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Archive for July, 2013

Over the past few months, I have been presented with a few awards by my fellow bloggers.  To those who have bestowed these gifts, do not think I have forgotten.  I owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude and am truly honored that you all have taken an interest in the life and adventures of us here at Grimm’s Furry Tail.  As the newest addition to the canine crew, I will let Rufus speak for all of us:

Thank You

Now it is my turn to pass along these terrific little gems.  Giving an award to a fellow blogger remains one of the best forms of encouragement; it is a way to tell someone that you enjoy their work, appreciate their effort and seek to read (or see) more of their talent.  Being on the receiving end, for me at least, lets me know that others have been entertained or somehow affected by my work.  Those words strung together, those photographs perfected, made their way into the life of another person and caused some sort of effect in their life.  Did I inspire them, compel them to ponder a deeper question, alter their perception or just make their day a little brighter?  Hopefully, if I did my job, I did all of the above and maybe more.

Awards

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Back in May, Kat from Travel. Garden. Eat. was kind enough to pass along the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  Her blog addresses most of my favorite things in life and she inspires me to get out and explore, even if it is just in my own backyard.  Her pictures, too, are truly beautiful but you shouldn’t just take my word for it.  Go check her blog out for yourself.  Go on.  I’ll wait.

There are a few rules to be followed when accepting this award:  thank and link back to the person presenting the award, post the award on your blog, pass the award along to fifteen other bloggers (I’m going to cheat and only pass the award along to three inspiring bloggers) and share seven facts or thoughts about yourself.  Because this blog is more about my dogs than me, I’ll share seven facts about them instead.

  1. Grimm has recently become obsessed with squirrels.  Even when inside, if you say the word “squirrel”, he looks up at the ceiling in anticipation of a fat, furry rodent dropping from the heavens.  I worry about him getting a crick in his neck from all the head twisting he performs in his search for these delicacies…I mean critters.
  2. If Zella gets really excited, she starts to vibrate.  Playing frisbee and running with me while biking tend to bring on this condition.  If the excitement continues, she starts to make duck and monkey noises, too.  One day, I expect her head to actually explode from her fervor.
  3. When Rufus waits for his food, he drools…and drools…and drools.  A small lake forms around his front feet.  Saliva bubbles erupt from his mouth.  Strings of slime drip from his chops.  The boy needs a bib.
  4. All three of my pit bull dogs have donated blood to other canines in need.  I warn the owners of the receiving dogs that if their canine suddenly develops an urge to eat flip flops or destroy any plastic disc shaped items after the transfusion, I am not to blame.
  5. Whenever we go outside, Grimm has to run about three laps around the yard just to warm up.  Then the real shenanigans can begin.
  6. Zella excels at reading my body language.  At times, she seems to know what I’m going to do before I do.
  7. Rufus is secretly a princess trapped inside an ogre’s body.  He has to sleep on soft, fluffy surfaces, can not walk or potty on damp or wet ground and must be assisted in getting in and out of his carriage (my car).

Now for my nominees for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award:

  • fishofgold.net–This blogger was recently Freshly Pressed for her post titled, “How To Make A Goldfish”.  After reading this, you understand just how incredible this lady is.  She touches on subjects some of us would rather pretend didn’t exist, but that is the reason why I respect her writing so very much.  Plus, she has a super cute dog!
  • bebeinside.wordpress.com–This blog actually belongs to my sister who inspires me every day.  She currently is staying with me and the crazy dog clan and is preparing for a new little one; I am going to be an aunt for the first time in 5 months and Grimm, Zella and Rufus are going to have a new human cousin!
  • queenofzoom.com–With five kids and five dogs, she really is zooming!  Her pooches make me smile and Mr. B is just a doll.  If you haven’t already, stop by for a visit!

Zella loves awards

The Liebster Award

At the end of May, Ena from Trying To Pray presented me and the gang with The Liebster Award.  A month later, another Liebster Award came our way, this time from The Crossover.  Thank you both for this honor and I am truly grateful to have gotten to know a little about both of you through blogging.

