Saturday, December 31, 2016

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 52: White

I saved "White" for last, knowing that even in the midwest, we hardly see snow in December any more, let alone have a white Christmas. I had an idea for Henri's Christmas picture last year, but we never got snow that lasted long enough for me to get it. This year, the first dusting, I made sure I got it. Henri loves the snow! He gets so excited. He runs outside, runs inside, carrying a chunk of snow with him. He rolls in the snow...or was that deer poo? Anyway, here is an outtake from his Christmas picture, which I think captures his love of the white stuff.

Who else loves snow? Who has to find other ways to have a white Christmas? Who picked something else white to take a picture of because that's just what they did?

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 51: Tree

I am one of those people. The ones that are very particular about their tree and the placement of the the ornaments. This is not always condusive to having pets, but we are able to make it work. I just have to be strategic about the placement in that they are not where Henri's tail will knock them off, or any of his rough housing.

Do you get to put up a tree in your house? Do you pets "help"? Do you have to get creative with your holiday decorations?

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 50: Lights

The warm glow and soft twinkle of the Christmas Lights. They are only made better by a soft puppy sleeping beneath them.

Do you display lights in your home? Outside of it? Do you take your pet to see the lights around the neighborhood?

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 49: Ears

One of my favorite features of Henri's (Did I say that about every one of his features?) is his ears. I mean, seriously, they are just adorable.

Do your pets ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie them in a know? can you tie them in a bow?

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 48: Spoiled

Every year, we set up the Christmas Tree and we try to figure out where to move Henri's toys, which despite our donations, has grown again. Of course, he will be getting more for Christmas.

What? These old things? Wait! You do what with my toys?

How is your pet spoiled? (Because I know they are!)

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 47: Thanks

I am thankful for this crooked eared, curly tailed, brown nosed, amber eyed, anxious ball of energy that squeaks and whines to communicate, that destroys every toy you sew back together for him, that hates the heat, wants to sit on the step in the cool air, but only if the door stays open so he can share that cold air with you, throw-this-ball-nah-never-mind-throw-this-stick-oh-look-a-ball, chicken loving, even though he has an aversion to it, knows when you open the cheese drawer, knows when you've brought home a toy for him, needs to check every package that comes in the mail in case it's for him, I-will-jump-and-twist-in-the-air,-but-I-do-not-want-to-jump-over-agility-hurdles-but-the-tunnel-is-okay-but-only-when-I-want-to, scared of things that are not where they are supposed to be, welcome home wiggle butt, where-are-we-going-are-we-going-to-the-dog-park-yeah-the-dog-park-we've-been-here-five-minutes-I-want-to-go-home-now,  noise sensitive, it's-time-to-feed-me, obsessed with his burrow toys, snow eating machine, jealous, only child syndrome, intensely staring till you do what he wants, treat loving, this-bed-is-nice-but-i-need-more-space, squeak-squeak-squeaking, home security system, running partner, snuggle buddy (when he wants to), smiling, exasperating, guh, that face is freakin' adorable, mutt! (Just to name a few)

What are you thankful for?

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 46: Home

Home is where the heart is. 

It's rare that Henri snuggles. Suddenly, you find yourself with a puppy by your side, a head in your lap, a paw on your arm. When this happens, you hold your breath and hold very still. It won't last but a few minutes. He lets out a sigh as his body relaxes. His eyes close. He has found his comfort and you've found yours. Then he jumps down, usually coming back, but carrying a toy for you to try to take from him. Come on! There are important things to do!

Whether his heart is actually in my lap or not, I do know that Henri feels his best at home. On the occasion that we go somewhere else, that lap is still what feels safe to him. He is close by and if we are some place long enough, that lap is where he ends up, when he finally settles down and takes a little nap.

What about you? Do you find yourself being suffocated by the love of your four legged friend or are you counting the minutes they are by your side, knowing they will run off after a shiny object soon?

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 45: Whisker

Celebrating another unique part of our pets, we move on to the whiskers. I love the way the light catches them. I love to rub the hairs on his chinny-chin-chin. I watch the hairs move over his eyes, adding extra expression. I know they have real function, but to me, they are just part of who his is, part of his distinct character.

