Birthday Hangover

I have been napping all day!  I celebrated way too much yesterday on my birthday and I am one pooped doggie!  I got up once because I heard the UPS truck heading down the road, and I always run to the window to see them, then I put myself back to bed.  I got up a little later to grab a quick bite to eat, then back to napping.  Man, I just realized that I did not get any sleep yesterday because I spent the entire day chasing balloons all around the house, breaking a few along the way, and then my party started and when I finally hit the hay, I was dog tired. 

I had such a great time at my birthday party, as my Grandma, Auntie and my Uncle Steve (our next door neighbor) came over to help celebrate me turning two.  We dined on the cake pops that Mommy made for the party and Auntie brought over some cupcakes too, drank a little vino and everyone enjoyed watching me open my presents.  Uncle Steve even brought over his new little black lab puppy named Mollie to the party and we are getting acquainted as I just met her the other day for the first time.  Mollie was so adorable and I can’t wait to enjoy some great times with her. 

I got some great gifts and loved all of them!  I even got a free toy from PetSupplies Plus that sent me a postcard to pick up my free toy and Daddy & Mommy took me to the store so I could pick something out.  I chose a purple eggplant for my free toy, as I thought it was appropriate since Daddy & Mommy are now gardeners and this toy is so much fun because it has this really strange squeaker in it.  (kinda like a really old car horn sound)  I can’t believe that PetSmart did not send me a postcard for a free toy because Daddy has spent a lot of money at that store and they could have at least given me a free toy for my birthday!  (Hey PetSmart… if you are reading this, how come I did not get a free toy for my birthday?) 

My Auntie and Grandma got me my favorite dry doggie food and four cans of squishy too (Thanks for the good food and making sure my tummy is full), and Uncle Steve got me a stuffed beaver and some Bonz.  (Thanks Uncle Steve)  Daddy & Mommy got me a new Raised Food Dish so I don’t have to bend down to eat or drink.  It is the perfect height for me to eat which is better for  my digestion.  (Thanks Daddy for thinking of me)  And Mommy found me a really cool sterling silver starfish to hang on my collar and it makes me look like a “star”!   Thanks to everyone for all the great gifts as I loved them all! 

I can’t believe how dog tired I am today though.  I don’t know how some of you do it, but I am one pooped dog.  Perhaps tomorrow I will feel better.  But I had the best birthday ever and enjoyed all of the company, toys, and treats!

Here’s some of the photographs of my wonderful day!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NIKITA!

I’ve been closely watching the calendar now for days, and there is a really good reason.  Today is circled in red on the calendar and it shows clearly in a thick black Sharpie that it’s my birthday!  Yep, I just turned 2 years old today!  I have a great post to share with you, as there are a lot of new followers on my blog that might not know the story of how I got here.  So, sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy reading the story of how I got here and why I am so thankful for my Daddy & Mommy. 

September 12, 2010 was the day that I was adopted into the best home ever, but let me go back a bit to tell you how I started out in life.  I was born on July 18, 2010 from a litter of seven.  My dog Mommy was poisoned with anti-freeze not long after giving birth to all of us, and since we were just born into this world and now have no Mommy to feed us, we needed immediate help.  The Cleveland APL stepped in and rescued all of us.  The entire litter was taken in by a wonderful foster Mom named Brea who took care of us round the clock with feedings.  It was tough for Brea to take care of seven pups, but she said that it was worth it.  We were fighting for our lives to survive and with her help, we all made it.  When it got to the time that we were all big enough to be adopted, we went back to the APL to see if we could find a forever home & happiness.  We were two months old and full of energy, and I remember someone at the APL saying that I smelled like fish, but not sure how that was possible. 

