I bet, at some point in everyone's life, they have a pet that isn't a true, flesh and blood pet. For some, it was their imaginary dog. For others, their pet rock. When I was younger, I remember stressing a bit over how to keep one of these things alive without my teachers catching me:
From there, the Petz franchise fed into my love of learning about various dog and cat breeds, until I moved past virtual pets and on through adolescence and adulthood, where I thought I was done with virtual pets... that was until Neko Atsume was released in English.
Neko Atsume is an app-based game in which you build an environment to attract cats and get to see how they enjoy it. After laying out some food, toys, and accessories, such as scratching posts and bedding, various cats will visit your yard or home, enjoying the "goodies" you've shared with them. You have a "Catbook", much like Facebook for felines, where you can keep photos of the cats who come to visit you while getting to know their personalities and preferences. Here are a few of the cats that visited me today:
— Life with Arie (@lifewitharie) November 6, 2015
The game's directions are simple and easy to follow, and you can play at your own pace, though there are some tips around the web on how to make the most of Neko Atsume, from attracting some of the rarer cats to just when to refill your tasty bits bowl. The game is approachable for most ages, as children can grasp it's easy directions and layout, and adults can find a nice reprieve from a long day caring for a few kittens with yarn balls and sashimi.
For me, Neko Atsume has become a great zen moment starter, as after a long meeting or stressful call, I might check in on the game just to see which cats have visited my turf. If I can't be home with Arie, Fulton, and my actual cats, I can at least take five minutes to look at adorable illustrations and reset before continuing on with my day.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who's loving this game. Countless of others, adults and younger, have shared their cat finds on Twitter, and Google even saw fit to recreate the game IRL for 11 hours:
What kind of "virtual" pets have you had over the years? Have you tried playing Neko Atsume, or do you think you want to give it a try?
Tamagochi image via Wikimedia.
I started to write this post in August, 2011 about a few losses we had had through the pet blogging community. I stopped writing it, because I felt like I couldn't adequately discuss a matter I hadn't experienced on the personal level that the blogger's who lost their pets had, and that it might be insulting for me to post about it. Now, unfortunately, I can finish this post. I need to finish it.
I usually try to keep things G-Rated on the blog, because honestly, what's more family friendly than a website full of animals? Today, however, is not that day. Course language ahead. You have been warned.
The rainbow bridge has been a selfish bitch.
If you're sitting there wondering "What in the hell is a rainbow bridge? What substances has Katherine been abusing?" I assure you that the only thing coursing through my veins is caffeine, and I can to expose to you the term. I didn't hear "rainbow bridge" until I started pet blogging. Each culture has their own way of discussing death and the mourning of a death; this includes the sub-culture of pet bloggers on the web. When a pet dies, they cross the rainbow bridge. It's supposed to be a comforting thought to pet parents in their time of grief.
Well, fuck the rainbow bridge. Fuck it.
I moved in with my fiancé, Zack, about two years ago. In addition to moving in together, we also brought out families together. Zack embraced my cats and Arie whole-heartedly, and I welcomed Gertrude, his elderly Basset Hound.
Gert lived a hard life before meeting Zack. She had been abused. She had been a mother (and HATED her puppy when they were fostered together). She had a back leg that wouldn't bend, a sweet but also grouchy disposition and she smelled like a three day old corpse (NOT an exaggeration).
When Zack inquired about adopting her from the Basset Hound rescue, the foster family said that they had bonded with her and couldn't give her up. Two days later, foster dad called and asked Z to come get her. He gratefully obliged. They have been nearly inseparable since, going on now for a decade.
Gertrude was a hilarious dog. Refusing to learn most of the most basic commands (but somewhat mastering 'sit' for noms), Gertrude was her own lady, and the boss of herself. Her biggest desires in life were a warm, soft cushy bed, love from her human, a yard to bury things in, and pizza crust. There are so many good stories from this dog, from expensive Italian sausages disappearing only to be rediscovered months later when she dug them up to stollen challah bread hanging out of an unapologetic Basset face as she stared our the porch window looking at her dad.
