Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Where Would You Be Without Your Dog

Paul showed me this fantastically written article by W. Bruce Cameron from the Denver Post. I just had to share it for all you dog lovers. Read it and then ask yourself "Where would I be without my dog?" I would be scared I was going to have a seizure just about anywhere, so Charlie I guess you are a keeper. Plus, who would I have to cuddle with? Paul? I dare say NO. 

 Cameron: Your dog's crucial role in your life 
POSTED: 11/29/2011 01:00:00 AM MST 
By W. Bruce Cameron 

As part of his ongoing home-improvement project, my dog recently chewed the little tassels off the throw pillows on the couch. He was just ripping up the last one when I walked into the living room and he was so proud to show off his industriousness that he took the pillow and shook it like a rat. "See?" his expression seemed to be saying. "Where would you be without me?"

Without a dog, I would have tassels on my throw pillows instead of little stubs of yarn that look like small worms. The pillows seem to function just fine without the tassels, so perhaps it isn't a problem. Though they are called throw pillows, I never actually throw them, but I'm sure if I did my dog would approve. Maybe without tassels, they'll go farther when I throw them.

The question is an interesting one to contemplate, though. Have you ever asked yourself where you would be without a dog?

Without a dog, any time you accidentally dropped a piece of food on the floor, you'd have to bend over to pick it up.

Without a dog, squirrels won't have any reason to come into your yard to taunt.

Without a dog, you'd never have anyone in your life who thinks you invented bacon.

Without a dog, a lot of people will know you by your name instead of knowing you as your dog's parent.

Without a dog, you'd have to hump the neighbor's leg yourself.

Without a dog, you'd never have anyone demonstrate how important it is to stop every day and smell the roses ... and then lift your leg on them.

Without a dog, no one will listen to your opinions for more than a few minutes without interrupting to tell you their opinions, which you won't find nearly as interesting. A dog, on the other hand, thinks everything you have to say is absolutely brilliant and fascinating, especially if you're holding a piece of food while you're talking.

Try this with your spouse, and you'll see what I mean — a wife will give you maybe 5 minutes, tops, and it doesn't seem to matter whether you're waving a piece of chicken in front of her nose. There's also an inverse relationship between the number of years you've been married and the number of minutes she'll listen to your big, fat opinions. A dog, though, will always pay attention (unless you drop that chicken).

Without a dog, you might eventually forget what road kill smells like.

Without a dog, there's no one in the house who thinks driving with you to the store is one of the most fun things in the world. No one who is excited to the point of ecstasy to see you come back to the car with your bag of groceries. No one who thinks the drive back home with you is every bit as fun. In short, no one who can turn every mundane thing you do into a joyous occasion.

Without a dog, you'll be without at least one creature who thinks you are the smartest, most decent and heroic human being on the planet.

Without a dog, you might never know the joy of owning custom-chewed shoes.

Without a dog, some of your tennis balls might get really dry.

Without a dog, no one will think you are the most amazing cook in the world just because you can open a can.

Without a dog, you'd have to figure out what to do with your spare income. (With a dog, yourvetfigures out what to do with your spare income.)

Without a dog, you'll probably not take walks every day, and you'll probably never carry little bags for dog poo, either. Studies show that just adding those dog walks to your schedule can help you lose weight, live longer and battle stress (though no one has ever claimed that picking up dog poo does any of these things). Having a dog in your life lowers blood pressure and wards off depression. In short, without a dog you won't live as long or as happily.

So why would you want to be without a dog?

Read more:Cameron: Your dog's crucial role in your life - The Denver Post
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Paul, Jack, Charlie Pants & I wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a warm Holiday Season!  Don't forget to buy your sweet pet some yummy treats like these doggy doughnuts or these gourmet dog treats!

image via Party for Paws

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Gifts

 I watched the movie "The Family Stone" last night and it was all about everyone being together at Christmas. Seriously awkward movie, but I like it anyway.  I may take my brother-in-law's advice and head to the beach for Christmas. I like that idea.  Also, I want Paul to get a job that moves us to the beach.  He is looking. Does anyone know of any jobs preferably West Coast? Something that deals with conflict resolution.  I would move tomorrow to the beach if I could.

