Let It Go, Let It Go, Let It Go

Are you ready for a huge dump of snow …. photos?

I did promise on Monday that I would take some pictures in the snow before it melted, it snows so rarely here, so I took some time out from editing Christmas photos on Monday afternoon to go out and play in the snow with the doggies and the camera.  Good thing too, because IT DIDN’T MELT AND IT’S ALL STILL HERE.  And we’re getting another load tonight!  Gah.

It’s been hovering between -5C and -10C here even in the daytime, which is basically unheard of for the Lower Mainland.  My pipes froze, and I had no water for 5 of the last 7 days, which is no fun when it’s flippin’ cold in the house and out of the house and your dogs eat cold semi-frozen food.  But weirdly, though the world is frozen solid, there is a new FLOWING river that has appeared from under my house and meanders lazily through the yard and out the back gate (that’s going to be extra awesome when the world thaws out).  This is the ONLY thing about the cold that makes the ducks happy; everything else about it makes them sad quackers.  I had to go out and buy three bales of hay to spread out around their yard, as their feet were freezing and they couldn’t walk.

The dogs are loving the snow though!

Well … not ALL of the dogs.  Addy doesn’t enjoy the snow or the cold one tiny bit, no matter how many sweaters and coats she’s wearing.

Often she doesn’t last more than 5 minutes, and ends up back in the house chewing on lamb necks with Gemma “I don’t go outside” Old Lady Dog.  She has practically no hair, so you can’t really blame her for this aversion to sub zero temperatures.

Everyone else is quite a lot hairier, and therefore quite a lot happier.

They have really been having so much fun, even if we only last about 40 minutes before I can’t feel my toes and we need to come back inside (I was built for warmer climes).

It puts them all in a fantastically silly mood.  This makes Peetie, who is the world’s naughtiest dog but all the world’s most playful dog, beyond happy because just about anyone will play with her in the snowy weather.  She’s over the moon.

But although she is a free-for-all player-with-other-dogs-er, her heart belongs to Dexter, and his to her.  They are besties furever.  Every day they have an hour long game of Bitey Face after breakfast, and as I type, they are laying on the sofa together passing a chewy toy back and forth.  I’ve never seen Dexter make a friend he likes as much as The Peetie Pocket.  They’re in lurrrrve.

This is specially excellent for Dexter now, at this time in his life, because two weeks ago he ruptured his ACL.  (Which in retrospect, and ironically, probably has something to do with his BFF Peetie, who is an unapologetic heel-biter).  I have been trying to limit his exercise somewhat, but obviously have not been all that successful, especially in the snow.

But as he won’t be able to play agility again, it pleases me that he has another thing to amuse him (ie Peetie).  He, of course, has no idea that anything is wrong with him and a limp sure doesn’t hold him back.

I’m sick to death of torn cruciates :(

YOU’RE sick of torn cruciates?

I’m glad that I got to take these awesome snowy photos on this property though, because I will never have this opportunity again.

So let me explain.

Around this time last year, me and my whole team of excellent, dedicated animal shelter workers were removed from our jobs, as many of you know.  It took me several months of decompressing to realize what a horrible, depressing effect that job had on me because of the horrible things I saw and the horrible people I dealt with day in and day out; my team was great, but management was poisonous, and the public was nearly as bad.  I now know that I don’t want to do this kind of work anymore; that after nearly 6 years of seeing people do terrible things to animals (and to other people) I don’t want that sort of negativity to be my bread and butter.  But I really didn’t, and don’t, know what I *want* to do.  I job hunted throughout the spring and summer and explored several industries through countless interviews and still couldn’t find something that spoke to me.  I had kind of resigned myself to taking just whatever to pay the bills (which was proving difficult enough to find in and of itself, because the job market here sucks and the payscales are pretty terrible), when I realized I’d miscalculated my unemployment benefits end-date, and ran out of money.  This happened at roughly the same time as my landlords put the farm, my home, up for sale and were feeling really positive that it was going to sell quickly.  What this turned into was an accumulation of awfulness – losing my job, losing Little Man, losing my home – and I really just fell out of the bottom of a spiraling hole of terribleness.  I couldn’t be positive, I couldn’t really see my way out of how sad I was about everything.  (And of course, cockroaches love the dark, and take advantage of this sort of environment to try and make you feel worse and post stupid, vile crap on your blog in a bullying attempt to rally everyone else to be nasty right along with them.  And that cockroach should be ashamed of herself).

