According to National Today Calendar, February 20 is Love Your Pet Day. As if we need only one day to love our pets.

“On February 20, we celebrate National Love Your Pet Day, a day to embrace one special trait that makes us human: our love of our pets! There are many things that differentiate humans from the rest of the animal kingdom, but one of the more unusual behaviors is our longstanding tendency to keep other animals as pets. Gallup reports that sixty percent of Americans are current pet owners.”

I will lead off by sharing a few photos of my two dogs, Aero and Brodie.

Me and My Aero

Aero 6 weeks old
Itsy-Bitsy Aero at 6 weeks

We got little Aero in 2010 from a friend of a friend of my daughter, who got her dog, Gideon. Gideon is Aero’s older brother and is 12. I added him because he is my grand-dog and spent years living with us. They are mixed breeds, and the most mellow and wonderful dogs. Aero has a litter-mate named Woody who looks just like Gideon. Not sure how Aero ended up being the little brown runt, but he is the most lion-hearted dog you can meet.

Blonde and Brown dogs
Brothers Gideon & Aero

“We may have pets, but when it comes to unconditional love, they are the masters.”

Donald L Hicks

Aero has his many moods.

I love this photo of Mark and Liesbet of Roaming About walking Aero a few years ago (pre-Maya) when they were house-sitting in Sacramento.

Dog walking on a winter day
Liesbet and Mark taking Aero for a walk while I take photos!

An ODD but fun photo. Hey Aero, can you check my messages?

Aero busy on the laptop
An Odd capture of Aero

Brrrr–odie McBrodie

Dressed up dogs ready to play
Baby Brodie on the left

In late 2016, we started thinking about getting another dog to keep Aero company after my daughter moved away and took Gideon with her. Through a blog and a subsequent website, we discovered the Boykin Spaniel Society. We never really knew what kind of mix Aero was until I saw the website and exclaimed, “They all look like Aero!” The research and search began and we found a breeder in Northern California, near Mt Shasta. We picked up Brodie (whose name means “muddy paws” in the Irish language) in January 2017.

Transforming from puppy to adult dog right before our eyes

Boykins are also known as Destroykens, for as puppies, will chew everything! These are high-energy dogs who were bred to hunt and retrieve waterfowl in South Carolina.

“Boykin Spaniels are medium-sized spaniels, larger and rangier than Cockers but more compact than Springers. A retrieving dog known for its rich brown coat, the Boykin Spaniel is avid, eager, merry, and trainable. This mellow housedog and rugged bird dog, compactly built, was bred for small boat travel to work in the lakes and swamps of their native South Carolina. Web-toed Boykins can swim like seals.”

Boykin Spaniel Source

At first glance Brodie does not look very big, standing below knee height, but he is larger than the average Boykin, weighing in at 60 pounds. His litter twin Drake is also the same size. Although Brodie does not hunt, he loves to swim, chase the ball (endlessly), and lay in the newfound snow. He has a deep-throated bark that will scare most grown men!

Gone But Never Forgotten

Dawn, from Change is Hard wrote a touching and beautiful tribute to her sweet dog, Bonnie.

Stormy, my second cat, was a big gray rescue. He lived to age 17 and was gently ushered to the Rainbow Bridge in 2007.

Stormy Gray cat
Stormy

Oreo was our first family dog, an Aussie Shepherd/Springer mix chosen from the SPCA. He joined Stormy at the Rainbow Bridge in 2011 at age 14.

Leon, my 13-year old orange tabby, joined the others in 2018.

Leon, my 12 year-old pussycat

We decided as each of our pets moves on, we will not replace them, so we can be freer to travel by air and abroad. Aero is already 11½ while Brodie is 5. After mostly staying home in 2021 to move into our new home, we plan to do more traveling in 2022 which leads me to the next part.

Traveling with Pets

My hubby and I love to travel and over the last 4 years, most of that travel has been limited to taking road trips with our 27-foot travel trailer. After years of spending weekends in the Sacramento River Delta at our windsurf camp in various travel trailers, which became our second summer home, we are itching to see much more of the US and beyond.

Dogs at the South Rim of Grand Canyon
2020 Road Trip to Grand Canyon

“Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear.”

Dave Barry

For us, taking road trips by car, or truck pulling our second home, means we can bring our two dogs with us. Traveling when you have pets complicates things in many ways. For example, when we must travel by air, the dogs typically stay in a pet lodge/kennel for several days/nights. They don’t love it, but they survive. The last time we flew to Phoenix, poor Brodie suffered from stress-induced colitis likely brought on by separation anxiety. Let’s just say it was a mess.

Even staying in motels is complicated because Brodie barks at every noise. We often choose motel rooms with an exterior door, rather than an interior door within a corridor.

