Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Watch Holly Grow - Month Nine

www.donnasword.com

A cold, but gorgeous, winter day here in southwestern Ohio. As we prepare to close out the year and begin a new 2015 chapter in our life stories, we pause to capture one more moment in time.

Presenting Miss Holly at nine months.

And speaking of capturing moments in time, I've designed a photo collage of the weekly puppy photos we've taken of Holly since she showed up here last March.

From weeks eleven through twenty-nine, we can see the surprising changes as this tiny girl grows from an adorable cotton-puff to a beautiful creature. We started monthly photos at eight months.

Watch Holly grow, y'all.

raising a super dog www.donnasword.com
This photo collage is also on the
  Dog Hair is a Condiment Pinterest board
in a larger and easier to see format.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Good Stuff Journey 2014

There's no glory in living a life of regret. That's what I've been saying lately as life changes whirl about in my humble world.

Because we all choose to make risky choices, right? Even a calculated risk sometimes just doesn't work out the way we had envisioned. Maybe even took us back a step or two. We knew all that going in. But people ... what if it did work out?

What if?

Wasn't it worth just taking the chance at it?

raising a super dog www.donnasword.com
Because good sh*t happens to,you know.
And so at these roadblocks, we tighten our seatbelts to go rambling on to discover what happens on the Plan B path.

I find that it's not the risks I've taken that I regret later. Instead it's what I didn't do. Whether it was out of fear of the unknown, being too settled in my comfort zone, or simply doing a crappy job of not planning ahead, in the end it's the gray cloud of What If that comes to haunt me.

Oh sure, I could toss out a handful of for-instances. Stuff from missed deadlines to not snacking before going to the grocery. But that's not what's on my mind today.

I'm thinking about the 2013 Good Sh*t Jar.

With a rinsed out sauerkraut jar and some colorful scraps of paper, I recorded all the wonderful things that happened to our family during the year, no matter how minor the happy event.

We opened the jar on New Year's Day 2014 to read the notes. Dozens of slips of paper were stuffed in the happy aura inside that jar. Not one negative thought to spoil the bunch. What a way to begin the year.

So today I admit a regret of omission. I didn't start a 2014 Good Sh*t Jar.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Reindeer games


Hey, Food Lady, says Holly. Santa called. He wants me to come over to play reindeer games with Rudolph.

I can go, right? The Cat told me Rudolph has a big red glow ball that I can play Keep Away with. He says Rudolph loves this game.

I need to get back in good with Santa. I think this is just the thing that'll do it, too. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Role model

Hol-Lee! I call. Here!


Time to go inside! I say, as if she can connect these words with an actual command. C’mon, we have to get to work, kid.


Here! I repeat. Because I’m hopeful like that.


Darn it, puppy.

We got us a bit of an attitude problem this week. Holly loves to come to work with me. She just doesn't like to leave the pet park to do it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Holly Berry

Holly Berry
Christmas '14
I swear, Pinterest will be my undoing.

Last winter I come across a pin of a gorgeous golden retriever sporting a Christmas wreath. That is so fetch [heh], I thought. I can make that happen.

So I buzz right on out to pick up a decorated wreath from our local grocery superstore.

The results of this quest are below. Both the mighty Micron and Euka demonstrate how Christmas wreaths are not really one-size-fits-all.  I shoulda used a wreath with a bigger head hole.

Which was an awkward thing to ask for when wreath shopping this year. You'd think the guys at the Christmas tree farm would use Pinterest.

But I was able to score one. A wreath with a bigger head hole, that is.

And here's our Miss Holly Berry to be my Pinterest rock star.

But what about the rest of the Hero Litter, you ask.  Ah, thanks for bringing that up, y'all. Canine Companions for Independence has posted a holiday update for these amazing pups. Click here for a Happy Holidays from the Hero Litter.


Euka
Christmas '13

Micron
Christmas '13

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Here we go ... again

Put on your thinking cat for a math test.

Wait, no. It’s more like a memory question. Gads, which is harder – figuring out a math problem or trying to remember where you left your favorite comfy shoes? But no worries, people. We’ll keep it simple. It’s what I’m good at.

