Dog Parents, Do Not Let Guilt Win!

Taylor- groin injury Being a dog mom sure comes with its ups and downs, and no matter how hard you try to prevent accidents from occurring or illnesses from developing, one must be prepared for the unexpected…that’s a fact!  It’s a lesson I learned with the sudden passing of my first dog, Hopper…and I had a refresher course on that hard lesson three weeks ago, when Taylor suffered a groin injury.  Thankfully, this wasn’t a super serious injury that needed surgery…but as Jeremy and I left the emergency vet with Taylor last February 8th, I fell into that inevitable emotional trap called the What ifs…I wracked my brain as a tried to recall how this injury could have reared its ugly head.  Could it have occurred just before I observed her limping on her left back leg, when she propped herself up on her hind legs to retrieve a treat from Jeremy’s hand?  Or, did she injure her leg days before, but hid the pain…as most dogs do oh-so-cleverly?  The What ifs are a series of traps that I’m sure many of my fellow dog parents can relate to…unfortunately.  We can’t help it!  As much as it does not help in terms of coping with one’s current situation, we just can’t help it!

However, I knew that I just had to shake off the What ifs…even if it meant shutting the door on it as it tried to step into my consciousness.  Because I knew that the What ifs would not help the situation at hand, which was caring for my injured Princess with Fur.  In fact, it would just make things worse!  What ifs literally consume me, and I knew that it would take over my mental To Do List when it came to caring for Taylor…the What ifs are that powerful.  Well, at least for me.

So, I made the decision to shut the door right in front of What if ‘s face.  I proceeded to care for Taylor as instructed by our vet.  I am happy to say that she is on the mend and ready for her follow-up appointment, which is this Friday.

Being a dog mom gives you plenty of opportunities to grow as a human being.  And with this unexpected turn of events I have learned to stop letting guilt win.  It almost won with Hopper’s passing, but I was able to stop the guilt with Taylor’s injury…before it even had the chance to even try and win.

Auntie Eyes

It seems that the older I get, the more I am willing to embrace the many hats that plop onto my head. This past June, my family welcomed THIS little guy into the world, and now I can add “Nephew-Squeezer” to my list! :-) I am privileged to get the opportunity to see J a couple of times a week, and as I observe from afar just how much effort and precision it takes to care for an infant, well…it just boggles my mind!! I then reflect on the first few months after Jeremy and I adopted Taylor…how I was absolutely terrified about every move I made in regards to her care. Thankfully, with time and family support, I have eased my dog mom anxiety…but raising a baby?! That is a journey that only the strongest and bravest can tackle and win! The interesting thing, though, is that based on what I have observed with my “Auntie” eyes, the mommy and daddy warriors who take on this challenge don’t even realize how strong and brave they actually are until they are in the baby trenches. Like Jeremy and me with the adoption of Taylor, it seems like no one is ever really ready to take on the caregiver role before they actually do it. However, it is a calling that we all feel. We hear it, see it, and feel it in our hearts…and we just can’t ignore it! Because there are moments when your heart is sooooo much smarter than your brain!
Am I right? <3

Tuesday’s Tails: Wonderful Wally

Happy Tuesday, Friends!  Today, Life Embarked is taking part in this week’s Tuesday’s Tails Blog Hop, hosted by the amazing blog, Dogs N’ Pawz!  It is a unique blog hop where anyone can post information about a shelter animal.  It is our way to help spread the word for our animals in need!  And you do not have to be a dog blogger to take part!


So, as always, we are helping out the shelter that brought Taylor into our lives by featuring a friend who is currently at The San Jose Animal Care Center in San Jose, California.  Everyone, meet our buddy, Wally!

Image courtesy of SJACC's Facebook page

Image courtesy of SJACC’s Facebook page

Wally is a neutered white American Bulldog mix, and he is approximately 2 years and 7 months old.  He has been living at The San Jose Animal Care Center since Nov 24, 2014.

The following is a lovely description of our boy, courtesy of SJACC’s amazing shelter volunteers:

Wally is big, beautiful, and mellow! He is more on the “chill” side of life as far as his energy level goes. He does have some interest in playing with certain dogs.

Weighing in at 91 pounds, Wally is definitely a gentle giant…in every sense of the word!

Taylor and I would love it if you can help us spread the word for Wally, especially if you live in Northern California or know someone who does!  Please share Wally’s information on social media!  I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see Wally in a forever home before Christmas!  I will be crossing my fingers every day until that dream comes true!

If you would like to know more about Wally, please contact The San Jose Animal Care Center at (408) 794-7297.  His animal ID number is A924298.

Wishing you a beautiful Tuesday evening!

