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Mooning Over You

I watched the sun drop into the ocean last night …

And the moon rise in the sky.

It was a beautiful evening in Laguna Beach.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

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Fall – Vancouver Island

I took this abstract photo when I visited Canada.

Golden leaves on the trees … clouds reflected in the water.

It was beautiful.

The scene called to my creative spirit to be photographed as an abstract.

I titled this image Falling Through The Air.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

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Why I Deleted Yesterday’s Post

Some of you read yesterday’s post.

Around midday, yesterday, I deleted it.

Well, actually, I turned the post settings to “private” so they aren’t visible.

At some point in the future, I will turn them back to public.

I sometimes forget how public my life has become.

At the moment, in addition to The Internet In General and Photographer Friends,

I also have a lot of Dog People following me.

I love dogs, and I love people who love dogs.

(Well, MOST of them!)

There are people all over the country, and for that matter the world, following along with my Service Dog Journey.

There are some very positive things that come from having a public life.

There are also some very negative things.

As I was talking to a breeder yesterday, she was googling me.

Before our conversation ended – she had gathered all sorts of information about me.

In that particular instance, it was a positive.

She LIKED what she discovered.

But, she could have just as easily ruled me out as a future Newfie mom if she had read something she didn’t like.

Those of you who have followed me for a long time know I am who I am.

I don’t put on pretenses.

I can be outspoken when I feel strongly about something.

I’m very REAL … or perhaps, honest to a fault.

In any case, yesterday’s post will be “public” again at some point in the future.

I just decided right now, with breeders googling me right and left, it might not be the best time for that particular post.

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I have almost this entire week free.

A “free” week NEVER happens … but I had cleared my calendar thinking I would have a brand new puppy this week.

I wanted an open schedule so I could bond with him, etc.

Life is full of funny (and not so funny) twists.

Laguna Beach:  Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

•  On a positive note, I’ve met some REALLY nice people since having my Bad Breeder experience.  It’s a good thing too, because I  had given up  was about to give up on the human race.

•  Every day I’m contacting a few breeders from the list the NCA gave me of accredited breeders.  I started with those I’ve gotten personal references on … and so far they’ve been great people.

•  I got a flu shot yesterday.  I usually do that around October 1st so I’m a little late.  (We always get flu shots because we have sickness-induced asthma issues in our family.)

•  Do you get a flu shot?  I know a lot of people don’t believe in them for various reasons, but they seem to always keep us flu free.  Fingers crossed!

•  Some of you have asked ….  My sister has improved a lot.  She’s doing much better, but I think she has a long road ahead of her.  Yes, she was wearing a helmet when she had her bicycle accident.  The helmet cracked in half on impact.  In addition to a fractured skull and brain injury, she had numerous injuries/broken bones/etc.  My parents are with her for an extended stay right now.

•  My iPhone (I think it’s an iPhone 4??) is broken.  The touchscreen only works when it feels like it.  For instance, the other day my daughter called me and I kept touching the screen to answer the call.  The phone would not respond.  This went on for quite some time.  I eventually found a land line to call her back on.  (Remember land lines?)  Other times the touch screen works fine.  Also?  It will only connect to wifi once in awhile depending on its mood.

•  Yes, I *am* eligible for a phone upgrade so I ordered the bigger-than-my-head iPhone 6 plus.  I had trouble deciding which of the new iPhones to get.  I went into an Apple store.  The iPhone 6 plus does fit in my small handbag.  It also has a better camera and longer lasting battery … so I chose it.  I mainly use my phone to look at photos anyway – and bigger is always better in the photography world.  I ordered it with 128GB so I can consolidate everything onto my phone.  Yes, even all the music from my very old, and also broken and unusable (but filled to capacity) 64GB iPod.  Unfortunately, Apple tells me my new phone won’t arrive until the end of November.  That means I have to try to coax another five weeks or so out of my broken phone.  Fun times??

