The month of May is busy with special days to celebrate. May is designated as National Pet Month and the third Sunday in May is known as National Take Your Parents to the Playground Day.

This week, Sunday Stills is all about pets and playgrounds. Why not combine these two special occasions into one fun photo challenge this week?

Pacific Park Spokane, WA
Pacific Park Spokane, WA

“It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents.” ~ Eric Hoffer

Public Pool Dog Playground
Public Pool End of Season Event, Doggy Dip Day

“I think having an animal in your life makes you a better human.” – Rachael Ray

This Used to Be My Playground

I’m sharing some images of my pets that have moved on into eternity. Don’t be sad. They enjoyed every minute.

In addition to summer vacations spent in national parks with my parents, as an adult, I spent 11 summers with my hubby in the Sacramento River Delta. Aero, Gideon, and Brodie played along with us.

Playing with Dogs at the Delta

“Our pets are our family.” – Ana Monnar

Aero loves going to the delta
Aero loved going to the delta
Blonde cockapoo at delta
Gideon (my daughter’s dog) loved the water
Boykin Spaniel Brodie loves the water
Boykin Spaniel Brodie loves swimming

Gideon and Aero, brothers, enjoyed their delta playground for many years before Brodie came along.

The Delta was Our Playground

“Time is a game played beautifully by children.” ― Heraclitus, Fragments

Kids Windsurf Day Camp
Kids Windsurf Day Camp

Sometimes we relaxed on the beach with the dogs.

Dogs on the river beach
Aero and Nala (my step-daughter’s dog) at the beach–2015

Aside from windsurfing and stand-up paddling, socializing with friends was the best of summers spent here. Parents taught their kids to sail and be safe on the water.

“The heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future.” – Wendell Philips

Closer to home in Sacramento, we often visited Lake Natoma. Gideon was my daughter’s dog and she wasted no time taking him and Aero on kayak excursions.

At least the pups wear their PFDs.

“No one loves you as unconditionally as your beloved pet.” – Cynthia Dobesh

Both dogs passed away in 2022. They are now together enjoying their eternal playground…

Blonde and Brown dogs
Brothers Gideon and Aero forever

…No doubt playing with these three.

This Still is My Playground

About three years ago this month, in the early days of the pandemic, we traveled from Sacramento, California to Spokane, Washington so Hans could see our property for the first time.

Enjoying our new playground near home

Nine Mile Falls boasts Riverside State Park along Lake Spokane and the Centennial Trail. We’ve taken the dogs everywhere!

At Bowl and Pitcher
At Bowl and Pitcher with the Dogs 2021

“Nature surrounds us, from parks and backyards to streets and alleyways. Next time you go out for a walk, tread gently and remember that we are both inhabitants and stewards of nature in our neighborhoods.” – David Suzuki

No Pets of Your Own?

Perhaps you enjoy birds and other wildlife in your backyard or in your favorite spaces. We also look forward to their visits as if they are our pets. Trust me, we know they’re wild!

“You cannot share your life with a dog … or a cat, and not know perfectly well that animals have personalities and minds and feelings.” – Jane Goodall

Our Leisure Heritage

As I contemplate my past and present “playgrounds,” I can’t help but be reminded of the 10 years I taught at the university in Sacramento, introducing students to important leisure concepts and the importance of play.

Playground reformers in America during 1880-1920, fought to identify leisure and recreation as important to workers and their families. During this period, National Parks were established, as well as public playgrounds and parks in urban cities.

Yosemite is the People's Park
My brother-in-law’s posture spoke volumes the first time he visited the high country of Yosemite, (my other playground).

Next time you visit a national park, a public playground, or any other leisure space, say a quick thank you to these visionaries: Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, Jane Addams, or Steven T. Mather, among many.

“Preserving parks and open spaces is a winner because it doesn’t need to be explained to everyday Americans.” – Frank Luntz

Take your pets or children to your favorite places and spaces this month and when you can.

You can nap later!

(Extra points if you can see the two dogs)

Naptime
Naptime for Dogs and Hans

“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” – George Eliot

Inspiring Photo Challenges This Week

Each week I find inspiration from my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I enjoy incorporating these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

The Sunday Stills weekly-themed photo challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post.

  • Remember to title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • 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 to the comments.

This Week’s Featured Bloggers

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 their photos of pets and playgrounds. I add these all week as new links are posted.

This week tell us and show us your pets and playgrounds. Join me next week for the theme waterscapes!

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111 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Appreciating our #Pets and #Playgrounds

  1. Wow! Your pets lived their best lives with you! Mine too. We lost my girl, Katie, last June and this past February we got our new girl, Penny. She’s 5, almost 6 mos now. I’m still adjusting, because of course, she’s not Katie. She’s definitely got her own personality, and she’s all puppy. I’d forgotten how much work puppy is! We’ll get it all figured out, and she’s going to have an amazing adventurous, and very happy life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was sad for you when Katie moved on, Dawn. It’s heartbreaking. Penny is a sweetheart and a lively puppy. I enjoy her posts. Dogs are so portable and ours went everywhere with us. Brodie is our only dog now and he really is a family member in every sense of the word.

