Category Archives: Pets


I briefly introduced my doggies in my About Me section, but it doesn’t do them justice at all! In order to tell you about my current pups, I have to start at the beginning, with Kiwi.1910599_531591913487_544_n Kiwi was my childhood dog. I got him while I still lived in Venezuela; I was about 12 years old. I had begged my dad to get me a dog (because I knew that if I asked my mom, she would say no!). After my dad did some research, he discovered a nearby vet was giving away some Yorkshire Terrier puppies. I remember standing over the basket where the furry bouquet of puppies was yapping away, begging to be adopted. But Kiwi and I had an immediate connection and he was the smallest puppy in the litter. I thought this would be a good compromise in case my mom refused to let me keep it, “but, mom, he was the smallest!” I can’t tell you how that was a completely acceptable and logical argument, but it was in my 12-year-old mind.

On the drive back home, Kiwi nestled in my lap as my dad and I brainstormed some names for him. While stopped at a red light, we looked over to our right and saw a farmer’s market on the side of the road, “What about ‘Kiwi’?” my dad asked as he saw a huge bin filled with the furry brown fruit. That was perfect!



Tanning by the patio door

Kiwi was my everything. He loved me the most out of everyone and that made me feel very special. When we visited my family in Brazil over the summers, Kiwi went with me in the airplane. He also went on our family vacation to Margarita Island. The joke was that he needed his own passport because he was so well-traveled! When we moved back to Brazil because of my dad’s job – I was 15 and a half – Kiwi came with us. Two and a half years later, I had to say good-bye to Kiwi when I went to college. I missed him everyday, and everyday I asked my parents about him when I chatted with them over the internet. When I visited Brazil over the holidays and summers, I took as many pictures of Kiwi as I possibly could. He was always on my lap, no matter what I was doing. He came with me everywhere I went. And every time I boarded the plane to return to college, my heart sunk and I wish I could take him with me.


Camping trip


Lunch by the sea

In 2008, when I started graduate school, I finally brought him to live with me. He loved Florida! I used to let him walk around the outside of my apartment, sniffing the grass and the flowers, letting the warm breeze brush his silky fur off his little face. And once again, he became my loyal companion! He loved car rides, french fries, and blueberry dog treats. I had to feed him soft wet food because he had lost several of his teeth and could barely chew. In fact, he made a huge mess after every meal and I’d have to wipe his pointy snout clean. Most importantly, he always let me sleep in!


Helping bring the groceries inside


King of the jungle!

On an evening in January 2009, when my parents were in town for the holidays, I found Kiwi laying on the floor, with his tongue sticking out, taking very shallow breaths. I remember grabbing whatever shoes were in front of me and dashing to the emergency vet with my dad and my boyfriend at the time. I was crying, my heart was pounding, and I wasn’t ready to lose him. By the time we arrived at vet, his tongue had turned blue. The vet put him in an oxygen chamber. She diagnosed with him congestive heart failure, and explained that his heart muscles were getting too weak to pump his blood and some fluid was back-washing into his lungs. Essentially, his own body was drowning him. They told me he needed to be kept over night and that I would need to come back the next day to take him to my regular vet. If anything, they would call me.

I arrived home, crying, not knowing what to do with myself, wanting him to make it through the night. The next morning, we did as instructed – picked him up and took him to his regular vet. Kiwi was referred to a heart specialist. Once again, he was placed in an oxygen chamber, but this time, he was kept for several days. I visited him every chance I got, because I didn’t know if I would have another moment with him. The techs told me he always looked healthier and perkier when I visited him. To my relief, Kiwi survived this crisis and was prescribed several medications, to be administered several times a day. One of the medications was a diuretic, so I diligently woke up every night at 3am to make sure he could pee. He seemed to be doing much better and I was so grateful he wasn’t taken from me.


After his first crisis. His fur was nearly all shaven off. I got him a stylish sweater to keep him warm.