I’ve always had very little patience or empathy for people who give up their pets because they’re ‘moving.’  “I’d live in my car with my dogs before I’d give them up” – I’ve said, you’ve said it probably, we’ve all heard it said.  And I believed it too.  But when I thought I was going to be broke and homeless I realized what a selfish thing it was for me to do to my dogs, to be unable to give them any kind of stability or life, living in my van while I couch surfed.  And I thought the best thing to do for my dogs, who are my family, and my life, was to find them homes better able to give them the kind of lives it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to give them any longer.  I felt I owed them that.  And that’s why I began the painful process of finding them new homes.

Then I was lucky and blessed enough to get some help from some friends, which got me through a scary financial time (and thank you to those wonderful people) and miraculously, I got a job.  It didn’t pay great, and I wasn’t at all interested in the industry or the position itself, but I needed something to climb out of the dark place; a buffer between me and the worst of the bad.  And the job turned out to be so awful and demeaning and boring – by the third day, when my alarm went off in the morning, I began to cry.  I just imagined the rest of my life stretching out into an awful, endless landscape of getting up before dawn to commute to a place where the entire staff was miserable and unhappy, spend the majority of my waking hours in that depressing place doing the world’s most mindless and boring job, and being condescended to by a woman half my age, and coming home to my dogs too tired and heartsick to appreciate them, and I couldn’t bear it.  It did not pull me out of the dark place, it sucked me right back in.

I decided I needed to make a change in my life, to do something every day that I enjoyed, and to work for myself.  I quite the job.  I took out a loan from a friend, to outfit myself as a commercial dogwalker.  After all, who else has more experience at walking 10 dogs at a time other than me? ;-)  The loan provided the money to build and host the website (please tell your friends in my area!), the business logo (by Canid Design, highly recommend her!), the business license/registration and aluminum crates in my van (and though I love that literally _none_ of you asked, there’s the explanation for that particular accusation) for the safest means of travelling with other people’s dogs, because I take that responsibility seriously.  I was excited to get started, the plan being that I would work hard for the next several years, do two group walks a day (each with half of my dogs and half of client dogs) leaving my evenings free of canine obligations to finish my university degree online.  And take it from there.  The farm wasn’t selling.  I was jazzed, I was motivated, and in the meantime, I was doing what I love most in the world, taking and editing photos of other people’s dogs (for Christmas!).  And because these last few paragraphs have been kind of depressing, here are some holiday photos to cheer us all up.

And then Dexter tore his cruciate, and I don’t have the money to fix that, and I was sorta bummed about it because he’s so young and active, but I’ve been through this before, and had some ideas about some photos shoots I want to do and sell prints and thought maybe I could eventually raise the money to fix it.  And then it snowed and my pipes froze, and Peetie ate the cord for my brand new Christmas gift of a heating blanket and the battery on my van died and had to be replaced to the tune of $300.00  … and my landlords told me that they sold the farm, the new owners don’t plan to rent out the houses, and I have to find somewhere to live by the end of February :(

I admit my relationship with the farm has changed somewhat since the incident with the coyote.  I’m a bit scared of the property now, and it’s no longer quite the paradise it used to be for me.  The magical river that has appeared in my yard, the frozen pipes, the curtains frozen to my window in the morning … I’m tired of sleeping in a bunk bed and wish for a real bedroom, some closets to store things, a gate that shuts properly.  But for all that, this has been my home for 7 years.  When I moved here they told me they would never sell their farm, it’s been in their family for generations.  It’s their home.  It’s my home.  I’m losing my home.

