Showing posts with label pets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pets. Show all posts

24 July 2018

Being Adopted

On 24 July 1984 I arrived in Los Angeles by way of Seoul, South Korea, and Seattle, Washington to meet my adopted forever family. On 4 February 2017 I brought my baby boy, Captain Hastings Alyosha, home from Life Animal Rescue and understood just a wee bit of the joy and wholeness that comes to a parent's heart when connected with their baby. I will forever be grateful and full of joy knowing I was chosen by the King of kings, my family and my baby boy.

Here are just a few of my favorite quotes about adoption.

05 December 2017

Health Alert: Ventura Fires

hi loves. if you are like me with an impaired immune system and suffer from an invisible illness, please be advised smoke and fire season is no joke. several years ago i had valley fever and was at least 10 miles from the fire. you never know and it can be very crippling!

so here are just a few hints for how to help yourself during fire season:
- keep indoors unless necessary.
- stay HYDRATED! you need to flush out your lungs.
- wear a mask or cover your mouth/nose when outside but know those won't help with fine particles!!
avoid burning candles, frying meat, even vacuuming, which can all add more tiny particles to the air.

and please remember dogs, horses and livestock are also susceptible to catching valley fever and other smoke induced illnesses. for info on valley fever in dogs - check out VCA.

19 November 2017

Thanksgiving AND Pets

Hi guys! Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Wowsers. Where did time go? Three years ago I was horribly sick and mum flew out to London on Thanksgiving Day to bring me home. Where does time go?

Because of the holidays, I know we furry pet parents are concerned what is allowed for our babies o eat... so I did some research and here is what I found:

Fox News: 10 Thanksgiving Foods You Should Never Feed To Your Pets
here are a couple of the ones to surprise me...
Onions: "No matter what form they’re in (dry, raw, cooked, powder, or within other foods), onions are some of the absolute worst foods you could possibly give your pup (it’s poisonous for dogs, and it’s even worse for cats)," Sadie Cornelius, Marketing Director for Canine Journal told Reader’s Digest.
Salty Foods: While us humans can never get enough of potato chips, pretzels and popcorn, these salty treats can lead to “excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning” in our favorite dogs and cats, according to the ASPCA. 
CareThanksgiving Pet Safety: Can Our Pets Eat Our Favorite Thanksgiving Foods? 
here are a couple of the ones to surprise me...
Corn: Loose corn is fine, but avoid corn on the cob.
Mashed PotatoesVerdict: Depends on how it's prepared.If the potatoes are plain and bland, with minimal fat and salt, mashed potatoes can be slipped under the table. But if you go all out like most people and add butter and heavy cream galore, it makes the potatoes less ideal for your pet -- and your waistline. "Fatty foods can cause GI upset and pancreatitis, which can be life-threatening," warns Dr. Collins.

If you are not sure about something, always best to look online or ask the vet! Have a great Thanksgiving and be safe.

09 November 2017

Trivia with Hastings: His Name

Ever wonder where Hastings got his name? Well sit down and find out! xo

Trivia with Hastings #3

08 November 2017

Dogs are NOT Accessories!

This makes me so mad/sad. A precious rescue, Raylito (golden retriever/poodle mix, 7-8 years old), was adopted in September and RETURNED :(
Raylito (C) Life Animal Rescue.
You just don't do that!! Dogs are NOT accessories you can return to the store if you change your mind. They have feelings, hearts and needs. Yes, some dogs like Raylito need some extra loving TLC. [He has kidney disease and needs a special diet and regular fluids.] But that's no excuse for "Returning" a dog like you would a purse you don't fancy anymore. Being a dog parent is tuff work so deal with it.
Hastings Alyosha on his 1st Day with us. (c) The Joyous Living.
When we adopted Hastings Alyosha in February, we were told according to the records from the San Diego Humane Society that his problems were all fixed. WRONG. We must have spent $$$ on vet visits, trying different food options, and more vet visits. Not to mention tears and feelings of incompetence. Our little boy was such a damaged boy skin and bones, crying (still does!) being picked up, having nightmares, not wanting to cuddle/hug, and scampering under chairs for a good hiding/safe place. But my parents were real heroes in my book and paid the vet bills, loved on Hastings Alyosha, and talked with Jeffrey Beri who had rescued Hastings in Thailand and was able to finally offer an eating suggestion that worked (thanks Jeffrey!).

