Monday, October 9, 2017

Best Shot Monday: Meet Fargo!

Fargo_A168824

Meet Fargo! Fargo is a male Labrador Retriever mix about two and a half years old. He's very playful and loves to hang out in play group with his play group pals. He absolutely LOVES water! Rolling around in the doggie pool and in some good old water puddles are some of his favorite activities. He loves treats, is treat motivated and also walks pretty well on his leash.

Fargo has been at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center since April 12 and is currently the shelter's longest resident. That means he's been waiting for 181 days for his people to find him! A super long time to wait! Might you be his person? How about you come meet him? Be sure not to judge him by his kennel behavior; being cooped up in a kennel for 181 days would be stressful on you, too, wouldn't it?! Take this awesome boy out for a proper meet and greet and you just may fall in love! Not ready to adopt right now? Please share Fargo's story with your friends! You never know who might be looking for a great dog!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Best Shot Monday: Meet Cobra!

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We were home in Jacksonville this past weekend cleaning up from Hurricane Irma so I squeezed in a little shelter time. This handsome fella is Cobra! I actually photographed him earlier in September and I spent some time with him while I was up there Saturday. He's a mid-to-large sized male about 2 years old, and he loves, loves, loves tennis balls! He's working on getting two in his mouth at one time, and I’m sure he’ll figure it out soon! He walks well on his leash and sits sweetly for treats, and he's just another example of the amazing pets you can find at your local animal shelter. Cobra is available for adoption at Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services, 2020 Forest Street in Jacksonville.  Adopt a shelter pet!  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

2017 Documented Life Project: March

March-2

Hello! Sharing my March 2017 Documented Life Project spreads today! This page actually started out with a magazine page with my favorite colors. What I wanted to do with it didn't turn out quite right, so I just covered it up with a light smear of gesso and some stenciling with one of my favorite stencils. The little scrap of fabric message was sitting on my work table and fit perfectly! This week was the week of our State Basketball Tournament, held in Ocala, so I was able to spend some time with my dear friends Marjorie and Vanessa, shown in the photo on the right with me. My job requires a ton of travel, so it's nice to be able to catch up friends when I'm on the road!

March-3

March-4

This next page also started with a pretty page from a magazine. I tend to find my prettiest magazine pages in Better Homes and Gardens and Good Housekeeping and keep a stack of them on my worktable both for tear outs and to use for gluing so I don't get glue all over my workspace. I cut that big "Go Ahead, Lose Yourself" on the calendar side out of an Ulta Beauty bag. My girls have started marching band this year, and Olivia is on the drill team. Don't even get me started on the hair and make up requirements for drill team.... We'll just say it's been an education for all of us! This week included Spring Break, so we had a nice quiet week at Home in Jacksonville. It was a little rainy and chilly, but that was just fine. We were Home.

March-5

March-6

Well, clearly, I was on a "pairs of two" kick in March. This page started out with rubbing some random paint on with my fingers (deep down, I will always be a finger-painter...), and then I added some stamping, a bit of collage work, and pen work. This page came together really quickly, which is important for me as there is never enough time to devote to my create playtime. This week included three of my favorite things: my weekly meeting with my two Chi Omega advisees, Mack and Maddie; our monthly Chi Omega advisory board meeting; and an afternoon at the shelter. As harried as things get with work, it's been so important to my sanity to make time for those outside of work activities that make my heart happy. That's my family, my "big girls," and my shelter volunteering! And of course, playing in my art studio!

March-7

March-8

This was another very quick page. I used some of my underpapers, rubbed a little more paint on them, painted some random sweet little flowers with my fingers and added in a card Sarah made. 5 is my lucky number. On the back side of the card, Sarah wrote "Unicorns are real." Yep, they are. This week really sums up a week in the life for me. Moe's Monday is a tradition for us; we go just about every Monday unless I'm out of town for work (extreme queso addiction here). Shelter Tuesday afternoon. Chi O meeting on Wednesday. Out of town for our state Brain Bowl Tournament over at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City Thursday and Friday.  And then I participated in the Springtime Tallahassee Arts Jubilee on Saturday. Busy week, but pretty average week!

