Design, Food, Pets, Health, Technology... Life Untangled Tue, 06 Oct 2015 13:45:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Make Your Own Halloween Spider Web Tue, 06 Oct 2015 13:45:43 +0000
DIY Spider Web
Oh, what a tangled web we weave! Follow this step-by-step guide to creating the perfect spider web decoration for Halloween. Your house will be the coolest house on the block!]]>
What a Tangled Spider Web!

My neighbors and friends keep stopping by to ask about our new pet…Charlotte.  To be honest, I sort of winged the construction of this web when I started it on my porch last weekend.  The whole time I was thinking, I should be taking pictures because I might want to blog about this…but I wasn’t even sure how it would turn out.  Well, needless to say, we all LOVE her!

Sadly, I didn’t take any how-to pictures. This really didn’t work out for my friend, since her daughter begged her to make one at their house too. Back to the hardware store…and this time it was documented in a step-by-step guide!

Make Your Own Halloween Spider Web

Supplies to Make Your Own Halloween Spider Web

For my web I ended up using 200ft of clothes line, but here I only used 100ft. I also needed some ceiling hooks for this porch, but you may already have them for your hanging baskets.

Make Your Own Halloween Spider Web Supplies

Step-by-Step Guide to Make Your Own Halloween Spider Web


String one length of rope vertically, tying knots at both ends.

Make Your Own Halloween Spider Web - Vertical Rope

Before you tie the knots, you’ll need to burn the rope once it’s cut to prevent fraying!

Make Your Own Halloween Spider Web - Prevent Fraying


Tie another length of rope horizontally tying a knot at the center point.

Make Your Halloween Spider Web - Vertical Rope


With the remaining rope, tie another knot in the center and begin to tie tight knots as you circle around the horizontal and vertical ropes.

Tying Knots When You Make a Halloween Spider Web


Keep going and going and going! Don’t worry if it’s not perfect…spiders don’t seem to mind.

WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE! You might want to be a little more organized with the rope when you make your own Halloween spider web, just sayin’.

DIY Halloween Spider Web in Progress


Make it as BIG as you can covering as much of the horizontal and vertical rope as possible.

DIY Big Rope Spider Web for Halloween


Let’s move on to the vertical ropes. Starting from the center loop the rope around the connections you have already made and pull tightly. Repeat on all sides!

How to Make a Halloween Rope Spider Web

Check out the difference between the knots on the horizontal and vertical connections vs. the looping on the diagonal connection. It helps give you a little wiggle room to straighten things out when you are done!

Finishing Touches on DIY Halloween Spider Web

And here is the finished product! This spider is named SofandSam and if you look closely you’ll see he even has a little lunch on his web.

DIY Make a Spider Web

Now start your weaving…and remember “You are never more than three feet away from a spider”.

For a Spooky Good Time

Please join us on our Happy Halloween Pinterest board. Also, check out some of our other Halloween posts. Be sure not to miss the popular DIY Halloween decorations. Finally, nothing says Happy Halloween like pumpkin! How to bake a pumpkin, maple pumpkin pie spice pecanspumpkin recipes to please every palate, and our pumpkin bread recipe will appeal to pumpkin lovers far and wide.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2011 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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The MUTTS Winter Diaries Thu, 01 Oct 2015 17:49:53 +0000
the Mutts Winter Diaries #MUTTS
Warm your heart while also tickling your funny bone with the MUTTS Comics Prize Pack GIVEAWAY! ]]>
This post is sponsored by MUTTS Comics and Elements Associates. I am being compensated for helping promote The MUTTS Winter Diaries, but MyUntangled® Life only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. #sponsored #MUTTS

#MUTTS Comics Winter Diaries - Perfect gift for pet lovers!