Five months later, Kiwi and I were watching a movie when I noticed his breathing was shallow again. I had gotten really good at measuring his breathing rate and checked it every day. I rushed him to the heart specialist, who told me he needed to be kept overnight. He stayed in the hospital for about 3 days, and then came home! He was very weak the night he came home, but managed to drink and eat a healthy amount. The next day, he only had dinner. The following day, he only had water. I tried feeding him everything…anything. I bought him his favorite foods and treats. Nothing. On the night of day 3, he stopped going to the bathroom. On day 5, he barely peed. on day 6, his breathing was shallow again.



I got in my car, with him on my lap. He was too weak to make it, and I knew this to some level, but I still hoped he would be strong enough. I dropped him off at the heart specialist. When I came home, I marched into the kitchen, cleaned the entire floor, and set up his food station: a wee-wee pad, his water dish, and his empty food dish. I pulled out the little yellow basket where I kept his medications and syringes, and placed them on the counter. This was my way of saying, “Kiwi, you are coming home. We are waiting for you.” I went to bed. At 1am, the vet called me and told me he wasn’t going to make it and I needed to give her permission to end his suffering. I stood up and felt like there wasn’t enough air to fill my lungs… everything was spinning. My boyfriend drove me to the vet because I was in no shape to drive.

I couldn’t bear seeing his lifeless body. I wanted my last memory of Kiwi to be his beady eyes looking up at me and the little kiss he gave me on the tip of my nose.

The next day, I went to Michaels, bought the most beautiful box I could find, and filled it with our wonderful memories together: his favorite toys, his Halloween costumes, his paw print, his food dishes, his leash and harness, and a few days later, his ashes.


Charm bracelet in memory of Kiwi

Memory Box

Memory Box

The night before he died, we watched Marley & Me together. I bought a copy of this movie and added it to the box. I never watched it again and never will.

My last picture of Kiwi, taken the morning of the day he died.

My last picture of Kiwi, taken the morning of the day he died.

Kiwi – I love you, and I still miss you every day.




Frozen Paws

Do you want to build a snowmannnnn? 

I have wanted to make some sort of treat for the pets and couldn’t come up with anything creative that they would enjoy. Until today! I noticed that I have been giving the dogs an ice-cube every time I fill my own cup of icy water. And they love it! I don’t know if it’s because it’s a) refreshing, b) crunchy, c) mine, or d) all of the above. 

So I pulled out some ice trays I had lying around and alternated between filling one ice tray with water + broccoli or water + fresh blueberries.






This is a great way to make sure they stay hydrated in this awful Florida summer and share my healthier people food with them. 

Here’s the result!








They loved every crunchy bite of it!



I went on a quick trip to Boston on Tuesday and returned today! One of my best friends lives in Boston and she invited me to do a presentation with her, which took place yesterday and went wonderfully well! We got very positive feedback! 

I hadn’t seen her since we graduated from our Doctoral program almost exactly a year ago! When she lived in Florida, I used to babysit her kitties whenever she went out-of-town, and I got to see them too! I am pretty sure they remembered me.



How cute are they?

My friend also took me to a delicious little restaurant called b.good. All of their ingredients are bought directly from local farmers and they grow their own herbs and use them to make delectable smoothies! I got a kale and quinoa bowl with sautéed veggies, shiitake mushrooms, avocado, black beans, corn, grape tomatoes, queso fresco, lime, cilantro, and chipotle sauce along with a spinach, mint, lime pineapple, almond milk, and hemp seed smoothie! I wish they had this restaurant here in Florida…. *sigh*


I woke up at 5a.m. this morning to catch my 7a.m. flight back home. I was sad to say goodbye, which only means I’ll have to see her again soon! She’s one of those very special people whom you always want in your life!

I had a 3-hour layover in Atlanta. The airport is huge. I walked around for a bit, had an early lunch, and window shopped. Well technically, I shopped. I couldn’t resist and I bought a book! I don’t know why, but there’s something about buying books at the airport. 


It’s a post-apocalyptic novel about a man and his dog! I love post-apocalyptic stories, so if you have any other suggestions as far as movies or books, please let me know! I had zero time to crochet during this trip, so I’m looking forward to getting back to my projects!

