Day 6 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

Halloween is only one week away. Did you hear that? One week away! And so, to make sure we’re all prepared for the big day, we thought we would do some trick-or-treating prep today with Simon and Rosee.

Their skills needed to be sharp. I mean, were they really ready? How was their sniffing ability (because they sniff out the treats of course)? Were their eyes on the prizes (or treats in this case)? Were they committed enough? In it to win it?

Their costumes needed to be on point. Were they easy to move in? Did they impede their vision and sniffing ability? Durable enough to withstand their movements? Were they cute enough to get all the treats?

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These were all important points to consider, and so we decided to do a trick-or-treating test run in the backyard in order to prepare for the big day.

We laid down some tricks (obstacles), so Simon and Rosee would really have to work for their treats.

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But in the end both pups proved their Halloween skills, and quickly found each and every treat hiding in the grass.

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Halloween night better watch out because Simon and Rosee are ready and their mighty hungry for treats!

Day 5 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

I thought this year in celebration of Dia de los Muertos, I would take a moment to remember our very first pet. Believe it or not, she wasn’t a cat or a dog. In fact, our very first pet was a black and white rat. Her name was Kristy Dawn, proudly named after my and Monica’s favorite characters from the book series, The Babysitter’s Club. I’m so sad to say that I don’t have a picture of her handy to show here  – this was back before the time of cameras on cell phones, and while I know there are numerous photos of her somewhere, they’re all packed away in a cabinet somewhere :(. I mean, this was back in the day when cameras had film, and the film had to be taken to Walmart to get the pictures developed, and then they were packed in those green or blue sleeves.

Still, Kristy was a sweet rat who loved to roll around the room in her little plastic ball, eat any sweaters (usually Monica’s) that were left even a foot away from her cage (seriously, she could reach anything), and cruise around in our Barbie’s cars. She was patient with us, being our very first pet, both me and Monica we’re still learning what it meant to be good, responsible pet owners. It’s more than simply loving your pets, and giving them all the hugs, pets, and kisses possible. Being a good pet owner is taking care of them – providing the necessities, cleaning up after them, and providing enrichment for them. She was one of a kind, for sure, and definitely prepared us for our futures of being owned by Simon, Rosee, and even more cats.

Plus I always love telling people that my first pet was a rat!

So here’s to Kristy Dawn, and all of our very first pets…they taught us how to love and care for someone other than ourselves, and prepared us well for our current menagerie of pets.

Day 4 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

I’m sure it’s no secret or surprise by now that we love taking pictures of our pets. I mean, really, with adorable faces, penetrating eyes, and silly antics, how am I supposed to resist capturing the moment?

It is fun to create specific moments with our pets. I mean, just check out this picture from Easter earlier this year:

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However, sometimes the more candid photos are the most memorable. Today I thought I would share some things that I’ve learned in the pursuit of capturing my pets’ cutest moments, especially for the Fall season.

  • Embrace the spontaneous
    • First and foremost, embrace the spontaneous, unplanned, and impromptu moments. The unexpected happens when it’s least expected. Therefore, the cutest and most picturesque moments of our pets will most likely happen at any given time. Maybe it’ll be a shot of Socks helping to decorate the front yard, Simon trying to sneak a piece of candy out of the candy bowl (which was unsuccessful, by the way)- check out last years 13 days of Halloween, or Rosee playing in a pile of leaves while visiting the park down the street during one of our daily walks. Any moment can be capture-worthy. So even if you’re trying to stage the perfect photo shoot, when it comes to photographing our pets, sometimes following their lead and direction is really the best course of action.
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  • Use natural surroundings
    • One of the great things about the Halloween and Fall season is the beautiful natural surroundings that can provide the perfect backdrop to any photo. Of course, the other seasons can do the same, but there’s something about the Fall that I personally favor. Maybe it’s the changing colors of the leaves, the copious amounts of pumpkins (at least at our house there is), or the giant leaf piles that are just to inviting to ignore…there’s always a good background perfect for any photo. Take advantage of the season and go outside and explore…before you know it you may have the cutest photo of you and your pet.

  • Always have phone/camera at the ready
    • Naturally, coming off of the first two points, it is always important to have a camera ready, even if it’s the camera on your phone. Although, let’s face it, most cameras on phones are better than actual cameras these days anyways, and even better, they’re always convenient. I always seems to find myself reaching for my phone to capture one of the cats doing something utterly adorable, or one of the pups in a unique position.
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  • Editing is our friend
    • Editing our photos can definitely be helpful when we’re trying to capture the pawrfect moments, but certain elements (such as lighting) aren’t quite working in our favor. The lighting can be adjusted (usually to help make things brighter), not-so-important elements can be cut or cropped out, and the main figure (in this case cat or dog) can be better aligned so they’re sure to be the center of attention. Play around with what you can do, even if it’s just a few small adjustments, an adorabull picture is sure to be achieved.

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out the past 3 days of Halloween fun so far!