I’m trying really hard to maintain my happy vibe, but it’s awfully, awfully hard.  I feel a bit like there’s something horrible or just shitty with my name on it lurking around every corner just waiting to pound on every upwardly mobile step I manage to make.  Now I’m wondering where the hell I’m going to live with 10 dogs, in a place that has a housing crisis of epic proportions, that is affordable, when I have no job to recommend me.  How do I build a business in this area if I end up having to move hours away just to find affordable small acreage that will take my dogs?  What if I can’t find anywhere to go?  What’s going to happen to me and my dogs?  How did I get here, and how do I find my way out?

I could use some words of inspiration, or hope or hell, just plain old kindness. right about now.  I’m feeling kinda blue :(  And if I can have a Christmas wish granted this year, while it would be smart to wish for a new home for me and the dogs, I’m more tempted to wish that people stop being assholes.  At the risk of sounding trite, you really never know how difficult something is for someone else, and you never really know when that difficulty could be your difficulty.  I *never* thought I’d be in this position.  Try not being an asshole – this does not apply to 99.99% of the people who read my silly dog blog, but the reminder never hurts.

I hope the rest of you have a Merry Christmas.  And if anyone has a brilliant idea about where I could live and keep my family together, please PLEASE share it with me.  I would be ever so grateful.

Comments

  1. I’m not sure what to say that will really resonate, but I’ll try: I’ve really enjoyed your blog, and hearing about your dogs, and your experiences with dog ownership. As someone just starting out (but who would really like three or even four dogs…I say 3/4 because my husband is stuck on two. And on shelties. There are Conversations Happening), it’s really wonderful to live vicariously, and see things not always work out perfectly, and see someone else taking good (pretty pretty pictures, Spring) with the bad (Dexter’s brain and ACL).

    Housing instability is a Real Thing and sucks, particularly with pets, and I wish I had a solution. But I would like to contribute financially in repayment for how much joy and pleasure the blog’s given me over the years. Is there still paypal/a tip jar somewhere?

  2. Well damn. Sometimes life is just plain shitty. A good friend of mine is losing her home as well. Along with the means to support her 6 sheep, one mini horse, 30 chickens, 4 ducks and 10 dogs. Not that it really helps, but you are not alone. :(

    A long shot might be see about homesteading? http://homesteadandprepper.com/modern-homesteading-4-places-where-land-is-free/
    I don’t know what programs Canada might have versus the US.

    I hope something turns up for you. Losing your home is bad enough. I hope you don’t have to break up your family too. ♡♡♡

  3. P.s. can you make a career out of shooting dog events in Canada?

  4. I’m with Jennifer – we enjoy the blog – can we give back?

    And have you ever considered advertisers on your blog?

  5. Ah lots of highs and lows. I saw your post about finding homes for some of the dogs. I knew it’d have to be serious for you to even consider that., but being an internet stranger, didn’t want to pry.

    1. Current housing situation: Investigate your legal rights. While the new owners may plan to take ownership/move in/not rent, they may have to honor your current lease, if you’ve a year-to-year one. Even if it’s monthly or soon-to-expire, they very likely (I use the qualifier because I’m not familiar with Canada’s laws) have to ensure that the house is habitable till you’re out in Feb. So…that broken pipe? Insist that it is fixed. The lack of heat? Ditto. You get the idea. The new LL didn’t serve you termination notice properly? You just bought an extra month. (Here in USA, they have to give you notice in writing.; email or text doesn’t count) Etc.

    It’s not a route I recommend, but may be worthwhile if it gets you an extra month or two to find a place.

