Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Our Sweet Dakota Left Us Four Years Ago Today

 My first ever Sheltie, Dakota, my sweet boy passed on July 9, 2020 (9 days after Cody), after having been diagnosed with Hemagiosarcoma (a tumor on his heart) a mere month before. He was 13 (as was Cody).

It is an awful disease that has taken many beloved dogs of friends and family members. We were blessed to have Dakota with us for a month after he was diagnosed, many I know weren't that lucky. 

To think I thought Dakota was crazy when he was young! Little did I know what would be in store for me with Levi.

Dakota was sweet, stoic at the Vet, he HATED other dogs, was devoted to his "pack" at home, but wasn't much of a fan of humans that he didn't know. He never would have enjoyed going to daycare or boarding like Levi does.

He was a great brother to Cody. They truly loved each other.

He hated taking walks, wasn't thrilled with the car (he would sit on the floor). Didn't like to sleep in his bed, he preferred sleeping on the floor. If I stirred eggs he would bark. If I used spray butter he would bark. He was the quirkiest dog ever!

He LOVED his precious Greenies, popcorn, red peppers (not hot ones!), apples, carrots and the doggy meatloaf/meatballs/hamburgers I would make for him.


Dakota was extremely bonded with Lenny when he was young, as time went on, he and I became extremely close. He had a sixth sense of knowing just when I needed extra loving.

He was the first dog I had as an adult and was the fulfillment of a childhood dream of having a Sheltie. He was special in so many ways.

He loved running and playing fetch when he was young.

He adored his red, white and blue Dollar store ball that we have safely tucked away in a trunk. That dog had sooo many toys and that disgusting worn out plush ball was his absolute favorite. 

The 13 years he was with us went by in the blink of an eye. I am grateful for the many collages I have on the living room wall of both Cody and Dakota, this way I can still see them both every day.

Dakota you were such a good and special boy. Daddy and I think of you, love you and miss you every single day. 

About a minute after Dakota left us, I noticed a yellow butterfly that flew right into our patio doors, I am certain that was our sweet Dakota letting us know he would always be there.

 I had always loved the name "Dakota" and when I was selecting a name for him I had looked up the meaning. In American Indian the name "Dakota" meant "trusted friend." He completely lived up to his name and more. 

Thank you, Dakota, for sharing your life and love with Daddy, Cody and I. You were the PERFECT first Sheltie.

Much Love Always,


Monday, July 8, 2024

Dog/Pet Book Feature: Peace, Love, Paws; A Memoir By Elizabeth Parker


I have had the pleasure of reading a number of books by Elizabeth Parker. Sadly, ALL of those books were featured on Dakota's blog which no longer exists. You can find information about the MANY books Elizabeth has written by clicking here.

In honor of the fourth anniversary of our beloved Dakota's passing, (July 9th, 2020), when Elizabeth approached me about reading Peace, Love, Paws: A Memoir, I thought featuring it by the anniversary  of his crossing the bridge would be a wonderful way to honor him.

From Elizabeth Parker:

"Grieving a pet is just like grieving a person, except there's no ceremony celebrating their life. That doesn't mean you can't celebrate their life on your own or with loved ones.
Pets are a part of the family. And sometimes the pain of loss is overbearing. You have been their caregiver and they have been a loyal companion. Chances are you had a daily routine involving your pet, and now that routine has disappeared. At times, it's heartbreaking. But there will be a point when you can look back and smile, grateful that you had experienced the precious moments with your pet.
Peace, Love, Paws chronicles my time with Lola. My furry soulmate who taught me so much about life and how to keep enough love in my heart for other pups who need a home."

While Peace, Love, Paws: A Memoir is a book written exclusively about dogs, it is a book that ALL pet lovers can relate to.

When an individual brings a pet into their family whether through adoption/rescue or yes, even acquiring their pet from a breeder, they are signing on to hopefully many, many years of  creating happy memories. Sadly, with good also comes bad. Life happens. When one loves they also are setting themselves up for great hurt which is sadly what we all experience when we lose a pet. Sometimes the loss happens after many, many years together, sometimes, as unfair as it is to experience, the loss can happen in months, or just a short number of years.

"The heart loves in many ways :people, places, creatures of all kinds. The soul knows when it meets its mate. That kind of meeting is never forgotten or taken for granted."

