The first Christmas

Hi friends,

The first Christmas –

If you’ve lost a furry buddy, I’m so sorry. The first everything without them is difficult. Constant reminders of them no longer there.

For some of you who have only started to begin this difficult process, I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s never easy. My heart aches for you.

During the Holidays, it can be emotionally draining. As you pull out the stockings, the holiday décor. Everything is clouded with memories. I get that – I lived that.

For me, December 19th is also a day I struggle with. It’s an anniversary of something I wish never happened. December 19th, 2013 will mark a year since we lost our best friend Newton to Kidney Failure.

December 19th, followed so closely by the Christmas holidays could potentially be the worst week of my year. It has potential for me to crawl into my jammies with a glass or two bottle of wine and not surface again until the New Year. However, ask yourself as I have – is this the way you want to live?

Throughout the year, I can usually get past these moments by thinking about all the amazing memories and things Newton taught me. Knowing I’d do it all over again, if given a choise also helps.

Choosing the higher road is easier said than done – I realize this, it takes constant and strong control of your thoughts and emotions. 

During the Christmas holidays, I’m taking the time to raise a glass with my Mr. and think about all the amazing memories with Newton. Although only with us for a short time, he left enough memories to last us our lifetime.  I’m choosing a different path – I’m choosing to honor these memories with happiness.

In addition this year, I’m taking a friends advice. I’m honoring Newton’s memory over Christmas by sponsoring a rescue dog. I’m taking the money I would have normally bought him Christmas presents with and giving to one in need.

I’m working with a local rescue organization. They post a list of their adoptable dogs, and a wishlist for them. This could include everything from dog beds, to special feeding needs, treats and toys to annual veterinary bills. It really helps put things in perspective. Needs vs Wants.

This year, I chose to donate in Newton’s honor.

Meet Enzo!

enzo

He’s with a wonderful Foster family currently, who I get to go and meet this beautiful little Puggle this weekend when I take over his new dog bed. Enzo also had an ear infection at the time of his rescue, so I helped cover the costs of his ear treatment. He lived with two older people who had to move into an assisted living home and sadly couldn’t bring Enzo with them. They didn’t have any family that could take him. So he is at a wonderful rescue organization in Halifax, NS right now. I have no doubt that he will find his forever family very soon. Until then, eat, sleep and be happy with your wonderful Foster family Enzo (including two other pug mixes!).

I know tons of rescues around have this type of program. If you can’t donate to a dedicated dog, donating financially or with your time can be especially rewarding – for all involved.

Some other advice this Holiday season – stay busy. When you’re not busy -  Choose to life the life your furry buddy taught you to live.  

On the worse days – Choose to try and be the person your dog thought you were. I think it’s a pretty darn good tribute all in itself.

 dog thinks

Hang in there,

Dailyspro

Tis’ the season

Hello Friends,

 

We celebrated Christmas this weekend at my house, as my Mr. was home and it’s the last weekend he’s home until after Christmas. 

 

Friends came far and wide dressed with their ugly Christmas sweaters, we did a yankee swap. Tons of fun – and wine.

 

The lead up to Christmas for me, is just as exciting as the day of. Getting the house ready, decorating – respecting family traditions. Love it all.

 

It got me thinking though - we are very fortunate, others are not. My friend and I decided to make some doggie biscuits last week and take them over to one of my favorite non-profit dog rescue groups, where I am in the process of becoming a volunteer. Cool Dog Rescue is an all breed dog rescue who saves dogs from the kill shelters in Quebec. They work with local truckers, Pilots and Paws Canada and their large network of amazing volunteers to transport dogs from mostly Quebec and Ontario to Nova Scotia (sometimes travelling up to 2300 km one way!).

 

When we had Newton, I used to go to my favorite doggie recipe blog when we were in the mood to make some yummy treats – 3mbakery (find out more about them here). I wanted to try some gluten free recipes as some of our doggie friends there have wheat allergies. Low and behold of course they had some of course (Look through their recipe index to find lots!)

 

We decided on the Dog Health Sticks, as they had pumpkin in them, a natural digestive aid. Plus, they sounded delish!

