Traveling Dog Lady: December 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's a family affair #christmaseve

My parents were the coolest people on the planet.  They would let me stay up until midnight on Christmas Eve, and I was allowed to open one of the many presents they always showered me with (my choice of any gift already under the tree).  For some strange reason, a memorable Christmas Eve that stands out in my mind was when I chose to open what I knew was a 45 R.P.M. record.  I didn't know which one it would be of the many I'd requested on my lengthy Santa Claus list.  I've collected recordings ever since I can remember.  My LP and 45 collection; my CD collection and the number of downloads on my various electronic devices rival one another for sheer enormity.  I love music.  No, more accurately, I am obsessed.  I get "addicted" and will often play the same songs or albums repeatedly for months at a time.

Me and my first dog, Sam.
I was about 11 y/o.
This certainly, was not at Christmas (bare feet in Massachusetts!)

Back in '71, I was eleven years old.  [Please don't do the math!  Thanks.]  I was hopelessly addicted to the song, "Family Affair" by Sly and the Family Stone.   If you don't know it, here, have a listen.  Just before midnight,  I opened the "45" record.  It was "Family Affair"!! I must have played it 5 times that night, on my parents' Magnavox stereo console (which I own today... it's in my basement).  I remember my mom remarking about the lyrics and vocals -- she hadn't heard the song before.  My dad, ever the music aficionado DID know the song, and grooved to it along with me.  I even played air guitar before it was called "air guitar".  Why this memory is so vivid, I do not know.  It was just a normal, everyday moment in the life of our little family.

Today, I got three wonderful Christmas Eve gifts.  All six of my beloved critters gathered in my kitchen simultaneously.  Granted, it was feeding time, but they never, ever all show up at once.  It's usually all three dogs (sometimes just two) and one cat at a time.  I took pictures, but they didn't come out great. They're just for me to look at when I start getting separation anxiety when I'm traveling later this week (didja know, grown up people can get that too? Yep... Check it out).

The second gift I got today was a handwritten letter, in the mail, from my father's Army buddy, "Bud" Rosen.  Those paying close attention might recall that I dedicated Volume 2 of MTAITW to Bud. Well, I had lost contact with him over the last several months.  He's 91, so I was a little worried when communications stopped a few months ago. I finally tracked him down by emailing his daughter -- he had moved to a new apartment, no longer has internet or email.  I sent him a card and a note in the regular mail, and said if you feel like writing back, please do.  I sorta thought maybe I wouldn't hear from him.   But all is well, and it was wonderful to hear from him on everything going on in his life. So, we've reverted to the old way of letter-writing through the good ol' U.S. mail.  (I like to think my father somehow arranged that!)

An earlier Christmas

The third gift was another snail mail item -- this time a Christmas card from "my second mom", Stella. She's my childhood friend's mother, and we grew up next door.  Our moms lived next door to each other for several decades.  Both houses were sold in 2010 within a few months of each other.  New, young families have taken over our corner.  It was just a quick note from Stella, but I always love hearing from her -- she is my kindred spirit in many ways, we have a lot of inside jokes and even though we aren't blood relations, I consider them just as much family as anyone else.

So, remember, no matter what kind of family you have, it's a family affair.

If you want to read a tale about another very special Christmas Eve from my childhood, click here.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The winner is...

I'm not a slacker, just busy!  I directly informed the winner of the Diamond Naturals Gift Basket Giveaway* that they had won, and I announced it on Facebook and Twitter, but I believe I forgot to post an update here on the blog itself.

Congratulations and happy holidays to Jozi the Corgi and the Pussycats!  I sincerely hope you'll enjoy the gift basket and can only imagine that it's filled with great stuff to keep you entertained for a while. Diamond Naturals is still preparing the baskets for shipment, so hold on tight, it is on its way!  That is, unless you've received it already!

Readers can follow Jozi and the pussycats' Twitter account here (and should!).  Here's a link to some very cute photos of Jozi, and I hope they don't mind but I'm borrowing my personal favorite

Not to be overshadowed are those awesome pussycats, Maddy and Sophie



*Original post, and giveaway, sponsored by Diamond Natural Pet Foods.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Meet the Bloggers Getting to Know You Blog Hop

Ok, I'm a day late (and a dollar short ha hahahah) because yesterday was NUTS, but I was told this event is going on through Christmas Day, so here goes:  I'm taking part in the Meet The Bloggers Blog Hop.  As such, I'm going to tell five things about myself that folks may or may not know (hopefully the latter, since how boring would it be if I told everyone stuff they already know?!).  They also want us to "come out from behind" the (camera, keyboard, computer), so you'll get a photo or two of yours truly to round out the equation.
Now, really, here goes!

Christmas, 2012 at Wiley Park
What’s your favorite non-animal related movie?  
Everyone knows this (look! I have failed already!):  Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life" is my favorite movie in the whole world.  I can't wait to watch it this weekend.  I cry every time I see it, and I've seen it hundreds of times.  Maybe thousands.  I can recite the entire script along with the movie -- like one would sing along with a song!

What’s your favorite non-animal related book?  
My "pillar of the Earth", Nauset Lighthouse
"The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett" -- just thinking about this brilliant historical novel gives me a little thrill!

One of my favorite pictures of me!

Who’s your favorite actor?
I haven't got one.  I guess maybe it would be James Stewart, but he's long since gone.  The old Hollywood actors are untouchable.  None of "today's" actors compare (in my opinion).  Now, if you had asked about SINGERS!!  [Tori Amos, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Chuck Negron]

What’s one thing you have to do every day?
What do you wish you were more skilled at?
This one's easy:  construction, renovations, repairs, art and playing an instrument.  I always have to hire someone to do work around the house, and I wish I could just take out a board and some tools and do it myself.  I can "dabble" at the piano or organ, but can't play for real.  I can't draw anything!

