Monday, March 31, 2014

Riley and the Peekapoo Breed

I have to apologize for my absence here on the blog - I had a nasty case of strep throat for most of the week, and I didn't really feel up to doing much more than laying in bed with a big glass of orange juice watching Parks and Rec. :)

Also, if you haven't seen the first installment of the 7 Questions series over on Damien's Best Dog Toys, check it out - it's me!  I was so excited to participate; it was fun AND in return, a box of toys got shipped to the animal shelter of my choice!

I thought for today, I would explore my own dog's breed a little bit.  Riley is a Peekapoo, which is a Pekingese Poodle mix.  Besides knowing what these breeds look like, I know almost nothing about either breed.  I have had both good and bad experiences with Pekingese, same with poodles.  Isn't it so fascinating how much variety there is in mixed-breed dogs?!  Puppies from the same breed can turn out looking completely different from their siblings.  This is why I <3 mutts the most! :)  So I did a bit of research and found out more about each breed...and whether or not Riley matches the characteristics.

(Facts taken from Pet Place; photos from Dog Breed Info)
Because Peekapoos are a mixed breed, they have many different looks:

This one has Riley's toothy little grin!

This one definitely favors her Pekingese side.

This one looks very similar to Riley, except with a black coat instead of white.  Doesn't he look wise? :)

Peekapoo's coats are generally low-shed and low-allergy:  Thank goodness this applies to Riley!  My husband has some pretty severe allergies and asthma, and he has been allergic to several dogs he has come into contact with.  But thankfully, not our dog!  Riley's poodle traits allow him to live in our home and not irritate Jared's allergies.

Their coat is also prone to painful matting:  We try to brush our dog fairly often, but he is constantly getting mats on his ears.  I can tell they bother him sometimes, but I don't know how to get them out without causing him even more pain!  When Jared tries to gently tug or brush the mats out, Riley rolls his eyes and huffs like an annoyed child:  Daa-ad, leave me alone please, I'm trying to enjoy this Beggin' Strip.  So we usually end up taking the scissors to them; the aftermath of these trims has led me to the conclusion that I will never let my husband cut my bangs.

Indepedent and stubborn:  Riley is not so much independent as he is follow-you-around, sit-on-your-feet-while-you-pee, watch-you-when-you-sleep needy.  If he was a girlfriend, you'd ignore her calls and eventually cut her loose because he. is. CLINGY.  On the other hand, stubborn is a trait that describes him perfectly.  He often gets something in his mouth (most recently, a fairly large rock, a wrapped cough drop, and a chicken bone) and absolutely will not let you get it out.  He has this trick where he wedges it behind his incisors and it becomes almost impossible to yank it outta there.  

Fond of its family; may be unwilling to socialize with anyone else; territorial:  Do I need to remind you of how attached Riley is to his daddy?  No one may come near his Jared.

Content in a lap, doesn't desire much exercise:  Riley is a typical couch potato, and I am definitely not complaining.  We love our twice-daily walks, but not too much else :)  

It's been such a tough day of lounging and watching SpongeBob...

Intelligent and people-friendly:  These two traits have kind of...bypassed my dog.  Riley is not UNintelligent, but I'm not sure "smart" could be a term used to describe him.  He knows and reacts to many words, but the extent of his obeying commands is to hover his butt near the floor when we say "sit."  And though Riley enjoys the company of humans and, once attached to them, will follow them around like crazy, he seems rather aloof toward strangers.  If a person walks by on the street, say,  he sniffs and puts his nose in the air like that girl we all hated in high school.

May have issues with ear infections and tear-staining:  Check and check!  Riley is forever itching, pawing, and rubbing his ears against the carpet.  He is on daily drops for his ear issues, but the poor guy is still always scratchin'.  (He also has allergies, which could contribute to the ear thing, and the fact that his paws are constantly stained pink!)  As for tear-stains, this is a problem in most white dogs - it's kind of gross, but we usually just clip away the badly stained parts until we get him to the groomer.  

