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Jasper Lily's New Life

Jasper Lily’s “Spa Vacation”

Recently I had to travel for a conference for work in Portland, OR. Now we all know that Jasper Lily is small enough to travel with me under the seat on the plane BUT I did this trip alone. I thought it would be good for me to explore Portland on my own without having to rush back to the apt I was staying at to check on Jasper and see if Portland might be a good landing spot for me in the future. I had NO clue how hard it would be for me to leave Jasper behind in Los Angeles.

As way of background, I used to have to travel for another job – I was on the road / plane several times a month for almost a year. It was always hard to leave Shelby at the vets but she did really well there and was always happy to see me but ultimately, the travel was the reason I resigned from that position. It just got to be too hard to leave Shelby behind. But I used to travel home to Seattle (without Shelby) and while I always missed my best girl like crazy, I knew she was in good hands.

Jasper is a ‘sensitive’ soul. Everything impacts her life in such a dramatic fashion. A dog looks at her funny and she gets sad. Change is hard on her so leaving her here was going to be hard. She is very routine oriented. She poops almost in the same spot every day, eats at the same times, does her business in the same order, moves around my bed in the same manner … This would be a change in her routine and as we experienced on our road trip this summer, throwing her off her routine was not met with positive results (thus – she now still hates my car).

But she loves her daycare and I knew she would be happier there than at her vet (where she would be in a cage). Cage-free daycare and boarding: yes please! My only concern is that Jasper does not potty at daycare since she’s only inside (and thinks it is her home). I knew she could not go five days without going at least pee and they assured me they would make sure she was doing her proper business and she did (apparently).

So when it came time to drop Jasper off before my flight, we went for a super long walk and came upon a shiny toy coin. Sitting on a bench in a park near our house. I just knew that was one BIG sign from Shelby letting me know that Jasper (and me) were going to be OK! I drove slowly to the daycare, fighting back the tears that were flowing like crazy (come on, Alison, it was only 5 days and she’s healthy). But something in my stirred up some serious emotional issues. I was shaking when I dropped her off and she had no clue. She thought she was going to daycare, like normal. I told her I loved her very much and I would see her soon. I am sure the daycare thought I was nuts.

Coming home to an empty house – the first time the home has been empty since April 8, 2014, when Shelby passed was horrifyingly awful. I called the taxi to the airport an hour early since I would prefer to sit at the airport instead of an empty apt.

I didn’t call on Jasper the first night. But I also didn’t sleep. I was beyond depressed and was quickly thinking this was the biggest mistake leaving her behind. All I wanted to do was lay in bed and will time to go faster. I was heartbroken and depressed and woke up in the morning without a purpose. No one to walk, no one to cuddle, no one there. I called as soon as daycare opened and she was indeed fine.

The next day I had to do work and called on Jasper early in the day. Still fine. Onward! Still not sleeping and missing her and counting ‘sleeps’ till we were together again.

Tuesday I called and got the story. Jasper was doing better. She was indeed sad and not herself the first couple of days. My heart broke – she probably thought I had abandoned her. I know dogs live in the moment but our bond is so strong that I am sure she did think I had dropped her off and wasn’t coming back.

Wednesday – travel day! I got home, got off the plane, hitting LA right at rush hour. Got home and jumped in the car to go get Jasper. I could have (and should have) waited until closer to 8 when traffic died down but I needed to see her. I needed her to be OK. And she was. The daycare said she had a blast, she ate her meals, she played with a little guy named Remy all the time  – her new best friend – and they saw so much sparkle in her! She was happy. When they brought her down, they told me that while people do sleep there overnight, they have a cot in a room near the other dogs. The dogs sleep on the benches, or snuggle up together.

Not Jasper – each night – the guy heard ‘scratching’ on the door and in would come Jasper. She crawled up into his cot and that was where she slept. He said, she must sleep in a bed at home. Indeed she does. Right next to her madre.

So all is right in our world again. We are together and heading to Northern CA tomorrow for a Tripawds party this weekend. And then next week, we are flying to Seattle together. And again for Christmas. We aren’t taking anymore ‘breaks’ as far as I can tell.

But I realized (and bless you if you have gotten this far) that this trip wasn’t just about leaving Jasper. It was about the times I left Shelby. And in my desire to live in the moment once Shelby got sick and make every second count, I don’t want to miss one second of that with Jasper. It is my duty to Shelby – my way to honor – always – the love of my life. I do love Jasper (don’t get me wrong) but this grief, anxiety, depression … that was all about my emotions around Shelby.

