Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘animals’ Category

This could easily be our house.

One of my blogging buddies, John Howell, posts good news on Fridays, which always makes my day. We are bombarded with so much bad news and negativity, that good news is so welcome. Here is a good news story about dogs he recently posted https://johnwhowell.com/2022/05/27/friday-johnku-aka-tgif-fri-yay-good-news-16/

John has two adorable dogs himself, Lucy and Twiggy, who write their own post every week. Check out John’s blog to read more about them. He is also the author of some very good books.

Speaking of good news, I want to share an incredible story posted in one of our local papers here in Spain. It is a story about Zeppelin, (Zep) a dog who showed up at a local animal rescue shelter. He was a friendly dog, well behaved and popular with the volunteers. The shelter was eagerly looking for him to be adopted. Two months later, a woman and her family came in looking to adopt a dog.

A burglar had broken into their home two months earlier and had stolen everything. Even the dog was gone. They assumed the burglar had killed him. They had had a very bad year and were obviously depressed. All their things had been stolen, their dog was dead and their father had passed away a year earlier. After two months they decided to adopt another dog to help ease the pain. When they went to the local animal shelter, who did they see but Zeppelin. They all shouted, “That’s our dog!” There was Zep, alive and well and happy to see them.

It was reported that there weren’t enough tissues that day at the shelter!

Doesn`t that just make your heart melt?

As many of you know, we have two rescue dogs. We adopted Dot six years ago and added Lia to our family a little over a year ago. We love them to bits and there is never a dull moment with them. Here are a few pictures of them.

Me and my girls, Lia and Dot
Lia made herself at home very quickly
Sharing the bed

You may think all they do is sleep, but it is the only time I can get a good picture!

OK, I got one when they were not sleeping.
They love their yard

They enjoy going to the beach and playing on the rocks
Going for coffee with Dad
Sharing treats with their doggie friends
Dot on her third birthday. She was happier when she got to eat the cupcake.
Waiting for dad to take them for a car ride
A good friend painted this for me. I love it!

They spend a lot of time barking at nothing.

Perhaps I should try this

Do you have any good news or dog stories to share?

Caravaca de la Cruz

I love horses and enjoy equestrian events. I was delighted to spend a day in the town of Caravaca de la Cruz during the annual Caballos del Vino Fiesta. The horses were proudly paraded around town in all their splendour, the streets teamed with local families wearing black, white and red outfits, Knights Templar, Moors and Christians mingled and various bands played. The air was filled with excitement.

Moors
Christians
Knights Templar
All ages take part in the festivities. This little caballero is so cute.
One of the many bands

At one point I became stuck in the middle of a parade on a narrow side street. I had no choice but to join in and dance along with everyone else as we followed the band. So much fun.

The main event is held later in the day when the wine horses race up the side of the mountain accompanied by four horsemen on foot. The horse with horsemen that arrives at the top in the fastest time, is declared the winner. Should one of the horsemen let go before reaching the top, the horse is disqualified.

Why do they do this? Like most things in Spain, it is based on a legend. Legend has it that during the time the Castle of Caravaca was besieged by Muslim troops, the Knights Templar went in search of water for the starving citizens. They only found wine. Dodging the enemy, they raced up the mountain beside their horses loaded with filled wineskins. They were considered heroes and their horses were decorated in appreciation. This tradition is now carried on as a competition once a year at the beginning of May.

The horses and their elaborate silk mantles, embroidered with fine gold thread, are the central focus of the festival. Each mantle can take a whole year to make and cost thousands of euros. There are prizes for the best-decorated horses as well. It was hard to pick which one was my favourite.

Decorated from head to tail
Pretty in pink
Interesting mantle with pictures of famous people.
The castle that had been under siege
The path the horses have to run up. There are many more spectators at the time of the race.

We did not stay to watch the race as it can be dangerous for spectators, but I did watch part of it on a big screen TV at the restaurant where we enjoyed a paella lunch.

What an amazing event. One I was glad to have attended and will not forget.

