Friday, August 28, 2015

August 28 Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day

Today is four years since Hector died.  I of course posted a picture of him on Facebook today, and I still cannot get my mind around the huge hole in my life left by him.  I loved him so very much.

On my news feed, another blogger shared that today is The First Annual Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, hosted by our pals over at Zee and Zoey's Cat Chronicles.  I have always said, there are no coincidences.  What was to be a quick photo on Facebook of Hector, now becomes a blog post.  (Maybe this will get me past my writer's block since the other two huge losses I'm still reeling from, from earlier this year -- I have basically been unable to write since I lost my beloved Gil and Hobie.)

If I ever DO get past the writer's block, I will finish my book, which includes Hector's Story.  Until then, if you have the patience to read an unedited version in which the photos don't display (!!) then you may do so here.  Or, you can just go up to the menu on this blog and click on the "Hector" tab.

As most of you already know, my beloved Hector died on August 28, 2011 just one week before his 10th birthday, due to a brain aneurysm.  He had tripped on the stairs a few months earlier, and evidently hit his head, sustaining a head injury, and began having seizures which were frequent and frightening, throughout that whole summer.  We had a wonderful summer that year, and I am grateful to myself that I had the aforethought to spend so much time at the lake and the ocean with my two dogs, Hector and Hobie.  Hobie, being the elder of the two, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that he would out-live Hector.

Hector and Hobie, carrying on during a snowstorm "back in the day" (before we had a fence!)

If you've ever seen anyone having a seizure, it is extremely frightening and disconcerting.  With a dog, it can be dangerous during the post-ichtal phase (after a seizure) because they can bite and snap, knock you over, etc.  This is because they sometimes have a short time of disorientation afterwards, and Hector actually had temporary blindness after a seizure.  After he regained his sight, he would then try to crawl into small spaces:  under a desk, into a closet, into the fireplace!  He did not realize what a car was, or how to get into the car, the first time he seized.  He would also run around the house, or the back yard, for up to 30 minutes after a seizure, and would drink tons of water and urinate repeatedly.  But the worst part was the biting and running at you at full-speed, knocking you to the ground post-seizure.  All of these memories are very hard to extinguish all these years later.  And, I can't believe that "all these years" is a phrase I just wrote.  It seems like he left us just yesterday.  I still feel him in my heart, and now he has the company of Gil and Hobie.

Enough about that.  I was going to wait to announce this, but I have learned that there is no time like the present.  So, here it comes:  My long-term goal, which I have been planning since Mr. Kitty and Timba died, is to become a pet grief and loss counselor.  I am hoping to finish the educational/certification part of that within the next year, and begin helping others (if they'll have me) live with the pain and grief of losing a beloved pet.

In the meantime, I devote this website to my beloved pets who I miss every day, and of course those who are still with me:  Charlie Brown, Cooper, Cali, Tux and Newman.

But for today, this is Hector's day, and I just want to say, "Mommy misses you, buddy, every single day.  I love you to the moon and beyond."

September 4, 2001 - August 28, 2011

Sunday, August 23, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 34: School

School, school, school.  I sat here all day trying to think of what photo to take for this week's 52 Snapshots photo challenge.  The topic?  School.  

Well, DUH!!  School, (more specifically, teachers, parents and students) is responsible for my amazing career in educational travel that I don't write about very much on this blog.   That's because this blog is normally reserved for my avocation:  my writing, photography and love of my dogs and cats.  But my real job and career, for the past 30 years, has been in the American outbound educational group travel industry.  My main function at work, as the company's CFO, is left-brained: accounting, bookkeeping, HR, payroll, legalities, insurance, database management and always one foot in sales (though lately, it's been more like a toe!!).  

What is student travel?  I simplify it this way:  "The French class goes to Paris with their teacher for a week."

What is it NOT?  The exchange student who stayed with your family for a year when you were a kid; the semester abroad your cousin took part in during junior year.  

As schools open across the U.S. every August, we publish and send out our new annual brochure to high school teachers around the country.  The archivist and collector in me means I have at least one copy of ALL of the brochures we've ever printed.  So, today, I put a selection of the most recent several years' worth of brochures on the desk, and took a picture.   


Have you, or your kids, ever gone on an educational group tour?  Tell me about it in the comments.

Back to #school !!

52 Snapshots of Life, a weekly themed photo challenge, is hosted by our pals at The Lazy Pit Bull 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Grieving the loss of a pet -- The Pet Lover's Code, 10 rights of a grieving pet parent

Written and created by Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD.