 

We put small amounts of the mixture in small muffin tins, but I’d like to go back and try out one of these cool pans they had in the shape of dog bones. I have the dog shaped cookie cutters, but I found this mixture was a little bit too runny to use with the cutters (perhaps my error?). The recipe was easy enough and the ingredients simple to get.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

I brought them in to one of the organizers’ houses last week, and we did a test with her dog – Sparky. A Pom who is one picky eater, we weren’t sure how it was going to go. He ate it, wagged his tail and asked for more! SUCCESS!

Sparky!

Sparky!

All in all, a great recipe to try again!

On a side note I know Amazon & eBay have some great dog friendly cookie cutters and pans!

Big thanks to 3mbakery for posting their yummy recipes!

Today, I’ll also leave you with another little treat from this week: Stewart and Frank the tank also got into the holiday spirit this weekend - with perhaps a little assistance from moi. As you can see, one of them likes it more than the other…

Stewart has accepted his fate as a well dressed cat...

Stewart has accepted his fate as a well dressed cat…

 

 

Frank the Tank has not....

Frank the Tank has not….

 

 Cheers,

Dailyspro

Adventures of Stewart

Hello friends,

Sorry all you dog lovers - It’s all about cats today!

While I love my two fur-kids (Stewart & Frank-the-tank) unconditionally, there can be a love/hate relationship with them that is hilariously entertaining….

Stewart and Frankie together

Life without these two would be boring

Cattitude advice:

As long as you participate as (wo)man-servant in you and your cat’s relationship, you’ll be fine. Cats are the master(s) of your world. Believe me, the quicker you jump on board and accept this – the easier life will be. My Mr. still fights it. While I understand that he wants to be the alpha of the household, it’s much better/easier to just give in and pick your battles. I have faith he’ll learn this one day.

Life example # 1: You all know the feeling. When your cat FINALLY chooses to jump onto your lap, curls up and cuddle and starts to purr. When suddenly *BOOM* your leg falls asleep – as uncomfortable as it is – You’re so over-the-moon happy that they chose to snuggle, that you’d rather cut your sleeping leg off than move this little purring bundle of fur? Yep, we’ve all been there – your cat owns you – and they know it.

cat crown

All is right with the world….

Some of you have cats that are overly affectionate, the kind that love attention, any kind.

Not mine – They choose what they want, how they want it, and when they want it. In spite of it, I love them both very much. Cats have moments where they want to please – sporadic moments, but thoughtful moments all the same. I like to think it what makes these moments of vulnerability all the more special.

The “Gift”

Stewart and I have learned to compromise over the last seven years. He lets me pick him up and snuggle, after I’ve had a particularly difficult day – as long as I stay to the under one minute rule.  

In one of these moments of rarity, Stewart decided to bring me a present. He proudly presented a “gift” at 2:30 am the other night – on the floor, beside my bed. Much to his initial disappointment, there was an error in his ways – he couldnt get my attention with the “gift” in his mouth. So began the erratic game of “catch and release”, in between yowling for me to get up.

You guessed it, Stewart caught a mouse at 2:30 am and brought it in to show me and then continued to play catch and release for another 20 mins…

IMG_00000653

Stewart’s “conquest”

Note of advice to others if you encounter yourself in a similar position - Cats do not help when trying to re-catch a mouse. They think this hilariously entertaining game is invented for their pleasure. Take them out of the room, shut the door and ignore all the devestation they exhibit when not allowed to partake.

While I was hoping for a “mouser” between the two of them when we bought our new place in the country – I had high hopes that these “gifts” would be closer to well – not living – when presented.

So after careful consideration of what a good method of retaliation would be - I decided to add Stewart to the ranks of “Cat-Shaming”.

As much as I love you buddy, this was necessary.

Proudly stating the facts...

Proudly stating the facts…

Thoughtfulness appreciated, but very subjective my dear friend.

Yet another reason life is better with pets – you’ll never be bored….

Cheers,
Dailyspro

Steady Si

Dear friends,

It’s with sadness that I write this today. The world has lost another wonderful furry friend.

Si, my parents cat, lost his battle to Feline Anemia yesterday.

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Si’s Story

Si came to my parents on and off over the last year/year and a half. Since February, my parents have been tempting him to choose them as his new caretakers with superexpensivecalifragilisticexpialidocious food and tons of head rubs. Si chose them in February, and sealed the deal after wearing the cone of shame and sticking around. A choice, I think would have been a difficult one for a stray. 

