Wordless Wednesday – Clean & Spiffy

 

It was time for baths this last week, Sheba headed to the “spa” for her bath and trimming, and Luke and Cricket got their baths at home.  Everyone looks and smells so great!

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Our groomer said that Sheba was much more cooperative this time, and Luke and Cricket were both pretty good for us too (though it’s a good thing there’s two of us because they do try to escape the shower).  Cricket gets a little nerved up about it, and was shaking afterwards (it wasn’t cold).  She wanted to go out and play ball and I gave in since I knew that would relieve her stress.  So they’re not staying clean forever, but they still look and smell good!

Please, Mommy??

Please, Mommy??

Can we got out and play yet???!!!

Can we got out and play yet???!!!

Sheba is still looking good!

Sheba is still looking good!

On a couple of unrelated notes: I was recently interviewed for the Cat and Toys (Best Cat Toys and DIY Meow!) blog.  It was exciting for me to be interviewed and I enjoyed sharing my thoughts on cats and other subjects.  Click here to read!

I’ve been in Maine for a couple of days so I’m behind on reading everyone’s blogs but I’ll be back in the swing of things soon.  Can you believe I actually scheduled this post ahead of time (if you read my Blog Tour post, you’ll know that’s an accomplishment for me)?  :)

WW badgeThank you to BlogPaws for hosting the Wordless Wednesday blog hop!

Cat Mischief II – Samantha’s Revenge

 

This treat game was first seen back in April, when Sam wrote a Halo treat review, then again briefly in late June in our first cat mischief post.  Sam referred to it as “that foolish cardboard box game.”  That doesn’t mean we won’t still be bringing it out though!

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Revenge 2

monday-mischief-button-150x150-pxThank you to our blog hop hosts Alfie’s Blog, Snoopy’s Dog Blog, and My Brown Newfies.  Please visit them and the other participants through the links below!

Summer K9 Kamp Preview

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Today is the last day of summer K9 Kamp!  Next Friday is the big K9 Kampfire blog hop where we will review all we have been doing for the last 3 weeks for Kamp.  The summer theme is “Backyard Fun & Fitness Games”.  I wanted to share just a little bit about what we have been up to, with more details to come next Friday.

Anyone who follows our blog closely knows that we are all about backyard games around here.  Fetch is the favorite game, preferably with our West Paw Jive balls….Cricket’s favorites.  I thought we should at least try to do some different things for Kamp, even though it’s not easy to get Cricket to change things up!

So we got out our other favorites…the West Paw Zisc (flying disc)!  We had some fun with that, Cricket was even willing to play with it some (we have to hide all the balls to really get her to play).

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I also got out our agility tunnel.  We hadn’t had it out in the yard yet, we had only used it in the house and on the porch and deck, so that was fun.  I was SO excited, because Sheba actually went through it!  Sheba is one of those dogs that kind of freaks out at new things.  If we move furniture or bring something new in, she’ll avoid that room for a while.  She wasn’t afraid of the tunnel in the house, but she did avoid it at first, and frankly, I didn’t think she’d ever go through it.  I was trying to coax Luke into it, when next thing I knew, she passed right by Luke and went running through!

She did it!!

She did it!!

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We did try some other games as well, but you’ll have to come back to the Kampfire to hear more about how that went!

Now, I also have to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to the K9 Kamp (& FitDog Friday) hosts, SlimDoggyThe Writer’s Dog , and To Dog With Love.  They have a huge giveaway for each K9 Kamp session, and they notified us that WE WON!!  There are some awesome prizes, which of course I will be sharing with you later (or you can visit their blogs today to see what was in it). OMD….I can’t even express just how excited and thankful we are for this!

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Summer Safety Series – Heat Safety

Pet Safety month

 

July is Pet Safety Month at BlogPaws, and this is my 2nd post in my Summer Safety series.   I found a great infographic to share with safety tips for the heat, and then I’ll tell you what we do to keep safe in the hot summer months.

