under the tuscan sun

2.jpgHappy Monday, friends! In the recent months, I’ve been writing much about my love for my dogs and the role that they play in my life. Being an animal lover is something that I have inherited from my mum. Below is a story that not only was written by my mum, but is one that I feel needs to be told. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do. :-)))

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Emory

1.jpg“Is anybody old enough to remember the novel Black Beauty? Classic. At the end of the book, Beauty, a twenty-something broken down horse, a shadow of his former spirited self, is sold for pennies and sent to his last home. A groomer sees him and stops in his tracks. He pats the horse and tells him he looks like Beauty, a colt he knew years ago.

“Now my true story: my Tuscan started his career on the racetrack, twenty-one years ago. He was sold many times as a jumper. The last owners were going to euthanize him as he couldn’t jump anymore. He lives here. With me. As my new farrier and I were trimming hooves I called Tuscan over. The farrier looked over and in disbelief said, “Tuscan? Tuscan! It IS you!” He had put shoes on Tuscan all those years ago when he was racing and had never seen him again.

“He has since trimmed Tuscan many times since that incredible meeting. He says my big guy looks great, and this chance meeting gives me shivers. My Tuscan is a lamb. And he has stolen my heart.”

MaryAnn

holly golightly, this one is for you

Holly01This is a piece that I had composed for Holly on Instagram. I’ve hinted at her recent health issues in several blog posts, but have yet to fully explain just what is the matter. Rather than rewriting it for you today and having to relive the same raw emotions once again, I’ve made the decision to post it here. Nothing has yet changed, and I feel as if I can say no more about the situation. This is what I wrote one week ago.

Holly02Holly03Holly05“We’ve been through a lot with our dog, Holly. Four years ago, we rescued her from the SPCA in Edmonton, Alberta. She was found wandering the streets, heavily pregnant, and in the middle of winter. No one ever claimed her. We went into the shelter not expecting to fall in love, but after seeing Holly shivering in the corner of a room, while being kept away from her litter of puppies, we knew that our lives would never be the same. She was losing her hair and was severely underweight, but within a few months she was a fit and healthy dog, or so we thought. Soon after adopting her, we noticed an ulcer in her eye. It turns out that Holly’s eyes cannot produce tears. After four years of different medications, numerous vet visits, and most recently a surgery to correct the problem, it appeared as if she would finally be able to lead a ‘normal’ life. Holly will be 10 years old. However, life will not let her catch a break. Last week we were told that Holly has cancer. Now, we must weigh our options and ultimately decide how many more surgeries and procedures we will subject her to. The line between preserving your pet’s life for yourself or for them is thin. If only they could speak and tell us exactly what to do. If nothing else, we know that Holly is a fighter, and that eventually she will help us come to the right decision, if not through human words, but through her own form of language that only dog owners grow to understand. While owning her has never been easy, if I didn’t have her love or the privilege of ever knowing her, the last four years of my own life would have been so much more meaningless. So, Holly Golightly, this one is for you.”

Holly09<3

Emory

a lumberjack and his dog

1.jpg 2.jpg4.jpg 5.jpg6.jpg 7.jpg8.jpg 9.jpg11.jpg 13.jpg14.jpg15.jpg 16.jpgTowards the end of Spring and beginning of Summer, we took a trip to the same national park that we tend to visit for every one of our wedding anniversaries. While we were there during our last visit, I photographed Geoffrey (my husband) and Truman (my dog) in the wilderness. At the time, I was planning on creating my own pet photography business, and I was using them to build my portfolio for documentary-style pictures. After all, cheap subjects are the best subjects. Wait, does that even make sense? Regardless, my plans didn’t really come to fruition over the Summer months like I had intended them to. Mostly because I was too busy with work, travel, or planning our house. More recently, it is because another venture has come up. This is something that I am so excited to share with you all, but not today.

Geoffrey and Truman were incredibly fun and easy to shoot. With a camera, not a gun. With the slim pickings of clothing that he brought on our camping trip, I did my best to coordinate his outfit to fit the Manly Lumberjack look that I was going for. A wool jacket, crew neck sweater, jeans, hat, and dark shoes had to suffice. After studying some animal photography books, I began our session indoors, and eventually took it into the great outdoors where we had more freedom to roam and thus more flexibility within the photographs. We also had waited for an overcast day to help with the mood. During editing, I heightened the contrast, added more green and purple tones, and utilized the zoom and blur features within Photoshop.

The only element that was missing was having a hammock for Geoffrey to lay in. If you are one of the lucky ones that owns a hammock, here are some tips on how to wash them!

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Emory

who will rescue you

IMG_1.jpg IMG_2.jpgIMG_3.jpg IMG_4.jpgIMG_5.jpg IMG_6.jpgIMG_7.jpg IMG_8.jpgIMG_9.jpg IMG_10.jpgLast Sunday, one of our local animal rescue organizations hosted a St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser. They chose a greenhouse as their venue, and although they were mostly confined to the lobby, with the amount of dogs and foster parents that were present they ended up taking over the entire building. My husband and I were skeptical about going, only because I have never been able to visit a shelter without leaving with a new family member. My own mother learned this the hard way when one act of volunteer work at the Humane Society turned into an adoption of a Saint Bernard named Dolly. I was worried that I was going to adopt a dog that day, while Geoffrey was worried that I was going to adopt a dog that day. Yet, we wanted to show our support for those animals that were looking for their forever homes. I put my own emotions aside for the afternoon, and we made our way over to the fundraiser.

What an amazing event. The volunteers had really put a lot of work into different ways to raise money for the organization. There were treats for humans and animals, merchandise, and a 50/50 draw. Each adoptable dog was dressed up in green and photographed individually for the website. The foster parents were all very friendly and encouraged you to ask about the available dogs even if you were not looking to adopt. The fact that the greenhouse also doubles as a pet store made it an even more fitting choice for a venue. My parents made it there before we did. Afterwards, my mum and I got to talk about which dogs we wanted to adopt. To my husband’s relief, we did walk away empty handed. I think the luck of the Irish was with him that day. He most definitely will not be so fortuitous the next time around.

Emory

do it yourself – burlap sack dog bed

IMG_1.jpg IMG_2.jpgIMG_3.jpg IMG_4.jpgIMG_5.jpg IMG_6.jpgI don’t know about your dogs, but Holly and Truman love burlap sacks. I only know this because over the past year I have used potato sacks around the house in multiple DIY projects. They have replaced pillow covers, curtains, placemats, and now dog beds. This is actually my second dog bed that I have made from burlap. The first bed bit the dust around the 5-month mark after Truman expressed too much fondness towards it. He loves burlap so much that he will lay and roll and scratch at the bed, over and over again, before settling down and falling asleep. When he wakes up, his hair is messy and he smells distinctly like a potato sack. Who could get mad at that?

Burlap is unique and inexpensive; two characteristics that I cannot get enough of. I initially bought 6 sacks off of eBay for less than $3.00 a piece. If you are going to purchase some for yourselves, I highly recommend going that route. That, or through your local classifieds. I always see burlap sacks for sale in antique stores, but rarely do they go for anything less than $30. That’s a bit outrageous in my mind. Because the sacks are large and double-sided, each one goes a long way. If you enjoy crafting with more natural materials, burlap is an incredible investment.

Emory

  • Hello! My name is Emory. I am a wife, mother of four (three on earth in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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