MUTTS Comics Latest Collection: The MUTTS Winter Diaries

Fall is well underway which means the crisp autumn breeze will soon turn into cold winter air. Who doesn’t like to curl up in a warm nook with a good book? This winter, there will be no better way to warm a young heart while also tickling their funny bone than with the riotous adventures of the MUTTS Comics gang. I love dogs and humor so I was really excited when I recently received an advance copy of The MUTTS Winter Diaries, one of the new books from MUTTS Comics. This is the second MUTTS collection for kids, but easily appeals to fans of all ages. The MUTTS Winter Diaries features the hilarious antics of Mooch, Earl, Shtinky Puddin’, Sourpuss, Guard Dog, and Crabby. It has an upcoming release date of October 13th. This side-splitting collection of winter strips will leave readers ha-ha-ha-ing all the way into the happy ho-ho-ho-liday season. Speaking of the holidays, The MUTTS Winter Diaries is a great holiday gift for the young, or young at heart, on your list.

Who’s Behind The MUTTS Winter Diaries?

The comic strip MUTTS was created by Patrick McDonnell in 1994. McDonnell is involved with numerous animal and environmental charities. promotes McDonnell’s animal- and earth-friendly philosophy. MUTTS has won many awards for its environmental and animal advocacy: two Genesis Awards from The Ark Trust, The HSUS Hollywood Genesis Award for Ongoing Commitment, the PETA Humanitarian Award, and a Sierra Club award. The MUTTS books are printed on recycled paper while the MUTTS characters appear on the New Jersey Animal Friendly license plates that fund state pet population programs. That’s pretty cool! As many of you know, shelter pets are near and dear to all the hearts at MyUntangled® Life. We’re always thrilled to promote products made by companies that support animal welfare.

In the Spirit of Giving

Show some love to MUTTS Comics by following them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and don’t forget to check out the MUTTS website.

To coincide with the release of the new book, The MUTTS Winter Diaries, Richard Leeds International has designed a cozy nightshirt to give you the sweetest of dreams. This adorable nightshirt, along with a copy of the book, is included in the prize pack. Good luck in the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Ctrl+Alt+Del Your Hunger – #EatASNICKERS Mon, 28 Sep 2015 16:53:39 +0000
#EatASNICKERS - MyUntangled Life
The next time hunger is about to Ctrl+Alt+Del your day, reach for a satisfying SNICKERS® bar. It's the best way to reboot your afternoon.]]>
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EatASNICKERS #CollectiveBias

Jake the Data Devil #EatASNICKERS

Bits, Bytes, and Mega Hunger Pains

As the Chief Geek at MyUntangled® Media I eat, breathe, and sleep all things technology. I’ll be honest; it can be a challenge juggling website design, internet marketing, and small business branding all while keeping my hunger in check. There are days when I consume more bits and bytes of data than actual bites of food. My team has told me I am cranky, irritable, and downright unpleasant to be around when I’m hungry. The nerve! I’ve even earned the moniker “Data Devil” from my hair-raising antics and hunger induced haranguing. So, how does a cantankerous Data Devil transform back into a charming Chief Geek? By grabbing a SNICKERS® bar, of course!

Chief Geek - Jacob Clayton #EatASNICKERS

SNICKERS® Agrees with My Team

I recently took a fun quiz to see if I really deserve to be called the Data Devil. Sure enough, the quiz revealed that I’m Cranky when I’m hungry. Despite the mounting evidence, I took the quiz again; I got Irritable. Time to face facts: my team really does know my hunger personality! SNICKERS® does, too, as they have several options that perfectly describe my hunger personality.


Failure to Compute? #EatASNICKERS!

We’ve all got so many daily responsibilities with what seems like less and less time to accomplish our goals. I’ve learned there’s no reason to let hunger get in the way, especially when SNICKERS® is so reasonably priced and readily available at Walmart. When my memory card runs out, I hit the Esc key on hunger with the satisfying combination of roasted peanuts, nougat, caramel and milk chocolate. SNICKERS® handles my hunger and fully restores my bandwidth so I can tackle my workload.

