And the Winner Is….

Gizmo here…Momz is a little under the weather so I’ll share my pall Finn’s post today…Thanks to everyone for coming out to Park Day…

Finn & Charley Too

Gizmo and I are humbled by all citizens of Blogville who took part in our First Ever Park Day!  We had 58 folks who participated!!!  Thank you!  I really enjoyed seeing all the places you went!  Special thanks to Chef Sasha again for bringing her wonderful food truck!

Now, on to the drawing!  We made a list of all participants and assigned everyone numbers.  We plugged them into our generator and clicked “generate” four times….

The winners of our prizes are….







#21 Bouncing Bertie

#26 Wag N Woof Pets

#36 Floppy Tongue Joy

#56 Cowspotdog

CONGRATULATIONS!  Make sure you look for the email/comment from Gizmo so we can receive your mailing addresses for the prizes!

And did I mention there’s a Park day 2.0??  Stay tuned – more information coming at the end of this week!!!

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All Suggestions Welcome! VOTE FOR RUMPY!

All Suggestions Welcome!.

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Yesterday I published my 100th post on my original site. TODAY I’m moving to my new self-hosted site…WOOT!



PLEASE follow us there, and if you’re one of my wonderful subscribers, please take a minute to re-subscribe. There’s a selection of subscription options in the sidebar for email, RSS, FB and Networked Blogs…I don’t want to lose you!

For now it won’t look much different, but consider this a work in progress. I’ll be tweaking and tuning a new look over the next couple of months.

Head over to the new site now where you’ll find today’s post, #101

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“IF I SHOULD DIE BEFORE MY DOG — “ Sunday Book Review

Shortly after my last birthday I decided it was time for me to do some personal estate planning. There was no immediacy to this decision, but I’d entered the decade of life where these thoughts come to mind. 

I knew that disposing of my “stuff” would be no problem. The big question is what would happen to my best friend.  I’m lucky in that I’m good friends with a couple with whom I exchange pet-sitting favors. When they need, Gizmo & I stay at their place and watch their pack, and whenever I have to leave, Gizmo goes to stay with them. He’s very comfortable in their home and they love him. I approached each of them separately and asked if they would be willing to adopt Gizmo if anything ever happened to me. I felt it was important that they both were willing, and happily they were. Problem settled…or so I thought.

It was a stroke of luck that I was invited to review “If I Should die Before My Dog —“, by Joe and Cathy Connolly. Although my friends know Gizmo, this book made me realize that they didn’t really “know” him.

The format is that of a workbook or diary of your dog’s life. As I reviewed the questions I realized that there was so much about Gizmo that no one but me really knew. Won’t it be wonderful to provide Gizmo’s next guardians with detailed information so that they can comfort him and ease his sadness and confusion when I’m no longer there for him. 

This is such a difficult subject for any of us to think about, but the Connolly’s guide you through it gently, in a positive tone, and from your dog’s point of view. When completed, the reader will hear your dog telling his own story.

Every aspect of your dog’s life is considered here, and in detail that wouldn’t have occurred to me. For example, would I have thought to include a list of Gizmo’s nicknames? Probably not. How about his microchip information? I would have missed that one too. When I got to the section on how Gizmo signaled he that he needed to go out I included a  note that he’s used to having a bell hanging from the doorknob that he taps when it’s time…never would have remembered to add that without the Connolly’s prompting. There’s almost 30 key aspects of your dog’s life covered here, and if you take the time to fill in each section you will be presenting your dog’s next caretakers with a fully complete guide to his unique and loveable self.

The last section of the book is called “What I’d Like to Relate”. This was probably the hardest for me to complete. It’s where you can write a letter to your dog, saying whatever you want. This was the only section that saddened me, realizing that I would not be the person to read this to Gizmo.

I’ll be leaving this completed book with my attorney, to provide to Gizmo’s new home if and when necessary.

I recommend that everyone who loves their pets and cares about what happens to them get this book and take the time to complete it in detail. Not to be morbid, but you don’t have to be “of a certain age” to make use of this. Tragic accidents can happen, and where your dog is concerned, being fully prepared is always best.

About the Authors

Author photo.jpg

Joe and Cathy Connolly

Joe and Cathy Connolly have spent a lifetime owning, training and caring for dogs. Cathy grew up with a Collie breeder, dog groomer and dog handler while attending many different dog shows and eventually went on to work with other breeders as she grew older. They live in beautiful Northern Michigan with their 3 furry four legged children, one large dog, one small dog and the entire family is supervised by one bossy calico cat.