Since we got Riley from a shelter, they weren't entirely sure of his breed mix.  I'm not completely convinced he is a Pekingese/Poodle...I think there's probably a little something extra in there too.  Maybe a dog DNA test is in his future?  :)  Just kidding, those are silly and unnecessary, right?  RIGHT?! :)

What about you and your little mixed-breed?  Do their personalities/looks match up to the stereotypes?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Why I Volunteer, Reason 597: (Kinda) Wordless Wednesdays

To socialize and comfort the animals whose eyes say, Please take me home:

Midge is a 6-year-old female who is also STILL AVAILABLE for adoption at the HSNI!

Handsome Tamer will have been in the shelter for a year in June; he is a 2-year-old pitbull mix who is STILL AVAILABLE for adoption at the HSNI!

Beautiful, friendly Roxie is a 2-year-old Pitbull/Bulldog mix who is STILL AVAILABLE for adoption at the PAWS Humane Society!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Top 10 Most Lovable Movie Dogs

I figured I would post a more upbeat opposite to my depressing Hollywood dog post and talk about my favorite movie dogs!  Basically, a dog just has to appear in a movie and I immediately love it - even Cujo - but these are my favorite ten.

10.  Bruiser in Legally Blonde (photo from here)
Legally Blonde is obviously not a movie centered around dogs, but I always thought Bruiser was adorable (and, quite frankly, the best thing about the movie.)  (Except maybe the Bend and Snap.)

9.  Sparky in Frankenweenie (photo from here)
Don't watch this movie if you, like me, get unusually upset over cartoon dogs in kids' movies.  As mentioned in the aforementioned depressing post, Victor's dog (ironically named Sparky) dies and is brought back to life as a sort of zombie/Frankenstein-esque dog.  No matter how sewn-up and scarred he is, I still think Sparky is pretty darn cute - especially when he meets a Bride of Frankenstein lookalike and falls in love!

8.  Tramp in Lady and the Tramp (photo from here)
Tramp was a super stud who settled down as soon as he met his "Pigeon".  Sigh.  This movie is just awesome.  Their paw prints in the wet cement, and of course the iconic spaghetti-eating scene.  Too cute.

7.  Hercules/The Beast in The Sandlot (photo from here)
This misunderstood mastiff was actually a total snuggler once the guys got to know him - as most dogs are!

6.  Dug in Up (photo from here)
This hilarious talking retriever was a friendly, if annoying, companion during the journey in the movie Up.  His voice is what I think Riley's sounds like, except instead of saying, "Squirrel?!", Riley would always say, "Night-night?!"

5.  Toto in The Wizard of Oz (photo from here)
I have only met a few Cairn terriers in my life, and none of them have been black like Toto.  How scrappy is this dog?!  He bites Miss Gulch, jumps out of her basket, AND stands up to the super-annoying and whiny Cowardly Lion!  Oh yeah, and he steals that hot dog from Professor Marvel - such a badass little dog.  I always have to hold my feelings back when Miss Gulch tells them she's going to bring the dog to the police and have him "destroyed."  I'll destroy you, Miss Gulch.  How dare you.

4.  Hachi in Hachi:  A Dog's Tale (photo from here)
Again, this dog was featured in my previous post of sad movies, but he deserves more recognition because he is SO darn cute.  Look at that face!!  Hachi is hands-down the most loyal dog in existence.  I'm not going to talk about why this is, because I'd probably start crying, but it's true.

3.  Baxter in Anchorman (photo from here)
Baxter's real name is Peanut, and he is a scruffy little border terrier mix.  He was one of my favorite parts about this movie (we won't discuss Anchorman 2 because I'm going to pretend it never happened); also, whoever wrote this movie should note that it was NOT funny when Jack Black punted Baxter over a bridge.  I know he comes back later in the movie.  But it upset me at the time.  (I feel you, Ron Burgundy.  I would be in a glass case of emotion, too.)

2.  Petey in Little Rascals (photo from here)
Pitbulls actually used to be known as "Nanny Dogs" because they were so friendly and good with children.  What happened to this stereotype rather than the vicious, man-eating one?!  Spanky's dog Petey was one of these Nanny Dogs, and that face with the circle around the eye just gets me every time.

1.  Uggie in The Artist (photo from here)
This handsome and very clever dog got his pawprint on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and many fans even wanted him to win the Oscar for Best Actor rather than his costar, Jean DuJardin.  Not only is he cute, Uggie the Jack Russell stole every scene he was in, performing tricks and somehow conveying emotion through those little puppy eyes.  (Some say that we are merely projecting our own emotions onto dogs, but I choose to ignore that opinion.)