Christmas Prepping with Wonderful Memories and an Indifferent Scottie

So far, Taylor is quite bewildered by the whole Christmas experience!

So far, Taylor is quite bewildered by the whole Christmas experience!

Hello, Friends!  Taylor and I hope that you are enjoying all the holiday season is bringing you so far: time with family, Christmas music that reminds you of the good old days, and lots of hot chocolate…or, if you are from the Bay Area, like me, lots of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes!  ;-)

One thing I have fully enjoyed lately is seeing all of my fellow social media mavens decorating their Christmas trees until they all reached their sparkly peaks.  I noticed that some of the amazing folks I follow on social media (Instagram, in particular) had their Christmas trees up the day after Thanksgiving!  Now, THAT is dedication!

Jeremy and I, unfortunately, had to divide our Christmas tree prepping into two stages, thanks to our opposite work schedules.  We have a tradition of decorating the tree together, so the suggestion of having just one of us decorate the tree while the other one was at work…well…that was just not an option!  ;-)

So, last week was Part 1: Stringing Up the Lights.  Taylor just watched from the sidelines.  As you can see, she also strategically placed her favorite ball in our workspace…in the off-chance we stop and throw it or accidentally kick it with our feet!

Scottie and Christmas lights

And last night, we finally put up all of our ornaments!  This is always my favorite part, because each of our ornaments holds an unforgettable memory.  Both Jeremy and I have special ornaments from our childhood, and they all have held on to their 1980s elegance beautifully!  We also have many from friends and family who gave ornaments to us as gifts during our first Christmas as husband and wife.  This all made me reflect on my past thoughts about giving ornaments as gifts, how I used to think that it was a waste of money because the recipient will only be seeing the gift for a few weeks each year.  However, I now realize just how much meaning and symbolism an ornament holds.  I look at each ornament and think about the person who gave it to us with the warmest of feelings.  It’s funny…my memory is usually pretty bad, but I can pair an ornament with a loved one who gifted it to us in less than five seconds!

Taylor and Mommy Christmas 2014

So, Taylor and I wish you continued fun and frivolity as you prepare for the big day!  May you create more beautiful memories that will carry on with you into the New Year!

Monday MischiefLife Embarked is taking part in this week’s Monday Mischief Blog Hop, hosted by Alfie’s Blog, My Brown Newfies, and Snoopy’s Dog Blog.   


Why I Will Not Put Ads on My Blog

Good Morning, my fellow dog bloggers!  It has been quite a while since I’ve posted, and…boy, did I miss it!

For the past few months, I have been grappling with the decision of what I should actually do with Life Embarked…a place that has been my second home for three years.  All around me are some extremely amazing writers who are now taking their blogs to the next level…specifically, monetizing it.

Now that got me to thinking…should I do the same thing?

If I place ads along my blog’s sidebar, it would certainly generate a decent income over time.  And how can anyone frown upon that, right?

(I should note that, because I chose to use as my blog hosting site, I am able to blog for free.  Though, in return, does place ads on the bottom of my posts on occasion.  In this blog post, I am talking about making the decision to use ads so that I will, personally, earn an income.)

So, I began to research on the exact steps to take Life Embarked to the next money-making level.  As a result, I unfortunately departed from my blogging entirely.  And as I delved further into my research (, Google AdSense, Affiliate Links, oh my!), the dollar signs grew bigger, and I began to lose sight of the original reason why I began blogging in the first place back in August of 2011.

I began this blog a few months after my first dog, Hopper, passed away.  Losing Hopper was my very first experience with the direct loss of a loved one, and it made a huge impact on my life.  Before Hopper, I felt that life was infinite…of course, I knew that wasn’t the case, but I felt it.  There were dreams I needed to fulfill, but as life happened, I thought “Oh, I’ve got time to pursue writing later.  I need to focus on paying those awful bills first!”.

Hopper and his mommy

Hopper and his mommy

Hopper’s passing was a gigantic lesson in mortality for me.  It was a huge wake up call that told me that life is definitely not infinite.  If I really, truly wanted to pursue my dream of writing for a living, I had to start ASAP!  But I had no idea where to begin.  Luckily, this thing called blogging was gaining huge headway, so I found the perfect outlet to write, gain feedback, then improve!

So, I can honestly say that Hopper’s passing is the reason why I began Life Embarked.  And, if I go forward with monetizing it, (as crazy as this sounds) I feel that I would be profiting from his passing.  And that is quite a horrible feeling.

Now, in general, I think ads on blogs is a fabulous idea!  Companies are finally taking note of just how influential bloggers really are!  However, in my case, it is just not a good match.