Moving in together was tough. Gertrude would be jealous of Zack a bit, and there were plenty of squabbles between her and Arie. She would chase the cats. We spent a lot of time cleaning up after both dogs, as Gertrude would have accidents from age, and Arie from her spay incontinence. It was sometimes stressful, often gross, and a consistently busy life with our family of six. It was also amazing. We slowly got to know each other better, and the family became more and more of a family. With the good and the bad, we balanced things, and Gertrude became a huge part of my heart while she learned to tolerate my presence.
On Tuesday of this past week, Gertrude started having issues using her hind legs. We were extremely worried, but started to think it was just arthritis, as she perked up when given her pain medication. Over the next few days, she seemed to be doing better, which gave us hope that it had just been a bad day from the weather or just a random pang of worse arthritis than usual. On Saturday, however, Gertrude refused to take her pill in the morning, though wrapped in a tantalizing piece of chicken. She wouldn't move. She seemed despondent. We knew something was really, really wrong, so we scooped her up and headed to the vet.
Within around 20 minutes, they noticed something was off in her vitals. Within another 20, they found that she was anemic. Within another 30, x-rays confirmed she had a tumor in her abdomen. We knew what choice we had to make. Within another 30 minutes, we were saying goodbye.
What we thought was a visit to treat bad hips turned out to be the visit where we had to say goodbye. This is the first time I've been in a room while a pet was euthanized, and let me tell you: Fuck. That. Rainbow. Bridge. It's not shiny. It's not sparkly. It's shitty. I had to watch my dog take her last labored breaths when she couldn't even recognize me or Zack, the man that had loved her for over a decade, because she was so weak from disease. Since then, we've had to handle calls about what to do with her remains, what we wanted from the cremation, and what memorial items we wanted to choose, along with letting work know why I won't be coming in (because I just look like I went 3 rounds with Tyson with the swelling from crying so much, and we still are crying) and all the other arrangements. There's so much to take in emotionally, monetarily, physically, mentally. It's exhausting and emotional and overwhelming. They don't warn you about this part of losing a pet. The business part. No one does.
Being back home is both comforting and eerie. Arie knows something is different, but doesn't seem to realize what it is yet. She and the cats to do realize that mom and dad are hurting like crazy now, though, and are all about the comfort cuddles and checking on us, which helps. Still, it's shocking to not hear little basset claws on the hardwoods. To not smell that death stench right around the corner of the sofa. To not hear a scratch at the door, asking to go in and come out five hundred times in a row without peeing once. We will heal, but healing takes time, and patience, and love.
Gertrude, I don't ever think you'll know how much you meant to me, and I don't think I knew until you weren't here anymore. Thank you, for being such a huge part of Zack's life. You saved him, probably more than he saved you, and I am forever in your debt. I am so glad you are not in pain anymore, though I really wish you could still be here. Run fast, sweet girl. Eat all the things. Bury all the things. We love you.
Rainbow Bridge image via Wiki commons, Maris Stella.
Wow. It's almost August, which means that it has almost been five months since I published on Life with Arie. From the last year on this blog, you've seen me take a break for about a month or so here or there, but not like this; not a complete and total blog siesta in No-Post Snoozeville. The truth is, over the past five months (almost 5 months...when you're talking about not writing, the almost is important), I've spent a lot of time dealing with things in my own life, deciding whether to continue this dog blog, and growing as a person and as a professional.
Since March I've been confronting a lot of things in my personal life. I turned 25 in February, and it was not an easy birthday. (For those of you who are older, yes I know that being 25 is basically still being a fetus, but try to remember what you felt like at 25. A quarter of a century is a daunting number when you're facing it for the first time.) I went back and looked at a list of things I wanted to accomplish by this age, and realized how much I hadn't done. After a few weeks of feeling like an utter failure, I had to set a new goal: Be happy.
Since then, I've started doing yoga, running a lot more (Arie is stupid happy about this life choice), and embracing my hobbies, my professional life, and my friends. One good/bad thing about being this age is that, while you're not getting taller anymore, you do still grow in "spurts," or so it seems to me. I feel like the past five months have changed me more as a person than I did last year, and all for the better.
While all of this has nothing to do with this blog, it has everything to do with the absence of this blog, as growing and hobbies and quarter-life reflection take time, and some of that time was blog writing time.