I strive to be the best pet mom out there to my fur-kids. I didn’t always do it right with Shelby but once I did  and we started to have adventures, I vowed we would always have them. Until we could not. So I want Jasper (and any other dogs I will be so lucky to know and love) to have her best life with the most fun I can provide.  I want her to always know she is loved and protected.

So here’s to more #jasperandmadresadventures!

Happy Dog at the Dog Park!

Pre-work cuddles … sleepy girls!

This is what 5 days at daycare looks like! Snoozy girl.

Hey Jasper Lily … you’re coming with me next time! Sweater and travel ready!


Posted by on November 12th, 2015 at 4:59 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (2) | Permalink

Jasper Lily says “cheers for fall”!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated Jasper Lily’s blog. Like her madre, she is not a fan of the heat and it has been a very HOT and at times, humid summer here in Los Angeles. We live by the coast and our beach casa has no AC nor means for AC and the entire city has been sold out of fans for months. To say it’s been tough – understatement. She’s a trooper but I definitely notice that she’s more lethargic, hot to the touch and in general, not as much fun to be around.

The last weekend we had some classic LA “fall” temps – in the 70s which means boots, sweaters, pants! I know … we are so silly here.

Jasper was all frisky and full of (as my daddy would say) “p!ss and vinegar”. It’s like puppy Jasper has come back for a visit – last week I caught her with a container of Q-tips in her mouth, a pencil and one of my running shoes – all the while ignoring her overflowing box of toys! She wants to play more, run more, jump more. I love this side of Jasper and notice that her energy needs an outlet (aka not my stuff). It is harder since I am back to normal hours and I try and walk her long in the morning before I leave and then long dark walks at night. We long for summer light again but not summer temp.

Jasper still has some odd quirks that I just think are part of her and I will never understand them. For instance, she prefers to go under my bed, into her airline crate which is stored there, and hang out before I leave for work. I know she doesn’t spend her days there since she is at the door when I get home. Even at night sometimes, she will crawl under there and I have to coax her out so she will be on the bed with me. When I put her on the bed, she is quick to burrow her head between 2 pillows – to the point I do worry she will suffocate in there. She sleeps there most of the night but when I wake up early, she’s usually at the foot of the bed.

She isn’t much for cuddling … unlike Shelby, she tolerates me when I try and hold her like a baby or pick her up. She feels like she’s getting heavier but thankfully she still fits in her crate so we can fly home in a couple months for the holidays. She also has taken to going behind my kitchen table and laying in a corner. She’s got tons of beds in the living room and yet she prefers that location in the evenings if I am watching TV or not paying attention to her. She will not come when I call her for bed – at all. Shelby always ran to me when I called and wanted to be around / near me. Always. Jasper just presents a more aloof persona. I try not to take it personally since she doesn’t fight me when I put her into bed or try and cuddle her.

She hates my cell phone. HATES it. I have tried a million different tones for texts or rings and they all cause her to run and hide (usually the bathroom so I guess she’s also deemed that a ‘safe zone’). I do not get it so I keep the phone on silent / vibrate which seems a little less offensive to her. Perhaps each tone is an assault on her dumbo ears?

Lest it seem like I am only saying Jasper’s bad points in this blog, she does a lot that brings me JOY and makes me laugh – daily! I love her for her little quirks because they make her 100% different than Shelby. Sometimes I wonder if perhaps she really is living in the shadow of my dear Shelby but then I realize, dogs don’t get that. They live in the moment, the now.

I love when she lays on the floor in either frog pose or superman pose. It’s the only way she sits and I know she knows how much I love it as I call to her “frog dog!!!”. I loved the other day when I was trying to release my own aching hips by doing frog pose and she came and laid next to me and easily slid down into the pose – show off! I love the little sounds she makes, when she is playing, in the morning, her yodel, her greeting when I come home. She seems genuinely happy to see me. People say they can “hear her” before they “see her”.

I love to see her make little improvements; from less fear and almost love of the beach, no fear of the Halloween blown-up decorations on the lawns, less low-growls (however I do miss it because it was rather cute). She is still so cautious – all the time though.

I have to travel for work in a few weeks and Jasper can’t come. She will stay at her daycare since it is cage-free and it’s a place she knows. They want me to leave her one night ahead of time to help her see that I will and do come back. They also tell me it will be harder on me than her. I believe that to be true. I got a new dog since I couldn’t handle the silence in my home.  I rely so much on that “energy” and since I got Jasper, I haven’t been without her. I think if I am out of town, it will be fine but the one night in my home – alone – I see lots of wine and chocolate in my future. I cannot even imagine.

