It’s a Ruff Life

I have three dogs.

Brownie Cinnamon Elizabeth Hardy (a little over one year old).

Anna Foursocks Elizabeth Strumila (3 1/2 years old).


Salem Dixie Elizabeth Sims (9 years old).

They all have two middle names – one after their doggy momma, and one after their human momma – and different last names. Thing is, they are not from the same marriage, heh!

Two are big, and one is very small (well, not too small).


Brownie is the smallest. She is probably about 10 1/2 lbs and a full-blood Shih-tzu. I have NEVER heard her bark, and she finally learned to jump about three months ago.

Next is Anna.


She gets a special frame, because well, she is special. See, her middle name is foursocks. She is from Choctaw land, and we are pretty sure she had something funny in a pipe before coming to her fur-ever home. She is part greyhound, which makes her very loving, and very skitzy at the same time (or maybe the skitzy is from the peace pipe).

Lastly, is my first puppy love – Missy Salem.


She is full blood Black lab. She weights about a 100lbs. Tells time by her tummy, and is one of the most tolerant dogs I have ever met. Not to mention….. wicked smart.


And very funny! ROFLMFO! (rolling on the floor laughing my fur off!)

These fur friends have it made.

They are house dogs fed twice a day. They have a basket of toys. A couch just for them. And dog crates for safe sleeping. They get to run in the yard – unfenced – when they need too. They are loved. They are spoiled. And, I think, they are the best dogs in the world.

I have no idea what we do without them. But I know, it wouldn’t be near as entertaining.

Snice Day

That’s snow + ice = snice. And what happens when you get a snice day in North Central Texas ( or Dallas, if you prefer)? Answer: no school or work!

That’s a sNICE day! Yay!!


I stocked up and it paid off (by the way I grossly underestimated my supply stock of oatmeal pies). Meh.

But we did not lose electricity. In all respects, if not for the ice, it would have been fine. But of course, that is not what happens in Texas. The rain from the night before created a slick SHEET on the roads and as predicted, not enough sand trucks. The road by our house is a hill. I saw two cars spin their way to the top (on the second try) (barely).

Let’s just say…we are not going anywhere. No way out.

The little girls are at their mom’s house. Good thing too. Their Aunt from the North is visiting and she knows ALL about snow. I have no doubt she taught them some mad snow skills. Go Auntie!

So, what’s a mom to do when a teenager is afraid of the cold? When she has no little kids to entertain? She watches TV and plays on the computer. Ahem. No, actually, she watches TV, plays on the computer, and takes care of her fur kids.

And when the fur kids need to “go potty” a zillion times, what can she do but entertain them?

Moooommmmm, I need to go potty.

Again? Really? You gotta go, huh? Well….we will just see.

And what happens as soon as they get out the door?

Snow! Snow! Weeeeee!

They love the snow (ice). LOVE IT!

It’s 21 degrees. Windchill (and it’s blowing HARD) is 1. I can last about FIVE minutes and that is with gloves on.

But I decide it’s a great time to use my new camera AND practice my action (freeze – ha) shots. I employ The Teen to help me call the dogs to capture all the running and the snow spin out action.

With much rolling of eyes, she agrees – with no gloves, nor hat. I urge her to get gloves (and hat). Gee Whiz.

Winter Texas wear.

As The Teen models her winter snow gear for Texas weather. I snap pictures of dogs, but do catch her in this one.

Wonder why she didn’t last long? I am thinking the pajama pants were a little breezy. Mhmm?

I didn’t need her any way. The dogs need no urging to run. They run, and run, and run.

I nicknamed Brownie (the shih-tzu) “Brownie The Flash”. She is little, but mighty. I swear that dog has wings.

Flying Snow Dog

This was her first experience with snow. It was most adorable.

Brownie with a snowstach. Got snow?

Maybe we didn’t have the little kids, but our snice day was a great success. We thoroughly enjoyed it and guess what? It didn’t melt. In fact, it’s even crunchier.

Snow + ice + crunch = Snirch

What happens on a Snirch day?

Answer: Schools close (again!). Work? Well…we will find out tomorrow. But it’s looking like a SNIRCH DAY! Unless our steep hill of ice melts, but I believe the temperature high tomorrow is a whooping 10 degrees!

Stay warm, and be safe everyone.

**Also, I am being featured over at The Red Dress Club today (Feb. 2nd). Be sure to click over and read my interview. All my fiction writing has been inspired by these wonderful ladies and the writers that participate. This is a incredible site to grow your love of writing and have a lot of supporters offering feedback.

Pet Portrait Photo Tips

Tip #1 – Find you a good-looking pet. A willing subject One that doesn’t know any better. Not any ol’ mutt will do, it has to be a looker (of course, I think all dogs are cute).

Tip #2 – A little grooming goes a long way. If you have a brush handy, all the better.

Tip #3 – Bring lots of treats and a handy assistant helps too.

Tip #4– Use a versatile wardrobe.

Tip #5– Work with expressions. Be ready for the moment.

Tip #6– Watch for signs of fatigue.

Tip #7– Make sure the talent (your pet) is comfortable.

Tip #8– Know when it’s a wrap and call it.

And don’t forget to show your before and after work.

Before and After shots

And that’s it! That’s all there is to pet portraits. Add lots of whistles, tweets, cat calls, and an occasional bonk on the head. Works like a charm.

A special thanks to my furry friend Brownie for being my first pet portrait victim. It was lovely working with you in my make-shift studio. Next time, I’ll bring more jerky!

What makes me smile

Coming home to these furry faces. I just wuv em’!

Salem my 8 year old lab and Brownie my less than a year old shih-tzu pup.

I know. I know. I could have said my husband, my children, and many other things. And they DO make me smile bunches and bunches, lots of times, but guess who never fails to greet me first thing through the front door when I get home?

Yep. These guys.

Pell mell, over and under, up and down, “Hi Mom! Hiiiiii! It’s been like forrrrrevvver!!! Oh, we are so happy to see you!”

Tails beat the walls. Fur paws catch some air. Little bounces, smiles and circles. Then they usually run to the other people in the house like, “Look!! She’s here! She’s HERE!”

There is nothing like that kind of attention when you open the door to home. Nothing.

So yes, I love my fur kids. I love their fur faces. I love their pure fur enthusiasm and joy. They make me smile.

I wish I could bottle up their loyalty and sell it.

I just love her big paws.

I wish I could tap into their patience when I am feeling on edge.

A Puppy named Brownie grows up.

I wish I could spread their intrigue of all things great and small. Exploring, pouncing, and discovering – leafs, bugs, and crumbs.

Brownie and middle dog Anna.

I wish I could encourage with a sniff and a nudge to make nice.

Brownie and Salem.

And I wish I could advise you to curl up to your most admired friend for a snuggle and a play.

The life of being care-free and cared for in a house that is always exciting, because…Mom’s home!!!! She’s here! She’s here!