Okay lets talk Christmas Presents. I have no idea what to get anyone this year. I am wondering if I can take the "I am a poor grad student graduate and have to pay student loans off" approach.  I desperately want to send out Christmas Cards this year.  Is it tacky if I just send out a virtual Christmas card? You know-save the trees and all that jazz.  Also, any thoughts on inexpensive but rocking Christmas gifts that I can buy online so they will ship easily to Utah?

Want to know something I want for Christmas-Paul does not want me to get one of these and I can understand why.  I am sick and tired of having to carry Charlie everywhere in a blanket in the winter because despite my best efforts of making him wear sweaters and coats he is still freezing (he has no undercoat). Not to mention he always pees on everything I put him in. So I want to get a dog stroller.  I know ridiculous.  But I want one anyways- as long as I don't look like her. That is ridiculous. Gear PG8030IB Ice Blue Ultra Light Pet Stroller

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rain Coats for Dogs

What do you think about rain coats for dogs?  I think they are a bit silly, but I am sure Charlie would love one to keep him warm and dry.  Now that it is beginning to feel like springtime here in Virginia the rain is starting and Charlie is mad.  I found this picture of a min-pin in a rain coat and just had to post it.  Those ear holes are a riot.

Here are some other great pictures
dogs yellow rain coat

Monday, December 12, 2011

Online Singing Lessons, Vocal Lessons Online

Have you heard about Charlie Pants Music?  It is a virtual music studio offering online vocal lessons to students around the world. 

Vocal lessons are  available for the beginner student all the way through to the advanced  and professional student.  Some reasons singing students love taking singing lessons online.

1. Don't have to battle traffic to rush to lessons
2. It is convenient and easy
3. Sound quality and quality of lesson are just as good as in person vocal lessons
4. Singing students can live anywhere in the world and study with Leah Stone, a certified Speech Level Singing Instructor.

Charlie Pants Music also offers in person lessons at its vocal studio location in Denver/Boulder, Colorado.   Leah Stone also travels regularly to teach singing lessons and vocal  classes in Boston, New York City, Chicago, Denver, Boulder, Washington  DC, Richmond, and Los Angeles.


- Singing lessons

- Guitar and Piano Accompaniment lessons

- Songwriting/Arranging lessons

- Stage Presence and Performance lessons

- Executive Speech Presentation Coaching

- Rock, Pop, Alternative, Folk, Jazz, Country, R&B, Indie, Broadway, and Classical lessons and more to all ages and all levels of experience

- Read about Online Singing/Songwriting Lessons 


- How to make your natural tone sound its best

- How to develop great vocal control

- Smoothing out the vocal breaks in your voice

- Vocal Stylization

- Stage Presence and Performance

- Songwriting and Lyrics

- Accompanying yourself on guitar and or piano

Contact the vocal studio today to learn more about how you can enhance your singing voice either by in person singing lessons or by online singing lessons via Skype.

Check out what Charlie Pants Music singing students have been doing.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Family Christmas Card

So I wanted everyone to be in a festive matching sweater this year.  Paul already had his ugly snowman sweater as did Charlie, so I went to Michael's craft store and bought two snowman felt bags and cut out the bottom to make a snowman dress for me and snowman sweater for Jack.  Here is the family Christmas card this year.  What cha think?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Make Glove Animals as Pet Gifts

Okay, on to better things and cute Christmas gift ideas. How would you like to make a cute gift using only a sock and a glove?  Try these little creatures out. I think they are adorable.  Tutorial HERE.
 Have a HAPPY Weekend.
image and tute by Martha Stewart

Monday, December 5, 2011

Charlie Goes To NYC

Back in November, I was asked to come and teach some vocal workshops for a couple of churches in Richmond, VA, East End Church and Bon Air.  So I packed up Charlie's and my suitcase and flew to Washington DC.  I taught singing lessons in DC for a day and then headed down south to Richmond, taught my workshops, and then headed back to DC.  The next morning, Paul, Charlie and I took the Tripper Bus, an inexpensive and awesome way to get from DC to NYC, and 4 hours later found ourselves in the heart of Times Square.

