Doggie Photo Shoot

I only have a few passions in my life, God, my family (hubby, kids, and beyond), my friends, my crafting & decorating, and way up on the list, my dogs.  Chris and I had dogs when we were children so I think that that cultivated a love for ‘man’s best friend’ in both of us.  Our house just wouldn’t be the same without a fur-baby in our midst; we’ve been owned and loved by at least one at a time throughout our entire married life.  Currently, as most of you know, we have 3 wonderful beings that dwell with us, our 2 Newfoundland dogs, Sophie and Samson, and our Golden Retriever Gracie.  I took a little time away from my Christmas decorating, shopping, and other busyness of life and took each pup outside separately to take some shots around our yard, pairing the sweet gentleness that exudes from their pores with some of our Christmas decorations, then Chris came and helped me coral all three for some group shots.  All three were extremely well-behaved and posed with no prompting from Nillas (their usual “pose for a picture” treat) or any other kind of coaxing food.

I will quit yammering away here and just show you a smattering of pictures that I and then Chris captured:

This is Samson–Admittedly, there are more pictures of this fella–he is so easy to work with and he has a calmness about him that is just unsurpassed (except when he sees a deer or is barking at someone walking in our yard):





Here is Sophie–She is now 9 years old but still acts like she is 9 months old. She listened very well to me out there, but, she was laser focused on e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g…haha:



And here is Gracie (that silly upper lip just didn’t want to cooperate), she is closer to 10 than 9 now-a-days:


We really need to get her her own silhouette! ❤


Gracie had eye surgery almost a year ago to take care of Glaucoma…As you see in this picture, her eye has shrunk down to almost smaller than normal now, she is blind in that eye, BUT, she feels no pain and is as happy as a clam every single day of her life:



And now for some group shots:



And then I climbed into the picture with them:

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These three don’t get out front much, I do think that they’d stay around the house off-leash, but I never want to take the chance that they might take off after a deer…I can see myself trekking over the river and through the woods in pursuit…uh…not a pretty picture in my mind’s eye. 😉  Most of the time, they are either inside snoozing, or out in the safe fenced backyard that they all enjoy to the hilt.  That said, I do think that they really enjoyed their time out front posing, sniffing, watching, & surveying their property–We had a great little time of it…They are three wonderful blessings in our lives. ❤

And… now…, I’ll get back to the frenzied state in which I dwell every year in this interim time between Thanksgiving and Christmas–My favorite times of the year, albeit one of the busiest. 🙂

Until next time, y’all take good care!

~Arlynn—AND—Sophie, Gracie, & Samson

It’s All About Samson Today

Oh where do I start to tell you about our sweet Sam?  Well, I’ll start at the beginning. We had Samson flown in from Michigan as a 10 week old puppy, so on a cold night in January 2011, my hubby and I got in our car and drove to the airport where our little fella’s jet would be landing very soon.  His breeder is no longer in business, but, my goodness gracious, they did an awesome job with Samson.  I had a Facebook friend tell me about him and she was kind enough to go and pick him up from the breeder, take him to her vet, and have him vet checked and readied him for his journey South. Here I am holding Samson at the airport at the moment I retrieved him from his little traveling crate. I had been SO worried about him in that airplane…I was a nervous wreck till this very moment!  Our boy has adopted several endearing nicknames throughout the years:  “Wiggle Britches”, “Little Guy”, “Sam the Man”, “The Brown Clown”, “Handsome Samson”, “Sweet Sam”…and many others…


From this moment on, this little tyke climbed right on into our hearts to stay.  Admittedly, he was the littlest Newfie puppy I had ever laid my eyes on, but as you will see, he has grown into a gorgeous perfectly sized Newfoundland–He meets all of the “breed standards”. I truly wasn’t worried about that though as I knew we would never show him.  Newfoundlands come in an array of ‘recognized’ colors, Black, Brown, Grey, and Landseer (black and white).  We love Samson’s brown color with his little speck of white on his chest.  Temperament wise, he matched the standard for the breed as well only magnified about a billion times!  Sam is so sweet, so very calm, so gentle, so loving, so cuddly, and a joy to have around.  He is the epitome of a “Gentle Giant” (the nickname for the Newfoundland breed).