Though you should reach out to others as you journey through grief, you should not feel obligated to accept the unhelpful responses you may receive from some people. You are the one who is grieving, and as such, you have certain “rights” no one should try to take away from you. The following list is intended both to empower you to heal and to decide how others can and cannot help. This is not to discourage you from reaching out to others for help, but rather to assist you in distinguishing useful responses from hurtful ones. 

1. You have the right to grieve the death of a pet. You loved your pet. Your pet loved you. You had a strong and profound relationship. You have every right to grieve this death. You need to grieve this death. You also need to mourn this death (express your grief outside yourself). 

2. You have the right to talk about your grief. Talking about your grief will help you heal. Seek out others who will allow you to talk about your grief. Other pet lovers who have experienced the death of a pet often make good listeners at this time. If at times you don’t feel like talking, you also have the right to be silent. 

3. You have the right to feel a variety of emotions. Confusion, anger, guilt, and relief are just a few of the emotions you might feel as part of your grief journey after the death of a pet. Feelings aren’t right or wrong; they just are. 

4. You have the right to be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits. After the death of a pet, your feelings of loss and sadness will probably leave you feeling fatigued. Respect what your body and mind are telling you. Get daily rest. Eat balanced meals. And don’t allow others to push you into doing things you don’t feel like doing. 

5. You have the right to experience “griefbursts.” Sometimes, out of nowhere, a powerful surge of grief may overcome you. This can be frightening, but it is normal and natural. 

6. You have the right to make use of ritual. After a pet dies, you can harness the power of ritual to help you heal. Plan a ceremony that includes everyone who loved your pet. 

7. You have the right to embrace your spirituality. At times of loss, it is natural to turn to your faith or spirituality. Engaging your spirituality by attending church or other place of worship, praying, or spending time alone in nature may help you better understand and reconcile your loss. 

8. You have the right to search for meaning. You may find yourself asking, “Why did my pet die? Why this way? Why now?” Some of your questions may have answers, but some may not. Ask them anyway. 

9. You have the right to treasure your memories. Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of a special companion animal. Instead of ignoring your memories, find ways to capture them and treasure them always. 

10. You have the right to move toward your grief and heal. Reconciling your grief after the death of a pet may not happen quickly. Remember, grief is best experienced in “doses.” Be patient and tolerant with yourself and avoid people who are impatient and intolerant with you. Neither you nor those around you must forget that the death of a beloved pet changes your life forever. 

Note from k2k9:  I would only add that these same "rights" apply to the loss of a human, as well. There is no such thing as "getting over it".  Grief has no timeline.  There is nothing wrong with you if you grieve for a long time, or a short time.  There is no right or wrong way to grieve.  Take as much, or as little, time as you want.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life, Week 33: Black

k2k9 presents:  What color is this loveseat?  This is like that stupid thing that went around social media last year:  what color is the dress? Blue? or silver? -- remember that?

Without a flash, it's brown.
(Leave me alone, I'm tryin' to sleep.)

With flash photography, it's black.
(You're using a flash, when I'm tryin' to sleep.  Seriously?!)

The real answer?  Brown.  Charlie Brown.
( Mom!! I SAID... I'm tryin' to sleep!)

52 Snapshots of life is hosted by our pals over at The Lazy Pit Bull.  Read their post from Week 33- Black here -- bringing awareness to the plight of black cats in shelters (who are often overlooked and take longer to adopt out than cats of other hues).

Saturday, August 8, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 32: Favorite

My favorite photo this week is the one I took of my glass animal figurines display.

I've been collecting these glass animals since I was a very small child.  The large tabby cat is the oldest one.  I believe I got it when I was just four or five years old.  The family of chihuahuas in the top corner were from my grandmother, who actually had an entire pack of LIVE chihuahuas when I was a kid.

There are other "families" such as the English Setter with puppies, the family of three little pigs, the seals, the horses, and the frogs.

The wooden shoes on the top of the shelf were given to my mom by my dad during WWII -- he got them in the Netherlands when he was a soldier overseas with the U.S. Army.  You can read more about that in my books "More Than Anything in the World" (volumes 1 and 2) available on Amazon.

I still buy glass animals (mostly dogs) when I'm traveling, as souvenirs, or just if I see one I like while out shopping or whatnot.   Makes a great gift!  lol

What, if anything, do you collect?  Tell me in the comments!

52 Snapshots of Life is hosted by our friends over at The Lazy Pit Bull 

Friday, July 31, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life, Weeks 30 & 31: Snuggly & Nature

Not only was I traveling last week, but I also made the dumb mistake of "upgrading" to the Yosemite operating system, thus changing good ol' iPhoto to just "Photo" and making it impossible to use.  I have finally figured out how to attach photos to emails and blog posts, after two weeks of fiddling around.  But now, some of my photos are not appearing in the Photo Library.  Totally frustrating. Some "upgrade", Apple!!

