Tag Archives: dog

Book Review: Excellent Ed – by Stacy McAnulty






Book: Excellent Ed
Author: Stacy McAnulty
Illustrator: Julia Sarcone-Roach
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Date: 2016
Genre: Picture book; preschool - 3
Pages: 32
Price: $16.99
My rating: Enjoyable story showing everyone is excellent 
at something

Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty is an enjoyable and funny read. But more than that, it is encouraging and hopeful.

The Ellis family had many talents. Each child excelled in something, but Ed, their dog, didn’t seem to excel in anything positive.

What the five children did Ed didn’t do in quite the same way. He was not allowed to eat at the table with the rest of the family, or sit on the couch, or use the inside bathroom. And he had to stay home when everyone else left in the van. He just couldn’t understand why. Julia Sarcone-Roach‘s fun illustrations reveal to the reader the reason … one hint – Ed could be quite destructive.

Ed wanted to be excellent too so he would be allowed to do what they did, only he always seemed to make a big troublesome mess of things. Each time he thought of something that maybe would earn him that privilege, one of the children excelled in his or her more acceptable way. Poor Ed began to think he wasn’t good enough to be part of the family! Then one day he was praised for being excellent at something without even trying! It was so easy he didn’t even have to change himself.

The subtle message in Stacy McAnulty‘s Excellent Ed is that we’re all good at something and we are okay just the way we are. It’s a wonderful story with a funny ending, and with great illustrations by Julia Sarcone-Roach.

You can find Excellent Edwritten by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach – on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by featured authors and illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

My puppy had a birthday!

Here it is October already and I didn’t mention my little Meyya’s birthday! As you will recall, Meyya is my little Schnoodle puppy. Well, technically, she is no longer a puppy, but she is so small she is easily mistaken for one.

Here is Meyya when we were on the way home with her, November 30, 2013  …






She was almost ten weeks old – but so tiny, not much over two pounds.

Here she is in December 2013, her first Christmas …

Minnie's first ChristmasIMG_0724

Minnie Nov 30'13







She soon outgrew that little red sweater so my knitting friend made a larger pink one for her.






Meyya is good about having baths. So funny all fuzzed up!









She can stretch right out of that little bed now when she wants to – the same one I bought for her and brought her home in – but she usually enjoys curling up in it as she likes being snuggled up at night. During the day she often wrestles it around the house and sometimes flips it over to sleep on it.


001Meyya “grew and grew” and at eleven months of age she weighed  …  six pounds six ounces.  Not very big, is she? So, I guess she only “grew.”  🙂

Here she is after her very first grooming, in February. Her coat was soft and fluffy then.

from camera 2014 and earlier 004from camera 2014 and earlier 006



Here she is on her first birthday, September 23, 2014, after her monthly grooming. Her adult coat is a poodle coat, so in order to keep it soft and manageable to brush/comb, and not knot as poodle coats tend to do, I keep it short and tidy.

1st birthday. Sept 23'14






She’s never been too sure about those grooming appointments, because, although she loves people, she is more happy with me around. I receive a report card for her after each time and she has progressed well. I also weighed her again and .. guess what! She now weighs a whopping … six pounds six ounces! That’s right, she didn’t gain anything in that last month, so it seems she may have reached her full size.

Using her phone, my daughter took a picture of Meyya on her birthday and photo-shopped it a bit, then sent it to me. Isn’t this cute? 🙂

Princess Meyya, Sept '14So … Happy First Birthday to my little Meyya!

I hope you enjoyed some of the highlights of her first year.

Thank you for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

My Schnoodle puppy .. update

IMG_0645 IMG_0704IMG_0716 IMG_0724Remember Minnie, my baby Schnoodle? This is her   —> the day I brought her home November 30. December 3 she weighed 2.2 pounds (997.90 grams)   The next three images are of her this past week. She now weighs 2.9 pounds (1 kg 315.42g)





Is she adorable, or what?!

The red sweater is the smallest I could find and it fits her well for now.

