Our “Winter Break”

Besides my post about Ryder (who is currently in a foster home right now, yay!), I have not blogged since Christmas. I have several excuses, but only a couple of them are legitimate. Here is the biggest one: We’re moving!

Most of my extra time has been spent getting our house ready to sell and looking for a new house. We ended up buying a new house before our house was even on the market, which added some serious stress to our lives. But once we spent a couple weekends touching up some paint and fixing a few things, we listed our house and it sold in two weeks!The Mr. and I couldn’t believe it when we got the offer in and we are officially moving in just a few more weeks.

While I am so happy about how painless the process was, I am struggling to balance the sad emotions of leaving a familiar place with the happiness of a bigger, newer house. On top of that, I have had to think about the dogs’ adjustment and making everything easy for them through the whole process. In the long run, I think the dogs will love the new house. We have a big fenced in yard, a nice neighborhood to walk in and our favorite trail system connects just minutes from our doorstep. The house is about 20 minutes south of Portland, in my hometown of Old Orchard Beach (and more importantly the home of Lisa’s Pizza and Pier Fries!).  So now we will also be about 2 minutes from the beach instead of 20!

Besides dealing with house stuff, our winter break included a lot of snowblowing, playing in the snow, shoveling snow, and oh did I mention snow? IMG_4959 IMG_4976 IMG_4974

With all the snow days and work form home days, the pups got a lot of snuggle time in.IMG_5105 IMG_5168 IMG_5094

Although I haven’t had a lot of spare time to blog, I have kept up on Facebook and Instagram, so make sure you like and follow us there! I will be sharing more about the move later, but for now, here are some of the things that happened during our three months of blog silence (in photos): IMG_5161 IMG_5152 IMG_5120 IMG_5110 IMG_5054 IMG_5040 IMG_5337 IMG_5291 IMG_5269 IMG_5278 IMG_5267 IMG_5242 IMG_5214



Vacation Recap: Top Five Best Moments

Originally I intended to write about our entire vacation. But, for the sake of time, and your boredom, I decided to pick the top five experiences to share with you. So here it goes:

5. Finding dog stuff to take photos of/with.

At Universal, the gift shop had stuffies of Hagrid’s dog.
DSCN1831Apparently in this photo, taken at Toon Town in Universal, I was supposed to pretend that Marmaduke was dragging me. Now, it just looks like I’m floating.
DSCN1829On the cruise ship, there was a statue of a bulldog.
photo-1 copyI have to be honest, I tried NOT to look for dogs when we were in port. Some of the islands (Haiti and Jamaica) are pretty poor, so I was afraid what I would see. Luckily, I didn’t see too many strays, as we tended to stay in very ‘touristy’ areas, when we weren’t on a beach.

4. Getting to hold a baby turtle.
Grand Cayman is home to the world’s largest turtle farm. They breed thousands of endangered sea turtles and release them into the wild. It was awesome to see all different species and turtles in all different life stages. We even got to hold baby turtles! They like getting their chins scratched. Apparently it calms them down.
DSCN1876 DSCN1859 DSCN1907DSCN1914DSCN1937DSCN1906DSCN1891Sparky is the oldest and biggest turtle there, weighing in at 500 pounds.
DSCN1923We saw the breeding turtles get fed. It looked like large bags of dog kibble! I can’t adequately say how cool this experience was for a turtle lover like myself!

3. Exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The Mr. and I love Harry Potter, so it was only natural for us to plan a day at Universal when we decided to fly into the Orlando airport. The replica of Hogwarts was massive, and looked exactly like it does in the movie. You walk through the whole castle and at the end it’s a ride that simulates riding a broom. I really only saw half of the ride, because it shut down right in the middle! It was such a bummer because it looses a bit of the ‘magic’ when you can see the screens and the tracks that the ride is on. I was just thankful that the car I was in was right side up and I wasn’t stuck dangling upside down!
DSCN1801 DSCN1798 DSCN1795 DSCN1835While at Universal we also saw a Matchbox 20 concert and a Mardi Gras parade. It was a great way to kick off our vacation!

2. Seeing the Cozumel Humane Society booth in the cruise terminal.
It was such a surprise to walk off the ship and find an animal shelter booth set up in amongst all the touristy shops. But I was so happy we did! It was toward the end of the cruise and I was missing Nola terribly. When we turned the corner and saw the puppy, the Mr. and I stopped dead in our tracks. We went right over and gave her belly rubs and ear scratches. We spoke with the gentleman manning the booth for a while. He said that he brings a new dog to the terminal every day to get donations and spread the word. He said the stray dog population in Cozumel has been reduced significantly since the Humane Society got involved. They are a no-kill shelter and try to educate about spaying and neutering. They had all sorts of little souvenirs for dogs, so we donated and got Nola a bone. Even our mere $20 was received by the man like it was a million dollars. He told us that even just $20 could help 4 or 5 (out of the 60!) dogs already in the shelter.
DSCN1971 DSCN1970 DSCN1973 DSCN1974

We went back after we got back from the beach, but the puppy had left for the day.

DSCN1976 1. Coming home to this face.
photo-1 copy 2
The Mr. and I had an amazing time on our vacation, but by the end we really missed our Nola Muffin. She had a great time with my parents, and even though I purchased an international text plan to be able to check in, everything went fine. Nola got to go to the beach with Pepere everyday for an hour or two! She was so tired when we finally got home, that she went right onto our bed and didn’t move until the next morning. We had a great time, but it’s nice to get back into the routine of ever day living. Next time we go away on vacation it will be with Nola and somewhere in the U.S.!