So as much as I said I would love her and not bond in the same way, I have found myself completely bonded to Jasper. I find myself sometimes fearing the future since I know I will outlive her. She is young and healthy at 2 but each day, each hour, each minute, we both age and I dread the day that I have to face those hard decisions again. Someone told me after Shelby died that every dog that came after Shelby would be different since I knew what was to come in many, many years. That I went into the relationship with Shelby somewhat “Pollyanna”, and without thinking of her mortality, I knew from the day I brought Jasper home that one day, she would die. It is hard to get out of my head and just live in the moment. I think the loss of your soul-mate does that to you. I think the trauma of what I went through fighting for Shelby exhausted and jaded me.

But Jasper and I do our best to live in the moment and find adventures where we can. Thank you for sharing our adventures with us and loving her as much as I do. She is my quirky little kelpie with a big booty and dumbo ears! I truly love her!

Portrait of a dog finding her zen!

Zen found … frog dog on the beach!

Cheers for the beach! (and yes, Sally, that is purple in my hair)

Mommy find her zen with a cocktail and Jasper finding hers with a big tennis ball!

Jasper says … no madre, I cannot put my ears down. They are always up!

Frog dog with her paws in the sand!

Posted by on October 6th, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (3) | Permalink

Jasper Lily’s Summer Vacation

WOW…. what a trip it was – on so many levels! We’ve been back almost 3 weeks now and it has taken me this long to even think about blogging about it. In a nutshell, it was a GREAT trip! Our journey took us 9 hours north to Redding, CA for the night. Then onward to Portland, OR for three days. Then we journeyed out to our favorite place, the Oregon Coast. The drive back took us down historic 101 along the coast to Brookings, OR for a night. The next day we continued along the 101 through parts of the Redwoods National Forest to Santa Rosa, CA. The final day we had a stop-over in / near Oakland CA to meet Martha and Karen and then back down to Los Angeles and our beach apt.

The highs:

  • Being with Jasper Lily for almost 2 straight weeks (I worked at home the three days leading up to our trip and it was truly nice just being around her).
  • Having her as my co-pilot in the backseat and always full of zest and energy every time we would get out of the car at a rest stop.
  • Seeing her smile! Oh wow did that dog smile and smile and smile! Who knew?!?
  • Seeing her come out of her shell, embrace each new space like it was her own and show almost no fear
  • Playing, walking, exploring … Jasper ALWAYS encourages me to MOVE more which is great!
  • Meeting fellow Tripawds forum members!

The lows:

  • It was a LONG drive and Jasper discovered early on that she hated – no feared the car. She would practically refuse to get back in the car at the rest-stops and when we finally got to Portland, two days later, we went outside for a walk and she saw the car and refused to budge. That, sadly, is something we are still working on now.
  • The barkies, growlies, snarlies (once) at people, children, people in wheelchairs, strollers … I blame heat exhaustion!
  • Couple of places weren’t super dog-friendly so we had to resort to fast food since it was too hot to even stop and run in anywhere.
  • The drive back to Los Angeles and the re-entry to our ‘reality.

Overall – it was an amazing and epic journey. It was definitely mixtures of lonely and happy and longing for Shelby (Shelby had done that drive sort of when I moved to LA). She was the most amazing travel companion and Jasper works really hard to be a great one. She got to dine at a restaurant in Portland (super dog-friendly, by the way) that had free meals for dogs on Tuesday nights. Jasper’s mommy had a lovely vodka cocktail! 🙂 We played in parks, rose gardens, the beach … Jasper LOVES the Oregon Coast. I was almost in tears when I saw her zoomies and how HAPPY she was. Who was this dog?!? She came out of her shell. She loves the coast and it’s quiet and calming environment. Definitely not a city dog as the loud sounds of downtown Portland scared her into my arms. I love the Oregon Coast – it soothes my soul in many ways. The Redwoods (which I never appreciated in my youth) became our playground for the day. We explored, breathed in the clean air, enjoyed the silence and were “one with nature”.

Dragging our feet, we came back to LA refreshed. I had hoped that visiting Portland would give me that “aha” moment. That, this is where you need to be. But I quickly realized, that despite my love of the Pacific NW and the friendly people in and around Portland, your problems don’t go away when you change the zipcode. It was a humbling moment but also a moment to give me pause for thought and realize that a change needs to happen from within. I spent the last year of my life working on Jasper and helping her overcome her fears and falling pretty much in love with her all while healing my tender and broken heart. I miss Shelby every single day but I feel less sad and less intense pain (it still comes in waves). I enjoy experiencing life with Jasper in ways I didn’t think I would or could. I think I was more sad on the day I had to go back to work than she was.