Anyhow, this is how I met my Daddy & Mommy and they changed my life forever.  It was September 12, 2010 and Daddy & Mommy headed out to PetSmart to buy some kitty food.  When they arrived at the store, they noticed that the APL had a Pet Fair in the parking lot, and since they love animals they decided to go over and take a peek at the kitties and dogs before they headed into the store.  They walked around and played with all the kitties and finally headed over to where the puppies were.  “Oh my, they are so adorable” they said and walked over and asked if they could pick me up.  Once I was in their arms I knew that I had to lay on the charm if I had a chance of going home with them, well I did, and licked their faces and acted cute, but how could they resist this adorable fluffy fur ball.  They took turns holding me and at one point, they set me back down with all the other puppies.  Daddy turned to Mommy and said “Well?”  And Mommy said “Well What?”  Daddy said “Want to get her?”  Mommy stood there stunned as Daddy has never had a dog before, just cats, so Mommy replied “Yes!!!!!”  They immediately turned and picked me up again and never set me back down, as there was another family that had their eye on me, but my Daddy & Mommy got me first.  Yippee!  I was going home.  Home, what a great sound that was to my ears to finally have a place to call my own.

Since Daddy & Mommy did not have this planned to get me today, they did not have a camera on them to memorialize this great moment, but we all headed into PetSmart to pick up all the things that I would need.  We got a great new puppy package from PetSmart filled with coupons for all the things we needed, and I remember walking around the store in Mommy’s arms and it felt so good.  When they picked out a new cage for me, they set it on top of the cart and that is where I fell asleep, right there on top of the box.  Everyone who walked by thought it was so cute to see me napping up there, but I had a long day already and I was pooped. 

We got all of the things that I needed, and even remembered to get the kitty food that they came into the store to get in the first place.  It was time to go home.  I took a short pee break on the lawn first, then curled up on Mommy’s lap for the ride to my forever home.  We pulled in and they set me down on the grass in my new backyard and they said “welcome home”.  Then they looked at each other and asked “what are we going to call her?”  Well, Daddy said that since I was part Akita and German Shepherd that we should call me Nikita.  Mommy agreed, and that is how I got my name.  Daddy had to call Grandma to tell her that we just got a puppy, and Grandma jumped into her car and headed over to see the new addition to the family. 

So, that is how I found my forever home & lots of love from the best Daddy & Mommy in the world.  After two years of love, pampering, and toys overflowing from my toy box, I can say that I am the luckiest adopted dog in the whole world.  Thanks to the Cleveland APL for taking such good care of me and making sure that I got the best care in the world, my foster Mom Brea who lost a lot of sleep in feeding all of us around the clock, and thanks to my Daddy & Mommy for giving me the best home, good food to eat, an endless supply of treats, and all the toys in the world to play with.  I am so thankful for all of you. 

Now that I am in my forever home, it’s time to explore!  I am sure that there will be lots of things to sniff, chew, and experience, and I can’t wait.  Mommy taught me well in my first week, and I learned my name quickly.  I learned how to sit and shake in no time at all, but the best part was how Mommy taught me how to sit by the front door and watch for Daddy to arrive home from work. 

At three months old, I learned a plethora of new things from finding out that there are good things to lick in that thing called a dishwasher, to finding out that I could finally reach the windowsill and saw the world passing by.  I also played in laundry baskets, chased light beams across the kitchen floor and celebrated my first Halloween to which I dressed up in my pink fairy costume with matching tutu.

 

Five months old brought new toys for me, as this is when I celebrated my first Christmas with Daddy & Mommy.  Boy oh boy was I spoiled, and I found out quickly that I loved the wrapping paper just as much as the toys I found inside!  Mommy also decorated my cage with LED Christmas lights and hung my stocking by the cage door.  They told me that this guy called Santa would come and fill my stocking with toys, but only if I was good.  Hey, that guy sounds pretty cool if he brings me toys, but I found out quickly that I wanted the toys – – but hated that guy in the red suit.  Daddy & Mommy took me to see this guy before Christmas, and I almost pee’d my pants when I saw him.  He was so scary!  Not sure why he frightened me so much, but he did.  I also found out that the big white thing in the kitchen had some really cool stuff in it too, as everytime Mommy or Daddy opened it, I ran over to sniff everything that was on the door to see what was new!  I finally got to sleep on the bed with Daddy & Mommy, but they had to pick me up to get up there, I was getting older and was outgrowing my little cage so they wanted to see how I would do and I passed the test with flying colors.