Whiskers, long or short, white, black or brown, lets see them! 

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 44: Treat

Since we tricked you in the last post, how about a treat? Henri loves treats. I don't know many dogs, or animals for that matter, that don't love a little nibble, whether it's a treat from a bag, some homemade goodie, or something off your plate (always preferred). Henri gets very intent, staring as the strings of drool hang from the side of his mouth as he waits in anticipation. Most of the time, it does not get to that point, at least not for the every day, 'you're a good boy', treats.

Does your pet have a favorite? Are there strings of anticipation or do you give in at the first sideways glance?

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 43: Cat

I don't know what I was thinking, picking the theme of "Cat". Well, that's not true. I was thinking that dogs are not the only pets and this is a Pet Photo Challenge, not a Dog Photo Challenge. It was also National Cat Day. Cats deserve their day, too. I just don't have access to a cat, nor can I borrow someone else's just to put it with Henri. "Oh, hey. Does your cat like dogs? I want to put it in a picture with my dog." Yeah. I see that going well. It is Halloween time though and I can get creative.

Trick or Treat! Totally tricked you, didn't we? That's not a real cat! That's just me! Well, clearly, Henri does like cats.

Do you have a cat? I chose this theme just for you!!! Or you can be creative, too. Go for it!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Howl'oween Dog Jog

This weekend, Henri and I participated in the local Howl'oween Dog Jog. Normally, the Howl'oween event is held at the dog park and every one shows up, shows off their costumes and goes home. This year, they added a run to the event, so you know Henri and I were all over that! As exciting as a organized event in which you can run with your dog is, I don't know that Halloween is the best holiday to pair this with. I enjoyed the winter seasonal run, but I guess numbers are low because it's "too cold" or something. Disappointed. So, the challenge was to think of a costume that 1) Henri would be comfortable in 2) Henri would be comfortable to run in 3) would match something that I would be comfortable running in 4) makes sense in the running theme of it all 5) would compete with last years Marty McFly and Doc Brown - I mean, we know we can't beat that. After kicking a few things around I settled on a pirate and a parrot, and because I like to do things backwards, Henri is the pirate and I'm the parrot. What? Really, it doesn't make sense for the parrot to be in front of the pirate the entire run. The parrot should be "flying" behind the pirate. That was my thinking anyway.

I'm pretty pleased with how the costumes turned out, especially Henri's. I just think he's adorable. We won Best Couple, which is the prize that I always strive for. Henri got a huge bucket of toys and some other assorted treats and items. I am pretty proud of that, but I'm super proud that we won the race, too. Yes, it was a fun run, and it was fun and I wasn't being highly competitive, but I did think it would be pretty cool to win. We were in the lead for awhile and then a flower and her bee passed us. We kept up pretty well and her little bee slowed down towards the end. We decided maybe we should tie, even though I thought she should be first because we had already won a prize. Henri had other plans. He said this is what we have been training for all this time, we are winning this thing and stuck his nose out to pull off the win. We gave our prizes to the bee and her brother (or sister). Henri really does have enough toys...and then we went to PetSmart and bought him some more. I mean, he did win a a costume.

Seriously, isn't he just adorable? I mean, pirates are not supposed to be adorable, are they? I clearly failed in the conceptualization of this costume, but then again, I don't think there is any way to hide his adorable-ness.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 42: Black

As Halloween creeps closer, we prepare for the holiday. Costumes, candy, decorations and a little spookiness. Just a little though. I don't really like scary stuff. I thought a little moody imagery was appropriate for the holiday.

Black cats, black dogs, black nights, black shadows. What are you seeing black? Do you like the scary or do you prefer the beautiful?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 41: Walk

Yeah, most of the time Henri and I are running, not walking, but on occasion, we get out to stretch our legs. Sometimes, it's nice to slow it down just a little, especially on a nice fall day.

Who else is out enjoying the weather? Are you walking on sunshine or dashing through the snow? Yes, I know snow has moved into some places. Who's out there?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 40: Silhouette

Another day in the remaining bits of sun.

I enjoy the special parts of Henri, the things that make him unique, that make him who his in and what he looks like. Being a mutt, he is one of a kind. All of his siblings were a different color. Even when we met his sister, one that looked most like him, he still stood out from her, being his own unique self. I love celebrating these things about him, highlighting each one of them as I have attempted to do with this photo challenge.