It was a cold day in NYC and Charlie wasn't all too happy to be traipsing around the city in only his little green coat. If he could of had it his way he would have been wrapped in a down blanket and carried everywhere. After lugging our suitcases around for what seemed like a zillion blocks, we found our hotel, Yotel.  Have you heard of it?  It is some new hotel in NY that specializes in affordable luxury.  I thought it was perfect.  We paid $150 for the night and were on the corner of 42nd Street and 10th Ave and could see the Hudson from our window.  Plus the staff was fantastic, especially Michelle, about allowing a service dog to stay at the hotel, they were just in love with Charlie.  It is always so nice to go to a hotel that knows the ADA laws and I don't have to spend 10 minutes arguing with them about why Charlie can stay there.

Our room was tiny, but what NYC hotel room isn't when you are trying to stay on the cheap.  It was extremely clean.  The bed was pretty snazzy as it rolled up during the day like a couch and down at night all by the touch of a button.  Here is what our room looked like.

The hotel also offered complimentary kitchens on each floor with an awesome and FREE fancy schmancy coffee/hot chocolate machine whipping up a variety of splendid drinks. 

While in NY we went and saw Mary Poppins the musical, which was fun but I wish we had gone to see something a little more exciting like Rock of Ages.  But I think the highlight of our trip was 2 things.

1. we ran into some old friends from our old neighborhood in Utah. I mean we litterally ran into them. Had no idea they were in NYC and bumped into them in Times Square.  How funny.  Out of millions of people jammed into that small area, who would have thought we would see someone we know.

2. We went sailing.  We took the Schooner Adirondack and went for a sunset sail.  We sailed past Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and saw the Brooklyn Bridge. It was such a fun way to see the Statue of Liberty. The captain passed out wool blankets and served wine, beer, soda, and Champagne, and you could bring snacks, if you'd wanted to.  Charlie was freezing and wrapped up nice and warm in his blanket, but Paul and I had a magical time.  On the way back to the dock the sun had set and all the lights in NYC were twinkling and it was so magical. I highly recommend it. I think we paid like $60 a person for a 2 hour sail.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Gift Ideas For the Dog Lover

Have you heard of Pinhole Press?  I am sure you have cause it seems like everyone is using it and talking about it, especially to make Christmas cards this Holiday Season.  Anyways, check out Pinhole's fun collection for Animal Lovers.  These could make the perfect gift for that animal crazed lover in your life.  Sorry images are a tad on the image to see it on Pinhole's website. It takes a second to be redirected.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Weddings

It seems like there are a lot of weddings this time of year.  Charlie Pants is a pro at going to weddings and being the talk of the show (don't worry he tries real hard to not up show the bride).  Check Charlie out at this wedding and this wedding and here stealing ice cream at this wedding.

I wanted to show you how I made Charlie's bow-tie for his weddings in case you are going to be getting married this month and want your dog to be a part of the ceremony.

PS. I love this Pug in a bow-tie

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday! Charlie Pants Has a Giveaway!

Merry Cyber Monday!


You can enter to WIN a FREE 30 min. voice lesson and also GIVE a friend or family member a FREE 30 min. voice lesson.
(a $120 value).

Because lessons are offered online via Skype, you can live anywhere and win.

Offer expires 12/2/11 at midnight MST.

How to Enter

Complete these steps to enter to win (don't forget step #3 or else I wont know you entered):

Like Charlie Pants Music's Facebook Page. Click HERE

Copy and paste this paragraph including link below on YOUR Facebook wall or Twitter.

I want to win & give a FREE voice lesson with Charlie Pants Music. Method to 120 Grammy Winners. Lessons are done via Skype so anyone can take lessons. So cool!

