"Let the wild rumpus begin!" said Max.
The line from Where the Wild Things Are, the beloved children's book, is probably one of the book's best known phrases and lives on in other works, including the movie by the same title made in recent years, and even referenced in pop culture series, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Spike says it in one episode). The book was a beloved item from my childhood, and probably the best known work of Maurice Sendak, the well-known and cherished children's book writer and illustrator.
Maurice Sendak passed away this week, leaving a legacy of artistic creations for kids, and a lesser known love for German Shepherds. Sendak, 83, lived in Connecticut with his German Shepherd, Herman, as pictured by the New York Times.
“I hate people,” he said at one point, extolling the superior company of dogs, like his sweet-tempered German shepherd, Herman (after Melville)." - "Concerns Beyond Where the Wild Things Are," NYT.
Sendak's life, as you can read about in the linked Time's articles, was plagued with illness, controversy, and a certain darkness, but maintained a balance with rather gregarious moments for Sendak and happier times. Sendak changed the happy and shiny persona of children's books' illustrations and instead gave children something deeper to see--the wild and unruly side of life, sans princesses and princes with endings tied in a bow.
Before today, I didn't realize that Sendak lived with a German Shepherd. I already loved most of his work, but now I think his memory is a little sweeter in my mind because of his excellent taste in dogs. Say goodbye to Mr. Sendak by picking up a copy of one of his books, or just by reading one with your kids today (if you have them. If not, indulge in one yourself).
We've been telling you about our giveaway throughout the A to Z Challenge and Ultimate Blog Challenge. Since you stuck with us throughout the madness, we're giving you some swag. I'm ready to announce the complete giveaway basket, and ready for you to win!
The basket is a treasure trove of goodies for health-conscious pet parents and their beloved pups. We have $80 worth of items, including:
While we do love all of our international blog friends, we do have to keep the giveaway stateside--Only continental US entries will be included. The giveaway is open for two weeks. After that, we'll notify the winners. A blog comment is mandatory so that we can email the winners at the address they provide. A valid email is required--don't worry though, you're email isn't publicized. Winners who do not respond within 48 hours will be replaced with another winner. After winners have been confirmed, I'll email the winners to get their address so that the prize can be mailed. **If you have any problems with the giveaway, email me at canismajortreats (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you!
Whew. 26 letters later, and we're exhausted, but so happy to be here. We met so many amazing bloggers throughout the A to Z Challenge, and I really loved having that daily commitment to get my blog on. To give you (and myself, no lies) a nice little recap of the challenge I'm including links to all 26 posts.
Share them. Comment on them. Laugh at my insanity of posting so often. Bask in the glory of my sleep deprived writing. Do with them what you will (especially if that includes pointing out typos so that they may be fixed). Thanks to all of you for all of the amazing support and understanding!
For those of you who missed the challenge, or for those who can't wait to relive it, you can find all of my posts here:
Which post was your favorite? Did you participate in the challenge? What did you think of it?
PS. This is my 30th post for the month of April...meaning that I completed both challenges! I get to sleep again. WOOHOO!
So I have to cop-out a little on the letter y, and I'm going with yesterday. No judgement!
My family has a green thumb...sort of. My grandparents on my mother's side have an AMAZING backyard. There are various nooks of blooms and greenery, two bonds (dug and devised by my Grandfather himself), several seating areas, and more. A little girl scout said it well when stopping by the house to sell cookies, in a hushed voice: "ooooohhhhh....is that a fairy garden?"
My mother tried with indoor plants for years, and would get angry when I forgot to water my African Violet for a week and it bloomed amazingly, but the one she had taken such care over wouldn't produce a single flower. My mom definitely has her strengths though--I've never seen anyone grow a fern quite as well my mom; she's also amazing with coleus, roses, and elephant ears.
My dad's parents were dairy farmers, but they boasted a nice veggie and fruit garden every year. I remember the cantaloupe from their garden always being amazing, along with hoards of tomatoes every year, accompanied by peppers, squash, eggplants, and beyond. Shelling beans and preparing green beans was an afternoon affair out on the porch, on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Everyone would pile onto the swing, a chair, or the steps and get to work, mulling over conversation and the weather.
