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):

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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:

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

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We really need to get her her own silhouette! ❤

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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:

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And now for some group shots:

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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…

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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). 🙂 ❤

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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. ❤

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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!!

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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. ❤

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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

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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…). 🙂 ❤

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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:

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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.

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

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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”. ❤

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

~Arlynn ❤