Tag Archives: pets

The “Teeters” Playlist

A few months ago, I got a new car. A new car, with a USB hookup. Excited to try out the accessory, I plugged in my old, neglected iPod Mini, and started scrolling through the playlists. That’s when I came across “Teeters.” I, of course, stopped for a moment, gave a deep sigh, and thought about my amazing dog. The one we lost so suddenly earlier this year. Then, I tried to remember why I had a playlist named after him. Naming the playlist after Tito didn’t surprise me – it’s no secret that I’m borderline crazy for my pets. But there had to be a reason I coined this vast mix of music – from Don’t Stop Believing to Dixieland Delight – after our old buddy. Then it hit me.

Tito was originally Lucas’ dog. He adopted him as a puppy from the Columbia Humane Society (sure to be a “real” German Shepherd), and eventually made his way back to St. Louis with him. Tito was three when Lucas and I started dating. And, in all honesty, before I feel in love with my husband, I fell in love with his dog. Those loyal brown eyes and big, always-alert ears were all it took. This dog and I had a connection. So, when I was moving into a new house, and Lucas asked me if I’d consider having Tito live with me rather than go into an apartment with him, I didn’t hesitate.

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Which brings me back to the playlist.

It was a party playlist.

Rather than throw the old, cliché housewarming party when I moved in, we had a “Sweet Baby Teeters Welcoming Party.” The perfect way to celebrate my new house with my new roommate. I don’t really remember anything significant from that soiree. Lucas and I had a lot of parties in that house. But, I love the fact that I’ll always have the playlist in his honor. And that I fatefully came across it just weeks after we lost him. If there was any dog who deserved a celebratory welcoming, it was Tito.

Tito was so smart, genuine, and possessed a level of empathy I’ve never seen in any other dog. He loved camping and swimming, and even outswam a pair of labs on an 11 mile float trip back in the day. He loved coming to work with me, and was so loyal he never needed the baby gate (though, I will admit, he had quite a tough-guy attitude around other dogs, so it did go up from time to time). He even joined me out at a meeting at Purina Farms one time, where he got to live it up as “performance” dog, catching a Frisbee out in the ring and attempting to “dive” off the dock for a beloved tennis ball. I beamed like a proud parent that day, knowing my little man had had the time of his life. He had a bizarre love of vegetables. I couldn’t cut up a green pepper without him showing up, begging for a slice. And peas? Forget about it. He was in heaven. One pea, and he’d run to the carpet and begin performing his back-side, wiggle, rub the floor, snort with excitement victory dance. And THEN eat the single green vegetable. He loved tennis balls. Loved them to the point that I still can’t bring myself to throw away the piles of them in both our home and at my office. He was one of Marco’s first words, “Tee-To. Tee-To.” So fun to say that Marco continued to call Frankie by his name after he was gone. He definitely wasn’t an easy guy to forget.

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Tito swimming in the diving dog pool out at Purina Farms

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Tito happily playing in the snow, just a few weeks before we found out he was sick.

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Out at Lake Michigan, again, with his ball.

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Leading the way, like the alpha dog he was.

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Tito being a good sport as he began to accept the fact that Frankie wasn’t going anywhere.

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Handsome man.

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Happy guy.

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Tito realizing Marco wasn’t going anywhere, either.

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Tito passed away this past March. He was only 9. It all happened really quickly. Within 2 weeks of finding out he had a tumor on his spleen, he was gone. It’s a unique illness, in that he’d have an episode, become sick and weak, then rebound and bounce back to the old, lively dog we all knew and loved. He had probably 3 of these episodes until one was powerful enough to take him. All I kept saying was I wanted one last day of nice weather for Tito to go out and enjoy before he died. Considering the cold, wet, unending winter we were having, that was a lot to ask. But, sure enough, we had a Sunday of beautiful, spring-like weather. Tito, Frankie and Marco ran around outside, throwing the ball and enjoying the day. Tito enjoyed bowls of peas and some wet dog food. Then, we all went to bed, and when we woke up in the morning, I went downstairs to find Frankie alone, waiting to go outside. Tito had passed away in our family room while we were sleeping. It wasn’t easy, but I took comfort in knowing it happened over night, we didn’t have to go through the additional pain of putting him down, and he got that one last day to be the amazing, energetic, passionate dog he had always been.

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Tito’s favorite place. On the river, with his people.

We miss you, buddy. Always will. Thanks for being incredible.

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I’m Still Here!

Hello. It’s been a while. I’m sorry for going awol on all my friends out in the blogosphere. If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to during my little leave of absence, here’s a little recap (and, hold tight, I’ve saved the best for last).

1. A Rocky Mountain High
Lucas and I headed out for our annual ski trip about a month ago, out to the Winter Park area. This year, he did the skiing. I did the relaxing in the condo where it was nice and warm. Not my ideal way to spend a “ski” trip, but it was still nice to get away.


2. A Trip to New York to Witness the Nation’s Top Dogs (though if you ask me, I already live with them)

This is the second year in a row my job has sent me up to the Big Apple to experience Westminster. And it is exactly that, an experience. Those 17-hour work days were a little rough on me this year. But for some odd reason, it’s an event I never want to pass up.

