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The Beginning of a Spring Transformation

There’s a room in my house that the dogs are obsessed with.

creepy door

A ghost or a Charlie Machete wanted in.

Actually, I have long tried to keep them out of the room with a closed door that also helped me avoid thinking about the disorganized mess within.

Officially, the room is my office, but it has always been more of a repository for stuff I didn’t want to deal with. Like paperwork and mail I couldn’t decide if I should hold onto or toss and clothes I couldn’t cram into in my primary closet.

But last weekend, my friend Shelley came over with the sole purpose of helping me turn this cluttered room into a functional space that would bring me peace and inspiration – without spending any significant money.

Truth be told, I was a little scared and embarrassed that the room had gotten so out of control.

But Shelley has a way of bringing out the fun in life.

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“Trust me,” she said. “We can fix this.”

Our project isn’t finished yet, but thanks to our progress so far, I’m now as eager as the dogs are to spend time in that room.

Every morning this week, I have even invited them to join me there as I get ready for work.

It is the very best way to start my day.

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I think they just love carpet.

Do your pets supervise your morning routine?

Buck Lives on Forever

When I saw this tattoo, I had to know the story behind it.

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The arm belongs to my friend Eric Fain, a Kansas City musician. Here’s the tale of his family dog Buck:

I was ten years old.

I had just arrived home after a week long Boy Scout Camp and my parents surprised me with a fluffy gold and white English Shepherd.

We decided to name him Buck, possibly because he was absolutely buck-wild and it just seemed to fit.

Until he was about a year and some change, he was just a ball of fur with a big head.

We moved to the Netherlands a year or so after and he made the trek with us overseas. Buck thrived in Holland. Every day my sisters and I would take him and our old Boxer, Cocoa, to the dog park, where he could run around free and play with other dogs and chase us while we tried to escape him on our Razor Scooters. His herding instinct was strong; he loved hovering around your feet. He also loved to sit on people, even if they were in a chair and he had to boost his butt onto your lap.

We returned to Kansas in 2003, and he was a great house dog for a while.

In 2008, he finally got to be the farm dog he always wanted to be when my folks bought seven acres in the countryside.

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Buck’s final years were the best any dog could ask for. He adored my mother more than anyone else. When he started getting frail, my mom started to feed him hard boiled eggs in his food every night before she went to sleep. If she forgot, he barked until she brought it to him. She went so far as to have two separate cartons of eggs in the fridge; Buck’s Eggs and Human Eggs.

Every time I visited them, I always went down stairs to his room and gave him a big hug, except the night before he had to be put to sleep.

I’ll never forget hearing his bark from the basement. I left without even saying hello, not thinking it would be the last time I would hear him. I got a call from my sister as I was getting off work, and I could tell something was wrong.

She said he fell when he was outside and that Mom had to pick him up and bring him inside. ‘He’s bleeding internally and there isn’t much we can do’ the vet told my mom. She loved him so much and couldn’t bear to see him in any more pain. I told her to give him a kiss for me and tell him that I was sorry for not being there to say goodbye.

Buck was my best pal, and I decided to get a tattoo for his memory because I never want to forget the happiness he brought into my life.

Big thanks to Eric for sharing this story. 

To catch a glimpse of Eric’s tattoo of Buck in person, go see him play with his band Clairaudients.

Does anyone else out there have a tattoo memorial of a beloved pet? Tell your story in the comments.

A Guide for Wayward Hearts

In exactly one month, women across the U.S. will look to their partners with the same eager anticipation as these three handsome fellows:

Three handsome beggars

That’s right. Valentine’s Day.

It’s happening.

I know I’ve had nice Valentine’s Days in the past. I also know I’ve had rotten ones. There have been fancy meals. There have been candles. There have also, on occasion, been arguments.

There have also been Valentine’s Days that boyfriends (not necessarily Zach) more or less overlooked because my birthday occurs three days later.

No biggie. I know I’m loved – by my boyfriend and many other wonderful souls.

In fact,  there are certain, four-legged individuals, who shower me with love and affection every day. Even when I’m feeling frazzled and speak a little roughly or if I am running late and they don’t get their dinner on time, the dogs in my house look to me with excited eyes. And they always want snuggles.

All of you other dog lovers know what I’m talking about.

Dogs are pretty much the best Valentines ever.

That’s what I was thinking as I searched out cool things to include in the first-ever Wayward Dogs Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, a collection of products, services and ideas you can use to celebrate  the love you share with your pet.

There are some things in there your human Valentine would probably appreciate, too.

Valentine's Day Gift Guide from Wayward Dogs

Please check out the gift guide – and all of the featured products, businesses and non-profit organizations – and share the link with the dog lovers in your network.

Also, be on the lookout in the coming weeks for giveaways of some of the awesome products featured in the guide!

Now, go check out Wayward Hearts – and come back with a comment about what featured item you like the best!

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