It's finally nice outside, so Woody and I have been enjoying our walks. Note to self: Get one of those fancy dog cameras and really see Cleveland from the dog perspective.
New Year, Same Fun
I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful New Year! We celebrated Woody's 9th birthday on New Year's Eve. I still can't believe he's that old! I got him when he was nearly 5 and he has just as much energy now as he did then. I don't even want to fathom what it will be like when he starts slowing down.
A lot of people create New Year's resolutions, but it seems that just as many people complain about how stupid New Year's resolutions are. I like to live by the rule that you don't have to wait for a fresh start. Whenever "now" is, you can change your mindset and create goals. I get that it seems cliche to create resolutions when most people throw them out the window a few months in, but the idea of a fresh start to the start of the New Year can be a good benchmark. For example, maybe you want to lose weight as your overarching goal. Instead of thinking of the big picture, think of how you can make small steps to get there. Each month have a new, smaller goal that is related to health and wellness - in January you make it a goal to go spinning twice a week, February you swap soda for tea, March you say no to fast food, etc. Doing these things by a monthly basis is much more manageable and can give you some new perspective on what you like and don't like about trying to lose weight rather than going cold turkey on everything all at once and buying expensive gym memberships.
But enough on that tangent. Every year I try to think of some new things to do with my dog and reflect on some of the fun we had in the year prior. This moreso happens because his birthday falls on New Year's Eve. In 2014, I said I would take him to 3 new dog parks. I didn't do that - I know, bad dog mom. I did, however, take him to the new Cleveland dog park a few times before it got too cold for him to walk all the way down there. And we went on much longer walks and runs than we did in 2013. I guess I learned that if he is getting exercise around here and he is socializing with other dogs at doggie daycare and out in the park in my building there's no point in driving him all over the city.
Since his energy level hasn't changed, I'm going to continue to focus on doing as much activity with him as I can. Things to improve upon are:
What are some goals you have this year? Anything your dog can be a part of?
Despite his small size, Woody loves to go for runs. He can be the best and worst running partner - best because he could keep his pace forever and worst because if he does stop, it's to use the bathroom or sniff something that must smell REALLY interesting.
Now that it's nearly winter and am actually in the home stretch of training for a couple of races, I can't really take him along. People say running is just as much about mental strength as it is physical, and tonight I got to thinking about how different my thoughts are when I'm running with my dog vs. when I'm running without him. Maybe you can relate?
Puppies and Ice Cream
There are days when I love my job more than others. Two Tuesdays ago was one of those days. My office brought in the Cleveland APL and Mason's Creamery for "Puppies and Ice Cream" in which we were able to enjoy a tasty sundae made from Mason's best flavors in exchange for donations to the APL. The APL volunteers brought in two adoptable dogs, Sissy Lee and Slinky, as well as a few kittens. I don't remember all of the cats' names, but I do remember an adorable little white one named Harold. I seriously love when animals have human names, by the way.
Our company as well as the team from the Holiday Inn (we share a building) raised $1,000 for the APL and brought more awareness to these loveable fur friends. Check out some of the pictures from the event below. Some were taken by me and a few others were taken by my co-worker Maggie (you can check out her stories at Twin Parenting). I'm not sure if these animals have been adopted, but regardless you can visit the APL's adoption pages to see all of the pets looking for good homes.
Note: the opinions of this post are my own and were not created on behalf of my employer.
If you wander around Cleveland enough or attend any of the city's many summer markets and/or festivals, you may remember coming across one of these:
Yes, that is a bicycle covered in plants and surrounded by flowers. It's part of the Bikes, Bees and Butterflies project, a public art/urban sustainability project that encourages biking and the creation of green spaces filled with plants that support insect pollinators. I first learned of these at the Gordon Square Arts Festival, and it wasn't long after that this one appeared in my neighborhood.
I'm truly loving the creativity and passion shown in Cleveland's public art scene, especially when it promotes more than just a catchy structure. And, I am slightly (no, horribly) terrified of bees after being stung in the air when I was 10, but I know that they serve a true purpose and love seeing people taking charge to provide them an outlet where they can thrive doing what nature intended.
To learn more about the project, visit them on Facebook.
P.S. Because this is a dog blog, I want to try to get Woody in each of my walking observations photos. As you can see though, this is not always going to work.
BISSELL Gives Back
One product I absolutely stand by and can't live without is my BISSELL Spotbot Pet. This thing has been a life saver when it comes to cleaning up Woody's messes, which tend to be more frequent in the winter due to lack of exercise and outdoor time. At the beginning of this month, I received an email from BISSELL said that all month they are doubling the amount they donate through their Foundation to help homeless pets. Below is a screenshot of the details:
So, if you're in the market for a new carpet cleaner specifically for cleaning up pet messes or just general pet clean-up products, shop through this link to find out more and make a difference. Or, if you aren't a fan of BISSELL products you can still support the foundation by making a donation.
*Note: All opinions on this product and this cause are my own and I was not asked to promote/endorse BISSELL in any way. I just really love my Spotbot :)
I just received word that the Cleveland Kennel is offering free adoptions (aka waiving the current $61 adoption fee) until June 7. This effort is in support of Ohio Animal Week, which celebrates animals and how they enrich our lives. Of course, if you can't adopt a new furry friend you can still donate to the kennel and help them with food and pet supplies.
A few weeks ago, a friend shared an article on Facebook from The Columbus Dispatch about Dave and Jill Cottone, a Dublin, OH, couple who created a small non-profit nearly three years ago to honor their dog's memory. The name of the organization is the Sedona Grace Foundation and the mission is to keep pets with their families and out of shelters by providing canine and feline care packages to owners who are struggling financially. Below is an excerpt from the Dispatch story:
Like many other people who lose pets, Dave and Jill Cottone thought their dog left them too soon.
I thought this was a lovely testament to the impact that our pets have on our lives and was a great example of two people who showed tremendous character in the wake of tragedy. It's also beautiful to see that Sedona's life will never be forgotten, and her memory is saving the lives of countless other animals, plus allowing the bond between pets and their owners to continue even on hard times.
To read the full article, click here. To donate to the Sedona Grace Foundation, visit sedonagracefoundation.com.
Important Dog Truths
The last couple weeks have been pretty busy for me. Lots of stringent work deadlines, I got braces (more on that later), and I've been trying to do some spring cleaning, though I will admit that this time has turned into the time where I crawl in my bed and watch episodes of old 90s TV shows on Netflix. It only took me a year, but I finally finished Cheers!
As far as Woody's concerned, he's still cooped up due to the snow. He will be going to Camp Bow Wow this weekend to burn of some steam because he is starting to get pretty stir-crazy. While he hasn't been having the accidents all over the place like he did last winter, this pent up energy really has shown when people have visited the apartment in the last couple months. Normally he gets a little anxious but this anxiety is starting to cross over into the aggression territory. While I have a much better handle on how to read his energy than I did this time last year, I don't want to take any chances. So, he will be going to Camp Bow Wow every time I have guests in the home until it's warm enough to go on our walks.
One thing I did want to share was this cute blog post titled 15 Important Truths Dog Owners Must Never Forget. I've seen lists like this before, but this one really brought it home for me for some reason. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
National Dog Day
Today is National Dog Day, a day to honor our beloved canines and raise awareness for the massive number of dogs in shelters awaiting a permanent home. National Dog Day began in 2004, but I didn't hear of it until recently. Below is my National Dog Day photo that I posted on Instagram earlier today. This photo was taken the other morning and pretty much depicts the face I see hovering over me every morning. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I'm just a twenty-something female raising the weirdest dog I've ever met.