Tag Archives: 2019

Day 13 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

We finally made it! Happy Howl-oween!

Another year. Another 13 days.

We’ve shared festive decorations, baked goods, DIY costume ideas, a spooky story, remembered past pets, and reminisced on current pets.

Still, tonight we had one more trick up our sleeves: dog-friendly pumpkin treats. Monica was able to rework the pumpkin cookie recipe (mentioned earlier this week) to make it pup-friendly. She removed the added salt, vanilla, and, of course, the chocolate chips. Now, Simon and Rosee can join in on the fun with a very special treat.

I think all that’s left to say is:

From our family here at Play Hard, Bark Often to yours,

We’re wishing you a spooktacular, safe, and a very Happy Halloween!

 

I think it might be nap time now…

Day 12 of 13 Days of Halloween

Rosee, Rosee, Rosee.

The nosiest of Rosee’s.

It’s that time of year again…it’s Rosee’s birthday! Specifically, it’s her 7th birthday.

While, technically, we celebrate her birthday on Halloween, I thought I would take a moment today to reminisce about everything that is Rosee.

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She is loud, boisterous, playful, unapologetically herself, and very loyal to her people. Her enthusiasm for life is a good reminder to not take life too seriously sometimes, and enjoy the little things. Plus, her need for speed (walking, that is) has been good encouragement for all of us to maintain a healthy exercise routine.

She may have come to us as a shy, quiet puppy at 9 months old, from a cat rescue no less, but she blossomed into such a ball of energy. She keeps life interesting, and always makes us feel important when we arrive home and she’s so excited to see us. Although, of course, there are those times where she absolutely must have the exact spot on the couch where one of us just happens to be sitting, and it’s at these moments we may not be quite as special. 🙂

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Puppy Rosee.

Not to mention, that she is a great Halloween dog costume model. From a being a bag of jelly beans, a lion, beauty queen, loofah, and a flower, she is always ready to bring the next costume to life.

Still, learning and growing with Rosee as she’s gotten older, and through her reactivity and fear issues, has taught us valuable life lessons. She’s taught us how to be confident, demand attention, be calm, and most importantly not worry so much about the judgments of other people. I mean, I get it, I have a big dog who is accompanied by a big bark…Seriously, it’s not news to us.

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Adult Rosee.

Rosee has definitely made us into better people, as cheesy as that may sound. She may not have always been the easiest dog, but she’s been the dog that we needed in our life.

So, here’s to Rosee, and to (at least) another 7 years!

Day 11 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

Last year I had the brilliant idea of carving craft or synthetic pumpkins, instead of real pumpkins. Ultimately, I decided to do this, mainly, because of the bugs. The bugs that a freshly carved pumpkin attracts are awful, always seem to come in full force, and show up almost immediately after I set my pumpkin out on the front porch. It doesn’t matter that the weather’s cooled off, or if I try to spray my pumpkin with some mixture I’ve found on the internet that’s supposed to help keep them fresh. No matter what, within about three days my pumpkin is covered in those little tiny flies and has to be put in the yard waste bin. Ughhh…

Still, I found that carving craft pumpkins was actually pretty convenient. There wasn’t as much of a mess, since the inside of the pumpkin didn’t need to be cleaned out. Plus, using a craft pumpkin has meant that I have reusable decorations. This year, all I had to do was pull out my already carved pumpkins, set them on the porch, and set in a LED tealight candle, and I was done!

As we get closer and closer to Halloween though, I’ve found that I missed doing some type of pumpkin decorating. So, after making the pups’ costumes, I decided to see what I could do with the leftover felt pieces. In the end, I took on the challenge of trying to make a pumpkin out of cut up pieces of felt.

For supplies I stuck to the basics using felt, glue, and scissors. You can use some wire, which can help the fabric maintain shape a little better, but this is optional (you’ll see why later).

I started by criss-crossing two strips of blue felt and gluing them together in the center. Then I took each end, brought them to meet at the top and glued these ends together as well. I added another two strips following the same pattern. This created my first small “pumpkin”. Next, I cut longer strips of green felt and repeated the same previous steps on top of the blue felt. Then, I cut even longer strips out of orange felt, and continued the same process. The point was to kind of mimic a nesting doll, only this would be nesting pumpkins, if you know what I mean. To finish it off, I made a stem and vines out of leftover pieces of green felt, and glued them to the top of the pumpkin.

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My pumpkin turned out cute, in a homemade-craft-kinda way…although I think Binx may already have his own plans for it. Turns out, my pumpkin also doubles as a festive Halloween cat toy, who knew?! (Hence, the reason why the wire is an optional step)

Day 11 2019

Happy Meow-oween!