    2. Future Housing. That’s a tough one. Check around and see if there are any work-share rentals. They are usually lacking in amenities, but the rents are likewise lower. A common example is a storefront on first level, apartment above or in the back. They’re not really common in the USA anymore, but you’ll see them quite a bit in Europe. Reach out to the local real estate agencies and ask. Failing that, your best bet is probably to find a roommate who already owns or has a house rental. Not ideal, but …

    3. Job. I know it’ll be tough to juggle with your fledgling business, but have you thought about temp agencies? Also, some businesses do hire remote call center workers. Again, soul sucking, but it’ll help pay the bills. Dell and Apple both hire remote workers, I’m sure they’ve a division in Canada.

    Hope you get something figured. We’re all rooting for ya.

  6. Having read your blog on and off over the last several years, I notice one thing consistently: you have the most, and I mean _most_ amazing eye. Your photography is just out of this world. How is it that there are no jobs for an amazing photographer like you? It seems as though somebody out there ought to be willing to pay, and pay well, for your skills. If I were you, and had your eye, I would look for work as a photographer. Either hired by the hour, or on a contract basis, which (maybe) you already do. It seems to be the thing that you love – you do it so darned well – and it just ought to be something that you could make decent money at. At least, I would surely hope so.

    Also, I agree with the folks who said, ‘advertising’ – your site is beautiful, and it seems like there ought (there I go again…) to be folks who would pay for an ad on your site.

    As for housing, I’m in Lousiana, and, diametrically opposite (almost) where you are, so have no helpful thoughts there.

    Just again, your photography is so beautiful:-)

    Hang in there –
    Ruthie

  7. Note after the fact – feeling kinda’ silly that you apparently already do photography on a contract basis. Still, my heart aches for you that you don’t/can’t make a good living at that. You’re just that good:-)
    Sending good vibes to you and your dogs – it will all work out, somehow. I really believe that:-)
    Ruthie

  8. I’m sorry life is being scary and horrible. I’ve been reading your blog for so long (since, I think, you had 3 or 4 dogs.. ) I really wish I could do something to help you with more than my best wishes and hopes that 2017 will take you on and up and that you all can be safe and secure and happy.

  9. Wow, that is a lot to deal with. I would be in a massive depression to. I just blows me away that you cant have a job as a photographer. Your pictures are just awesome, always!! Maybe some day you can write a book on living with dogs that have problems. You seem like you really do that well. Im so sorry about your home, frozen pipes and dog injuries. Maybe you can find a cheap rv/trailer and could put it on some property, until you can find somewhere to really live. I am happy that you now how your own dog walking business. I wish you all the successs in the world. Im praying that you find your new home soon.

  10. Yeah, jeez. And I’ve been feeling depressed because, as you may know, we have a new – ahem – President Elect……..But I have a house.
    What about teaching dog training? Working for someone else while you get your own thing going? I know in the states some of the big pet shops offer dog training and it used to be questionable methods but as I understand it now they’re on board with positive training.
    Maybe better – could you teach photography? At a community college perhaps, do you have an art center nearby, or would you be willing to travel to give workshops? Not a quick fix, for sure, but you’ve got some mad skills there.
    I’ll keep brainstorming, and meanwhile, wishing the best for you and your crew!

  11. Oh no, how stressful to have such short notice to move after all. I would talk directly to the new owners and see what you can work out. They weren’t planning on renting out the houses, but they don’t know your specific situation. They might at least give you some more time.

    I’m in a big city U.S. where pet photographers charge premium prices. Is there a city near you where you could do photoshoots? Outdoors in parks in nice weather, in-home when it’s winter? You’ve probably already done this, but check out other area photographers’ websites to make sure your prices are competitive.

    Best thoughts for you and the dogs.

