Sunday, January 22, 2012

"His ears were often the first thing to catch my tears."

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, referring to her cocker spaniel, Flush

Because sometimes you just need a good quote to make you smile :)  Love this!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Pet Blogger Challange 2012

Pet Blogger Challenge

Today (well, a day late but still eligible to particiapte!) I am taking The Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Amy Burket of Go Pet Friendly and  Edie of Will My Dog Hate Me.  This is the second year they are hosting it and I was so excited to stumble upon it.  This is the perfect opportunity to motivate me to blog and set my goals as I indicated in my previous post.  I am eager to see how my blogging will improve throughout the year!  It's also a great way for me to learn from other pet bloggers who have been doing this for some time and to be inspired reading about how their blogs have changed.  Since this is my first year participating in this, here are my list of questions:

1.  When did you begin your blog?
I started my blog, Puppy Kisses, on February 21, 2011 (WOW! Almost time for a Blogiversary!)

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
I saw so many cool blogs out there of all different topics, I just knew I wanted to have my own blog.  But I had no idea what to blog about.  I needed something that I was knowledgeable about and that had an audience, or at least one person who was interested in what I had to say.  The only thing I couldn't really ignore was the fact that I love my dog, Jada, so why not blog about her? I also wanted to incorporate my love for dogs and anything dog-related, like quotes, stoires, books and movies.  While I could really just blog about Jada all day, I figured some people might get tired of reading about her.  So basically the dog-theme was a no-brainer at that point and here we are!

3. Is your current purpose the same?  If not, what's different?  If so, how do you feel you've met your goals?
Yes.  I'm big on themes and sticking to dog-related posts is what I have done and want to continue to do.  If I have regular readers, mostly other pet bloggers/animal lovers, I don't want to just up and change my purpose.  I think the way I've met my goals is by mixing it up with Jada posts and general dog posts.  Now I have so many more goals and aspirations for my blog.  I will still maintain the same purpose but try to make it better and more interesting!

4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?  If the former, how often -- and what techniques do you use to stick to it?  If the latter, do you worry about... well, whatever you might worry about (e.g. losing traffic, losing momentum)?
While I would love to blog on a schedule, it's more so when I have the time. I am a full-time working mom/wife and I have a household to take care of, so I don't get much time to myself and when I do, I have so many things I want to do, including blogging.  I am worried about losing followers if I don't post often as well as keeping up with the pet blogging world.  Sometimes I wish I  knew more of what was going on and just being in touch with other people who like dogs as much as I do.  If I feel there is too much of a gap in my posts, I try to re-motivate myself to blog.

5.  Are you generating income from  your blog?  If so, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)?  If not currently, do you hope to in the future -- and how?
No ... BUT I would love to start doing so in the future!  I need to do more research to understand how it works.  From the small research I did do, I think I will need more steady traffic which is why I need to step up my blogging and overall blogging skills.

6.  What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?
What I really love about blogging is getting my thoughts and experiences out there about dogs.  None of my friends I personally know are dog/animal people, so I love the fact that I can meet people from all over the world that understand and "get" my dog obsession.  Networking is definitely the future of things and I'm happy to be involved in it on a positive side.  I also sure do love blogging about Jada too :)  I love how I can go into detail about Jada, specifically with her recent allergy issues and get feedback from people.  I actually met some folks who gave advice and also someone who had a dog going through the same things.  Blogging is a great way to meet and connect with people.  One of the things I love most about my blog, physically, is my header, which I designed myself!  I think that it's really catchy and true to the title of my blog.  Also, I think a good appearance of a blog can make it or break it for someone to be interested to stop and read your blog.  Since I've been blogging, blog/web design has become a huge interest for me and it's another thing I hope to learn more about this year.

7. What do you like least?
I don't like two things: writer's block and not having enough time to do it.  Sometimes I feel like to I want to write in my blog but I don't have anything interesting or worthy to say.  Does someone really care if Jada and I took a walk?  Plus sometimes, I'm just at a loss for words as I'm sure lots of people suffer from writer's block.  Also, while I wouldn't be able to do it every day, I would love to at least blog once or twice a week.  I don't want to turn blogging into a chore to do everyday, but just more often.

8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012?
I have lots of changes and goals for my blog this year.  Of course number one on my list is to be more regular.  Maybe start out once or twice a week and go from there.  If I can do more, fine; if not, that's okay too.  I might try to do something like a weekly post, like the "Wordless Wednesdays" but something that could get participation or others to respond and be active on my blog, it's just a thought right now.  I may be interested in product reviews and giveaways but again I need to look into things.  I'd also like to look more into generating income.  Maybe it's something that isn't right for my type of blog, but I need to read more about it and maybe find out from others how it works.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy (belated) New Year!

According to the radio this morning, I only have until January 15th to wish you a Happy New Year and then it's old news after that, so ... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and are having a great start to 2012!  I'm sure we've all made some kind of resolution(s) and as for me, I'm no different.  I have so much I want to do this year with ever aspect of my life, I'm actually excited!  One of my resolutions is to get back to regularly blogging here, as well as start my own personal blog, if I can fit it into my schedule.  I'm getting a late start on things but better late than never, right! I'll just have to take it one step at a time.

