New Projects

So I’ve been quiet here, but there’s nothing really of note to say except… no wait, there’s tonnes. We adopted a cat, and then we adopted a dog. And then I bought a website and have spent the better part of a month preparing it for a major overhaul and relaunch and WOW do I ever like new projects. I’ve shared a lot of this news on Instagram and Facebook, but here are the bigger picture backstories.

So, guys, all five of you blog readers still sticking with me after all these years, meet Tiger.

So…. Instagram is becoming the cat show. But he's so handsome!

A post shared by Jen Arbo (@jenarbo) on

He’s pretty awesome. He’s a big floofy fluffypants. He’s just turned 6, and he’s handsome and cuddly. We got him about a month after we had to euthanize Mooki – a friend needed to rehome him – and he’s been a really wonderful, warm, orange ball of love for us all. I love having a cat in the house again.

Because one new pet wasn’t enough, Ross and I decided in September to start looking for a dog. We wanted a dog-dog, not a cat-dog like Mooki. Meaning, was willing to play and have fun, and could go camping and hiking with us. We wanted a dog that was less than 3 but not a puppy, and my only request was that I wanted uppy-ears. We went to a lot of animal shelters, looked at a lot of rescues, applied for no less than 6 dogs, and we were getting pretty frustrated.

I used to be an active and committed rescue volunteer before Kale. But I was really disappointed with this process. It was hard to even see what dogs were available because Petfinder is such a mess and a lot of the shelters/rescues use other platforms or don’t bother putting things online. We went to animal shelters only to discover that the dogs advertised were not kid friendly or were older than their profile (if it even existed) indicated. We considered some puppies but then remembered, NO, puppies are not for us. We emailed quite a few rescue groups (most don’t have phone numbers made public) and got no response, or a delayed and terse one. There’s also an awful lot of groups out there with terrible practices,  importing dogs from all over the place.

We had given up when a friend pointed us in the direction of a dog trainer who was helping clients rehome a dog.

So, guys, meet Nugget.

Completely asleep.

A post shared by Jen Arbo (@jenarbo) on

Nugget is about 20 months old, and he’s a Mini Aussie Shepherd. He’s in need of guidance, rules, manners, and LOTS of exercise but he is the sweetest thing who wants desperately to please. His former owners are lovely folks, and they wisely realized they aren’t the right home for him. They have another dog at home with a very different personality, and an older cat as well. Both owners have some mobility and health issues as well. Nugget needed a different home.

So a friend of mine pointed us to a Facebook post and I reached out. We proceeded cautiously – his former owners wanted to make sure we were the right home and we needed to be sure Nugget was the right dog. So, they were headed away on a planned vacation, and we decided we’d have Nugget here as a guest while they were gone and if things went well we’d make it official.

The first week went so-so. He whined a lot because we gave him a crash refresher course in crate training. He’d been crate trained before, but it had lapsed. He barked furiously in his crate, clearly anxious and worked up. But we kept at it and it got better each day.

By week two things were better, and Ross, who was taking Nugget to work with him and was the main dog exerciser, was having some good successes introducing him to other dogs.

By week three we were already talking about longer term. What sort of stuff we’d need to buy Nugget if we committed. I finally said “all right, let’s just pull the trigger.” His former owners were really happy we decided to keep him, and Nugget has fit right in. Tiger is definitely the boss of him, and there was lots of hissing and poofing up the first few weeks, but lately he is tolerant of Nugget and – dare I say it – possibly doesn’t mind him.

And as for the new website, I’ve been contributing to Tenth to the Fraser since 2008. I’ve linked to quite a few posts here before. My friend and the site’s founder is moving with her family to Quebec and I decided to buy the site from her. I’m relaunching in spring with a whole new site, a revamped structure, and I’m planning to actually generate revenue. This past month has been a whirlwind of planning, daydreaming, brainstorming, and writing but it feels good. Work has been slow for me – many of my clients have lost their funding – so a new project to sink into sure hits the spot.

Also: one more brag: I finally got my green belt in karate. High five, me! I have been working pretty dang hard to get this and feel pretty proud of myself. Next up: blue.





6 years ago