As we contemplate future air travel, we are looking for a house/pet sitter if the trips will be longer than 5 days. If pets can stay in their own homes, they are much more relaxed and happier. For now, we are content to travel with the trailer as there is still so much to see in the Western US.

“The journey of life is sweeter when traveled with a dog.”

Anonymous

We are already booked to stay in a KOA RV campground in Leavenworth, WA. This is a quaint Bavarian-German town at the foot of the Cascades in Western Washington. A mere 3-hour drive from our area, we will stay April 3-6. Dream travel plans? Perhaps. I’ve never been there yet, and we’re excited to pull our trailer, and the dogs will have a safe place to hang out while we wander the town.

Also, our list of dream road trips includes Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, and perhaps a long, early summer road trip that includes Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California. I will keep you posted for a blogger meet-up in case you live near any of these areas!

My love of the northwest for travel experiences is the motivation for this next section.

My Odd Pet Project

Long before I moved to the Pacific Northwest, I have always been fascinated with the totem poles associated with the indigenous peoples of the northwest coast of North America. Traveling along highways from the Sierra Nevada mountains in California northward into Oregon and Washington, I’ve seen countless totem poles. My favorites are ones that have the winged bird at the top with a variety of animals stacked beneath.

The local school district where I teach part-time as a substitute teacher is home to the eagles, their mascot. Outside the school district office is a huge, stunning wood carving of a bald eagle. Each time I see this, I wonder how I can get something like it for my home.

Bald Eagle Wood Carving
12-foot wood eagle wood carving

I even entertained the idea of finding a griffin to place in my yard, a mythical creature with the winged body of a lion and, you guessed it, the head of a bald eagle.

A short time ago, hubby and I walked into our favorite Northwest furniture store in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho to do some sofa shopping. As I walked in, this 6-foot tall winged wonder greeted us! And it bore a price tag!

Eagle and Bear Totem Pole
My Pet Project

We welcomed my new pets, the winged bird and bear to our home that Saturday afternoon.

Inspired by Marsha of Always Write (for PPAC Challenge) to share more about it on my blog, I started thinking about the process for preparing and painting it in the native tradition.

Totem Pole CLoseup Eagle face
Close-up View

The bird on top can be painted to look like an American Bald eagle, so when I commented to Wayne from Tofino Photography on his incredible eagle close-ups about my project, he graciously sent me several stunning shots of the Daredevil, stating, “Mr. Goofy will be tickled to hear his face will be on one.”

Tofino Bay's The Daredevil Bald Eagle
Close-up The Daredevil used with permission by Tofino Photography

Wow, what a compliment to have to live up to now!

This week, hubby and I went out to select paint colors and buy spray varnish to spray into the cracks in the wood. Since the totem pole will live outside on our deck, it needs to withstand the 4 seasons of northeastern Washington, especially the cold winters and warm summers (if last summer’s ridiculous heat was any indication of climate to come). I will share my progress on this pet project over the next few weeks.

Pet Pansy

And just for fun… pansies are sometimes referred to as the “monkeyflower,” because they mimic the monkey that’s looking at it, hee hee!

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

Sunday Stills weekly challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post to this one.

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post.
  • I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are this week’s links from bloggers who shared photos of their pets.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

“Until one loves an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

Anatole France

Even if you do not have a pet now, perhaps you did at one time, or perhaps you have a “grand-pet!” In any case, celebrate the day with photos of pets, favorite animals, yours, or otherwise. Have a wonderful week!

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109 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Love Your #Pets

  1. Terri,
    I’m late to the party this week because we had something come up unexpectedly and have had to hit the road toward home (more about that later). We’ve made it to Abilene, TX (KOA) and hope to be home by Tuesday.
    Nevertheless, I never miss Sunday Stills, and enjoyed this one very much. We are petless now and probably stay that way as long as we travel by RV, however, we meet a lot of people who travel by RV in order to take their fur babies along. I love the picture of you with Oreo–so sweet. Your picture of Leon compelled me to post a picture of Wilbur, a tabby I rescued when he was probably three years old. He lived with us for another 17 years and followed me everywhere. Wilbur ballooned up to 26 pounds at one point. I miss him dearly. Have a great weekend. Joe

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    1. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had to cut your trip short, Joe. Hope all is well. Thank you for sharing your beautiful cat Wilbur! What is it about these male cats that they get so big? He sure lived a long wonderful life with you. You each blessed each other over the years!

