A Birthday Letter to My “Boy”

Dear Dakota,

Today is your birthday. YOU ARE NOW SIX YEARS OLD! 

dakota birthday 6

 

It is hard for me to wrap my head around that  number.

This is the first of your birthdays that I am sad.  I am trying with all of my might to be in a celebratory mood, and I will accomplish that, I just can’t at this moment.

Where has the time gone?

this was the first photo we were given of Dakota from his breeder, Shelia Ellis, before we had met him

this was the first photo we were given of Dakota from his breeder, Shelia Ellis, before we had met him

 

It seems as if it was only yesterday that after an INTENSE and most DEDICATED search by your Dad to fulfill a childhood wish of  mine of presenting me with a Sheltie for my birthday, that SIX YEARS HAVE PASSED.

caren dakota and lenny best yom kippur 2012edited

 

When you joined our family you were only 8 months old. A mere pup. I remember when we had picked you up and were bringing you “home”, sitting with you in the back seat of the car, you were in your crate, I was next to you petting you and talking to you because we were told that you and cars did NOT get along. I did my best to  soothe and reassure you.

You instantly became friends with your kitty brother, a huge blessing for your Dad and I.

I am HONORED!

My biggest frustration in those early days was that I thought you would NEVER be housebroken!! I remember a relentless parade of going up and down 12 stairs with you, you were housebroken in your previous home,  you just had to learn the lay of the land with us.

It is hard for me to believe that the first two weeks that you lived with us you were QUIET! I honestly thought you did NOT know how to bark! To think, that ever worried me with the multitude of times every day that you show us that YES INDEED YOU CAN BARK,  and  quite well I might add!

I often feel guilty that you live on the second floor of a condo. I often feel that we are doing you a disservice. I see other dogs with fenced yards that are able to romp freely during the day, you? I think you are part cat, or maybe it is because you live with a cat, you don’t enjoy walks and prefer to stay inside.  I never was one to force you to do what you don’t wish to do, so maybe our situation isn’t that bad after all.

Dakota me and my shadow

 

You never cease to amaze me. You hated obedience classes but are an apt pupil for learning EVERYTHING that we DON’T want you to learn! You seem to have a grasp of language far better than many humans that I know. You know just what you want and let us know, you know just what your Dad and I need, and give it to us unselfishly.

dakota books

Your Dad and I survived indoor “accidents”, chewed cell phones, CD’s, paper, and enough wood to light a fire, it is a miracle you are still with us!

This was particularly delicious. The green color gave it a "Minty Fresh" taste. I was stopped from my fine dining experience before I could get to the delicious licorice flavored battery

This was particularly delicious. The green color gave it a “Minty Fresh” taste. I was stopped from my fine dining experience before I could get to the delicious licorice flavored battery

But, with the blessings of God, you ARE still with us! Your sixth birthday has made me face the brutal fact that you are no longer a pup, even though you still act like one, you are approaching your gasp, Senior years. I am having trouble accepting this.

Dearest Dakota, you have brought so much laughter, joy, love, craziness, and devotion to your Dad’s and my world that I cannot even fathom what life would be like without you.

dakota northern lights caren lenny

So, rather than be melancholy and reflective, I am going to switch to celebratory mode.

I celebrate your birth, I celebrate our good fortune when your human sister told us about you, I celebrate your smile, your warm and lavish fur, I celebrate your loving licks, your gentle eyes, they way you hold my hand with your paw when you lick me, the way you pick up your red, white and blue ball when your Dad and I return home, even if we were gone for only 5 seconds.

"Hooray for the red, white & blue!!!"

“Hooray for the red, white & blue!!!”

YES, I even celebrate your BARKING (remind me please that I said this)

My precious Sheltie boy, I vow to make your remaining years with us, and I hope there are MANY, ones full of continued learning, NEW adventures, MORE walks, tons of snuggles, oodles of  kisses, tasty food and  never-ending love.

YOU, Dakota, were the answer to my childhood dream of one day having a Sheltie of my own.

Happy, Happy Birthday my silly and sensitive boy,

me holding dakota

 

I love you more than all of your cherished bones being piled to the “moon and back”

Mom

Wordless Wednesday-My Boy

dakota movie

To MY “Queen of Hearts” Happy Valentine’s Day!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY ALL!

There were a number of us in the U.S. who didn’t realize until the last moment that Mollie and Ranger’s Valentine’s Ball was going on all week and many of us had other blogging obligations that we had to fulfill and were unable to adjust our schedules.

I still was lucky enough to attend the ball with MY “Queen”….EVA……..

We had a wonderful time and appreciate all the work that was involved in putting on such a spectacular event!

Neither Eva nor I  had any aspirations of winning   the title of “King and Queen” of the Valentine’s Ball, and of course we didn’t, but  in OUR hearts we will always be “KING” and “QUEEN” to each other!