Anyhow, here I am again, catching up on the 52 Snapshots blog hop, hosted by our pals over at The Lazy Pitbull.

Last week's theme:  SNUGGLY

Coopie snuggling with the blanket.  Yeah, the pattern is paws!

This week's theme:  NATURE

See??  Couldn't find the photo I took of corn fields last week, so I had to go to Facebook and download my own photo!!!
I imported the photos into the "Photo" program, directly from my camera.  Grrrrrr!!!!  Gimme back iPhoto!!!

And now I'm all caught up!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 29: Water

What a coincidence!  This week's topic is Water; and the only picture I took today was of the ocean!!
Totally not on purpose, because I didn't remember this week's topic :)

Often, when I walk on the beach here, the seals "walk with me" -- just like dogs.  In fact, when I walked Hobie and Hector on the beach, back in the day, seals would always follow along with us (seals in the water, swimming; us on the beach, walking).  Charlie Brown and Cooper don't really like water, so I haven't tried it with them yet, but the seals followed me today -- there were about 10 of them!  It was incredible.  The beach was nearly deserted... in the middle of July! (because it was a little chilly today)

Without further ado about nothing ha ha, here is this week's #52Snapshots photo.  This weekly photo theme challenge is hosted by our buddies at The Lazy Pit Bull.

Not my best seal photo, but it was taken today!
There are two seals in this picture.
There were about 10 frolicking all together.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 28, Summer

I know I posted this picture already on social media, but it is just too funny not to use for my 52 Snapshots post this week -- SUMMER is the topic.

This here is not my dog.  It's my friend's dog.  The dog's name is Red, and he is one very cool dog, even if it is summer!

Yeah, I'm sitting in the human's chair.  Wanna make somethin' of it? WOOF!

Joining the 52 Snapshots of Life weekly themed photo challenge is easy, it's never too late.  Join in the fun!  Just use hashtag #52Snapshots.  Hosted by the one, the only, Lazy Pit Bull

Sunday, July 5, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Weeks 24, 25, 26 and 27; Comfort, Flag, Father, Patriotic

I'm seriously backlogged on the 52 Snapshots of Life photo challenge!  To bring us up to date, here are four photos representing the three topics I missed (Comfort; Flag and Father); and this week's topic, Patriotic.  Enjoy!!

Comfort  -- tired dog after long road trip and play date!
Flag -- Notice anything in this photo of Gil's American flag that hangs in our garage?
Hint:  He had this flag when he was a child, and he was born in 1940.

Father (that's my dad, on the right!)

Patriotic.  Above, a July 4th fireworks video from a few years ago. These are the annual fireworks display put on by my neighbors on the lake.  We usually watch from our living room!  I'm not a huge fan, but it is what it is.   Besides, John Adams declared (oooo a little pun there) in July of 1776 
that the holiday should be celebrated  "with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and  illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."   

The 52 Snapshots of Life photo challenge is hosted by our friends over at The Lazy Pit Bull.  There's still half a year to join in the fun.  What're you waiting for?!  You don't even need a blog to do it, nor do you need to be a pet (dog/cat) person.  Just post a photo representing the weekly topic (we're on Week 27 Patriotic, at the moment) on any social media site; and use the hashtag #52Snapshots.  
Easy, peasy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Joys of Puppyhood #MyPuppyhood

This post is sponsored by Purina, and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about, but K2's K9s & Kitties only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Nestle Purina is not responsible for the content of this article.

As "Mommy" to half-a-dozen dogs over the last few decades, I have had poop-loads of experience raising puppies. As recently as a year ago, my most recent pups finally, blessedly, reached "adulthood" (ha, ha, I use the term loosely!  Do they, in fact, EVER grow up?).  But I'm here today to tell you about a new website just for puppy parents, from the folks at Purina®Puppy Chow®.  
The site is called, and it's something I wish I had a couple years ago when Charlie Brown was a terrorist puppy.

Charlie Brown, at 10 weeks old, being snuggled by "uncle" Hobie.  See that decorative spindle on the table, behind Charlie's head? Yeah, he ATE it one night when I was taking a bath.  He ATE IT!!I cried and cried and cried.  I was reminded of this incident when I watched Purina's promotional video (below) for!!  All is forgiven, Charlie, all is forgiven.

