A Holiday Window Art Project

I thought Essley was excited for the holidays last year, but this year puts last to shame. She turns 3 on December 28th, and this is the first holiday season where she really gets it. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and it’s basically all she talks about. From Santa Claus and Christmas trees to holiday songs and movies to holiday treats, she is obsessed. But her favorite holiday symbol, one about which she speaks almost incessantly, is the snowman. And more than anything, she loves to draw snowmen, and for her dad and I to do the same. So I had an idea of how we could incorporate three things she loves – art, holiday decor, and, of course, snowmen – into a fun creative project that would likely blow her little mind.

One morning last weekend, before my husband took her to run some errands, I told Essley to get into the holiday spirit because when she got home, we were going make something fantastic together. She was so excited that she insisted on wearing a holiday dress. (And truth be told, I may have been even more excited about it than she was.) I put on some holiday music, washed the big window/glass door leading to our back porch (because when you have a 10 month old babe and a 2.5 year old toddler, glass without tiny handprints no longer exists), and gathered our supplies: some Crayola Window Markers and the new Crayola Air Marker Sprayer. When she got home and I told her that we were going to airbrush a snowman scene on the window, she started cheering and dancing around the room. It was pretty awesome.

The first thing we did was sat down with our supplies and picked out our colors, and then Essley practiced putting markers into the Air Marker Sprayer. Then we got to it! This thing is the absolute coolest you guys – all you do is plug it in, insert a marker (the spray nozzle is compatible with all Crayola Broad Line Markers, not just the Crayola Window Markers we used), push the on button, and spray. There’s no messy paint involved. Just markers. I was amazed.

We started by making the outline of the snowman together, and then Essley worked on coloring in it. It was obvious that the Air Marker Sprayer was designed with kids in mind – it’s so easy to use and I know that even beyond the holidays (and beyond windows; it can be used on paper and many other mediums to create endless craft projects) it’s going to make for hours of continuous creativity. We didn’t look at any pictures while we designed, and instead just made things up as we went along, which added to the adventure. Essley very endearingly instructed me to add buttons, and a red scarf, and an orange nose, and finally, a big hat. Then she decided we needed some blue snowflakes, of course. It was really fun to experiment with the Air Marker Sprayer and see how moving it close to the window and/or far away could create different effects. Clean up was a breeze too. And for people who had never airbrushed in our lives, I was admittedly impressed with how our snowman turned out. He’s still going strong too. He gets a big hug from Essley in the morning and before bed, and she fondly named him Art Project Frosty, which I think is simply perfect.

Essley and I both had so much fun creating our holiday window display together, and we’re both looking forward to designing another one soon. It was really cool to get to create something holiday themed together that went beyond just a piece of paper, or even traditional holiday decor. And I love that you can see it from outside too!

If you have little ones who are excited for the holidays, and/or if you’re excited for holiday decorating and want to do something unique this year, grab a Crayola Air Marker Sprayer (they’re only is $ 29.99 and come with 5 Pip-Squeaks Markers, 10 sheets of paper, and 2 stencil sheets) and some Crayola Window markers, and decorate your own holiday window. I’d love to see your creations! And if you share them on social media, make sure to tag them with #AirMarkerSprayer for a chance to be featured on Crayola.com. Happy holiday decorating!

This post is in partnership with Crayola. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Look who just got a new family member

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Dog blood donors help save the life of wounded K-9 officer

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Friday Funny: What Now?

What I often wonder about my kids (and my dogs!) Have a great weekend! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Shadowcast

November is #PetCancerAwareness Month.  Now I don’t know who made this month but for more than a few reasons, there’s a cosmic irony about it.  The first of which is Malcolm (the first dog I lost to cancer and whose death inspired our travels) – his birthday was the eve of.  

It’s been many years since his loss and I don’t reflect on it oft but his light of life emanates from me still. And recently, it was all brought back.  

I was grateful to be invited to participate at the Connecticut Shoreline Puppy Up Walk last Sunday October 30th and it was an absolutely gorgeous day – a bit balmy but cloudy at times.  Everything was going great though the proceedings seemed to be delayed until the news came down.  The Dog Cancer Hero, Medalla, whom we all had been awaiting her arrival, collapsed in the parking lot, was administered CPR by her vet, but tragically passed away en route to the clinic.  

And everyone’s crying and the microphone was given to me to keep the proceedings ongoing.  Those of you who know me I’m not usually at a loss for words but I wept, too, and publicly something I hadn’t done so since Murphy.  After a moment of silence we all soldiered on and walked the two miles at Guilford Fairgrounds.  All of us except Medalla.  

Perhaps that’s why I wept.  Some of us cross the finish line.  Some of us don’t.  And with Murphy it was close. 

And while, at least for now, we don’t know why, we should all give thanks that we’re shadowcasted by the great brilliance of those we have lost. 

This month, more so than others, give some goddamn great love to your companions, with whom your time together is transient but will walk aside you for thousands of miles until the end.  

I want to thank MariAnne for sharing Medalla with us all and nearby is a bit about her in MariAnne’s words.  



——–

Medalla was a mixed breed rescue from Puerto Rico. While I was there on business, we found each other on a secluded beach in the small town where I was staying.  She was just a puppy, between 3-4 months old.  From that day forward, she was the most loving and faithful friend I could ever hope for.  She never left my side. If you asked anyone at Guilford Vet Hospital, they would say she was a shy, quiet dog, but like most children, at home she was very talkative and the alpha of her pack.  