Happy Valentine’s Day my precious and stunningly beautiful Sheltie girlfriend Eva! 

Dakota and Eva Valentine's Day

 

Be sure to stop over to Mollie’s and see who the REAL King and Queen of the Valentine’s Ball was.

 

dakota valentine

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO ALL OF YOU!

Thank you for being our special furiends and for sharing your day with us!!

Barks and licks and love,

Dakota and Mom

Lights! Camera! Action!! Wordless Wednesday

dakota awkward

Semi-Wordless Wednesday & Winner! “Life Is Pawfect” by Robert Semrow

Thanks to everyone who entered our give-away!!! 

dakota life is pawfect 1

Click on the photo to visit Snoopy's blog!

Click on the photo to visit Snoopy’s blog!

dakota life is pawfect 3

 

Enter to win: “Life Is Pawfect” by the “Pawtographer”, Robert Semrow

Hi my furiends and Happy New Year! Here we are in January and Mom and I are still trying to wrap up some things we had pending in 2012. One of them is an adorable and sure-to-make-you-smile book by Robert Semrow, also known as, “The Pawtographer.” The book is called Life Is Pawfect and let me tell you pals, this book IS JUST THAT…”PAWFECT!!” 

It’s charming, witty, uplifting, superbly photographed and just plain FUN!

Photo Courtesy of Robert  Semrow. Click on the photo to visit his website

Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow. Click on the photo to visit his website

Life Is Pawfect is the perfect book to help get your New Year off on the right paw. It is chock full of the most adorable photographs, all printed on high quality glossy photo paper. Accompanying each photograph is a quote and an  uplifting or humorous saying that will be sure to brighten your day.

 

"Life is Pawfect...when the art of something can be embraced by the mouths of many!" Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow The Pawtographer.

“Life is Pawfect…when the art of something can be embraced by the mouths of many!” Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow The Pawtographer.

"Life is Pawfect...when we are willing to jump in and see where the current takes us!" Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow, "The Pawtographer"

“Life is Pawfect…when we are willing to jump in and see where the current takes us!” Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow, “The Pawtographer”

 

About  ” The Pawtographer” from Robert Semrow who is “proud to be “The Pawtographer.”

I love animals and have a tremendous amount of fun being around them. Whether it’s a traditional pose, a candid moment or a creative themed experience, I want to capture those silly looks, funny outfits and special moments that animals allow us to have with them. I want to show the world that energy, unconditional love and attention that animals freely give us.

I have always found that animals are the most naturally loving beings. They will let us hug, play, dress up and goof around with them, if we just give them what they want and deserve most-love and attention…and the occasional treat.

 

"Life is Pawfect...when your vintage exceeds expectations!" Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow, "The Pawtographer"

“Life is Pawfect…when your vintage exceeds expectations!” Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow, “The Pawtographer”

 

 

"Life is Pawfect...when there's bubbles between your toes!" Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow, The Pawtographer

“Life is Pawfect…when there’s bubbles between your toes!” Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow, The Pawtographer

 

Life Is  Pawfect is the perfect coffee table or bedside table book. It would make the best birthday, get-well, thinking of you,  gift or Valentine’s gift or ANYTIME gift for the animal lover in your life!

Robert was incredibly generous, when he sent me my review copy of Life Is Pawfect he included an extra book for one of my readers!

HOW TO ENTER: Give-away is open to EVERYONE! Just leave a comment telling me how YOUR “Life Is Pawfect” by Monday, January 7th at 5PM Eastern. Winner will be selected by http://www.random.org and will be announced on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9th. Be sure that I have a way to contact you should you be the lucky winner! Good Luck!!

Barks and licks and love, Dakota

To Purchase Life Is Pawfect:

CLICK HERE

ISBN: 13: 978-0-9860198-0-7

Visit www.thepawtographer.com

 

In full disclosure: I was sent a copy of Life Is Pawfect to read and review along with an extra copy for one of my readers. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this post.

“Yappy” New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dakota 2013

Published in: on January 1, 2013 at 1:00 am  Comments (60)  
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Strike a Pose! My Photo Shoot!

Hi every doggy!!!

Boy oh boy I thought my Mom would NEVER get her act together and let me get on the computer! She is so stuffed from gorging on turkey and desserts from Thanksgiving that it took til NOW for her to get her act together!

Anyway, I have a super cool update for you!

Remember a few weeks ago when I featured Northern Lights Photography on my blog and I mentioned that I was going for a photo shoot? Well, I went and the photos are back!! Ohhhh my does my Mom ever love them!

I am going to show you a few of our faves. The color may have been altered on a few because Moms’ scanner on the printer isn’t working, so Mom took photos of the photos and she brightened them up a bit to make them look more like the originals. Trust me, the originals look a zillion times better in pawson!