Heat safety

Shade & Water
We keep one bowl of water outside on our deck, and one down in the yard.  We have plenty of options for shade in our yard, with trees lining one side of the dog yard, and underneath the deck provides shade as well.  We use stainless steel water dishes, and I keep them in the shade also.  I recently read a warning not to use glass bowls outside in the hot sun, because they could overheat and break!

Luke keeps cool in the shade under the trees.

Luke keeps cool in the shade under the trees.

Sheba loves to stay under the deck on a hot day.

Sheba loves to stay under the deck on a hot day.

I posted a photo last Sunday of Luke keeping cool in the pool, and many of you commented that you also had a pool, or wish you did.  We play a lot of fetch, and getting the pool is one of the best things we have done for the dogs.  There are times when I would think it was too hot to play, but with the pool for them to cool off in we can still play for a while.  Another option suggested was a sprinkler, which would be great too, though some dogs don’t like the spraying water (Luke loves it but the girls not so much).

Cricket chooses the pool to cool off and get a drink!

Cricket chooses the pool to cool off and get a drink!

No Cars
I know I’m pretty much preaching to the choir here, but we can’t spread the word enough about not leaving your dog (or any pet) in a car in the summer.  Some people really are still ignorant of this fact.  I don’t quite understand why, because who hasn’t gotten into a hot car in the summer, windows cracked or not, and realized how swelteringly hot it gets in there?  We simply don’t take our dogs with us when we go anywhere in the summer, unless one of us can stay in there with them to monitor the heat or run the A/C, or we’re not going to be more than two steps away from the car for a minute or two.

No Asphalt
I’m going to add to check any questionable surface for heat.  I was shocked a week or two ago when I took my shoes off on our wooden deck, and realized how hot it was.  The deck needs to be re-stained, but I had no idea of how hot it was getting.  Luckily the dogs spend most of their time down in the yard, and the deck is shaded for part of the day.  We have to be careful of how much they’re out there in the afternoon, and we are re-staining the deck this weekend, and will be sure it’s not an issue once it’s done.

The deck is in dire need of staining, and we will be getting that done to protect the dogs' paws from the hot surface.

The deck is in dire need of staining, and we will be getting that done to protect the dogs’ paws from the hot surface.

20140701_084657We live in a rural area so walking on pavement is not much of an issue.  The trails we walk on are dirt, and even if we’re on the road for a short time to get to the trails, there are wide dirt shoulders that I keep the dogs on.  But if you live in a more urban area, please be aware of how hot pavement or other surfaces can get.

 

I still love these water bottles for walking.

I still love these water bottles for walking.

Limit Exercise
Our dogs want to play fetch every single day.  We try to get them out in the morning to play when we can, and on the days we work, I will play with them when I get home, but limit it to about a half hour, and the pool is always filled with cold water for them.  If we are going to take walks or go for a run, that is done in early morning.  If it’s going to be a long walk, I bring bottles of water with us.  Our summer here hasn’t been as hot as past summers, but we stick to these rules anyway.  If we get into an extremely hot and humid spell, we will try to come up with some indoor games to play as well.  Luke needs a little more exercise than just that half hour, and we have lots of toys for him to play with in the house, and Sheba will often play with him too!

There's a lot of action around here in the summer.....

There’s a lot of action around here in the summer…..

....but the pool is always available for cooling off!

….but the pool is always available for cooling off!

Heat Stroke
Please be aware of the symptoms of heat stroke, and watch your dogs closely.  Heavy panting and difficulty breathing are the first signs.  Better yet, follow the tips above so you don’t have to worry about it!  There is a very informative article on WebMD Pet on heat stroke and dehydration, click here to read that if you would like to learn more.

Barks n Bytes 2

 

Today we’re joining the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop.  Many thanks to our hosts 2 Brown Dawgs Blog and Heart Like a Dog.  Please visit them and others through the links below!

#BtC4A: An Unexpected Roadblock to Finding a Lost Pet

BlogtheChange

 

Four times per year bloggers come together toBe the Change for Animals”.  It’s not just for bloggers…everyone is encouraged to read, share, and support causes and people helping animals.  Bloggers can write about a cause that is important to them, and readers can share comments and ideas.