  12. Vicky D Hertzfeldt says:

    I am so so sorry about the bad luck that has come upon you. If I were in a better financial position, I would help you in a heartbeat. Have you tried working with Rover.com ? They are a pet care company and I supplement my income by doing pet sitting, drop ins, dog walking, etc. I actually came to a point this summer where I had to decide between my current career and Rover.com and had to cut down on Rover.com due to the amount of work I had. It wasn’t because I didn’t like Rover.com but because of some family developments. I’d definitely check them out online. Praying and hoping for a good solution for you. Lastly, have you thought of starting a gofundme page? Even though I don’t have a lot of funds, I’d be happy to donate something and I bet a lot of others would too. Please don’t give up!!! Vicky

  13. Put the blog into book form. It’s a great story – usually funny, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes dramatic, but always REAL. With ordinary publishing, so many photos might make production too expensive, but doesn’t Amazon have some kind of a print-on-demand option for writers? I’d certainly buy it – can’t even tell you how many times I’ve gone back to the beginning and read the whole thing.

    And, as others have mentioned, some kind of go-fund-me type option might work, especially if it went viral!

  14. Sheena, when we’ve been given an eviction notice, we have been able to negotiate additional time to leave. It’s likely you could get additional time, because a reasonable request for more time, when balanced against the cost—and time—it takes to actually evict a tenant who refuses to leave, often is the better option. (I am assuming that renters do get some protections in Canada, as in the US). You have a seven year record as a good tenant. My tack would be to approach the landlords and explain that you need time to relocate with your current animal family (or time to take other measures, if you decide to rehome some). How long you decide to ask for is up to you. I have done this through an attorney (I understand that costs $), but you could approach the new owners, or their real estate attorney yourself. If you have any questions about my suggestion, pls email me.

  15. Someone told me once, when I was unemployed for a good bit of time: When you’re walking get through hell keep walking.
    Trite, yes, but true.
    Photography and dogs are your strengths. Big Air needs to get bigger. And write that book I know is inside you. Find any work that will feed you and your pups.
    If you need extra, start a Kick-start for a book or Go Fund Me for emergency now cash.
    There are many folks who will support you. And have faith in yourself. Seek help if you’re depressed….that makes it so hard to get up every day.
    We know you can do this. We are ALL rooting for you and pups.

  16. I hope and pray everything works out for you. If anyone deserves happiness it’s you and your doggies! :)

  17. Janice in GA says:

    Holy carp, when it rains, it pours, doesn’t it??? I knew something horrible had to be going on. :( Turns out it was a LOT of something horribles. Jeezopete. I wish I could do more to help.

  18. gosh. i don’t know what to say, other than i hope things change for the better, and soon!! it would be great if you could relocate somewhere nearby so that you can keep up your dog walking gig, so i’m going to put the energy of my best wishes for you into that possibility. you mention that you are considering re-homing some of your dogs :( that is sad to hear, but brave of you, and shows how much you really love them. maybe someone can take a few of them in temporarily until your circumstances change. i’m assuming you have posted about that on facebook — can you put a bit more info about that here for those of us who don’t use facebook? peace and love to you!

  19. Hi Sheena, I’ve been a fan and following since waaaay back in the days when you were part of Pets and Friends. I’ve been racking my brain to think how I can reach out, but unfortunately I have no useful contacts for housing or potential employers. That said, I was, in some regards, your ’employer’ for the time you were working at Pets and Friends, and would be glad to give you a glowing recommendation, both as an employee and as a dog owner. Please feel free to get in touch if that would be helpful.
    Take care of yourself, friend.

  20. I don’t follow you on other platforms, so this came as a shock; can’t imagine what it feels like to YOU. =8-O

    I started reading every blogpost of yours since the original Red Dog, so I know you’ve weathered a lot of storms. This seems to be the storm of the century, though. No words suffice, just hugs and pets and tears. Prayers, too, for I believe in its power. Please keep us posted!

  21. And…Jen makes a good point about the (likely) transfer to a new owner of any lease you may have.
    Studies have shown that people who don’t know you may not care about you, but if they can put a face to the problem, they are much more likely to care. (Look at how many people care about you, but have never met you…cough, cough). I can’t over emphasize the importance (in my mind) of your asking for an extension of time beyond February 28. I’d try to communicate with the owners directly; include a photo of you and (at least some of) yours. Try to reassure them that you have been a good tenant and will continue to be one (ie pay your rent). Once you have some breathing space re your housing, you can decide how to approach a job. For me, it would be paralyzing to face ALL of my problems at one time. I’d try to get the housing problem settled…..