So as the school year comes back and my work schedule goes back to what it was … I am going to try and keep my “zen” of the trip with me. I embrace the silence of the beach where I live. It’s pretty quiet and I love it that way. I also know that I need to work on me and finding some happiness from within. I try and be brave and put on a good face for Jasper, my friends, my family but I can see it – there isn’t that same sparkle. I am definitely jaded. I have definitely closed off my heart in ways I didn’t think / know where possible and I don’t know how to let love or happy energy back in.

I realized this a.m. when walking Jasper that for as much as I love and trust her, a living being I have known about a year, I cannot say that about many people in my own personal life. I know dogs are different (better) than humans but still. Life is too short to be anything less than happy. Shelby woke up happy every day of her life – even her last days – she tried to smile and show joy. Jasper is the same; every morning, frog pose stretches in bed and a happy yowl that lets me know she’s so happy to be alive and with her family. I do long for more happy than sad days as I had when I was younger so that is my goal this year; to find the happy. To find that zest again.

Jasper and I are headed out of town again for Thanksgiving and back to Portland for some of the time. Perhaps the PNW is where I do need to be. But until I figure out “me”… I think we’ll stay right where we are. Thank you for reading this all the way through … it’s more about “me” than Jasper but it helps me to get my thoughts out.

And of course … a couple photos from our journey…. much love to our Tripawds family!

Redwoods National Forest

Dog on a fallen Redwood Tree

Portland, OR – Rose Garden

Our casa for our Portland Stay. An Air BNB PNW charming home!

Cannon Beach, OR

Morning coffee on the porch in Portland, OR

Snoozy time at Cannon Beach.

The Oregon Coast … beautiful!

Brookings, OR at sunset. My favorite time of day … to be silent, still in nature’s beauty.

Redwood trees~! Gorgeous and majestic….

Goodnight Oregon Coast… until next time. We love you! (we love each other).

Posted by on September 1st, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (2) | Permalink

Jasper Lily’s Adopteversary!

One year ago – today – June 16 – I drove 2 hours to meet “Julia” (aka Coyoyita) soon to be known as Jasper Lily. It wasn’t love at first site. It wasn’t even like. With a great deal of guilt, trepidation and a bit of hope, I welcomed this girl into my home. The home that I had shared with the love of my life for over 13 years.

At first, Jasper slept on the floor in her own bed – my bed was a place that Shelby and I had shared. But one night, coming home from daycare with a little scratch from playing, I let her into my bed and that is where she sleeps today.

Jasper was scared of everything; air, the beach, cars, RVs, loud sounds … the world was SO frightening to her and with time, I have watched her blossom into a confident, happy and joyful little dog (she’s still scared of loud sounds).

Jasper had her own baggage; she was shuffled from a hoarding situation, to a rescue home to my home. No wonder she didn’t know if this was her forever home and if she should ‘un-pack’.

Together, we have learned to trust, to love and to open our hearts. We have BOTH embraced ‘being more dog’. Each day, Jasper wakes up with such enthusiasm for life. Each time she tries to climb a tree to ‘get the squirrel’, I truly believe she believes … this will be the day. She is happy to see me when I get home. Happy to play with me. Happy to cuddle (not as much as Shelby but we’re working on it).

She is happy to go! Oh how she was scared of the car (was I going to take her and leave her someplace else). She is my little adventure pooch and for the most part -so well behaved.

And what a first year we had together!!! From movie nights during the summer, to her first plane ride to Seattle over Thanksgiving, her first Christmas with Santa and presents, her 2nd birthday in January, her first spring break (back to Seattle) and lots of walking, hiking and running. She has learned to tolerate the beach. She LOVES to hike. She loves to be outside. She loves to go to the park and chase the ball. She loves her daycare. She loves her friends.

She loves her life. And I love having her in my life! Laughter and smiles have come back into my world again.

My heart will forever miss and long for one more snuggle with Shelby but I can say with all certainty, Shelby sent me Jasper Lily. She knew we BOTH needed each other long before I ever did. I went from comfortable happy to absolute love for this little dog. Her quirks, her ‘resting bitch face’, her ears(!!!!) – she is 100% her own dog and I am so proud of her.

So we celebrated her this weekend. I baked her a cake. We went on a 5+ mile hike in the woods where she could chase and hunt squirrels and turtles. We played endless rounds of catch. We celebrated that we made it an entire year together when it was totally touch and go in the beginning.

And we took the time to thank our sweet angel for bringing us together.

Photos from our weekend and a video of our first year together:

Are we there yet!?!?


