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!
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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!
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.
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?
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
Repeat of our banner photo, but these are two of my all time favotires.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now all we have left to set out is the candy, of course!