#EatASNICKERS - Walmart Choose Your Chocolate Display

Best Way to Reboot Your Day

The next time hunger is about to Ctrl+Alt+Del your day, reach for a satisfying SNICKERS® bar. Trust me; it’s the best way to reboot your afternoon. Please check out these great SNICKERS® ideas, and let me know your favorite way to eat a SNICKERS®!

Your Hunger Personality - #EatASNICKERS

Do you know who you are when you’re hungry? Go ahead; take the SNICKERS® quiz and find out.

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DVD Organization Project Thu, 24 Sep 2015 18:25:21 +0000
The latest DIY project in my eternal quest for organizational bliss involves finding the perfect supplies to combine two DVD collections so they take up less space than one.]]>
Merging Lives

Has this ever happened to you? You move in with your boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other and now you have the task of “merging” your lives? Though I am happy to be living with my boyfriend, it has been a challenge trying to find room for all the added things. Sharing closets, dressers, desk space, etc. has had me on an organizing craze. In fact, I’ve shared some of my organizing frenzy in posts on simple eBay organization tips, easy steps to organize your closet, and a closet organization update!

Two Collections, One Great DVD Organization Project

One of the latest projects I decided to work on was organizing our DVD/VHS (Yes VHS) collections. We don’t have much room in our entertainment cabinet so we needed to sort what we wanted to keep, toss and donate.

DVD Organization Tips and Ideas

Supplies for DVD Organization

Once I saw what we had remaining, I went to Target to see how I could possibly store the DVDs. I knew I didn’t want a DVD stand. Not really having the room for it and not liking the looks of most of them, I decided to pass. I then thought about putting all the DVDs into a CD case. It would save a lot of room but I didn’t like that I couldn’t easily see what I had. I also wanted to keep them alphabetized which would have been difficult to do.

That is why I decided on these DVD sleeves.

DVD Organization Supplies

It was what I was looking for. I could easily see all the DVD’s and keep the cover art. Perfect!

Tutorial on DVD Organization

 I found this nifty box to store them in. It has adjusting corners on the inside for easier storage.

DVD Organization Storage Box

This was great because I had fewer DVD’s than I realized. The adjustable corners make it so much easier to keep them up.

DVD Organization Project

I have so much more room now and I’m so happy. Even my little one has room to hang out.

DVD Organization Project Finished

I feel a little more at ease now that this project is done. Now I just need to figure out what I am going to do with all the leftover DVD cases. I feel another crafting project coming on.

Beyond DVD Organization

Please join us on our DIY Organize Pinterest board. And, check out some of our other DIY projects and easy decorating ideas. With Halloween just around the corner, please be sure to take a peek-a-BOO! at my DIY Halloween decorations post. They’re all real treats.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2012 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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#MountainArtwear Pet Rescue T-Shirts Fri, 18 Sep 2015 05:22:16 +0000
Pet Rescue T-Shirt Contest -
We're pawsitively stoked about t-shirt maker The Mountain's Dean Russo Rescue Collection. A portion of the proceeds of sales from this vibrant collection benefit animal rescue and shelter. And don't miss out on the PAWSOME GIVEAWAY!]]>
This post is sponsored by The Mountain and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping promote the Russo Rescue Collection, but MyUntangled® Life only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. The Mountain is not responsible for the content of this article.

Pet Rescue T-Shirts - Ruby Approved! #MountainArtwear

The Art of Rescue

Ruby was picked up as a stray in West Virginia and shipped to a no-kill shelter in Massachusetts. Not much was known about him beyond his place of origin. I believe that mystery is part of the fun of getting to know a new friend, even a four-legged one. I know some folks don’t share that feeling; they want a pure-bred pet to ensure its lineage. The thing about dogs is they just want to be with you. They don’t care about your genealogy, not-so-perfect past, or flaws. I mean, not that I have any or, rather, that many huge, glaring, hard-to-miss flaws. Anyway, when you pick a rescue dog they pick you right back and with gusto. They accept you just as you are and eagerly learn your routines and personality. Getting to know Ruby has been the sweetest journey. It is incredible to me that of all the dogs in the entire world Ruby landed in the one shelter I visited when looking for a new best friend. It’s with deep gratitude that I reflect upon the many hands that made Ruby’s rescue and transport possible. It was only natural that I got excited about the line of pet rescue t-shirts from The Mountain®. A portion of every purchase goes to About Best Friends Animal Society. They are a national animal welfare organization and leader in the no-kill movement. Pet t-shirts never looked so good!