The rules for this award are as follows:  thank and link back to the nominating blogger, state eleven random facts about yourself, answer the eleven questions presented to you at the time of the award, pass the award onto eleven other bloggers and leave them with eleven questions to answer, too.  Lots of elevens in there!  So, without further ado, here are eleven facts about me (and the pooches):

  1. I have only had a cell phone for a little over a year.  Before then, I used a landline and smoke signals to contact people.
  2. When I was little, I wanted a horse so very much, but I only had a faithful dog.  I used to make a halter out of a leash for her to wear and I would make her jump over bricks and other obstacles while I pretended to be a great equestrian hunter/jumper.  Only later, as an adult, did I learn that our playtime and make-believe was actually agility and I had been using (quite successfully) a prototype of the canine head halter.
  3. The only food I really hate is jelly.  Yuck.  Don’t hide it in doughnuts or cookies, either–I’ll find it…and spit it out.
  4. Grimm is the biggest dog I have ever owned.
  5. I really wish I had a pool right now.
  6. Every time I go to the store, I buy a little something for the pooches.
  7. Rufus loves watermelon.  Anytime anyone eats any, he immediately starts drooling.
  8. I find myself browsing the back to school aisles even though I am not going back to school nor do I have any children who are.  Buying school supplies was one of my favorite tasks and perusing the school supply section is completely nostalgic for me, even if the trapper keepers have been replaced by iPad cases.
  9. I have been vaccinated for Rabies.
  10. Zella loves to bark at the lawn mower when I attempt to start it.  Once it starts running, she stops and runs away to chase bunnies.  It has become our lawn care ritual.
  11. I have always loved to read.  When I was a kid, I would actually get in trouble for reading too much and not completing my chores.  I would lock myself in the bathroom or read outside while hiding in the woods.

Here are the answers to the questions asked by Trying to Pray:

  1.  Are you a cat, dog or other person? I’m definitely a dog person although I do love cats, horses and goats. 
  2. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?  I love coffee and vanilla bean.
  3. Best childhood memory?  Exploring the woods around my house with my siblings.
  4. What is your favorite place to sit back and ponder life?  Anywhere outdoors.
  5. If you could go back in time and place, where would you go and why?  If time travel were possible, I would be the first in line to go back to the Jurassic period.  Dinosaurs have always amazed me and seeing a live Tyrannosaurus Rex would be truly awesome.
  6. What writers have inspired you?  L.M. Montgomery, Jack London, J.R.R. Tolkien, Shel Silverstein, John Grisham, Michael Crichton, Chris Wooding, Jane Austen, Jim Butcher…I could go on and on and on.
  7. If you couldn’t do what you are currently doing, what would you like to do or be?  I would love to have a little bookstore or run a plant nursery or have a hobby farm.  One day, maybe.
  8. What tastes better with ketchup on it?  I’m not a huge fan of ketchup, so I would say nothing!  Mustard is more my taste.
  9. What is your favorite color?  I love earth tones and all shades of blue, but I have been very partial lately to the color of slate.
  10. Where is the best vacation spot?  Anywhere away from the beaten path.
  11. Who fills your life with joy?  My family and friends and, of course, my dogs.

And from The Crossover:

  1. What is your all-time favorite book?  I have a lot of favorite books, but I think my all-time favorite must be The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  I think I first read it when I was about seven years old and I immediately gained a new respect for trees.  The unconditional love shown by the tree has meaning for both children and adults.  Reading it again as an adult who has experienced life and self-sacrifice makes the book relevant no matter your age. 
  2. What is your current favorite song?  Keep Your Head Up by Ben Howard.
  3. What was your favorite subject in school?  Biology and Studio Art.
  4. What is your favorite season?  I love the fall, especially when cold fronts bring blustery winds to Central Texas.  Spring comes in as a close second.
  5. If you could have any job, what would it be and why?  I would love to be trained as an architect, both structural and landscape.
  6. If you could interview any living person, who would it be and why?  Actually, this would probably be my maternal grandmother.  She is the last of my grandparents and her life experiences are always fascinating to me.  I always want to know more, but she is not the kind of person to really talk about herself.  Time is passing too fast, though, and I really need to find out all her secrets and desires, fears and feats.   
  7. What is the last movie you saw?  Pacific Rim.
  8. What is your greatest fear?  Death.  Or rather, I fear that I will die before I can accomplish all that I want or need to before I go.  I guess it is not so much the death part I fear, but rather dying with regrets.
  9. Are you a cat or dog person?  I am definitely a dog person.  I like cats, but mostly the ones who act like dogs.
  10. When are you the most productive?  Generally, I am most productive mid-morning after my coffee has kicked in and my brain has awakened.  I’m worthless after 10 pm.  My brain goes into standby mode then.
  11. Who is your hero?  Anyone who puts the needs of others before their own and who works to make the world a better place–the list is endless.  Anyone who makes the effort to make another’s life better is my hero.