Here are some pictures of him growing into the big boy that he is today; this was his first night at home, Sophie welcomed him with open paws and took over a mothering role that I didn’t know she had in her.  She was awesome with him and the patience she showed to him while he was growing up was unsurpassed, one would have thought that she was his Mama (she never had a litter of puppies of her own, so I guess this was her chance to mother a baby). 🙂 ❤














As he grew and matured, I knew that he was a very special fella.  I made a point to socialize him very well and took him out and about into public places often.  Also, I made sure that he was well socialized with other dogs.  One year, I even hosted a “Teddy Bear Picnic” and added a fundraiser to the picnic to raise funds for Newfoundland Rescue.  I arranged this ‘picnic’ at a State Park near Virginia Beach, VA and one day we walked all of the Newfs out on the boardwalk at the beach…Here is a picture that shows you the effect a Newfoundland can have on little kids. 🙂 This little boy fell completely in love with Sam. ❤


Some folks have also come to us to visit here in our town…One dear friend from New York, and another one from Canada! 😉  Both of these precious pups are no longer with us…The big guy in the middle of my two is Jack…He was awesome!!


And the fella on the left in this picture, his name was Sam, and he was an amazingly sweet pup as well…<3  I am still very good friends with both of their ‘Mamas’ and I don’t think we’ll ever grow so far apart that we don’t touch base and check in on one another from time to time. ❤



IMG_7142I have a dear friend who lives South of us, she and I have hosted a couple of  “Newf Around” get-togethers at a State Park on a lake near her home.  Oh what lovely times we have when we attend–Although Samson is NOT a water dog like most Newfies…haha…Most Newfies will RUN ***toward*** the water…Not, Sam, nope, he runs AWAY from the water as fast as his big ole legs will carry him.  Weirdo…<~~~Said with complete affection~~~  There is a name for Newfs like him…”Hang-a-Shores”…Yup, he falls nicely into that category. 😉

Here are some pictures of Samson and Sophie with some of the other Newfs that they have made friends with over the years. ❤ The big, precious fella in the middle of my two is Sydney–Unfortunately, he is no longer with us…<3


The pretty black lady in the front is Belle, and the pretty Brown lady in the back is Zoey–I am good friends with their ‘Mama’ as well and as you can see, that quartet of Newfs got along famously. 🙂 ❤ IMG_5063

Here is a group of Newfs that we spent some time with down South at one of those Newf Arounds that I was talking about. 🙂 ❤ 10456002_10206624791048903_4762958641038314545_n

Here are Sophie and Samson (2nd and 3rd from the right) when we went to visit that same dear friend of mine, we try to get down to see her and her gorgeous pups at least once a year. She had invited several Newfoundland friends to her home and yes, all of their Newfs were invited too–We had all met on Facebook and have formed wonderful friendships that have endured through the years.  These are wonderful times!!!  (One more fella in the center of the picture is no longer with us too…His name was Barrett…He and Syd belonged to my dear friend whose house we were visiting. ALL of the pups that have passed on are so missed by all–these Gentle Giants leave footprints on your heart forever and ever!! (Little tykes do too, I don’t mean that at all…It’s just that we all have Giants…). 🙂 ❤


So as you can see, my Newfs, both of them are very well socialized and very comfortable around people and other pups.  But, Samson, instead of excelling in the water, well he’d much rather try and help folks feel better.  Every time I take him out, in addition to being asked all of those regular questions…”How much food does he eat?, How much does he weight?…etc…”, he truly touches all who come in contact with him in a positive way.  He makes everyone feel better.

So during the time that my sweet Mom was in a nursing home suffering with Alzheimer’s, I got in contact with the nursing home and asked them if I could bring Samson in there with me when I visited my Mom (no, Sam isn’t a ‘Certified’ Therapy Dog, but, trust me, he has served as a Therapy Dog to MANY through the years).

Here are some pictures of just some of the people that he touched while visiting the nursing home with me:






He was a natural in that nursing home…But, to be honest, since my mom passed away I just cannot bring myself to take him into another nursing home, I know, I know, that is selfish of me because I do know that he could help others feel so much better and I love that idea so very much.  But, that time in my life was full of anguished memories, and honestly, Sam was as much my own therapy while visiting as he was others.  He is now ‘retired’ and spends his days relaxing, I do take him out and about around town to visit in the streets of our little city though(we are very dog friendly around these parts), so he continues to work his magic and help everyone who comes in contact with him feel better.