Trust me, it was no fun time having the poor baby screaming whenever he had a bowel movement, seeing him have rectal prolapses on a constant basis, rushing him to the vet hospital at night, etc... But we loved on him and he got better thanks to all involved at the vet, Jeffrey and my amazing parents. He's still not all there but with love, we're making progress one step at a time, maybe a few backward steps but always staying positive and hopeful with love.

All this to say... we had no idea what we were getting into when we adopted Hastings Alyosha who had a clean bill of health but that doesn't mean we returned him and said 'thanks a lot folks'. No, we buckled down and did what had to be done. He was our furry baby and we were his forever home. He had been through hell and back and needed us more than ever.
Raylito. (c) Life Animal Rescue.
So my heart breaks to hear poor Raylito's story. To have had a sweet taste of freedom and a forever home only to have it taken away. Please, please, visit his page on PetFinder and consider offering him a forever home where he'll know love and comfort and safety. Amazingly, Life Animal Rescue is even offering to pay for his food and medical care for the rest of his life!! So please, can someone offer him a home??

04 November 2017

Santa is Coming!!!!

Santa HQ 2016 (c) the Joyous Living
Yep, it's that time of year. Santa is heading down from the North Pole to say hi to all the good little children in the Conejo Valley and he's even taking time to see the good dogs and cats too!
Remember how much fun my friend A and I had last November (a year ago today in fact) with Santa who handed out medical wisdom when I told him I wanted good health for Christmas? Hehe. Well, he is coming back! And so is the awesome high tech HGTV Santa HQ from last year that was a hit with kids and adults alike featuring the Naughty or Nice Meter and the Control Center?
Santa HQ - Control Center 2016. (c) The Joyous Living
Santa lands at the Thousand Oaks' Oaks Mall on November 10th for Grandparents' Night (5pm-8pm) and a special "Santa's Arrival" celebration on November 11th from 10am-12pm.

But not to be forgotten are our favorite furry friends and loved ones! As with last year, Santa will be inviting pets to visit on 4 Wednesdays from 5pm-8pm.
November 15 || November 29 || December 6 || December 13
Remember that these nights there will also be children and families in attendance eager to see Santa too. So stay considerate of your pets' needs and the needs and hustle bustle around you of the shoppers and fellow Santa fans. Also the best way inside for your pets will be through the parking structure entrance near the food court.
A and Yours Truly with Santa 2016. (c) The Joyous Living
Since last year I had the pleasure of bringing you a review of Santa HQ from an adult's POV, I am excited to share that A and I will be back on 11/15 but this time with our dogs - Hastings Alyosha and Tigo (the little guy had a name change)!! Look for our photos and their review in a couple weeks' time!!

Joy x

Santa's Visiting Dates: 
November 10-December 15

  • Monday-Thursday (10am-8pm) // Friday-Saturday (10am-9pm) // Sunday (11am-7pm)
  • November 22 (10am-6pm)
  • November 23 (Closed)

December 16-24

  • Monday - Sunday (9am-9pm)
  • Christmas Eve (8am-6pm)

The Oaks, Center Court near JCPenney
350 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Special Dates:
Grandparents Night - 11/10 (5pm-8pm)
Santa's Arrival - 11/11 (10am-12pm)
Holiday PJ Night - 11/17, 12/8 (5pm-8pm)

Giving Back:
Shoppers are invited to bring an unwrapped toy for Help Through Holiday Giving. The Oaks will be donating these toys to the Children's Services Auxiliary of Ventura County.