Our holidays were busy but wonderful.  I really enjoy spending time with my family.  We even ended 2011 by throwing a HUGE NYE bash, where of course Jada was the hit of the pawty!

Such a doggie fashionista!!
Meanwhile, in Jada news, she actually goes to the vet tonight for her yearly check-up.  Thankfully we haven't been back to the vet since her allergy bout back in September.  While her paws may never go back to being all black, I think she's been doing very well and recovered for the most part.  Every now and then we notice her chewing/licking her paws but they aren't raw or sore like she was back in August (see previous "allergy" posts).  Here's hoping that her well-streak continues on through 2012!!

Hope everyone has a fantastic year and I look forward to reading all about it!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jada's First HOWL-O-Ween!

To get into the HOWL-O-Ween spirit, I'd thought I would share some of Jada's most memorable moments from the fall season!  She had quite the array of costumes, participated in HOWL-O-Ween party/costume contests and lots of fun at this time of year.  Hope you enjoy!

Jada's first HOWL-O-Ween was in 2006 and I was very excited to have Jada to share my favorite time of year.  At the end of September, I took her to the Country Junction, the largest general store in our area.  Not only do they have a HUGE store, with anything you can think of in it, but they also have a petting zoo, haunted woods/hayride, carnival with rides and games, and of course, pumpkins!  Best of all, dogs ARE allowed on the premises :)  Jada picked out a great little pumpkin that was perfect for her size!  Sadly, a few days later, the Country Junction, a beloved store to many locals and some that came from all over, burned down to the ground.  It was very sad because some animals perished in the fire and nothing could be saved from the store.  Good news though, they have since rebuilt and it's bigger and better than ever!  The annual Great Pumpkin Festival is in full swing right now!

CUTENESS ALERT:  In the following pictures, Jada was only 3 months old and still had her puppy face!

Dressed and ready to go to the pumpkin patch.
Her shirt says "Little Pumpkin" ... awww!
The perfect pumpkin for a perfect puppy!

Kisses for her pumpkin!!

"Trick-Or-Treat, smell my feet, gimme something good to eat ... "
 Going through Jada's old pictures brings back so many good memories.  I'm so glad I have these pictures to look back on and will treasure them forever!

Monday, September 5, 2011

In Memoriam ~ My Beloved Keno

Before Jada, there was Keno, the family dog. Keno was a handsome rough coat collie who we rescued after another family wanted to get rid of him. We had not had a dog in a long time and my dad always said if we could find a dog that was free and housebroken we could get it. That's when Keno blessed our lives on that November day in 1998.

We didn't know much about Keno, just that he had been bounced around from home to home and that he didn't like the mailman. Still, we took him in with open arms and loving hearts.

Fast forward to 2005, Keno was still with us and he couldn't have been happier! He had a loving family, food in his belly and a best friend, a cat named Angel (BTW, Angel is a boy!). Since we didn't know Keno's actual birthday, we just picked one for him, which was September 3rd. We assumed he was about 4 years old when we got, making his birth year 1994. This exact weekend, 6 years ago, we had just celebrated Keno's 11th birthday on Saturday. Sunday everything was fine but that Monday, September 5, 2005, Labor Day, would change everything.

Without going into the entire long story because it still hurts to tell, we had to put Keno down on this very day, 6 years ago. The vet had found a mass in his bladder which had made him very sick. It was one of the, if not the most, difficult day of my life. That day is still so clear in my head, I think because I was in the room when Keno passed. My mom had told me to never be present when a dog is put down, but I couldn't just let him leave this world all by himself. I needed to tell him until his last breath that we loved him, that I loved him, and that he could be free of pain.

The next few weeks were a blur for me, going through feelings of heartbreak and guilt. I felt as if I had let Keno down and most of all took him for granted. I wish I would have put more effort into being around him and playing with him because you really don't know what you got until it's gone.

Once we had gotten Jada, I realized that Keno had taught me something: He taught me compassion for animals and life in general. Even though I have always been an animal lover, it meant so much more to me now to help animals and also be more appreciative to life. I never witnessed death until Keno and just the fact of knowing what was happening to Keno will always haunt me. I also feel Keno showed me responsibly and how I need to be there for Jada. This is probably why I'm an over-protective pet parent when it comes to Jada's health issues. I hope one day I can hug Keno and thank him for that.

I found solace in the Rainbow Bridge poem, different Pet Loss website and having a picture memorial of Keno in my room. I've also done a balloon release for Keno on his 4 year anniversary. I found it most healing to be creative and did a memorial video of all the pictures and few videos we have of Keno. I posted it below so please turn up your speakers and enjoy!

Keno's Balloon Release ~ This was his 4-Year Anniversary to Rainbow Bridge

4 Balloons, representing 4 years

Here they come Keno :)

For more on Pet Loss and how to cope, please visit the Pet Loss Website. It has wonderful information, candle vigils, and inspirational readings for anyone experiencing the loss of a loved pet. You don't have to go through this alone!

To read the Rainbow Bridge Poem, Click Here.

"If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I would walk right up to heaven, and bring you back again." - Unknown

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Sports Dog

Wake me when football starts ...

But wait, the Phillies are close to clinching their fifth consecutive NL East division championship?! OK, I'm awake!!