At six years old, Medalla was diagnosed with Lymphoma. After Chemo, she immediately went into remission.  This summer, she came out of remission for the second time. This was her third round of treatments. She immediately went back into remission again.  She was such a little trouper and took everything so well.  Unfortunately, I lost her to a heart attack, before she could finish her Chemo.  I want to thank Guilford Vet Hospital and all canine cancer research for giving me an extra 3 years with my wonderful baby girl. 

2 Dogs 2000 Miles

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The size of a chihuahua

Imagine being the size of a chihuahua amongst all those legs…  it must be like living in the Land of the Giants!
RIVIERA DOGS

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Into the wilderness

When I started down this venture in 2008, there was an active blogging community that covered dogs. I was an idiot in those days and a far worse writer.

You got hits by being a pugilist. I punched. I got punched in return.

And it was okay.

But then the major blogging networks that held this fractious community together “went corporate, and all the organic aspects of this community died.

What we were left with just competition and vitriolic bellicosity.

I kept this up for as long as I could, but then I either grew up or just got tired of all the bullshit. It’s probably the latter.

I have yet to find a community in the real dog world that isn’t petty and dogmatic. Probably the only exception to this is my own Facebook group that is associated with this blog, but that is like the Island of Misfit Toys, where they are led by the ultimate broken jack-in-the-box (me).

I am never, ever going to be a super dog trainer. I don’t have the skills, and I’m not going to pretend that I have those skills anymore. I’ve tried to learn them. I just don’t have it.

It’s the toughest thing in the world for me to admit that I cannot do something.

Not everyone can read historical documents or peer-reviewed articles either.

That’s what I tell myself.

You may have noticed that the scope of this blog has changed a lot in the past few months. I am trying to find my voice again, and I think I do better as a story teller than what my grandpa called a cross between a prostitute and an encyclopedia: “a fucking know-it-all.”

I may lose readers if they don’t see the latest story about a dog bite or something stupid that a TV dog trainer did.

That’s okay.

There still are places where you can read that stuff.

It’s just not me.

I’ve lost a lot of friends over the years. I don’t think anyone from that community still talks to me or links to me from the early days.

I have a few readers who have stayed with me for the long haul. They’ve seen my various evolutionary epochs.

And I now am the point where it I don’t think I will ever go back.

The conflict that exist because of the problems of the modern dog fancy have been solved in the grand scheme of things. In North America, the main multi-breed registries are essentially ignored. In Europe, there is just so much public pressure for reform that it will happen. It will happen as the older generations die off.

In the mean time, a lot of damage is going to be done, but because the people who are okay with the damage are so certain about their views, it is a waste of time deal with them.

Allow the attrition of the generations to take care of this problem.

I find myself falling into an anhedonic state when it comes to these issues.

But I also know the rightful place for me is in the wilderness.

The battles of dog people will go on.

I’m checking out.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Natural History

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Want to Be a Good Dog Neighbor? Throw a Bark Party!

This post is sponsored by State Farm®.

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Having good neighbors, as we all know, can be a roll of the dice.

Our first week in our new home, we waved to people passing by, but no one said much. I wondered how we were ever going to get to know anyone. Later that week, my often-shy daughter barreled out the front door and down the driveway when she spotted a girl about her age walking her Golden Retriever down the street. “I have a Golden too!” my daughter said, and it was the start of a beautiful friendship.

Over time, I got to know many of my neighbors: Rooney’s mom, Grizzly’s dad, Barkley’s twin boys- wonderful people, the whole lot, and the fact that they are also dog owners is a happy bonus as well as the reason I met them in the first place. Our friendships formed starting with our common interest in pets, but those friendships have also extended beyond just the dog park. Which begs the question: is my dog helping me become a better neighbor, or am I just imagining things?

Are Pet Owners Better Neighbors?

Earlier this year, State Farm released The State of Neighbors Survey to understand what is happening in our neighborhoods. I learned, for example, that I fall in the third of people who are embarrassed that we don’t know all our neighbor’s names (though I can for sure tell you who their dogs are.) I also learned that it’s not just my imagination: pet owners really are more active in their neighborhoods.

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I’m sure we can all come up with our own personalized list of neighborly characteristics: doesn’t practice the tuba at 10 pm, doesn’t use your wifi without asking. One thing is clear from the State Farm survey: people long to be connected to their community and their neighbors. And clearly, pet owners do that very well. So yes, while finding good neighbors can be a roll of the dice, having a pet in your corner can help even out the odds.

We live in a day and age where people feel increasingly disconnected to what, or who, is around them. Pets help bring us back into the circle. So what’s the easiest way to get a group of like-minded folks from the hood to come together and have some fun? A Neighborhood Bark Party, of course! Gather your supplies, find a place to gather, and plan for some fun. To help make it even easier, here’s a checklist to help you plan your own Bark Party:

 

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To help you get started, we’re giving away a Bark Party gift basket to get your party off on the right foot!

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To enter, just comment below with your name and how your dog has helped you be a good neighbor- entries are collected using the Rafflecopter app below so be sure to enter there!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms: US only, one entry per person. Contest ends midnight PST, 11/16/16. Winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, an alternate will be selected. Good luck!
This post is sponsored by State Farm®.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Is this a cat or dog?

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Featured Pet Sitter: Cool Dogs Petsitting, LLC

PetsitUSA’s newest featured pet sitter is Cool Dogs Petsitting in Richmond, VA!  If you are in the Richmond area, you can find their listing here.image441  Cool Dogs offers many services, including:

  • AM, Midday, PM visits and sleepovers
  • Bathing and Brushing
  • Pet Photography
  • Pet First Aid Certified

You can find more information at their website.

Thank you Cool Dogs Petsitting for being a member of PetsitUSA!


PetsitUSA Blog

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