In Memorium: Shadow

A piece of my heart died today.


Shadow lost his short battle with cancer.

He went outside, laid down in the sunshine by the pool, fell asleep and never woke up. I couldn’t have asked for a more peaceful end for such an amazing dog. But it still hurts. A lot.


He was my Shadow, my Stinkbug, my Little Man, my Snoopy Dog. He helped me learn to live all by myself. He snuggled with me when I was sick, when I had anxiety, when I had surgery. He made me laugh harder than I’ve ever laughed. He even made it into that one infamous Christmas card:

Christmas Card 2012

Shadow had a rough start in life – found tied to a tire, sick from drinking bad water, he ended up the animal shelter at just two years old. I hope I was able to make that up to him in love over the last 10 years.

One of my most favorite memories with him was the one day he got to run around the lake and swim off leash. We found this island, beached the boat, and off he went. Free at last to run and swim.


Until we meet again, Little Man… rest easy. Your daddy and I loved you very, very much!


Run For Rory

Two years ago, my stepdaughter’s best friend committed suicide. She was beautiful, smart, successful, and funny. She was well-educated and a well-loved nurse. She had everything going for her. At least, she did from the outside. On April 7, 2015, Rory took her own life. It was a devastating shock to all who knew her and left everyone feeling helpless.


According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with almost 45,000 people taking their own lives each year.

My stepdaughter has put together the first annual Run for Rory event on May 6th. All proceeds from the event benefit Operation Care, a local aid agency that staffs a 24-hour crisis hotline. I encourage anyone near Amador County to come out and support this great cause. It will be a beautiful 3(ish) mile walk or run around the lake.

You can register at the following link:

You can also follow the Run For Rory Facebook page here:

If you can’t make the run, but want to make a donation, those are accepted as well!


Shadow Has Cancer

It hurts my heart to write this post… tonight we found out that Shadow has cancer. We learned yesterday that he had a tumor on his spleen and today’s tests show that it’s also all over his liver.

Here he is sniffing out the window on the way to the vet today:


The vet says that we have 4-6 months left with him – and pain management is going to be the name of the game.

I’ve cried for the last hour… I don’t know how I’m going to find the strength to do this, but I have to, for his sake. Mike and I are on the same page – this dog is going to have the best, most loved few months of his life!


The Chicken Chronicles: Meet The Ducks

I present to you…

Quackers and Cheese.


Quackers is on the left and Cheese is on the right. I love these little ducks. They stink to high heaven, so I stuck them outside the other night (everyone goes outside during the day, but the chicks go in the garage under the heat lamp at night still). I was worried sick that I would kill them, but walked out this morning (in the cold) to find the ducks happily swimming in their kiddie pool.

They love their chicks – every night when I go in to take them into the garage, the ducks cry for them. And when I bring them out in the morning, the ducks come waddling and quacking over to greet them. Seriously adorable.