And now onto my nominees for The Liebster Award (in no particular order):

For all of you listed above, these are the questions I would like to know the answers to:

  1. What made you start blogging?
  2. If you had to give up one cherished pastime or hobby, what would it be?
  3. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
  4. Where did you grow up?
  5. What is your favorite food or beverage in the whole wide world?
  6. What are you least skilled at?
  7. And most?
  8. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
  9. Do you prefer coffee, tea or neither?
  10. What type of landscape relaxes you the most?
  11. What television show or book series are you currently addicted to?

The WordPress Family Award

Lastly, two excellent bloggers presented us here at Grimm’s Furry Tail with the WordPress Family Award.  Thank you, Thoughts Of A Lesser Canine and Tails Of A Foster Mom for being part of our WordPress family!  Since all of you, dear readers, journey into the world of Grimm and friends, you are all a part of my WordPress Family.  Therefore, I pass this award along to all of my readers and thank you, with the deepest sincerity, for being a part of my blogging family.  I hope you will explore some of the blogs listed above and make your blogging family even bigger.

The Best

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How boring would life be if all the dogs in the world had the exact same personality?  Even within a breed of dog, drives and intelligence can vary greatly.  As much as many of us might wish, if they were perfect little robots all the time, life would be quite dull.  Always doing exactly the right thing, all the time, never getting into trouble or seeking out attention–might as well get a pet rock.

Zella shows off her perfect "Miss Manners" side while lounging on the couch.

Zella shows off her perfect “Miss Manners” side while lounging on the couch.

If they were all geniuses we might find roles reversed and dog owners worldwide would be in for loads of trouble.  Dogs are manipulative enough as it is–they are pros at giving the sad, dejected look in order to gain pity and force us humans to give in to their wills.  What if they had us doing their bidding all the time?  Can you imagine the hordes of canine-loving humans worn weary from endless frisbee tossing or how bank accounts worldwide would be drained from the massive purchases of treats and peanut butter?

To the untrained eye, Grimm may appear to be just lazily napping.  In reality, he is plotting out his next course of mischief.  The blanket over his head only serves to hide the evil mastermind gleam in his eyes.

To the untrained eye, Grimm may appear to be just lazily napping. In reality, he is plotting out his next course of mischief. The blanket over his head only serves to hide the evil mastermind gleam in his eyes.

What about the intellectually challenged?  It would get very monotonous indeed to constantly throw a ball for a dog only to watch it bounce, over and over again, off the top of his big, hard head.  Constantly tripping over a dog without enough sense to get out of the way would drive a lot of us crazy.  However, with a mixture of all the above personalities plus the countless, special quirks mixed in, life with canines becomes something altogether satisfying, joyous, baffling, comical, inspiring and exciting.

They can't all be perfect geniuses now,  can they?  Someone has to be the goofy simpleton.

They can’t all be perfect geniuses now, can they? Someone has to be the goofy simpleton.

Now, as someone who has an intellectually challenged dog, I can say there is something to be said about a “dumb but sweet” nature.  Rufus is not the sharpest canine around, but what he lacks in brains he makes up for in brawn.  I knew he had to be given that huge, hard head for something;  there is only a very tiny brain in there that doesn’t require much protection.  However, that tough skull comes in handy when plowing your way through brush and bramble even though a handy, cleared trail is only feet away.