Day 10 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

It’s getting closer….wahahahaha (that was my evil laugh, by the way)

As we get closer and closer to the big day, I thought we’d discuss treats. Human treats, that is.

Of course, candy is the traditional Halloween treat. However, around the holiday season Monica turns into quite the baker extraordinaire, and this Halloween was no different. She decided to make two kinds of cookies for the humans around here to enjoy: red velvet crinkle cookies, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

Of course, the pups were still on hand to lend a paw when needed, or provide moral support. I mean, there’s always need for an extra nose to make sure that the cookies are baked juuuust right.

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And maybe, just maybe, there’s a need for taste tester. Because, you know, someone (or some dog) needs to lick the sugar on the outside of the crinkle cookies to ensure it’s just the right amount per cookie, right? Right?

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All I can say is that we’re going to need to go on a few extra walks in order to justify all these treats!

Day 9 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

It’s a new night, and a new costume idea!

Tonight we’re taking inspiration from Simon, or more specifically his collar, and dressing him up as a Ninja Turtle.

Overall, this costume was fairly simple to make, and really only involved creating two main pieces: a mask, and a turtle shell. The mask was relatively easy to create, and again could be made from any material that you may have laying around, as long as it’s the corresponding color to the Ninja Turtle you’re making the costume for. The turtle shell wasn’t too difficult to make either, it just took some time, and a bit more effort, to fit it to Simon so it was wearable and comfortable.

List of Supplies:

Cardboard, preferably the thinner the better – I chose cardboard because it held up well to the construction, paint, and glue, but the thin cardboard was still workable.

Scissors

Glue

Green paint (and paintbrush)

Fabric – you’ll need enough to create a mask, and to use for a strap to help secure the turtle shell around your dog

Steps:

  1. To begin with a turtle shell: cut an oval shape out of cardboard to the desired size (for your dog). This will serve as the base of the shell. It is definitely helpful to look up reference pictures while you’re doing this part.20191025_194335
  2. Out of some more cardboard cut out the individual pieces of the shell. Again, using a reference picture of a turtle shell is extremely helpful during this process. Attach these pieces (they should fit like a puzzle) to the larger cardboard piece.
  3. Paint the turtle shell green. I did end up leaving some brown, as I thought this helped each section look more defined.20191025_195305
  4. Cut a piece of fabric that is long enough to fit around the underside of your dog’s stomach. Then, on one side of the turtle shell create an opening. Thread the piece of fabric through the opening and secure, and with the other end of the fabric thread it through the other side of the shell. This will help hold the shell in place around your dog midsection.
  5. Similar to the previous step, just attach another piece of fabric to fit on either side of the shell and fit on either side of your dog’s neck. This will ensure that the turtle shell doesn’t move down their back, and fall off.
  6. For the mask: using a piece of fabric that’s the desired Ninja Turtle color (I chose blue, which is Simon’s favorite color), cut out two eye holes. It can also be helpful to cut out a small ridge between the holes, which helps the mask fit more comfortably on your dog’s nose and not ride up so much. (Despite the picture of Simon in the full costume below, I did end up making adjustments to Simon’s mask so it would fit more comfortable around his nose, had bigger eye holes, and wasn’t quite so large on his face.)  I decided to attach thinner straps to the side of my mask, since this made it easier to tie behind Simon’s ears, but you can be more true to character and just use one long piece of fabric.

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All that’s left to do is dress up your dog, and let the crime fighting and pizza eating begin! One of those things being one of Simon’s favorite things to do…p.s. it’s the one involving cheese, by the way.

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Simon as Leonardo.

We’re in the home stretch until Halloween! Only 4 more days to go….I don’t know about you, but Simon and Rosee can’t wait.

Day 8 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

So far, in this 13 Days of Halloween series we’ve covered spooktacular decorations, met a new family member (which seems to be a Halloween tradition for us, apparently), remembered loved ones past, prepped for trick-or-treating, and even had a scary story. Now, the last major piece of the puzzle is to nail the costumes.

The first costume for 2019 was inspired by Rosee: a flower collar.

Okay, so maybe this isn’t a full on costume, but it turned out pretty cute (if I do say so myself), is easy to wear, especially for dogs that don’t quite enjoy putting on full on costumes, and is fairly simple and inexpensive to make.

List of Supplies:

Fabric – Any type of fabric works. I used felt, but old pillowcases, sheets, shirts would work as well. In fact, I think it would be really neat to upcycle an old graphic shirt!

Glue – I prefer hot glue, which is what I used, but fabric glue could probably work too

Scissors

Wire – I used 26 gauge since it was thin and easy to mold, but still held up the shape I was looking for.

