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Thursday, September 8, 2016

my mission statement, if you will

First, I thank each of you who donated to the Denham Springs, Louisiana Animal Shelter  (the shelter where we adopted Louise) after the recent horrible flooding that I wrote about in my last post HERE
You are amazing and generous!

I adore this photo of our morning ritual- girls waiting to be given the "okay" to eat after Dan/I thank them for being such good girls and tell them how much we love them!
Photo by Linda of Lime In The Coconut.  
Fun stories about LindaLime that resonate with this entire post at the bottom!

Initially I was going to do a quick, short post to let you know I have added a feature
  "adoptable dog of the week
to the top of my sidebar, in hopes that you will notice, read it and maybe share with your friends on Facebook each week as I highlight a different dog needing a good home.  But, as I started to write my short post I realized that often things mean more if you understand the back story. And for me,  the back story was much bigger than a quick post.  That this whole journey on my blog- the sharing of our home, of my design and interiors and my love of antiques, the sharing of my love of dogs, and my passion for rescuing dogs-  is a joy and my mission.  With that comes a story...

When we decided to sell our Dallas house and move to New England it was a HUGE life decision as you can imagine.  I have never "journaled" per se  (though I tend to see this blog as a form of a journal),  but do understand the importance of putting all the emotions of a situation down on paper.   The decision to move here was exciting, terrifying, scary, nerve-wracking, thrilling-  all with anticipation of a new life,  and I realized I needed to write those emotions down before I popped!  
(if you would like to read how we got her click HERE and HERE)

A paragraph from my random writings from that time read:

want to help.  dogs maybe;  people
 finding dogs.
want to bring joy- thru design/antiques 
I need to find my life's work. 
What brings me joy, and how to 
share that.

  I wrote this in 2007 before the word "blog" was even in mainstream vocabulary, and a good year and a half before I figured out what one was.  I didn't give a thought as to how I would accomplish any of those things I listed, but they were just on my heart, so I wrote them down.   
It wasn't until several people wrote to tell me that because of our adopting Amelia HERE and HERE, and then Louise and Magnolia HERE that they had decided to adopt/expand their family, and one person (Tery) even wrote to tell me she was going to adopt instead of "buy" her next dog (and I am thrilled to say she has since adopted "Sullivan";)  that I vaguely recalled this paragraph I wrote years ago and went to find it in my "house book."  I sobbed.  Because of a random decision in October of 2008 to start this blog to chronicle the renovation of the farmhouse (the blog started as private), and then the request by Brooke Giannetti at Velvet &Linen to share my blog on her blog HERE and Joni Webb of Cote de Texas who added me to her blog roll several months later, I received exposure and in some way or form that is how you found your way here (thank you to my friends Brooke and Joni! xxo)
Because of the above events I have been able to meet you and share my loves and passions on this blog, and for that I am forever thankful and grateful.  

My love of home, my love of dogs and my love of rescuing dogs are my greatest passions.  For me,  dogs (pets) make a house a home.  
I thank you for allowing me to share all my passions and loves with you.  
I have received some negative comments and emails about my posts on dog rescue- people saying that they signed up to see pictures of a house, not of dogs.  My response was/is....  
 I'm sorry you are disappointed.  I write a "lifestyle" blog, so therefore I write about all things I am deeply passionate about that make up my love of a house- decorating, design, gardening, cooking, entertaining and dogs; and that includes using "my voice" to promote dog adoption.  The beauty of writing a personal blog is that I get to choose what I want to write about, and I will continue to write about all of the above, just as you are free to choose to not read if the content isn't to your liking.  Isn't it great that we all have choices!

