Cats Vs. Dogs: An Age Old Battle.

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! I can’t believe nearly a month of 2018 has already gone by! I’m making a start on my goals for the year and any time I get impatient and think progress is going too slow, I just remind myself it’s only January, there’s still so much of 2018. Plus, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I’ve created a new product for Imaginative HandiCrafts. I now offer what I call Adorable Animal Jars. Currently, I have Mr. Panda and Unique Unicorn, but I will be expanding the line as well as multiple other products in the coming weeks. It’s like the forced hiatus I’ve been under the last few months has opened an absolute well of imagination in terms of my writing and products.

Mr. Panda and Unique Unicorn Jars

I’ve been approved for my dog-sitting business, I’m just waiting on them to contact me on the next step to get the ball rolling. Hopefully, it’ll start moving along in the next week. If I haven’t heard anything, I’ll be checking in by Tuesday.

I love animals, I have since I was little. I grew up with cats and dogs from the time I was born. First, there was Sponge, also known as Momma Kitty. She was like a second mother at times as she was a year older than I was and had that old soul, maternal nature. She was named Sponge as at the time, my parents lived in Austin, Texas and there was some massive flooding on some streets. My father was out there as a volunteer and fished her up out of one of the streets and brought her home to my Mom. She was probably about 6 weeks old at the time. She was instantly my Mom’s cat, followed by me when I was born. She lived to be 16, just short of her 17th birthday. She had bone cancer in her jaw, inoperable. But she lived a long happy life. There as also PePe, short for ?’s Red Hot Pepper. There’s a name in front of that but it’s not mine so I’m not sharing it and he was actually a registered gray toy poodle. We called him PePe for short. When I was 3, we got BoBo, short for Beauregard, a Rottweiler. I didn’t do any of the naming for the first few animals. Unfortunately, when I was five, he passed away from heartworms so we didn’t have him long but he still left his place in our hearts. No matter what anyone says about Rottweilers, they are not mean animals unless you make them mean. He wasn’t the only one I’ve known and they’ve all been sweet dogs. Plus, we now keep a regular check on any dogs for heartworms. Also when I was 5, we got my Baby Kitty, Sparkle. I did name him but I was only 5, give me a break. It needed to start with an S to go with Sponge. They were both American Striped Tabbies so they looked related even though they were years and cities apart. Shortly after we got Sparkle, we lost PePe. He was boarding at the vet at the time and the vet claimed he ran away. But I saw something in the back that told me that he died and they didn’t want to own up to it. PePe had lost an eye when the fence between us and the neighbors at the time went down and the big dog next door that didn’t like little dogs other than the one he lived with came over and BoBo couldn’t stop him. Plus, he was older so there was no way a one-eyed older toy poodle just ran away, not when he knew we’d come back as it wasn’t our first trip. To make up for it, he insisted on buying us a new dog. So, shortly after we changed cities again, just after my 7th birthday, we got Angel, the peach toy poodle we had for years. She was the runt of the litter and I’ll be honest here, not the smartest dog of the lot. She and Odie had a lot in common. She was 7 before she was potty-trained and that was only because at the time, we lived in an upstairs apartment and she enjoyed going down the stairs, up another set of stairs to the grass, then back down and back up the stairs. It was handy when it was raining as she’d take herself out and we could stand at the top of the stairs under cover. Until then, we lost so many deposits on apartments due to her accidents, no matter how hard we tried to train her. When I was 11, we bought a house in Tyler, where I grew up and I’d been asking for another big dog for years and so for Easter in 2000, we got Astro, my Labrador/Chow mix. His mother was a pure Labrador show dog that the neighborhood Lab mix had jumped the fence so the owner of his mother was selling them for cheap as she couldn’t register them. The chow was very minimal, he had a thick undercoat that he would grow in the winter and shed in the spring and, very rarely, if he thought we or his territory was threatened, he’d growl and bare his teeth. But overall, he was a very lovable Labrador with no Chow markings who’d never met a stranger. Sparkle lived to be 17, he had end-stage Renal Kidney failure and Angel also lived to be 17, she was my only pet to simply go to sleep and not wake up. Honestly, I think she had a broken heart as she and Sparkle had been playmates since they were kitten and puppy and she was blind and deaf by the time Sparkle passed so she couldn’t understand where he’d gone. Astro passed when he was 15, as big dogs do, his hips were giving him problems and he eventually got to where he couldn’t get up so it was time. Currently, I have Lucy and Lily, who I have posted pictures of. We got Lucy in 2012, just a few months after we lost Sparkle. We hadn’t planned on getting another cat just yet, though we knew he wouldn’t be the last. But a friend contacted us and said a friend had gotten her not knowing she was allergic so she couldn’t keep her. We agreed to see her and when this little tortoiseshell kitten strutted in with her big polydactyl paws as if she had arrived, so the party could start; we knew we had to have her and her name would be Lucy. Five months later, we saw a picture of Miss Einstein on Facebook via another friend from a shelter in Fort Worth. She was sick with a cold and in solitary in the back and was going to run out of time before she’d be able to be adopted. She was in a little pumpkin had for Halloween and absolutely adorable so we decided to adopt her as Lucy needed a playmate. However, the name had to change so since she’s a diluted tortoiseshell to Lucy’s dark pure tortoiseshell fur, I knew Lily would be perfect; Lucy and Lily-the drama queen and the diva princess. Currently, I am dog-less as I’m currently living in a rental but I’ll eventually get another dog.
Here’s some digital pictures I have of each animal. Unfortunately, PePe and BoBo were before digital cameras so I don’t have any pictures to upload of them. But here’s Sponge, Sparkle, Angel, Astro and another of Lucy and Lily.