Apartment life has siphoned my green thumb from me, but with the amazingly helpful patio garden articles from Apartment Therapy, I'm ready to take it back. Yesterday I decided I would plant a patio garden again. Last years died when we went on vacation, but with no extended absences planned, this years should thrive just fine. Today, we went and got the plants, and I got to work. Here's what we ended up with:
So gardens are great and all, but what in heck do they have to do with pets? Well, we discuss plants are pet safe in our 50 items that are dangerous for your pets post, but I have another fun twist. From growing up in the country, I saw tons of various "critters" around the garden and our yard. As part of our super-amazingly-awesome gift basket, I'm giving you two little garden critters of your own!
Joining our gift basket are a stuffing-less raccoon, a favorite of Arie and our puppy roommate's, as well as frog (saw those all the time in the garden!) Kong Knot, just like Arie's beloved moose. The best part about these toys is that they're okay for little guys or monster dogs like Arie, so that whomever wins can truly make the most of them. Stay tuned to our blog in the wait for May when we will showcase the full giveaway basket and give you and friends a chance to win it. Go ahead and start spreading the word by sharing this post or others mentioning the giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or your own blog. We'd appreciate it. ;-)
After planting all of my beloved veggies, I'm settling down with a cider to continue to browse for houses. I can't wait until I have a backyard for a real garden.
Today I am tired, and toying with the terms of the A to Z Challenge...and the letter T. One of the principles of the challenge is to keep your posts short and sweet so that more of your peers can enjoy them without too much of a time sacrifice. In the spirit of this aspect of the challenge, and the letter T, I have ten "T" terms that I'm going to describe in ten words each:
Training is an essential for all pet parents--no excuses.
If your dog is food motivated, treats help with training.
Focus on basic obedience, but you can also teach tricks.
Tweet with us and follow us at @masdemoore on Twitter.
We're trying to teach Arie to "speak" and eventually talk.
We have a special basket for Arie's collection of toys .
Wagging tails are the best greeting when you come home.
Time is elusive when you're trying to complete blog challenges.
Blog and sharing tools are a new writer's best friends.
Three days after mentioning them, I gave Arie flea treatment.
That is all. Stay tuned for tomorrow...when you may hinthint hinthint get another reveal at a prize for our giveaway basket.
I'm a day behind on my R post, but if you wait about a half hour after this is posted, all will be explained in my S post. Bear with me as we double down on the posting today!
R is something I'd like to keep short and sweet, and is all about reading your fellow bloggers' posts.
For me, blogging is about a community. Some people blog for personal creativity, to have an outlet, or just to have a private place to share their thoughts, and if so, often keep their blogs privatized away from the eyes of others beyond themselves or a select few. I get this. Completely. However, Life with Arie is about finding and making the most of a community of people who love animals as much as I do, and who "get" that aspect of my life. It's about trading know-how and knowledge, stories of loss, happiness, regret, training woes, successes, and hilarity that inevitably arise when you have pets in your life. It's about sharing that passion for animals and making a difference for them in this word.
I would never have this community if all I did was write. I also have to read.
If you're trying to develop a strong blogging community, you have to interact with others. While search engines and exploratory writers will eventually find you through search and random clicks, you also need to find them, and strike up a conversation. Relationships require give and take on both sides--even online ones.
I often try to link to other bloggers through blog awards, my blogroll, and in posts where they come up in my mind to increase the conversation in our awesome blogging community, ever welcoming new faces. I also try to read at least one other blog a day, and I try to read at least one new blog every week or two so that I'm meeting others on a regular basis and things don't get to clique-y.
How are you reaching out to other bloggers? How often do you read posts by others? Which blog is your favorite new find?
Today has been an absolutely wonderful day. I slept in late. I got to go to a wonderful fundraiser. I met a new neighbor...who loves dogs. Awesome day? Check. Now for the details.
Today was the Stylin' for Sheppies event with the German Shepherd Dog Rescue of Georgia. this event was a total blast, complete with adorable German Shepherd Dogs, a great fundraiser principle, and two companies putting themselves out there to help a great rescue group. Stylin' for Sheppies was offering $5 for a manicure, $10 for an adult haircut, and $5 for a kid's haircut from a local salon ,with all proceeds going towards the rescue. Very cool. The salon is also right beside of a Firehouse Subs, which offered a discount to all participants. Also very cool.
Kelly, from Sew Alluring, who is not only my blog friend but also a bestie and a neighbor, went with me to get our nails did. Oh yes, that is one phrase where I don't mind abusing grammar. :) Unfortunately, when we got there, only one of the stylists who had offered her time was present (and she was amazing, handling all the haircuts solo), but the one for manicures was MIA. Boo on her. Still, hooray for rescue. As neither of us was in need of a cut, we instead planned to go on our merry, after donations to the rescue and meeting the gorgeous sheps they had with them.
