Monday, September 30, 2013

What's on YOUR playlist? Part 1

I love music but I haven't listened to music radio in over 12 years. Part of that is because I listen to all different types of music and have never found a single radio station that is eclectic enough to suit my tastes.

But I also loathe listening to music that I listened to 12+ years ago. Since I was in a few bands in my 20s and 30s, I simply will never be able to listen to Bob Seger, Kool and the Gang or the majority of the Rolling Stones catalog again. Ever.

So most of my exposure to new music comes in the form of recommendations from friends, stories and reviews on NPR, and anywhere else I may happen upon something new and pleasing to my ear.

I bet you're wondering what this has to do with a blog about a dog? Well, one of the most prolific sources of new music I have found is the community of animal lovers.

Seriously, go peruse the Facebook page of one of your favorite rescue organizations or scroll through the archives of your favorite pet blog and tell me you don't find at least one slideshow of pretty puppies prancing playfully to mellifluous melodies. Watch enough of these videos and you're bound to come across a tune or two that's new to you, too.

(Okay, alliteration hour has ended. Sorry about that.)

Over the next couple of days, just for giggles, I'll be sharing a list of 13 songs that have, at one time or another, been in heavy rotation on my playlist.

In some cases, the song makes the video but in most, the video makes the song. Often times, for weeks after seeing the video, hearing the song will foster the feelings or memory associations I made with the video. And that makes these great tunes to turn to when I'm feeling stressed, depressed or overwhelmed. Happiness, it seems, is a warm puppy - even if the puppies are only video visions in your head.

  1. You Scream I Scream Dog

    Turning the tables on adoption. Silly. Fun. Kind of makes a point. And supports Animal Adoption.

  2. Buy on: Google Play | iTunes | Amazon

  3. OK Go White Knuckles

    Everybody's seen this one by now, right? Not my favorite song by OK Go but the video is, like most of their productions, simply awesome. Getting a Golden Retriever to bark in time to the music at the end of the video? Priceless.

  4. Buy on: Google Play | iTunes | Amazon

  5. Swedish House Mafia Save the World Tonight

    Good beat, great for working out. Video makes you kind of wish it was real...

  6. Buy on: Google Play | Amazon

  7. Mayer Hawthorne Her Favorite Song

    Cute video with a nice smooth, "wind down after work" kind of feel.

  8. Buy on: iTunes | Amazon

  9. Allison Weiss Making It Up

    I think the pain of having a dog stop loving you would have to be like the worst thing ever, right? Of course, that's part of what we love about them - that they don't fall out of love with us even when we're jerks or don't have time for them. Fun song though. Add in Allison's geeky adorableness and a bit of a Shiva doppelganger and it's all good.

  10. Buy on: iTunes | Amazon

  11. Kimber Cleveland Strong For You (Behind the Myth theme song)

    There's not really a video here - it's just a sound clip. But it's a sound clip of a song associated with an important movie about Breed Discrimination (and mostly pit bull type dogs) and it had to be included on the list. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the song will be donated to "Pit Bull Rescue and Advocacy groups".

  12. Buy on: iTunes | Amazon

  13. Tiki Taane x Paw Justice Enough is Enough

    This video can be a little hard to watch and okay, maybe the song isn't perfect. But the intention and heart and message make it a must for inclusion on this list. Written as a collaboration between Tiki Taane and the real people who are Paw Justice, the video makes clear that we all have a part to play in standing up for animals and taking on their abusers. (Don't worry, the violent reality of dog-fighting in the video is only implied.)

    Thanks to Sue from Greyhounds CAN Sit for turning me on to this one.

  14. Buy on: iTunes

Tune in tomorrow for my top 6 favorite animal music video songs.

Thanks for all the kind words of support for our little family over the last few weeks. Jan is home and fine. Surgery never materialized - I'm not sure if it's good or bad when they tell you surgery can't fix what's wrong with you. But he is doing very well on a new dose of medication and we are all getting back to our routine. Expect more Bella coming soon.

Please note: I don't get anything if you buy the songs - I don't even have my Amazon affiliate account set up yet. I just like to support musicians by making it easier for you to purchase and download their tunes.

Monday, September 16, 2013

An apology, an explanation and a (brief) hiatus

I was quite excited last week to have finally gotten back into the groove of writing and posting. I even had a few posts pretty well tuned up for the next few weeks. Just needed to put in some pictures and do some editing and I would be ready to go.

And instead, I'm announcing a brief hiatus on the blog.

I'm sure some of you are wondering why I'd bother with an announcement since I haven't exactly been posting regularly for the last few months. But I pride myself on having at least always gotten my Wordless Wednesday posts up no matter how overwrought my life and work become.

For the next week or two however, even that will have to wait.

Bella's hu-dad is very sick and is having surgery tomorrow, Wednesday, er, well, sometime this week to try and make his heart work better.