Russo Rescue Collection of Pet Rescue T-Shirts from The Mountain. #MountainArtwear

Dean Russo Pet Rescue T-Shirts

The Mountain® has long been a responsible company. They care about the environment, community, and animal welfare. In fact, they love pets as much as you do. Perhaps you’re familiar with their Big Face Shirts. Well, they have teamed up with talented artist Dean Russo to design a vibrant and beautiful collection of pet rescue t-shirts. The Dean Russo shirts are known as the Russo Rescue Collection. What is most striking to me about The Mountain’s Dean Russo t-shirts is the story within the design. Sure, at first look you can see the animal depicted: cat, dog, or horse. But it’s the colorful art within the animal’s outline that conveys the beauty and texture a rescue pet adds to your world. A lot of the dog t-shirts have a written message as well. The text on the t-shirt The Mountain sent me, Rescues Are My Favorite Breed, is very near and dear to me. In fact, Ruby has a big plan in the works to help dogs just like him. We’ll be sharing that news with you very soon! In the meantime, I mustache you a question.

I Mustache You About the Dean Russo Collection of Pet Rescue T-Shirts! #MountainArtwear
Are you ready to pick up your new best friend at a shelter yet?

Dean Russo Pet Rescue T-Shirts - Rescue Hound Approved!

#MountainArtwear Shirts Giveaway!

We’ve got a fantastic giveaway. Without further paws, one lucky reader is going to win 12 months of The Mountain Artwear shirts for up to 5 members of your family! Go ahead; amp your aura and find your passion with The Mountain t-shirts. They are American made and environmentally friendly. Enter the giveaway below and please follow The Mountain on Facebook. Twitter, Instagram, and check out their blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Mocha Polkas: Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe Tue, 08 Sep 2015 21:07:01 +0000
Mocha Polka Recipe
These truffle-like cookies have just the right amount of espresso to cut the sweetness. They are sure to be a family favorite and remind me of family vacations to Nantucket.]]>
For many summers, my family was fortunate enough to be able to take a week (sometimes two) on the island Nantucket. These were great weeks for many reasons. I helped my brother learn to ride his bike on the shell-lined street of the cottage we often rented. We would take long morning and evening walks in the village of Siasconset (Sconset to natives) where we typically rented our cottage. Dinners often featured food cooked on the grill, fresh corn from Bartlett’s Farm, and s’mores. Most evenings started with an outdoor “happy hour” featuring cocktails for the adults, cheese, and crackers. Above all else, this trip was about food and family.

Mocha Polkas - Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

One of the best parts of the trip was always driving the car off the ferry when we arrived on the island. We would breathe in those familiar smells, and check out what had changed as we drove to our rental. One year, just off the docks, we saw the sign for a new cookie shop, the Nantucket Cookie Company. Though of course we had brought baked goods–likely both something my mom and I had baked the day before the trip AND cookies my Gram made and packed for us in an old Ritz tin–we knew we would be stopping to check this place out. (We never met a cookie we didn’t like.) Soon this shop became a place we had to visit once or twice during a trip. They made great Nantucket cranberry-oatmeal, snickerdoodles, chocolate chipotle, and iced lemon cookies. We would buy an assortment, bring them home, and cut them into pieces so that everyone could try a piece of the different flavors. On the sad day when we had to pack up the car and return to the mainland, someone would run to the cookie shop and get our favorites to accompany lunch on the boat ride home.

