Christmas Puppies: Unwrapping the Pros and Cons

The holiday season has arrived, and with it comes the irresistible idea of adding a furry bundle of joy to your family. But is getting a puppy during Christmas truly a jingle-all-the-way experience? Here are the pros and cons.

Christmas

Pros:

  1. Merry Moments: The holiday season is all about creating cherished memories, and a puppy can make them even merrier. From adorable antics to heartwarming cuddles, their presence will add an extra layer of joy and laughter to your Christmas celebrations.
  2. Time on Your Side: With time off from work or extended vacation periods, you have the gift of extra time during the holidays. This allows you to invest more quality time in training, bonding, and ensuring a smooth transition for your new puppy.
  3. Love Multiplied: Nothing brings a family closer than caring for a puppy together. From shared responsibilities to teamwork, raising a puppy during Christmas strengthens the bonds among family members, creating a shared sense of love and commitment.

Cons:

  1. ‘Tis the Season of Stress: The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can overwhelm even the jolliest of puppies. With parties, guests, and disruptions to routines, it may take longer for your puppy to settle in, potentially leading to anxiety or behavioral issues.
  2. Post-Holiday Blues: As the festivities wind down, the realities of daily life kick in. Busy schedules, work, and school commitments can limit the time and attention you can devote to your puppy. Make sure you can provide consistent socialization and care, even after the Christmas magic fades away.
  3. Presents vs. Training: Training a puppy requires patience, consistency, and a structured environment. The holiday season, however, often brings distractions and a less structured routine. This can make training more challenging, potentially slowing down your puppy’s progress.

When it comes to getting a puppy during Christmas, there are both delightful pros and thoughtful cons. Take a moment to assess your readiness, lifestyle, and ability to provide the care and attention a puppy needs before adding a Christmas puppy to your festivities.

Black Friday sale!

Mark your calendars. On Black Friday, November 24th, my sweet and inspirational holiday romance boxed set, Holiday Hearts Volume Four, will be on a Kindle Countdown sale and only 99 cents. (US Residents only.) FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Holiday Hearts Volume 4

This collection includes the following 3 books:

A Christmas Puppy To Cherish (Inspirational)
You don’t need ears to hear God’s plan. All you need is an open heart…

A Chocolate-Box Christmas Wish
He’s been all over the world. She’s a home-town girl. Can a holiday wish bridge the gap?

A Chocolate-Box Irish Wedding
A woman who wanted more. A man who wanted her. Can they rediscover their love in the seaside town where it all began?

Be sure to pick up your copy before the price goes up.

Available in ebook, paperback, and large print paperback. Audiobooks for each book sold separately.

 

Sasquatch and Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest

Around here, we call him Bigfoot. He is also known as Sasquatch, an Anglicization of the name Sasq’ets, from the Halq’emeylem language spoken by First Nations peoples in southwestern British Columbia. Bigfoot is a cryptid: a creature that is reported to exist but without hard physical evidence that it does. For centuries, encounters with this tall, hairy humanoid have occurred in the Pacific Northwest, capturing the imagination of locals and visitors alike. Eyewitnesses describe the creature as a massive, bipedal ape-like being, covered in dark brown or reddish hair with heights well over six feet tall and with an unforgettable ‘stench’ or aroma. Low-arched footprints up to twenty-four inches long and with five toes have been found in areas Bigfoot are said to inhabit. They are said to have a lumbering gait but can move extremely fast when needed according to the stories.


Hotspots for Bigfoot activity include the remote wilderness areas of Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, Canada. The large expanses of forest with sparse human populations provide ideal habitation for these elusive creatures said to shun human contact.
Sasquatch tales date back to Native American oral and ‘pictograph’ history. Tribes like the Yokut, Lummi, and Skagit spoke of giant hairy men inhabiting the woods. They regarded the ‘wild men of the woods’ as a distinct species, neither human nor animal. Cliffs adorned with Native American pictographs of Bigfoot were discovered in California. These tall, apelike figures were hand-drawn images of sasquatches made centuries ago.

When European settlers arrived in the Pacific Northwest and California in the 19th century, they also told of spotting huge man-beasts while exploring the mountainous area. One of the earliest documented Sasquatch sightings was reported in 1811 near what is now the town of Bluff Creek, California. The sightings continued through the 19th and 20th centuries, with reports of loud vocalizations heard, and giant footprints found deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest.
A surge of interest in Bigfoot came in the 1970s when the famous Patterson-Gimlin film emerged, claiming to show actual footage of Bigfoot walking through the California woods. The film shot in 1967 appears to show a female Bigfoot walking through a clearing. Debate continues over its authenticity.
The encounter reports still persist today. Whether they are glimpses of Bigfoot, hearing strange calls, finding footprints, or smelling a unique and pungent scent, something is out there. Is it an undiscovered primate species or a living piece of legend? Conclusive proof remains lacking, but the truth is out there somewhere. In the meantime, Oregon locals have fun with the Bigfoot legend. Special events, statues and pictures, books, and more bring people together to discuss their own experiences. There is even a fantastic museum devoted to Bigfoot in Oregon. Among other items of interest, they have recreated the Sasquatch ‘scent’ for visitors to sample. Visit https://northamericanbigfootcenter.com/ for their location and more information.


I’ve never seen a Bigfoot, but I love the inspiration he provides. I created calendars this year to help fund the local feral cat T-F-R (Trap, Fix, and Return) program. Oregon’s Furry Feral Friends Calendar was created with a mix of many different Artificial Intelligence programs. After all, I didn’t have a lifetime to sit in the forest, waiting for a Sasquatch to come by and pose for me!