  22. Shasta Kalin says:

    Sheena, when you posted a few weeks ago that you had to re-home your pups, I knew it had to be something big. I thought you were dying, so this is somewhat of a relief. But it’s got to feel like a mountain sitting on top of you right now, and I’m so sorry you’re going through this. You have tremendous gifts with your photography, your ability to spin a good yarn and your dog wrangling abilities. There are a gazillion dog blogs out there, but yours is literally the only one I’ve followed for at least 10 years. I agree with others who’ve said that if you can get your housing situation to the point where you have a little more breathing room, you can attempt to tackle the cash-flow situation. Unfortunately I don’t have any concrete suggestions from Texas, but like Michelle, I believe in the power of prayer. God will be hearing from me soon about finding you a good home, or at least a reprieve from the landslide of bad news. Keep your chin up, and let us know how you’re doing. As always, thank you for the years of laughter and tears through your blog.

  23. Laura in California says:

    I’ve been reading your stuff since your posts on the BC chat boards when it was you, Red Dog, Piper and Tweed. Since then you have been through many losses and big changes, many of them not your choice. No matter what, you’ve persevered and found a way to move on. I think you’ve already done the biggest thing, you’ve taken control and made some decisions about what to do next. You’ve asked friends for help and you’re getting it.
    Dog walking is a fantastic idea, you’ll be great! You’ve got a strong network in the dog world, spread the word that you and your pack need a new home. Something good will come up, it always does for you.
    Keep moving forward Sheena, you’re going to be ok. Big hugs to you from California, where it’s super cold, but no snow. Your snow pics are great!

  24. Hi Food Lady.
    I know this might sound crazy, but I feel relieved. I thought you must have cancer to have to give up your dogs. So I feel relieved that you are alive and well; everything else is surmountable. I think you have found the right direction.
    A few suggestions about your new business (which sounds very exciting). Your business doesn’t seem to be on social media. Get on Facebook, Instagram. with hashtags. Social media is everything to small businesses. If you have a few extra bucks, boost your Facebook posts (don’t pay for ads, no one ever clicks on them), but $10 can go far to boost your post. And you can target by area, interests, etc.
    Until you can fill out both walks, think about leash walking for city people. Here in Washington, DC, walkers make a lot of money from people who have dogs but are gone from 8-6 or longer. My friend has even walked a dog in a home with the husband and teenage son sitting right there watching TV while she gets paid to walk their dog. Target a high income neighborhood with signs, door hangers, etc. so that you can easily go from home to home. The key is not to spend a long time traveling from job to job. And if you can get the dogs to behave, you can walk more than one at a time.

    And definitely expand the photography. Your beasts and your sense of humor would make great cards. I know I would love some. If grumpy cat and that bulldog that’s everywhere can do it, so can you. Marketing is everything.
    I wish you well and success in your new direction in the new year.

  25. Kt , Mitzi, sage, and pickles says:

    I, like other readers, was terrified you got some medically dire news when you went on hiatus and stopped the blog about a year ago. I’m relieved to know you’re not dying, but so saddened that life has proceeded to drop an entire truckload of rotten lemons on you.
    While not ideal, do you have friends/people who would be willing to temporarily care for a dog or two who do not currently have a bazillion dogs of their own? Do you have any interest in farm work? Could you sell more photo items? Extend the photo gig to hoominz? Get into wedding photography? Let us help keep your raft afloat?

  26. The Food Lady says:

    Sorry everyone, I got hit with a wicked cold yesterday and tried to sleep it off as best I could. I’ll try to answer all your questions:

    “P.s. can you make a career out of shooting dog events in Canada?”
    – Not locally, no. We’re not a very big place here in BC – lotsa land, small community. And there are other people who already do it. I do some events and do okay, but not enough to make a living at it.