Now I am back home with my little family, ready to enjoy a relaxing evening!



Weekend Project Upgrade

Happy Monday to all!

How’s my weekend project, you ask? Not complete! But it’s ok! It just means that it upgraded from my weekend project to my rest-of-the-week project! Here is what it looks like so far:


I used 11 colors for the front and then realized that it wasn’t enough to cover the cushion, so I will add one or two more. I also started working on the back. My idea was that I would do te reverse color pattern from the front, but I decided to add more colors to the front after I started working on the back. I’ll have to figure something out. It’s such a beautiful pattern that I’m sure whatever I do will look great.

On a different note, there is a good reason why I didn’t finish my weekend project. Meet Juniper.


We adopted her this weekend! She is about 3 months old. She was living in the streets of Miami, was captured by a shelter, spayed, and was about to be re-released as a feral cat. We couldn’t have that happen! 


She is such a cutie and has the sweetest temperament. She has fit in very well with our other cats and spent the entire night running around and playing with them! We are very happy she is part of our family! Welcome home, Juniper! 



Puppies & Project Progress

What a rainy day this was! I snuck out to the dog park before the downpour started to let the dogs run around a bit. It has been difficult to take them consistently these past few days because it’s been torrentially raining every evening after work, and no one wants muddy dogs! Especially not four of them!
They were so happy and tired!


So after they ran around and got all their energy out, I spent the rest of the day working on my weekend project and I made tons of progress!


And before I leave you to enjoy the rest of your Saturday night, I would like to share a very inspiring quote that was sent to me today. It’s through our struggles that we all become the special and beautiful people we are!



Happy Weekend!


Cushion Challenge

Friday is finally here! Every friday evening, I browse through the internet to decide on a “weekend project.” The rule is that I have to complete it by Sunday night (which didn’t work well last week, but who’s keeping track?). During my lunch break at work, I was snooping around  Attic 24 when I found a beautiful, colorful, to-die-for cushion tutorial! As I said before, I am looking to challenge myself a little more each week so I can really master the art of crochet! 

This is the tutorial.

And this is what my cushion will look like:

Photo credit to Attic 24

Photo credit to Attic 24

Naturally, I stopped by Jo Ann Fabrics after work and did some yarn damage! Taking advantge that Caron Simply Soft brand was 50% off (YAY!) I bought several colorful skeins for this project (and others, as well). 


Also, as I promised myself, I spent some time working on my shawl last night. I put it down for one second to go to the kitchen, and when I came back, I walked into this lovely scene:


I assume they were trying to help but they forgot to use a crochet hook.

I will keep you posted on my weekend project! Wish me luck!


Bright Colors!

So, remember this?


It turned into this:



 The little penguin looks dapper and is ready for his journey to Maryland to meet a very special little boy! I made it for my best friend’s son, because learning to crochet means I get to spoil him with cute gifts.

 Now that this mini project is done, I have several others in the works. Some of them will take time (forever!) because I’m still not a quick crochet-er (what do you call someone who crochets?). One of my favorite parts of starting a new project is picking out yarn colors. Since my skills aren’t too great yet, I’m not investing in any expensive yarn. Lately my inspiration has been bright colors!


These colorful skeins will turn into little owl keychains I am making as gifts for some special people in my life. I also have plans to work on a granny square  blanket to cover my Queen-sized bed. I keep talking myself out of doing this because the task seems daunting, but I also know how accomplished I’ll feel once I do it. All of these are Sugar n’ Cream brand ($1.99 each at Michael’s).


And these pastel-looking skeins are on their way to becoming a tricolor chevron throw. I also thought that the sparkly gray yarn would add a nice pizzaz to the blanket… something unexpected yet fancy!

I also spent some time training my youngest pup today. Baguette learned “down.” I have so much fun watching him get what I’m trying to teach him! He’s a smart little one! The picture came out a bit blurry because there was a lot of bouncing, excitement, and celebration! I always use positive training… I have gotten excellent results with my other dogs and not only do they learn faster and well, but they also build such a trusting bond with me. 


 Now off to crochet I go!


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