Day 3 of 13 Days of Halloween

You may have spied in Day 2’s post a picture of a little cat helping us hang Halloween lights out in the front yard. Well, it seems it really wouldn’t be Halloween around here if we weren’t introducing our newest family member. While I know it may seem that we’re introducing a new member of the family practically every year, all I can say is think of the quote by John Lennon, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

Yet it’s always around this time of year that we get adopted by another pet. Even though i often question who really owns who, we’re definitely grateful that they picked us as their humans. And this is definitely the case of a little black and white cat named Socks.

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Socks decorating for Halloween.

Socks was a feral, neighborhood cat that we’ve seen around for a little over a year now. Of course, being adopted by George two years ago, Shadow not long after, and then by Binx last year (all of who are pampered inside cats now), and taking care of Fluffy, it’s habit to set out cat food on our porch. So, it was no surprise that the food attracted other neighborhood cats. Yet, then we met Mr. Socks…who decided that he was going to stick around.

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Binx, introduced last year, formerly an outside cat.

Believe it or not, Socks officially adopted us after we took him to our vet to get neutered and vaccinated. Once we brought him home after his procedure and released him out front, I guess he decided he loved us even more, and is always around. Weird, I know.

Still, now we have this little black and white cat that is definitely the scariest cat on the block, figuratively of course. He loves accompanying us anywhere we go out front, whether it’s walking to the mailbox, our cars, or just across the lawn when we’re watering the plants.

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Socks takes his job very seriously.

What’s especially endearing about Socks though, is his relationship with Rosee.  They enjoy talking to each other through our front (metal) screen door (or rather he hisses at her and she lets out a small bark in response).  It doesn’t matter that she’s about 75lbs and Socks is about 10lbs, he’s not about to let a silly dog be the boss of him. He really has absolutely no fear when it comes to the pups. To be fair though, I think Rosee actually appreciates Socks acting as a sentinel out front. Really she just lets him think that he has the upper-hand.

He’s also very good at meowing at us to let us know he needs a treat. I think he’s just practicing his trick-or-treating skills for Halloween.

Day 2 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

Ahhh…the decorations, arguably one of my favorite parts of Halloween, you know, besides the treat part. But whether the decorations are in and on my house, at work, or on others’ houses, I love them all. I especially love adding new decorating additions each year, but alas the ultimate problem is where to store everything in the off season.

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So while we may have gotten a late start on decorating the house this year, everyone was able to join in on the decorating fun.

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Still, having a black cat named Binx (and who proudly wears an orange collar), definitely meant we needed to include some cat-themed décor this year to our collection.

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Now all we have left to set out is the candy, of course!

Day 1 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

It’s that time of year again…the start of the holiday season! The seasons are changing, the leaves are starting to fall, decorations are starting to be hung, and smell of pumpkin spice is permeating the air.

It’s 13 days of Halloween (or should I say Howl-oween)!

And what makes this year so special?

Besides having a full house, with Simon and Rosee (two dogs), four inside cats, two outside cats, and 2 neighborhood cats that like to visit every so often, exactly one month ago (to the day) I officially entered my last year until the big 3-0. For some reason, this last fact seems to make this holiday season extra special. Plus, Halloween also means it’s going to be another little (dog) girl’s birthday, and while we often refer to Simon and Rosee as puppies or pups, they’re definitely starting to show their age a little bit more each year. So, while life may be changing fast (or at least it feels that way sometimes), the Halloween ( and holiday) season is a reminder to have fun, slow down a little, and always make time for family.

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So stay tuned for the next 13 days as we celebrate everything spooky, hocus pocus-y, and Halloween-y.

Just in case you missed our previous Halloweens, here’s a reminder:

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Valentine’s Day, Big Life Changes, Birthdays, and Life Rearranges

I can hardly believe it’s already the middle of February. Wasn’t it just last weekend that we celebrated the new year? I guess it just feels that way, and while so much has happened in just the few short weeks since the beginning of the year, I still can’t help but look back and wonder where all the time has gone.

Yet, here we are, Valentine’s Day, and in our household this day is extra special. Today also happens to be Simon’s birthday. As of today Simon is 7 years old (at least it human years), and that officially makes him an old man. Don’t get me wrong, he still has way too much energy, but he seems to love to indulge in his morning naps just as much these days. Seriously, some days he will not get off the couch until at 12:00 in the afternoon! By the late afternoon, however, he is always ready for his daily walk. I’m not sure he’ll ever really slow down, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing since Simon’s antics always seem to keep everyone on their toes—if you know what I mean. Still, it’s weird to even think how much has changed in the past 7 years since bringing Simon into our lives. We were newbies to dog ownership (serious cat-only zone here), totally unprepared (although can you ever really be completely prepared?), and had no idea what kind of adventures we were in for. Now though, looking back, I can say it was definitely all worth it.

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Happy 7th Birthday Simon!

Yet, life is set to change again with job changes, commutes and overall daily schedule changes. The dogs as well as the cats, I’m sure, will adapt to the new changes and daily schedule just fine. Really, it’s mostly me who is going to miss having the ability and flexibility to spend so much time with Simon and Rosee during the day (why must adulting be so hard sometimes?).

Nevertheless, with our pet family growing—seriously, we gained 4 cats in 1 year!—both pups getting older, and our own personal lives changing, I’m excited to see what the future may hold and the adventures that are in store.

So, whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or Pawlentine’s Day…we hope it was a good one!