There are some great YouTube videos of the event. Here’s one:

A perfect short story by Pam at https://butterflysand.com/  for Valentine´s Day, featuring a Maine coon cat. If you´ve read Amanda in England: The Missing Novel, you might recall the Maine coon Rupert in the book. Enjoy! Happy Valentine´s Day to all.

Butterfly Sand

Madeline stood across the street for a moment thinking about what she was about to do.  She had always considered herself an intelligent woman; she had a good career and a lovely new home.  She believed that she was mildly attractive.  And yet, she was lonely.  Her divorce had come through a few weeks ago, just before a job offer here, in what for her was a new town.  She had no family and no friends nearby.  Essentially, she was starting her life over. Alright, she thought.  Change is in the air.  Let’s do it! She squared her shoulders and crossed the street to the Pet Adoption Agency.

When Madeline entered, a young woman behind the desk immediately looked up and smiled.  A huge, tabby, feline-like creature also looked up, yawned and promptly went back to sleep.  Upon closer inspection, it was indeed just a very large cat.  He…

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Hi everyone. Dot here. This is my sixth Christmas in my forever home and I’m looking forward to it. At least Mom hasn’t tried to put those silly reindeer antlers on me again. Mom decorated the tree and put up stockings for me and the little terror, I mean Lia. I’m trying hard to be good so that Santa brings me something nice. I hope he remembers I don’t like squeaky toys. I like bones to chew but sometimes Lia takes them away from me. (Even though she has one of her own) That’s crazy little sisters for you.

Dad put sparkly lights outside. We like Dad. He takes us along for coffee and if it’s cold we wear our coats.

This is Lia. I’ve never written a Christmas letter before. They tell me to be good because if I am, some guy named Santa will come and bring presents. I don’t know anything about this Christmas they keep talking about. Dad brought a tree into the house and Mom hung shiny things on it. I didn’t think trees belonged in a house, but this one doesn’t smell like the trees in the forest. I like living in a house. It’s cosy and warm and there are three blankets on the bed for me to cuddle up in. I guess one is supposed to be for Dot. The bowl is full of yummy food and I get to run on the beach with Dot. I’ve made other friends too when we go for walks. I used to bark at them until I realized they weren’t going to hurt me even if they are much bigger than me. I hope there will be treats for Christmas, whatever that is. Dad gives all of us treats if we are good. Maybe he is like this Santa Claus they keep talking about. I’m trying very hard to be good. Honest.

Dad giving out treats to everyone.

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and hope you get many treats and lots of cuddles!

Here is something from all of us. Well, Lia wouldn’t sit still long enough to be in the video.
https://www.jibjab.com/view/make/feliz_navidad/478d81d8-b35e-4789-b9ca-1714d6aed07e

Love, Dot and Lia

I missed my two fur babies while I was away, but they were safe at home with hubby. Fortunately, everywhere I went, pets were available to cuddle, play with and walk. My granddaughter has a menagerie of animals at her place. Here’s a few pictures of the pets I spent time with.

Lexi and Roni at my granddaughters place
Lexi, her first doggy
Lexi loves her pillow
Kisses for Roni
Roni and her favourite toy
Thumbelina with her aunty
Motorhead looking very handsome
Timothy, an elegant old man helping out in the office

She even has goats to play with.

Wiener
Bean
Goat love. Granddaughter with her goats.
Me with Pickle and Wiener
Lola the pug, my son’s cute family dog

I got to walk my friend’s granddogs too.

Panda
Walking the labyrinth with Panda
Beau
Charlie

But I was very happy to come home to my two girls.

Dot and Lia waiting for Mom to come home

I finally got away for a few days! I was fortunate to visit the Isle of Arran, in Scotland. The island is a magical place with lovely beaches, manor houses, castles, old churches, standing stones, charming coffee shops, art galleries and lots of sheep. There is a story around every corner. I went to meet writer friends, do some writing and chill. I did all of that and more. I expected rain and got sunshine. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of how wonderful Arran Island is.