You might recall that one of my readers, Amy (check out her new blog Home Glow Designs) adopted Nanny after seeing her on my blog HERE  Then over the past weekend Alice,  the dog-angel volunteer for Lytle, Texas Animal Control wrote to tell me that one of my readers in Houston was going to foster one of the dogs, Missy, that came in with a horrible injury to her foot and this woman is going get Missy a prosthesis!  I do not know who this person is, but she is an angel.  It was after hearing that (and the memory of every one who had left a comment saying they were going to adopt because of our girls) I wanted to do more!  And I thought to add the "adoptable dog of the week" feature at the top of my sidebar!  I am but one person, but with your help we can be a "force" to find shelter dogs homes!
It breaks my heart the number of dogs (and cats) that are euthanized in our country everyday (approximately 3,288 dogs each and every day)  and also the number of stray dogs and cats (there are 9,000 stray dogs in south Dallas alone.  You read that correctly... 9,000 source)  I wholeheartedly believe, as with most things, that education is the key.  It saddens,  infuriates and frustrates me that the wonderful nation that we are, we can not get a grip on this problem.  The only change that I can personally make is trying to make it better for one dog at a time.  So, that is what I want to do, with your help- spread the message of the importance of having all pets spayed/neutered; to please opt to adopt and highlighting dogs that are in desperate need of a good home.
All- one dog at a time!

I promise, my blog has not "gone to the dogs," and I am writing a "summer favorites" post that was a request from a reader, and have several house project posts coming up, but I wanted write this to you to explain myself.  I just never know when a post about a dog needing a home will change that dog's life or yours- either way is priceless!
Thank you for reading, thank you for helping me spread the word about adopting and thank you for being you!!!  xxo

The fun stories I mentioned at the beginning of this post...
Linda of Lime In The Coconut and I have been friends for years.  While writing this post and linking to Brooke's post from Velvet & Linen HERE I discovered through the comment section that Linda found me through Brooke, on November 19, 2008 at 5:25 p.m.  to be exact!!! :)
Well..... just two weekends ago LindaLime (as Dan and I call her;) came to the farmhouse to visit!!!!  She was on her way to see her daughter who had just finished a three-month environmental conservation internship in northern New Hampshire at Squam Lake  (a.k.a the lake where On Golden Pond was filmed.)  Finally we meet!!!!  It was sooo wonderful to meet in person. Linda and I were up til 4 am talking!!!  We ALL loved her-  I swear the girls would have left with her if they could have- they adored her!!!  To see Linda's photos from around the farmhouse and her trip to New Hamphsire HERE  !!

Another fun LindaLime story is that last summer Linda wrote to check up on me as I hadn't posted in a while.  I explained that we had just come home from a road trip to Louisiana where we adopted Magnolia and Louise HERE.  Linda asked how I found them and I told her on Petfinder, which she was not familiar with.  Within an hour she and her daughter (mentioned in the story above) were on Petfinder and found a Great Dane that they wanted to go meet!!  Days later "Finn" was adopted...

and then months later the beautiful (blind and deaf) "Pearl" was adopted by LindaLime and her family!!!

Moral of the story.....you just never know how a random sharing will change a person's life for the better!!!  
Love ya Finn & Pearl & LindaLime!!!!!

I also want to share that Linda is a Lactation Consultant and she is getting ready to leave for Greece where she is volunteering to help the refugee women and children fleeing from war and terrorism.
To read about her upcoming journey HERE.

love dogs and be well!!!
and please share the featured dog of the week!  together we can find these dogs forever homes!


  1. Joan please keep posting stories about animals. That is one of the reasons I so look forward to your comments. In Waterbury CT they started offering low cost spay and neutering to people and the number of animals found on the street was reduced drastically. There is also an organization The Nutmeg Project that also offers low cost spaying and neutering. When our dog was neutered, it was $800. We were both working so we paid. Now we are retired and would not be able to afford it. There is also a wonderful organization named A Hand For A Paw that offers low cost vaccines and now with help people with the cost of sick animals. You can check all of this out on the computer. Please keep up great work.

  2. WOW! Talk about casting your bread upon the water......!!! Wonderful post and thank you, thank you, thank you! Living here in Dallas and watching our city manager & most of the city council fail Dallas Animal Services and the stray dog population in this city time and time again, your words make my heart swell with hope....that more people will come to feel as you do and try to do more to stop pet over-population, breed-specific legislation and puppy mills. Kindness toward all animals is returned by them 100-fold and something I will never regret. Almost everyone can do SOMETHING...our rescue animals have enriched our lives so very much. I hope every single animal you post about here in your new endeavor finds a fabulous home. Hats off to LindaLime, too....what a gal!!!

  3. I love seeing an email from you in my box. I enjoy your tastefully beautiful home tours, but love to hear about your dogs and other rescues. We were fortunate to adopt our last three dogs as rescues.

