Traveling Dog Lady: August 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A week of anniversaries

Saturday marked two years since we adopted Cooper.  He's now a thriving member of our family, and can sometimes be a pain in the neck!  But we love him!

Today, August 26th, it's been five years since Newman (a.k.a. Hairball) joined our pack.  He was adopted three weeks after Tux and Cali because Newman had a flea infestation and the person who had the kittens wanted to be sure he was free of fleas before handing him over to us.  The three came from three different litters of motherless kittens, but we adopted them at the same time.  I named him Newman because, in the days prior to his coming to live with us, I kept referring to him as "The New Cat" or "The New Guy".  New Man just seemed to fit (in spite of the fact that Paul Newman, one of our favorite actors, had passed away about a year before, Newms was not named in memory of the actor and salad dressing king).  Gil dubbed Newman "Hairball" because his original family had shaved the long-haired cat to get rid of the fleas, but left a "ball" of long fur at the top of his tail as a little joke.  The nickname stuck, and today we use the names Newman and Hairball interchangeably!

Poor Newms with a close shave and poofy tail!

The gorgeous guy today!

And last, but certainly not least, we observe the three year mark since we lost our beloved hound dog extraordinaire, Hector, this Thursday, the 28th.  I have written so much about Hector in the years since he died, I don't really have much more to say, except that we both miss him every single day, even though we've got our hands full of canine and feline love around here with our other pets.  There was nobody else like Hector, and there never will be.  

Love hold my hand
Help me see you with the dawn
That those that have left
Are not gone

But they carry on
As stars looking down
As nature’s sons
And daughters of the heavens

You will not ever be forgotten by me
In the procession of the mighty stars
Your name is sung and tattooed now on my heart
Here I will carry, carry, carry you forever

You have touched my life
So that now
Cathedrals of sound are singing, are singing
The waves have come to walk with you
To where you will live in the land of you,
Land of you

You will not ever be forgotten by me
In the procession of the mighty stars
Your name is sung and tattooed now on my heart
Here I will carry, carry, carry you
Here I will carry, carry, carry you forever.

"Carry" by Tori Amos

Please note: k2k9 will be taking a short break from blogging and social media between now and the September 8th.  There may be intermittent posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but don't count on it :)!

See you in September!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

k2k9 Joins The Writing Process Tour

First, I'd like to give a big thank-you shout out to Christina Berry of The Lazy Pit Bull, who tagged me to participate in the Writing Process Blog Tour.  You can read about Christina's writing process, and see the blurb she posted about k2k9, here.  

Turns out I am one of the last pet bloggers (of our little, intimate group of which there are hundreds!) to participate in the Writing Process Blog Tour.  It's been a very challenging period of time in our household lately, for reasons I am not at liberty to write about, and I'm even surprised I offered to join in.  Nevertheless, here I am; so here goes!

I'm supposed to tag three other bloggers who would be next on the blog tour.  Unfortunately, just about everyone I know has already participated in the event, so, I'm tagging just ONE blogger, Jessica Louise Handley of Waggy Tales blog!  How cool that I get to tag someone from merry ol' England, a place I have visited so many times, I have lost count!  Jessica blogs about her joyful adventures with her beloved pup, Lottie, a West Highland White Terrier.  Ok, Jessica, I invite you to join the Writing Process Tour!

Jessica and Lottie of Waggy Tales!

Now comes the boring part!

What am I working on?

I've recently started contributing again to DoggyLoot's blog, DoggyWoof after they took a brief hiatus to re-organize.  They've got me writing mainly about traveling with dogs, which goes along with my long-term goal of getting my new lifestyle blog, The Traveling Dog Lady up and running.  It's a work in progress.  I'm also still contributing to the e-zine Cape Women Online, and have an article coming out in their fall "Harvesting Your Passion" issue on the same theme.   I've got two books of essays partially written, and am combining them into one book.  After I took the Camp NaNoWriMo challenge in July, I realized I should just combine the work I did there with the essays I've been wanting to publish for many years.  So, stay tuned for that.  And, of course, I'm still slogging away (and making absolutely no progress!) on the final volume of Dad's letters from WWII.