3. The House, The House, The House
If my little point ‘n shoot hadn’t died on me about 2 weeks ago, I swear I would have posted something sooner. But, it did. And I’ve been lacking the energy to do anything about it, so any pictures I had of my recent updates are trapped on that little memory card for the time being. Since I’ve last posted, much more has been accomplished. Like finally landing on a color for the kitchen, adding shelves to the kitchen, getting the gigantic tree in the backyard taken down (just before St. Louis got hit with more tornado-strength winds), the downstairs bathroom has been de-wallpapered and repainted, and much, much more. I swear I’ll get pictures up soon. In the meantime, here’s a shot to hold you over — our bathroom “before.” It was pond themed, complete with lily pad wallpaper.

4. Saying Good-Bye To Our Calico Cat
When I was 10 years old, I sat down on Christmas morning, next to our big green tree and my parents handed me a box. The box had a square in the top. And soon the square was filled a teenie-tiny little calico kitten. I named her Kali (with a “K” like my first Cabbage Patch Kid). She was probably only 6 weeks old. And too young to be away from her mom. And despite an infection in her eye (which one vet told us he would like to remove, glad we didn’t listen) and a pretty bad respiratory sickness, she was the sweetest, most grateful, most caring cat you could ever imagine. And she went on to be that way for the next 21 years of her life. My parents buried her in our backyard. There really wasn’t any other option.

5. Us + One (aka, my biggest excuse for abandoning all recent duties as a loyal blogger)
We are officially making room for one more in our house.  I’m almost 12 weeks pregnant now. And this little guy/girl has sure does take some energy! So, while I love to blog, the couch seems to have been way more appealing these past couple of months. But, we’re super excited. I had an ultrasound at week 10, and the little pal was kicking like a rockstar. According to the websites, it is now somewhere between a lime and a plum in size. Lucas thought it was weird when I held up a lime to my stomach this week to show him. How else would you know? Anyway, I’m thinking about starting up a separate “baby” blog to kind of track the progress. That way, those interested can check, and those not so into babies quite yet…don’t have to. Oh, and did you like my foreshadowing from above? This is why I didn’t ski on our “ski” trip.

And in case you’re wondering (because everyone is), the answer is “yes.” We will find out the sex. We’re both planners like that. :)

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Filed under cottage, life with fur, the great indoors, this 'n that

The Art of Rescue

If you know me, then you know I’m incredibly passionate about pets. In fact, between the ages of 4 and 14, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always the same – a vet. And now, at age 30, if you ask me what I would be if I had to do it all over again, the answer would be the same – a vet.

Yet even greater than my passion for pets…is my passion for pet rescue.

So, to say the least, I’m super excited that a few coworkers and I have decided to go checkout this new, stray-inspired, art exhibit titled “Urban Wanderers.” Each piece is created on behalf of a pet from Stray Rescue of St. Louis. I really don’t know much about it beyond that, but it’s enough to know I need to be there. http://www.riverfronttimes.com/events/urban-wanderers-1032598/



Urban Wanderers

And, if that’s not enough rescue inspiration for the day, I highly recommend joining this Facebook group – facebook.com/rallytorescue. It’s a great cause that focuses on supporting smaller rescue groups who sometimes get overlooked when people are searching for a new pet, or even a chance to donate some time or charity.

..now go home and hug your pet (if you don’t have one, there’s always a shelter nearby that’s full of hugs waiting to be had).

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Frankie and Rilo, two of my very own rescued pets :)

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Our Living Room

This blog first began via my growing interest in sprucing up our home, all while imagining future possibilities, should we ever move to another…i.e. I get to start from scratch. ;)

Yet, I am far from saying that my talent in my home serves as an ability to host a blog purely on “interior design.” There are many, many other women out there who already put both my taste and my executions to shame (they also happen to always give me fresh, new ideas on what to do next). Inspiration for my home is drawn from visiting the houses of friends and family, browsing etsy.com, checking out blogs of true interior designers…and of course walking the aisles of Target and paging through my growing stack of Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel catalogs.

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The world of clever, never-ending inspiration

The decision to call my blog “Living Room” started by thinking that I’d love to share updates when I do something new or fun to my home. It evolved when I started to think about what “Living Room” really means.  By definition, living room is: a room in a house for general and informal everyday use. But I began thinking about it in a broader sense, and, without getting too philosophical, thought about the idea of what is our own personal “Living Room?” It’s not just a place…

It’s about making room in your life to live and laugh, a little more.

And it’s about discovering the things that can cause it. It could be traveling, firing up a new grill,  hanging a fresh piece of art, planting beautiful hydrangeas or seeing my dog’s ears perk up out of sheer, rub-your-nose-in-the-dirt happiness…

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Tito relaxing on the shores of the Current River

I’d say that right now my husband’s “living room” is his garden. He’s transformed our everyday, suburban fenced-in backyard into his own pride and joy – a pumpkin patch.  He’s out there every night tending to those pumpkins, and it fuels him. He constantly works to make it bigger and better.

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The early stages of Lucas' pumpkin patch

Another example – I recently went to dinner at my friend, Laura’s, home. Her literal living room is absolutely beautiful, and definitely inspiring. She has two young children, and you would never, ever guess they live there…it is spotless.  While my other friend’s and I gawked over how clean it was, she simply said, “I recycle their toys.” Her method is easy ­– her kids play with their toys for two weeks, she puts them in storage, she pulls out a “new” round of toys for the next two weeks. She claims the kids get just as excited as if it was a brand new toy from the store. To me, that’s part of her “living room” (and something worth sharing on a blog once this thing gets up and running!)

To make a long story short…my goal is to post anything from friends, websites, shops and travels that, well, inspire me!

So…enjoy!

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