Angel’s 15th Birthday

The day has finally arrived! I have been thinking of Angel’s Quinceañera for a long time. We always used to think about throwing Angel and Fiona a big party for their 15th birthday. I made sure Angel still had a good day and lots of party treats but it just didn’t feel quite right for a huge celebration without her beloved sister with us or her cousin Daisy.

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Angel is not the kind of dog to make friends easily. She is very fearful when she encounters other dogs and is very sassy with her loud barks. It also takes her awhile to warm up to humans as well. Once she gets to know you, she is friendly and sweet but she is very selective with her affection.

I am happy to report that she still has lots of energy and is in good health! She just had blood work done and luckily it all came back normal. It’s all evidenced by the way she can still tear all around the house and fly up and down the stairs numerous times a day.

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Angel enjoyed a special dog cupcake from a dog bakery and got lots of treats and stuffed toys from us and her nanny and papa. I think she had a good day and felt extra special.

We love our little Angel baby so much and am so happy and grateful to still have her with us.

Here are some of my favorite pics of her.

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Jolly Days 2015

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The day after Thanksgiving we took Elin to the children’s museum to experience the jolly days fun. She loved her first experience last year and so we made sure to get it in early this year since we are so busy with activities leading up to Christmas.

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Everything was decorated beautifully as always. It was extra busy because this was the first day that Santa arrived! After walking in, we made our way to Santa right away to make sure to see him.

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She was not shy about running up to him and telling him all the things she was hoping for. I could hear her talking about Calico Critters house and baby dolls.

After Santa, she went to play in the ice castle, the ice skating rink, and the kitchen. It’s funny because she didn’t care for the fake ice rink last year but this year she loved it and really pretended to ice skate for awhile.

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She spent a long time in the kitchen area. That seems to be a favorite of all the kids.

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I love this pic of her checking out the miniature town and train display with her Papa.

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Elin stood in the long lines and rode down the slide 4 times! I think she would have done it several more times but the line was about 15-20 mins long which was a long time for her.

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We stayed much longer this year and explored several different areas of the museum. Elin did not want to leave at all because she was having so much fun but we finally got her out of there with a last time checking out the big snow globe.

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Arrival Day Party and Zoo Boo

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Angel just celebrated her first arrival day birthday without Fiona. It was very sad to not have her there. Angel didn’t seem like she was in the partying mood, but she was very good and let me take her photo. She is 14.5 years old now.

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Elin desperately wanted to get in on the photos so she sat with Angel for some photos. I love the one of them staring at each other. Elin loves Angel, but Angel is still not a huge fan of Elin. She tolerates her, but I think Angel is still just scared of Elin and thinks she is too loud.

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I have no idea where Elin has learned this head tilt, but she has wanted to take pictures like that all weekend long.

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Daisy came over for the party and brought some gifts. I didn’t get a good picture of them together which is a bummer. But they enjoyed some birthday treats and hopefully had a nice visit together.

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Elin also go to visit Zoo boo with her Nanny and her friend, Lydia. She dressed in a Minnie Mouse dress-up outfit which is not the costume she is going to wear on Halloween, but I thought this would be better for the zoo. Plus, it was easier to layer a shirt and pants underneath it.

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These two looked like they were having a blast and I’m glad they got to get there this year.

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My Little Mermaid

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This summer Elin has become a huge fan of the water. I almost signed her up for swimming lessons but decided to wait another year. Despite the lack of formal education in aquatics, she has taken it upon her self to learn how to swim better each and every time she gets in the pool.

She swims during the week with her friend Lydia at our neighborhood pool and on the weekends she usually loves to go to her Nanny and Papa’s house.

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Can you tell Elin was excited to get to swim with her cousin, Max?

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This particular day they enjoyed floating since the water was a little chilly.

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I think Elin looks like a little mermaid here. She was checking out a caterpillar and sat up and just sat like this for awhile.

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One nice thing about going to Nanny and Papa’s pool is being able to bring Angel along. She enjoys sunning herself on the deck and enjoys the company of everyone around her. I’m glad she can come along and get some extra time with us and outdoors. It is sad though to not be able to bring Fifi along. She loved to sit along the pool as well.

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This past weekend Elin got to swim again. She is trying to get in as much time as possible before the pool season is over.

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She really learned to swim around the pool a lot without assistance. Of course she had her puddle jumper on, but still I was impressed by how far she has come from earlier in the season. She also has no fear in jumping from the side of the pool into someone’s arms.

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Heartbroken

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My dearest Fiona “Fifi” passed away on July 3rd at 8:10 A.M. I cannot even begin to express how sad and lost I am without her.

On Thursday, June 25 in the middle of the night we awoke to her having her first grand mal seizure. It was so scary to watch her and at the time I didn’t know if she was going to survive it. We rushed her to the animal hospital and they kept her for 24 hours. She did fine in there and had no seizure activity. Unfortunately, she had one the next night. She was then put on her first seizure medicine of Phenobarbital. We were so encouraged when another 24 hours passed and she had no seizure activity. But then on Sunday, June 28 she started having cluster seizures. She was rushed back to the animal hospital and got Keppra added to her Phenobarbital. When we took her home from this visit things seemed to go downhill and she was still having seizure activity. Several trips to the vet later we also added Prednisone and Valium. We gave it over 24 hours to kick in but unfortunately, Fifi seemed lost, miserable, and unaware of her surroundings. Most likely she had a brain tumor and there was nothing we could do.