Post on Charlie Pants Music's facebook page saying why you want to win and a winner will be chosen at random on Friday, December 2, 2011.


Friday, November 25, 2011

The Tree is Up

Okay lets take a vote. Who has already put their Christmas tree up? Who put their tree up a week ago? If you answered yes to the second question you are not alone. I love Christmas decorations and so I have posted some pictures (crappy iphone quality) of my house right now.  Charlie helped me put the low ornaments on the tree and Jack tried to eat all the ornaments within reach.  I already feel like I have two kids.

PS. The Snowman Sweater is already back. Paul wore it all day. Seriously. Charlie has a matching one!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Charlie

Charlie I just want you to know how grateful I am for you.  You love me no matter what even when I haven't showered in days, don't have on make-up, am lounging in sweats, and even feed you the same food practically every day.  You are my favorite person (I realize you are a dog, but to me you are more like a human).  Thanks for taking care of me.  Hope you like your new blanket (from Kohls super cozy soft).

Love You.

Happy Thanksgiving Readers.

What do you love most about your dog?

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Love Flying Southwest Airlines


Last week I went home to visit the fam in good ol' Salt Lake City, Utah, or as some refer to it, the promised land:) I really get nervous to fly with Charlie without Paul around because

1. It is more difficult.  Especially going to the bathroom. Dragging in a dog and luggage into any itty bitty toilet stall cause the handicapped ones are never available (frowny face to those that steal them) is never fun and I am pretty sure Charlie ends up getting his face smashed either against the toilet as we enter or the door as we exit.

2. People are rude to me when Paul isn't around.  I mean my husband is wickedly sexy and strong (ish) looking, but for some reason no one bugs me when he is around.  I think it is cause he has a shaved head.  Everyone must think he is some skin headed freak who will hurt at any bad comment my way. Works for me.

3. I usually have to argue with the ramp agent for the bulk head seat so I end up at the back of the plane which is a disaster (thank you United Airlines for sucking so bad. PS. I will never fly with you again cause you lack customer service and human skills)

4. I end up sitting next to weirdos that make me feel like I have leprosy instead of seizures.

This time was different.  First of all, they checked my bag for free so I didn't have to deal with that which made 1. Going to the bathroom, much easier. Additionally, Southwest ticket check-in woman called the ramp agent to let her know I was coming and so they saved me a seat in the very front of the plane (literally saved it with tape over the seat and a sign that read DO NOT OCCUPY) so that Charlie would have room on the floor in front of me.  And they gave me a blue pre-board ticket so I could get on the plane first. Fixing problem number 3.  And number 4 was just pure luck.  I sat next to a charming man named Jesse who found Charlie to be amazing and he didn't spill coffee on me or reek of cigarettes like the guy I sat next to the last time I flew.  Plus Jesse is related to the talented blogger Nie Nie who I read regularly and you should too.

I highly recommend flying Southwest if you travel with a service dog.  I mean 5 stars, two-thumbs up, get it while it is hot kind of review.

Thanks Southwest for being one of the only airlines with customer service.

Below I have posted some additional stories about me flying with Charlie.

A airport service dog potty station inside the Dulles Airport
Flying in general
United Airlines denied me pre-boarding...argh
Didn't happen to me, but crazy dog out of cage on plane...yikes

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Life of Little Charlie Pants

Today I am grateful for Charlie and how much he makes my heart melt and makes me laugh. I came across this post I did on my blog Bicycle Built For Two and had to repost it cause it is so dang funny.  This was about two years ago when I was beginning graduate school.

Ah To Be Charlie

Now that it is getting rainy and colder in Virginia, I have had to come up with a way to take Charlie with me, since he has to come with me as my seizure- alert service dog. I am going for trying to keep him warm and covered from the rain. Charlie has no undercoat and is freezing all the time.

I have tried

1. Sweaters: problem is they don't work cause Charlie pees on them and then they stink-plus his feet are always cold.

2. Baby sling: I sewed him a baby sling wrap thing, problem is that he is too fat to carry when walking the mile to the metro.