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  2. We had three dogs in our family over the years. One of my great regrets in my life is that I wasn’t into photography when we owned and loved our dogs so I have very few images of them. You are doing what I should have been doing when our pets were with us.

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    1. My dogs have been huge subjects for my various lenses, John. Like you, I have only a few of my cat as a teen, no pics of my mom’s collies, and just a few of Oreo who passed in 2011. Phones sure make it easy to grab a quick pic. I get notifications frequently of Aero who died unexpectedly last October and the reminders still tug my heart.

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    1. Yes they are, better than humans at swimming for sure, Stevie! In a couple of the pics these are their life vests. Not that they needed them, but the river had a swift current, so the small dogs were easy to grab by the little handle if they fell in off the board.

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    1. Haha, thank you Jacqui! I can’t believe it was 22 years ago we opened the pool on the last day of the season so the dogs could play and swim. Our parks and rec department was one of the first ones in the US to do this. With two rivers in Sacramento, people were grateful to have a pool if for one day a year for their dogs. The rivers could be treacherous certain times of year. Fun times!

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  3. Such a fun post Terri! It seems you’ve found your paradise and your pups clearly appreciate it too! Loved the ode to Muir and Roosevelt. Can you imagine if we’d never established the national parks?! Wonderful reminder of how grateful we should all be. Both for them and others like them as well as our wonderful pets!

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    1. Thank you, Tina! It’s terrible to think of high rises in Yosemite Valley, or worse a other Hetch-Hetchy reservoir there. I know I’m grateful for those early leaders whose vision inspires generations, of people and pets!

      Like

    1. Almost three years, Liesbet. We bought the property in March 2020 and got moved in March 2021. That photo signifies three years this month that Hans got to see it with his own eyes. Strangely, I don’t miss the delta. It was fun while it lasted, I feel blessed to have enjoyed and learned how to windsurf and SUP as a result of being there so long. Our dogs loved the delta. Aero used to cock his head in that cute way whenever we said “delta.” Give Maya a big hug from me.

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  4. What wonderful lives your dogs had and have 💚 They all look like they’re having the best time.

    Can’t get Flynn anywhere near water! He gets lots of walks and when it’s not so hot we go to an enclosed dog field. And of course zoomies in the garden.

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  5. A wonderful theme this week, Terri, combining pets and playgrounds! I’m so glad your beautiful dogs got to enjoy the great outdoors with you. And what a lovely area you now call home at Nine Mile Falls!
    I’ve only had cats during my adult life, and I loved them all. They’re not much for traveling but fortunately make everyplace and everything their playground. https://catsandtrailsandgardentales.com/2023/05/21/wheres-benjis-playground/

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    1. Thank you, Willow, I’m glad you hopped in! And with Sunday Stills, since its a weekly theme, that you have all week, so you are not late! I only ask that bloggers title their posts a little differently than mine so SEO searches gives us a fair search online 🙂

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  6. Lots of fun going on here in the playgrounds and with your pets! We don’t celebrate either of these days here and as I have no pets and never go to playgrounds I’ll probably skip this week 😀

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    1. Thank you, Kirstin! Using my home and the Sacramento delta were a bit of a cheat but a playground is a playground, right? We see quail everywhere and yes they are fast. The males are doing their mating call these days–were hear them all day, LOL!

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  7. OH! MY! GOODNESS! I loved every single photo of your beloved pets! and seeing the windsurfing pictures was awesome. Thank you!
    I did get a giggle of hubby napping.
    Enjoy your week!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This post is bursting with fun and happiness, Terri. Where would we be without our doggy friends and pets?
    I don’t know of any dog that does not like the beach, although I know a few (including Toby) who does not like the water. He’s like me, whereas Austin loves the water. Their playground is the beach, although sadly, some beaches have restrictions on allowing dogs on them during our summer months.
    http://hughsviewsandnews.files.wordpress.com/2023/05/img_0541.jpeg
    I love the photo of Hans taking a nap. Does he know you posted the picture on your blog?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Hugh! Dogs love the beach, but some don’t like the water. Funny, out of two of your dogs of the same breed, one dislikes water. Brodie has to be dragged out, especially on warm days. There are only two beaches in San Diego that allow dogs off leash and the rest have various restrictions.
      Hans knew about the photo 🤣 that man can nap anywhere!
      What a great pic of Austin! He and Brodie would have a blast together ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Terri,
    Great choice for Pet Week. I’ve had eight dogs but none for ten years until this month when we adopted a loveable English Bulldog. He is a jewel and loves the water. Two weeks ago, I took him to the National Forest south of here to introduce him to my favorite place in the world. Rather than drink from the stream, he sat in it. I’ve had three cats–all were orange and white (U of TN colors), and all were very laid back. The last one, Wilbur, died several years ago after 17 years with us. I still miss him. Thanks for bringing back the memories. Joe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joe! You were in a pet drought a little too long, but now that Mortimer is with you, he will keep you busy. He looks like a happy, sweet boy! 17 years a long time for a cat, my Stormy died just shy of 17 years old, and at his peak, was 17 lbs.