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Steps:

  1. Start by cutting out a strip of fabric about 3-4 inches wide, and long enough to fit around your dog’s neck. I did add a small strip of elastic between each end of my strip, because it wasn’t quite long enough, and it helped the collar fit more securely around Rosee’s neck.20191026_202139
  2. Cut out petals from the fabric. I ended up cutting out larger petals from the light and dark purple felt, and smaller petals from the dark pink felt.
  3. Cut pieces of wire to fit the length of each petal, and glue to the back of each petal. 20191026_202150
  4. Arrange the petals along the collar piece, and glue in place. Make sure to glue the petals with the wire side facing outward, so when the collar is on you can mold the petals to curl outward.20191026_202230
  5. Fit the collar around your dog, and arrange to petals.

Day 8 2019

All that’s left to do is have the cutest dog on the block!

 

Day 7 of 13 Days of Halloween 2019

Things are taking a spooky turn today…

I thought I’d share a scary story all about the day we almost lost Binx.

Now if you didn’t know, Binx is one of our cats, and is a quintessential Halloween cat. (Make sure to check out the post from last year where he was introduced.)Not only is he black, he has a bright orange collar, is named after the cat from Hocus Pocus (you know, just in case that wasn’t obvious already), and we officially adopted him and brought him inside right before Halloween last year – we were a little worried about his safety and wanted to make sure about he was safely inside before the big night. We love him, and while it took some time for him and the other boys (Orion, George, and Shadow) to get used to him, he quickly became an integral part of the family. He loves playing, cuddling, and often enjoys stretching out on his back on the couch.

Yet, he still caused us all the biggest scare we’ve experienced this year!

It was early morning. Monica had left for work, and I was at home getting ready to leave when my mom suddenly ran inside and exclaimed that Binx had run out the front door. He’d run out, and while she tried to catch him, our outside cat, Fluffy, got scared and chased him around the corner of the block (we live on the end of the block, just for reference). Immediately, after telling me what happened, my mom ventured back outside and found him hiding under the abandoned house about a block over from our house.

By this time, Monica had returned home from work to help catch Binx. She tried crawling underneath the house where he was hiding to reach him, but he always seemed to stay just out of reach. We were at a loss for what to do…thinking that we know where our cat is, but not knowing how we were going to get him back. What were we going to do?!

It just so happened (let’s call it a Halloween happenstance) that about two weeks prior my mom had run into an old friend of hers (one she hadn’t talked to or seen in years), and in talking, her friend mentioned that she’s become involved in TNR (trap, neuter, release) of feral cats in her neighborhood. So, we immediately thought that this friend had traps that we could use to get Binx. My mom made the call, and in less than half an hour we had two traps at our disposal.

By this time it was the late morning, and we had located and blocked all of the entrances/exits around the house where Binx was hiding so he couldn’t go anywhere. We had left some water for him, and once we had the traps we set one up at one entrance with some food inside. We were hopefully that it wouldn’t take long to for him to be lured into the trap.

We checked on the trap about an hour later, and found the food was gone, but there was no Binx. It seemed the trap was a little too small, which made it easy for him to reach the food and not set off the trap door. I really can’t describe how upsetting it was to see our attempt foiled. We were all scared out of our minds that Binx wasn’t going to come back, or that he might get hurt. Sure, he used to be an outside, feral cat that we ended up adopting. But, seriously, he’d become such a pampered inside cat, how could he survive being outside again?! How?!

So, we reevaluated our plan. We used the bigger trap, dug out some dirt from the opening into the underneath of the house to fit the trap, and got a can of tuna to put in the back of the trap as a lure. We set it all up, and checked back multiple times throughout the afternoon and evening. Unfortunately, each time we checked on the trap nothing looked like it was touched and Binx was nowhere to be found. Honestly, I was starting to question if he was even under the house still, but we had closed off the other holes, so there was nowhere else he could be. Finally, after one last check on the trap that night, we left the trap and returned home.

Now, I know this story started off scary, but it actually does have a happy ending. Early the next morning, I ventured off to check on the trap with my mom, and lo and behold Binx was there! He wasn’t happy about being stuck in a cage, yet I was so relieved I practically burst into tears. We quickly loaded Binx into the car and took him home. He was a little grumpy (again, being stuck in the trap), but otherwise just fine. I’m also happy to say that after that excursion, he’s never tried to run out the front door again.

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As I write this, Binx is sitting on the couch next to me looking over my shoulder – probably, wanting to make sure that I do justice to his story. Frankly, I’m just glad that he’s here to dictate his story and to celebrate another Halloween with us!