He had a blast this past winter playing in the snow with Sophie and our Golden Gracie:




Samson will be 6 years old in October (2016), weighs a perfect 153lbs., and I cannot believe how the time has flown by.  One thing is for sure, our lives have been forever changed because this special fella is a part of them…He puts a smile on my face every single day!!  He is an amazingly special, “Handsome Samson”. ❤


Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤




Short Synopsis of Past Pets & Then Brushed & Beautiful (Highlighting Sophie, Samson, and Gracie)

Our three pups, Sophie the Newfoundland, Gracie the Golden Retriever, and Samson the Newfoundland (Brown) add so much joy to our lives on a daily basis; we could not be more loved than we are by these three loyal creatures. ❤


I love having dogs in my life and have had a least one for pretty much every year of my entire life.  I had a gorgeous German Shepherd as a child, her name was Nikki, and she is what awakened my deep seeded adoration for anything with 4 legs. 🙂

Here is a picture of Nikki:


My hubby and I have had many dogs in the 30+ years that we’ve been married.  Here is a collage picture of all of the pups that we’ve had the privilege to be loved by and to love. ❤ They include:

  • Shelby – Golden Retriever
  • Sadie – Husky
  • Tori – Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Keisha – Toy American Eskimo

We had one more *very* special girl that I didn’t include in that collage, her name was Maddy and she was a Bernese Mountain Dog.  Here is picture of Maddy:


I will take just a second to explain why this precious girl touched our hearts so very much! She had many health problems throughout her years on this earth and unfortunately she only lived to be 6-1/2 years old.  It all started out with horrible hip dysplasia (at 6 months of age…so, so young…can we talk about backyard breeders?  Well, that is a whole different subject that I’m pretty passionate about but will not lament upon here…just know, that all of Maddy’s health problems stem from poor breeding). 😥  Anyway, we had both of her hips replaced…two separate surgeries 6 months apart.

After that, one health problem cropped up after the other, to name just a couple, allergies to *every*thing & what finally took her from us MegaEsophagus.  I will not go into detail about that awful condition here, just know, it was a fight to keep Maddy healthy and aspirating pneumonia, a complication from MegaE, is what finally took her from us.  All that said, she lived a very full and loving life with us–she touched our hearts from the moment we said hello to her till the moment we had to say goodbye. ❤ Maddy gets her own collage here:


***We MISS you Maddy-Girl***

All righty–There you have it…My life with my dogs in my past, very full, very loving, and wonderfully enriched because of what they gave to me through the years.

Back to the present day now:

Yesterday, my hubby and I sat down to brush our 3 beauties because dontchaknow it is “BLOW YOUR WINTER COAT” (Spring) Season here in our house.  I was getting quite sick of chasing those doggie hair tumbleweeds around the house with the vacuum (I vacuum at least 2 -3 times a week at this time of year).  SO, we managed to get our creaky bodies down onto the floor with them (not as easy as it used to be…lol. 😉  <~~~ Only half kidding there. 😉  And we went to work on them with all of the tools needed to brush out undercoat, de-matt those matts that we came across, and a pair of scissors might have been in use as well to trim up some “Angel Wings” that Samson likes to grow…You can see said wings in the picture below (that big swath of hair right in front of his back leg):


Anyway, here was the end result…


People ask me all of the time how we get our pups to pose to prettily…Well, the big secret is NILLAS (Vanilla Wafers). They LOVE Nillas…W-e-l-l…let me rephrase that, the girls Gracie and Sophie LOVE Nillas…Sam could take or leave them–He is NOT food motivated at all as you will see in the following pictures. 😉

So, here comes the Nillas–Gracie and Sophie are quite excited, Sam, eh, not so much…lol…


The “WAIT” command was given, Gracie and Sophie were listening but focused on those Nillas…Sam, well, he was napping. 😉 


Then, Sophie just couldn’t contain herself any longer and she scarfed her Nilla right up and down the hatch it went.  Gracie was still in wait mode, bless her heart. And Sam, well, he had now entered REM sleep. 😉 


These three just fill my heart with love and make me giggle each and every day–I do love them so very much!!