“If I Should Die Before My Dog -” website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Buy the book from….
Author’s Website
Barnes and Noble

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, but anyone who knows me knows the opinions above are all my own.


Monday 21st January – Life As Leels

Tuesday 22nd January – Beck Valley Books

Wednesday 23rd January – Daily Deals 4 Pets

Thursday 24th January – Aimee Broussard & Co

Friday 25th January – Coupons and Friends

Saturday 26th January – My Life With Flyball Dogs

Sunday 27th January – CindyLus Muse

Monday 28th January – Two Little Cavaliers

Tuesday 29th January – Bringing up Bella

Wednesday 30th January – Colorimetry

Thursday 31st January – Adventures of Esa & Zed

Friday 1st February – Parsimonious Pash

Saturday 2nd February – My Side Of Life

Sunday 3rd February – Gizmo’s Terrier Torrent

Monday 4th February – Crafts – Things Reviews and Giveaways

Tuesday 5th February – DebsHere

Wednesday 6th February – Kate Volz reviews on Made by Renee

Thursday 7th February – Stressed Rach

Friday 8th February – Nikki’s Nook

Saturday 9th February – Mouse In The House reviews on Hobbies on a Budget

Sunday 10th February – Crystal Trent Dotson Reviews

Sunday 10th February – Heartprints Pets

Monday 11th February – Conversations with Carolyn

Monday 11th February – Life With Dogs

Monday 11th February – Giveaway Live Date !! SIGNED BOOK GIVEAWAY – 5 WINNERS !!


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It’s Sled Day in Blogsville today and over at Sarge’s place all the pals are heading to the slopes …


My GO 2 Terriers buddy Oz the Terrier and me decided that we should take a 2-man sled since neither of us has ever seen snow before…


Here’s wot Oz haz to say about all da fun we had…

Dear Giz-man:

I was so excited when Ma said we were meeting up for an adventure! I had my dive suit and snorkel equipment ready to go!

Little did I know it would be too cold for the dive suit and that I would actually need a *gasps* jacket. I think I could’ve used some boots and a scarf too.

Were we still in Florida? We couldn’t have been. I have never seen anything like that white stuff at home except maybe at Dairy Queen.

Still, it was good times going down the hill on the swimming pool floatie!! Who would’ve guessed it could pick up such speed?!? When it’s in the pool, you just loll about and relax. Boring! Racing down the hill was WAY better.

*High Paws* to more wind in our fur!

Oz the Terrier

It wuz great hearin’ frum you Oz and we’ll be seein’ you in da fur real soon!

Come join us on da slopes today over at Sarge’s place….

And make sure to check out the Saturday Pet Bloggers blog hop hosted by Two Little Cavaliers

Saturday pet-blogger-hop-badge

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Thanks to Jodi of Heart Like a Dog and Freighter, Storm & Thunder’s Mom from 2 Brown Dawgs for co-hosting this week’s Follow-Up Friday Blog Hop, the blog hop that lets you wrap up your week and leads you right into the weekend…



First off, you have to go check out today’s Pet Friendly Friday Photo Challenge on the Go Pet Friendly Blog!  I am so excited…My picture was chosen as this week’s Challenge Photo…if you can guess where I am you might win. I won this challenge last month and the prize is a gorgeous calendar. Go check it out!

Gizmo at Bok Tower 1

If you remember my Butterfly Birthday post you saw the video of a very energetic Gulf Fritillary caterpillar spinning his chrysalis underneath my friend Beth’s BBQ grill. Well he’s hatched and now he’s a butterfly. Beth started watching carefully on Sunday and finally, on Tuesday morning she went out to find this…



He’s hanging onto his chrysalis in the morning sun drying his wings. After the imago (*VBP*), or adult stage emerges , a butterfly cannot fly until its wings are unfolded. A newly emerged butterfly needs to spend some time inflating its wings with blood and letting them dry. Some butterflies’ wings may take up to three hours to dry while others take about one hour. Beth waited for over an hour to see this guy’s wings unfold, but he was still drying when she had to leave, and when she got back a couple of hours later he’d already flown off. Vaya con Dios Mr. Butterfly