When author Elizabeth Parker adopted her "heart dog" Lola, while she experienced more love with Lola than she could ever have hoped for, it all ended much too soon. This book shares her two years spent with Lola. It also conveys "who Lola was, what she could have been, and all she could have done."


"They never truly leave us. The memories are tattooed in our minds and our hearts."

"You don't realize just how much your dog is smiling until they are no longer smiling."

"Grief is not a one size fits all emotion. It's more than ok to grieve a pet in whatever way you see fit., and there's no time limit. However you deem appropriate to mourn them, is what you must do. What works for one person might not work for another."

"Time doesn't wait for us. If you have a pet, love it with all of your heart. Where there are paws, there is always peace and love."

Peace, Love, Paws: A Memoir by Elizabeth Parker is a worthwhile read for all who have ever given their heart and soul to their pet. To get your paws on a copy, see below:



FTC Disclosure: I received no monetary compensation for featuring this book. I received a copy to read and feature on the blog.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Cat Book: Purrseverance (Inspiring Stories of Cat Resilience and Hope) Compiled by Sierra M. Koester


Since my beloved Cody passed on June 30th, 2020 as many of you know, my time blogging has been greatly limited. When Cody left, any desire to blog that I had left (to be frank, it was waning before he passed and his passing, as well as precious Dakota's nine days later, pretty much sealed the deal).

Eventually I returned, albeit sporadically. I also vowed to no longer do ANY book reviews. Why? Because many of them were just too painful for me to read. (Being candid, they STILL are.)

Back in April or May I was contacted by Sierra Koester, the writer who compiled the above book "Purrseverance" (Inspiring Stories of Cat Resilience and Hope). For those of you who may not be familiar with Sierra, she is "an award-winning freelance writer and professional blogger. Sierra is a Professional Member of the Cat Writer's Association and the Content Manager at The Cat Blogosphere, a place for all pets and pet bloggers. She also writes Fur Everywhere, an educational and entertaining blog about cats."

I'm not going to lie. I sat on this book for the LONGEST time because while it is now 4 years since Cody is gone, the pain is still raw. After enough guilt passed for not opening the book, I decided to finally read it.

I am glad that I did.

It was Sierra's own cat Jewel that was the inspiration behind this compilation. Jewel came to live with Sierra at the ripe old age of 14 after having lived a challenging life. Sierra penned, "it wasn't until I met Jewel that I understood just how remarkably resilient our feline friends can be. Jewel's persistence and resiliency served as the inspiration for this anthology that features other cats who have overcome life's struggles".

A few of my favorite stories in this book are:

My Name is Not Scooter-written by Lorianne Miller about her tripod kitty Evan. Lorianne writes the blog fourleggedfurballs.blogspot.com

Lazarus Cat-written by Sierra M. Koester about  her precious cat Lita

Wren: "A Caged Kitty Can't Purr" written by Julia Williams. This one resonated with me because when I first adopted Cody, he didn't have the fur color that I preferred. I also remember following Julia on social media when she first adopted Wren and was trying to come up with a name for her. 

Brian is Home-written by Terry Frum (who in the Cat Blogosphere is so well known he technically needs no introduction.) Terry doesn't just "talk the talk" he "walks the walk", rescuing a multitude of cats and tending to ferals for YEARS. Terry's beloved Brian, an endearing, wise, gentle and loving tabby boy won my heart many years ago when I first began blogging. Terry and his wife are two of the most dedicated pet parents I've ever known. Not just for their own pets, but Terry has been there for myself and countless others when we just needed an ear to offer support or anything else they may need.  Brian, had many of the same qualities as Terry. He believed "if you're kind, then everyone gets along and we can overcome adversity together." You can find Terry's blog Brian's Home at brianshomeblog.com and you can also find Terry on the Cat Blogopshere: blog.catblogosphere.com.

Carmine Fulfills His Purpose-written by Sierra M. Koester about her beloved kitty Carmine.


It is Sierra's hope that the stories in this book inspire you the way they inspired her (AND ME!!!). Sierra reminds us that "sometimes even seemingly hopeless situations can turn around. Our feline friends have so much to wisdom to offer. The next time you are facing a difficult challenge, she hopes you'll choose to follow these cats' example to "NEVER GIVE UP!"


In Full Disclosure: I received no compensation for this book feature. I received a copy of Purrseverance in exchange for my featuring it on my blog.