Hiking! Queen of the Mountain!

Post hike stretch – love the frog legs!


Posted by on June 16th, 2015 at 7:54 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (5) | Permalink

Jasper Lily hit the road for the long weekend

Jasper Lily and I needed (well mostly me) to get the heck out of dodge (aka LA) for the long weekend. I was desperate to go someplace quiet, peaceful, surround myself with nature and breathe in clean air. Los Angeles seems to be emotionally killing me every single day and I was desperate to find some ‘zen’. So we set off for Lake Arrowhead, CA. About 2 1/2 hours east of Los Angeles. In the mountains near Big Bear Lake. This time of year the temp is usually in the high 80s but our weather has been so whacky. We drove into a heavy, blinding fog and watched the temp in the car drop to the high 40s and low 50s. Thinking we would be spending most of the weekend snuggled up in the hotel room, we accepted that was peaceful enough.

They didn’t say no dogs on the bed!

The view from our room!

We arrived and our adorable boutique hotel was right next to a large lake … begging for long walks. We found some hiking trails to explore and bundled up (sweaters for all). It was QUIET! And since it was rather chilly, I wasn’t that worried about ticks or snakes.

Sadly, Lake Arrowhead, while dog friendly to walk around, isn’t dining dog-friendly so there was only one place we could eat and they closed early. So I would leave Jasper in the car (something I would NEVER do in LA or in temps higher than 60) and run into the grocery store for snacks/meals.

Hiking to heart rock

Jasper and I walked anywhere between 8 – 10 miles each day, without evening realizing it. She is a TROOPER! That dog will walk for miles and miles and hours and hours. The fog eventually did burn off our second day there and we took a boat ride (dog friendly) around Lake Arrowhead. Jasper was so exhausted from all the hiking/walking/moving that she basically snoozed the entire hour long tour.

On the boat

On the boat! She’s exhausted here.


Our last day there, we took, what I thought, was going to be a short walk but ended up a three mile hike/walk around the hotel but the views were outstanding. Living in LA, I forget what blue skies look like when not tainted by smog and exhaust.

Jasper did great for her first trip in a hotel room. It was a small room but she made herself comfy on the bed (they didn’t say no dogs on the bed). Since we could hear people walking around, she did get the “growlies” and “barkies” but mostly I think she was too tired to really care. She slept solid – each night – from about 7 to 7! I had to drag her out of bed in the morning and that is definitely unusual for her.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end so we packed up and drove back to LA, kicking and screaming most of the way. It was a lovely weekend to 100% disconnect  from the world, from the Facebook, the Twitter, the internet. I didn’t respond to texts, emails, anything … I think we “found our zen”. I love traveling alone with Jasper (as I did with Shelby). I find the older I get, the less I desire to be around people but prefer the company of my dog. I don’t have to be anything but real and true. Dogs don’t judge. They are just happy to go. I don’t know at what point in my life I became content to enjoy my own company more than the company of others … maybe it is because people continue to disappoint me and I am sick of getting my hopes up and having them dashed. I am sick of trying to be something/someone that I don’t know if I really want. But all I know … for right now … in an effort to stay afloat and not pull every single hair out of my head, I need my alone time – and out of LA time – at least once a month. It is my medicine. My sanity. My therapy.

Nature is and will always be my default. I don’t know where Jasper and I will be in several years … we might leave LA for greener (literally) pastures but I am happy that my travel buddy will meet each adventure with a tail wag, a half-smile and full sparkle in her eyes! So until our next adventures! And as always, thank you to the love of my life, Shelby Lynne, for sending me such a great travel buddy!














No words

Dog loves nature!

Snoozy girl!

Posted by on May 27th, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (4) | Permalink

Jasper Lily at 11 months!

WOW… I simply cannot believe Jasper Lily has been a part of my life for almost an entire year. We are definitely looking forward to a happy celebration for that milestone. Especially considering I wasn’t even sure I was going to keep her for the first couple of months (yes… looking back, it was months).

I simply adore this quirky little dog – for all her “issues”, “expressions” (who knew ears could be so expressive), mannerisms, personality. She also has the weirdest smile I’ve ever seen on a dog … so much so that I almost prefer her signature “resting bitch face” since sometimes it’s just creepy!

How many photos to get a smile?!?

She has definitely come out of her shell and I do believe I see the REAL Jasper Lily most of the time.

She still spooks more than Shelby ever did – at random things. The low growl is less (and I almost miss it). She’s getting better in the car (still not her favorite thing but I think she tolerates it better).