  4. Joan I was just preparing a post about how my blog has evolved and this popped up. I think you should always write about what your are passionate about. There will always be complainers no matter what you do. I admire you for rescuing your pups and I so enjoyed hearing about dear Linda. I knew I would love her if I ever met her!

  5. Joan, As a dog lover and the owner of 2 rescue dogs I am whole-heartedly behind your crusade. We have had 2 thoroughbred dogs that we loved until they died, but then decided the time had come to search our wonderful city shelter (where no dog is euthanized due to "time being up" and they take wonderful care of each and every animal they house). Your posts that feature stories of dog rescues and 'top dog for adoption' lists will undoubtedly help. Thank you for your public service and for always entertaining us no matter what the topic.

  6. I'm a new reader, brought here from Linda's post on her trip to New Hampshire. I seem to love all of the same things you do, including dogs and rescue. (My dream is to some day foster service animals.) I have only been to New England once, in the fall of 2012, but frequently dream of moving there. We live in Lewisville near the DFW Metroplex and although I'm a lifelong Texan, except for a brief stint in Oregon, I'm done with the heat and traffic and noise and long for the quiet simplicity that we experienced in Vermont and New Hampshire. Love your blog and look forward to reading more about your experiences, including those about dogs. :-)

  7. All of your posts about the rescue dogs are important...don't ever forget that. You, I, or anyone else, often doesn't realize the hidden effect that they/we can have on others...sometimes we never know. And sometimes, someone does take the time to let us know. I'm taking the time today to let you know that you've made me very aware of rescue dogs...or cats...and I have a rescue cat myself! Thanks for all you do! ;)

  8. "Gone to the dogs" or not, the choice is certainly yours and I think you addressed the issue beautifully...and with a lot of grace. We have always had dogs and salute you and your passion to find homes for as many as you can. Your 'house' stories are always a welcome sight but your wonderful writing makes reading about any subject most enjoyable. So, thank you and I wish you all the luck with this exciting project.

  9. much older sister susanSeptember 8, 2016 at 6:11 PM

    I am so proud of you Joanie! You have and will save many dogs and people with your love of dogs. Our dogs have filled a hole in my heart I didn't even know I had. They add so much to everyday life.

    Ginger, Heidi, Kelsey and Vince are wagging down at you.

  10. much older sister susanSeptember 8, 2016 at 6:13 PM

    P.S. I posted Margarita on my facebook page! Being in Texas maybe someone will see it. I will post every week!

  11. Joan, I love love your blog, it is my Escape!!
    I love love the posts on ya'lls Poochies/
    Sisters and all about Rescue Poochies!!!
    We are there voice, this of euthanizing
    Must Stop!!! We have adopted both Tank
    and Tanner, and Rocky/ since passed to
    the Rainbow Bridge.
    I am soooo happy, that you are posting this!!

    Thank you, for being there voice for all the
    Furry babies, that need a fur- ever home
    Karen & John
    Tank and Tanner

  12. That pic of the Great Dane is the cutest thing ever! :)I applaud your work and enjoy EVERYTHING about your blog!

  13. Good for you! Your posts about Amelia still bring tears to my eyes, for they carry the most emotion. Write from your heart, even if we found you because we love your house and interiors.

  14. Dogs are the heart of our home so what would a home blog be without them? I have a springer from a breeder and after seeing people that buy dogs from breeders that don't deserve them I think that buying these dogs and bringing them to a loving home is also a form of rescue. Keep up the good work! Love your blog and your sweet puppies!

  15. Great post! I just adore your blog - your beautiful antiques, your favorite things, decorating ideas, and I especially love that you have a heart for dogs. Our rescued Dobies have changed our lives. They are our little stress relievers at the end of a long day of work and bring us so much joy!

  16. Love, love love this post! Always heartwarming hearing about your family of dogs. We have 3 shelter dogs and all are amazing. Good work getting the word out!

  17. I went over to Linda's and really enjoyed seeing your home from her perssprctive. Beautiful shots. I am so glad that so many are adopting dogs. At this time in our lives we just can't but you are doing a wonderful thing!!!