I also got my first spot in the lime light, as I was published in the December 2010 edition of Pet Patter  (I’m on page 9) from the Cleveland APL.  This was a real honor for me and my blog stats soared after that!  Thanks again APL for taking such good care of me!

The first five months of my life were quite exciting, but the fun never stops for me around here.  I found out what that cold stuff called snow was, and I loved it!  Mommy always told me to not eat any yellow snow, but I am not sure what she was talking about, do you?  I could not get enough of playing in the snow, running, jumping, digging, and Mommy and I always made little “snow doggies” outside and she also made me a neat snow fort where I would head to when I had to “go”.  She made that fort for me because the snow over here got pretty high, and when I tried to run and jump in it, I would “sink”.

In February of 2011, Daddy & Mommy were interviewed by Kristen Hampshire who was preparing an article about how I was adopted and it was supposed to be in the May 2011 edition of Cleveland Magazine.  But, due to lack of advertising sales for that issue, our article was cancelled.  Bummer!  How cool was that to even be considered to be published in a popular magazine, nonetheless, we are proud.  We even had our family picture taken by Jason Miller who came to our house and I bonded with him immediately.  This photo was to go along with the article that Kristen was writing. 

In March of 2011, Daddy, Mommy and I became Q-Cash Captains for the annual Pledge For Pets Radiothon that the Cleveland APL holds and in our first year we rasied $170, and in 2012 we raised $570.  We wanted to help give back to the APL for all that they have done for me, as all the money that was raised will help all of the animals that are rescued, like I was.  So, in March of 2013, we will once again sign up to help raise money for the APL so keep an eye out for our announcements and help us by making a donation. 

So, to all of my family, my Daddy & Mommy, people I met along the way, and all of my blog friends, I want to thank you for being part of my little world and making my life full of happiness!  I hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane on how I got here and I hope you send me lots of Birthday wishes my way today!  Turning two is a lot of work, but being this cute takes a lot of work.  Woof Woof – I love you all!   Love, Nikita

I Had A Heart Attack In The Backyard

I woke up this morning to hear the kitties banging on the door for food, typical morning routine for me to hear, and it wasn’t even 8:30a yet.  I got up and took the dog outside for her morning constitutional…and had a heart attack in the backyard.  I stood there holding the leash for the dog, started gasping for air, screamed, and ran over to my flower garden.  What I was looking at was nothing.  I say nothing because that is what I saw.  In the place where our huge Red Warty Thing Pumpkin once stood only yesterday – it was gone, all gone, just the root of it was lying there on top of the dirt.  The netting that I gingerly wrapped around it each and every night was pulled off and on the ground.  The deer ate our entire Red Warty Thing Pumpkin last night all the way down to the root, “someone is going to pay” and we want REVENGE! 

We are so pissed right now as that pumpkin was doing so well and as we have mentioned before, that we have never seen a pumpkin grow with such a huge stalk before so we were really excited about this pumpkin.  It even had little runners starting and flowers were starting to form.  You can’t have anything these days without some sort of critter or deer eating what you have grown.  It is disheartening nonetheless.  Revenge is what we have on our mind this morning.  RIP Red Warty Thing

Here is the photograph of our Red Warty Thing – Two Days Ago

Now, here is what we found this morning

Counting Down The Days Until 2

It seemed like yesterday when I had my 1st birthday and was showered with presents, chew toys, a cake, and had to wear one of those pointed birthday hats (gosh, I hated that hat!) and now, I have less than a week before I turn 2!  I am so excited and I can’t wait to open more presents.  I heard Daddy & Mommy talking the other day about “something” and I could not make it out, because you know how us doggies work….”we listen only for the words we know” and all other words are just spoken and we ignore them.  Well, I can’t figure it out what they were talking about, and now some big box arrived the other day and they would not let me look in it, rats!  That magical box must hold one good present if they won’t show me.  Can’t I open it early?  No?  Oh well, I’ll wait until next week.  Mommy is also planning on getting me something special as I heard her say that she is going “bye bye” over the weekend to pick up my gift – I wonder if I can go with her?  That Daddy & Mommy of mine are so special as they spoil me throughout the year, but as any doggie knows, “we always have room for more toys”.