She continues to push limits and boundaries. And it’s hard to punish a submissive dog because I truly believe it kills a part of her spirit. Shelby was fearless when I disciplined her. When Shelby destroyed the trash, she would look at me with such pride and no remorse. Only once have I seen Jasper truly proud of her ‘bad-dog’ tendencies.

What, madre?!? So proud of her mess.

But most of the time, when Jasper does wrong and I catch her, she goes to her bed (or under my bed) and pouts, sulks and looks like I took away ALL her toys and beat her senseless (which of course I would never do).

Jasper has made a single cat friend and I think that is because the cat is dog-friendly. Most of the cats run when we see them and Jasper tries to chase. Her addiction to hunting squirrels is like nothing I have ever seen and further proves she will never be an ‘off-leash’ dog. It isn’t safe for her as she would dart into a street if she saw something she wanted to chase.

Kitty loves!

Taunted by the squirrel

Every. Single. Day. Hunting Squirrels

Jasper is usually so happy to see me whenever I get home – even if it’s only after an hour of being gone. I hear her body-slamming herself against the door as I walk up the stairs to my apt.

She’s adorable, a healthy mixture of hilarious and crazy and cuddles … she is EXACTLY what I needed and the “love of my life” knew what she was doing when she guided me to Jasper.

I am happy I was able to open my heart, embrace love again and know that it in no way diminishes the love I had and will always have for Shelby. Jasper has found her way into my heart and she cuddles up closer each and every day.

And most of all…. I think the frown and sad lines have started to fade from my eyes … the scars have left and the sparkle as come back into my eyes. Do I still miss Shelby? EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. But I know that Shelby wants and NEEDS me to love again. And for that, I am thankful for little Jasper Lily.

Posted by on May 14th, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (4) | Permalink

Jasper Lily at 10 months (and her spring break vacation)

Well Jasper Lily is still with me! 🙂 We made it through the first angel-vesary of my beloved Shelby Lynne and Jasper has really come out of her shell. I see more and more of her personality all the time.

In honor of (or in anticipation of) her 10 month adopt-vesary, we traveled back up to Seattle/the PNW for my spring break. It was Jasper’s second trip on the plane (under the seat not under the plane) and again, she handled it like a champ. She is SO proud when she struts through the airport – tail wagging, happy smiles, all those drugs in her system (thank you for doggy xanax). We did SO much but I won’t write a novel. I’ll give the fun snapshots and updates.


Homeward Bound! LAX to SEA

We arrived in Seattle and the next day drove south for about 5 hours to Cannon Beach, Or. This was the place of my childhood beach cabin and where I wanted to leave part of Shelby’s remains. Knowing how much Jasper dislikes the beach,  I was unsure how “fun” this would be for her. She had a blast! She LOVED the Oregon Coast (until she remembered she was supposed to be scared). We walked 2 1/2 miles into town on the beach, grabbed a coffee (Cannon Beach is VERY dog friendly) and then walked back. We played in the sand, splashed (well mostly me) in the water and chased the birds! My mom and I drove into town to wander the little shops and Jasper was a trooper. Probably a tired girl too. We spent three days in Cannon Beach and Jasper went almost every where with us.


Jasper on the beach in Cannon Beach, Or.


Cannon Beach, Or


Cannon Beach, OR


Play hard, sleep hard! Snoozy Jasper Lily is the best!


Wine bar and dogs are welcome? Yes please!


Cuddles!!! Coffee date with little Jasper Lily! Look at those ears!


We drove back to Seattle (I think Jasper just hates the car or she really loves riding on the floor in the back seat). Anyways … we got back to Seattle to some hail. Jasper’s first hail! She had seen snow back in November when we were there but hail was new for her. She LOVES my mom and her house. I think because it’s fully carpeted as opposed to my hard wood floors with an area rug. I will be getting her a bigger area rug. She loved to sit in my mom’s chair and just chill. Jasper seems more relaxed, happier and calmer in Seattle. I can only assume it is because I am the same way. She really is such a GOOD dog and just goes with it. Whatever “it” might be.


Jasper’s first hail

We took long walks around Greenlake by my mom’s house, had coffee dates, did some “booty-buster” hikes up some hills, went to a pub that lets dogs IN the restaurant. Yup. Inside. We met up with her buddy Lexi and my friends for a dinner date. Jasper and Lexi split a burger (plain, no bun) and the humans had burgers, sandwiches, chips and beers. We ended our evening with Jasper being a total love and angel around the cats at my friend’s home. I think it was because the cats are so dog friendly, they don’t run from Jasper. If it doesn’t run, she doesn’t chase it. Unlike the zillion squirrels we saw outside around Greenlake.


