Izzy turns 9!

I know I’v’e said this before, but time sure does fly! It seems like it was only yesterday that I brought this cute little roly poly puppy home! But last week she celebrated her 9th birthday!

golden retriever birthday party

In dog years she's 9
In hooman years she's 56
If she were a Disney character she would be Eeyore
If she were a human she'd be the laziest teenager ever
Her favorite food is pretty much anything
Her favorite thing to do is be by my side
She loves Florida only because she can swim in the ocean
She prefers to ride in the front seat of the car
She hates it when you blow air in her ear
But we love her to the moon and back!

golden retriever birthday hat

I’ve always enjoyed doing something special to commemorate Izzy’s birthday. I know she doesn’t really care, but honestly, it’s just an excuse to get out my camera and photograph her. One day I’ll be grateful that I have these photos marking milestones in her life.

puppy cake 3 tier bone cake

This year, I decided to do something simple. I picked up a box of Puppy cake in peanut butter flavor and some peanut butter ice cream. Once I cooked the cake, I used a bone shaped cookie cutter and cut out enough to make a 3 layer cake. Then I used a smaller bone shape cookie cutter for the top layer. The box comes with mix to make icing - it’s really simple, add enough water to the consistency you want and spread it on top or in between the layers. Izzy enjoyed her cake in about, oh, 4 or 5 bites. The hard part was keeping her from chowing down before I got any photos of her with the cake!

golden retriever eating birthday cake

The morning of Izzy’s birthday, the first thing I thought about was how my other golden retriever, Mika, was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma 3 days after she turned 9. Seven months later we said goodbye to her as she lost her battle to cancer. While Izzy shows no sign of illness, I know it’s probably just a matter of time. Canncer is so prevalent in the breed causing the average age to be younger than it used to be. Knowing this, I intend to treasure each day I have with her, while keeping all my fingers and paws crossed that we have many more years together. Happy birthday Izzy!

Happy Mother's Day

To all moms everywhere - Happy Mother’s Day! Whether you’re a mom to a 2 legged child, a furry kid or a child in heaven, this is your day to celebrate all that you do to make our lives better! This is the first photo I’ve had taken of me with all 3 of my girls. However you spend your day, try to make it a point to get at least one photo of you with your kids. It’s so important to capture these family moments with all of you!

Trina with Izzy, Kita & TIllie

Izzy turns 8!

I almost let Izzy's birthday go by without even wishing her a happy day! I had all these intentions of having a birthday cake smash photo session for her this year. I even bought a puppy cake mix a couple of months ago in anticipation of making this happen. The next thing I knew, it was the day before Izzy's birthday and I had nothing planned nor prepared. Her party was going to have to wait a couple of days. Thank goodness she has no idea it's July, let alone her birthday!

After baking her cake one evening, the next afternoon I set up her surprise. I don't think Izzy had a clue what was going on. That is, until I got out my camera gear and set up my equipment. She's learned that when I do this, treats are involved. So she's always ready to be photographed! Baking the cake was easy - just add an egg, water and oil to the mix then cook for about 20 minutes. I chose the pumpkin flavored mix and it sure smelled good! It's suggested that you use a 6 inch cake pan, but I only had a 9 inch one. So the cake was more thin than I would have liked. There wasn't enough batter either to make a double layer cake, but in the future I would buy 2 boxes and do this. I also didn't have enough icing and wished I had some yogurt on hand that I could have put in the freezer and used.

It wasn't the prettiest cake I ever made, but I don't think Izzy would mind. I set her up at my dining room table and began snapping away. At one point I sang "Happy birthday" and she seemed to really enjoy that. Mostly though, all she wanted was for me to give her the ok to eat her tasty treat! And just as I predicted, she loved it!

Sometimes it feels like it was ages ago that we brought home this tiny little 8 week old puppy. Other times, it seems like it was just yesterday. It's true what they say, time does fly. I can't imagine our lives without her!

Happy birthday Izzy!

golden retriever birthday cake smash 1
golden retriever birthday cake smash - 2
golden retriever - birthday cake smash - 3
golden retriever birthday cake smash - 4

Lessons from the dog - let the wind blow in your face

My backyard is nothing special. But I'm fortunate that I have a fenced in yard so my dogs can run around off leash safely. It's mostly a flat yard, but there is this little hill. And that's where I find them when they're not playing. It's got the best vantage point to see what's going on beyond our property. 

On windy days, they like to sit on that hill and point their faces to the sky. I swear they also have big smiles. It's clear they love to feel the wind blowing in their faces. I know it has something to do with smelling all the scents blowing by them. But you see dogs doing this in cars when the windows are rolled down. Just soaking it all in!

Dogs are so good about living in the moment. And that's another lesson we can learn from them. Take in the fresh air, feel the wind blowing your hair, smell the scents of the outdoors. Who cares if it messes up your hair, it feels good. Kind of like feeling as though you can fly. So the next time your dog sticks her nose upwards, join her. See how much you enjoy it. Release all your stresses and worries to the wind and just be. Here. Now. Fully alive.

golden retriever ears blowing in the wind

Happy holidays!

It's hard to believe another year is almost over and a new one about to begin. I've learned a lot about myself this year as a person and as an artist. In some ways I grew more than I dreamed I would and could a year ago, in other ways there is so much more I want to learn and do. I'm looking forward to a new beginning and the promise of new dreams come true! From my family to yours - I wish you a most merriest of holiday seasons! May 2018 be all that you dream of - and more! 

Izzy.golden.retriever.holiday.photo