Here are my honorable mentions (not on the list only because I haven't watched any of these movies):
Marley in Marley and Me
Winn-Dixie in Because of Winn-Dixie
Shiloh in...Shiloh
Otis in Milo and Otis

I'm sure there are more I've left out.  Can you think of any??

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Book Recommendation: Roam by Alan Lazar

My dog has never run away.  (Knock on wood - we've only had him for a year!)  I like to think that this is because he loves it so much here - I mean, he gets all the treats and belly rubs he could ever want, why would he ever leave?!  But I recently tried to let him outside off leash, and he immediately attempted an escape.  Riley is an older dog who has some...extra meat on his bones, so it was a very slow attempt, but an escape nonetheless!  This little incident scared the hell out of me - I don't know what I would do if I ever actually lost my dog.  I see posts on Facebook of friends whose dogs have run away, and my heart just breaks for them.  What is it about this thing dogs have, this obsession with running away?!  Where do they think they're going?  Do they think the streets have better treats to offer or comfier places to rest?  Anyway.  I recently read a novel that concerned a little dog running away and all of the scary, dangerous, exciting things he experienced during his adventure.

I finished this novel last weekend, and I still can't stop thinking about it.  Told from the perspective of a beagle/poodle mix named Nelson, Roam follows this dog through eight years of his life.  Nelson starts out in the home of the woman who bred him, and he eventually ends up in a cold and unfamiliar pet store.  Soon, though, he is taken home by Katey, who quickly becomes his Great Love.  An incident allows him to escape, and he does so...and of course, Nelson can't find his way back home to Katey.  Nelson roams city streets and dangerous woods, somehow surviving year after year.  He runs into friends, foes, and human companions.  Through dog shelters, sickness, and a motorcycle accident, he toughs it out - all to get back to Katey.  

This book could easily have been cheesy and sentimental.  And don't get me wrong, it definitely had its fair share of sap.  But it never went overboard.  The writing from the viewpoint of Nelson felt very realistic; I wanted to keep this little trooper of a dog for my very own!  The story is very reliant on smell:  Nelson can smell everything.  I enjoyed this; it made me think about what scents my dog picks up on.  Another thing I enjoyed about this book was that it came with a "soundtrack" - by scanning little barcodes after the chapter with my phone, I could hear short pieces of piano music that went along with the story.  These pretty pieces were composed by the author himself!

I had a couple of issues with the book.  First, it felt almost too realistic at times - it made me feel uncomfortable to read about Nelson wanting to mate and things like that.  In regards to that, I think the author went a little too far.  I also had a problem with the way the author portrayed pit bulls (vicious, scary, and mean) as well as shelters (cold, damp, dark, awful).  I don't agree with those stereotypes one bit, and I was a little disappointed that the author did.  And finally, yes, the ending came together quite neatly - more neatly than was realistic.  But I would absolutely rather read a happy, convenient ending to a dog book over a sad and depressing I was okay with that.  :)

This novel was very different from most I have read about dogs, most likely because it was all told from the perspective of Nelson.  I really enjoyed the strong voice in this story; I hope you will, too!  (Buy it here for $13.39.)

Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

He's Sexy and He Knows It: (Mostly) Wordless Wednesdays!

Single White Male searches for a Fixed Mix to spend days with.  A mature and dignified gentleman who enjoys belly rubs, lounging, and a refreshing walk around the block.  Is not against the occasional wild night out (see above photo, ladies) but prefers to spend days inside on the couch.  Likes:  blondes, rawhide bones, rolling frantically around on any textured surface to more effectively scratch my ears.  Dislikes:  wearing clothes, dogs that try to take over my territory (my territory = Dad), human food that is not shared, ice machines. As soft in my heart as I am around my middle...Biters need not apply; cuddlers are preferred. Interested?  Thought so.  Contact my mom and dad, and ask for Riley...they'll know what it means.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Angels who Save Animals

I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but it's an important one - please bear with me and read on!