1. What were you doing five years ago?
2. What has changed since then?

3. And dear God why can’t we have just one thing stay the same on this green earth for once?

donnasword.com
The Mighty Micron
2009 version
Roll that around in your noggin for a couple of minutes. I’m good with waiting here. Actually I think I’ll toss a bag of popcorn in the microwave. That gives you an extra minute or so while I find a clean bowl.

Ok, you got it? What’d you come up with? Did you actually start to make a list, you over-achiever you? Once I greased the cogs to get the wheels turning, I counted off on my fingers the big changes, then took off my socks to tally the impending ground-shakers yet to come.

The time marker I gave of five years was not an arbitrary one. Because it was November 2009, a passing glance as life goes, that we launched Raising a Super Dog out to the great blogosphere with a Here We Go.

I really didn’t imagine this blogging gig to have lasted so long. Truth be told, my planning didn't extend past just sharing photos and stories with the other puppy raisers of Micron’s littermates. Then this weird thing happened.

donnasword.com
Yaxley
2011 version
We started to get readers. Lots of ‘em, too.

Affirmation, y’all. It’s a gateway drug and it’s addictive. It doesn't take more than a couple I-liked-your-last-blog-post and you’re plugging into Google Analysis to check your stats several times a day to get your affirmation fix. And then you need more, so you get hooked on your Klout.com score, even though you know it’s just a quick buzz and won’t last. You keep adding on the social media to increase readership. A Facebook page, Twitter account, Google+, and even, who knows why, you create a business Pinterest account to promote your website. Everything actually, except Instagram. Because that would be nuts.

A blink later, five years of your life has passed. And for what?

Over four hundred stories and a quarter million hits on your little niche blog, that’s what. It makes me teary-eyed, it does. Thanks y’all, for hangin’ with us on this journey of ours. Sloppy dog kisses to each one of you. Watch out for Micron, though. He’s bad about slipping you the tongue. Especially up a nostril.

donnasword.com
Euka II
2012 version
Here on Raising a Super Dog we've shared the adventures of three puppies in training – Micron, Yaxley & Euka – from stinkin’ adorable balls of fluff to service-dogs in training. Puppy Number Five, the darling Miss Holly, is working hard to keep the stories coming to you, too.

But things change, don’t they? Nothing can stay the same for too terribly long.

So while we celebrate the anniversary of Raising a Super Dog, we also embrace the new and exciting stuff that is on another path not yet explored.

These next few months will challenge us with some adjustments to that ever delicate Work/Life/Volunteer Balance and I’m blessed that at least have a heads up on some of it. Being an unrepentant control freak, I just don’t do well when life slips through my fingers like warm Jello. Sure, I can do change. I just cope much better when it’s my own.

So here’s what I’m gonna do.

I’m deploying a new blog. A sister site to Raising a Super Dog.
donnasword.com
Inga
2008 version

So I’m reading this great book. The protagonist at one point waves her hand and says “Go. Do. Be.” The scene and these three very simple words went bouncing about in my neurons.

Do your thing, people. Be an active participant of your own life, right? It’s your hands that are on the steering wheel, of course.

And amid all the GPS redirections that we encounter [recalculating], one thing in my journey has not changed. 

 Sharing my life with purpose-driven dogs. It's kinda a passion of mine.

donnasword.com
Holly
2014 version
So today I’m ridiculously thrilled to announce the launch of Go. Do. Be Dog: Living a purpose driven life with dog hair on my clothes.

Won’t you join us as we explore the wonderful stuff that is the Human/Animal Bond?

Some stories will be cross-posted across both blogs sites as we get things up and running. But later Go. Do. Be Dog. will be a stand-alone site, featuring guest bloggers and stories on the positive impact of having these remarkable canines at our sides.

Check it out and let me know what you think [**coff coff**affirmation**coff**]. Even better, pop me a note if you have your own story to share.

godobedog.com
Click here: Go. Do. Be Dog.

Sloppy dog kisses to everyone.

You see? I told you to watch for tongue. The sly devil.

donnasword.com
Pucker up, baby
The mighty Micron
Current version

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Deck the dog

www.donnasword.com
I'm so drinking the tree water


Excuse me as I break out into song.

[ahem]

Deck the dog with bells and antlers
Fa la la la la la bark bark bark

Yep. Now the season can begin, y'all.
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