If your pet were to go missing, do you know whether or not it is legal to hang signs in your own town, or in neighboring towns?  Would it even occur to you to check?  Believe it or not, there are towns that have by-laws against hanging signs for lost pets.  Living in a rural area as I do, I would never even consider that my town might have restrictions on hanging a sign for a lost pet.  Not everyone is so lucky.

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All photos courtesy of Patricia Panek.

Pat Panek, of Littleton, Massachusetts, can tell you all about it, because she has experienced this first hand.  It was just after Thanksgiving in 2011 when Pat’s adopted Siberian husky, Bridgett, dug her way out of their yard in only a matter of minutes.  This is typical husky behavior, from what I understand.   As soon as they realized what had happened, they went out looking.  They found Bridgett not far away, but coaxing her back was not so easy.  You see, Bridgett was a former puppy mill dog used for breeding, and she went from there to a high kill shelter where Pat found her and knew it was meant to be for them to be together.

But dogs don’t get over that kind of traumatic past easily, and when they escape to run free, they can be very skittish.  They tried to lure Bridgett back, but she became frightened and bolted.  From there she went very quickly into survival mode, running far away, as many dogs do.  This often makes them fearful of all humans, sometimes even their own family.

Bridgett posterMost lost pet resources will tell you that one of the most effective things you can do in this situation is to hang signs/posters with a picture of your dog, your phone number, and a reminder : “Please Don’t Chase”.  If the dog can be located then there are many methods to lure them to safety.  So what happens when you hang those signs and posters, only to find very soon afterwards that they have been taken down?  That’s exactly what happened to Pat, and that was only the beginning of what has been a very rough journey for Pat and Bridgett.

Two and a half years later, Bridgett is still missing, but Pat has not given up on her.  She was last spotted back in April of this year in the neighboring town of Lincoln.  There have been many sightings of Bridgett over this time in 6 different towns.  When there is a sighting, once again, the best thing to be done is to hang signs in the area so hopefully the dogs’ location can be pinpointed to a small area and perhaps a trap can be set up in some helpful person’s yard.

Unfortunately Pat ran into this same roadblock in more than one town in her area, and she has spent thousands of dollars on signs, posters, and sandwich boards, sometimes only to find them taken down.  She discovered that many towns have by-laws against hanging signs for lost pets (sometimes even missing persons).  Many times the town wasn’t kind enough to contact her to inform her of this, but just tore the signs down, as did some other mean spirited people who probably considered them an eyesore.  Some of these people just don’t understand that Bridgett can be out there surviving.  We’ve all heard stories of pets being reunited with their families’ years after their disappearance, so they can and often do survive.

Bridgett 2Pat refuses to give up on Bridgett, and on her journey she has become a certified Missing Animal Response Technician for the Missing Pet Partnership, a national group out of Washington State that helps people find their lost pets.  Pat is a team leader for the Lost Pet Consultants group.  You can call MPP to speak with a consultant who will help you with their advice and experience if your own pet goes missing.  Pat is now helping others who are going through what she is going through, and if you visit Bridgett’s Facebook page you will find posters for many missing pets.

Statistics say that one out of three pets could go missing in their lifetime.  Hanging signs is a resource that is desperately needed.  Yes, there are other ways to reach out, Pat also created flyers and business cards, and has used social media extensively.  If your pet went missing, you would want to use every resource possible.

With that in mind, Pat has started petitions to both the State of Massachusetts, and the United States House of Representatives and Senate; “Signs Save Lives: Zoning Bylaws to Allow for Lost Pet Signs”.  It is not just MA communities that have bylaws prohibiting lost pet signs, people in CT, OH, OK, RI, and DE have run into these same issues.  Lost pet signs may be prohibited in public and even private areas, or in just certain areas where they might be needed the most.  Pat needed a permit to post on her own town common, where many routes converged to lead to other communities, and she was turned down.  She could post in other areas, but those signs were frequently taken down by a community member who didn’t like them.