I referred to Si as “Steady Si”. As nothing phased him –  he was just a happy go lucky kind of cat.

Si was the puuuuurrrfect cat for my parents. He watched Nascar with my Dad for as long as Dad would like – without any arguments (unlike us). He supervised my Mom as she gardened for hours in the summer months. He was an ever steady companion, up for anything and always down for a couch snuggle. My Dad even taught him to do tricks, which he proudly showed all who would visit. It quickly became the joke between my siblings and I, that Si was the new favorite kid.

I like to think that he chose my parents, knowing it would be an amazing place to rest out his last few months.

My parents, knowing what a special cat he was – did everything they could for him as the vet said there was a chance they might have caught the disease early enough. They took him through two rounds of heavy antibiotics and IV fluid therapies. Their family vet actually offered to keep him for a few days and personally care for him, to see if she could increase his red blood cell count. It was too late, and we sadly lost Si yesterday.

It’s the worst thing about owning a pet - losing them. A feeling vetern pet owners know too well. The only thing we can do is love them while they are here – something my entire family did in spades.

Si, you chose well. You brought so much light and love into our parents home during the past few months. Rest well, my friend – in a world where I know there will be tons of belly rubs waiting for you.

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Pictured here is Si, after coercing yet another friend to give him a bellyrub.

 Dailyspro

Autumn changes

Good morning friends,

It’s Autumn in Nova Scotia. It’s my secret favorite season. Summer is wonderful, we have the beach, lots of sun etc. Not to sound cliché, but there’s something about crisp falling leaves, pumpkin scents galore and comfy sweaters. We are house shopping, and I must admit I’m a sucker for a wood fireplace. In my head I see warm cozy evenings, hot chocolate and a dog wrapped around my feet. Ok, so it’s totally cliché – please don’t judge 

Best daydream ever.

I have fond memories of Autumns with Newton. He loved when we piled the leaves high under the backyard Maple trees, morphing into the “Hulk” before our eyes and charging through our neat piles. He could do this for hours. So many laughs.

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We found our new house, we have an accepted offer. It has giant tree in the backyard full of leaves, a fireplace in the living room and yes – a farm down the road that sells pumpkins. Amazeballs.

 

While I’m excited to enter the next phase, it saddens me to think of how much Newt would have loved this place. A huge hayfield full of long grass, a great backyard with much needed shade for his black fur coat he wore year round.

 

This is a wonderful place to make new memories with new two and four footed friends, without forgetting the old.

Cheers,

Dailyspro

Puppy cupcakes for all!

Too bad you’re not all closer, or I’d share!

One year Tomorrow.

Oct. 12, 2013 will mark my one year anniversary of my blog – Dailyspro.Image

My first entry was posted October 12th, 2012 – titled “Hello World”. It’s slightly embarrasing amazing to read back and see how far this blog has come. Not just in reference to writing style – but also in life.

Where does the time go?

One year ago, I had no idea what was about to happen. How my writing would go from whimsical writing about “Cross-fit” (pfff – that was short-lived) and new adventures - to a form of therapy for me after we lost Newton.

I had no idea how many of you would speak up, message me, email me and lift my spirits by sharing your own stories and positivity.

 

I had no idea how much I needed an outlet like this.

 

I had no idea that I would dive head-first into a new community, that accepted me with open arms.  

 

 

I had no idea I would have an online family.

 

One of you lovely people shared with me, some great advice. It’s advice that I found very helpful, so I hope you don’t mind me sharing.

“If you’re a writer – write. If you’re a painter – paint. If you’re a dancer – dance. Don’t ever stop doing what you love. It doesn’t have to be great – not even good. If it helps you during any point in your life express yourself?           Get it out!”

 

So, in the spirit of Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend.

dogs thanksgiving

I really tried to find a way to clearly communicate how much I have appreciated all the support- however what it really comes down to is:

I truly want to thank you – all of you – for being so freakin’ (p)awesome.

08_28_small_freaking_awesome_kit_allen

Cheers,

Dailyspro

PS - In the spirit of Canadian Thanksgiving, jump on board and celebrate! What are you thankful for?

Italian Love Affair

Hello friends,

Italy

Enough said.