Thankfully, Life Embarked as been the source of some outside opportunities…most notably, my work with Pack.  I am hoping that more work will generate as a result of what is seen here.  However, I now feel it is best to not use this blog as a way to gain an income through ads…to not profit directly from something that originally derived from somber beginnings.  Instead, Life Embarked will continue to be an outlet for me to perfect my writing as well as a world-wide voice for the causes I believe in (specifically, advocacy for animals and the elderly).  I will also use this blog as a springboard for future endeavors that I have always wanted to take part in, but (in the past) was too scared or intimidated to do…because the fear is now gone, thanks to some unforgettable canine inspiration! ;-)

So, I apologize for my absence, but I am oh-so-happy to be back!  I have come home!

Taylor’s Social Media Schenanigans: A Hamburger and a Selfie

Hello, Friends!  I hope everyone who is reading this is happy, healthy, and enjoying their Monday!

Well, speaking of Monday…today is Mischief Monday within the pet blogging community, and I thought it would be fitting to share with all of Taylor’s buddies some of her Scottie antics that I was lucky enough to capture and post onto Instagram…& Facebook…& Twitter…& Google +…& Pack…& Pinterest!  Man, we’re everywhere, aren’t we?

So, last Sunday, I posted this picture that depicts a sudden realization of just how small of a pup Taylor really is!  Considering how big of a personality she has, her small stature is a fact I often overlook:

Instagram 1

Last Monday, Taylor had a one-on-one play session with her new hamburger toy that she received in her very first PawPack, which I will talk about in further detail in an upcoming post:

Instagram 2

Last Tuesday, Taylor helped me out with a shameless plug for Pack’s Scottish Terrier Newsletter for the week!  On top is one of Team Scottie’s fine fellas whom we featured in last week’s newsletter, Winston!  His mommy, Tanja, is a fabulous artist, and Winston serves as her muse for her designs that you can find in her Etsy store, Dear and Birch!  A sample of her work was featured in last week’s newsletter as well as on the bottom of this Instagram post:

Instagram 3

Last Wednesday, I posted a selfie…or, rather, an up-the-nose selfie:

Instagram 4

And, lastly, on Friday of last week, Taylor and I staged a literary protest against the outrageous California heat wave that we experienced that day…with the help of Dr. Seuss, of course!

Instagram 5

Taylor and family had a great time last week, and we are looking forward to more shenanigans in the next few days as we close out the month of July!

Are you and/or your pet on social media?  I’m pretty sure the answer is “yes”!  You are more than welcome to share where I and everyone else can find you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. in the comments below!

Hope you have a great rest of the day!

Monday MischiefThis week, Life Embarked is participating in the Monday Mischief Blog Hop, hosted by Snoopy, Alfie’s Blog, and My Brown Newfies!

Why a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables is Best for My Dog

Taylor and the carrot Taylor with one of her obsessions

Happy Saturday, Friends! Taylor and I hope that you are having a great start to your weekend!
So, today, let’s talk about food…dog food, that is!  Specifically, fruits and veggies!
During a recent visit with Taylor’s holistic vet, Dr. S., she recommended that we put forth a better effort in giving Taylor more of a variety of fruits and vegetables.  She informed us that this will guard against nutritional deficiencies or food sensitivities that could result if a dog eats the same kind of foods, day in and day out.
Regrettably, before this appointment, Taylor’s fruit/veggie menu was only two lines long: bananas and carrots.

Our Tasty Quest for Change Begins:

We first ventured into the doggy farmer’s market territory by introducing apples to Taylor.  Unfortunately, apples do not seem to like Taylor’s tummy very much, so we scrapped that idea quickly.
Last week, we added celery onto her menu.  Unlike apples, Taylor’s tummy and the celery have developed a good friendship, though it does take Taylor a few sniffs and stare-downs with the celery before she chomps away.
Lastly, two days ago, Taylor tried lettuce for the first time, and she loved it!  According to, lettuce is a water-dense vegetable that is full of nutrients…though it is a veggie that a dog should not have a lot of, as it could cause diarrhea!  So, for Taylor, a few pieces every other day is best!
Below is a useful infographic about vegetables for dogs that I am planning to photocopy and keep on my refrigerator as Jeremy and I continue to add some tasty variety to Taylor’s palate!
veggies for dogs Next stop in our fruit and veggie train: blueberries!  I’ll let you know if Taylor takes to them quickly, like the lettuce…or will just tolerate them, like the celery!

What are your little one’s current fruit and veggie faves? I would love to hear your foodie recommendations in the comments below!
So…until next time, Friends! Hope you have a fantastic rest of the day!