    “And have you ever considered advertisers on your blog?”
    – Yes, I’ve done that in the past, it has not been successful 

    “Current housing situation: Investigate your legal rights.”
    – Already done. I don’t have a lease, I have lived here for 7 years and no longer am on a lease (haven’t been for years). Legally they need to give me two months notice, which has been done. My landlords did appeal to the new owners, explaining that I was an excellent tenant, but they aren’t interested. They don’t have to keep me, unfortunately.

    “I’m in a big city U.S. where pet photographers charge premium prices. Is there a city near you where you could do photoshoots? Outdoors in parks in nice weather, in-home when it’s winter? “
    – I already do this – again, lots of land, small community. Photographers have a difficult time making a living here unless they do weddings, and there is a lot of competition for that.

    “Put the blog into book form. “
    – Have done this already, a couple of times. It doesn’t make me any real money. Also, writing an actual book is hard.

    “That said, I was, in some regards, your ‘employer’ for the time you were working at Pets and Friends, and would be glad to give you a glowing recommendation, both as an employee and as a dog owner.”
    – Thank you, much appreciated! 

    “A few suggestions about your new business (which sounds very exciting). Your business doesn’t seem to be on social media.”
    – Yes, I know all this, but thank you. As per my post, I was just in the process of getting this underway when I got the news about my housing situation. For those of you not familiar with the Vancouver area, it is seeing an unprecedented crisis of housing – we had a real estate boom that was enormously stupid )which is why my landlords sold – it will never be this awesome for sellers again, I would imagine), and rentals are almost non existent. I’m talking families living in shelters because dual income families cannot find affordable rentals. The federal government getting involved. Etc. I am in a position where I could be putting a lot of effort into starting a business which I cannot follow through on, because I may not be able to stay in the area to run it  That’s why I haven’t done anything else with it yet, as I had only just gotten the website up and the licenses sorted out when I received news that the farm had sold.

    “ Is there still paypal/a tip jar somewhere?”
    – My paypal address is mrsnappyone@yahoo.com But if you could put a house in it, I would be grateful ;-)

    Thanks everyone, I am really trying to sort things out because I don’t want to break up my family. I don’t know how I would live without them :(

  27. Im sorry you are dealing with this. But make sure you always keep a positive vibe and thought because thats the best thing you can do right now! Theres always ups and downs in life, and if the downs are thrown your way, its because youre a tough person and you can turn them into something great! Keep your head up and remember, positivity heals all. Amazing read and cute pictures! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Keep up the great posts & Happy Holidays :)
    Amanda

  28. Dear Food Lady,
    I’ve been reading your blog for almost a decade now, ever since we brought home a border collie lab mix and were desperately searching for anything that might help us figure him out. Your pictures and writing and wonderful sense of humour were an enormous help, and between you, our trainer and our vet, Max turned into a great dog (he was not so great when he was jumpy and barky and mouthy, trust me!). I want you to know that you’ve touched many more lives than you will ever realize. I’m not active on social media and I don’t post (this is my first one!) but I want you to know that even though there are some cockroaches out there I truly believe that there are way more people cheering for you and trying to think of how we can help. I’m so sorry you are having such a craptastic year and I hope something works out for you soon.

    I have one thought for you before I head over to paypal and try to figure that out (hey, if I can learn how to post I may as well try something else new before agility tonight!). Your dog walking business page looks fantastic. Have you considered becoming a distributor for whatever dog food you use (if you are getting your raw food from one) or the parts you use to make it? Or maybe making your own custom raw food blends and marketing those? If you are driving dogs around it might be an added bonus if you are dropping off food for them too.

    And now over to paypal. I wish I could squish a house in there but I can at least leave a small token of gratitude and appreciation. Many thanks and best wishes.