Puppyhood helps new puppy parents navigate safely and sanely (ok, well, maybe not!) through... puppyhood!  There's only one opportunity to get your puppy's first year right. Many pets develop "issues" that can be traced back to the formative first months of their lives.  Don't be that pet parent! Use to keep you and your pooch on track for the first year, and longer.

Membership is FREE at, and you can find a ton of helpful and important information about raising a puppy.  They even have a nifty puppy planning section, with a breed-selector and search feature hosted by the Rescue/Adoption site.

Parents and their pups can get a customized learning experience with helpful tools such as a virtual dog walk, where you'll find "hotspots".  If you click on a hotspot, you get tips and expert advice on everything from training, to nutrition, and so much more.  There's also a puppy milestone tracker, to mark down and remember those important milestones you and your canine pal reach together in the first year.
Puppy Charlie, and his collection of chewable items.  He brought that stick in from outside!  It's bigger than him!

My favorite highlights I encountered when testing the site (thanks, Purina, for the great opportunity, by the way!)...

1)  I LOVE the fact that they included teaching your puppy hand signals.  This is so important for when your dog gets older, as many dogs become hearing-impaired.  I've always taught my pups hand signals from an early age.  It comes in handy later.

2) Was I thrilled that their pup-friendly travel section listed our very own Cape Cod as one of their top 10 dog-friendly travel destinations.  Yeah!!

3)  When I decided to try to select a puppy from Puppyhood's Petfinder section, imagine my delight when the American Foxhound came up as one of the top 5 breeds selected for me based on the criteria I filled in!!

There is so much more cool stuff, I could spend hours on the Puppyhood site.  All the Puppy Advice/Info is very up-to-date with the latest website visuals and features that really work, giving the human a unique, trendy, interactive experience -- all while learning a lot about PUPPIES.  There are sections on Puppy Health; Puppy Grooming; Puppy Training and Puppy Nutrition; plus ways to find the best Puppy Accessories/Supplies for your young four-legged friend.

Raising a new puppy?  K2 and the hounds are giving away six Purina coupons to readers who post a comment here on the blog, or on our Facebook page, and tell us what you like best about the new site, We have two coupons for a free bag of food, and four $5-dollar-off coupons for Purina Puppy Chow*.  

Follow Purina on social media:

*Purina Puppy Chow is made from a healthy blend of high-quality protein, DHA and essential nutrients found in dog mamas' milk.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 23: Play

I could have used a photo of any of the pets, playing, but this is too priceless not to share.

In searching through my mom's photo albums earlier this week, I came across this one from when I was 5 years old.  Actually, there is a series of photos in this "photo shoot" my parents did of me and my dolly, but this one had me laughing the most.  My folks gave me this doll as a birthday present when I was 5!!  I do recall that I used to hound them, relentlessly, for a baby sister.  (Yeah, I wrote "hound".)  This doll had no name.

One of Gil's favorite movies was "The Shining".  I think you can finish the thought!

Note the careful placement of the hands!

52 Snapshots of Life is a blogging and social media challenge hosted by our pals at The Lazy Pit Bull.  You don't need to be a pet blogger to join in the fun.  Six months remain!  Use any social media account with the hashtag #52Snapshots.  The topic list is below.  We are currently on Week 23 (subject = #Play).

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 22: Race

Race ya!!

If you think three-legged dogs can't run as fast as their able-bodied counterparts.... think again!

Here's Coop giving his brother, Charlie, a run for his money in the deep snow of this past winter.

Cooper, left, chasing Charlie Brown!

This post is part of the 52 Snapshots of Life challenge, hosted by our pals at The Lazy Pit Bull.
Join in the fun on your blog or social media channel.  There's still half a year left!  You don't need to be a pet blogger, although it helps!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 21: Sky

The sky is so beautiful here on Cape Cod.  Artists have flocked here for centuries because of the colors, which are incredible and always changing.  Today, the sky was blue, blue, blue and cloudless.  The ocean was green.  Tomorrow, it will all be different (I'm hearing it'll be gray).

Since the sky constantly changes here, I figured I would take a day's worth of "sky" shots today for this week's #52Snapshots challenge, hosted by our buds at The Lazy Pit Bull.   You don't have to be a pet blogger to participate, just take a photo (or five!) and join in on the fun!

5 a.m. - the sun peeks over the dunes

Not a cloud in the sky!

Keep your eyes on the horizon -- where ocean meets sky

The long and winding road

Nauset Lighthouse with a cloud-free sky

Monday, May 18, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 20: Mother

These blog hop topics just get stranger and stranger, in terms of serendipity.  Last weekend was Mother's Day, but last week's post topic was TEACH, so I posted a pic of Gil when he was a professor at Clark University, back in the day.