What Pat is proposing to towns is really a WIN/WIN proposition:  in her own words:  Sign permits are taken out, for a fee, and with a date of expiry and number on them. The town seal affixed to the permit and then the permit being printed directly on the signs.  If a pet owner does not extend the permit or does not remove the signs, the town benefits again by levying fines/sign against the owner.  Some towns could possibly have those fines recorded at the RMV, like unpaid excise taxes, making it impossible for the owner to renew their registration/license until the fines are paid in full.  For the owner, it’s a slam dunk.  Paying a fee for a permit is so much cheaper than replacing all the signs that are taken down by the town or by intolerant residents.  If someone other than the owner removes the signs, then a police report can be filed and the person thumbing their nose at the permit can be fined.  This is not as easy to accomplish as fining the pet owner, however.”

I think Pat’s proposal makes perfect sense for everyone involved.  It is a common sense solution to something that really shouldn’t be an issue in the first place, but the reality is that it is.

Current and future lost pets and their families in many communities, maybe even your community, need your help.  If you are a Massachusetts resident, would you please sign Pat’s petition to the State of MA, and if you are a USA resident, sign her petition to the US government?

Click here for MA petition.
Click here for USA petition.

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If you would like to learn more about Pat and Bridgett, you can visit their Facebook pages (click on name):  Help Bring Bridgett Home and Bridgett’s By.Law, or their website Help Bring Bridgett Home.com.

Black & White Sunday – Beating the Heat

 

In the summer here in New Hampshire, HHH often refers to Hazy, Hot, and Humid.  For Luke it means Handsome, Happy, and Beating the Heat!!!

Handsome Luke

Happy Black and White Sunday – hope you are keeping cool as well!

Thank you to Sugar the Golden Retriever and Dachshund Nola for hosting the Black & White Sunday blog hop.  Please visit more of the participants through the links below!nolasugar_bwbadge_pm

See Beautiful – A Labor of Love

Many of you know that I started a project last year that has been very important to me.  Just a quick recap for those of you that don’t:  Last summer after losing our golden retriever Moses to cancer, my neighbors gave us some Hosta lilies to plant in his memory.  I planted them down in an area near the woods and my vegetable garden, where in the corner we have buried other pets we have lost, or scattered their ashes. I don’t often visit cemeteries…..I don’t feel like the person or pet is really where their remains are left, I feel they are always with us.  Therefore the area had become overgrown even though I had planted things there from time to time, and stacked rocks around the graves.

I decided that it was time to do something special there.  We had Moses’ ashes to bury, as well as the cat we had lost a few months before, Katie.  I wanted to make a place that would be pretty and happy, not a cemetery, but a memorial garden.  There the project began, and I finally finished it last month.  I’d like to share some photos from start to finish, and just tell a little bit about each.

IMGP2313September:  Cricket and Sheba checking out the frame we had our contractor friend build for the garden.  My hubby cleared the area, and I marked where the stones were for the graves that were there.

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Kobi loved the garden area.  I never imagined at the time we started the garden that we would be burying his ashes in there before it was even finished.  I like to think of him still down there chasing grasshoppers!

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Sheba inspecting the first plants that would be going in there!

 

 

 

October:  We had a load of loam delivered and my hubby brought it down to the garden with his four wheeler and trailer.  Here I am hard at work smoothing out the dirt!

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I ordered a bunch of different flower bulbs to plant in there.  It was challenging to select them since a lot of the area is shaded.  I got them planted in early November before the first snow fell!

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Cricket is making sure I did it right!  The rocks marking the graves were put back in place.  Moses’ ashes were buried in the front right, with a plaque from our friends marking where they were.

 

 

Finally in May the first flowers are blooming!

Petite daffodils.

Petite daffodils.

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Tulips

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In June, these beauties called Mountain Lilies were blooming:

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I moved Hosta lilies, Violas (also called Johnny jump ups, which my mother and I always planted when I was a teenager), Pansies, and Forget Me Nots from my other flower garden up by the house.  When we had a week’s vacation in June, we visited the local garden center for a few more plants.  Then several bags of mulch, a hanging Fuschia, a few statues and solar lights, and it was finally complete!

