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Rain In Orange County

We don’t get much rain here in Orange County.

When we do, it tends to be an occasional, brief, shower.

We ooh and aah over it and, in general, freak out because RAIN!

We are, without a doubt, Weather Wimps.

The last couple years have been even dryer than usual.

Last weekend we got *some* rain.

And yesterday ….?

We got REAL rain.

The “real” rain included emergency flash flood warnings, etc.

People got on social media to flip-out about “snow” which was, in reality, just a little hail.

And yes, I even have to make fun of my 5th generation Southern Californian, self.

Here are some of my actual thoughts yesterday:

•  Oh, look rain!

•  I wonder when it will stop?

< Checks weather online and sees it’s expected to rain all day.>

•  I guess I’ll have to cancel my day.

•  I can’t drive anywhere if it’s raining.  (The car might explode if it gets wet??)

•  My house smells like a wet dog.

<Puts beach towel down for Fred to walk on as he goes in and out of the rain/backyard.>

•  I should make popcorn.  (Popcorn is a rain food.)

•  Will my jeans fit me if I make popcorn?  Maybe not.  I guess I won’t.

•  How am I going to walk Fred if it’s raining?

•  He will just have to play in the backyard today.  (It’s just for one day, after all.)

•  I bought cute rain boots a few months ago.  I should unpack them.

•  Meh … I don’t want to get them wet.  I’ll leave them in the box.

•  Did I really just decide to leave my new rain boots in the box so they don’t get wet?

•  That’s ridiculous.  I’m ridiculous.  I should write a blog post about this.

And, after all that …?

It stopped raining shortly after noon.

I did not make popcorn.

I did not wear my rain boots.

Fred DID get a walk.

I apologize to everyone for being such a Southern Californian.

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The Weekend

I hope you had a nice weekend.

Last Friday, Paul Newman informed me my arm was not attached to my body.

He asked me why I hadn’t noticed.

“I’ve noticed it really hurts,” was my reply.

“I have to put it back,” he answered.

I grimaced, forced myself to take a deep breath, and he went to work.

And … guess what?

It still really hurts – which is very normal for a few days post re-attachment.

I’m seeing Dr. Painless today.

I’m sure he’ll give me a shot of Toradol to take the edge off the pain.

Have I mentioned I hate my arm?

I get so tired of battling pain all the f*cking time.

It’s exhausting.

Anyway, other than THAT … and the resulting lack of sleep,

It was an okay weekend.

Saturday morning, Fred had his first “official” training session.

He did really well – he’s a smart puppy.

There’s so much to learn when you’re new to the world.

Saturday afternoon I went to look at a few homes which are for sale.

(And no, I didn’t see any homes I would be interested in.)

It was cold over the weekend, by OC standards, so it seemed like good TV binge-watching weather.

I, along with the rest of the world, binge-watched the third season of House of Cards.

And …?

I had to work for several hours also.

Fred enjoyed the cool, rainy, weather.

He particularly liked the resulting mud puddles.

He gave me his Evil Side-Eye when I made him get out of the mud.

Fred The Newf (with attitude) at 17 weeks old.

“But, Mom, I LIKE mud puddles!”

Oh, Fred!

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Fred Friday

Fred had a great Newfoundland puppy day yesterday.

Fred was invited by my client, WrightWay Fitness, to attend a fitness bootcamp.

Here are two iPhone photos of Fred getting loved on at bootcamp:

Adam and Fred @ 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

In the above iPhone photo, Adam lets Fred know how glad he is Fred attended bootcamp.

Adam is the owner of WrightWay Fitness – and the person who invited Fred to come for a visit.

Adam’s wife, Becky, is expecting their first baby next week.

She stopped in to get a Fred kiss before her baby arrives.

Becky and Fred @ 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Fred LOVES expectant moms.

(I think Fred loves everybody?)

Fred was a big hit at bootcamp.

He wandered around the gym, got lots of pets, gave lots of motivational kisses, etc.

Fred thought it was great fun.

Fred absolutely loves being the center of attention.

At the end of the day, Fred got another adventure.

(By the way, Fred is losing his puppy coat right now so he looks a little patchy/unkempt even when he’s been brushed.)

Look at those BIG BIRDS!

Fred could hardly contain his glee.

I didn’t let Fred chase the geese.

If I had, I’m quite sure Fred would have ended up in the lake happily swimming after them.

Fred got a lot of playtime at home too.

By the end of the day, he simply couldn’t keep his eyes open another minute.

It’s exhausting being Fred.