MyUntangled Life: Nantucket Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Our favorite cookie of all was the mocha polka (now called the mocha frost). This was a lot like a chocolate crinkle cookie, but it had chips and a hint of espresso. My brother and his wife loved the cookie so much that they ordered them to give as favors at their wedding. It became my mission to figure out how to replicate these cookies at home. My mocha chocolate chip cookies recipe has met with the approval of my favorite cookie tasters–those who have tried the original and those who have not. I always try to make them for my brother and sister-in-law for their birthdays at the end of April or for their wedding anniversary. In fact, I dropped off an early birthday batch yesterday. I wonder if there are any left today…

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe Mise en Place

Nantucket Mocha Polkas:
Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
Recipe type: cookies
Cuisine: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
These truffle-like cookies have just the right amount of espresso to cut the sweetness. This mocha chocolate chip cookies recipe is sure to be a family favorite! For us they are a reminder of family vacations to Nantucket.
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup Double Dutch Dark Cocoa OR natural cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar (for rolling)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  4. Add espresso powder, eggs, and vanilla.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Beat until just combined.
  6. Stir in the chips.
  7. Roll rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough in confectioner’s sugar to coat.
  8. Place dough onto ungreased baking sheets.
  9. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they're just barely set. Be careful not to over bake.
  10. Transfer them to a wire rack immediately and allow to cool completely.
Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe inspired by Nantucket Cookie Company and adapted from Gwen's Very Special Mocha Cookies.

Beyond My Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Please join us on our Cookies Pinterest board. Because who doesn’t love a good cookie? Also, please check out some of our other blog posts featuring cookie recipes. Recently, I’ve been on a quest for the best chocolate chip cookies. What’s your favorite cookie recipe? I’d love to hear from you!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Rebirths, Clichés, and Rescue Hounds Sun, 30 Aug 2015 20:08:59 +0000
Happy ReBirthday Ruby
On the 7th anniversary of Ruby's rebirth, I'm reflecting on finding your purpose in life through the eyes of a senior dog.]]>
August 30, 2008

Today is the most important day of the year in my life – it’s the day we celebrate Ruby’s rebirthday. On August 30th, 2008 my sweetest angel came home from a week in the hospital, near death from complications of diabetes. We were told all along that it didn’t look good for him, and even as we brought him home, we knew we had a very long and uncertain road ahead. One thing was certain though…there was nothing in the world, and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I wouldn’t do for that dog…and here we are 7 years later.

Everything changed after Ruby came home. I changed. I’m still changing. Folks who rescue dogs or fall hard for them, like me, have a saying that goes “who rescued who?” I used to think it was sorta corny and cliché, but through experience I’ve come to learn that question is almost rhetorical…the healing power of these animals is astonishing and we humans are mere mortals in their presence. Ruby’s about 14 years old now and I’m told that makes him a senior dog. I don’t buy it for a second. He doesn’t look a day over 5 and he’s going to live forever.

Ruby My True Love

I’m gonna be really honest with you dear readers…I have a very hard time talking about it. Actually that wasn’t honest after all. The truth is, I just straight up don’t plan on talking about it so let’s just drop it.

Speaking of Clichés

This whole growing old thing in general is something I can’t believe I’m facing (or trying not to face) in so many ways. For years I heard grownups throw around lines like “youth is wasted on the young” and it made me think to myself that old people are idiots. I’m now that idiot. And I’m here to tell you know-it-all kids that saying couldn’t be truer. Too bad you couldn’t look up from your iPhone long enough to even hear me.

Mrs. Jacob Clayton and I have developed a saying of our own “now that I’m over 40”, which is usually followed by a declaration of something we can no longer tolerate in people or pretend to have the energy to even acknowledge in their ridiculous behavior. (Or sometimes I’m commenting about my chronic back pain or the fact that I clearly need bi-focals…now that I’m over 40.) If you’ve read any of my previous blogfessions, you know that I’ve been desperately working at living a life of gratitude and inner peace, despite the noise and haste. But damn the human race makes it so impossible in so many ways, doesn’t it?

