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Stop and smell the flowers. Well, it’s May 29th. And the only reason I know that is because two days ago it was my step-father’s birthday. Finally, there was something to really celebrate. While we couldn’t eat cake or have a delicious meal in person, it gave me an excuse to get out of the house (with a mask, of course), and pick out a funny card. One of my favorite things to do is wander the greeting card aisle. As a stationery designer, these artistic creations are inspirational. With clever taglines and gorgeous illustrations, a greeting card is the one thing that never fails to comfort. Here in Central Florida, restaurants are open for inside dining; local retail shops are filled with customers; even theme parks (July 11th for all my Disney fans!) are coming to life. Amidst this late April excitement, I went to restock at retail stores.…

Well, Gant, it’s your birthday today. You are SIX years old. Thank god it’s your birthday, because otherwise I wouldn’t know what day it is. Taken in 2014. This will always be my favorite photo. This birthday, for you, is like any other. You don’t even know it is your birthday. You also have no idea that we are in quarantine. Every morning, you stretch your tiny body, crawl out of the layers of blankets, and then decide to lay back down because it’s 9:30 am and it’s too early to greet the day. It’s 9:30 am. It’s too early. Each day you get to enjoy doing what you love – chasing squirrels (or trying to) and then looking up at the tree to see where they went, gobbling up your favorite treat – the “bone bone”, alerting us every time the delivery truck arrives, and running around with a…

When you get a puppy, it’s like a new beginning. The chance to mold their personalities, train them how you want them to behave, and establish them as your furry family member. From the moment we brought Gant to our home to 6 years later, we showered him with affection, took him to training classes, bought him endless toys, and tried to earn his love with unlimited treats. At this point, we know his personality: his likes, dislikes, quirks, and daily habits. If you give him a pretzel, he only licks the salt off, then spits out the uneaten pretzel. What kind of monster does that? Or, during the night, he’ll be sleeping under the comforter in our bed, and then hours later come up for air, panting, and laying down on my pillow, all while spreading his paws and poking me in the back and practically kicking me out…

Well, it’s day 2345 of quarantine. The days blend together. Weekends aren’t as special as they used to be, as I am basically wearing my Saturday and Sunday uniform (pajamas, tank top) in any day that ends in a “y”. As with a lot of people, my anxiety levels have definitely increased, especially at the grocery store. What used to be a leisurely errand has become a CIA mission. Put on your protective gear, get in, avoid being too close to people, and get out. The only ones who have really “won” during this pandemic are dogs. They get their owners home 24/7, still get to enjoy their outdoor walks, and receive extra attention from their owners (although Gant always seems to have that “Get away from me” expression as we try and pick him up or get up so close to his face and stare at him. Yes, we…

It’s finally time. You’re ready to bring a furry family member into your home. Discussions about the responsibility of taking care of a dog were talked through at length. You’ve looked on Petfinder, Adoptapet.com, or followed your favorite local rescue. Maybe you’ve already found a couple of dogs that caught your eye, or you know what you’re looking for but want to see options. But before you take the plunge, here are a few questions you need to ask, not only when you attend the adoption event, but while you’re inquiring about the dog. Working with a few rescues, I have noticed the organizations can ask a lot of information about you, but you deserve to know about the rescue! So here are my go-to questions that will help you make the right decision for your family. What to ask a rescue…. When researching online: Get the right contact info.…

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