Sunday Stills: All About #Pets

Brodie pretty in pink

While selecting November’s Sunday Stills themes, I discovered that the entire month is “Adopt a Senior Pet Month.” Awww.

The first week in November is National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, so why not make this challenge All About Pets?

We had a similar photo challenge in April (It’s a Dog’s Life) which was a very popular post and a testament to your love for your pets!

My public service announcement about National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week includes this plea for donations. Any time of year, most animal shelters need donations of food, old linens, and your volunteer time. Materials are tax-deductible and provide a good excuse to clean out your closet!

Shopping cart for donations

In California, as wildfires rage across the state, many animal shelters are filling up with lost, surrendered and injured pets. Now, more than ever, donations are needed.

Sadly, many families that become displaced from their homes cannot keep their pets and reluctantly surrender them to the nearest shelter. This is a wonderful opportunity to adopt a rescued animal. The need is such that often, the shelters will reduce their adoption fees or charge nothing in order to place as many pets into new homes as possible.

I have many friends who have adopted older dogs and cats over the years and the animals were happy to have a new forever home. My brother and his daughters occasionally walk dogs at the local animal shelter and have adopted one or two dogs as a result. Sure, puppies are fun, new and wiggly, but a LOT of work. An older dog is already housebroken and brings with it the wisdom of its life.

Fellow blogger and friend, Liesbet, of Roaming About describes her and her husband’s heartwarming adoption of Maya.

The Benefits of Adopting an Older Dog

  • Older dogs usually come leash-trained and understand basic commands.
  • Older dogs are calmer and less energetic than younger dogs and have an established demeanor and temperament, which will give you an idea of how it will fit into your household.
  • Older dogs make instant loyal companions and are ready to accompany you on a long walk. Source

Remembering my sweet old dog Oreo as he neared the end of his life in 2011.

Black Dog Oreo

All pet lovers will appreciate the unconditional love our beloved pets give us. Pets that are in the incarnation of a parrot, fish, reptile, or (gasp!) tarantula instinctively know and love the hands that feed and care for them, even if they don’t always demonstrate it with snuggles and open affection.

Woman and parrot

As I age, I appreciate each day I spend with my sweet dogs, Aero (9 yrs) and Brodie (almost 3 yrs). I can count on one hand the number of years Aero has left with me on this earth. He is a fun dog and we make the most of it! But as you can see, like many seniors, a nap is imminent!

collage of Sleepy Aero

Brodie, who is close to three years old, destroyed shoes, underwear, furniture, ate (and pooped) socks, drove us crazy at 12 months when he was neutered, well…you get the idea. Aero took his teeth-cleaning in stride at age 7 and was mellow!

Dogs resting
Brodie and Aero enjoying a morning at the dog park.
Brodie pretty in pink

I expect this one to be around for another 12 years!

November is Adopt a Senior Pet month and although I cannot take part in this now, I can hope that others will. Hubby and I are retiring to Washington state within the next two years and plan to buy a larger property with room for more than two dogs to run. Until that time, I will imagine the love and forever home I can give to an older dog.

Please visit these bloggers who were new to the Sunday Stills photo challenge in October! Reflections of an Untidy Mind and Photo Poeme

This week, share your photos, stories, poems, and other creative ideas as we celebrate pets of all ages and the important roles animal shelters play in our communities!

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Sunday Stills: It’s a #Dog’s Life

Brodie's home and missed his orange pillow.

Did you know the last Sunday of April is National Pet Parents Day? Hooray, because I am one and I bet you are, too…or maybe so in the pawst!

For this week’s Sunday Stills photography challenge, let’s celebrate the pets that make our lives so much richer!

We make a lot of sacrifices for our pets!

In this photo, I had just brought Brodie home from three days of isolation in July 2017, when he was infected by canine parvo-virus. Between the vet bill and worry, I was a hot mess, but relieved when he came home!

Brodie's home and missed his orange pillow.
Brodie’s home and missed his orange pillow.

“There is a very special connection, a unique bond, between a pet and its owner. This unique relationship, which can often last for many years, is often a vital part of the ‘pet parents’ life. Their loved pets are a member of the family.”

