I’ll be honest… It’s been a rough month. My pup Killian, who shared my world from the moment he took his first breath back in December of 2006, passed away in May. There have been many, many tears since that time. Between that, trying to finish the latest book, and waiting on word for a house we may or may not be purchasing in Phippsburg (more on that next month – maybe), I’ve been more than a little bit distracted lately.
As a result, all the pieces I started to write for the blog this month just ended up scattered and just not that interesting. While I was looking for inspiration (aka killing time), I started looking through the photos on my phone. Gradually, a theme began to emerge. I know it’s not about crime. Some of the photos don’t even come from Maine. But frankly, with the amount of chaos in the world today, I could use a break from dark thoughts. So, this month I bring you a pictorial journey of a few of the animals who’ve made their way to my phone over the past year or so. I hope you enjoy!
Ben’s cousins live in Springfield, Vermont, so we usually make at least a little time for the Springfield Humane Society while we’re visiting. We took this sweet girl for a walk and had a rousing game of fetch while we were there. What a face!
While visiting Chicago this winter, Ben and I made the rounds to whatever animal-centric locale we could find. The Orphans of the Storm Shelter was a highlight to say the very least. Their cat rooms had been renovated recently, and were phenomenal. You can’t see it in this photo, but on either end of this massive room were whole sections of dog beds where the cats could snooze in the sunshine together. It was awesome!
This gorgeous girl is Jenga, a Dutch shepherd with Maine Search and Rescue Dogs (MESARD). Jenga’s handler, Chad Carleton, and fellow MESARD handler Michele Fleury very kindly let me tag along during a training session in Dresden, and I snagged this photo in a rare down moment. I was first introduced to the breed while training with the Maine Warden Service K-9 unit a few days before up in Montville, when Corporal Michelle Merrifield and her Dutch shepherd Piper showed me the ropes.
Meet Kia… The dog who made me love my car dealer. I bought my Honda Element from Robert’s Auto in Bowdoinham in October of 2016, and have faithfully brought the beast (which I love, incidentally) in for tune-ups whenever needed — partly because Kia makes the whole thing such a pleasure.
Last spring, I took care of my nieces Maya (left) and Maggie (right) for a weekend in April. One of the things we did to fill our days was head out to Kid Hugging Day in Appleton – where we stopped and hugged some kid goats at Appleton Creamery, and pet some super sweet water buffalo calves at Maine Water Buffalo. Definitely a memorable day.
This handsome guy is head peacock at Appleton Creamery, where the nieces and I hugged kids and sampled goat cheese in April, 2016.
A less-happy shot, of one of the dogs from Orphans of the Storm Animal Shelter in Chicago. This sweet girl was being fostered but needed to come back to the shelter for some reason… Her face says it all. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to bring her home with us.
The saintly Princess Serena, Ben’s cousins’ puppy. There’s an ongoing debate as to what breed Serena actually is – they were originally told part poodle, part Rottweiler. I believe the most recent theory is that there is some Rottie in there, but also some schnauzer…? Either way, she’s got a ton of personality, and is far too smart for her own good. Definitely a welcome addition to the family.
My lovely Ben, having a heart-to-heart with the goats of Sunflower Creamery in Cumberland.
Turtles! This shot was taken out on the pond in Cushing, where my mom lives. I love, love, love kayaking out and counting the little turtle heads as they pop up in the water. This weathered tree stump is the favorite hangout of turtles in the know.
And, finally… A parting shot of my beloved Killy. This was taken a couple of years ago, when he was at the vet waiting for a checkup. As shy as he was, I was always amazed at how well he did at these visits. I would love to say it was because he was naturally so well behaved, but I believe the endless supply of treats was the real motivator.
And that does it for this month’s blog post. If you’re so inclined, I would love it if you’d share your favorite animal-related photo from your own phone — or camera, for that matter — in the comments below. Those fuzzy faces never fail to bring a smile to my face! Oh, and if you’d like to see more of these types of photos from me, you can follow me on Instagram, where pretty much my favorite pastime is taking random photos of dogs, cats, bunnies, and birds.
Jen Blood is author of the USA Today-bestselling Erin Solomon Mysteries and Flint K-9 Search and Rescue Mysteries. To learn more, visit www.jenblood.com.