So make sure you SAVE THE DATE:  7-18-12 is my birthday and I’m turning two!  Also, make sure you check back on that day to see the coolest post ever… ME growing up and the story behind how I got here.

With the excitement of my Birthday news, we have also been busy over here tending to the garden.  That is a full time job in itself, as every day brings news of our veggies maturing, and different ways we are trying to keep the deer and the chippies from eating our pumpkins and flowers. 

We noticed earlier this week that we have our first zucchini growing quite quickly, and we just picked our first batch of cherry tomatoes today, with our beefsteak tomatoes now starting to turn colors too!  That is such great news!  We also even have a tiny, and I mean tiny, Jack Be Little Pumpkin that has formed this week, and it is so adorable, if you could call a pumpkin adorable, but we do.  When we blow up the photo of our little Jack, it appears that it is all fuzzy.  Never knew that a pumpkin started off fuzzy, but I guess the little Jacks do.  Our Red Warty Thing Pumpkin plant gets larger every day and as we mentioned before, the stalk on this thing is HUGE!  It is like a small tree trunk!  So, we can’t wait to see how the actual pumpkin will look after it starts forming. 

We are also working on setting up a date to meet our first blog friends from Soulsby Farm.  Dan & his wife from Soulsby Farm has an awesome farm in Hudson, OH and we follow their blog.  They have a really great blog with great tips and photographs all about their farm & family.  So, if you want to checkout their blog, make sure that you tell them that Nikita referred you!  We’ll update you with lots of pictures after our visit to their farm, so you won’t want to miss that!

Here’s some photographs of our “Garden Guy” showing off our veggies progress:

Click to Enlarge our little fuzzy Jack Be Little Pumpkin

Squeaky Clean

If there is one thing that us dogs don’t like…it’s baths!  I don’t actually know how I started not liking them, but nonetheless, I get all squeamish and run when I hear the bath water in the tub.  I remember when I was adopted back in 2010 and I was a little puffy ball of fur, Mommy gave me my first bath in the kitchen sink.  I am sure most of us had baths in there, but now that we are all grown, the kitchen sink won’t do as we have outgrown those small stainless steel receptacles for washing dishes and on occasion a dog.  So, we now have to head into the bathroom to get squeaky clean. 

We know that some of you might wash your dog outside to reduce all of the “shaking” we do while getting a bath, but when you are outside, there are a lot of distractions and us dogs aren’t confined which actually does make giving us a bath harder.  So, when I get a bath in the bath tub, Mommy always closes the shower doors to keep me in and confined.  Now that I am a bit over 60+ pounds, she needs help getting me into the tub and that is where Daddy comes in helps out.  It takes both of them to safely get me in and out of the tub.  Mommy always washes my head and face last, because us dogs don’t shake while getting a bath if our head does not get wet.  (well, it works for me at least)  After Mommy lathers me up real good, and washes all of the dirt off me, gets my tail & behind real good, she uses the shower nozzle to rinse me, then she hand washes my face and is careful not to get any water in my ears.  Although it seems like an eternity that I am in the bath tub, I have heard that it only takes a few minutes.  Daddy helps Mommy lift me out of the tub and always makes sure that I have a towel over my back to keep the shaking down to a minimum.  I get fluffed up real nice and finally I am let go to run around the house like a Tasmanian devil.  Not sure why I do this, but it happens every time I get a bath.  The last time I got a bath, I actually ran around the house with my towel on my back and Daddy & Mommy laughed at me.  I don’t get bathed every month, as I am mostly German Shepherd (the other part I am an Akita) and our coats need the pertinent oil in it to keep a nice shiny coat.

