Free Dog Key Ring with PawZaar Purse Purchase!

This weekend, we’ve got a fun special to share: with every order from the PawZaar Purse Collection, we’ll include a bonus DOG or CAT key ring, the perfect accessory for your new bag. (Or…



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DogTipper

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Chasing Butterflies

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If you’re ever in need of an escape to reset your head and find a little bit of peace in the chaos that swirls around you, I highly recommend Thailand. I have lots of stories and photos to share about the elephants I met, but today I have a different story to tell.

Although not quite intentional, when I planned this trip I realized I was returning the day before my son’s tenth birthday, which is also the one year anniversary of my mother’s death. To spend the two weeks leading up to it in a dream fugue of green hills and silent Buddhas was a serendipitous gift that I really needed, because otherwise I would be at home, reliving those long painful days.

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Partway through the trip, our group left the elephant sanctuary for the day and travelled to a small offshoot, where the park personnel were working with a large group of macaques. These monkeys, over a hundred of them, had been seized from the streets of Bangkok by the Thai government and were set to be sold to a laboratory before the park founder intervened and took them in to the sanctuary with little more than two weeks’ notice.

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It is, to put it mildly, a large undertaking.

When we arrived, a small cadre of volunteers was upgrading the enclosures and getting a handle on one of the first orders of business: neutering the male monkeys. This is necessary for a variety of reasons; behavioral, and the fact that as adorable as all the babies were, they didn’t need to add more to the mix.

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But needless to say, the monkeys themselves were not as thrilled with the idea. They are smart. They know what the little blowdarts mean: someone gets sleepy and goes away for a bit; and they were really, really good at evading them.

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Two unsuccessful hours in, as we were still watching the goings-on and waiting for someone to neuter, a small motion caught my eye. It was a bright orange butterfly.

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Butterflies have long been my mother’s favorite creature; it is impossible for me to see one and not think of her. They are, and always have been, her avatar. And I, who had been studiously avoiding getting into my head on the topic, had no choice but to sit and think about her.

The butterfly eventually flitted on further into the field, slowly and lazily as if to wait for me to get the hint, so I followed.

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I vaguely heard people calling after me as I wandered off, but my attention was turned elsewhere: The field this butterfly had led me to was alive.

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I had never seen so many different butterflies all in one place; the green ones that looked like leaves caught on the wind; the orange one that flew like scattered flower petals; the small grey ones on the ground that sat like pebbles until, unfurling their wings, they revealed themselves to be blue.

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I didn’t even notice the one on the left at first; a camouflaged creature, hiding in plain sight, watching over the three remaining orange butterflies.

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When I saw it, so hidden yet just as real as the remaining three, it hit me so suddenly that my breath caught. A whisper on the wind as clear as day: She is here. She is always here, all around you, and your dad, and your sister.

I hadn’t been expecting such an obvious revelation, and certainly not in what appeared to be an empty field, but I seem to require very deliberate signs from the universe in order to pay attention.

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Eventually Teri came bushwhacking to scrape me off the riverbank and let me know a monkey was ready for a neuter. I had found a riverbed where the butterflies swirled, and in that silent contemplation, I was able to get up and go back to the insanity of our lives.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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My Hearts

I’m just popping in today to share this picture I snapped of Robbie and Essley baking faux cupcakes in her play kitchen last week. I’ve mentioned several times here that he had to leave for the band’s busiest few months of the year when Emmett was just two weeks old. This was tough on all of us, but as exhausting as the last few months have been for me, and as much as Essley missed her daddy, it was the hardest of all on Robbie. Now that we’re in the midst of a slower couple of months for him work wise (he was home for a couple of weeks last month, and is for about two-thirds of June as well), he has been devoting every moment to quality time with the kids. It’s pretty heart melting to see the bond between them, enough so that I felt motivated to give this shout out today. I love my family guys. So much. They’re my hearts. And that’s pretty much all I have to say today. I’m feeling a little emo, I guess.

There will be no post tomorrow, so I’ll see you Monday. Have a great weekend, friends!