Me, 1963

What one word would people who know you use to describe you?
How is your pet most like you?
Separation anxiety.  Or just plain... anxiety!
Other than blogging, what are three things you do that bring you joy?
Well, I'm not certain blogging brings me joy, but anyway... these three things sure do (and these are "things", not people):  The beaches of Cape Cod; reading on Cape Cod; riding my bike on the Cape Cod Rail Trail.  
Here's me, doing two out of the three joyful things.
The beach is down the street.
(Can't read while riding a bike!)
So, I answered 7 questions.  
Meet the Pet Bloggers Hop

This blog hop is hosted by these wonderful folks who blog: (copied and pasted from one of their blogs. Hope you don't mind, and thanks!)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's a pile of dog books!

Here is a photo of my pile of unread books, 2014 calendars, and my journals where I wrote the yet-to-be-published "Hector's Story" and other stories.  The pile sits, ready to be brought on my two upcoming trips, in the hope that I'll get some reading AND writing done.  (Both trips are work assignments, so it's highly unlikely I'll get any of this done, but there are some long airplane rides so who knows?)

This morning, I had two emails from the wonderful W. Bruce Cameron.  I read his book, "A Dog's Purpose"  exactly one year before Hector's sudden death.  Bruce's amazing story helped me cope with the loss of Hector, and also helped me adopt two puppies not long after Hector's passing.  If you haven't read the book, it's about a dog who gets repeatedly reincarnated.  I always think I had to adopt Cooper seven months after getting his litter mate Charlie Brown because Hector's personality was so huge, so much larger than life, that his reincarnation required two dogs just to carry the love, and Cooper was accidentally adopted by the wrong family at first.  He had to find his way to us (or back to us, if you believe that reincarnation stuff!).  At least, I like to think so, hey, it makes me feel better, what can I say?

Back to today's emails:  one was a reminder that if you bought Cameron's new book, "The Dogs of Christmas" you could get a handy-dandy special gift if you post a photo of the book online no later than today ("works well under pressure", that is me).  So I figured what the heck, let's do it .  I went to pull the tome from my pile of unread books, and lo... there are TWO copies of "The Dogs of Christmas". How and why the heck did I do that?!  I have no idea.  So anyway, here is my photo and I'm going to submit it on Cameron's web site and see what little Christmas gift I can snag for myself.   Yeah, I'm a little bit Grinch-y, ok?

The remaining seven books in the pile can't really be seen in this picture (except for Cesar Millan's latest, which I still haven't read 5 months after getting it at his show).  They are ALL dog-related, except for two!  Oh dear, my obsession has been revealed, as if my readers didn't know already. Included are two autographed copies (what?!  Two?!) of Chuck Negron's memoir, "Three Dog Nightmare", which arguably isn't about dogs, but hey, close enough.   Those are NOT being taken on the trip.

Cesar Millan and me just 2 months
after Hector died.  Cesar autographed my journal
in which I wrote the Hector Story.
Cesar Millan, Junior, me, my friend
Lori (and her little one Nicolas lol!)

Me and Chuck Negron!
A teenage girl's dream come true!

P.S.  See that Tripawds 2014 calendar?  Cooper is one of the featured three-legged stars!!  He's the one in the chair... the other guy depicted on the same calendar page is a sort of look-alike tripawd named Clover.  Very clever of the folks over at Tripawds, eh?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's snowtime, folks!

Givin' a big ol' raspberry to snow!!

Charlie Brown says, "Open up that door, and lemme in!"

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You

Hey, when I was in kindergarten, we performed The King and I and I've never forgotten any of the songs -- no kidding, from like 5 years old!

So anyway, on December 18th, many of us in the pet-blogging community are taking an aside from pet-focused blogging and telling a little bit about ourselves.  It's called the Meet The Bloggers Hop, and I'm going to join in with dozens of other bloggers to tell little tidbits about the various wizards behind these bloggy curtains!

Tune in on December 18th, right here on k2's k9s and kitties.

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Coming soon! Original essays from

The last six or eight weeks have been so busy, I've barely had time to breathe.  I decided to move my domains and to this blog to consolidate in one place (and I had issues with complicated hosting options through the company that hosts my domains).

So anyway, as a result all my stories about my pets (both living and dead) Timba, Hobie, Hector, Fritz, Sam, Filkin, Maggie and Mr. Kitty no longer appear online.  Not to worry, they are on my computers and backup drives for safekeeping!  And soon, very soon, I'll self-publish them in print and e-book format.  I should point out that the aforementioned pets are just the ones I had written about on --  I haven't yet written the stories about Charlie Brown, Cooper, Tux, Newman and Cali; nor the long-ago pet companions Chi-Chi, Nigel, Slippers, Annie and Connie's cats that we fostered at the Farm back in the '90s!  So many pets I have shared my life with, how fortunate!

These essays will eventually appear here on this blog on the main menu -- I haven't quite figured out that step yet.  Stay tuned!!

For now, an update on Hobie:  he was in the hospital again this week.  His back legs had given out on him suddenly and we got him standing up again, but then he would not lie down.  After a sleepless night for all of us in the household, we brought him to emergency and even though it was pricey, he was taken great care of and restored to fully-functioning dog -- complete with the joys of an elderly god on steroids!  Just in time for the first snow, which he handled like a champ.  No price is too high to save our beloved Hobie's life.  Dog willing, he will be 14 next month.  He's our Millennium Dog.  (Here's a video from a few years ago lol)