•  Yesterday, the Internet went crazy insulting Renee Zellweger for having a face/eye lift done.  Yes, the very same Internet that constantly condemns cyberbulling.  Of course, people would also insult her if she  looked old and/or aging.  I can’t imagine the pressure in the celebrity world ….!   (It’s bad enough just living in Orange County!)

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The Pet Adoption Process

Did you know how difficult it has become to adopt/purchase/rescue a dog?

I had a friend go through the process awhile back.

He joked about it taking nine months, the “interrogation process” he endured, endless paperwork, etc.

He said it was harder than adopting a child.

Of course, he was joking – and I laughed right along with him.

But, really …

It’s become quite a drawn-out ordeal.

I realize there are Bad People who were scooping up available dogs to use as dog fighting “bait.”

(The very idea makes me ill!)

And there are always lots of people who think they want dogs/puppies until they realize what an expense and inconvenience they are.

Then, sadly, many of those same people abandon their pets and/or don’t give them the care they need.

What I’m saying is I GET IT.

And yes, it’s better to have a lot of safeguards in place than to have an absence of them.

Still, it’s mind blowing to me how much things have changed in the last thirteen years since we acquired Mocha.

I spent yesterday (the entire day!) talking to people all over the country about Newfoundland dogs.

I even talked to a very nice woman at the Newfoundland Club of America.

(She was awesome!)

I filled out paperwork for rescue dogs.

•  Yes, I’d be willing to take a non-puppy dog.

•  Yes, I’d be willing to take care of a dog with some medical issues.

The rescue paperwork informed me I couldn’t be considered for a rescue dog unless I belonged to a local dog club for at least a year.

So I filled out paper to join the dog club … even though I currently don’t HAVE a dog.

Of course, the paperwork to join the dog club asked how long I’ve owned my dog.



I think the pendulum has maybe swung a little too far?

I’ve also learned almost all Newfies are “co-owned.”

I actually learned this with “my” (not-to-be) puppy.

Breeders keep their names on the paperwork as a co-owner so you don’t make a bad breeding choice with “their” dog.

(They don’t want you to randomly let your dog breed with a dog with bad hips/heart and pass bad genes on.)

They also do it in case the dog becomes world famous … they want to take some of the credit.

I understand this is usually done with good intentions.

But, I’ve also heard some really nasty stories about co-ownerships gone bad.

Co-ownership used to mainly be a contract for top show dogs, but (at least in the Newfie world) it pretty much applies to every dog now.

I actually wish future people-parents were screened as carefully as future dog owners are.

You can have as many babies as you want, but you have to go through a LOT of steps before you can have a dog.

It’s crazy out there in dog-adoption land!!

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The Weekend Without Pictures

I hope you had a good weekend.

I went to see Gone Girl.

It was really good.

I had read the book when it first came out.

I always worry movies will be disappointing compared to the books they originate from, but that was not the case with Gone Girl.

I also went to a “Newfie Picnic” put on by the Southern California Newfoundland Club in Long Beach.

I crashed their party in hopes of meeting “someone” who could put me in touch with “someone.”

OK, I didn’t completely crash.

I was invited by a woman I’ve met, but at the last minute she couldn’t go and I went anyway.

Honestly, Newfies must be the most difficult dogs to find … at least here in Southern California.

There just aren’t a lot of them.

I did, however, meet some nice people and nice Newfies at the event.

I couldn’t stay as long as I would have liked, but I’m still glad I went.

(I was there long enough to get some Newfie hugs … which were very healing to my heart.)

I also met up with my daughter and her long-time boyfriend.

We went to a Carribean restaurant by the beach.

We sat outside, in perfect weather, and enjoyed catching up over a couple beers and jerk chicken enchiladas.

In other words, I didn’t have an earth-shattering weekend …

But, I had a very NICE weekend.

And now …?

Well, now it’s Monday!

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I’ve had a rough couple weeks.

My sister’s accident.

The puppy heartbreak.

A rattlesnake hissing at me in my own garage.

Terrible, painful, girl-parts tests.

(The test was AWFUL!)

