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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.

Day 12 2019
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 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 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 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 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:

Happy HowloweenIMG_2344

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.

Simon 7th Birthday 2019
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!