I could stop here and I think many of you would be like me, imagining rolling hills, vineyards, Mountains and Turquoise waters. Today, as you can tell, my thoughts are taking me on a different route. A refreshingly more “upbeat” post I’m sure. This is my reflection of a huge three week portion of our summer – our trip to Switzerland, France and Italy. We spent most of our time in Italy, so this is where I’ll focus!

I’m a self-proclaimed foodie. This is my Mecca.

The word “Italy” alone has sparked a million magical daydreams for my tastebuds of what it would be like to visit. This euphoric world is home to almost every single one of my favorite foods. Wine, Pasta, Gelato, Risotto and oh my GOD – the cheese! Two of my favorite and most versatile cheeses attribute their heritage to Eataly Italy– Mozzarella and Fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano (never settle for the canned stuff).

Cheese please.

It was glorious.

Italy floored me. It was a passionate affair that swept me up in waves of foodie glory and overwhelming views. My fiancé and I joked that we would take pictures of the most beautiful views we’ve ever seen – and then turn around and see a better one. At first I hiked so I could eat what I wanted. I ended up hiking because I fell in love with Italy’s natural surroundings.

Italy helped me create a simple mathematical equation to my happiness..

Great food/wine + Art + Hiking = :)

Add hang outs with family, friends & of course a furkid (or 5) and I’m over the moon happy. Simplicity can be marvelous.

The Trip

We starting out in Zurich Switzerland, and drove to Northern Italy- Bormio to be exact. The natural beauty of the Mountains, combined with glacier lakes and abundant farmland were, to put it bluntly – Amazeballs.

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My partner wanted to bike Italy. Nope, not the type that Jax Teller rides. This is the old fashioned two peddled kind. He’s a Sexy Spandex Superstar, what can I say.

Told you

Told you – Triple S strikes again

We ate, hiked, biked and train hopped our way down Italy, and a portion of France. This post could be ten thousand pages long as I ramble about all the amazing encounters. For time sake, however I’ll edit myself.

If you ever get chance to live, or even visit any part of Italy, you’ll understand. I don’t believe there’s any other place like it in the world. Take advantage of the local markets and farms (Stay away from the few Big box stores – you won’t be sorry!), interact with the friendly people, and absorb their importance of family. Take in the culture, the ART, the Architecture, the HISTORY, the Mountains, the Ocean, the food that just surrounds you as soon as you enter the Country.

Eataly, Bike Italy, Hike Italy, do whatever you like when you’re there – If you’re able to – Just go! Although, I will not be held accountable to your loved ones if you choose not to come back.

As a visual person, I’ll tell our story through photos. (Disclaimer – if you don’t like pictures of beautiful views, food or potentially men in Spandex – stop here).

Driving from Zurich Switzerland to Bormio, Italy

Driving from Zurich Switzerland to Bormio, Italy

Mother Nature, you've outdone yourself!

Mother Nature, you’ve outdone yourself! Swiss/Italian border

Saint Laurent du Pont, France for Tour de France/In-law family time!

Saint Laurent du Pont, France for Tour de France/In-law family time!

Hang outs on the party-o with my in-laws!

French Riviera!

Nice, French Riviera!

Cinque Terre, Italy. One of the most beautiful places in the world. (Vernazza pictured here)

Cinque Terre, Italy. One of the most beautiful places in the world in my humble opinion. (Vernazza pictured here)

If you're there, Hike the trails! - Cinque Terre - Italy

If you’re there, Hike the trails! – Cinque Terre – Italy

The views are worth the effort

The views are worth the effort

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre, Italy

Trained it to Rome, which was our home base for 6 days

Train’d it to Rome, which was our home base for 6 days

Homemade pasta, great wine and a fabulous lakeside patio - Lake Albano, Italy

Homemade pasta, great wine and a fabulous lakeside patio – Lake Albano, Italy

My “Italian” advice, if you’re ever in the neighborhood.

- Eat like the locals, ask them for recommendations

- Walk around. Buses, Trains and Planes are great. Although, sometimes it’s better to walk the lay of the land.  I always think of these as adventures. A bonus, you’ll walk off all the amazing food you will eat.

- Don’t go to Rome in July. Lesson learned. HOLY HOT!

- Do not EVER diet in Italy or France, It’s cruel and intolerable punishment.

-  Learn the History pertaining to wherever you are. It means much more when you learn about who’s been where you have, and what has gone down. Respect. Italy, Switzerland and France have some pretty crazy history lessons.