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Now a few closer views of each area:

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In the front are snapdragons which I planted by seed, they have not blossomed yet.  Around the rocks are a perennial called “Lamium” which is new to me, but was on sale at the garden center and likes partial shade.

Pansy

Pansy

Dutch Iris

Dutch Iris

I thought the dogs would enjoy having a squirrel to chase!

I thought the dogs would enjoy having a squirrel to chase!

The plaque from friends.

The plaque from friends. “Our pets lead us from patience to love and then to loss….but it is always a journey worth taking.”

This is my favorite part of the whole garden….the tags hanging on this trellis, which I found at Hobby Lobby when shopping with friends. I got the idea of hanging the ID tags for the pets from a Facebook page called “Hundenruhe Haven Senior Dog Sanctuary“.

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Some of the ID tags were the ones that the pet wore, but others I had made special because I didn’t have tags for that pet (some of our cats never wore collars or tags).

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One last thing:  the solar lights have significance in that there is one for each pet that is memorialized there.  The larger ones are for the dogs, and the smaller ones in the corner are for the cats.  I included each pet that lived with us in this home.  We had many cats before we moved here, but we got our first dog, Shelby, when living in this house.  It was just impossible to include all the cats we’ve had!  When I look down from our bedroom at night, I can see the solar lights, some of them with changing colors, and it gives me a sense of peace.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my garden and the story behind it.  I will probably add some more things as time goes on, maybe a little walkway and more flowers.  What is your favorite part of the garden?

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Thank you to Sugar the Golden Retriever. for letting us join in this blog hop.  The idea is to share about something that made your day, week, or month, (in this case, year!) inspiring you in seeing beauty.  Sugar was inspired by the See Beautiful blog.

 

Wordless Wednesday – Action!

 

I was taking some photos of the progress we’re making on our yard clearing project, and threw the ball to try to get the dogs into the picture for some perspective.  I ended up with this pretty good photo of Luke in action!

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I know it loses some clarity with the zoom in, but you can still see how high he is off the ground!  I decided to save my “yard progress” photos for another post and share these instead.

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Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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Thank you to BlogPaws for hosting the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.  Please visit other blogs through the links below for more fun photos!

 

It’s About the Pets – Why and How I Write (Blog Tour)

 

I’ve been invited to participate in a “writing process blog tour”.  Many bloggers are participating, and inviting others to join in order to create a chain effect.  We have three questions about our writing to answer and pass along to others.

Jenna and her huskies Mika, Lexus, and Koda

Jenna and her huskies Mika, Lexus, and Koda

I was invited by Jenna Drady, who writes the blog “Love is Being Owned by a Husky”.  Jenna lives in Ontario, Canada and is still fairly new to the blogging world (she’s been blogging for less than a year).  She has become popular and successful very quickly, probably partly because she is such a nice person who is always doing thoughtful things for others, like making cards for everyone’s special occasions.  She is one busy lady with 2 daughters, 2 stepsons, 3 dogs and 3 cats!  Jenna’s goal for her blog is to “keep it real” and she does just that.  She shares training tips (I’ve used her tips myself with success), recipes, adoptable pets, and many interesting stories.  Her passion is huskies, so if you want to learn more about this breed, her blog is the place to go!  You can click here to be taken to her post on the tour.

On to the questions:

What am I working on?  I usually have more than one blog post in the works, even though much of it is often only inside my head!  I’ve had a big project in the making since last fall, a memorial garden for our pets that we have lost.  I’ve been taking photos of the whole process from the beginning, and am finally getting ready to share the completed project.  I’m excited to share it because it’s been so important to me to create this special garden in memory of our many beloved pets that are now gone.

I’m also writing a “Summer Safety” series this month, for BlogPaws‘ Pet Safety Month and have lots of ideas stewing for that.  My first post of the series was about 4th of July safety, and I also plan to cover topics such as heat related issues, swimming safety, and possibly a little more about fighting off insects, which I’ve been writing a lot about this spring and summer.