  29. I am truly sorry you are going through such difficult times. There are a many good ideas and suggestions other readers have shared with you (I think Helene’s idea about targeting high income areas is genius).
    Here’s a suggestion that I’m aware might sound weird: contact popular/well-known fashion/lifestyle bloggers in the Vancouver area who have dogs. You could propose an exchange to them – X hours of your services in return for a post featuring your business. Usually, the target demographic of these blogs are young women with busy lives; people who might have/are thinking about adopting a dog but might need help help keeping them fit/socialized. Three fashion bloggers I found who have dogs: http://www.aliciafashionista.com (she recently adopted a shelter dog); http://www.herwaisechoise.com; http://www.tovogueorbust.com. Again, I know this is a weird idea, but who knows, right?

  30. Another couple of thoughts – for what they’re worth/just spit-balling:

    ~Is moving to a different area more housing-friendly an option? Not necessarily provinces away, but within a 100 miles or so? Maybe closer to the country? You may already be a rural as already possible, for all I know.
    ~Do you know any real estate agents or any friends who do? Those are the people who are most in tune with what’s going on housing-wise and would have contacts or listings who might know of an option. Or maybe an agent that specializes in rural properties.

    Hope your cold is over…you cannot catch a break, can you?

  31. Oh, Sheena, I am so sorry. I have been reading your blog since its early days and remember when you had to move from your apartment to the country with just Three Woofs and a Woo. Even though the new owners don’t want to rent long term, I second those who say to contact them and ask for more time – personal contact can make a difference and even a couple of months can give you time to get your dog walking established and possibly find a home through new contacts.

    Is finding property to put a motor home on a possibility? Someone you know with land that would let you live on a piece of it? Then you could do a Go Fund Me for a motor home..

    I also second the idea of creating a product – cards or notepaper with your wonderful photographs. I know it takes money to get started but, again, there is Kick Start or Go Fund Me. Links to your blog would make you credible to people who don’t know you and we who do know you would be happy to help.

    My heart goes out to you and I wish I could offer real help. I went through a similar but less overwhelming crisis two years ago so I can only imagine what you are going through. Keep us posted and know that we are all pulling for you and praying for a good outcome.

    All best wishes!

  32. These are some amazing pictures! And everyone looks sooo adorable :)
    Happy holidays to you all!
    Alicia

  33. Agnes Eichman says:

    How very difficult – can donate a bit to pay you back for all the joy I get from reading your blog. thought maybe there were some intern farming programs with a stipend and housing as there are in Pennsylvania (thinking space for dogs). This is what I found -http://youngagrarians.org/category/apprentice-intern/
    Also, in Mission BC, there is an Animal rescue group called Senior Animals in need Society today http://www.saintsrescue.ca/). At one point recently, they had job openings. Not sure if they have been filled.

  34. Sheena, I’ve been following your blog since Dexter was a pup. I’m really sorry life has been so gawdawful to you lately. You’re a good person, with many extraordinary talents, and you deserve so much better.

    I’m confident you’ll find employment that you *enjoy*, that also allows flexible hours so that you can spend more time with your dogs. Perhaps some website design (using your superb photography skills) to supplement your new dog walking venture?

    I’m in the US, on the far opposite side of the continent, so I fear I’m in no position to offer help or advice with housing – only perhaps there’s a horse farm or such that might be willing to offer a place for you and the dogs in return for labor (like mucking out stalls?).

    Finally – I’d like to add my voice to those who would like to “give back” for all the pleasure your blog posts have brought over the years. Please let us know how we can do this – PayPal?

    Finally – you’re in my thoughts. 2016 was a terrible year (I’m wearing my “2016 SUCKED” shirt at the moment). I’m hoping 2017 will be better for all of us…

  35. I’ve been out of touch for a long time, I just happened to log into my Feedly (much ignored now, sadly) to catch up on things. I’m so sorry the farm sold and you’ve been out of work and will soon need to find a new home. :( I understand about online trolls, it’s one of the reasons I quit blogging many years ago. Sending you my good wishes that everything turns out well for you this year.

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