Photo Special:
Early bird photo packages are available starting at $39.99 and as an added bonus guests who pre-purchase a photo package can make a reservation with the Big Man at

03 November 2017

Trivia with Hastings #2

Who enjoyed Hastings Alyosha's first trivia video the other day? Well today we have an equally adorable video of Hastings showing off his favorite "game"/"pastime". What do your furry friends enjoy doing?

Enjoy x
p.s. don't forget to see Trivia with Hastings #1 if you haven't already seen the adorableness :)

01 November 2017

Trivia with Hastings!

It is a brand new month and in giving thanks for my precious furry cuddle bug, Capt. Hastings Alyosha, I wanted to share with y'all a short series on TRIVIA with HASTINGS! Enjoy xo

p.s. who saw Hastings' first Halloween video yesterday? I was so impressed with his trick or treat greeting skills. Top rate.

07 August 2017

Vlog: Hastings and LIFE ANIMAL RESCUE

Hi Guys!
Been ages, I know, but what a crazy health month (more about that in my next post)...
BUT... I had a chance to film a short vlog this weekend featuring my wonderful Captain Hastings Alyosha and to brag about the great ladies at Life Animal Rescue in Agoura Hills/Westlake, California. So take a peek, please, subscribe, and say hi!
Enjoy!! <3
6 months later!! :)
Last but not least... if you have a strong stomach and want to see a little of what Captain Hastings Alyosha looked like right after being rescued, visit this video...
Until Next Time...

22 April 2016

S: Shadow

T.G.I.F.! Have you been following my A to Z Challenge story this month? What a journey! I have been studying and trying to give a voice for child abuse and sexual assault awareness this month.

Today, I am excited to introduce: SHADOW.

21 January 2016

Show Some Doggie Love!

Do you love your furry friends? Do you want to spoil them? If you answer yes to either of those two questions, then this is a post for you! Read on...

06 August 2015

Star Wars Comes to PetSmart

Star Wars Episode VII is coming this winter and the stores are filled with Star Wars merchandise. As a dog lover and fan of the pet and human friendly store, PetSmart, I was thrilled to see them come out with Platinum Pets' gorgeous and Eco-friendly sapphire blue stainless steel dog bowl.

22 April 2015

Book Review: How To Get Dressed

Goodness, where to begin! This ingenious book, How to Get Dressed, is the #1 best seller in "Fashion Craft" on Amazon and I can see why! Alison Freer, a costumer designer in Hollywood, clothes editor on, and now an author of How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer's Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit and Feel Amazing (just out!) who believes that there are NO rules for fashion and makes fashion seem fun for everyone - not just those who can afford Alison's styling and look like Kate Moss.

So where to begin... How about the fact that this is a wonderfully inclusive book aimed at women (and men!) of all shapes, sizes, and styles! You don't have to be Kate Moss or Kate Beckinsale to take advantage of Alison's tips and techniques nor will you feel like this is a rehash of everything you already know if you are a fashionista. This truly is a book for everyone and boy am I glad.
So what are my favorite bits of the book? Too many to count! And how refreshing is that? Each page in the book reads as if it could be featured in Cosmo or any number of fashion glossies. There are tips for how to remove a bloodstain (who even thinks of that until it's too late), how to keep your bra strap from showing (Hello! doesn't everyone have that problem now and again?) and how to create your own signature look. There's even a section on those unmentionables. ;)
What I love about Alison's writing style is the humor and conversational approach where it's as if she's a girlfriend sitting across from you at the local coffee shop. I don't feel like I am being lectured, nor do I feel a fool for not knowing things and seriously who wants to feel anything but chic and fabulous when discussing fashion and clothing?
So go grab yourself a copy of How to Get Dressed and have fun getting to know your closet and yourself all the better for it!
Where to Buy:
Amazon (Paperback - $12.02 USD; Kindle - $11.42 USD)
Waterstones (Paperback - £10.39 GBP)

For more about Alison Freer:
 Instagram (Shadow even made her page here; two paws up!)