Mommy does have a neat tip for all of you who have a German Shepherd or Lab, or any other dog who has a coat like them and how to clean our coats in between a real bath.  What you do is take a clean small spray bottle and fill it with water and two tablespoons of white distilled vinegar.  Then just spray or mist your dog with this mixture all over and then rub a towel over them to dry.  Just don’t use this in the dog’s face!  What the part vinegar does is takes away the “dog smell” from your dog and the vinegar also “shines” your dog’s coat.  It works every time!  They will smell like vinegar for a little bit, but the smell goes away and so does the dog smell.  (I don’t know about you, but I like smelling like a dog!)

What are some of your dog bathing rituals that you do?  Does your doggie run and hide when it’s bath time?

Add A Little Sunshine In Your Life – FREE Printables

We’re at it again and have designed some bright rainbow colored free printables, just for you!  You need a little rainbow in your life to brighten up some days, so enjoy our free printables and let us know if they made you smile!   To download the PDF file, click on each title.

RAINBOW DATE DUE SLIPS
These rainbow “date due” slips are perfect for taping to your bill envelopes and gives you a heads up when each bill is due. Instead of writing on the bill envelope when the bill is due, just use these for a reminder.  Just printout the slips on cardstock, cutout the slips (a paper cutter works best), and attach with tape to outside bill envelope, then write the due date and amount on each tag. 

 

RAINBOW THANK YOU NOTE CARDS
These blank rainbow “thank you” note cards are a perfect way to say thanks to someone.  Just printout the note cards on cardstock paper, cut the paper in half, then fold each note card in half.  Each sheet has two thank you note cards.

 

 

RAINBOW JUST BECAUSE I LOVE YOU NOTES
Every day is a good day to write little love notes to your special someone.  Just printout these little “just because I love you” notes on cardstock paper and cut them out so you have plenty on hand to leave a surprise note.  Make someone smile today and leave them a note!

 

RAINBOW THINGS TO DO
We all make lists, so why can’t our lists be fun?  We made some adorable rainbow “things to do” lists to help you manage what you have to get done.  Printout on cardstock paper and cut out and keep them on hand or in your purse, or leave them on your fridge for great reminders!

Take Your Pet To Work Day: June 22nd

Yep, you guessed it, today is Take Your Pet to Work Day!  And although I was not able to head off to work with Daddy today, I raided his closet and played dress up in his work clothes.  (I hope he doesn’t mind)  I always look up to my Daddy because he’s the best.  I always wait for him to come home from work and greet him at the door and shower him with hugs and kissies.  Then, I run and grab a toy and run around like crazy and have to show him what I’m playing with. 

So, in honor of Take Your Pet To Work Day, Mommy dressed me up in Daddy’s clothes and she had to tie his tie for me as I am not good at things like that.  Daddy always has his glasses hanging from his shirt pocket, so I had to do the same thing, because that is what Daddy does and I wanted to look like him. 

Are you heading off to work with your Daddy or Mommy today to the office?  If so, we would love to see your photographs of how you dressed up and what you have in your briefcase!  Have a great day!  (I love you Daddy!)

The Art of Doing Stuff

I ran across this great website called “The Art of Doing Stuff” and you can check it out here www.theartofdoingstuff.com .  Karen is the writer of this blog and she has great ideas on her site for re-purposing items, and lots of things to do with items you find at a Dollar Store.  It caught my interest and I subscribed immediately to her posts so I would not miss anything.  Karen just recently did a post about her friends dog and posted a really funny photo of the dog standing in a bird bath, and she asked for everyone to email her photo’s of their pets too, and Nikita was included in her recent post.  Here is the link to check out all of the great photographs of some adorable pets http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/pet-pictures/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theartofdoingstuff+%28The+Art+of+Doing+Stuff%29&utm_content=Yahoo%21+Mail

Check out Karen’s website and you can see for yourself why you should subscribe to her posts and make sure if you leave a comment to tell her that Nikitaland referred her!   Have a great day “Doing Stuff”!

