May…It’s Not Easy…

It’s here…the month I’ve dreaded every year, for several years now. As hard as I try to put on a happy face and remember the good times…as everyone instructs me to do…it’s not easy.

I lost my Granny on May 22nd of 1999…the Friday going into Memorial Day weekend. She was 88 years old, and had been a big part of my life. She continued to live in Illinois after my Granddad passed when I was very young. But, every summer she’d travel to spend the summers with us. She, my mom, and I did everything together in the summers. We were like the Three Musketeers. My dad worked out of town during the week doing road construction, and my older brother was in the local Drum Corps. traveling and competing in the summertime. So it was just mom, Granny, and me. So much fun was had!

I lost my amazing mom 11 years…almost to the day…after my dear Granny. May 28th of 2010…also the Friday going into Memorial Day weekend that year. She was only 68 and had fought a difficult battle toward the end with her heart. One of the most giving hearts in the world, and it just couldn’t give any more.

I lost my best K9 buddy, Nugget, to leukemia on May 2nd of 2012. Just two years after losing my mom. It was almost more than I could take. Nugget and I had a special bond that I had never experienced with any dog before. Even a stronger bond than I had with his brother, Comanche. It was like we were one soul. He understood me better than anyone or any pet ever had.

So May is here…I will get through it again, just like in the years past…but I know it won’t be easy. I’m just going to try my best to remember the love, laughter, and happy memories…there are an abundance of those.

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Meet Little Miss Freddie

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~ Above: Me and Freddie at my office right after my husband adopted her. ~

Little Miss Freddie…a mix of border collie and black lab…came into our lives at the age of eight weeks on my 49th birthday in 2017. My husband called me at work and asked “What are you doing for lunch?” Since it was my birthday, I thought he was asking me out on a lunch date. Instead, he said “You want to go look at puppies?” Heck YEAH! Who DOESN’T want to go look at puppies!!?? Duh! Come to find out…my mother-in-law had called my husband earlier in the day and told him about “free” puppies she had seen advertised in the paper.

Having been without our two golden retrievers, Nugget and Comanche, for nearly four years, the topic of raising another dog had recently come up in conversation on occasion. My husband was more ready than I was…and it was discussed that he needed a K9 companion when working in remote areas during the summer months. Being retired, my husband would be spending the most time with the new pup and be the most involved in training. With that in mind, I told him I would be fine with which ever puppy he selected and to just go ahead and adopt one in the litter his mom told him about. He stopped by my office right after adopting her. She was adorable, of course.

~ Above: Freddie’s first time at the cabin on the mountain. ~

My husband had always wanted a dog named Freddie…so, that is how we ended up with a girl dog named Freddie. After a friend suggested it, I decided Freddie could be short for Fredericka and I like to give my mother-in-law a bad time by insisting that since the “free puppy” was her idea, Freddie’s middle name would be Kathryn…Little Miss Fredericka Kathryn.

Freddie immediately showed her intelligence and fit into our active lifestyle perfectly. We take her on hikes, she loves riding on the 4-wheeler, and being a very active breed, she goes on five or six-mile runs daily alongside the 4-wheeler usually with my husband.

She is a joy and is learning new things every day. She has been with us now for a year and every day is a new adventure.

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~ Freddie sitting on the stump of a tree my husband had just cut down. ~

~ Helping my husband drive…and on the 4-wheeler…seeing her first cow (a big bull) ~

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~ In her new coat on Christmas Day at the Cabin.”

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~ Enjoying the Wyoming sunset. ~

The Woman Behind My Camera

I’m just an average gal…nothing too complicated. I’ve got a love for simple things…the great outdoors…dogs, cats, and every cuddly creature in between…and photography, of course.

I’m a 4th generation Wyoming native and love the natural beauty surrounding me every day here in my home state. Being able to share that beauty with others is a joy and a blessing.