Why do I write what I do?  In short, because I love animals and I enjoy writing about them.  I started the blog after closing a part time pet sitting business, and I was in need of a little extra income and something to do.  I wanted to continue something in the pet field and be able to work from home so I had more time with the animals.  Writing about pets has been the perfect solution.  In the beginning, I honestly expected the blog to be more about generic pet issues, but have found that sharing stories and photos of my own pets is what really makes me happy.  I try to do a variety of personal posts as well as informative posts.

Inspiration!

Inspiration!

How does my writing process work?  It works pretty well, considering I am mostly disorganized!  I have a notebook for jotting down ideas, but they often end up on a piece of scrap paper next to my computer instead, or on my post it program on my computer.  So far, coming on almost 2 years of blogging, I have not run out of ideas.  Since I write some product reviews and like to join campaigns through BlogPaws, I usually have something like that on my schedule.  I always have one or two cameras close by to capture unplanned photos of the pets.   I plan most of my posts only about a week ahead of time.

Occasionally I will be caught up on my current ideas, and find myself at loose ends as to what to write next.  That’s when I hook up one of the dogs to a leash, and head out for a walk.  I have a voice recorder on my cell phone and when something comes to mind I’ll start recording notes as I walk.  I’d love to be more organized, and maybe one day I’ll get back to that point.  For now, my haphazard way of doing things is mostly working!  The one thing I’d really like to work at is getting more of my posts done ahead of time and scheduled to go for early morning.  Right now they pretty much go up when I’m done writing them, which can be any time of day!

Why a camera always needs to be handy.

Why a camera always needs to be handy.

As part of this tour, we are asked to invite three other bloggers to join in.  I was only able to find two that could participate, and I’d like to tell you just a little about them:

Ann and Shiner.

Ann and Shiner.

Meet Ann who writes the blog “Pawsitively Pets”.    Ann is trained as a Veterinary Technician and has worked in that field, though right now she is a stay at home Mom and a successful blogger!  Ann lives in Texas with her two adorable daughters, her dog Shiner, and her two new additions to her family, dumbo- eared rats named Gus and Jack.  Ann writes many informative posts about pet health, using her experience as a vet tech.   She also writes product reviews and does a lot of great giveaways (I’ve won a few times on her blog).  Ann has a strong interest in exotic pets and her blog is the place to go to learn more about many varieties of pets, not just dogs and cats.  Click here to visit her wonderful blog!

Oz out on an adventure!

Oz out on an adventure!

Meet Gina and Oz who write the blog “Oz the Terrier”.  Gina and I have become friends through co-hosting the WOOF (Working Out Our Fears) blog hop, sharing our stories and ideas for helping our reactive dogs.  Oz is a cairn terrier mix and he lives in Florida with his Mom and his Daddy-dog (as he calls him).  Oz and Gina are very active, love the outdoors, and share their adventures hiking, biking, camping and boating.  Oz is also a poet, and shares some very funny limericks on the blog.  Please click here to visit them!

 

 

Black & White Sunday – Daffy Dog

Crazy Conrad 2

Yesterday I posted “Crazy Cat” showing some of the silliness Conrad gets into.  If you haven’t seen them yet, you can click here to view that series of photos in sepia.

Today I share some of the silly things Luke does.  In the evening we usually watch TV in bed for an hour or so before going to sleep.  The girls are usually on the bed with us, but Luke likes to lay on the floor for a while.  Sometimes he disappears and when I go to find him, this is where he is:

Luke shower

That’s our walk in shower in the bathroom attached to our bedroom!  Now, when he is on the bed with us, he can get into some interesting positions:

Luke sleep 2

He woke up when I took the first photo, but he just rearranged himself a bit and went back to sleep!

Luke sleep

This is why we often laughingly say our pets are “not right”.  What silly things do your pets do?

nolasugar_bwbadge_pmThank you to Sugar the Golden Retriever and Dachshund Nola for hosting the Black & White Sunday blog hop.  Please visit more of the participants through the links below!