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  10. Sweet post and memories! 🙂 Nothing like a child or dog to bring out the simple joys of the outdoors! Now it’s grandboys and granddogs for us, and what fun we all have! 64 and I play baseball, tag and dog chase…..well, I try my best to keep up at least! 🤪🤣

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  11. I loved this walk down memory lane with you and the dogs and your wild friends, oops, I mean Hans! You’ve gotten him calmed down completely. Vince would kill me if I posted him sleeping, and there would be civil war in our family if he posted me sleeping! LOL, but not really. Hans does it much more gracefully than we do. I need to take another stroll before I go. The flying ears of Aero and his obvious love of the Delta. You have some brave dogs. None of my dogs liked getting wet! Fabulous and fun post, my friend. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Marsha! I have a bunch of new Brodie pics that I will have to use later. My narrative changes a bit once I added heritage to the mix, and thats ok because I love being inspired by other challenges because they get me out of my own head and help illuminate a different perspective.
      Heehee, Hans does sleep gracefully, and Nala and Brodie had to join in. Too cute! Lol, civil war…no one catches me napping, cuz I don’t! I did have fun with this post. Thanks for your part of the inspiration!

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      1. Vince got a horrible picture of me when my leg was in a brace and I wasn’t supposed to move. (said one health official who turned out to be very wrong.) I had three animals napping with me.:)

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  12. I figured out a way to sneak pets into a post about honorable. It took me until today, so I modified my post. BTW, I love the purple background and all the customizing you did this month. I never was a purple person, but you have made it look beautiful. I can’t wait to see what you do next month. 🙂

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    1. I just came in from our “garden.” Its taking shape and I needed a break. Glad you like the appearance of the blog site. This theme makes it fairly easy, but I have to go back and make sure older posts are still readable if the font color changes too much. I’m off to check out your post!

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      1. Probably not too many people go back and read those posts. The only readers I get for the old posts are spam. Sadly, when you change your background colors again, all these posts will revert to a different color. I look forward to seeing pictures of your garden. I planted a few flowers in pots and bought a tomato plant. 🙂

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      2. Awesome! We are going to redo our front area, fence it in and create a larger patio as well as a catio for Moji. When I do that, I’m going to get more pots going. I’m not sure what I’m going to do on the side. We have a peony all by itself. Our side yard needs some work, too.

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  13. The “Dog Days of Summer” had a totally different meaning for Aero and Gideon (and Brodie as well). I did not know dogs would climb aboard a SUP … well I guess if they fall off, all they have to do is dog paddle. This was a wonderful collection of memories Terri..

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      1. Aero hiding from his life vest reminds me of my aunt’s dog Apache. He was a Heintz 57, shaggy medium-sized dog. She bought him a Santa Claus outfit one year to take photos of him. You never saw anyone, human or animal, look less enthused about wearing something … it had a hat, coat and a black plastic belt and oh yes … rubber boots. He stood there, not moving a muscle like a statue, so I understand Aero’s mindset totally. You never worried about tipping off the SUP if Brodie suddenly jumped off for a paddle? You are likely an excellent swimmer, that’s why!

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      2. What a great story, Linda. Poor Apache, the things we do to our pets in the name of photo ops! 🤣 Yes, i have to admit I’m a goof swimmer (high school and college swim teams). Brodie preferd to swim along side us, we kept him a long lead. The Sacramento River had a good tide, too. Hope your Memorial Day holiday has been relaxing!

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      3. My boss was on the high school and college swim teams and now swims a mile every morning, all year around, at local high school pools and an outside community pool. He swims with a swim team and they split pool costs. He enjoys it and is 76 years old. I got a lot of yard work done Saturday and Sunday, but took today for myself. I did a lot of walking today and trying to finagle some photos of Mrs. Cardinal feeding her babies. I looked at the shots this afternoon to see if there were enough for a post as I don’t want to aggravate her anymore hovering around for photos. I won’t climb up to see the nest because even approaching the barberry bush sends the adults into a tailspin since they hatched. I can’t use my long lens (a kit lens 75-300 mm) as I can’t back up enough as the wall is there – too close and it’s blurry. It’s been a challenge, but I’ve enjoyed watching her collect grubs and wiggly things to feed the youngsters. Interestingly, I thought she was still sitting on the nest and incubating the eggs, however my first glimpse of the babies this weekend tells me they are not new hatchlings. So did a little research and she sits on the babies in the nest if they are very tiny and up until yesterday, we had cold temps … low 40s and freeze advisories. It has been fun watching them … she may not share my sentiment. 🙂

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