Just so you’ll know, The Authors’ Billboard has released two box sets this month. Unforgettable Christmas Wonders is a collection of eight contemporary romance stories. My NEW story (only available in the set for now) is Kinky Boots and Me. No, it’s not a Bigfoot story, but is a story about a cute little hedgehog and how he helped his human pets.
Reclaiming Me is a set of five Women’s Fiction stories, including my book The Set Up. If you want to read about strong women and the challenges they have faced, check it out.

Travel with Mona to Estonia

We visited Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, during a cruise on the Baltic Sea. I was particularly interested in this country that is quite similar to Latvia, my daughter-in-law’s country of origin.

I took this picture from the top of a hill. We can see the red tile roofs of old buildings and the tower — with its dark bell chamber– of the oldest intact gothic Town Hall in Northern Europe. Dating from the late 13th century, it is used now for festive ceremonies and public concerts.

After centuries of Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918. Forcibly incorporated into the USSR in 1940, it regained its freedom in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Estonia is located in Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, between Latvia and Russia.

A cobbled street in the Old Town
The oldest parts of the walls of Tallinn were actually built in the 13th century,
Toompea Castle is no longer a castle but it’s used as the Estonia Parliament. It was under renovation and we couldn’t visit the interior.

Estonia shares a similar geography and history with Latvia and Lithuania, but is culturally different. Its closest ethnic and linguistic buddy is Finland.

For 50 years, Soviet ruled Estonia and many people moved in from Russia or Belarus. Around a quarter of Estonians are native Russian speakers such as my son’s in-laws. Apparently, almost everyone is comfortable speaking Russian as a second language.

I think it’s the statue of a famous artist or philosopher– Not sure!
Russalka: a monument celebrating Estonia’s independence
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is an orthodox cathedral in central Tallinn. It was built in a typical Russian Revival style in 1894–1900, when the country was part of the Russian Empire. 
A wedding taking place in the cathedral while we were visiting. The bride wore a red dress–she was gorgeous!!!

A market area in Tallinn
The Viking Age was part of Estonia’s history.

If you have a chance to visit Estonia do not hesitate to go. You’ll enjoy it.

MESSY PLANS (Love Plans, book 11) was just released two days ago,

Dr. Matt Lopez is perfectly happy with his medical career until the new nurse practitioner turns his life upside down with her lovely smile and crazy ideas. When Cathy takes Tommy, a young patient under her wing, gets involved in his home situation, and discovers the truth, trouble follows. Life will never be the same for Cathy, her boss, or Tommy as they try to repair the mistakes of their pasts.

Two books on pre-order We’re All Heroes (Love Pans, book 12) We’re No Saints (Love Pans, book 12)
They’re all heroes who pay a big price for freedom—The Ukrainian mom who spies for her country; her three small kids who struggle to survive; the wounded major who gets them out of a war-zone; Lauren, the flight attendant who brings them to the U.S.A. ; her parents who receive them in their home; and her ex-fiancé, Dr. Jake, who operates on the injured. And let’s not forget the two German shepherd puppies that dive in a pool to save a two-year old. Will the many crises they face head-on strengthen or destroy Lauren and Jake’s relationship?
She’s a young widow with difficult teenagers and a company to manage. He’s a charming lawyer hiding secrets that could hurt her. He claims he loves her, but can she trust him?

The Student and the Dog

Lilly is a sophomore student, smart, hardworking, and determined to achieve her goal. Packing her car to the rim, she drove to college three weeks earlier than her first day of class for orientation on the first week and sorority rush on the second week. The apartment Lilly would share with three roommates wouldn’t be available for the next two weeks. A friend gave her the keys to her apartment, and Lilly settled there on her own.

Soon she discovered that with without her friends, the campus was too boring. To kill the time, she browsed her social media and discovered a picture that melted her heart and a post she couldn’t ignore. A five-year-old German Shepherd in the Animal Shelter needed a foster home until it could be adopted. With nothing else to do, our generous student went to visit the shelter and met Jane. It was love at first sight, and Lilly offered to foster the German Shepherd for a couple of weeks. She never expected Jane to be such a sweetheart, so loving, so obedient. Boredom disappeared but a new problem arose.

Lilly couldn’t imagine abandoning her new companion to shelter life. But she couldn’t adopt her either. The rented apartment where she would move into soon had a strict no-pets policy. Desperate but determined to save Jane from a miserable future, Lilly called her parents, asked and begged for a special favor. But… Her family has a lovable cockapoo, Bosty, a hypoallergenic dog, that doesn’t shed. Mom has asthma and can’t live with a dog that sheds. Could they find a solution?

Grandma studied the Internet for hours and found out that if Mom brushed the German Shepherd every morning with a bristle brush, got rid of loose hair with a hair dryer at high speed, and then rubbed the dog’s coat with olive oil, the shedding would be controlled. Mom should also wear a mask while brushing the dog, and give him a bath three times a week.

Mom agreed to give it a try for two months. If everything went well, the family would keep the new dog for a year, and Lilly will take her back when she moves to a new apartment next year. Grandma also researched the food that would help minimize the shedding.

Lilly is my granddaughter! Yesterday, she drove Jane to her parents’. I hope and pray her new dog doesn’t send my daughter to the ER!

Here’s the first meeting between Jane and Bosty. Bosty was petrified by the big monster and couldn’t stop shaking. The family improved things by going on a walk together and giving both dogs treats and new toys.

Pre-Order MESSY PLANS

Contemporary Romance with emotion and a touch of humor.

Pre-Order We’re All Heroes

Contemporary Romance with emotion, passion, action, and humor.