P.S. I’ve gotten so many questions about this play kitchen. This is the one we have. She loves it!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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The Awful Case of Kristen Lindsey

In April 2015, Kristen Lindsey, DVM, shot a cat through the head with an arrow and then posted a picture on Facebook with the following caption:

“My first bow kill … lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it’s [sic] head! Vet of the year award … gladly accepted.”

These facts are not in dispute. Why she did it, however, is. This is why she is currently testifying in an administrative hearing in order to try and keep her veterinary license. At its heart is the question, “Is there any justifiable reason for her to have done that?”

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The answer is no. It is an unequivocal no.

I have avoided commenting on the topic because once the image went viral, the reaction was swift and potent. She has received death threats and her family has been harassed. What she did was horrific and wrong, and sending death threats is also horrific and wrong, and I didn’t want to embolden the sentiment that might encourage one more person to do so.

I have yet to read a single sentiment from the veterinary community that attempts to defend Lindsey. What I have read, and it reflects my own views, is that her actions are utterly condemnable and she needs to be removed from the profession. Physically attacked or threatened? No.

But Please, Please Go Away

The reason I am speaking on this now is to clarify the position that just because many of us have not clamored to do the same to Lindsey as she did to (what most presume to be) Tiger, this does not mean we want anything to do with her in the profession.

This was a career-ending action. There is no place in this field for a colleague who thinks it is 1. appropriate to do this in the first place and 2. post it on social media. There just isn’t.

Had she simply disappeared under the radar and gone on to find a job in a non animal-related field, I would never have even written about the case. But she didn’t. She is fighting to keep her license. The VIN News Service is sharing the testimony on Facebook and it is alternatively sad and horrible and infuriating.

She is continuing to try and justify her actions based on what she thought the cat was (feral, intact, rabid, it keeps morphing.) There are no justifying conditions. 

She is arguing that if she loses her Texas license, she will not be able to get licensed anywhere else, that she is unemployable. That is a consequence she brought upon herself. The only remorse she has expressed is for herself.

She has forced a hearing at which the presumptive owners of Tiger have to come in with lawyers, be cross-examined, and again view what happened to the cat. She is continuing to cause distress to these people by forcing them to participate in this hearing.

I will continue to state forcefully and with great passion that I do not think violence, or even threats of violence, are an appropriate response to a violent act. But I will also state forcefully and with great passion that Dr. Lindsey, we do not want you in our profession representing what we work so hard to do every day to better the lives of people and animals.

It doesn’t really matter what the board decides in terms of your license, I highly doubt you will ever practice again. So please, for the sake of everyone involved, please- stop this fight to stay within the field. You’ve already shown yourself out.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Traveling to Europe with Your Dog #infographic

Through the years, we’ve been incredibly lucky to have had numerous travel assignments take us to Europe. Although the bulk of our travel guidebook work involved the Caribbean and Texas, one…



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DogTipper

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The Best Father’s Day Gift Ever (+ $50 Snapfish Gift Cards Giveaway!)


Let me start out by saying that I realize calling something “The Best Father’s Day Gift Ever” means it must be pretty freaking amazing. And while the early Dad’s Day gift we designed and gave to my husband wasn’t, like, a trip around the world or a new luxury car, Robbie told us that it was, indeed, the best Father’s Day gift ever. And we believe him.

As my regular readers know, a little over two years ago, Robbie became a dad for the first time, and a few months ago, the second time. He also works full time as the Stage Manager for a band – and is on the road for over half the year. In fact, he had to leave for a several month tour with only weekly quick stops at home when our baby boy was only 2 weeks old. I am very proud of what a hard worker he is and how great he is at his job, and I’m thankful that we’re able to be so supportive of each others’ unique careers. But it’s not always an easy life for the kids and me – or for him. He has to miss a lot of “firsts,” a lot of holidays and important events, and the day-to-day family life that most probably take for granted. I have to say though, he more than makes up for any absence or sacrifice by legitimately being the most incredible father to our kids. The love and bond they share simply cannot be taken away by the limited time he has with them. He goes above and beyond – from dress-up tea parties in tiaras with our daughter, to story times that turn into hours, to many all-nighters spent semi-sleeping in a chair rocking a babe during the newborn months, to multiple daily park trips, to an almost infinite number of other wonderful things he does. I feel very lucky that Robbie is the person to help me raise Essley and Emmett. I am so, so grateful.