      Like

  2. Aw, what a great gallery of pets! Aero was so tiny! I love your action pictures of Brodie, and Oreo’s beautiful eyes! Too bad they don’t stay with us longer! But I also understand your issues with pets and traveling. We may make the same decision someday, though cats can more easily be left at home with drop by care. Here’s my post about Benji and Tiger. 🙂

    Happy (Belated)Love Your Pet Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can never get enough of seeing Aero and Brodie on your blog, Terri. It’s lovely to hear that they keep each other company. I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine life without at least one pet dog living with me. We’ve made so many new friends from just being out walking our dogs. They seem to be some kind of magnet for getting people to talk to you.

    Today (22nd Feb) is National Walk Your Dog Day in the UK. I’m not sure why, because our dogs need walking every day, but it may be to get people talking while walking their dogs. We’ve certainly seen a lot more dogs than usual while out walking today.

    I’m leaving you with a video of my two dogs (Toby & Austin) playing.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, and I’m sending big hugs to Aero and Brodie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Hugh! I love them fiercely and so glad they are gracing us with their presence ❤️. I think every day should be love your pet and walk your dog day, since we dog owners do these automatically. A few days ago, Hans and I walked the dogs down the main street and ended up stopping and talking with 5 different neighbors! Thanks for the hugs and the adorable video of Toby and Austin!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s cold! I hate to think how paws would cope with being out in that kind of cold. It makes me shiver just thinking about it, Terri. But on the coldest of days here, Austin still loves going into the sea for a dip.

        This is a photo of Austin checking out the sea ice we had in the winter of 2018. He loved it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Brodie’s feet are pretty robust, but Aero inherited dainty poodle feet plus he has arthritis. You can bet when he’s done with business he rockets back into the house, Hugh! That is a great shot of Austin playing in the sea ice!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. HI Jodie, thank you for visiting! Pets definitely steal our hearts. We always planned to travel with the trailer since there is so much to see in our own continent! Of course there is always the occasional trip abroad, but who has been able to travel much the last two years?

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  4. Wow Terri, you really covered this one soup to nuts!!! We always had a dog but when we moved south we planned on lots of travel so when our last dog died at 13 years old a month before we moved we decided not to replace him. I do miss having a dog for sure but it wouldn’t be fair considering how often we’re away (altho covid surely made it more tempting since we were travel-restricted. Enjoy your explorations and your new totem pole. A great idea for living in your part of the world!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved ‘meeting’ your sweet-looking dogs and I can see that you have lots of fun with them! As you say yourself, pets do complicate things when you like to travel, which is the main reason we don’t have any (otherwise we would love a cat, as we’re both potty about them!) I won’t be joining in this week given that lack of pets and also because I’m only just back from Costa Rica and trying to get on top of hundreds of photos and sorting notes for some blog posts. But I’ll certainly try to join you again next week 🙂

    Also, good luck with your project. I hope you plan to share photos of the work in progress and of course the completed pole? I can’t wait to see it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sarah! For now we’re content to travel on 4 and 8 wheels, so much to see within a few hundred miles! The dogs enjoy going places and travel extremely well. How exciting about your Costa Rica trip and I can’t wait to see your pics. Next week is “fresh” so please share your fresh photos 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful, treasured photos of your pets, Terri! After the kids left and our beloved 15 yr old black lab, Shadow, passed, we opted to no more pets so we could travel with lesser worries, just as you’re thinking. We’ve since gained two granddogs that I love dearly. 🙂 LOVE your Eagle totem pole! OMgosh, we stayed in Kalispell MT last summer for a month and I bought a 6 1/2 ft carved Eagle at a craft show, how coincidenetal! Oh, and a couple tables, benches, artwork, oh my, I went crazy buying items for our new house. 🤪 Several of the craftsmen were from Idaho too. Thank goodness we pulled our stacker trailer; we bought a pile of moving blankets from Harbor Freight store, Rick strapped it all down, and we hauled it along for another month throughout the mid-west as we made our way back to the east coast. Yes…..we are crazy! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Donna! Brodie will be around for 10 more years, I’m sure, and little Aero likely has 2-3 good years left. In this case, time is allowed to pass very slowly. I can’t believe you bought a giant wooden eagle, but as I get to know you I’m not surprised! Good thing you had a trailer to take it all home. Nope, you are not crazy, just an inspired artist! I hope that eagle is proudly displayed!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, Terri, you sure packed a lot in in one post! I love the pictures of your pets… current and past. When my kitty died 10+ years ago, we made the decision to go pet-free for now too. I really miss having a furby around, but it does free us up to travel without that complication.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your painting project! I hope you’ll post a few in-progress updates.

    And, last but not least, I loved seeing that OB sticker on your car! Every once in a while, I see one outside of San Diego and it makes me smile (we once met a man in Key West wearing an OMBAC Over-the-Line shirt. He got the shirt at a thrift store and had no idea what it was).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The post grew the more I got inspired by others, Janis! I’m excited about the totem project and am a little impatient about continuing to wait for some warmth. Sharp eyes you have to see the OB sticker! There are a few Californians here that recognize it. I may have to get another one as the current one is weather worn. Plus a new Washington State Boykin decal too. Thanks for your lovely comment and hope SD is treating you well and getting you into spring (although you had summer for a few days already).