I hope you've enjoyed my review of the new must-have book for all fashionistas and anyone who wants to make a great impression with their clothing.
Disclaimer: I was gifted this book by BloggingforBooks and Penguin Random House but all opinions are my own.

10 April 2015

The Selfie Stick: THE Pole

As a fashion/beauty blogger, it is important to be able to take selfie photos and feature beauty and fashion.  I won't lie - my selfie taking talent is pretty lame, lol.  So recently I was given the chance to test out THE Pole from 2Kamp and fell in love with the numerous ways you can use the monopod.

21 June 2014

Highgate: East Cemetery

One of the best parts of having one's parents in town is showing them where you live and work (or in my case, volunteer) and last Saturday that is just what I did when I took them for a walk through Highgate Cemetery in leafy North London.
I specifically wanted them to enjoy a West Cemetery tour led by Ian (one of the cemetery's trustees and an excellent tour guide) so we bought tickets for a later tour and walked over to the self-guided East Cemetery (admission is included in the price of the West Cemetery tour).
Being a dog lover, I always enjoy this particular statue/grave (above) which reminds me of our family's wonderful Sheba who passed away in 2006.
Me and Shadow in 2002.
Moving on...
 One of my favourite things about Highgate Cemetery are the epitaphs written on the grave stones. I wish I could have known quite a few of these individuals. Are you not a bit curious what made this young woman (who died at 23 years old) so fair and so brave?
 And look at such a creative headstone - "Stoney" - below that perfectly mirrors the man's nickname.
 My favourite of course has to be the great Victorian authoress, Mary Ann Cross - better known as George Eliot, who is buried next to her daughter and a good number of those connected to her, including her lover, George Henry Lewes, and publisher, John Chapman.
 Nearby to George Eliot's grave lies the most famous resident at Highgate Cemetery (East) - Karl Marx. It amazes me how many people from the world round come to the cemetery and pay the entrance fee just to see Marx' grave.  It is quite massive, no?
 But moving on... angels are common markers from the Victorian period. This child angel clinging to the remains of a cross is a beautiful example.
Being that it is summer, the floral is lavish and rich assaulting the senses.
 And check out this gorgeous piano memorial for classical pianist, Shura Cherkassky, that is found just off the main path.
Another couple graves include immortal books as part of their memorials.
 A special monument in the East Cemetery is Fireman's Corner that was erected in 1934 by LFB widows and orphans.
If you wish to wander an hour or so in Highgate East Cemetery - the admission charge of £4 (adults) is well worth the visit. You may buy tickets at the gate up to 1/2 an hour before closing time. Admission is also included if you buy a tour ticket for the West Cemetery (£12 per adult) but those tours need to be booked in advance unless you visit on the weekends.

Nearest Tube Station: Archway

31 October 2013

Happy Anniversary, Mum & Dad!

Friday, 25 October, my parents celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary!
Happy Anniversary!
Sunday, 27 October, their best friends, Karin and Harold, invited them (and me!) to dinner at Lure in Westlake Village to celebrate. What followed was a delightful evening devouring a scrumptious dinner followed by some amazingly sinful delicious desserts at their house (with Maizy in tow).

20 October 2013

Halloween: Maizy Meets Pooh Bear

What are you wearing for Halloween? All Hollow's Eve is coming up in 11 days and the stores are filled with costumes upon costumes, masks upon masks.  While waiting for Maizy's grooming appointment to be finished at PetsMart, I spotted this precious Pooh Bear costume on sale.
Cute, right?

19 October 2013

Maizy Gets Groomed

Our precious little furry friend, Maizy, got groomed Thursday in readiness for her family's return.
Look how pretty she looks!