So much puppy goodness in every single day!

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The Perfect Derby Dress

My daughter has been acting as my “personal shopper” and sending me links to potential Kentucky Derby dresses.

If you’ve been reading along, you know I’ll be wearing a purple (“orchid”) hat on Derby day.

I don’t have a dress yet.

I don’t wear dresses.

Why don’t I wear dresses?

Well, for one thing –

I have a terrible time finding a dress that fits.

I have an (ahem) large chest.

[Big boobs on a HUGE rib cage.  I hate my big ribs!]

If a dress fits my chest, it becomes like a tent on the rest of my body.

If it fits my waist and hips, it won’t contain my boobs.

According to “body type” quizzes, my body type is an “hour glass.”

Theoretically, that sounds sexy and good – right?

But, in reality, nothing fits quite right.

I’m pretty sure all curvy, hour glass, women wear custom-made clothes.

Or, at the very least, spend a fortune having things tailored to fit.

My daughter keeps sending me links anyway.

We’re both hoping I find:

1) A dress I like,

2) A dress that fits ALL the parts of my body, and

3) A dress I can wear with a purple hat.

Yesterday, we saw a photo of what *could possibly* be the perfect Derby dress.

Wouldn’t this look great with a big (!!) purple hat?


I think it’s perfect.

Black and white would look great with a purple hat.

The dress is made for an hour glass figure.

And …?

The lines would be very flattering.

The dress is made by Altuzarra and can be found (here) at Neiman Marcus ….

For only $1,790!

Such a deal!

Since I can’t afford this *perfect* dress,

I keep telling myself it probably wouldn’t fit anyway.

After all, I haven’t been able to find a single dress that DOES, yet.

I hate when I have to dress like a girl ….

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You Want MORE Fred?

Everyone seems to want Fred, Fred, and MORE Fred these days.

I apologize to those of you who hate dogs.

Fred does provide me with nonstop humor and blog material.

So …?

Although, I’m in L.A. today (without Fred) I’m giving you a little more Fred.

And don’t worry about Fred … he’s in good hands until I get home at the end of the day.

(I have no doubt I’ll be greeted with lots of love when I return.)

Yesterday, Fred went with me shooting.

Of course, I made sure he had a shady spot to hang out in.

Fred has a tough job … going with me to beautiful places, enjoying cool ocean breezes, and seeing occasional wildlife.

“Look Mom, I see a butterfly!”

Fred really enjoys our adventures.

He has a great time exploring new places.

Yesterday, he decided he needed a little puppy nap while we were out.

I was done shooting, so I just sat down on the ground near him.

I took care of some emails on my phone while he  grew even bigger  slept for a few minutes.

When Fred woke up I told him it was time to go home.

Fred wasn’t too happy to hear that.

I gave him a treat for being such a good puppy and he forgave me.

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•  Yesterday it was cold.  Also?  I apologize to those of you who are experiencing real cold.  But for Southern California?  It was cold.

•  I went for a hike.  It made me wonder how/why people in cold climates ever leave their homes?

•  There’s a lot going on in the photography world for Canon shooters.  New cameras, new lenses, new technology!

•  And yes, I’m back to work.  I have several big projects coming up and I couldn’t put it off any longer.

•  I had a check-up with my orthopedic surgeon yesterday.  It was the usual, “You need another surgery,” from him.  And, “I can’t have another surgery right now because [insert a million different excuses]” from me.  I think he’s (very) used to me?

•  The Voice is back on.  This is important because it allows me to see Adam Levine in a different outfit every week.

•  I have to spend a day this week at the LAX airport.  There are no words to describe how much I’m dreading it.

•  Fred is tall enough to remove things off coffee and end tables.  Yesterday he brought me the TV remote.  I think he wanted to watch Animal Planet?

•  Everything on the tables is being put into drawers, cupboards, and/or out of Fred’s reach.  Having a “giant breed” dog is a whole new world.

•  Fred caught a moth yesterday.  Fred’s Moth-Best-Friend provided him with entertainment for quite some time.  Until?  Oops …!

•  Fred also entertains himself by checking out his own reflection in my glass fireplace doors.  He thinks there’s a very handsome Newfie puppy living in the fireplace.

•  And yes, Fred chases his own tail.  Sometimes he even keeps turning in circles over and over again after he’s caught it.  It never fails to make me laugh.  Eventually he gets so dizzy he falls down.