Most of the animal shelters in my area are pretty fantastic.  Not only are many of them considered "no-kill," a standard that's nearly impossible for a shelter to meet - particularly during the dreaded "kitten season" - they have also done some amazing, above-and-beyond-type things for animals in need.  I worked in one of said shelters for close to a year, and it was both the most rewarding and most emotionally taxing job I have ever had.  As a shelter employee, you are consistently let down by the actions and behaviors of humans...and then brought back up again when people show you how generous and giving they can be.  Hope springs up in your chest when an especially wonderful human being takes on the responsibility of adopting a blind senior dog...and then it sinks back down when a dog is abandoned on the road or a kitten is left outside the building doors.

What I'm saying is:  It is damn tough to work in animal rescue.  Shelter employees are the closest things we have to saints around here, and they are never appreciated enough for what they do.  For the sweat that pours down their face while they clean up messy outdoor kennels in sweltering, 100 degree heat.  For the pain they feel when a sick kitten must be euthanized (because it is never only the animal's pain - those employees feel it, too).  For the frustration they go through when a confused puppy is returned to the shelter because he "chews too much" or is too high-energy - a fairly typical occurrence in animal rescue, but I doubt it ever gets easy to hear.

Let me share with you some examples of the selflessness and kindheartedness of our shelters:

This cat, known now as Chilly Willy, was left outside the PAWS Humane Society doors one night, when the temperatures were bitterly cold.  The shelter employee opening the next morning, unfortunately not too surprised to see him there, set him up in a warm, cozy kennel and gave him some much-needed food.  Chilly Willy is now a content and happy 12-month-old kitten who is still looking for his forever home. (He is very sociable and loves children; if you're interested in adopting him, you can visit the PAWS website.)

(Photo from HSNI website)
This 2-year-old pitbull terrier was named Serenity by shelter staff, and she was left behind on a vacant property along with three other dogs.  The temperatures were below freezing, and the dogs were all left outside.  When a good samaritan heard of this, she went to the property to bring the dogs to the Humane Society of North Iowa; however, Serenity was the only dog left there and alive.  When she arrived at the Humane Society, she was badly dehydrated and covered in dried blood.  The wonderful on-staff veterinarian determined that Serenity had been shot near her shoulder and neck.  She was given plenty of fluids and antibiotics and now is almost completely healed and able to walk.  The staff loves Serenity and often keeps her up front to socialize with them and customers.  They are now taking applications for Serenity - if you'd like to be considered, visit the HSNI website for more information.

This fun-loving girl is Goldie (photos by HSNI).  Goldie is the golden retriever mix known around the world...for her awful story.  She was left in an outdoor kennel outside of an apartment where several other dogs lived.  For three weeks, she sat alone in the kennel with no food and little water, eventually becoming so hungry and afraid that she chewed off her own tail.  After hearing about Goldie, the Humane Society of North Iowa offered to take her in - she was only 46 pounds when she arrived at the shelter, and she had to have her tail amputated right away.  She was skinny and traumatized.  Once Goldie's story came out, it spread - to New York news stories and even as far as Australia.  Applications and phone calls poured in.  Most of them needed to be weeded out, as Goldie does not get along and cannot live with other dogs or cats.  Due to her traumatic past and the anxiety she showed at the shelter, other applications were weeded out because the owners simply would not have the time to give Goldie the love and care she needs.  The handful of potential adopters left came to visit Goldie...only to change their mind.  Goldie is somewhere between 8 and 10 years old (a "senior" dog), and they expected a calm, couch-potato of a pet.  She is not this - she is energetic (almost puppy-like in her behavior, in fact) and requires exercise and play.

It has been a year and two months.  People have stopped calling about Goldie.  People no longer apply for her.  Some people even go so far as to throw insults at the shelter that took her in, saying that it is their fault that Goldie sits behind bars.  (Since I worked there and arrived there shortly after Goldie did, I have to say:  this is simply not true.  Goldie is a very special dog who NEEDS a very special owner.  That person has not come yet.  The shelter wants Goldie to be adopted, just as the public does, but it cannot be the wrong home, not for this girl.)  When I first arrived at the shelter, Goldie was thriving - she was all about the food!  the treats!  the people!  the tennis balls!  the WATER OMG THE WATER!  She still loves all those things and is in good health, but after a year, she's getting stressed.  Her hair sometimes falls out in clumps because of it.  She still chomps at water and goes nuts over anything that bounces - she is still a firecracker - and the staff has done an amazing job with her.  But it's not the same as having a home.  Goldie really just needs the right person to come and find her.  If you think you might be that person, PLEASE visit the HSNI website for more information.