AND one more picture that might put a little smile on your face today…


OH dear me…Yes, the word “challenging” does come to mind. 😉 😉

***Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unopened***

Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

Arlynn ❤





A Mishmash of Winter Weather (Doggies & House)

They were calling for 1-3 inches of snow, we got over 6″, then it all turned to sleet and then eventually to freezing rain.  They were calling for the temperatures to rise above freezing by 9pm last night, the temps didn’t rise above freezing until after 8am this morning which left us with quite a coating of ice.  OH joy, joy, what a mishmash of cold wetness we’ve experienced in the last 24+ hours. 😉  Well, hey, I can’t complain too much, I’ve been safe and warm in my home, the hubby has been here with me, and my pups have had another snow day to enjoy. 🙂  Here are a smattering of pictures that I’ve taken in the last 24 hours or so. 🙂

I started my day yesterday with letting the pups out in the backyard to play…This was the first picture I took as I walked out the back door, a smidgen more than 3″ of snow I’d say…


Of course, our Newfoundlands Sophie and Samson and our Golden Retriever Gracie had a blast romping and playing. 🙂



These pups just love the snow, I swear they eat their weight in it as well…OH well, they will remain well- hydrated. 😉

I walked around and took a few pictures of the house too…It was quite the winter wonderland…





The hubby came home early as the roads deteriorated quite quickly…This is what his car looked like…yikes!!



Thankfully, the sun is shining brightly today and the ice and snow are melting quickly. Folks are bustling around town again today and all is just about back to normal. 🙂


I will admit, it is so hard to stay staunchly on my diet on those days when we are kind of stuck in the house, but, I didn’t do horribly badly…haha…still though, I have plenty more to lose…one second, one minute, and one day at at time. 🙂


No more snow is predicted in the foreseeable future, but, in years past we’ve been known to get a good storm in March, so we’ll see what happens as we move forward in time. 🙂

For now, I will enjoy this beautiful day and thank the good Lord above that we are all safe, warm, and happy. 🙂


Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤

Blizzard Jonas: Dogs, House, and SNOW!

“Snowzilla”& “Snowmageddon” were just two of the names that the blizzard “Jonas” received as it roared through our area last weekend.   In the end, it was an historic storm that dumped a copious amount of snow on an area that isn’t used to having to deal with *that* much snow.  Goodness gracious, it was a mess around here, we just don’t have the snowplows and other resources that Northern States who routinely get snow like this have. Here at our house, we got upwards of 2 feet of snow, and I heard of some areas that got 30 and 40 inches of snow; it truly did shut us down for quite a few days.  In fact, the kids still haven’t gotten back to school.

I do enjoy a good snowstorm every now and again, I spent my days cooking some of my family’s favorite meals…

Chicken and Yellow Rice one day:


Beef & Vegetable soup one day:


And Spaghetti one day:


I also made a wreath on one day:


Sam and I had a few moments like this…haha…


I took a ton of pictures of our pups playing in the snow and of the house.  Here are a smattering of pictures of the dogs (Sophie the Black Newfoundland, Samson, the Brown Newfoundland, and Gracie the Golden Retriever).  Be prepared to scroll a lot as I took many, many shots…haha. 😉1V4A3398


Thankfully, my hubby had invested in a snow blower last year, to say that that came in handy is an understatement!  He used it to create a nice oval track for the pups in the backyard! This was genius on his part because even as big as our pups are, they were having troubles traversing through the mounding and drifting snow…




Here are some shots of the house during the storm:



I was taking this picture:





And then the snow finally stopped and the digging out process began:







I’m hoping upon hope that this is the biggest snowstorm that will come our way this winter! I am very grateful that the storm happened to fall on a weekend when the hubby was off and didn’t have to try and traverse to work.  I am grateful that we had food in the house and that I was able to hone my cooking skills a bit.  I am grateful that one of our daughters came and stayed at our house and kept us company as the snow fell and that our other daughter and her beau were safely tucked in their home warm and cozily hunkered down.  I am grateful that my family and friends also weathered the storm and are sufficiently dug out now and are starting to enjoy their *normal* life again.  We all took a moment or two to *pause* and reflect on the beauty and fury that nature can bestow upon us in a moment’s notice.  I will say that I’ve had my fill of snow for this winter and will be quite happy if I don’t see another flake fly. 😉


Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤



Meet the Pups

Hi All,

To say that I am a better person because of my dogs, well, that is a no-brainer.  They love me unconditionally each and every day, they are never in a bad mood, they think that all of my opinions are right, they don’t judge me, they don’t mind if I spend all day crafting or reading or just sitting–which I never do, but they wouldn’t mind if I did.  They are as sweet as sweet can be…honestly, there is not a mean bone in any of their little (well big) bodies. ❤

So here we go…

IMG_1896This is Gracie, she is a Golden Retriever and she is 9 years old.   She is a special girlie who can do every trick in the book and then some.  She is as smart as a whip, no kidding, this girl can learn a new trick in minutes. She can “close” doors–doesn’t matter what kind of door, cabinets are her favorite thing to close, she can sit pretty, give a high-5, and a high-10, speak, spin, roll over, fetch, stay (for hours), come when called (thank goodness); I’m sure I’m forgetting some of her tricks, but, the girl is amazing!  The Newfs adore her and they all play and live together beautifully.  Gracie loves her toys and still tries to play tug-o-war with Samson. She has started to have a few health problems, but we watch her closely and care for her lovingly when she isn’t feeling her best.  She is an wonderful little lady…Miss Gracie Mae….yes, indeed, just wonderful! ❤

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IMG_6830This is Sophie, she is a Newfoundland, and will soon be 9 years old.  Her big personality matches her physical bigness, she weighs 161 lbs. and is 32″ at the withers (yes, she is bigger than the “Standard” Newf…more to love in my humble opinion). 🙂  This girl was quite an ornery puppy, in fact, there was the one time that while trying to retrieve a ball from under a couch, she literally pulled said couch away from the wall and into another room in order to capture the ball again <~~~ That is a true story! lol She has calmed down in her older age, although, she is still as agile as can be, she runs like the wind, and is as animated as the day is long. When we were building this house, we’d let her ride along with us over here every day so she got accustomed to her ride (you know we went *just* for her…<~~ in her mind anyway), so now-a-days at 2pm every single day, without fail, I take her for a little ride around our neighborhood—no, I do *not* spoil my dogs… <~~~ I just told a big fib! lol 😉 But, Sophie gets so much joy out of that little ride each day, I just can’t deny her. 🙂  This girl doesn’t have any health issues!  Her white muzzle and eye lashes and brows are the only way that one can tell she is getting up in age.  She is as strong as an ox and I feel as if she will be with us for many years to come. ❤

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IMG_1571This is Samson, he is also a Newfoundland, he will be 6 years old soon, and he is a very special fella.  Yes, he is huge, he weighs 148 lbs. and is 30-1/2″ at the withers (exactly what the “Standard” calls for).  Samson has a sweetness about him that is undeniable, this boy has never met a stranger and has put many smiles on many peoples faces.  His favorite pastime is laying his head in peoples laps when they tell him to “Come say hi”. ❤  My Mom, who passed away a few years ago, was in a nursing home for the last several years of her life (Alzheimer’s–hate it).  Whenever I would go and visit her, I’d take Samson along with me, trust me when I say that this boy was much loved in that nursing home; his very nature was meant to help people feel better. Here are a few pictures of him at the nursing home, he was amazing:

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Now-a-days, Sam spends his time lounging, playing, and enjoying folks around town when I take him out and about. I do not take him to nursing homes any longer…too tough for me honestly.  BUT, he still puts plenty of smiles on plenty of peoples faces. 🙂  He is very healthy, yes, he does have a few joint issues, but we are supplementing him for that, a few skin issues now and again, we are managing those as well.  All in all, he is a very special pup that I feel was meant to be in our family. ❤

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I would be totally lost without these pups in my life, yes, I’m a crafter, but, I’m a Mom first and foremost…to my human girls yes, but also, to my pups. They enrich my life in so many ways; they calm me when I’m not having the best of days, they put a smile on my face every day, they make me giggle when they are romping around and playing, or running in the snow…they make me happy when I see how they make others happy when they greet them exuberantly. Well, they make my life whole. Yes, I am one of *those* dog Moms…haha. 😉

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