It’s the third annual Pet Blogger’s Gift Exchange! I’m excited that it is also our third time participating. For those of you not familiar with this event hosted by Pamela at Something Wagging This Way Comes, bloggers are randomly matched; not to share physical gifts but to share encouragement, compliments, and linky love. Non-bloggers can join in the fun by following the posts and finding some new blogs they might not be familiar with.
In the first year, I was new to blogging and I made a great new blog friend….we are still friends to this day. The next year I was paired with a blogger I already considered a friend; it was fun to write about each other and I think we each still learned something new about the other. This year, I am paired with someone I know, but that I would like to know better. Other bloggers understand that blogging takes a lot of time, and we don’t always have the time we would like to visit and enjoy all of the other great blogs out there. I hadn’t spent nearly the time I would like reading Groovy Goldendoodles; so I was thrilled to be paired with Cathy; now I would take the time to learn more about her and her adorable goldendoodle Harley.
So I grabbed a cup of coffee and finally sat down to get to know them better. I went back to the very beginning….May of 2011 when she put up her first post. At that time she had two goldendoodles (poodle-golden retriever crosses), Harley and Leo. I enjoyed reading how each of her dogs had come into her life. Harley was not yet two years old when Leo joined the family. Here’s a picture of the two young dogs together:
One of her early posts was titled “THERE IS A GOD (and He loves dogs)”; it was about the joy of coming home to dogs after a bad day. Anyone who has dogs in their life understands and relates to the joy of being greeted by them when we get home…the bad day just melts away. Over the next couple of years Cathy wrote about her life with her dogs, with some posts written from Harley’s point of view. She also covers topics of importance to pet families such as “Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster?”, and “Hot Cars Kill”.
I got curious about Cathy’s background and hopped over to her About Me page and found out there that she was a military wife who always wanted a dog, but didn’t get to have one as a child. She and her husband had two children, and traveled in and out of the states for years, so she still had to wait before getting that longed for dog. The children grew up, the traveling ended, and now they had a new family of four…this time with two doodles! With everyone wanting to know about their new life with the dogs, she decided to start writing about their adventures.
Things settled in and life was good, but then the unthinkable happened; Leo became suddenly ill and died at only four years old, just this last summer. Having been through my own loss earlier this year, of our 13 year old beagle, and also suffering tragic losses of young dogs in the past, I can relate to Cathy’s pain, as I know many of us can.
Cathy has done her best to move forward, as we all must do, and she shares her and Harley’s pain in a special tribute page dedicated to Leo. I love the quote she has on that page: “We who choose to surround ourselves with lives more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle; easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we would still live no other way.”- Irvin Townsend . On that page you will also find “Harley’s Letter to Leo”, and a beautiful video tribute to Leo.
She also wrote a touching post “Helping Dogs Through Grief”. Here she talks about Harley’s grief and how she works through helping him. It’s great experience to share with anyone who has multiple pets and loses one. I remember when we lost our dog Maggie, how much Kobi grieved, and I wonder what else we could have done to help him through that. Cathy found some answers to that question.
As I read some of her more recent posts, I realized I had spent more time reading her blog than I thought. A few of these posts were familiar, some I had taken the time to comment on, some I hadn’t. Cathy always replied when I did comment, which is something I really like to see on a blog.
Cathy is carrying on her and Harley’s life and honoring Leo in wonderful ways. Harley is now a certified therapy dog and they visit assisted living facilities and schools. Harley really seems to especially love children! Cathy and Harley are still sharing their lives, with fun stories about their family life, “S’mores/Monday Mischief“, helpful posts for pet families, product reviews, and amusing posts as well. Don’t miss the Fantasy Island post….it is classic especially for us older people who remember the TV show Fantasy Island. Many of her posts are punctuated by fun as well as touching photos.
Cathy’s love for dogs and family shines through in every post. I could go on about favorite posts but you might want to just head on over and see for yourself. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Welcome to Day 18 of the #Advent4Dogs 24 days of giveaways hosted by Kol’s Notes, Dogthusiast, Heart Like a Dog, NEPA Pets & Wag’n’Woof Pets. Today you can win some swag from Inkopious. Click here to enter!