She was 14 years old and in October we would have had her for 12 years. Those 12 years went by in the blink of an eye.

As a way to memorialize her I want to share a letter to her.

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My Dearest Fiona,

I’ll never forget the day you came to live with me in October 17th, 2003. I was so excited for you and your sister, Angel, to come live with us. I remember everything about Leila coming over and dropping you off. I remember that I had no idea how to take care of a dog, but you made it so easy. You were so loving from the first moment I met you. You were estimated at 2 years old and you had a lot of energy for taking walks, playing with your nyla bones, and tearing around the yard. But you were so docile and loved to sit on my lap and follow me around. You never let me out of your sight if I was around.

I’ll never forget taking you back and forth to college, taking you on countless walks, celebrating all the holidays and especially your “Arrival day” birthday each year, sitting with you every single evening and petting you as you stared up at me with those adoring brown eyes, all your countless kisses, carrying you around like a baby and having you swaddled up because you loved to be babied.

The most amazing thing about you is how wonderful and good you were. You always listened to my commands and never got in trouble. You were the best dog I or anyone could ever ask for you. There has never been a sweeter dog than you. You have been one of the biggest blessings in my life and I thank God everyday for bringing you to me. It’s so hard not to mourn the time I am missing with you instead I am trying to also thank God for every minute I had you with me.

I was not there when you took your first breath in this world, but I was there for the last and it was my honor and privilege to be there for you and to be your mommy.

I will love you always.

Love always,

Your Mommy

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Doggie Arrival Day Party

Every year we celebrate the day our dogs came to live with us since we don’t officially know their birthdays.  Every year they get a treat and gifts and doted on for being fabulous.  This year I thought it would be fun for Elin to get involved and excited for their arrival day party.  We started talking about their arrival day and what that means.  We invited over Nana, Papa and their dog Daisy.

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The night before we made cupcakes for the humans. Elin enjoyed being a part of the process and pouring in ingredients.

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I found this cake mix at Target and thought it looked festive and interesting to try.

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I think they turned out pretty close to the picture.  Here are a few of our creations.

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These adorable mini ghost cupcakes were bought specifically at a dog barkery in town.

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On their arrival day we celebrated after we got home from work.  Elin got out her favorite party book to read to get into the spirit.

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The dogs got down to business and quickly devoured their cupcakes.

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Then it was time to try out our cupcakes. Elin donned her party hat and enjoyed the cupcakes we made. She was a huge fan of the sprinkles.

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I also found these adorable party hats for the dogs  at the pet barkery and luckily they were a perfect fit!

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Elin has a special bond with Fifi.  She loves to sit with her and pet her and Fifi is extra gentle with her.  I was so glad to capture this picture of them together.

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We finally coaxed Angel to get into the shot as well.

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We love our dogs to pieces and even thought it’s just silly and fun to celebrate their arrival day every year, I think it’s very important to celebrate them and what wonderful gifts they are.  They truly are such good dogs that are always good and sweet. They deserve this much and more every day of their lives.

The Girlies

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Obviously Elin is my only human baby and she gets mentioned a lot on this blog, but I don’t talk about my first fur babies very much. I have two of the sweetest fur babies in all the world. I adopted Fifi and Angel in October of  2003.  A lovely kind woman who owns a local pet grooming shop rescued them and fostered them until I adopted them from her. I have always heard that “You don’t find your pets–that they find you.” and I never understood what that meant until they came into my life. It’s completely serendipitous  that I was able to get them because there were a few different candidates that were in line ahead of me to adopt the girls but all of them miraculously fell through.

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Fifi is estimated to be the oldest of the two sisters and she is very sweet and loving. She is the smaller of the two and barely weighs 6lbs. She is very gentle and loves to be as close as possible to me.  She has more of an easygoing personality, but she is more protective of me.

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Angel has a little bit more sass to her. She is very sweet as well, but she has more energy and loves to play with and carry around little plush stuffed animals. They both love to take walks and take naps in the sun. People always stop and ask us if the girls are twins and then they ask how we can tell them apart.

They are so well behaved. Well, if you meet them you might not think so because they do bark at strangers and people who ring the doorbell. But, honestly this is the only major negative thing they do. They are very good about listening to commands and following directions. They go happily in their crate while we are gone at work and they never tear anything up.

One of the things I was worried about when I was pregnant is how they would act when a baby came into their life. They were always the center of attention in our world. When we brought Elin home, they were not impressed. They were not mean to her–they just ignored her as if she didn’t exist. They have slowly become accustomed to her and now they will walk up her and allow her to pet them and they cuddle close to her–Fifi more so than Angel.

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They have been one of the biggest blessings in my life and have changed it for the better. I worry very much about  them aging, but so far we have been very blessed that they are healthy and strong. I always remind them that they are still my first babies.

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Linking up with Jess and Ashley for the Little Things link up.