His intellectual shortcomings, however, can be quite endearing.  He still hasn’t figured out that he can easily jump onto the back seat of the car.  He waits patiently (and would probably wait all day) for me to pick up his heavy self and place him onto the back seat.  No amount of bribing, threatening or other tactics can get him onto the seat by his own power.  He’ll put his front legs up on the back seat, but just stand there and wait, tail wagging, for me to hoist the rest of him.  By his way of reasoning, I’ve always picked him up (yeah, much easier to do 40 pounds ago) and placed him in the car, so that is how it is always to be.  Sweet as sugar, this rock of a dog, but slow as molasses.

Recently, thanks to Emily over at Adventures of a Dog Mom, the pooches all got to sample a canine version of ice cream–“Frosty Paws”.  Naturally, it was a hit, but poor ol’, simple Rufus was having a hard time eating it from the container (and keeping his face clean).  Because I suspected he might have trouble, I had to help him out a bit.  Some of you may think he is truly a super genius who just has me trained to do his bidding while acting helpless, but no.  Helping him out just speeds things along, pure and simple.

"This ice cream is soooo yummy!  Ummmm....lick, lick, lick.."

“This ice cream is soooo yummy! Ummmm….lick, lick, lick..”

"I think I'll just eat the whole container, thank you very much.  Nom...nom...nom..."

“I think I’ll just eat the whole container, thank you very much. Nom…nom…nom…”

"That was really good, but it made my mouth really cold.  Can I ask you a question?"

“That was really good, but it made my mouth really cold. Can I ask you a question?”

"Is my tongue blue?  Cause I think it's frozen.  Are you sure it's not bitten by frost?"

“Is my tongue blue? Cause I think it’s frozen. Are you sure it’s not bitten by frost?”

"Can I have some more?  That was SO GOOD!  I think I might be a little sticky..."

“Can I have some more? That was SO GOOD! I think I might be a little sticky…”

How could I not love this special boy?  What he lacks in brains he more than makes up for in comic relief and innocent sweetness.  He will never be a mastermind, but that’s okay.  He never fails to bring a smile to my face–his snaggletooth grin, pig-like waddle and complete trust can melt any heart. That’s my dog, pure and simple.

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Happy 4th of July 2013

 

 

Today America celebrates Independence Day–a day to relax with family and friends, drink a few beers, eat comfort food and ooh and aah over the spectacular fireworks that will be on display when twilight descends.  But how many of us really consider the words that started this day in motion on July 4, 1776?  I must admit…I hadn’t read The Declaration of Independence since my US government course in college.

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

 

The second sentence of The Declaration of Independence has been said to be the heart and soul of America.  All men [and I would add, “women”; Grimm would add “canines” to that sentence if he was asked his opinion] are created equal with certain unalienable rights.  Are we, in America’s society today, living up to this credence?  Would our founding fathers be proud of what we have become…or would they shake their heads in shame, disappointed in the welfare of our nation?  I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer.  After all, today’s society, and our world in general, has changed much in the past 237 years.  But no matter the changes, the above sentence has to remain true else we turn into the exact force we were trying to escape to begin with.

So today, as we celebrate our independence, think for just a moment about your own life, your own liberties, your own pursuit of happiness.  As a nation, we still have many hurdles to clear, but that is true of any large society, especially one comprised of so many different nationalities, religions and beliefs.  We have a choice, something so many others do not get.  Our founding fathers believed in it enough to make the following pledge:

 

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

 

How many of us, today, would make the same promise?  Standing up to tyranny and speaking out for those who can’t is a very hard thing.  People the world over have suffered at the hands of oppression and not all (or even a majority) have been successful in their efforts to achieve personal freedoms.  We are not a perfect country, but we are given choices–free will–to do what we need to within our laws to pursue our own happiness.  We have the choice to drink beer, eat barbeque and gather by the hundreds or more to watch exploding fireworks.  We have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

 

 

Life Liberty Pursuit of Happiness

 

 

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