Tag Archives: Emmy Lou

National Puppy Day

Although our girl is far from a puppy at 13 years old, she will always be our sweet pup. We couldn’t have found a sweeter rescue dog than her and we are so lucky to have her in our lives.

Emmy Happy copy.JPG

Sweet Emmy Lou

I haven’t written about our sweet Emmy Lou in quite some time. She’s doing great. Truly the sweetest, easiest pup we could have ever adopted. She is beginning to show signs of her age though. We estimate she’s about 13 years old, although she’s only been a part of our lives for four years.

She isn’t a big fan of “human food” but she does have two favorites and we can’t sit down and eat without giving her a plate of her own. Pizza and pasta – an Italian girl after my own heart!!  She deserves it though after spending nine years of her life locked in a cage  in a puppy mill!

Lazy Sunday

Today’s photo challenge word is LAZY. It has been that kind of day. A nice, lazy Sunday. Emmy Lou agrees.



There is not one room in our home that does not have some type of sports equipment or memorabilia in it, so it wasn’t hard to get a photo for today’s word, SKATE. Drew is the only one who skates in our family and I could have used his roller blades or hockey skates but went with the ones in the den…because where else would you store your hockey skates…

Just to add some cuteness to the photo, I posed Emmy Lou along side one of them. She’s used to the chaos of our clutter so I don’t think it phased her at all!fullsizerender-9

National Puppy Day

resuce pet

I had no idea until I read about it on Facebook, but today is “National Puppy Day.” A day created to raise awareness for adopting a dog from a shelter rather than from a breeder.  I have nothing against breeders.  Growing up, all of our dogs were purebreds and bought from breeders around the country.  Fortunately, from what I remember, these were not dogs that lived in cages but in homes and on farms.  Dogs that came from reputable breeders.

Ever since we adopted Emmy Lou, a shih tzu, from a shelter two years ago, I have seen pet adoption very differently. Emmy Lou was rescued from a puppy mill, she lived in a cage her entire life doing nothing but breeding puppies. THAT is not what a breeder is.  That, is a factory and that needs to stop.

There are thousands of puppy mills in our country. Pet stores that sell puppies are the number one reason that so many puppy mills exist today.  Puppy mills treat their dogs like commodities.  They live in small, crowded cages. We were told that Emmy Lou had never left her cage. She lived there her entire life and since there are no proper records for her, they don’t know how long that was, although they estimated her to be about nine years old when we got her.  No one expected her to walk on a leash or socialize with others.

They were wrong. She has adapted so well to our family.  Within days of getting her, she was walking on a leash and fitting right in with our family.

She wasn’t a puppy, but her story has made me so much more aware of pet adoption and how many pets need homes.  Not just puppies but older dogs too.  You still need to do your research, but if you are looking for a dog, consider rescuing.

We have a welcome mat at our front door that reads, “A shelter dog rescued this family.”  We never even thought we would have a dog and now, I could not imagine our lives without her in it.




Our dog Emmy Lou is afraid of the vacuum.  Petrified in fact.  So much that it makes us wonder if it brings up bad memories from her years in the puppy mill.  We have to work our vacuum schedule around her walking schedule because if she even sees it coming, she begins to shake and run skittishly in circles around the living room. This means that sometimes, vacuuming goes to the wayside.  Never too long, but until the dust builds up enough to make me crazy.  I don’t know how our home generates so much of it but dust makes me crazy.  You would think I was a clean freak…. I am probably the farthest thing from that. I know our house is old, and that we have been shut up inside all winter without being able to open windows to get some fresh air.  I total understand where the phrase, Spring Cleaning comes from. If we could just get some Spring-like days, we might be able to undertake it!

Friday is the first day of Spring and we are expecting SNOW! It can’t be much longer for real Spring weather to arrive.  Can it?

Just the Two of Us

Dave and DJ are in Boston for the weekend. DJ is looking at Lassel College which is right outside of Boston.  It is a very small liberal arts college and hopefully a good fit for him.  From what he has told me so far, he loves it and it is near the top of his list so fingers crossed he gets in and we get some great financial aide 😉

In the meantime, Drew and I have a whole weekend with just the two of us, (and Emmy Lou of course.)  He is enjoying the photo prompt activities I have been doing as well and today’s word, “Powder,” was one we decided we would find together.  We started off our day with brunch at the Parkwood Diner.  He was going to order waffles so that he could get them covered in powdered sugar – his idea for the photo, but at the last minute he decided to choose a lunch instead of breakfast so that shot was out.

We talked about all of the things we could do with our day and we decided to spend the rest of the day at home watching movies, playing board games and catching up on the book he is reading for school, “Freak the Mighty.”  While we were driving home, we were passing my favorite cupcake store, Gigi’s when we looked at each other and said, “Should we?” Drew suggested we just might get a powdery picture if we went in there so we might as well!  There were no powdery cupcakes though, and since we couldn’t leave without a couple of mini cupcakes for dessert…we bought a few.  As I went to pay, he pulled out his own money and treated ❤ Now we have dessert for tonight.  Can’t wait.

We pulled into the driveway and right in the middle was a huge pile of broken ice.  Crushed actually into what else…a powder! It was waiting for us right in our own home.  Drew got the shot ready, and I took a photo right there with my phone.


Now we are getting ready to make some popcorn, turn on a movie and settle in for the rest of the night.  I love these days!

Think It Over


Today’s photo prompt is Think Over which I thought was perfect for today.  As I think about the past few days and my decision to start something new working for chloe + isabel. I am getting more and more excited about it.  It won’t become a huge money maker for us, but it can be those little extras that we sometimes do without.  I spoke with my lead merchandiser on the phone and by the end of our call, it felt like we were old friends.  I am excited to be working for a company with such a wonderful community.