Mom was going to use the above  photo for our holiday card but decided against it because my kitty brother, Cody, wasn’t in the photo. Mom had thought about bringing him but she was nervous about how Cody would react. Mom thought there would be lots of doggies and kitties there that might make Cody nervous, or that he would be “spooked” being in a strange room with a camera so Mom let Cody enjoy the peace and quiet of home. Mom says she might ask Sheri if she could come to the house one day so that we could all have our photo taken!

Mom was so impressed with Sheri and her assistant. They couldn’t have been nicer!

At first, I was a bit leery because the photos were taken in the back room at a local Pet Supplies Plus store.

For the autumn leaves photo, they wanted to put me on a table but I didn’t want ANY part of that! That was too much like the V-E-T for me!

Sheri and her assistant had many tricks up their sleeves to help me get into the “mood.” They had toys that quacked, squeaked, and an assortment of treats. They were fun, gentle, understanding and kind. Soon I realized that this was FUN and I was all about the camera!

When I was done with my photo shoot Mom was sooo proud of me!! She said I was a complete gentleman and….she also said ( Easy this one is for you) that I am a:


Sheri and her assistant are going to be taking holiday photos for just a few more weeks, here is the rest of their schedule for Pet Supplies plus locations in Michigan for the remainder of the year:

PLEASE CALL

THE STORE OF YOUR CHOICE

FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Dearborn  313-278-4799 Saturday, November 24

Dearborn 313-278-4799 Sunday, November 25

Portage 269-341-9252 Thursday, November 29

Portage 269-341-9252 Friday, November 30

Kalamazoo 269-342-5020 Saturday, December 1

Clinton Township 586-228-0090 Sunday, December 2

Ortonville 248-627-7900 Friday, December 7

St.Clair Shores-Harper 586-771-3277 Saturday, December 8

St.Clair Shores-Greater Mack 586-771-1710 Sunday, December 9

 

So what are you waiting for Michigan doggies!!?? Call and make an appointment for YOUR holiday photos TODAY!!

A HUGE thanks to Sheri and her assistant for giving us a complimentary photo package after we featured her on both of our blogs! (Mom paid for a few extra photos so when we say we LOVE our photos, we sure do!)

We will be ordering more copies of our photos soon!!!

Barks and licks and love, 

Dakota

I am HONORED!

There are a lot of contests out there that many of us enter that offer prizes such as money, pet supplies and blog “notoriety”, just to name a few. I recently entered a contest that for me, was probably the most emotionally rewarding of any contest that I have entered thus far.

 

My friend Ann Paws who is the author  of one of my favorite new blogs:

 

Click here to visit!

had a contest where we had to submit a photo of what our PETS are thankful for.

 

For me, this was a no-brainer. My “boyz” are MOST thankful for EACH OTHER. This photo was my entry:

 

 

 

Cody and Dakota have a most unique relationship. I couldn’t be more blessed, nor could THEY!

 

They are playmates, partners in crime and conspiracy, companions when my husband and I aren’t home,  they visibly worry when one of them is gone from our home even if it is just for an hour or two.  At night, by choice, they  sleep in close proximity of each other. My vet often tells me how he marvels at the intensity of their bond. Don’t tell them that cats and dogs aren’t supposed to get along. They exhibit care and concern for each other that many of us could learn from. All of this, and my method of “introducing” them  completely defied “conventional” blogging and textbook guidelines. I listened to my heart, which rarely steers me wrong.

 

There were 3 winners of this contest and my photo of Dakota and Cody was the GRAND PRIZE WINNER! I am honored and elated that my photo won the contest! What thrilled me the most was that the “judge” of this contest was Anns’  8 year old daughter, Lily:

 

Photo courtesy of:

http://mypawsitivelypets.blogspot.com/2012/11/thanksgiving-photo-contest-winner.html

 

 

What was special to me,  was this was TRULY a “fair and unbiased” judge who not only didn’t know any of the entrants, she just loves animals! There was no “hidden agenda” here! You know what they say, “out of the mouths of babes.” Lily said that my photo was  “adorable.”


You can’t fool a child. Children are often our harshest critics. They respond on an emotional level,  a child can sense dishonesty and those with less than stellar intentions a mile away. Ironically, our pets also have this ability. Want to know if a person is GENUINE? Introduce them to your children or your pets.

 

Being the winner of the “GRAND PRIZE” for this contest didn’t bring money, or pet toys or supplies or even a shiny statuette. The prize is THIS lovely badge that I am displaying with enormous pride:

 

 

 

this is PRIZE ENOUGH for me! I don’t have mad photography skills,  or the latest camera loaded with bells and whistles. What I DO have are a dog and a cat whose affection for each other lit up that photo and made my message clear.

 

My “prize” was my work touching the heart of a child. To me, that is the GREATEST gift of all, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving….I THANK YOU LILY from the bottom of my heart.

 

 

 

 

Published in: on November 19, 2012 at 10:00 am  Comments (46)  
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thankful thursday…

Published in: on November 15, 2012 at 1:00 am  Comments (47)  
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