I want to see your pets special and unique parts. I want to see what makes them who they are, what makes them stand apart.

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 39: Throwback

I have such a hard time with throwbacks because if I have a cute picture of Henri (and let's face it, when are the pictures not cute?), I share it! I like to share new pictures, or at least ones your haven't seen. So, let me dip into the archives and see what I can find.

Here is a picture from the first day we get to play with Henri at the shelter. When we met him and decided we wanted him, he was too young for us to touch. (Though I accidentally reached out and touched him for a second before I remembered I wasn't supposed to. How was I supposed to resist that puppy face?!?) After we put in our application, it seemed like weeks before we heard anything. I got a little antsy and called to follow up and we were approved and able to come see our puppy that weekend, though it would be several more weeks before he was neutered and ready to go home. This was the first time we were able to play with him and hold him. He was so little!! He got so big, so quickly. His eyes! His ears! His little brown nose! Guh! It's killing me!

What memory of your pet do you have to share today?

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 38: Leaf

Ah, Fall. Of course, it's official, but it has yet to cool off that much. The days are shorter, and you might get a few hours of reprieve in the AM and PM from the heat, but all in all, we've got a few more weeks before it really feels like fall. There are still pockets, if you can find them, of what is to come. Crisper air, changing colors and falling leaves. All very welcome by Henri. He is a little more apt to go outside, just to sit on the stoop, sniffing the air, almost as if he is watching Fall come.

Does your pet long for the upcoming sweater weather or are they mourning the lost days of summer?

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 37: Food

This boy is a food monster. He is all about the food. He has that internal clock that tells him when it's time to wake up for breakfast and when it's time to stare you down for dinner. He is sitting in his spot by the kitchen as soon as the refrigerator door gets opened. He's a bit of a picky eater, but he doesn't care about that until you give him something that he doesn't particularly care for, and even then, he still wants it. He's got the puppy dog eyes and he knows how to use them. He also has a mouth overflowing with drool that he will wipe on your leg while he waits for something to come his way.

Who likes food in your household? I bet I can guess.

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 36: Paw

These paws carry this boy for miles. He runs by my side, sometimes in front, occasionally behind...for a few seconds. He goes on walks, he runs and plays at the dog park. He stretches them out across the bed when he's up for cuddling or just taking up as much room as possible. He is all about using them to pull my arm closer to him, especially when food is involved. He rolls on his back and holds his toys up over his head. He reaches under furniture for the ones that have gotten away. He plays with crawling bugs and digs in the dirt. A paw is used for so many things. These paws captured my heart.

Big and small, dirty and clean, what does your pet use their paws for? 

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 35: Shadow

Ah, summer is coming to a close. The temperature is cooling. We can be outside again during normal hours. The sun casts it's long shadows over you, as if it's trying to hold on just a little longer. It's not ready to say, 'good-bye'. 

I'm sure that the heat is not gone just yet. It's only the first week in September, but the little bits of reprieve we get in the meantime will carry us through until summer does finally tip it's hat and give way to fall.

What shadows are you and your pet seeing right now? 

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 34: Dog

Because this was supposed to be posted during National Dog Day. Oh, how I love my Henri! He's so fun, quirky and unique. He's a special blend. Of what, we don't know, but it doesn't matter. He was meant to be with me. The puppy that almost wasn't. We almost didn't go to the shelter that day. I saw his picture. I tried to move on. Even though he was still too young to touch and play with at that point, his orneriness rang through and he was adopted. "Are you sure you want that one? He whines every time I walk by the cage." Oh, but if these words had been heeded, so many things about my life would be different. I'm so thankful for him and the hard working people that transported his pregnant mother from Kentucky and cared for this litter of puppies until all could go home. You are a good dog, Henri.

What's more "Dog" than a dog with a tennis ball? And seriously, you see that look in his eyes, right? Ornery!

What is your story? Do you have a dog? Do you know a dog? Maybe your pet acts like a dog. That still counts! :)

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 33: Petfie

When you look this good, why wouldn't you take pictures of yourself? Who's good looking? You're good looking! Oh, come on. Stop.