You Know You’re a Dog Lover When…

You go on your honeymoon and come home with photos of all the dogs you saw along the way. (Which is what the Mr. and I did after we went on our honeymoon to Europe back in June of 2011.)

This guy was laying on the cool rocks at the Acropolis in Athens.

This guy was laying on the cool rocks at the Acropolis in Athens.

We saw this pup at a cafe in Athens.

We saw this pup at a cafe in Athens.

He even sat with us for lunch.

He even sat with us for lunch.

A pup we spotted in a shop.

A pup we spotted in a shop.

This pup we saw in Turkey. It was actually pretty sad because he seemed like he was a stray but he was so young. :(

This pup we saw in Turkey. It was actually pretty sad because he seemed like he was a stray but he was so young. 😦

A pup hanging out in Kusadasi, Turkey.

A pup hanging out in Kusadasi, Turkey.

I am sure we will have more pics of the pups we saw during our vacation when we get back next week. Do you take pictures of other dogs when you go on vacation?

Aruba, Bahamas, Come on Pretty Mama…

By all accounts this winter has sucked. Plain and simple. It has been extremely busy and stressful at work, and the winter weather decided to make life even more miserable. So, after one particularly annoying snow storm back in January, the Mr. and I decided to plan a vacation to somewhere warm, without snow, and far away from here.

What we're leaving (both Nola and the snow)

What we’re leaving (both Nola and the snow)

We enjoyed our honeymoon cruise around Europe so much that we booked another one, this time to the Caribbean. It’s going to be 9 days of sun, sand and relaxation. (We also are planning a stop at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, since we’re flying into Orlando. Don’t judge, we are nerds and we embrace it!)

Where we're going!

Where we’re going!

I have been in Boston to work a tradeshow since Friday, and then we leave this Friday for the cruise. I will not have access to the internet while cruising, so as much as I love all our faithful readers, you won’t be hearing from me until I am thoroughly relaxed and have a nice brown tan.

I am a little anxious about leaving Muffin for 9 days, but she will be with her Pepere and Memere (my mom and dad), who I think she loves even  just a little more than us. Since I am a big worrier they are not dog owners, I leave them with a typed out set of “rules” for Nola that include her meal schedule, what NOT to feed her, the vet’s phone number, emergency vet directions and commands we use when we want Nola to do something. It stinks that I haven’t seen her the past 5 days and only have two nights to spend with her until I leave for another 9 days. Is it crazy that I am a little more sad about leaving her than I am happy about vacation?

Well anyway, Bon Voyage to all of you. Have a great week…..and peace out Maine winter!

Book Review: Wedding Dogs

Two of my favorite things, ever, are weddings and dogs. I spend more time than I like to admit watching wedding shows on TLC. And, ever since we got Nola two years ago, I can’t remember the last time I read a non-dog book. If you put those two things together I am in crazy dog lady/girlie heaven. So, when I was asked to review a book called Wedding Dogs: A Celebration of Holy Muttrimony, I enthusiastically said yes!
weddingdogs_final_72Just reading the description of the book made me giddy.

Wedding Dogs features fabulous photographs and stories of the special canines who joined in the celebration of their owners’ big day. Decked out in tiny tuxedo or collars of roses. the pooches portrayed in Wedding Dogs run the gamut from tiny Chihuahuas to fluffy Siberian huskies; all played an important role in their owners’ nuptials. Whether serving as the maid of honor or best man, ring bearer or flower girl, or even acting as an honorary envelope liker- these dogs steal the show!”

And when I received the book, I was not disappointed. This book is the cutest thing EVER. I loved flipping through the beautiful photographs of people and their dogs. I enjoyed reading the little stories about each wedding day and the unique way the pup was a part of it. I literally smiled the whole time I read it. I mean what’s not to love? It’s dogs and weddings, remember?IMG_3788The Mr. and I got married a little over a year ago. Having Nola there was logistically impossible, but after seeing all these photos it makes me wish we figured out a way to have her in some of our wedding photos. These are memories that people will cherish forever, and why wouldn’t you want ALL of your family to be a part of it?IMG_3791Some of my favorite photos, were of course, the Boxers and the French Bulldogs. But, there were a multitude of breeds represented, including Labs, a couple of Great Danes, some Bichons, and the CUTEST bull dog puppy. It would have been nice to see some smiling pittie faces, but it felt like the ‘bully breeds’ were represented in many of the photos.
IMG_3787If the book isn’t enough, on the website, you can look at more photos that people have uploaded of their wedding dogs. They also have a Facebook page, so if you’re addicted to looking at dogs in wedding attire, head on over there and ‘Like’ them.

This book would be the perfect engagement or wedding shower gift for any dog loving bride. It comes out April 16, just in time for the beginning of the Spring/Summer wedding season! Or, you could just buy it for yourself, it looks pretty great on my coffee table too! I promise you won’t be disappointed. Head on over to Amazon to buy your copy!

P.S. Did any of you have your dogs as part of your wedding? Or at least in the photos?

P.P.S. I was provided the book for free to review, but the opinions in this post are mine, and I was not compensated for the review.