30/30 Challenge Wrap-up

On January 1st we began the 30/30 Challenge gauntlet thrown down by the Adventure Weiners of You did What With Your Weiner.  The idea was to walk with your dog for 30 minutes every day for 30 days.  we’ve posted a ticker every day charting our progress, and as of yesterday we’d managed to walk on 28 of the 31 days, which gives us about a 90% completion rate, and I’m declaring that we were successful. We’ve changed how our day begins and now the  walk is the focus of our morning ritual. Gizmo has come to expect it and if I get busy elsewhere he stands by the front door and taps his bell to remind me.  My car has been in the shop on and off for about half the month (hidden electrical issues that are stumping mechanics) so we’ve  walked to some of our errands in the neighborhood instead of driving. The best part is that we’ve both enjoyed our walks so much that Gizmo is now a registered participant in Idita-Walk 2013The Idita-Walk is an event to promote physical fitness in the spirit of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.  The challenge of the Idita-Walk is to walk an average of 30 minutes a day for 35 days between February 1, 2013 to March 31, 2013 for a total of 1049 minutes. You can walk any combination of minutes and days as long as you reach 1049 during the 59 days of the Idita-Walk. We log our minutes online, and when we complete the challenge successfully we’ll get a neat pin.

2013 Idita-Walk Lapel Pin Art

We’ve got a brand new ticker going to chart our minutes, and we’ll be adding it to our posts so you can see how we’re doing.

Train Your Dog Month Challenge Wrap-up

January was also Train Your Dog Month, and we signed up for the Train Your Dog Challenge over at Something Wagging This Way Comes. We worked on two separate and unrelated behaviors this month and have made good progress with both of them.

Since Gizmo and I often hike with him off lead it’s exigent (*VBP*) that he knows and understands the command “wait”.  I use  “wait” when I want Gizmo to just stop moving and not proceed until I tell him it’s OK. We’ve practiced this on our morning walks. Every time we come to a street crossing I tell Gizmo to wait, and use the “stay” hand signal. I have not required him to sit or be at heel, just that he stops moving and waits. Starting out with just a few seconds, I’ve built up the time to a minute or so and I’m pleased to report that he has learned the command and now has a fairly reliable “wait”. We’ll keep working on this one since I haven’t really proofed it…I’m not sure what would happen if something irresistible, say a cat running by, occurred. I’m hoping to have some proofing opportunities during the next two months of the Idita-Walk.

Our second behavior involved grooming. Gizmo really hated being brushed…in fact when he saw me go to the drawer where I keep the grooming tools he’d run and hide in his cave under the end table….and don’t even ask about nail clipping. I decided it was time for us to develop a grooming routine. Every evening I would place him in my lap and gently brush/massage him with a Zoom Groom. Once he became comfortable with that I added a few minutes of actual combing with a FurGOPet to break up any snarls and remove his loose undercoat. I experimented with different pressures and strokes and learned what felt good to him and what he didn’t much like. We gradually built up the time until I can now comb and brush him thoroughly with no complaints, wriggling or having him trying to get away from me. In fact, if I don’t get started early enough he’ll jump into my lap and paw me to groom him. Things were going so well I decided to up the ante and try to add nail clipping…I gently zoom-groomed him to get him good and relaxed, then gently lifted a paw and quickly nipped the nails…I didn’t go for perfection or get them as short as I’d like, but at least I was able to nip the points without a major battle.  We’ll be working more on this one and in time I hope I’ll be able to use my Dremel on him to round and smooth the nails to where I want them.

Overall, I consider the training challenge a work in progress. We’ve come a long way on both behaviors, and have some goals for further training. Check out the Train Your Dog Month Challenge blog hop to see what everyone else worked on and how they did.

Thank to Savannah’s Paw Tracks , Texas and our pal Jetty for their cool new Vocabulary Building Project blog hop. Check it out…lots of great new words to learn there.


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Gizmo here…today we’re I’m starting a new feature here on my blog…Travel Thursday. On  Thursday’s  I’ll take you somewhere fun for you and your people to visit together here in Florida. Some Thursdays we’ll have interviews with some of my favorite canine geocachers worldwide. As an added feature, we’ll be posting GPS coordinates for the locations we feature.

Yesterday I promised you information on a most unusual roadside attraction. It’s the Airstream Ranch, located roadside on the South side of I-4 in Dover, FL, about 15 miles East of Tampa. There’s plenty of room to pull off the highway roadside, or you can take Exit 14 off I-4, and turn right into the Bates RV Exchange at the SW corner of the interchange, 4656 McIntosh Road, just south of the interstate. Park in the Bates RV lot, tell them why you’re there, then follow the golf cart path from the back to Airstream Ranch.