If you look over the last, oh, say six posts on here, the don't have the same joy and passion behind them as my older posts (or at least I hope you found the joy and passion in my older posts!). The truth is, my heart wasn't here. I love my pets--They are the best companions I could ask for, and better people than some of the people I know. But. I was itching for a place to write about my life as well, about all of the changes and growth and passion coming from those two paragraphs before this one. I work full-time in online content creation and strategy, so the thought of handling two blogs at once + a full day of writing and editing just seemed like a recipe for burnout. I had to decide: Am I keeping "Life with Arie," or am I going to let this chapter of my writing die?
After a few months away, I've done nothing but miss this dog blog and my readers, and the great community we have here, so the answer is a resounding YES: Life with Arie is here to stay. I've also created my own little spot on the web over on Tumblr (hooray, microblogging!).
Now that we've gotten the ya-yas out in the sisterhood, swapped the proverbial traveling pants and what-not that happens when we pour out about our feelings on the web, it's time to take all of that sharing and growth and make it better.
Let's be honest: This site looks like 1998 and 2002 decided to make a love-child and call it a blog. Don't get me wrong--This baby was a labor of love from a writer with zero design experience, no access to Photoshop, and, at the time, no knowledge of HTML (or JAVA, or CSS, or any computer language). That header? Confession: Built that sucker in PowerPoint...and it shows. All of this being admitted, a lovely friend and graphic designer is taking time out of his busy schedule to help me bring the sexy back to Life with Arie, so expect an online face lift in the coming months as we redesign the site.
Beyond just looks, Arie is getting her own social channels. While I will continue to write from my point of view, it was clear that Life with Arie needed its own voice in certain areas of the web. For now, I'm starting with our very own Instagram account so the animals no longer have to share their photo space with flowers, my friends, or me. They get to be true divas @lifewitharie on IG. Coming Soon: A separate Twitter account for Life With Arie as well, so that the doggie and kitty goodness can be kept separate from the manic musings of a caffeinated Content Specialist. I'll let you know as soon as the tweets will be starting, but for now, go ahead and follow @lifewitharie on Twitter. You'll feel good about it, as well as the karmic kickback that comes with following a tweet-less Twitter. I've also put a renewed effort into the Life with Arie Facebook Page, so if you're not looking there, you're missing out.
Now that we've gotten all the goodness out, I want to hear from YOU. What have you missed from Life with Arie? What do you want to see more of? Rip it to shreds or build it up in the commentary--All of your input is welcome as we prep for all of the changes!
Have you liked Life with Arie on Facebook yet? If not, you should, and if you have, you may have noticed our new rule series.
Lately I've had several conversations with friends about the "rules" to having a dog. One is about to start pet sitting a dog, and is nervous about caring for a dog she doesn't know quite know the habits and needs of yet. Others are contemplating getting a puppy for the first time, and still others are wondering how to mingle their new dog with their beloved cat.
Over the past few weeks of having these conversations, I've also been re-watching the series How I Met Your Mother. If you watch it, then you'll know all about the "Bro Code," or a book of rules and statutes between "bros" that one character, Barney, is determined to enforce. This got me thinking...What are the rules, or codes, to having a pet? Start watching our Facebook posts (you'll want to subscribe to be sure you get them) and tweets to find out!
These rules aren't your basics of "feed your dog" and "training is important;" take a look at the two we've posted so far to get an idea of what I mean:
Let's be honest--One woman cannot write a comprehensive rule list for having pets. I want to hear YOUR rules to having a dog (or cat or guinea pig or iguana, you name it)! Post your rule in the comments section, on our Facebook page, or tweet it with an @masdemoore mention and the hashtag #LWArules. Hint hint...hint hint...there may be a little something special for one of the rule writers later on this month!
Life with Arie is all about pets, life with the beautiful White German Shepherd, Arie, and her siblings, two black domestic shorthairs, Jasper and Briseis, including celebrating Valentine's Day with your pets. Sometimes though, I have to tell you a bit about myself.
Many people know me as Katie Moore or Katherine Moore, an Online Content Specialist and Pet Blogger (You can learn more about my content work on my LinkedIn and about.me pages). Other people know me a bit better, and know about my personal life; my quirks, my habits, what I like, what I dislike, and what happens in my day-to-day. If you're in the second group, then you know that I had an interesting break up earlier this year. Well, I have a new valentine, and he's more than I could ask for.