This is what Xander looked like when he was brought in to the Humane Society of North Iowa (photos by HSNI).  The now-7-month-old pit bull puppy was found wandering an alley - he was severely emaciated and dehydrated.  The staff wasn't entirely sure if he would make it.  But it appears Xander is very strong-willed, because two months later, he has come leaps and bounds.  He has gained a lot of weight (probably due to anti-nausea medication and special canned food), though he still does not weigh what he should.  Xander is friendly, sweet, and absolutely GORGEOUS.  His straight-up right ear and pretty eyes make him pretty darn hard to resist.

I visited the shelter this past Friday, and Xander has now been integrated into the main shelter with the other dogs, rather than being kept in the vet room.  This is huge for him, but he still needs to gain some more weight before he is officially placed up for adoption.  If you are interested or want some more information on Xander, you can call the HSNI.

And finally, here's a couple of success stories to end things on a positive note:

(Photo by HSNI)  A tote full of 7 boxer-mix puppies was found in December on a downtown street.  The tote had clumsily-poked holes in the lid and a sign reading "Free Puppies."  A man found the tote and its shivering contents and brought it in to the Humane Society of North Iowa.  The temperatures that week were hovering near zero, and the puppies would have frozen fairly quickly had they not been picked up.  Thankfully, they all seemed to be in good health...and after the story spread, all the puppies were adopted right away.  They now live in their warm, comfortable forever homes!

And one more wonderful success story, no photo included:  An extremely timid boxer named Shaak Ti was brought in (along with her furry shih-tzu sister) by her sobbing owner, who had to release the dogs to the Humane Society.  The shih tzu adjusted to shelter life fairly quickly, and after a bath and a haircut, she was good to go!  But Shaak Ti was absolutely terrified; she would huddle and cower in a corner, shivering and shaking.  The staff kept her in a back room since she seemed so afraid of everything - we were worried that she would never come around and warm up to people.  But one employee made it her goal to socialize Shaak Ti - she would bring Shaak Ti up to the front to lay on a blanket; she would slink on her stomach up to the front desk and hide under it.  But soon (after some car rides and maybe some hamburgers), the boxer warmed up to the employee...and soon everyone else!  Thanks to the staff member who took Shaak Ti under her wing, she was adopted by a couple whom she took very quickly to.  This was a great example of how shelter employees can go above and beyond for the animals who need them.

(I know I put a lot of emphasis on the HSNI, but, to be fair, they are by far the largest shelter in our area...and I used to work there, so I'm a bit biased :) )

All this being said:  Promote shelters as much as you can.  If you're looking for a pet, hit up your local shelters first.  They do amazing work and, let's face it, aren't paid nearly enough for what they do.  I am amazed at how many people, when I wear an HSNI shirt, say, Oh, I had no idea this town had an animal shelter!  Spread the word of the good that shelter employees do!  :)

Thanks so much for reading <3

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cyber Saturday!

I am sorry I don't have many photos for you guys to look at today - the amazing animal stories I have found throughout the week are mostly in the form of news articles.  (If you'd like to check out a photo-heavy Cyber Saturday about fashion, crafting, and other fun stuff, you can check out my other blog here!)

I'm sure you all are very familiar with the "First Kiss" video of strangers kissing for the first time.  Since it came out, tons of parodies keep cropping up, but this is BY FAR the best...and the most adorable!! <3

I've only just come across this wonderful pet blog and haven't yet gotten the chance to delve into its archives - mostly because this article stopped me from doing anything but angry-crying for the next ten minutes or so!  It is not a happy story:  the blog's author was selected for jury duty in a horrible animal abuse/neglect case.  Hoping to make a difference in the case's outcome, she took notes and gathered information so that the person that allowed this poor dog to die would be found guilty.  They randomly removed her from the case, however, and the outcome was less than satisfactory.  Click on over and read her story, but just's a tough one to read.

