Tag Archives: dogs

Why I love Rainy Days

Today was a rainy day in Charleston. But I didn’t mind.

I love rainy days.

Its a good thing because we get a lot of rain in the Lowcountry.

Here are some of the reasons why I love rainy days.

Catching up on some old-school letter-writing in celebration of the last day of National Letter Writing Month

Catching up on some old-school letter writing in celebration of the last day of National Letter Writing Month

Charleston is known for it's flooding problems especially in the area around my daughter's school. Getting around town in the rain can be a challenge but fun!

Charleston is known for it’s flooding problems especially in the area around my daughter’s school. Getting around town in the rain can be a challenge but fun!

April showers bring May flowers. And I love any opportunity to wear my Hunter boots and pink trench coat!

April showers bring May flowers. And I love any opportunity to wear my Hunter boots and pink trench coat!

Sunday afternoon essentials

An afternoon in to read, relax and get some puppy love.

How do you spend a rainy day?

The Love of a Dog

A dog's love

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” —Josh Billings

I remember sitting on the front porch of my house with my dog, Prissy, after an especially bad day in middle school. As I rubbed her head and told her all about my awful day and how she was my only friend, she looked at me sympathetically with her dark brown eyes and licked my face. At that very moment, she really was my only friend and I knew–without a doubt–that she loved me and always would.

If you have a dog, you will never feel unloved or unlovable.

There really is something special about dogs. They get under your skin and into your heart in a way no other animal can. Do not misunderstand me, I love cats too. I have had a number of cats as pets throughout my life and they are lovely–great companions, wonderful to snuggle up with, etc. And while I may believe that my cat loves me, she just doesn’t seem to express it in the way a dog does.

I went for almost fifteen years without having a dog as a pet. I didn’t realize at the time that I missed having one. When I was around other people’s dogs they seemed so smelly and dirty and noisy. Once I had a baby there was no way that I was going to add that kind of chaos to our lives.

Over the years our daughter begged and pleaded for a dog but my husband and I tried everything we could to distract her: cats, a hamster, frogs,….We finally caved in when she was in fourth grade. We found Charlotte, a rescue dog from Pet Helpers in Charleston SC and gave her to our daughter for Christmas that year. The two have been inseparable ever since. It was a wonderful decision for our entire family.

A girl and her dog

A girl and her dog

Several years later we decided to add a second dog to our lives–an English springer spaniel. My husband located one in Hattiesburg, Mississippi (for some reason we wanted one from our home state). When we went to pick up the 8-week old puppy, Hattie (named for her birthplace), we could not resist bringing home her only remaining litter mate. We named him Chester (after Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre).

These two turn four years old today. Charlotte, the chocolate lab mix, turned eight last month. I cannot imagine our family, our home, our lives without this crew.

Our lives have been forever changed by these dogs–for the better.

Do you have a story about how your dog has changed your life?

*Photographs by Amy Watson Smith. The images have been altered using the Waterlogue app.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye 2013: A Year in Review

As 2013 draws to a close, I thought I would share with you several of my most popular posts and my favorite images. Thank you for reading!

When Everything Has Gone to the Dogs

Chester, one of the "twins"--English Springer Spaniels

Never underestimate the popularity of dogs or babies. This was the favorite post according to my readers.

Game Day Done Right: Road Trip to Ole Miss

Ole Miss Road Trip

Another popular post was the one documenting the road trip we took to our alma mater, Ole Miss, with our daughter and her friend. Read about it here.

These are some of my favorite images from the blog from 2013 in slideshow format.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Happy New Year!

 

 

When Everything Has Gone to the Dogs

I know that summer break is a time to slow down, break routine, relax the rules a bit. I have to admit that I am very good at this. I really know how to take it easy. In fact I am practically a professional at relaxing the rules and breaking routine.

I guess I hadn’t realized just how good I was at this until the summer break ended and I realized that everything had gone to the dogs.

  twins

Literally.

Trio of dogs

Chester, Hattie and Charlotte

We have three dogs–two English springer spaniels (litter mates) and a chocolate lab mix–and as I’m sure you can imagine, things can get a bit wild around our house at times. It is particularly rough going letting them out into the backyard and at feeding time.

Let’s just say there is a reason they are called springer spaniels.

Hattie and Michael

Hattie–with her feline playmate, Curry–hoping that more food will magically appear on Michael’s plate.

The dynamics within this trio are quite interesting (actually it’s a quartet if you include the cat). The “twins” as we call them (Hattie and Chester) couldn’t be more different in temperament.

Chester and Charlotte

Chester and Charlotte hang out together

Chester is very cool. He clearly understands his place in the pack–“top dog” but is submissive to the human boss. He has great social skills, follows instructions, enjoys playing but also loves to chill out with a bone on the floor.

Chester

Chester

Chester and Cameron

Chester is the best snuggler

Hattie, on the other hand, is a very anxious dog. She is easily distracted, barks constantly, won’t follow commands unless food is involved and her only animal playmate is the cat.

Hattie

Hattie

stuck

Hattie. Enough said.

Charlotte, the chocolate lab mix, is a classic rescue dog–a little fearful at first but smart, protective, attentive and friendly.

Charlotte

Charlotte

We spent a good deal of time and money last year training them and they definitely became more manageable. But like any good habit, it is a slippery slope into bedlam.

At first it might just be a nudge of the hand with their nose. Come on. Pet me. You know I look cute. You give in without giving it a second thought.

twins again

Then they jump up “to greet you” at the front door. Oh look how excited they are to see me, you say to yourself.

The barking and circling as you put dog food in their bowls you simply chalk up to hunger. I shouldn’t have made them wait so long for dinner, the poor pups. They are starving!

The next thing you know you have three very large and smelly canines laying across you on the sofa. Isn’t this sweet. They just love me so much and they want to cuddle with their mama!

Dogs in control

Dogs in control

When left to their own devices, this pack is a mess.

Yep. This is where I was last week. I had hit bottom. I had ignored the warnings from my husband, the pleas from my daughter. I just couldn’t admit that I needed help.

Somehow I found the strength–no, the courage–to reach out for help.

I called the dog trainer. Help was on its way!

She paid us a visit yesterday and after a little more than an hour of time working with me, reminding me of the techniques and tools and encouraging me, I began to feel empowered again.

No more chaos around meal time. No more jumping six feet in the air to get outside. No more shoving me off of the sofa.

I am the top dog around here! Grrrrrr….

Top dog?

Top dog?