- Bring patience to Rome. If you’re going to go down the path of touristy destinations (Especially Rome), visit in early morning and late evening. The exception to this is the Sistine Chapel and the Trevi Fountain - it always be nutso busy whether it’s 4 am or 4 pm!

- Talk to people, you never know who you’re going to meet. This will be my segway to post # 2 – Eataly coming at ya soon.

- Eat Gelato at La Romana in Rome. It’s Gelato I would literally leave my dignity at the door and beg for.

- Lastly, ENJOY. Do not have an agenda for every single day.

Don’t rush. Take a lesson from the Italians – plus it’ll go by all too quickly as it is.

Cheers,

Dailyspro

Moves and Memories

Good morning friends,

I’m sorry for the DELAY! Ask all my loved ones, I’m notoriously late for everything in life. I think I even disclose this on my bio, ironically written after my first few posts went up ;)

So much has happened in the last two months that I almost am overwhelmed with where to start. We finished our basement renovations, Went on our trip to Italy, My sister got married, We sold our house, I started a new job in a new Province and now am currently house-hunting. I’m feeling a bit like this guy….
sleepy

I can’t talk about them all today (even though we all know I’m long-winded enough to do so), so I’m going to focus on one in particular that I’m still coming to terms with….

We did it.

We left the house that we raised Newton in.

I had a tremendously difficult time with this. It’s just a house, but great life moments made it our home. Memories of Newton topped my “Why I’m thankful we lived here” list I made, during my last weekend in there. Leaving, irrevocably made me confront some painful memories. The house has not changed, but we’ve had to. Each corner, nook and tiny cranny holds for me – special moments suspended in time.

Memories remind us of what we’ve lost.

Memories remind us of what we had.

These two opposing forces led me on a rollercoaster of emotions last week.

It made me deal with something I haven’t been prepared to do – start to let go. I tricked myself into believing it was something I had been doing all along. I hadn’t.

The time a person needs to take, cannot ever be measured in chronological time. Losing a loved one on any level is a deeply personal thing. You start to move on, you’ll start to make new memories. It takes time.

A friend told me she dreamt of Newton waiting for us at our next home. I know where he’ll always be – A monumental part of our past – with us wherever we go.

Yes we left the house that we raised Newton in, but we did not leave the memories. 

Inside my thoughts. Forever imprinted.The moment I saw his face before he ran two blocks through wet pavement costing me a few hundred dollars in breakfast sandwiches and coffee for the construction crew, the hundreds of hugs given and recieved, the reminders of our fur-kids playing tag. Too many to list and count.

Memories remind us of what we’ve lost.

Memories remind us of what we can have again.

Great memories give us hope, inspiration and love. They guide us.

I walked around the house and said my goodbyes on my last day. As I reflect now, I realize (as difficult as it is to admit), what I was really saying:

“Thank you Newton – for all the truly great memories. I wouldn’t have changed a single thing”.

Thanks for reading,

Dailyspro

Changes

Hello friends,

Well big news in our household. Since we lost our wonderful pal Newton, it’s helped put things into perspective.

Such as, I’ve tied myself to a job that has an 8 hour round trip drive from the people I love most in the world. Why is this?

Another life lesson taken from my pal – surround yourself by those you love most in the world.

So I took the bull by the balls horns and applied for an internal position a 30 min drive away from all friends/family. The last month has been quite the process, applying, going through 3 rounds of interviews, plus a presentation. Oh, and don’t forget we’re still renovating from the FLOOD. Whoa

So I’ve decided to put a 45 day to-do list together for my life (I love lists!):

- Finish renovations

(Here’s how it’s looking so far! Bonus if you can see Stewart’s photobomb)

New den in the basement

New den in the basement

- Sell house

- Buy new house

- Move

- Train for new job

- Go on Honeymoon

- Get ready for maid of honor duties in sister’s wedding

Is this worth it? Hell YES! I’m getting pumped for the move, but am getting a little anxious with my “to-do” list.

Just wanted to give you a heads up that I may be a little distant from my blog for a bit. Love ya’ll, but as you can see I have my hands full. Can’t wait to share all the changes once we get settled! Here’s to hoping there will be puppy news to share on the next feed.

Cheers to fresh starts,

Dailyspro