I know he will be fine especially now that he's in the hospital and receiving good care. And the surgery tomorrow is much less extensive than what he has gone through previously so we're hoping he'll be home in a couple of days.

We sure hope so because we miss him. A lot.

But between worrying about Jan, taking care of the crazy dog and trying to keep things running at home and the office, I'm afraid something has to give. As much as I love sharing Bella's story and keeping up with all your beautiful beasties, I'm sorry but blogging is going to have to be put on hold for a little while.

Bella's world, of course, has also been thrown into a bit of a tizzy but she's hanging in there. She definitely misses her daddy and is keeping very close to me. I will be sure to post an update or two over on Bella's Facebook page so if you don't follow us there, hop on over and click that "Like" button.

In the meantime, our hearts and thoughts are with our friends in Colorado and D.C. May all your loved ones be safe.

Peace all,

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

Home alone with Bella v. Beau

A few months ago I was reading a post by Mrs. Taleteller over at "Tales and Tails" blog that reminded me of how different life is with different dogs. She was describing her evening home alone while Mr. Taleteller was traveling.

Bella's hu-dad doesn't spend much time away from home overnight, he never has. But occasionally there are nights where Bella and I find ourselves home alone and I am always painfully reminded of how living with a fearful, reactive dog changes one's perspective of the night, darkness and the wild.

We live, as some of you may know, in the suburbs but on a plot of land that is mostly wild and wooded. On the edge of one side of the property is a stream that joins a nearby wetland and tree farm across the street in front of us to the reservoir across the street behind us.

Since the neighborhoods around us have largely cut down the the trees, wildlife likes to make its way from the tree farm and wetland to the reservoir via our yard. This has afforded us some lovely visits by deer and beautiful birds. But some things that stroll through in the darkness are not as gentle nor as pleasant.

In our yard we have seen: deer, rabbits, turkeys, opossums, skunks, beaver, bats, raccoon, weasels and fox. Not to mention other dogs.

And we have confirmed stories of black bear, coyote and bobcat. Most recently there have been reports of moose and mountain lion sightings in towns not far from us. I don't really believe the mountain lion claims though since that has not been confirmed.

And I'm not really afraid of bears either. What we have here are almost exclusively black bears and I've done enough back-packing in bear country to know that, as long as you keep your food away from your tent, black bears aren't going to care much about you one way or the other.

Anyway, my fear is not necessarily about running in to a wild animal and getting attacked. My fear is that Bella, while all bluff and bluster, reacts first and asks questions later. And a bear, even a little black bear, will fight back when threatened. So you silly black dog, could we maybe not do that to ourselves while out walking at night? Thank you.

But back when I had Beau, I used to relish the few times the overnight found us home alone. He would climb up in bed with me, calmly keeping company and whiling the night away. When I took him outside for walks, I knew no one and no thing was going to bother me. He had previously proved his mettle defending me from prowlers and predators. He would defend his territory but not start a fight that wasn't necessary.

And that's what's different now.

Bella is quite a watch dog. She barks and growls and sounds astoundingly ferocious. Be it a burglar, bunny or bear, I have some confidence that anyone thinking about entering our home uninvited would reconsider upon hearing the scared-y dog bark.

But when taking Bella for walks, we have ample evidence that she will indeed start a fight with just about anything from 'possums to falling leaves. And while this is semi-amusing during daylight hours, it is more than a little disconcerting when walking her around the yard. Alone. In dark.

Thankfully we have never run into any beast more dangerous than a neighbor's dog, the occasional skunk and one rather traumatized young opossum on our evening walks together.

But, while long gone are the days when I can comfortably sleep in the house that Beau guards, Bella makes every evening Jan spends away an adventure and there's something to be said for that. We have our "girl's night in" together and are all the more appreciative of the comfort and security that comes with having Jan back home with us when he returns.


Oddly enough, I was writing this post last Friday and Bella's hu-dad decided he wanted to spend an evening with the friendly folks at Framingham hospital on Saturday. He is home again now and apparently fine. To those who knew about that, I swear to you, the idea for this post came months ago and it is only coincidence that it shows up now so soon after Jan's visit to the hospital. But it did seem rather apropos.

Then again, apropos of nothing, I can answer that burning, age-old question "what does the fox say?" I was honestly Googling this several weeks ago because, around 3 a.m. in our neck of the woods, they sound a lot like this.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Happy Hug Day, Benny!

Our buddy, Benny the French Bulldog, has decided to host a 'virtual hug party' and today's the day. So here, in honor of our little Frenchie friend, is the very rare occurrence of Bella getting her hug on with hu-dad.

Happy Hug Day, Benny!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

WW 103 - That cannot be comfortable

This is not mid-flop. It is not an almost-there-just-need-a-little-adjustment flop. This is a full-on, here's-where-it-ends-and-I-fall-asleep-like-this flop.

Oh Bella, you are a strange little girl.