He's the tall, dark, and handsome type, with soulful brown eyes and a sweet smile. He's goofy sometimes, like me, and stubborn sometimes (also like me). He's very fit, and I'm trying to be, so I meet him for lunch dates and we go for a long run, then cuddle up on the couch for a bit while I write for clients or for this blog. I couldn't wait to share the news with you guys, and I'm so happy to introduce him:
Needless to say, I'm really enjoying the single life right now, which means more time to dive into my passions, like writing, helping businesses with content, spending time with Arie, and enjoying my hobbies and friends.
Whether you're celebrating with someone special on Thursday, spending time with friends, or hanging out with a four-legged friend, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day. Share pictures of your Valentine (PG please!) on the Life with Arie Facebook page!
Our February Guest Post comes from Maggie Bailey, a former colleague and forever friend of mine. I hope you enjoy her guest post, "The Dangers of Owning a Pit Bull," which details the risks and problems with having a bully breed in the family.
We have all heard what the media has to say about Pit Bulls and all Bully dog breeds. As the owner of a seven-year-old, 95-pound Pit Bull/Bulldog mix named Cody, I would love nothing more than to go to cities like Denver and Miami to argue with their governments and tell them why their discrimination is ridiculous and explain to them just how misinformed they are. Since that course of action has some logistical flaws in its execution, I thought I would share with you some of the lesser known dangers that I have encountered in my one-and-a-half years of owning a Pit Bull mix.
Sounds like a crazed monster, right? I know, it's terrifying. I just can't take it sometimes. When that big ole slobbery beast sees me come in the door and tromps down the stairs like the big red elephant he is, I can't help but laugh and wonder how people could possibly think this guy is evil.
While owning a pit bull has been an amazing experience, there are precautions you should take:
In short, be a responsible pet owner and take care of a pit bull just as you would any other breed of dog, or any other animal for that matter. It's that simple! Just beware of the slobber and the hugs.
Katie here: Of course We wouldn't tell you about Cody's adorable-ness without sharing a few photos. You know me better than that. Feast your eyes on this adorable mug:
Maybe I'm just a little too snarky for my own good...but lately there has been a lot of negative buzz over the site Dog Shaming, and I just don't get it.
Dog Shaming is a Tumblr, the ever popular micro-blogging site, devoted to dogs that have done wrong. Each dog is given a sign telling us of their misdeed, usually at the scene of the crime, to document the mishap.
Some people find this amusing (me, and half of the Today show).
Other people find it awful and spout out comments like "The owners should be shamed instead!" and whatnot (majority of pet bloggers I've seen comment on the issue, and the other half of the Today show).
Here are most of the reasons I've heard from people objecting to the website, including a few from my peers in the Nutro Knowledge Network, as well as many from my friends on Twitter and Facebook:
Here's the thing: I agree with every single one of these points. At the same time, I don't think Dog Shaming is as sinister as some people have made it out to be. Let's face it: We've all had that moment. Dog training is a process, and there are always mishaps along the way. In the moment, as a pet parent, you have no option but to deal with the issue, reinforce your training, and move forward, often laughing about what happened after it's over. To me, this is what Dog Shaming is.
Should owners be ignoring the negative behavior? No. Should they be working on their training? Yes. Are medical problems funny? No. Does humor help you deal with hard situations, like a pet having a serious illness? Sometimes, yes. I think most of how you enjoy this site is based on your perception of it and how you approach it. Are some of the post harsh? Of course--but so are many on various humor sites across the web. Some of them are just meant to be funny, and don't comment on issues with the dog's behavior, like this one:
While I love the site, I think it would do well to do an area for bragging rights as well. Perhaps a previously shamed dog could brag about a behavior being corrected after training was completed. After all, balance is the healthiest way, right?
What are your thoughts on Dog Shaming? Do you think it's a truly negative thing, or all in good fun? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
This website was discussed within the Nutro Network and inspired this blog post, though the opinions contained within are solely my own. This post was written by a Nutro Knowledge Network Member and sponsored by the Nutro Company, though the opinions contained within do not belong to or represent the Nutro Company.