Let's see 'em! I know that those pets are stealing your camera phones all the time, walking into the pet store, posting a petfie by the new toys!

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 32: Travel

I recently got a new car. In searching for a new car, I kept Henri in mind. He's riding around with me way more than anyone else! When the salesman mentioned that the backseat had it's own air conditioner, I knew this was the car for Henri and I! Henri loves it! After a run or a trip to the park, he lays down right where the air will hit his face. Yes, he lays down, while the car is moving. He's usually up the instant you start to break because we might be arriving somewhere, but when that air is going, he's in his own world. It's a happy world, nice and cool.

I wanted to put this decal I have of a girl running with her dog, but my car is kind of pretty and it doesn't really suit it. I should have gotten an SUV or something like that, but this car is blue! And the whole backseat air thing, because I'm sure no other car in the world has that. So, with the car being so pretty, there is not a whole lot of personalization I feel comfortable doing to it yet, but I did get this license plate cover, because the dealership ones had to go anyway and it doesn't take away from the prettiness. I think it's pretty perfect.

Now that I have a new car, we can go on a vacation without having to rent a car in fear that my car won't make it and maybe we'll do that soon. When we do, Henri will be comfortable and we will be safe. Yeah, new car!

Who's up for a car ride? Have you and your pet being anywhere fun recently? Does your pet have a favorite vacation spot?

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 31: Tongue

The tongue. It's kind of a weird disgusting thing, but we somehow find it so endearing when it's hanging out of a dog's mouth. Or when they are licking our face, not thinking about the fact that they were probably licking something less desirable just a few moments ago.

Henri has a tongue for days, especially after a run, or a long walk, or playtime...okay. His tongue is hanging out all the time, and again, it's cute! He likes to lick, too. He'll lick the sweat off you. He'll lick the shower water that you missed with the towel. Of course he will lick your hands if you just had some food. Sometimes, I don't know what he catches a whiff of, but he grabs my arm with his paw and pulls it over to him, so he can lick it. I let him because that means he's giving me attention, not because he's got some sort of death grip on me or anything.

Can your pet hold it's licker? (Get it? Yeah, it's not really funny.) Where has your pet's tongue been?

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 30: Friend

Since we have had to avoid the dog park so much in the last year (Dog Flu, heat, Henri's anxiousness), Henri hasn't seen much of his friends. He used to be so popular, running and playing with almost any dog that came around. Since he's been attacked a few times in our neighborhood and had grumpy doggie neighbors, he's had a harder time fitting in at the park. It's almost better when no one else is there, but I feel like a piece of him is missing now. We're going to work on that. We're going to get him his confidence back, get him to trust other dogs again and find him some playmates like he used to have. So, we'll just do a little flashback for this one, to one of his best friends, Einstein. These two would literally see eachother across the park and run to eachother as if they hadn't seen eachother for years. Add a little slow motion and music and you have a scene right out of the movies. We miss you, Einstein. We miss who Henri was with you. Let's get together soon, okay?

Is your pet popular or do they have just that one special friend? (You, of course!) Who matters most in their lives? (Again, you, because you feed them, take care of them and love them.) Who do they create those magic movie moments with?

[Pet Photo Challenge] Week 29: Fly

In trying to make a pet photo challenge that would be inclusive to all pets, I might have made some weeks harder than they needed to be. I know I had something in mind when I chose the theme of "fly", but I might not have thought about the carrying out of said theme and the timing in which it was placed in the challenge. I seem to have run into that a lot. You would think that I would have remembered all the challenges that Summer brings to being outside with Henri, and some of these themes are really hard to create inside. So, it's not perfect, but I think it's a pretty cool photo anyway.

Henri is pretty agile. He's got some moves that I'm sure he's going to hurt himself doing, but he's kind of cat-like in that he always lands on his feet...ish. He's constantly flying through the air to catch tennis balls, toys and the occasional flying treat. He's speedy and spins and jumps in the air. It's so fun to watch. I might need to cut back on our runs and get him more playtime at the park this fall, if he can get over his anxiousness and actually play.

Who's flying around in your household? Are they literally flying with wings or just their pseudo-wings? Or did you interpret fly another way? Can't wait to see!