For example, last month the family was on an evening walk and a neighbor approached to say hello. We explained, as we always do, that Ruby can’t see her but if she puts her hand out slowly and announces herself he’ll give a sniff and is very lovey. She did the typical deep siiiiggghhhh that says I’m so sorry for you because your dog is blind and then she asked how old he was. Upon learning he was 14, she responded “you need to get another dog”. That’s right folks. And since this is a nice family blog, I’ll leave it at that and won’t go into the details of how I feel about her and her family and what should happen to each and every one of them…but the words I now use to describe them make George Carlin’s list of 7 read like a Dr. Seuss bedtime story.

A Ruby and His Blankie

Rescue Hound to the Rescue

In contrast, Ruby has excelled in his ability to block out the distractions and is clearly living a “now that I’m over 14” campaign of his own. For example, all his life, he used to get all worked up like a mad man with a big puffed up back and tail that we could barely control on his leash whenever he just even caught scent of another hound. Now he can’t even see them, he’s focused on enjoying his retirement and couldn’t be bothered so he just goes about his business and has a nice time outside. I can see that this shift in him has brought him greater happiness and inner peace. On the subject of growing old, Desiderata says:

“Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.”

That’s exactly what Ruby has done and continues to do. I can only hope to one day make him proud, and show him how much he has taught me about living a good life. But more important to me than my own quest for happiness, I ask myself more often than ever if he is happy. I wonder if he has everything he needs. I wonder how much his legs hurt him when he gets shaky on them. I wonder if he knows how loved he is. I do know he goes through each day of his life knowing who has back no matter what. He knows his schedule, to the minute. He knows his most comfy spot to lay, where he knows he is safe…right on mom’s pillow, of course. Ruby knows his purpose, he lives and loves with abandon, and still to this day, every single moment of his life, Ruby represents and remains true to his authentic self.

It was sometime in the middle of the night a few months ago that I was on the couch unable to sleep, my finger mind-numbingly cycling through our 20 channels of basic cable with the remote. One of those Entertainment Tonight or Inside Edition type of shows ended up being my best option and they were showing a recent interview with an actress named Viola Davis. I know I had heard her name before but couldn’t have told you anything about her at all. I caught the very end of the clip and she said something (that I’m paraphrasing, plus it was like 3 in the morning) but she said something along the lines of her being at the age or point in her life where she simply doesn’t have time for people who don’t represent their authentic selves. I kinda LOL’d and then literally said out loud “amen, sister”.

I Googled her the next day and quickly realized she’s a pretty big deal and a very celebrated actress. I found an article about a commencement speech she delivered at Providence College in 2012. It seems that even back then she was preaching the virtues of being your authentic self – claiming it is “trapped under the most negative forces of this world” – negative forces which “include everyone else’s expectations and desires, other people’s definitions of success, the quest for money and possessions, and the notion of entitlement without responsibility”. I read other articles and interviews as well where she also elaborates on this theme and offers that the key to not falling prey to these forces is simply to live a life with purpose and to never lose sight of it.

Rebirthday Dinner for Ruby

Dear readers, here on Ruby’s 7th rebirthday, there is no question in my mind, that taking care of him, growing old with him, sharing my life with him, is the single greatest accomplishment of my life. When it comes to rescue dogs, especially senior rescue dogs, I truly believe I have found my purpose. And contrary to the brilliant and absolutely unsolicited advice of my stunning neighbor, no it’s not time for me to get a new dog…but I have been thinking about how to help other dogs like Ruby. I am clawing up the walls desperate to share some really big news about how he and I are planning on doing just that, together. But in the meantime, his made-to-order fresh salmon with a side of spinach is getting plated up and he knows it! I’ve got a birthday celebration to attend and don’t want to keep the star waiting. Nap time is just around the corner and he’s got the next 14 years to rest up for.

Happy rebirthday sweet angel. Thank you for being the greatest gift of my life.

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