This roadside attraction has in interesting backstory.  Here’s a 2010 interview with Frank Bates, builder of the Ranch, with the Orlando Sentinel:

…Airstream had recently celebrated its 75th birthday, so Bates conceived Airstream Ranch, where he buried seven-and-a-half 1957-1994 vintage Airstream trailers in a vacant lot next door to the dealership. He buried seven-and-a-half trailers because that’s 7.5, as in 75, the Airstream anniversary.

Bates admits he was inspired by Cadillac Ranch, 10 old Cadillacs buried nose-down in the ground, next to a stretch of Interstate 40 near Amarillo, Texas, in 1974. Cadillac Ranch is widely regarded as art, particularly since those rusting, graffiti-covered cars are supposedly facing west at the same angle as the pyramids in Egypt. Bates was going to let local “artists” paint his trailers with graffiti, but most of the graffiti turned out to be gang insignias, so he stopped.

Shortly after the construction of Airstream Ranch, things got interesting: Several residents of the neighborhood right behind the Ranch were not amused, and went to the Hillsborough County Enforcement Board. There was a big hearing. One of the neighbors called Airstream Ranch a “dirty deed” and “a cheap roadside attraction.” Others testified in favor of Airstream Ranch, including Larry Thompson, president of Ringling College of Art and Design, who said that in his “expert opinion, this constitutes a piece of art.”

It probably did not help Frank Bates’ case as a serious artist that he has been known to dress up as a black-and-white cow for his TV commercials, dancing and holding up a sign that says Bates RV can save you “MOO-lah” on a trailer. Or that he takes most anything in trade, including a moose pasture in Alaska, two mausoleums (apparently vacant) and a stuffed marlin. Or that he commutes to work in a red Robinson R44 helicopter that he lands on the dealership’s roof.

Eventually, Bates was told to dismantle Airstream Ranch, or face a $100-a-day fine. In March 2009, Bates and his lawyer appealed the board’s decision. Just last February, a three-judge Circuit Court panel finally overruled the board, and reversed the fines. Last March, county commissioners declined to appeal the ruling. So now, in June — after several months of waiting to see if there are any additional legal challenges — Frank Bates is prepared to declare victory on behalf of Bates RV, Airstream and art lovers.

More information is available at the Roadside America website.

If you’re in Central Florida, anywhere between Tampa and Orlando, take a break and visit the Airstream Ranch…it’s just plain fun!

GPS Coordinates for Airstream Ranch are N 28* 01.271 , W 082* 15.142. Geocachers that stop by can log a Waymark for the Airstream Ranch.


And here’s the last of the 30/30 Challenge tickers. We’ve done pretty well all in all, and tomorrow we get started on the Idita-Walk 2013!

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ROADSIDE ATTRACTION – Wordless Wednesday

??????????????????????Stop back tomorrow to see where I am…

30/30 Challenge Ticker

Thanks to BLOGPAWS for hosting the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop


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It’s My Nose…An Interview With the Artist

Gizmo here…Momz is still working on the new site, but I have to share something very exciting and I can’t wait till she’s done. Here it is…My Nose!


Isn’t that wonderful? And it really does look just like me…Momz sez she’d know it anywhere.

So how did my nose get painted? A couple of weeks ago I saw a post on my pal Molly the Wally’s blog that Sheila Wedegis, an artist from Palm Bay, Florida,  had started a project called 30 Dog Noses in 30 Days . Molly said that if we sent a photo to the artist she would paint our nose. Momz sent my photo off right away and yesterday there I was on Sheila’s blog, Dog Nose #27.

Momz was so excited she decided we should learn a bit more about Sheila. First, we visited her online art gallery, Palm Spirit Gallery.  There we were able to read a short biography:

Born in Boston, Sheila Wedegis has spent most of her life in the New England area. Sheila relocated to Palm Bay, FL from Portsmouth, NH with her husband, Roger, three cats and her black Labs, Sophie and Sammy and chocolate Lab, Fergus. Art has been her passion and expression since she was a child. Her formal training was at Butera School of Art in Boston, however her greatest growth has been in the actual “doing” …painting what she knows and loves. Her work reflects the upbringing of her adopted parents, her search for and finally her reunion with her biological mother. Her earliest work consisted of strict, detailed landscapes and still lives, using oil as her medium of choice. However, it wasn’t long before the need to reflect herself, her healing process became evident in her work. Through on going studies and workshops, observations and experimentation, there has been in constant rebirth with herself and her work. While grounding themselves in the realities of her life, Ms. Wedegis’ pieces contain an unmistakable spiritual essence. Often using herself as the central figure, she incorporates symbols and colors to reflect the world as she sees it. “To touch the soul of one other person, to know they are not alone on this journey” is the dedication of her work and the reflection of her life’s journey. Sheila continuing to paint her love of the Caribbean and her three Labrador Retrievers… stay tuned!!!