Hunting squirrels at Greenlake!


My hometown … #sorrynotsorry


Norms in Fremont with Jasper’s buddy, Lexi (and her human, Gwydion). Lexi is also a rescue from a hoarding situation.


Jasper and I loved walking around Greenlake. God how I love the crystal blue skies, blue water and green lush vegetation.


Jasper’s throne! Who needs a fort when you have a throne?!?


I left Jasper with her grandmama (my mom) and she did great. She walked great on a leash, was a perfect lady, ate her dinner, didn’t miss me (too much).

It was a wonderful and long 10 days but sadly, we had to come back to LA. Jasper took her trip back to LA like a champ on the plane again and we were both heartbroken to have me come back to work. She seems sadder. She did have a rough weekend with fireworks, an earthquake and being left on her own more.

So 10 months … I cannot imagine my life without little Jasper Lily. I could never imagined that I could / would love her this much. I miss my sweet Shelby every day but I know that Jasper was sent to bring me happiness, smiles and laughter. I LOVE traveling with her and that she can come on the plane with me, opens up a new world. Our next adventure might be next month when we take a brief weekend getaway. Jasper’s first experience in a hotel.

She still gets the barkies and the growlies. She is still cautious yet curious. She still loves from a distance and I can see that she still has some walls up. But so do I. But I am proud of her and how far she has come in such a short amount of time. I am proud when I see her walk with confidence, tail wagging, ears up, sometimes a smile on her face. I love how every morning, in bed, it is the same thing … she stretches out long, does her frog pose and snuggles up with me. It is how we start our day and I know she is channeling her inner Shelby there … being “more dog”, “embracing each day to the fullest”, full of hope and happy energy.

Thank you, to my sweet Shelby… you were always the wise one. You sent me a good one. I’m keeping her! 🙂

Posted by on April 15th, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (3) | Permalink

Jasper Lily at nine months!

I cannot believe I have had Jasper Lily for nine months. She has come SUCH a long way! I am so proud of her and how she has let her walls down and embraced her new life. I also cannot believe how much her personality has changed from the first couple of months. She is still pretty submissive in general but finding more and more confidence. Unlike Shelby, she definitely knows that she is not the “alpha dog” in this house but she is testing her boundaries more and more. I like to call it “channeling her inner Shelby”.

For example, I left for work the other day and forgot something and came back upstairs and saw Jasper slinking out of the kitchen – a place where she never spends anytime and frankly had NO business being in. It reminded me so much of how Shelby would do that and that usually ended in total destruction of the trash can.

Today I got home from a couple spin classes and found a nail file destroyed on the floor – next to her overflowing box of toys.

Last night we went for cocktails at the local Mexican place and she forgot ALL her manners and barked like a bad ass (we were outside), pulled on the leash and was an overall “PITA” (pain in the ass).

And her barking….. oh her barking.  This is so not a non-barking dog! She has found her voice, from the bark, to the low growl to the constant moaning … she has SO much to say all the time. I don’t mind barking for an alert but I hate that when I tell her quiet or enough or shut the F up (not proud) she does not stop. Usually, she will bark and then switch to the low-growl which is still hilarious to me.

But she’s perfect, from what I am told, at daycare. She cuddles with the staff, is quiet and a total darling. So maybe I bring it out in her?

It feels like she has always been here and yet it feels like Shelby just left. I definitely love little Jasper Lily and I definitely hover over her more than I ever did with Shelby. It was 90 yesterday at the beach and our power went out and thus no fans and I was busy icing Jasper’s ears and making sure she wasn’t hot all while knowing that dogs handle heat by panting and usually they are fine. She has taken to going under the bed and into her airplane carrier. She’s probably smarter about the heat than I am!

I still miss and talk to Shelby every day and feel every day, more and more, that Shelby had her paws in sending me Jasper. There is also so much of “Shelby” within Jasper that comforts me and yet Jasper is entirely her own dog. I know the two of them would have been fun pair to watch.

So nine months … if I was a real mom, that’s how long it would have taken to create a real baby … so it makes sense that it took about that amount of time to feel fully bonded to my new furbaby. She cuddles, she loves and she knows she is home. To see her happy warms my heart and soul.

Sorry I ate your nail file, madre.

Jasper is batman! Love those ears!

What, madre? You mean I cannot be on the kitchen counter?