Did you notice the little bell on her collar? The first very small collar I bought her she was able to slip right out of so I got another one I could adjust smaller – and it’s loose. It already had a bell on it, which I am glad of because I was afraid I would lose her in my house!

Minnie loves the snow. She is funny when she gets playful in it, rolling around, doing a face plant, and then pushing the snow with her little nose. Right now, since we got freezing rain last night and today, she can trot along on top of the crusty snow and not leave the slightest impression, she is so light. The slippery layer does make it harder for her to climb the snowbanks, though, as she slides backwards to where she started. 🙂

That’s all for now. I will be sharing more about Minnie later.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!

Have you ever seen a Schnoodle?

Are you ready for a story? Have you ever seen a Schnoodle?

As you may recall, last month I began seriously looking for a dog. My beautiful Shasta died tragically four years ago at only nine years of age, and I still miss her terribly. At the end of October our youngest daughter moved from where she was renting to a house where she could take her little Sammy (a Mauxie, which is a Maltese x Dachshund), so that left me without a dog here for the first time in about thirty years! Sammy had lived with us for eight years and I discovered just how much of a “dog person” I really am after he moved out the night of my birthday in mid-November.

After telling my husband “I have to have a dog!” my search began. I made phone calls to the SPCA, Veterinarian clinics, a dog breeder, animal control, asked questions here on my blog and talked to people I met during my day, and I searched the internet. When our daughter in Alberta was home for a visit in August we’d compiled a list of what I wanted in a dog, which narrowed down my search, and complicated it at the same time. What I had described was mostly my Shasta, but I knew I would never find a dog exactly like her, so I researched and cross-referenced and fine-tuned my search to what qualities I was looking for in a dog. I also decided it had to be a small breed this time, one I could take  to my dad’s on my weeks there; Dad had to like it. If only for myself a medium size breed was preferred, but a small breed would have a better chance with Dad.

The SPCA and such places had mostly large dogs, Kijiji had many dogs listed and one does have to be careful when shopping that way for a pet. I was very mindful of that, but kept searching (and … seriously … praying) to find the right one. 

Through my research I decided the breed that would best suit my situation is a hybrid, specifically a Schnoodle. A Schnoodle is a Schnauzer x Poodle, and I liked what I found out about those small breeds. Furthermore, both breeds can be trained to be great as therapy dogs, one of my requirements for Dad’s sake. It had to be a Schnoodle! Now all I had to do was find one I could afford and easily obtain. That wasn’t easy!

The last week of November I located a litter of Schnoodles here in Nova Scotia. The price was more reasonable and it wasn’t as far, so I inquired. One little female was left! I mentioned it to my husband again and showed him the picture. Surprisingly, he told me to go ahead and get myself a dog, he would pay half — “Merry Christmas!” So sweet of him and such a blessing to me; I almost cried!

When I responded to the ad the sellers’ reply was they had one little female left, she was the runt of the litter of four, has a very slight heart murmur, and is small but not fragile as she can certainly hold her own with the other dogs. I expressed strong interest and said I could be there on the weekend to get her. It’s a bit of a long story, but I will simplify it by saying there was a misunderstanding and the next day I found out I had to wait while someone else who called after me had the choice to take her or not. Needless to say, I was upset, but later that evening the seller called with the news that she was still available because the formerly interested party felt she was too small and they were afraid they’d hurt her! I could have her … did I want her? Did I want her?! I was ready for small, I was a definite! Yes, I want her!

Mid-afternoon the next day – November 30 – my husband and I made the two-hour drive to meet the puppy and her parents. Her mother is a Poodle x Schnauzer, her father is a miniature Poodle. Lovely dogs. But when I saw the remaining baby … oh. my. goodness! So tiny and fluffy! When she was put into my hands I said, “I love her already!”

Now I want you to meet Minnie (born September 24)
(Poor little thing didn’t have a definite name until Monday night; I had a hard time deciding.)

Minnie Nov 30'13Minnie. Dec 5'13Minnie Dec 1'13





Minnie is tiny; she is spunky; she is adorable. And she is hilarious!  