The fabulous view every morning
The two hundred year old manor house I stayed in.
With many perfect places to write
Early morning beach walk
Castle Lochranza. Note the heather on the hills.
So many sheep. I love them!
So cuddly. I just wanted to hug them.
Old farm house on the moor
Machrie stone circle, the site of an ancient burial
You can’t be in Scotland and not search out some standing stones.
I was astounded when I came across these ancient standing stones
You know I had to touch them. Alas, I did not find myself in another century being rescued by a dashing Scot in a kilt.
Holy Isle in the background. An ancient spiritual heritage as far back as the 6th century. It is now a Buddist retreat.
There was cake, lots of cake!
And a very special dog. ❤

It was a wonderful getaway, just what I needed. I returned home inspired.

Now I’m getting ready to go back to Canada, to see my family after two long years.

Note: Most of the pictures are mine but a couple may or may not have been taken by a writer friend who knows I like sheep.

The virtual book tour is moving right along. Today I am a guest on Anne Mehrling’s blog where I talk about some of the animals in my stories. Anne blogs about life in the mountains of North Carolina with humour and great pictures. She also writes about living in England for two years with her husband and then young children. Very entertaining.

Mehrling Muse

An exciting new book, Amanda in Malta, by my friend Darlene Foster has just been released. Instead of a regular book tour, she is having a virtual tour via blog posts. You can participate just by reading this!

Amanda in Malta is the eighth book in the Amanda Travel series. Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her aunt. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda travels to Malta with her classmate Caleb and his parents. Amanda is intrigued by this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colourful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved in these…

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Although some of you already know about this, I´m so excited to share this news. After some consideration, we adopted another dog, a little sister for Dot! Her name is Lia, she is three years old and a bodeguero, the same breed as our Dot. She is a bundle of energy and a real sweetheart. Dot is starting to get used to having her around. Like all new parents, we have taken tons of pictures.

Lia the day she arrived
Sharing our bed
Sleeping outside in the sun

Lia has her own bed but insists on sleeping in Dot´s
Going for a car ride
Sharing the backseat
Lia enjoying a visitor
Waiting for Dad to take them to the beach
Sharing the new outside bed

Having fun at the beach.

Lia with her new Dad
Dot and mini me

You can be sure there will be more pictures!

Dot is a guest on Ani’s blog today where she talks about the pandemic from a dogs point of view. Enjoy.

The Small Dog

Dear Santa,

I have my friend from Spain over today. We haven’t actually met, but then, she lives a long way away and although the two-legses usually get to gallivant all over the place, they don’t seem to like it if we wander off on our own…

But, this year, even the two-legses have been kept on a short leash, so we’ve had them at home a lot more, which is good for us, even if they’ve not been too happy about it.

They do seem to be getting a bit peaky though. I’m sure mine is starting with kennel cough from not getting out enough. And she is definitely in need of more exercise… I think maybe we should all just ask you for an end to all this staying at home malarkey…

Mind you, I have to wonder about you, Santa. You get out and about plenty… a…

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Hi Readers! Dot here. I just turned five years old. I had a little party and got two of my favourite bones and a cup cake. I´m one lucky dog.

I have a good life here on the Costa Blanca of Spain since mom and dad adopted me. I thought I would share some of my favourite things with you, because mom said I could.

I love the beach and playing with my friends at the beach
I love going to the park and chasing squirrels
I just wish I could climb trees!
Sometimes I make friends at the park. I love my warm jackets for cool winter days too.
I really love playing with my best friend Patch. I´m so happy I´m smiling.
I love ice cream and wait in line patiently when the ice cream lady comes every Monday. She told us last week it would be her last visit until March. I don´t know if I can wait that long!
I love the children who come to visit and play with me.
I especially love my comfy blanket
I love my comfy chair too
My chair is a good place to watch for Dad to come home. You can see why I´m called Dot.
Sometimes I sneak into mom and dad´s bed and have a really good sleep.
It´s Remembrance Day on Wednesday and I hope everyone remembers those who gave their lives so we can all have a good life.

Thanks for reading about me and my good life.

Dot the Dog


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