Why do I write what I write?

I've been blogging for nearly 10 years now.  Folks that I know have often come to me for pet advice on everything from pet health and behavior issues, to how to re-home a dog or cat using shelter and rescue networks and social media connections.  My partner, another friend, and one of my childhood friends kept telling me they really enjoyed my writing and that I needed to put it out there for others to read.  It was their encouragement, along with folks coming to me for advice about their pets, that got me started on the road to blogging.   My beloved dogs, Hobie and Hector, were my original inspiration, and continue to be today, despite the fact that Hector is now gone, and Hobie is very old.  They own my heart, those two hounds.

How does my writing process work?

My free time is in the morning, because I work at my regular (accounting) job on an odd shift that starts at noon and ends between 7 and 9 p.m., depending on the time of year.  After I've taken care of the dogs, cats and humans in the household, I grab a cup of coffee and head upstairs to the computer usually after 8 a.m.  I usually have to do a few things related to my regular job, even in the morning; and then I either write for my blog, or an outside assignment, or post relevant pet-related stuff to social media sites. I like taking pictures of my pets, and do so almost every day -- I like to share them on Twitter and Instagram.

On the beach in Gloucester, Mass. with Charlie Brown and Cooper on their birthday!

I don't pre-schedule or pre-write posts, and I've been criticized for that at least once. (I just don't deal with that person anymore!).  I write "by the seat of my pants" with the exception of assignments from outside organizations like DoggyLoot, Cape Women Online or CBS Local (for whom I'm currently not contributing).  But even under those circumstances, I work best under pressure, and will usually procrastinate until the very last minute before sending them the next article or blog post.  I write "in my head" while lying in bed, or driving in the car, or (best place!) in the shower.  Here's a good quote related to that process, and it's so true:

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” 
― Saul Bellow
I don't take notes in a notebook or anything, I just remember what I wanted to write about, sit down, and write.  J.D. Salinger said he wrote for himself and for his own pleasure, or something like that.  I try to stick to that, too, because all the fame and fortune (especially surrounding the internet and social media) isn't all it's cracked up to be!  Just write!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Morning dog walk

Senior dogs are the BEST!  This morning, Hobie took me to a place we have never been before.  We have been coming here 10 years, and this morning I just let him lead me where he wanted to go.  I mean, he may never come here again... I have to indulge what he wants.  So many years I dragged him home in a hurry because I had so much to do!  I think about that now, and realize "How silly."  Here are some pictures of our ride to the beach, and today's walk.  Keep it simple.

Road trip!!

Our cottage on the super-safe road.  Road was washed away by erosion many years ago.

"Mo-om! There are some great smells around here!"


Morning stroll!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Happy gotcha day!

Five years ago today, we adopted two motherless kittens who were NOT from the same litter!

Cali (a.k.a. "Lady Kitty" because she's the only female pet); and Tux (a.k.a. "Bullet" because he flies through the air, really fast,  without touching the ground) joined our pack on August 1st, 2009.

Introducing them to Hobie and Hector, at the time, was quite the challenge, even though the dogs had grown up with cats their whole lives.  At one point, Hobie tried to eat Tux.  Blood was drawn.  It wasn't Tux's blood!  Hobie could have lost an eye, or something.  The scrapping didn't last long.  It was clear that Tux was in charge.

Today, Tux cuddles with Hobie all the time, and they have a wonderful friendship.

This morning, Cali joined Charlie Brown and me on our walk to the lake and back.  She hasn't done that for a while, so I figure she must have known it was our anniversary!

They look full-grown here, but they were just little kittens -- approximately 3 months old.
This is the first photo I took of them when I brought them home.

 I'll be writing a post next week for DoggyLoot, about how to introduce a new cat to a home where dogs already live.  Keep your green eyes open for that!

Cali, relaxing in the shade after our walk this morning!
Happy Gotcha Day, Cali-co!
(I'll add a picture of Tux after he comes out of hiding!)

We are so lucky to live on an extremely-safe (no-traffic) dirt road.