It took her a couple of days to stop whining, and another couple to feel content enough to not miss her mother and the rest of the pack where she started life. Now she is in a new routine, travelling back and forth with me during my respite hours, and enjoying both her homes. Tonight she did something new … running and tearing around in Dad’s living room, racing circles around me and making my dad laugh as he tried to keep his focus on her while she sped around the room. Then when she tired herself out she slept in his arms. That is what I hoped for; she has fit in quite well.

On Tuesday Minnie met her veterinarian. Dr. Bligh told me her heart murmur is nothing to worry about and that I got myself a great little dog. 🙂  Oh, and she weighs not quite 2.5 pounds! (about a kilogram)

And did I mention … she is almost completely house-trained. AND I get to stand out in the cold while she trots around carrying fallen oak leaves nearly her own size as I’m waiting for her to “do her business”!  BRRR!  Yep! This was a great plan. What a way to get me outside more often.

I thank God for this little dog, and I plan to go through the training necessary to get her to the place I envision for her.  (Anyone who knows me will know that is a big step. 🙂 )

That’s my exciting news! Thank you to everyone who gave suggestions and wished me well in my search. You are wonderful people. 🙂

Do you have anything exciting to share? Any great pet stories?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

My pets over the years

These are the pets I have had and loved over the past 30 plus years of my married life.

Scamper – our ‘cool cat’  — gorgeous white with blue eyescool cat!

Trixie, windblown that day. Border Collie and something TrixieShasta – my beautiful ‘wolf dog’ – German Shepherd x husky/wolf Shasta.July'03

And, of course, there have been fish and hamsters, and Sammy (dog) who moved out this month to go live with my daughter. I don’t have a picture to show you of my white-faced grey cockatiel who is almost 19.

Do you have pets?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂



Shopping for a dog

Just a quick post tonight.

I added another fun idea to my PiBoIdMo list. Nothing on NaNo novel.

Today was a different kind of day. I changed things up a bit and dog searched. Why? Because I don’t want to not have a dog! It’s that simple.

I learned about a breeder who lives not far from me and who breeds Labradoodles (Labrador x Poodle). Adorable dogs but very expensive. I might go visit her dogs anyway just to see them and be sure it is not the one for me. I need to know up close. 🙂

I also called the local SPCA and asked questions. I might be able to stop in there tomorrow to check them out and see what orphaned dogs they have in need of a home. My husband said okay as long as I don’t come out of there with a dog. I assured him .. not tomorrow. 😉

I have a list of qualities to be filled, so it could take me some time to decide and find the dog for me. During that time I hope to also have convinced my dear husband that he should agree with me about us getting a dog.

Do you have any suggestions for me regarding what breed of dog I should consider? I need help!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo updates

Friday is almost over as I sit to write this post.  I didn’t update yesterday in a post, but you can find my puny word count for my NaNo novel in the link at the top of the page. 

I have added all of 18 words to my continuing NaNoWriMo novel, (I know, hardly worth mentioning) and that is just because as I’m doing a read-through (another rule broken!) I am writing in a word here and there. Because I haven’t started a new project for this year’s NaNo, reading the whole rough draft through seems necessary. This is also giving me a better feel for my story, enabling me to see where changes have to be made when I begin editing, and setting the stage for me to begin writing this time until I finish the story. That’s my excuse, anyway!

For PiBoIdMo I wrote a few character names down for a possible story, but I’m counting them all as one idea since I will try to select one of them for a character when I start the story I have had in mind from before PiBoIdMo started this month. I’m not happy with any of them, but can’t seem to pull anything better out of my hat tonight. With yesterday’s idea and one today my total thus far is up to 14 for day eight.

Just a side note: Soon my daughter will be taking her little dog from our home after eight years of his living with us. She is renting a house where pets are allowed, so Sammy will be moving in with his “mama”, and we will be dog-less. Isn’t he cute?

DSCF0684And this is my blog post for NaBloPoMo!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