Buzzfeed had a great piece about rescue dogs from Chicago's Trio Animal Foundation, to help show us how far shelter dogs can come when given lots of love and nurturing.  (We have a local shelter near our town that has some AMAZING success stories I will share one day.)  This adorable German Shepherd is named Valentine, and after having two extensive surgeries on her legs, she has healed and though her front paws will never be straight, she is a very happy dog and walks just fine!

Mother Jones is currently investigating Animal Planet after hearing about various instances in which animals were mistreated on the show Call of the Wildman.  It seems that animals that were already procured to be on the show may have been put in dangerous situations to be "rescued" again for the cameras; the article says that it's possible that the animals may have even been drugged with sedatives.  If this turns out to be true, it's pretty disgusting.  What people won't do to get more viewers...

A photographer named Theron Humphrey has been traveling for the past year, taking photos of people with the pets they've saved from shelters.  "I don't want to see sad dogs in sad cages with sad music playing in the background," Humphrey told the Huffington Post.  "Shelter dogs aren't second-rate animals, so why depict them in that way?"  He calls his project "Why We Rescue," and each photo is equally touching.  One sweet photo is captioned, "Cooper came up to me and leaned right in beside me, and it was like two lost lonely souls had finally found each other."  <3

Help is needed for this Tennessee woman, who had left her thirteen-year-old daughter home with the family dog for the day.  The dog's name was Bryan, and he had no history of aggression whatsoever.  The daughter came outside to investigate a sound and found her neighbor with a gun; he shot her dog three times at point-blank range.  Bryan had "approached" him in his yard and apparently wouldn't "move along," so the neighbor shot and killed him.  Click over to the site and sign a petition to help this family get a full investigation of this horrible situation.

These adorable French bulldogs went missing when a Chicago apartment was burglarized last week.  But this story has a happy ending:  A stranger, tipped off from a post on Craigslist, found the two pals and brought them back to their home.  The newlywed couple the dogs belonged to offered the man a reward, but he refused, just happy to bring the dogs (who were very happy to be back) home.  Why can't more people be like this?!  Dogster's website also has a controversial article about whether animal shelters too strict when screening potential adopters; it's an interesting read, but as this is something I feel pretty strongly about, I'm going to save my comments for a future post.

The Sidekick Series is a mini-documentary series on YouTube, started by two animal lovers and a handful of pets from the Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue.  The goal of these videos is to raise awareness of how awesome shelter pets can be and to get more people to adopt.  I think this is a great idea, and hopefully these videos inspire people to rescue an animal!

That's all for today!  Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Those Horrible Movies Where the Animal Dies, Volume 1: Why, Disney, Why?!

If you're an animal lover, you know all about the trauma that is a movie centered around an animal.  If a movie is coming out involving an animal or pet as a main character, chances are...that animal is gonna die.  Or get hurt.  Or something else sad that will cause you to try and muffle your sobs in the theater.  I was ready to get up and leave during Ice Age, when that saber-toothed tiger almost died.  And sure, that new movie Mr. Peabody & Sherman looks cute, but I'm not gonna get sucked into that one.

Tim Burton's guilty of it.  So is Steven Spielberg (though I guess ET was an alien and not an animal.  Potato, potahto).  And Walt Disney?  Is perhaps the guiltiest of all.  Disney just looooves to tug at those heartstrings with all the animal deaths and/or injuries.  Why is it, I always wonder, that children's movies are often the saddest?  Yes, they usually have a happy ending, but it's a hell of a sob story before we get there.  Why is this?!  This is a list (part one of at least three) of some of the most traumatic animal moments in Hollywood cinema, so if you're an animal lover with a heart that is much too soft (like me), you can avoid these movies.  Or at least make sure you have a huge supply of tissues.

(FYI, there is even a website dedicated to this!  It's called Does the Dog Die?, and it is a definitive list of every movie that involves dogs or other beloved animals, ranked by how many tissues needed.)

(Also, I am pretty sure I have featured at least some of these movies on my other blog, so feel free to check that out.)

