A week of firsts

I've finally discovered a hobby that doesn't completely overwhelm me!  Digital scrapbooking!  It really seems to be my speed...and I've figured out how to do it with Picnik, so that's great, because Photoshop in and of itself makes me want to bury my head under the covers and keep it there.  I can't do quite as much with Picnik as I can with Photoshop, of course, but I'm having a lot of fun with it.  And as much as I love manual scrapbooking, it really does overwhelm me.  So many choices, and so many events to scrapbook, and it takes soooo long.  And you have to go develop the pictures, and if you mess up, you're SOL.  I'll post some creations in the near future.

Thanks to a favorite dogblog of mine, Life with Dogs , I won my first ever online giveaway!  I won a glorious, seafoam green Expression Flexileash.  These aren't cheap!  I looked it up online, and they have a retail value of $39.99.  Not too shabby if I do say so myself.  Plus it's always fun to win stuff, and I never do.

This leash will probably be used primarily for Fiona, as she's the obstinate one who refuses to learn the command "heel".  You wouldn't think it to look at her, but to walk that dog on a leash is the equivalent of being pulled by a tow truck.  I can't count the number of times she's drug me across the parking lot.  Arley, on the other hand, was born to walk on a leash.  She walks in step with me without a problem, and we've never really had to train her.  Their personalities could easily be assessed by the way they walk on their leashes.  Headstrong and stubborn versus laidback and goes-with-the-flow.  Those are my girls!

 Another first this week: first real rescue!  Tomorrow, Shawn and I are headed to Effingham, Illinois to pick up Buster Brown, a gorgeous yellow Lab on his way to his forever home.  Buster is part of a "lab rescue train", he was adopted from Columbus, Missouri...all the way from Massachusetts!  In order to get him to the great Northeast, rescuers have put together a journey of legs that take Buster part of the way through his long journey.  We are leg 3 of Buster's journey.  The awesome rescue is helping to pay for the gas it takes to get there, so really, it's just a donation of time.  I saw the post on the Humane Society of Indianapolis's Facebook page, and I thought, what the hell?  I will feel a lot better about doing something like this than I would about sitting around all day.

Also, for those of you that aren't aware, the Northeast has much less of an unwanted animal problem because they have stricter spay and neuter laws in place.  As such, adoptable dogs and cats are in somewhat of a demand up there.  As such, devoted rescuers of animals help transport them to their new homes up north.  You might be familiar with Last Chance Highway, a mini-series featured on the Animal Planet that documented a similar thing.  Only that was on a much larger scale.

That said, I really, really appreciate the people in my life who don't chastise me for what I'm passionate about.  It's fine if you think I'm crazy, but please don't give me crap for it.  Please don't tell me how ridiculous I am.  There are many, many worse things about which I could be passionate. And no matter how trivial so much of the world deems it to be, to me, it's huge.  Helping even one dog get to its forever home gives me a high I can't describe.  Because being the voice for those who do not have one is what I believe in.  Because being the change is not just talking about it---but living it, too.  So that's why I'm doing it.  That's why I'm spending about five hours on the road tomorrow, devoting a huge chunk of my precious weekend to "just a dog" --- because, to someone in Massachusetts, he's more than that.   And I have barely even scratched the surface of animal rescue.  There are so many more people who do so much more than I've ever done--- who devote their lives to saving those "just dogs" and "just cats".  And to those people, I commend you, and hope to emulate that someday.

I'm going to explore this subject in more detail in other entry.   I'll also keep you posted on how our rescuers-down-under adventure goes tomorrow!

Meanwhile, my animals are being extra cute today.  So enjoy some puppy porn, and birdie porn, for those of you who fancy that sort of thing:

"I don't really like having my picture taken, so I'm gonna squirrel up my mouth and ruin the picture."

Archie is most proud of his vibrant colors when he's surrounded by the repetitive colors of fall leaves. And can I just say how proud I am of this picture?!

Always Looking Up: Adventures of Arley the Eternal Optimist

The neighbor's dog should bark more often, I'd get better pictures.
She really, really wants that ball.  But she is really, really too lazy to get it.