National Day Calendar
Aero at 2 months old
Me and my Aero at 2 months old

We love our pets. Between myself and my family, growing up, I have owned a parakeet and lovebird; horses Cookie and Star; cats Streaker, Stormy, and Leon; dogs Buddy, Shotsie, Oreo, and currently, Aero and Brodie. I’m also a grand-pet-parent to my daughter’s cat Nova and my younger daughter’s dog Gideon, who lived with us for many years.

Dog Brodie
A Painnt-edited version of Brodie

All but Aero and Brodie are at the Rainbow Bridge waiting for their pet parents to reunite with them in eternity.

My mother’s hobby was raising collies (Lassie) for show and obedience competitions. At one point my mom and dad had 12 collies on our 4 acres near Portland, Oregon back in 1969-70! As kids, my middle brother and I went to a LOT of dog shows all over the Pacific Northwest and then in San Diego when we moved back. I got familiar with most breeds of dogs and appreciated having dogs around.

No wonder I became a pet parent! And see how much our lives are richer for playing with them.

Aero with me on SUP
Aero with me on SUP
Hans & Brodie on SUP
Good pet parents take turns with dogs on the stand-up paddleboards
Han with Brodie

As proud pet parents, we also share images of our beloved fur-babies on social media. Every day I read or see photos of people’s pets doing something adorable or silly, or when someone has said a tearful goodbye.

They are part of our families.

But as much as we all love our pets, they only give us a few short years. We rescue them, feed them, doctor them, grieve them and love them…forever.

I posted this on Facebook last July when I lost my 13-year old cat Leon, one of the hardest decisions I had to make. He loved to sit on the edge of the chair and rested mostly on my shoulder during his last two days.

“Yesterday I made the almost impossible decision to humanely end my 13-year-old cat’s life. Leon gave us 13 years of fun and frolic. He used up his last life, probably in a fight with another animal which ultimately resulted in an untreatable, massive infection. God has a better plan for the spirits of His lovely creatures and only gives us a few years with them until He takes them back home. RIP my sweet Leon.”

Me and Leon the cat
My last days with Leon.
Leon in happy times
Leon rolling around on the porch in healthier times

Perhaps many of us bloggers have written recent and past stories about our pets, so feel free to include the link in your comments to this post and I will happily read them.

For a WordPress Writing 101 challenge in 2015, I wrote three stories about the life and times of my spaniel/Australian shepherd mix, Oreo. My Oreo Lives Forever summed up the series. To reduce spam, comments are closed on that post but feel free to add a comment to this post if you wish.

And of course, share the link for your current Sunday Stills post by using this hashtag #NationalPetParentsDay to post on social media.

Enjoy this Dogoscope: Your Pet’s Zodiac Sign, courtesy of Nationwide

Provided by Nationwide pet insurance

May’s themes are now available to view on my Sunday Stills page.

Are you a pet parent? Show us and tell us more about your relationship with your pet!

Celebrate National Pet Day!

What are you doing for National Pet Day?

What are you doing for National Pet Day?

Celebrate National Pet Day, April 11th!

national pet day logo

Of course, you love your pets! And they love you for giving them their forever home.

Leon, my 12 year-old pussycat
Leon, my 12 year-old pussycat

But what about those animals in need of homes, vet care, food and shelter?

Once you have appreciated your own pet, and lavished your love on it, please consider donating your resources to many of the good causes available to helping animals in need, or volunteering at a local animal shelter.

Can you spare some love for a pet?
Free image from Unsplash

Better yet, adopt a pet!

My brother has adopted several dogs over the years. He and his wife used to volunteer by walking dogs at their animal shelter near San Diego.

If you are not a pet owner, consider making a donation. Many pet retail stores have in-store gift-giving options. Petsmart’s “Buy a Bag, Give a Meal” is just one charity program designed to help pets in shelters and in low-income homes.

PetSmart Charities will distribute the meal donations to pet shelters, food banks, animal welfare organizations or other similar organizations based on the needs of these recipients.

kittens wrapped in a towel
free image from Unsplash

Janis of Retirementally Challenged donates old linens to her local humane society.

“I am so grateful for our local Humane Society for the compassionate work they do. They provide vital services by sheltering and adopting animals, providing positive reinforcement training classes, investigating animal cruelty and neglect, and presenting education programs.” Janis Heppel

I think this is a great idea and I am gathering up some old towels to drop off to the Sacramento SPCA this week!

Like Aero asks Brodie in the featured photo, “What are YOU doing for National Pet Day?

paw prints