The Street Walker Named Shaggy

We live in a nice quiet city, on a nice quiet street (except for the kids loud screeching music we hear from their cars), and one would think that we would be safe in this wonderful neighborhood.  But, for the last few years, we have noticed that this tall skinny guy walks around the neighborhood from morning to night.  We lose count on how many times he actually walks by the house in any given day, and after you see him walk by the house for the sixth time, you start to watch for him to see where he goes.

As far as we know, this guy, whom we named “Shaggy” (because he kinda looks like Shaggy from Scoobie Doo), is a normal guy, but his actions are kinda strange as he walks really really really slow past the house and looks around like he is up to something.  And what is even stranger that we noticed is when Shaggy notices people approaching him on the sidewalk, he crosses the street to the other side to avoid them and once they pass, he crosses back to the other side.  See, strange! 

Since we have been watching Shaggy now for quite some time, we have even heard from neighbors that his presence in the neighborhood is disturbing them too and that they have even called the police on him before.  Shaggy also is very timely as he approaches & enters the park that is near our house “after” the park closes.  And the saga continues with Shaggy in the park as he walks the jogging track over and over again, then never exits the park.  So, we started to wonder where this guy goes after that when we don’t see him exit and we started to wonder if he was sleeping in the park, and we later found out that there is a cut through in the back of the park through the woods to another road.  So that at least tells us that he’s not sleeping in the park, but now we think of how scary it would be to run into this guy in that cut through from the park.  All we know, is that this whole situation with Shaggy is quite disturbing as we live in a quiet neighborhood, and basically know every car & person who passes by, but Shaggy’s presence is disturbing and he is making everyone in the neighborhood squirmish.

The Art of Not Being a Human

There’s a big difference between a dog and a human which sets us apart.  I had this funny revelation when I was outside the other day, humped over pooping in the backyard.  Us dogs are funny when we have to go #2 as we sniff all over the yard, act like we are going to get “into position”, then move to another location and do that all over again, then we finally hunch over and look so funny when we go.  I know, it looks funny, but that is just how we do it.  But what is even funnier, is how we always seem so excited “after” the #2 that we run all over and have to tell our humans what we just did.  Like I said, there is a difference between a dog & a human, as you don’t see any “human” running around after a dump and looking for acceptance for “doing” a good job in the bathroom – now wouldn’t that be funny if us humans did? 

Us dogs also wait by the back door for their humans to arrive home and jump excited all over the place when they see us, run to grab a toy to bring to us, or even try to hump a leg or two in the process.  Us humans don’t do that, but wouldn’t it be funny if we jumped up and down when we see another human, sniffed their butt, ran to them with a wine glass in our mouth (our favorite thing), or ran around in circles in pure excitement?  Nope, that would never happen! 

As far as dog toys go, I know that I don’t share mine.  I know that my Mommy would hope that one day I would learn to put all of my toys back into my toy box at the end of the day, but that will never happen.  She walks around at the end of every day and picks up all of my toys (usually an armful) and when she touches them, I jump up and try to snag them out of her arms because no one plays with my toys!  Once she finally has all of them back into my toy box, I start pulling them out, one by one.  Us humans share things because that is the right thing to do. 

Don’t even get me going about “TREATS”, as I would do anything for them.  I usually start my begging for these tasty treats right after Daddy finishes dinner and sit so nicely next to him nodding my head in the direction of the treat jar.  He laughs every time I do this because he says that I am so smart, then once he reaches over for the jar, I get so excited and go through every trick I know in front of him as I get a few tasty bites.  Lately, he has even let me “pick” my own treat right from the jar and I stick my nose right into the jar and only pull out one.  What trick would us humans do if we wanted something badly?  Would we sit?  Beg?  Roll over?  Shake?  That would be funny if we did. 

There are so many differences between humans and dogs it’s true, but it would be funny if we traded places or started acting like the other – like if you walked into the kitchen to find your dog sitting at the table reading the Sunday paper, now that would be funny!   We coexist together quite nicely, us dogs and humans, and neither of us would not know what to do if we did not have each other, as us dogs make you happy & keep you company, and you the humans take such good care of us and give us a forever home & love that we need.  The perfect match!