For this Father’s Day, I wanted to come up with an idea for a gift for Robbie that was sentimental, and would show just how much we appreciate him, while still being his style. We tend to get each other practical gifts (aka gift cards) which is all well and good, but I felt like for his first Father’s Day as a daddy of two we needed to step it up. The perfect gift would be something personal, inspired by his journey into parenthood over the last few years, from the time I got pregnant with Essley through the present. It was also really important to me for it to be something he could bring with him on the road – something he could look at when he missed us and be instantly reminded of the great times we share when we’re together. I thought long and hard about this. And then it hit me. A beautiful, high-quality photo book from Snapfish, with touches that reflected his style aesthetically and told our story as a family – and that he could pack in his bag when it was time to go on tour – would be the ultimate Father’s Day Gift.

Making the book was such a fun project (I actually laughed and teared up during the process, multiple times). I decided to go with an 11 x 14 book with the LayFlat Hard Cover, then entered the Snapfish project space. I uploaded my photos (a ton of them) from my computer (you can also upload from Facebook or Instagram), then played around with text/sentiments, embellishments, backgrounds, and designer layouts, etc. to create a one-of-a-kind gift for our one-of-a-kind dad/husband. Robbie’s style is simple and he loves dark neutrals, so I used a charcoal color for the cover and half of the inside pages. For the other pages I used the “Family Man” layout’s wood grain design. I chose embellishments from “Family Man” as well for some of the book, and the “Create Your Own” option for the rest so I could design some of it from scratch. I went with a simple font for the captions. Essley got in on the action too and helped me choose which photos to use – from the first ultrasound of her through my pregnancy, her birth, my pregnancy with Emmett, his birth, and all our adventures in between, up until now. I focused on including as many pictures as possible with Robbie and kids, being silly and having fun and just loving one another.

We decided to give Robbie the gift early so he could start enjoying it and be able to take it on the road with him right away. And truth be told, I couldn’t wait until Father’s Day once I saw it in person. It’s really gorgeous you guys. The quality is stellar (I am so in love with the lay flat hard cover), the pictures are crisp and vibrant, and it genuinely looks like a professional quality coffee table book you’d pick up at a high end boutique. Essley helped me wrap it up and we gave it to him after dinner the other night. Now my husband is not one of those people who bursts into tears at the sight of something sentimental. But I definitely spotted the glimmer of watery eyes when he unwrapped it and saw the front cover (the first photo taken on the four of us, on the day Emmett was born). We all piled onto the oversized chair in our living room and spent some time looking through it together. It was pretty awesome watching him crack up over funny and ridiculous memories and smile over the sweet ones. And like I said, he officially declared the photo book “the best Father’s Day gift ever.” So I think we did good.

One thing I’ve noticed with my own husband and with friends who are fathers is how today’s dad seems to be more engaged than ever before with the kids, and is ultimately redefining what it means to be a father. And I think this is a source of pride for them (as it should be!). So really, what better way to show appreciation for that than with a personalized Father’s Day gift that showcases their relationships with their children? If you’re on the look out for something truly special, checked out Snapfish‘s options for creating personalized photo gifts for Father’s Day this year (or for any occasion where you want to show gratitude). I’m so thrilled with the way ours turned out, and even moreso by how much Robbie loves it.

And now for the giveaway! Snapfish is giving away 35 (!!!) $ 50 product codes so you can create your own personalized gift (or whatever you’d like!). To enter, just use the entry form below. There are several ways to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The giveaway is open to US residents ages 18+ (only one winner per household, please), and runs through June 10th at 9pm PT. Winners will be randomly selected and notified by Snapfish by June 17th. Good luck! And happy Fathers Day!

Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Cicada emerges


Natural History

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Fido + Fluffy’s #FreebieFriday Plans for Memorial Day Weekend

The unofficial start to summer is now right around the corner. As we stop this weekend to remember the service men and women who have given their lives, I know that Memorial Day also marks the change…



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DogTipper

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Red-shouldered hawk eating chicken livers

A red-shouldered hawk comes by to eat chicken livers left out for coyotes and foxes:


Natural History

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Misty Discovers the ‘Truth’ About Vets

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Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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