3. Dog stroller: I didn't actually get him one of these, but totally wanted one until I realized people would want to see my cute baby and out would pop Charlie.

4. Rolling scrapbook supply carrier (thanks Melissa for letting me steal this from you): this works perfectly. I can put my laptop and schoolbooks in here plus Charlie lays down inside with a blanket and is covered up from the rain. He is so spoiled. This way I don't look like too big of a rich babe/Paris Hilton wannabe cause no one can actually see him when I am pulling him around outside.

This is Charlie relaxing while I am in class.

If only I can get Paul to carry me around in a big rolling case with a blanket, my life would be complete.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Human Foods That Are Toxic to Dogs

Many of you may know this, but I thought I would share it anyways. Here is a list of toxic human food and reasons why they are harmful to your pet. I think the one to really remember is the grapes and the raisins, because for the longest time I did not know they were harmful and I used to give these as treats to some of my past family dogs.

1. Onions (Both onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient Thiosulphate. But onions are more of a danger. Many dog biscuits contain *small* amounts of garlic – garlic contains less of this toxin so huge amounts would need to be consumed to be toxic. And, by the way, this poison builds up the system – it can be toxic in one large dose – or with repeated consumption of small amounts.)
2. Chocolate (Chocolate contains Theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. This can be fatal to dogs.)
3. Grapes (Grapes are dangerous because of an unknown substance which is toxic to dogs – affects canine’s kidneys)
4. Raisins (See above.)
5. Most Fruit Pits and Seeds (Contain Cyanogenic Glycosides resulting in cyanide poisoning – though the fruit itself is OK.)
6. Macadamia Nuts (Macadamia nuts contain an unknown substance that is toxic to dogs.)
7. Bones (Most bones should *not* be given (especially chicken bones) because they can splinter and cause laceration of the digestive system and/or become lodged in your pet’s throat – so they also pose a choking hazard.)
8. Potato Peelings and Green Potatoes (Contain Oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.)
9. Rhubarb leaves (See above.)
10. Green parts of Tomatoes or Green Potatoes (Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.)
11. Yeast Dough (Yeast Dough can produce gas and swell in your pet’s stomach – leading to rupture of the digestive system)
12. Moldy or Spoiled Food (I think this goes without saying.)
13. Nutmeg (Nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures, and central nervous system damage.)
14. Avocado (All parts of the avocado and avocado tree are toxic to dogs.)
15. Alcoholic Beverages and Coffee
16. Fatty Foods
I guess my question is "If these are fatal to dogs then why can humans eat them?"

Friday, November 11, 2011

Spotted: Rover Dog, Funny Dog Clothes

I stumbled upon the amazingly fashionable doggie attire of Rover Dog and wanted to share with you. Aren't these cute coats, shirts, and ties funny? They are appropriately dressy without involving even a scrap of tulle or cheesy doggie tuxedo pants. For those of you who consider yourself opposed to dogs in clothes, I dare you to resist this kind of cute. Maybe Charlie should get one for church.
{Photos from Rover Dog.}

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our Favorite Things

Here are a Few of Leah & Charlie's Favorite Things this Fall

Pumpkins, and

Farmer's Markets, and
Boating With Paul.
(Fountainhead Lake in Virginia)

Cute Streets to Walk Down, and

Sweet old ladies painting
(in the National Gallery of Art), and
Dear Friends to Visit,

These are a few of my favorite things.

When the Dog Bites
(run charlie run! don't worry no one was hurt!)

When the Bee Stings
(paul is like deathly allergic to bee stings-check out the puffiness on his forehead- Paul was stung while riding his bike, so I am lucky he is alive-but he does have a sweet life insurance policy so hmmm... it is a toss up!)

And I'm feeling sad

I simply remember the Man in the mall
(dressed like a princess or devil or something I can't really tell-
I think he might even have on wings)

And then I don't feel So Bad!!!