongfully convicted a lot, so he just takes it in stride. But me... what did I do?? I never go behind bars at MY house!)
But... but... but... what did we I do wrong??

July 16, 2014

Know Kids Who Love Dogs? Two-book #Giveaway!

At the Doggie Street Festival on Saturday, I met two fabulous ladies who've both written great kids' books about dogs. Since we don't have any ankle biters young kids in our family, I decided I'd do a giveaway. Both copies are signed by the authors!
Rita gives both books two dewclaws up!

July 15, 2014

Less-Wordy Wednesday: Doggie Street Festival

Last Saturday was the Doggie Street Festival here in San Diego - a BIG adoption event with lots of different rescue groups, vendors, and (for the first time this year) an "author pavilion." 

I figured I'd tell you about it mostly in pictures, since it's less-wordy Wednesday!

Here's my spot at the pavilion.

July 13, 2014

Monday Mischief: The Stick Wins (Or Why My Hardwood Floors Look Like Hell)

Last week Rita violated one of our lone rules here - the "no sticks in the house rule." We solved the issue by moving her bed outside for stick chewing al fresco.

Well, we long since had moved her bed back inside, of course. So, today she snuck the stick back into the house when I wasn't looking.

I look over and she's on her bed, attacking the stick. (Sorry about the blurry photo, but it was a swift and aggressive attack!)
"You are MINE, evil stick!"

July 11, 2014

Follow-Up Fri.: A Fair Follow-Up + Puppies for Sale!

A Fair Follow-Up
Remember when were a little bummed that we didn't win the blue ribbon this year (awarded for first place in the needle felting "class") at the fair? BUT, on the plus side, we won the Big Green Ribbon for a "special award" for the Best Theme entry??
Gotta  love a big, shiny ribbon!