This week, even though Mother's Day was a week ago, the topic is MOTHER!

Now, I am not a biological mother of anyone, but I have always considered my fur kids and my employees (lol!) as my "children".  And, of course, Gil's kids and grandkids!

This past weekend was Gil's memorial, and I was delighted to finally meet his (our... my...?) twin
6-week-old grandchildren for the first time.  If the topics had been switched, with TEACH being closer to the end of the school year; and MOTHER being closer to Mother's Day, I wouldn't have been able to post this photo, because I hadn't met the babies yet!

I am a proud grandma!

Yours truly, on the left, holding baby Drew; mama Abby on the right holding older sister, Lucy!

The 52 Snapshots of Life blog hop is hosted by our pals at The Lazy Pit Bull.  You can join the action by using the hashtag #52Snapshots on any social media platform.  Anyone can participate, you don't need to be a pet blogger. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

52 Snapshots of life; Week 19: Teach

I knew exactly which picture I wanted to use for this week's 52 Snapshots of Life photo blog-hop; hosted by our friends at The Lazy Pit Bull.

It's not a dog or cat picture, this week; but that's ok.  The blog-hop is not limited to pet bloggers. Anyone can join in the fun.  If you have a social media account, just use the hashtag 52Snapshots and snap away each week, brush up on your photography skills, or dig up and scan an old photo.

Back to that picture... it's an oldie.  My late boyfriend-husband (that's what I've decided to call him!) was a university professor long before I met him.  When I was just 10 years old, he was teaching students in Worcester. Mass. all about the fine points of philosophy.

He was an innovative teacher, in that he used media, photography, film and music for his classroom presentations long before anyone else had thought of it (think Prezi or but with film, tape, and large cumbersome equipment that had to be lugged around by strong teaching assistants!).  Keep in mind that this was, like, 45 years ago!! Students would sign up for his lectures, and would sometimes be spilling out into the corridors to catch a glimpse of his original and advanced ways of teaching.

I can hardly count the number of people who have said to me, during the last 7 weeks, "Gil taught me __________ (fill in the blank)."  Even decades after he left his teaching career to become an entrepreneur, he continued to teach others, including me, for the rest of his life.

So, in honor of teachers everywhere.... here's an old pic of a true teacher at work.  Dig the sideburns, man.  Groovy.

The students you see pictured here are now in their 60s!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 18: Below

Look out below!!!!

That's our theme for this week's 52 Snapshots post, hosted by our friends at The Lazy Pit Bull.

Since I'm a little late, and it is Wednesday besides, I'm making it a two-fer:  Wordless Wednesday AND 52 Snapshots, all in one!

Let's try this upside-down, and with one eye closed!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 17: Earth


What better depiction of "Earth" than a hound lying in the DIRT?!
EARTH is this week's topic in the 52 Snapshots of Life blog hop, hosted by our furry pals at The Lazy Pit Bull.

Charlie Brown and I, along with our human friend, Andrea, participated in Sweetpea's bi-annual fundraiser walk at Barre Falls Dam this morning.  Sweetpea for Animals is one of our local shelters, and I've known the folks who run the shelter for many years.  

I briefly hesitated, and thought about canceling, because we had said goodbye to our beloved Hobie, yesterday after dragging out his life for far too long.  He was the best dog in the world.  I know everyone says that about their dog.  

After much soul-searching, I decided we would walk (and donate) in his honor. We called our little team of three, Hobie's Heroes.

Andrea was kind enough to snap this pic of me and Charlie.
Honest to Pete, I look more and more like my mother every day.
Yeah, I am not afraid to wear my "Crazy Dog Lady" t-shirt in public!

There'll be no "Earth" burial for Hobie, per se -- he is being cremated so I can bring his ashes to various places on the Earth where we spent time together over our 15-year companionship.

You may remember, we buried Hector in the back yard a few years ago.

In happier times:  Hobie, soaking up some Earth at one of his favorite places, Thompson Pond

Sunday, April 19, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 16: Quizzical

Definition of QUIZZICAL:  
(of a person's dog's expression or behavior) indicating mild or amused puzzlement.

"she he gave me a quizzical look"

Did you just say..... WALK!?

This is not a recent photo.  It's probably eight or nine years old.  It's a funny one of Hobie that pops up sometimes when I'll be looking for another photo.  I thought of it right away when I saw that this week's topic for 52 Snapshots of Life (hosted by our pals at The Lazy Pit Bull) is QUIZZICAL.

Have a great week!!
(See you at BlogPaws in May!)