This week’s question: What would be your dream dog?
My answer: I already know some breeds of dogs I would love to have. I want a Great Dane: Scooby; A Beagle: Shiloh; a Jack Russel Terrier: Wishbone; a Dalmatian: Pongo; a Siberian Husky-I have loved this breed since I was young but I don’t actually have a name yet; Another Rottweiler-no name yet, a German Shepherd: again no name yet; another Labrador named Faith; and I don’t know what breed but I think a little dog that I would name Meeko-maybe a pug. As you can see, I’ve spent some time thinking on future pets as I will eventually be buying land in the next 10 years. But I have multiple short and long term plans I’m working on.
What’s your answer? I’d love to know any dream animals you’d love to have as well as any current animals. If you have any name ideas for a Husky, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, I’ll definitely take them into consideration.

This week’s baking and cooking: This week’s savory recipe was Chicken and Apples, the chicken turned out good, the apples were nothing but mush so that won’t be a repeat. This week’s baked good was a Hot Chocolate Cake with Hot Chocolate Icing and Hot Chocolate Glaze. It was good but, and I’m not entirely sure what happened except that the oven in this house is jacked up, a small circle in the center was under-done. It was kind of like having a lava cake but not on purpose. I did the toothpick test I’ve always done in addition to the new fingerprint test I read about in the cookbook I used throughout the cake, including the center, and it all came back as done. But when I cut the cake to layer it, just a small circle-about the size of my balled fist, was under-done. I’ve never had this happen so I’m unsure about what happened. This oven is messed up about 350 degrees and up, it either cooks fast and burns or cooks right on mark, I’m never sure what it’ll do so I must go by feel and smell, not just the timer. It’s certainly helping develop a sense for it which will be helpful in my future professional baking. If ya’ll have any idea what happened here, I’d be happy to hear. This next week’s recipe is another slow-cooker-there’s one more week in January, it’ll be a side: Easy Cheddar Polenta. Then the next week starts February’s month of Soups and Stews. I’ll also be making a Pear pie this next week. This should be interesting as I actually have the least experience with pies and bars.

Hot Chocolate Cake-Edited

This week’s writing: I do have quite the mind sometimes.
Did you know a soup spoon can kill you with enough velocity? Yeah, most people don’t realize that just about everything sitting around them can be turned into a lethal weapon with the right ingenuity. I didn’t used to but if I wanted to survive, I had to learn and quickly. Too quickly, really. Sometimes I wish my childhood had lasted longer, other times I look at those that had a full childhood and I’m so grateful I’m nothing like them. Spoiled saps they are. Of course, I imagine if they could see me, they’d be glad they’re nothing like me, never mind the fact that if the circumstances were dire enough, they’d want my skills, or to have me around. After all, isn’t that why we’re together in the first place? Your daddy put a target on your back and you begged me to protect you, even after all we’d been through, you don’t want anything to do with me except to protect you. Hmm, not that that went too well though, did it? After all, if I was protecting you, you wouldn’t be choking on your own blood in the middle of the dirty kitchen floor in the dinghy hide-out you found. If you had trusted me, I’d done what I was paid for and protected you. But no, you had to stick your nose where you didn’t belong and now you’re paying the price.
Why am I not getting you help? Simple, I got a better offer. Oh, don’t worry, I would have protected you regardless of the offer, for old times’ sake and all. But I certainly wasn’t going to put my neck on the line for you, even before the offer, not after the way you’d treated me when you learned what’d become of me after the massacre. But after the offer, well, I think we can see the evidence here. Protect you until you do something stupid, then wait and watch until I can confirm you’re dead. You don’t have long now, I can see by the shallow breathing and rattling that your lungs are slowly filling even as you lay there. Such an agonizing way to go, really. © Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: Believe you can and you’re halfway there: Theodore Roosevelt.

Writing Prompt: “Go to Hell.” “Been there. Devil didn’t like me and spat me back out.”

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: On The Greens (Of Old Donneen) by Richard Rossbach: Celtic Favorites (Disc 3)

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