I’m kind of down in the dumps.

More than the disappointment of having “my” future service-puppy taken away,

Is just a general sense of disillusionment with humanity.

I’ve been busy, but I’ve also been a hermit.

I’m still in a state of shock over how cruel the puppy breeder is/was.

I don’t like people very much right now.

People can be so awful to other people.

And, they often are.

I know I’ll get over it and life will return to “normal.”

But, right now I’ve kind of given up on humanity in general.

Maybe I just need to meet ONE person who isn’t totally focused on themselves and their own ego and selfishness.


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This and That

•  I closed comments on the post about my heartbreaking puppy experience.

Sometimes, when people know they’ve behaved badly, they try to save face by misleading others about what they’ve done and/or why they’ve done it.

Maybe they even convince themselves … who knows.

The puppy post was about to turn into a war of words between people who are choosing sides based on *things they’ve been told* vs. the actual facts.

If nothing else, I learned a few powerful lessons from my car accident.

Life is too short to fill it up with negativity and bullshit.

I want to move on from what has been a very bad, and heartbreaking, experience.

I do not want to rehash it over and over again.

In other news …

•  I have a very busy week running all over Orange County.

•  It’s the middle of October.  How the hell did that happen?

•  Have you bought Halloween candy?  I haven’t (yet).

•  I am STILL very freaked out about rattlesnakes.  If you want to freak yourself out too, you can watch a live rattlesnake birth here.  It is terrifying.  (Good Halloween material!)

•  The annual monarch butterfly migration should be starting any minute now.  I’ll try to capture some photos for you soon.

•  I have to have some terrible girl-parts stuff done to me today.  I’m dreading it.  If I don’t have a post up tomorrow you’ll know it’s because I didn’t feel up to writing yet.  On the other hand, if I have a goofy post up you’ll know I was on pain meds after the procedure and writing instead of sleeping.

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I had an unexpected houseguest yesterday.

I arrived home at the end of the day.

I was walking through my garage.

I was lost in thought.

I heard a hiss, and a rattle.

I looked up to see a female red diamond rattlesnake about three feet in front of me.

In my garage!

It was coiled, hissing, rattling its tail and posed to strike.

I backed up, opened the garage door, and went into the house.

I hoped the snake would leave and head out into the sunshine of the day.

It isn’t unheard of to come across snakes when you’re out hiking in the local canyons or mountains.

It is VERY UNUSUAL to find one in your garage.

I waited a few minutes, then cracked open the house door to see where the snake was.

SsssSnake © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Red Diamond (female) Rattlesnake – phone snap

It had not left and it was headed in the wrong direction.

I’ve seen much bigger rattlesnakes, but I’ve never been in this type of snake dilemma before.

What to do?

I closed the door and waited, again.

Then … another peek.


Red Diamond Rattlesnake Tail – phone snap

Oh no!

The snake was winding itself around the five gallon water bottles.

I took the above photo, and posted it on Instagram with the caption, “RATTLESNAKE IN MY GARAGE!!”

In only minutes @rattlesnakeguy had contacted me from Phoenix, Arizona.

(I just LOVE the Internet!)

He’s the one who informed me the snake was a female and that she had recently given birth.

(Apparently, snake guys know this by looking at her tail and seeing the “fold” towards the end.)

I managed to flag down a neighbor.

He came and (very carefully) removed the snake and placed it in a brush area away from our houses.

Personally, I would have killed it and then burned the house down (twice), but I wasn’t willing to get close to it.

My new friend @rattlesnakeguy then proceeded to educate me about red diamond rattlesnakes.

They have “clutches” of 5 – 25 babies at a time.

They have their babies in the fall.

They stay with their babies for a couple weeks and then separate for the winter.

Many of their babies are eaten by predators.

(I love our road runners!)

@Rattlesnakeguy said to keep an eye out for her babies because they might be in the area.

I’m never going outside again.

I’m wearing sneakers even in the house.

In fact, I plan on wearing sneakers to bed every night.

Wouldn’t you?