So, we're not from New York, but our friends at Life with Desmond are and I'm sure they'll appreciate us channeling a little bit of this for our post title:
This past month I had to take a step back from blogging on Life with Arie to evaluate a few things in my life...a few big things, such as my location, my faith, my career, etc. It's part of being in your 20's as you work to solidify who you are as a functioning, post-collegiate adult and really define your future with your life decisions. A lot of things have changed, and now I'm ready to return to the blogosphere.
"Umm...Katie. Your blog is about dogs. We don't want to hear about your life journey, just about your dog and cats..."
I thought about this response a great deal before writing this post, and I have to tell you that you will all, in upcoming posts, get the gratuitous and awesome adorable pup pictures you've been waiting for, because let's face it: Arie just may be the cutest thing ever. Still, I always talk about how your dog, cats, ferret, rabbit, what-have-you is a major part of your family, and families go through life changes together, making this subject a little more applicable to this blog.
I'll be discussing some of the changes in my life in future posts, but I wanted to let you know that I'm back and that I'm staying, even with a post littered with run on sentences, comma abuse, information not pertaining to pets, and a KISS video. The randomness is why you love me...or at least I hope so, so let's embrace it and move on. ;-)
Since I've been gone, what have you been up to? I'll be catching up on posts this week on your blogs, but I'd love to hear from some friendly faces in the comments section.
Life with Arie is all about the dogs/cats/ferrets/fish/birds/sugar gliders/miniature ponies/capybaras/you-name-its in our lives. In a nutshell, I'm an animal person. Though I spend most of my time helping creatures on four legs, sometimes I like to help those on two as well.
Our families make an impression on our souls--Mine has been touched by everyone from my loving parents to my dearest friends, including my childhood dog, Patches. I cherish the memories I have of those who are no longer with us, like Patches, as well as those I don't see for a while. I'm sure many of you have such memories, whether they were created five minutes ago or 50 years ago. Now imagine not having them at all.
Alzheimer's is a horrible disease that does just that--It steals your past and your loved ones from your mind, until you can't even recognize them. Right now, my grandmother is in a nursing home. Some days, she knows exactly who I am--others, she doesn't know me from her nurse. What causes this lap in memory? Alzheimer's.
I want to help others receive the funding they need to fight this disease, and I'm going to have fun doing it. You've heard me mention Single Volunteer's Atlanta before. SVA is growing, and our next big event is a kickball tournament to benefit the Alzheimer's Association. We'll be donning t-shirts and sneakers to fight a disease the fun way--by playing kickball and raising funding.
Our team is called the "Forget me Nots" (adorable, I know), and we're ready to play. While I can't necessary say that we will win the tournament, I can say that we'll have a blast being active for a good cause and that we're putting our hearts into raising money for this wonderful cause.
I've set my goal--for now--at a mere $100 for money to raise. Due to my impoverished post-collegiate life phase, I can't do it alone. Every dollar helps--If you can, skip that afternoon soda from the break room, and help us in our goals! The team goal overall is $600, and though we've already passed that, I'm really hoping to pass my personal goal. If you'd like to contribute, here's my Donation Page.
May has been flying by, and with the fast passing of time, I've got a few post in the works that are a little over due, including a Mr. Chewy's review coming up this week, A thank you-shout out-review of Nyima Bakery's delicious (or so Arie tells me) dog treats, and the post right here: A thank you Lady Bren of "The World According to Lady Bren" . This amazing lady was kind enough to pass along the Sunshine Blog Award, a new one for me:
The rules of the Sunshine Blog Award include answering a few questionaire style inquiries and passing it along to highly manageable 5 people.
Now--this award is supposed to go to 5 people. I am not a selfish person, and I love giving blog awards. That being said, I feel like sometimes I get in the habit of giving the same people certain awards. I've met a lot of new faces on the blogosphere, but there are three very specific blogs that I've found recently that fit this award. As this is the Sunshine award, I'm giving it to bloggers that have literally made me laugh out loud, or who always bring a positive light to the web.
Don't miss out on these blogs as they pass along the award and enjoy it. Visit them and be sure to leave a comment to let them know you stopped by, and let them know who sent you!