Jasper’s Fort of the Day

Posted by on March 15th, 2015 at 8:53 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (3) | Permalink

Jasper Lily at eight months

Oops… I counted last month as her 6th month anniversary of finding her fur-ever home with me but it actually was her 7th. No wonder it felt longer! So Jasper has been with me for 8 long months!  Sometimes  I can’t believe that she hasn’t always been a part of my life and other times, it still feels new, like when I discover a new weird quirk of hers.  Her new phobia is riding in the car IF I open the windows or the sunroof. She freaks out and crawls down on the floor and tries to get under the seats. Going to be a long summer for her if she doesn’t enjoy the wind in those big dumbo ears.

A list of things I have learned about Jasper since last June:

1. She is definitely NOT a non-barking dog; she barks when people ring the doorbell but then proceeds (usually) to low-growl for up to 30 minutes after. I get that she’s letting me know she’s uncomfortable with her situation but it really is unnecessary.

2. She likes to ‘herd’ dogs at the dog park. She usually finds a little white dog (maybe she thinks it is a sheep) and proceeds to herd, including her signature bark. It is about that time we have to leave since she never seems to let up and that sound is NOT music to anyone’s ears.

3. She cuddles. A lot. ALL the time. I thought she was feeling ill but nope, she’s become a cuddle dog – has to be touching me. Again, going to be a long summer if she thinks that is OK when it’s 100 in the apt. She’s like a little oven.

4. She can go from play to sleep in a matter of minutes. It’s funny to watch and a true joy to see her finally rest. But her bedtime (decided by her) at 8:00 p.m. still results in a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call.

5. She needs, at least, 2 miles of walking a day. More is great but at least 2 usually makes her pleasant to be around in the evenings (aka NOT all up in my face with her toys).

6. She is very photogenic. She really is. She loves / tolerates her photos being taken except selfies. She hates those. Yet she will let me hold her.

7. She likes to build forts with my pillows on the couch. I never see her do it but it’s funny to see what she can create. Always with her babies.

I still struggle, daily, with my love for Jasper and my deep love and missing of my beloved Shelby Lynne. I know Shelby sent me Jasper and I know she picked out a great one … one that likes to take photos, go places, and cuddles but it’s an internal struggle still for me to fully let myself love Jasper. It’s not to say that I do not love Jasper because I really do. I love her very much. I am happy to see her when I get home. But I stop in my tracks sometimes with an intense pain and longing for Shelby. And what was …

Today I caught Jasper (she’s done this a couple times) trying to crawl up my bookcase – where the “shrine” of Shelby is. It has Shelby’s ashes, her tiara, photos, her figurines, and all the pennies and bling she has sent me. I picked Jasper up so she could see her toys weren’t up there. And she sniffed at the box where Shelby’s ashes are. Does she know? Did she want to give loves to her big sister? I do not know. I know that Jasper knows that Shelby is still here and in my heart daily.

Jasper has eased up with her late night growlies but the low-growl still cracks me up. I know it must be that Shelby visits less. Because maybe Shelby knows I am doing better. Last night I found Jasper at the end of my bed, in Shelby’s spot. Jasper always sleeps up close to me but last night, I looked down and there She was. Maybe Shelby wasn’t visiting last night.

I do love this little dog and she has definitely won the hearts of every one who meets her. She is, indeed, very sweet, loving and affectionate. She is always ‘more dog’ … seeing the best in people no matter what. And I think, deep down, she knows she has a great life. She was hand-picked for me by my best girl and I am grateful. She makes life fun again and I smile a lot more. I’ll always miss Shelby more than life itself but I am happy to have a new partner in crime!

Jasper DOES smile!


Mom went to Disneyland and all I got are these lousy mouse ears…

“let me go, let me go… I know there is a squirrel up there!”

Reflective. Contemplative. Enjoying nature on our daily walk. EARS up!


Posted by on February 17th, 2015 at 12:43 am | Comments & Trackbacks (3) | Permalink

The many faces of Jasper Lily

My dear friend, Jeff, is a photographer and he’s the one that did all the amazing photos my my beautiful Shelby Lynne. Jasper and I were at an open house party this weekend and she was meeting all sorts of new friends and because Jasper tends to be a puller, she spent some quality time in my arms.

Jeff got up close and personal with his camera and captured these amazing images in just a few seconds. I find them HILARIOUS! Mainly because Jasper is such a gentle, submissive dog and these paint a portrait of a crazed, dog’s gone wild kind of image.

Jasper continues to be a charmer (everyone loved her) and thought she was super pretty and sweet.

I will say, in the 4th picture, if I could get braces for a dog, Jasper would need them! I don’t think her teeth are really that crooked.

Enjoy and a big thank you to Jeff Urban Photos for these amazing images…

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Posted by on January 27th, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (2) | Permalink