March-9

March-11

I wrapped up March with this sweet little page. The background was a piece I've had laying around for a couple years, the background for some owl paintings from a class the redheads and I were taking online that I finally put it to use! Clearly, the owl did not make the cut. :-) The bird is a stencil I traced on an old dictionary page and added some color to, and the flowers are a stamp from Roben-Marie Smith.

Thanks so much for stopping in. Our world has been a little upside down the past week or two since we had quite a bit of damage to our Home in Jacksonville courtesy of Hurricane Irma. We had about a foot of water in on the ground floor and some damage to our dock and roof. We had a tree in the roof last year courtesy of Hurricane Matthew, so we're counting our blessings! It could have been worse! The hubs has been over there handling clean up while the redheads and I have been juggling work and school in Tallahassee. Continued prayers for all who have been affected by this very active, devastating hurricane season. It's been a rough one!

To see more of my 2017 Documented Life Project, click here. For 2016, here; for 2015, here; and for 2014, here. Thanks to the ladies at Art to the 5th for creating this project and to my sweet friend Roben-Marie for introducing me to them and all the constant inspiration she provides.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Best Shot Monday: Meet Kay and Tilt...Again

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If you volunteer at a municipal shelter long enough, you invariably see a dog come back through the system. We were home in Jacksonville for the long Labor Day weekend, so I spent some time at my home shelter photographing the pups this morning. See that beautiful girl above? This is Kay ... today. I first photographed her four years ago and actually blogged about her then because she broke my heart. So when I saw her today, with the photo I took of her four years ago on her kennel card, my heart sank. I took her out and I don't know if she actually remembered me (I did spend quite a bit of time with her back then) or if it was just her innate incredibly sweet and loving nature, but she snuggled up to me just like an old friend. Praying that a very sweet family finds this very sweet girl very soon.

Tilt_A0765410

And then there's this guy. Meet Tilt ... today. I first photographed and blogged about him five years ago, and with that little tilt of the head, he is unmistakable. He's much bigger these days, but he's still such a fun loving fella. Both Kay and Tilt came back into the shelter as strays. At one time, they had homes. Who knows what's happened in their lives between then and now. Prayers they get a new fresh start very soon! They are both available for adoption at Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services. 

I shared a post on Facebook several weeks ago written by a shelter tech about the question she and all of us who spend a lot of time volunteering in animal shelters hear often: "Is this a kill shelter?" Her post was so well written and really got to the heart of the matter of animal sheltering. The truth is, even "no-kill" shelters have to put animals down, but in sheltering, we refer to it as what it is: humanely euthanizing. The numbers vary slightly around the country, but for the most part, to earn no-kill status means that 90% of the animals that come through your doors walk back out.  That 10% is there for a reason. Some animals are too sick to be saved, and it's far more humane to release them from their sickness. And frankly, some animals are simply too dangerous to be safely adopted out.  I'm not sharing this because I think Kay or Tilt might face this fate, not at all. They are both highly adoptable and will hopefully meet their new families very soon. I share this to try to spread understanding.  It makes me so sad to see people say they won't support a large municipal shelter or even a small rural municipal shelter because they believe those places "kill" animals.  Please take some time to learn and understand what that phrase means.  Even your humane societies humanely euthanize animals at times, because it's simply the right thing to do, for the animal or for the safety of the public. Think about your own family pet.  Have you ever had to euthanize a pet?  I know I have, and I think most people who have ever loved numerous animals have been faced with that painful decision.  But you knew it was the best thing to do for your pet.

So, please, support your municipal animal shelter. That shelter is the one charged with taking in every animal that comes their way, be it a stray, owner surrender, cruelty case, confiscation, you name it, they take them all.  Support them, either by volunteering your time, fostering, adopting, or donating funds to the organizations that raise funds for them.   Help make a difference.  They need you.      

Thursday, August 31, 2017

2017 Documented Life Project: February

February-1

Welcome to February in August for the 2017 Documented Life Project! :-) This first week's spread was a bit of serendipity (my favorite word). I had cut those legs out of a magazine and then they fluttered to the other side before I could glue them down. Liked the back side even better. The highlight of the week was our state student government conference. I always love the opportunity to hang out with my former SGA colleagues.