A visit to the gallery reveals that Sheila has a love for the colors and moods of Florida and the Caribbean, as well as an ongoing passion for dogs, especially Labrador Retrievers. Sheila maintains a separate gallery for her Labrador paintings, Labrador Retriever Art.  She has authored a number of books, most about the Labradors she has known and loved. A collection of her Labrador paintings, “The Small Book of Lab Art”, is available on Amazon. There’s also a Zazzle store where Lab lovers and others can purchase merchandise displaying some of  Sheila’s art.

Digging a little deeper, Momz found that many of Sheila’s Labrador paintings can be purchased from her Labrador Art gallery on the Fine Art America website. Her profile there tells us even more about her love of the breed:

As you see I specialize in painting Labrador Retrievers. Shortly after moving to Florida 11 years ago, my husband Roger gave me a small black Lab puppy. Sophie became my Muse, healing me after the death of my parents 6 days apart. Since painting is my lively hood, my life, I decided to draw and paint her. Soon there were three Labs living with us. I know their moods, their subtle moves, nuances. I know their soul.
Drawing, painting as a child, art school then continuous studying and ‘doing’. I paint everyday and have two blogs that you can see as well as my website.
Since I do have Labradors and they have such incredible spirits, I also donate to many Lab Rescues. has my artwork for Lab Rescues.
Other art may be seen at
I am happy and honored to say my Lab art is collected worldwide as well as commissioned.
If there’s anything you’d like to see painted as an original and a print please let me know.

Following the links we finally came to Sheila’s Saving a Lab a Day project.  For over three years Sheila painted Labradors, offering the paintings for auction at the Daily Paintworks site, and donating a percentage of the sale price to a Labrador rescue group. What amazing commitment to her breed! Sheila’s work is appreciated and honored by many. This past Summer Sheila was invited by the Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens, Ormond Beach, FL to be one of 12 artists participating in their Dog Days of Summer show .

I had the privilege of interviewing Sheila today, and am very happy to share her thoughts with you.

How long have you been in Florida? What brought you here?

We moved here in 1999.   First the cold weather in the north got to I wanted to do outdoor shows all year round and was able to in this part of the country.

How did you come upon the idea of painting 30 dogs noses in 30 days? Have you enjoyed this project? What will you take away from it?

I saw the information from a friend on FB. Leslie Saeta was offering a 30 day challenge. We would choose a subject and do thirty days. The subject would be different then what we usually do. (sort of) lol…So I chose dog noses. I have absolutely loved painting them, working small and really concentrating on the form , lines, patterns.  Having ADHD, the project has held me to the everyday painting so I will be such an accomplishment.

Tell me about the books…why did you decide to write them? 

My Book, I WAS SICK AND NOW I’m NOT was written right after our chocolate Lab Fergus died last year from a brain tumor. It’s on   I lost my Muse, Sophie this past Sept 11 to malignant melanoma in her mouth. She has now become my Spirit Muse. (I was devastated)

When do you plan to begin traveling full time? Any goal destinations? Will you maintain a Florida connection?

Our hope is this year for travel.  We are still in search of the perfect RV for Roger and I and two large Labradors. First we plan on traveling up the eastern coast spending a few weeks at a time at different  places. In NC there is an RV park solely for adults and their dogs!!  Then we would spend the summer at a park in NH visiting our daughter and family. We would maintain a Florida connection. Many friends and our son and his family are here.

After dog noses, what next? Do you have a new series in the works?

I started a series called Water Dogs. Not just Labs but all dogs and I’m asking people to send me photos. Dogs in water, around water. I will be making a book.

Momz & I urge you all to check out Sheila’s art and consider having her paint a special keepsake of your beloved fur friends.

Time for our 30/30 Challenge Ticker Update. You’ll notice that though today is the 29th, we’re only on Day 27 in the ticker. There’s been a few bumps recently, so we missed two days, but made up a bit with some extra long outdoor fun on Sunday.

We’re joining our friend Lulu today at her weekly Florida Bloggers Blog Hop.


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Moving Day

Gizmo here…Momz is busy tweaking my new site…This morning we started building our new self-hosted site and it’s going very well so far.

We’ll check in here for the next few days so you know we’re still around, but won’t be adding much content till we’re ready to go live on the new site.

Please hang in with us for a few days, and I promise we’ll be back really soon.

Gizmo Out!

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