•  Can you tell I have gone Fred-crazy?  I’ve never had a dog with a personality like his.  We’re having a great time together.  He becomes more animated every day that goes by.  His face is SO expressive … I can’t wait to capture all his different “looks” with my lens.  He had a perfect side-eye look from the day I got him, but now he gives me an open look of disapproval when he doesn’t want to do something.  It makes me laugh.

“Come inside, Fred.”

(Disapproving, but resigned, look.)

“No more treats, Fred.”

(Just plain disapproving look.)

“Hi Fred.”

(Boundless joy, even if it has only been a whopping 30 seconds since I talked to him.)

•  Fred and I have a very special trainer beginning to work with us in just a few days.  I’m excited.  Puppies are time consuming.  But, it’s SO rewarding to put the effort into working with them from the very beginning.

•  It’s a busy time, but a great time.

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The Weekend

It was a busy weekend.

On Friday, my car broke down.

Actually, a rock flew up under (and inside) my car innards (???) and parts of the car had to be disassembled to get to the rock and remove it.

As a result, I was car-less Friday afternoon through the end of Saturday.

(I ended up having a few other  expensive  car things taken care of at the same time.)

Without transportation, Fred and I had to keep busy at home.

Fred practicing his retrieving in my swimming pool.

Fred didn’t mind being home at all.

After all, at sixteen weeks of age, Fred doesn’t know much of the world except my backyard.

I was pretty restless though.

Cabin fever!

On Sunday, a small storm arrived.

Fred and I knew we wanted to go exploring.

Fred saw his first-ever pelicans.

He was very curious about them.

Rain, and wind, and crashing waves, and constantly changing light –

What could be more fun?

In a matter of minutes, we were both soaking wet from a short rain shower.

We forged on … getting ourselves covered with sand.

We looked for whales, but we didn’t see any.

It was a good outing for Fred.

He can’t carry equipment for me until he’s full grown, but he got to see what I do when I’m out shooting.

He waited patiently as I took photos, and walked by my side each time I changed locations.

It’s almost as if he understood he was with me to learn.

He was such a good, well behaved, Newfoundland puppy.

Fred had a lot of fun too.

Before we left, I asked Fred if I could take his photo.

He’s becoming my photography muse.

Fred The Newf:  Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Fred was happy to oblige.

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Spring arrived early to Orange County this year.

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Fred Friday

I’ve gotten a few questions regarding Fred’s latest news.

On Wednesday, at Fred’s sixteen week check-up, he got his last (third) parvo shot.

Does that mean Fred has full freedom to go anywhere and everywhere?

Well, yes and no.

Wednesday was his last parvo shot.

But, the last vaccine may not be fully effective for two weeks – depending on which vet you believe.

However, most dogs (I think it’s eighty percent?) are free and clear after the second vaccine which was given to Fred four weeks ago.

If I was in a high risk parvo area I would keep Fred on my own property for another two weeks …

Just to make absolutely sure.

But, Fred is destined to be a service dog.

Socialization and early training are more important/urgent than with a pet.

My vet and I discussed all of this at length.

I’m taking Fred out, but only to areas which my vet considers “very low risk” areas.

For example, yesterday Fred got to play King of the Mountain.

The area he was in is a small, private, area – in a city that hasn’t had a single parvo case in “years and years and years.”

Fred won’t be going to dog parks, pet stores, or other high traffic areas for awhile longer.

In other words, Fred has gained some “cautious” freedom.

Some of you were also curious about Fred’s weight.

Fred weighed fifty six pounds on Wednesday.

That’s a LOT even for a male Newfie.

However, the vet and I both can easily feel Fred’s ribs … he passes the “not fat” tests.

He’s very healthy.

He’s just big.

Fred’s paws were bigger than the hands of the vet “technician” we talked to last week.

It’s entirely possible Fred has gone through an early growth spurt and will slow down.


There’s also a *slight* possibility I’m going to have the largest Newfoundland Dog in the world.


(I think!)

I’ll try to post another Fred photo this weekend if I get a chance.

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Sixteen Week Old Newfie Puppy

Fred had a great sixteen week check-up with his vet yesterday.

He came home and took a puppy nap.

When he woke up,

The neighbor kids played with him until  he was  they were all tuckered out.

He was sad when they left.

Blurry iPhone photo of 16 week old, sad,  Fred The Newf

Fred loves people.

Fred has a pretty great dog life …

And, it will only get better as he gradually merges out into the world more and more.

I haven’t taken any “real” photos of Fred (with my camera vs. phone) in days.

I’m going to try to remedy that today.

I don’t know how I’ve been so busy when I’ve been getting nothing done?

I guess that’s just life with a puppy!