February-2

February-3

The second week was actually created by my daughter Sarah. She had been doing some DLP creating and kind of fizzled out, so I asked her if I could include some of her pages in my book. She was quite honored! The highlight of this week, depicted by the photo, was our first mountain bike ride as a family. My husband and I have been mountain bikers for years, but this was the first time we took the girls. They loved it!

February-4

This next week includes a collection of under papers brought together by a Pam Carriker heart stamp. This week brought our first introduction to the high school our girls are now attending, capped off by a band concert in which the middle school band got to perform on the high school stage.

February-5

February-6

This last spread was more under papers topped off by a Donna Downey stencil that I stenciled on more under papers and some book pages. I really love the way this came together! It's my favorite spread of the month.

February-7

Thanks for stopping in!  See more of my 2017 Documented Life Project here.  And you can check out my 2016, 2015, and 2014 DLP projects by clicking on those years. Thanks to the ladies at Art to the 5th for the inspiration.  And speaking of inspiration, I've been back at the jewelry bench lately and will be sharing some new jewelry pieces soon.  I've missed digging into bead boxes! 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Best Shot Monday: Meet Rocky

Rocky-1

For this week's Best Shot Monday, I'd like to introduce you to Rocky. While I do most of my photography volunteering with the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center and Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services, my girls and I also help out Tallahassee Big Dog Rescue when we can.  This picture aptly demonstrates that TBDR also rescues small dogs!  All TBDR animals are in foster homes, so it's a little hard to get them all photographed. They hold twice monthly adoption booths at PetSmart on northeast Capital Circle in Tallahassee the second and fourth Saturday of the month.  Thankfully, PetSmart lets us sneak out the back door with the dogs to a nice green spot for photos. 

This cute little guy was taken in by TBRD from the Bainbridge, Georgia, Humane Society. He's about one or two years old.  He's a bit reserved at first, and his foster mama says he tries to be a good watch dog, but soon enough, his friendly and affectionate personality takes over. His favorite place is right next to you, and he's learning to become a great little lap dog. He's sitting up on my daughter Olivia in this picture, and it looks to me like he is completely smitten with her! He has such a sweet expression on his little face.

Rocky still needs a bit more practice walking on a leash, but he will pick it up just fine given a little patience (of course, he prefers to be carried!).  Younger children might intimidate him, but he should adjust to being with older kids that take their time with him to earn his trust. He's neutered, update-to-date on shots, microchipped and available for adoption through Tallahassee Big Dog Rescue.  

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Best Shot Thursday: Meet Wiley!

Wiley

Let me tell you about Wiley. Wiley came in to the City of Tallahassee - Animal Service Center system as a stray in October 2016. Yes, you read that correctly! October 2016. That means he’s been in the system for 10 months! He was there at the shelter in the kennels waiting for his forever family to find him until the end of March when he was selected to participate in the UTOPIA program. The UTOPIA program is a partnership between Animal Services and the Taylor Correctional Institution (TCI) in Perry. Dogs selected for the program are housed at TCI for a minimum of eight weeks to receive socialization and basic obedience training and then are returned to the shelter for adoption.

Wiley graduated from the UTOPIA program in July and has been waiting for you to find him since. Shelter staff estimate him to be about four years old and 55-60 pounds. And let me tell you! This dog is amazing! He’s a cattle dog mix who knows commands like sit, roll over and play dead. He walks well on his leash and, even though he’s incredibly fond of treats, takes them very gently. He loves to play, particularly tug of war, and he’ll even “talk” to you while he’s playing. And while he loves a great game of tug of war or fetch, he is also content to just settle in and chill for a while, and you know, maybe share your snack with you. He's also a playgroup member and gets along well with others. His handlers at TCI even shared that once he learned where his temporary “home” was, he was able to run back to and into his kennel from 200 yards away after his training and play for the day! One thing to note, he should not join a home with cats, but really, who needs a cat with this much awesomeness waiting for you? He’s available for adoption at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center.

Though you might not be in the Tallahassee area, I bet there is an animal shelter near you. And I promise you it's full of awesome dogs like Wiley. Give shelter dogs a chance. Adopt, don't shop.

UPDATE:  I shared this post on Facebook when I wrote it and it was shared numerous times.  Wiley was adopted two days later!