      Like

  8. Those pet photos are all so lovely and cute, Terri. Thanks for including us as well! Aero was incredibly cute as a puppy – and still is. 🙂 Stormy must have been an amazing dog, too. Australian shepherd mixes are our favorite “breed.”

    Traveling with dogs is not easy… That’s why we keep exploring the world in our own campers and sailboats. Being 24/7 together is the fate of every dog we adopt, haha. They have all been world travelers. 🙂

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  9. Your dogs are gorgeous, Terri. I love that chocolate brown coloring. We left our cat home alone a couple of years ago when we made a rushed trip to Alberta for my M-I-L’s funeral. We were only gone three days but it traumatized Harley. She sticks close to us now and sometimes wails in the night until I call out to let her know we’re with her- poor girl.
    Love, love your totem!
    Here’s my link:

    February 20 is #LoveYourPetDay #SundayStills

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    1. Thank you, Jacquie! It is rare to see the live brown color in dogs, although there are a few breeds that have it. When Aero was a pup, people aske if was a miniature Irish Setter. Poor Harley! Most cats probably wouldn’t care. My daughter could tell you fun stories of when they leave their cats home. Glad you love the totem, I’m sure you see a few where you live, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. OMGosh, Terri, this is a fabulous post. I had no idea that Aero was related to an Apricot Poodle. I also didn’t know that Mark and Liesbet housesat for you. Small world. Thanks for always linking to WQW and PPAC. Your posts are always so fun to read and beautiful to look at. I love your new totem pole. You have quite a challenge to paint it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marsha! It was going to be a quicky and of course it morphed into more…I blame you…wink! I thought Aero would look more like Gideon with the terrier ‘stash, but nope, mostly spanny-poo! Yep, I met Liesbet when they were in between house-sits and they didn’t sit for us but actually stayed with us for two nights on their way to the Bay area. We had a blast! I had my post all ready to go, hit schedule, then realized at 1:30 am this morning, I had no quotes for WQW. LOL! We’re so dedicated, aren’t we?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You had some quotes in there, I think. I’ve started using quotes almost constantly. It’s becoming second nature. It’s amazing what you can find online. You were certainly up late. I probably will be up late tonight. I have no idea how much my pet project will morph as I write. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Your pets are so cute, Terri! Aero was darling as a puppy. We had a dog named “Arrow” once. Leon had beautiful markings. We had an orange tabby we named “O.G.” for Orange Guy. He was a very affectionate cat. Thanks for this challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Siobhan! Funny story why Aero is not “Arrow”…when we were picking names for him, my daughter pointed out then that all our pets names had “e-o” in the name (Gideon, Oreo, Leon). funny, huh? We settled with Aero and got close enough. Brodie is really a stretch…

      Like

  12. absolutely adorable 🙂

    we are currently without a pet of our own, feels very odd. We have a temporary one whilst our daughter stays with us, but hope we may once again have one of our own one day.

    Beautiful post Terri, so much love

    Like

  13. Terri, I had lots of pets as a kid, (the outdoor kind) but have never owned one as an adult. The love and devotion of a pet is immeasurable, but the responsibility is too much for us. Traveling without any additional encumbrances trumps pet ownership for us. I know a lot of folks who have drifted toward RV travel to accommodate their pets. I am sure that must have its own special challenges, but it does seem like a reasonable accommodation.

    Aero looks like such a little ‘yuppy puppy’ in that photo with your laptop! Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This post is chock full, Terri. Love the pet pictures. I didn’t know about ‘love your pet’ day. I am going to celebrate it next year. I’m nuts about my beautiful Lab who is old enough to have trouble walking. And your totem pole. They also fascinate me. The idea of a tall, natural wood column of one’s life–what could be better. I love your plan for that gorgeous one. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jacqui! It was going to be a short post about the dogs and cats, then the other two components needed to be heard, LOL! I frequently check the National Days calendar online to see what is inspiring. I need to get over and read your posts…I subbed a few days and time got away!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I loved meeting your pets, Teri. They bring such joy and love to our lives, it’s hard to imagine not having them around. My husband and I decided not to get more pets too, and for the same reason as you – ease of traveling. In 2021 we became empty-nesters and are making that traveling dream come true (planning to go many of the same places you’ve mentioned as well as overseas). We miss having those four-footers in the house but know this is for the best. In the meantime, we’re befriending squirrels. Lol. A lovely post, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

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