  18. I love your home and your decorating/antiquing posts. But as the "mom" of a black rescue dog, Cash, I feel a real connection to your girls too. Thank you for sharing and for what you do!

  19. Hi Joan, Annie and I completely agree!

  20. I truly love all the pictures of these precious dogs!!! Keep them coming, we all need to do our part and save all the animals! God bless, you are a true earth ANGEL!!!!

  21. Loved this post! I think I only comment once a year at your annual 'leave your calling card post' but I read your blog and follow your insta account religiously. I think I have been following your blog for ... years??
    Anyways.. I have 2 rescues (and fostered many over the years) and when I hear people talking about getting a dog from a breeder I always say "Please please, before you go to your breeder, take a tour of a local shelter first. You owe it to those dogs to look in their eyes and say no". I usually get a response like "well i want a special breed for x, y, and z reason. And I respond.. "that is fine.. but promise me you will go to a shelter first. It is 1 hour of your time". Anyways.. lots of my friends have ended up adopting using this tactic :-)

  22. Home + Animals = Happiness. I love your blog!

  23. Morning Joan...As I am writing this Miss Bonnie Blue has just dropped her treat ball on my keyboard reminding me that I could never live without a dog. I think what you are doing is a remarkable thing and you will be a great ambassador for all these dogs that have no voice. And those that are irritated because they want to see more interiors etc. I can't think of a better addition to a beautiful home than a pack of dogs. We are still contemplating adopting a sister for Bonnie Blue and that is in part due to you (and sweet Amelia)If you follow your heart the path is never wrong!

    Warm Regards,

  24. Oh and PS...there is a great Instagram community for Great Dane owners. Quite a few that have deaf and blind Great Danes. Your friend might find a great community that can help her navigate with her deaf Dane.

  25. This was a wonderful post! You have a great mission and a platform from which to accomplish it. I love the decorating stuff, but I really check your blog to see what's going on with the dogs! We have a wonderful girl we adopted from a shelter, and she is the LIGHT of our lives and the center of our world. I hope more people will adopt and not get hung up on having a certain breed. A shelter dog KNOWS that you chose them above all others and will return the love 1 million fold!
    Jo Ann Bastanjoo

  26. Love the pic of your beautiful girls!!! Good for you using your voice for good. I'm dying for a doggie but live in a pet free building in NYC😢 I'm working on convincing my husband that we need a shelter dog once we leave the city! And your stories about your sweetie pie dogs have definitely convinced me of that!!!

  27. I found your blog for the first time today and am giddy and inspired after just 5 minutes of looking of it. I came to it through Pinterest and am drooling over your land and house and the sea of orange and yellow trees you have. That is the kind of place my husband and I are working towards and I hope it comes true for us. But then clicking over to your home page, I am so inspired and warmed by the work you do for dogs. We have 5 dogs, all but one are from a rescue or the pound and I too want to create a platform someday to help dogs find homes. For now I just help share local facebook and instagram posts for dogs in need. Anyway, all that to say, don't let anyone tell you how to steer your own ship. You are absolutely right in saying it's a lifestyle blog about what YOU'RE passionate about, and for someone to comment on something that could potentially make you feel less inclined to do all the good that you are doing for animals just blows my mind and makes me angry. Looking forward to following you from now on. Can't wait to see more of your beautiful home and stories about helping our furry friends. Thank you!

  28. Joan, love love your blog!!!! I especially
    like the posts on the Poochies, and on
    your beautiful interior design.
    We will always continue to adopt/ rescue
    I just hope we can end all dogs being
    without a home and ending there life
    Ohhhhh bless there Hearts!!!
    Thank you, we are there voice!!!
    Karen & John
    Tank and Tanner

  29. Great post. It doesn't matter if the shelter has a no kill policy or not, being in a shelter is no life for an animal and if you are wanting a new pet saving one from a shelter is the best way to go. Even if you are hung up on a certain breed, chances are there will one at a shelter near by anyway. It is also important to microchip you pets. I lost my black cat back in March, and yesterday, due to his chip, I found out that he was safe and alive and being loved by an old widower. He is giving the man so much love and companionship, so we decided to let him keep Shadow, but we are paying the vet and registration bills. (Shadow was a shelter kitten).