African Cats (or anything similar to the Planet Earth series)

To be fair, African Cats (photo from here) and other films like it are documentaries.  The filmmakers are not there to get in the way of 'nature taking its course.'  BUT STILL.  I can't watch documentaries like these without crying at least once (or ten times).  My husband and I recently tried to watch Disney's Oceans, and after a scene involving a shark going after a poor, relaxing seal, I made Jared turn it off as tears ran down my cheeks.  ("Babe!  It's just the food chain!  That's how things work in the wild!" he insisted, rolling his eyes.  "I DON'T CARE I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!"  I may have overreacted.)  And why do the coyotes - or lions, or polar bears, or hyenas - always always always go after the babies?!  So unfair.

All Dogs Go to Heaven

(Photo from here)  Spoiler alert:  Charlie dies twice.  TWICE.


(Photo from here)  "Bambi's mother is shot to death, leaving him stuck with his cold, absentee dad.  You know who else that happened to?  FIFTY CENT." - Lemondrop

The Land Before Time

(Photo from here)  Okay, I can barely even talk about this movie, so bear with me here.  Yes, we all know going into this movie that all dinosaurs are going to die anyway.  So that makes it less sad, right?  WRONG.  Littlefoot's mom tries to get up and she can't, and so she tells Littlefoot to just go on without her (to find "treestars" which, correct me if I'm wrong, are just leaves, right?), and then she dies.  And then a baby pterodactyl tries to cheer Littlefoot up with a cherry, and it's all just too much for me.

The Lion King

(Photo from here)  Scar is just the worst, right?  Not only does he push Mufasa off the cliff into a wild stampede, he then tries to convince little Simba that his father's death was all his fault.  Worst Disney villain ever.  Though this movie makes me very sad, I just try and think about little Simba really being Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and then the world is right again.


(Photo from here)  Again, the dog dies twice.  I don't care if he is "resurrected", Tim Burton.  He dies twice.


(Photo from here)  This movie, based on an amazing true story, is wonderful.  If you haven't seen it yet, go rent it immediately.  But make sure you're emotionally prepared, because I sure wasn't:  Every time the camera moves to Hachi, waiting patiently for his owner at the train station, your heart will break a little.

The Neverending Story

(Photo from here)  Okay.  So.  Here we have a children's movie, full of magic and wonderment.  What would make it better?  Oh, I know!  Let's have Artax the horse drown in a huge lake of sadness and mud!  Great idea.  The only thing that consoles me when I think about this movie is how much my dog looks like Falcor.  And even then, I only feel a little better.

Honorable Mentions for Movies that Left Horrible Scarring Marks of Sadness:
Eight Below:  most of the dogs live, yes, but some of them die!  Also, Paul Walker :(

My Dog Skip:  Skip lives a long and happy life, but ohhhh the feelings

Marley and Me:  which I haven't seen and refuse to watch, but I hear it's horribly sad

Old Yeller:  Whatcha doin' with that gun, Travis?!

Where the Red Fern Grows:  when we watched this in third grade, I was sent out of the room because I was too upset

The Fox and the Hound:  I know Tod and Copper don't die, but they get hurt and it's all very sad!

Ramona and Beezus:  of course they had to include the scene where Picky Picky the cat dies, of course they did.  My sister - who is as soft-hearted as I - had to leave the theater during this scene; I suffered through it

Charlotte's Web:  I never thought I would feel awful about the death of a spider, but this movie proved me wrong.

(photo from here)

I promise I'll go back to more animal rescue-type stuff tomorrow; I just couldn't resist something fun for today.  (I guess fun isn't exactly the word to describe this list...)  Did I miss any?  What movies make you bawl like a baby?


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

FYI, Riley LOVES His Daddy: (Mostly) Wordless Wednesdays

"Wait, did you...did you just say Daddy's leaving?"

"I'll just wait for him here, then.  Until he gets back in eight hours.  Okay?  Okay, Mom?  Also, stop reading books meant for children - you're like 25!"

"Did you just say Daddy's home?!  Did you?!  That bean dip smells good.  Is that the door?!"

"Dad's home!  Dad's home!  I'll just lay here so you can't leave again, okay, Dad?"

"Kay, Mom, you can leave us alone now.  Dad's home."


"What's that, Mom?  You got bit by a dog and your mouth's all messed up?  Okay, I guess...I guess I can lay with you for a little bit.  ...That okay, Dad?"

"Kay, that was long enough.  I'm back, Daddy!  I'm right here!  To protect you!"

"No, seriously, Mom.  Leave us alone.  We're good."