Another thing we sat and had to Think Over today was our decision to watch our favorite college football team get slaughtered during their bowl game.  Ugh.  Devastating to be on the losing end but we were lucky enough to get to watch the game with our best friends.  This photo is of our Emmy Lou who I believe is “thinking over” our normally quiet house that was overrun with company today!!

Great fun for us….something Emmy Lou will need some getting used to!

Don’t Criticize

rescue animal

Our town has an on-line bulletin board called, “Maplewood On Line.”  It has calendars of upcoming activities, advertisements and a discussion forum with hundreds of conversations going on at once.  I used to check it regularly, but unfortunately, it often gets quite negative and turns into a complaining forum and I dislike all of the negativity so I don’t read it as often as I used to.  I very rarely respond to a discussion, but will chime in once in awhile if a question is asked about something positive going on or for recommendations for places in town.

Yesterday, a local pet rescue start up, Furry Hearts Rescue, posted that they were looking for a photographer to volunteer their time to take photos of their animals for their Petfinder page.  The message was simple,

Are you a photographer, or know anyone who is? We are looking for someone with photography skills and their own quality camera to volunteer for Maplewood’s new Furry Hearts Rescue. We are setting up our Petfinder page, and need photos of our wonderful adoptable animals! Great opportunity to add a 501(c)(3) organization to your resume, and animal photos to your portfolio!
I didn’t care about the resume part or my portfolio, I just wanted to give my time to help out these animals who just need a home.  We rescued our dog and I jumped at the opportunity to help other animals get the same chance as our Emmy Lou got.  It was her photo on a rescue dog website that drew us to her!   I called up, spoke to the owner and since we both had the time, I went there and took just a few photos to start.  The big storm from yesterday knocked out power limiting how much we could do for the day.
As I followed this post on the message board, I began to get angry.  Some people were commenting negatively about their request for someone to donate their time.  I could not understand why it should bother a person if someone wanted to help out another person for free, expecting nothing in return.  This rescue is entirely run by local volunteers, and all of their funding comes from donations. Those donation goes entirely towards neutering and spaying, vaccinations, checkups etc. and materials like blankets, food bowls, toys, etc. No one is profiting from this other than the animals.
People were writing that volunteers, (like me) are “devaluing the profession.”  I finally had to “speak up’ and responded to the thread writing,
I am not sure why, if someone wants to donate their time, this should be stirring up so much negativity. If someone is asking for help and you are able to offer that help, and have the time to do it, why wouldn’t you. It makes me sad to think that people wouldn’t. The point is not to pay back kindness, but to pass it on. That is why I offered to do the photos for Furry Hearts Rescue. I expect nothing in return.
While the thread still remained negative, it started to draw out more positive comments as well – which sadly were ridiculed by more negativity and I appreciate all of the positive comments scattered in among the negative ones.  Another person has  even offered his time to take more photos and I thank him for that.
I never understand why people have to be so negative.  Honestly, it is the old mantra, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  Why did these people even feel the need to comment on this thread.  It was started out as something that could be so positive.  If you don’t want to be a part of it, stay out of it.
In the end, if this thread has done nothing else, it has spread the word and made people aware of this new rescue organization and the needs of all rescue organizations and that is a good thing.


teachers retire

Tonight I attended a dinner for three wonderful ladies that I work with.  They are all retiring after this school year.  I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with them.  They all touched my life in different ways.

Roberta, our Librarian, (Media Specialist,) was like my mentor.  When I was hired, I had nothing.  I was in a classroom that didn’t even have furniture!  It was just days before the school year was about to begin and Roberta was bringing me everything from staplers to furniture to use in my classroom.  In the nearly eight years that I have worked with her, she has been someone I could go to for anything.  A fountain of knowledge!  She could find a title or author without having to look it up.  She knew where everything was.  A wealth of information who went out of her way to help others.  It was Roberta who I joined with to start our Tuscan School Pay It Forward Program.  She was always doing things to promote kindness in our school.  She began our TV Turnoff program which promotes less television watching during school weeks and encourages doing more…reading, exercising…anything that gets kids to do something other than watching television.  I am going to miss her and her kind spirit.

Marci, a fellow teacher, was always so generous.  She was always doing something thoughtful for others.  After we got our Emmy Lou, Marci arrived in my classroom with a present for me.  It was a little stuffed dog that looks like Emmy Lou.  Her reason was so that I could have Emmy with me all of the time, even while at school.  She did thoughtful things like that all of the time.  When I first began working at Tuscan, she realized that she had gone to high school with my aunt.  Small world!  Marci was so kind and supportive while my mom was dying.  She was a shoulder to cry on and someone who would just stop by to give me a hug, knowing how much I needed it, without having to say a word

Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to work with our last retiree directly.  Barbara worked mostly with the upper grade students so our paths didn’t cross very often when it came to teaching.  She had an infectious smile though and her students adored her.  Tonight, she told a story that I hadn’t heard before.  She told about her mom, who left the south as a young girl because she was tired of picking cotton.  She got on a train and traveled to New Jersey to be a housekeeper for a family in Maplewood – the town that Barbara eventually wound up teaching in many years later.  She mentioned that while her mother was living with a family in Maplewood, their home was on Oakland Road – the same street that I live on.  Again, such a small world!

These three women have influence and inspired so many children in their many years of teachers.  Now it is time for them to sit back, relax and revel in the bliss of retirement.  I wish them all love and joy and restful days ahead.