Between 1988 and 1990, I attended the Colorado Institute of Art (now known as the Art Institute of Colorado) and graduated with a degree in Visual Communications. I’ve had a career in Graphic Design now for the past 28 years. I cannot believe it’s been that many years! Time gets away too fast!

In the past few years I’ve been able to blend my graphic design experience and love for photography and create note cards featuring my photos. It’s something I absolutely LOVE doing. It’s an enjoyable outlet…and something I hope to be able to do for many years to come.

You can see my work in my Etsy shop at: Paws Fur a Moment Photography

Saturday Morning Photo Excursion

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~~the photos in this blog post were all captured with my iPhone…photos from my Canon T3i will be featured in another post to follow soon~~

As we were eating breakfast this morning, the clouds started rolling in along the top of Casper Mountain here in Casper, Wyoming. I love this view from our kitchen window. We are truly blessed to live where we do.

I knew the rolling clouds wouldn’t last long…so I grabbed my camera (Canon T3i), hopped in my Chevy Trailblazer I call “Blaze”, and took the short drive to a favorite area across the highway.

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Just a short three and a half mile drive from our house, I had the area to myself, the meadolarks were singing, bluebirds were flying around, and the clouds continued to roll across the top of the mountain.

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It was just a short photo excursion…but a great way to start the day and get away from things for a few minutes. And there’s no shortage of photo oportunities in this area…or any area…if you just learn to see them.

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On my way back home…I stopped to take a photo of this fence post. As I composed the shot in my viewfinder, I noticed the vertebrae bone someone had placed at the top of the post! It made me laugh and say to myself “well, that’s cool!” Once again…something I’ve seen by just taking time to look and notice.

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Thank you to whoever placed the bone there.

Hiber…nation

So…I saw a story on the news this morning about a black bear webcam in Glacier National Park. This adorable black bear is not in any hurry to leave the comforts of its perfect den in this big ‘ol cottonwood tree. I took a look at the webcam this afternoon on my lunch break and this is what I saw. Can’t say as I blame the black bear…with all the crazyness going on in this world, I’d love to climb back in my den, too! #glaciernationalparkblackbeardenwebcam #sleepybear

The Reason Paws Fur a Moment Exists…

In September of 2002, my husband and I decided to adopt a golden retriever puppy. We’d seen an ad in the paper for golden puppies and decided to go take a look at the litter. By the time we got there, the only puppies left were two males…one red and one light gold. My husband preferred the red one…and I was drawn to the lighter of the two. Not able to make a decision on which one we should take home with us, it was decided that we couldn’t leave one behind…so we adopted both!

Even though we both loved both puppies…the red one, Comanche, was more attached to my husband…and the light one, Nugget, was more attached to me. They grew to be a big part of our lives.

They loved going on hikes with us on our mountain property and I always had my camera in hand. From day one…they would sit and pose until I was done snapping the shutter on my camera several times.

I soon began creating note cards with the images I was capturing and sold the cards at our local Farmer’s Market when we’d sell our garden harvest. Nugget and Comanche became favorites at our booth and several customers would stop by every Saturday just to see “the boys” and give them treats.

After nine years of wonderful times and unconditional love, Nugget was diagnosed with K-9 Leukemia and passed away peacefully at home just a few short weeks later. He and I had such a strong connection…unlike I had experienced with any other pets in the past. He was one special dog. I miss him every day and am thankful for having him in my life.

Three years after Nugget passed away, his brother, Comanche, also passed away peacefully at home at the age of 12. Like his brother, he was such a special part of our lives for 12 years. Comanche was usually “all business” and very serious. But, extremely lovable. I miss his “hugs” and his sweet personality.

Though I miss them terribly, I’m so very grateful they were in our lives. And I’m so very thankful that when the time came…we didn’t have to make “that decision”. They both simply went to sleep at home and crossed the Rainbow Bridge when they were ready. They are forever in my heart.

#pawsfuramomentphotography #goldenretrievers #goldenlove #wyominggoldens #goldensforever #wyomingphotographer