  30. I so enjoy the dog-related posts and wholeheartedly support your mission. While I just have one dog these days - Nell aka Miss Wonderful - I always try to take whatever actions I can to support and help shelter dogs and cats. One really easy thing is to use Amazon Smile to support your favorite shelter. Goodness knows, I buy enough on Amazon. Might as well direct some of that money to a place I love. I'm supporting the Wetzel County Animal Shelter in West Virginia. That's where the late great Elsa and Finn came from, and I also have a wonderful cat from there.

    All best,

  31. I so enjoy all of your posts home or dog related. Thank you so much for being a voice for the shelter animals. I could not imagine a home without dogs or cats since we have both, all are from shelters. I love what you are doing.

  32. Nevermind those negative nancys. Your blog is wonderful, keep doing what you love.

    Thinking of you this 15th anniversary. Blessings to you and Dan.

  33. Your passion for rescue is beautiful. My favorite picture of all time is Ella looking at you, the one in the sidebar of your blog. The devotion she feels towards you says it all about rescue and adoption.

  34. Joan, thank you for sharing your journey with us all! About six years ago, my husband and I drove through New England on our second honeymoon (haha!) and we fell head over heels in love with this part of the country. Some months later, I found your blog and have followed your journey ever since. Your stories of bringing your gorgeous farmhouse to live, fueled my dreams when the days were way too hot over here in California.
    Almost exactly a year ago, we decided to leave CA for good and put down roots in NH! In six weeks it's time for us to start our adventure and we couldn't be more excited to start this new life! With your blog posts you've touched my heart, inspired me and taught me a valuable lesson: live your life.
    A long time ago, you had quoted Mark Twain in your sidebar: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

    Thank You Joan!!!
    XO, Rahel

  35. Love your home posts. Love your dog posts. Love your compassion. YOU are doing great things.
    The End.

  36. I love this post! I've been reading for years but this is my first comment. TBH, I think that if it were not for the dog posts, I would be so consumed with envy I would find it hard to read your blog. Your house is so beautiful and ordered. It is an enviable lifestyle compared to the daily chaos of of my life (not that I'd change but, you know...) Anyway, the fact that you can share that beautiful home with not just one but three rescued dogs makes you my kind of people despite our lifestyle differences. Both of our dogs have been pound puppies. Our first was fostered at 3 weeks and was a part of our family for 10 years, moving from HK to Australia with us and is now buried (with a piece of my heart!)in our garden. Our second dog is a joyful crazy 1 year old cattle dog. She's the baby in our family, the connector between teenagers who would otherwise be too cool to engage in the physical touch which minimises the isolation and angst of adolescence. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us through your blog and for highlighting the plight of dogs in need. There was a Pal dog food ad on here not so long ago which said, "I rescued Lucy a year ago but now I see that, really, she rescued me."

    1. Wonderful comment about your dog being a connector for teenagers! Very enlightening and helpful!

  37. Joan, just wanted to let you know that if your blog does ever "go to the dogs" you will lose very few readers! Thank you for sharing what is on your heart and staying true to yourself in this public forum. I found your blog at the beginning through Joni's blog and love your design posts but I love your dog posts just as much. Please keep doing what you do, you are a CHAMPION for these sweet animals.

  38. Dear Joan,
    I deeply appreciate your very moving post. Besides the beautiful stories of adoption, your story of searching for your voice, and then your mission, is very beautiful and encouraging.
    May that also be noticed, and may your example inspire others. Starting off on such a quest, and listening carefully for the answers, are some of the most important things one can ever do.

  39. I love your home...I love your dogs...I love your heart! I am a huge dog advocate & I love that you are able to use your voice to reach all of those who follow your journey here.����❤️

  40. Hi Joan
    Just read this post and wanted to say I hope you will always be sharing pictures and stories about your dogs. As much as I love your home and decorating ideas, your dog stories warm my heart :-)

  41. I am not a dog person at all and have always loved ALL your posts because your passion shines through, whether you are talking pets, or talking gardening, or antiques. You are genuine always, and it is very apparent. There are thousands of design blogs out there, but I only read yours because of this!

  42. MISS you all and love you my friend! I am back safe and sound...and changed.
    I could really go for a perrier....or a white russian. <3 Show us your orange and yellowness...I beg of you!


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