All of the shepherds present were loving and friendly, showcasing the true family friendly nature of this breed. As usual, the puppy stole the show, but rightfully so. Riley is going to be a small shepherd, as her paws were nothing like Arie's gargantu-paws at her age, and she has an amazing disposition. It was hard for me to get a picture of her, as anytime I got close, she ran right up to me to love on me. So cute! We did get one nice though, and she became the focal point of my event recap on Examiner.
After the event, my roommate and I went for lunch at a local Mexican restaurant that's part of the Monterrey's chain. Success number two of the day? Finding out that they have the exact quesadilla that I LOVED back home, but that I haven't been able to find at a Monterrey's in Georgia. Score. After lunch, we headed back home where I grabbed a cider (the hard kind), my lap top, and headed out to the porch to enjoy the sunshine.
While typing away, someone strolled past with a little schnauzer who alerted me to his presence with lots of barking. After a few minutes, he chilled out, his owner gave a quick apology, and a conversation begun. I have a normal neighbor. For reals. For those of you who know me well, you know that my neighbors have been an issue in my new apartment community--They are very nosy, and like to call to complain to the office about EVERYTHING. Like when Arie reacts to their dog...who is also leash reactive. Go figure. This neighbor was friendly, congenial, funny, and had similar tales of woes with neighbors and their nosiness. She also loves dogs. Woot!
Today has been one of those days that you just chalk up to a wonderful weekend--and exactly what I needed for my Sunday. How was your day?
Thanks again for stopping by the blog! I love getting to know each and every one of you and your pets, and hearing what you have to say, whether we met through our blog friends or in person at Bark World. You're all pretty darn awesome!
Here's my first, and almost Wordless Wednesday. Usually I don't do wordless posts, but today I'll make an exception. I always talk about Arie, my beautiful White Shepherd, and pet topics relevant for various pet owners and for people in Atlanta. The animals that have my heart in Atlanta don't stop at the domestic ones--I love going to the zoo and the Georgia Aquarium, the largest in the world, to see various creatures from around the world. Two weeks ago I had the chance to head to the aquarium--Here are a few snapshots of jellyfish and their friends, just for you.
Last but not least, check out this adorable otter juggling shells!
We find ourselves today (with only thirty minutes to spare!) on the letter I, for Ice. I had originally planned this to be a light hearted post, as we've been talking about a lot of the heavy stuff lately, but alas, the internet had other plans.
Arie LOVES ice. If I open the freezer door, Arie becomes suctioned to my side with her eyes trained on the freezer. Nothing will pass by that portal unless she sees it. As soon as she hears the rustle of the ice in the ice tray, it's over. I'm getting sad puppy eyes and that little "treat please" dance--The one where they seem to bounce a little on their two front paws?
I don't give her the ice without her earning it. We use it to practice stay commands and a few others, like sit, lay down, and so forth. Sometimes, resisting the urge is hard.
Arie usually eats one or two ice cubes a week, depending on the day. We don't regularly give them to her after a hot walk or to cool her down, just as a treat that she likes. When I logged on to write to this post, I did a little Google search on ice and dogs to find out if there was anything interesting on the topic. I was truly surprised by what I found.
Apparently there was an email that circulated the web on the matter, discussing how one pet parent had a life-endangering experience with her pooch after feeding them ice. The email details her account of giving the dog ice and having to rush to the emergency vet because of severe bloat and issues for the dog. I found the exact same story in several forums, and even on an Examiner pet writer's page.
"In an effort to keep your dog cool you may give them some ice to chew or put some cubes in their water bowl. Sounds logical? NO!!! Ice, ice water or very cold water can cause severe muscle spasms that result in bloat." - LA Pet Care Examiner
After years as a dedicated student and 24 years with a type A personality, I don't usually accept information lightly. I had only read about this risk on various chat forums and then in this Examiner article, so I kept searching. I did find an article on PetPlace.com about the matter.
"There are several known risk factors associated with bloat but eating ice cubes has not been firmly documented. Apparently, an email has been floating around the internet identifying ice cubes as a problem. I found some information in blogs but nothing solid. I talked to several veterinarians and none of them confirmed this claim." -Dr. Jon Rappaport, PetPlace
While my gut and research tend to lean towards Arie's ice cube habit being okay, I know that we have a lot of amazingly well informed pet parents in our circle of bloggers. What do you guys know about the ice debate? If you're new to the blog, weigh in as well! I'd love to get your opinions.