05 January 2011

A long post, but something different today for you. Tomorrow comes my review on the very first completed audio book. I admit, I am not looking forward to writing it. Instead, I thought I'd share with you a few pictures of Roma the Dog, as well as introduce you to my sister's new photoblog - and both are MUCH more interesting than the review I am trying to put together.

So. I, for one, do not like to drive anywhere if I have to be in a car more than six hours. It becomes confining, food eaten an hour ago is stuffed in the fast food bag and crumpled somewhere in the car. But this holiday, Roma the Dog was coming along to visit family, so driving was our only option. I'm so happy that we did drive because my sister got some of my favorite shots of Roma!

Introducing Two New Bloggers
Yes, my sister is one of the new bloggers - she is a professional photographer and after almost twenty years in the Navy, retiring a couple of years ago as a Commander, she is starting her business. She specializes in children's portraiture, and also focuses on stock photography and does the occasional wedding as well. Her artistic photos are some of my favorites! So, here are the sites:
If you are a newbie to photography, or just want some extra tips on picture-taking, and other items, stop on by to any of these sites!

Also, please visit Erika at The Black Dog Gang blog - she chronicles her adventures in fostering dogs in Missouri - it's an absolutely wonderful site as she does her part locally to help socialize and raise dogs into an adoptable environment for their forever home!
Courtesy of Grace Protzman Photography

About Roma the Dog
My niece put the headband on in this picture, and I... I admit that I did put Roma into the Santa outfit in the second one...

Roma is a mix Vizsla (pronounced Vee-shla), which is a Hungarian hunting dog. She, quite possibly, could be the sweetest dog I've ever been lucky enough to have in my life. Over the years, my husband and I have done our fair share of picking up stray dogs running in traffic, tracking down the owner, or finding a new home for them. We love dogs and were planning to get one soon, but we wanted to make sure we were ready to have a dog.

One rainy day in Florida about three years ago, my husband asked me to come out to the backyard.  I work from home and was in between conference calls, so I traipsed out from my office, and lo and behold, he had this very thin dog standing there with him.  She wagged her tail at me, and I immediately fell in love with her sweet eyes and face.

It turns out that my husband found her on an incredibly busy street, randomly walking around from one trash pile to another. Had she stepped four feet to the left, she would have found herself in the middle of two-way traffic traveling at 45 miles an hour at least.  My husband picked her up and put her into the car. She either must have been neglected or she was a stray for quite some time - the flea collar with no tags on it had grown into her skin and she had absolutely no hair on her chest. She was underweight by about twenty pounds.  I had to cut her collar off of her in order to get it off.

We chose to think that she had been a stray for quite some time, instead of thinking that she was neglected to give the previous owners the benefit of the doubt. We did everything we could to find them:
  1. We took her to the vet to see if there was a chip in her
  2. We posted flyers.
  3. We posted online.
No response. She also got along with the cat from the very first day (who normally hates all dogs), to the point where Puppy the Cat (yes, his name is Puppy), would cuddle and sleep with her. We had a decision to make. We both knew what we wanted, we just had to say it out loud.

So we did. We decided to keep her and were lucky to have her as part of our lives. We named her Roma since my husband and I both love Italy, and it turns out that the name sweetly suits her wonderful personality.

During this cold winter, please remember that you can help the strays that you see. If you see a dog, take the time to call the local authorities that help in getting the animal so it's not hurt. And when you're ready for a dog, visit your local shelter first - they have an abundant availability of amazing dogs and cats so you don't have to pay the hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to buy a dog. And most importantly, analyze whether or not you have the time and resources to have a pet depend on you - can you spend the time to take them to the vet, get food for them, and just pay attention to them? Remember, a dog isn't supposed to be outside all day long - they are part of your family.

Your local animal shelters need your help to make sure that dogs like Roma are cared for and saved before they are hurt by a car, or just neglected. Dogs become what we teach them to be. In this case below, Santa's little helper.

Courtesy of Grace Protzman Photography
Happy Reading,
Coffee and a Book Chick


  1. Awww Roma is so so cute! And your sister's photography is amazing!

  2. She is a very sweet dog indeed. I love a good rescue story.

  3. Oh my those pictures are awesome!!

    Say, how are you liking Bury the Dead?

  4. Rebecca - Thanks so much for stopping by! Roma is a cutie, I must admit. :) I've watched Grace's photography just grow over the years - a wedding that she recently photographed in Key West this summer was unbelievable!

    Trish - Roma's definitely one of the best. It's not often that we hear of a good rescue story, and you're right, I love to hear them, too!

    Michelle (Red Headed Book Child - Thanks! It's all my sister! Bury Your Dead is really good - I do wish that I had read the earlier books as it's part of a series, but I'm getting into it now. I'm a little sidetracked though, because I got a Nook Color for Christmas and am into The Passage right now, too! But, Bury Your Dead has all of the elements I enjoy - snow in the setting, distant town, murder, mystery. Perfect!

  5. Roma is just adorable - somehow I think it was meant for her to be with you and Jason.

  6. She has got to have the sweetest face I've ever seen. She was meant to find you, you know. And I will definitely check out these blogs...becoming a new blogger is an overwhelming experience!

  7. bermudaonion - I agree! And Jason & I are very lucky to have her!

    Sandy -- I have her picture posted everywhere; when I travel for work, she literally just melts my heart! And thanks for hopping by to the two blogs - they are starting out and definitely have a lot of wonderful things to share! I'm sure any encouragement from some kick butt bloggers will be well-received! Thank you!!

  8. That is the one of the most precious faces ever! We rescued our dog from a shelter and would never buy a dog either. If I could I have many dogs. Congrats to your sister on retiring and starting a new business. Good luck :)

  9. Oh, Roma is so cute!!

    I tried audiobooks, and I can't get into them. I hope you enjoyed your first audiobook.

  10. Roma is adorable, and she looks like a smaller, more feminine version of my very own slavering beast, also a rescue!

  11. what an expressive face! kudos to your sis on capturing her so beautifully! as for animals, i'm with you and feel that they should be treated as a part of the family. my husband and i recently rescued a dog who escaped from a fenced backyard on to a super busy 4-lane highway. we pulled over, i jumped out and managed to grab the little pom before it ran into traffic. the owners came running (and screaming) and i was able to give the little guy back with no problem. sadly, we were the only car to pull over even though several in front of us saw this dog running. i guess sometimes people wait for others to take action. :(

    off to check out the new links!

  12. This is a wonderful post with a very important message. My husband and I are huge dog lovers (we have two of our own), and I'm always happy to see people willing to go the extra mile to care for animals.

    Roma is beautiful :)

  13. There is a very cute pic on the blog you mention here and I commented there. Roma is in a Christmas outfit. Just adorable!!

    Roma is so lucky to have you both and Puppy (lol! what a name :))

  14. What a lovely story. Roma is gorgeous. She was obviously destined to be yours.

  15. Roma is lovely. The 'happy new year' picture of her really made me smile :)

    I agree so much about getting pets from shelters rather than pet shops. We found our kitten through the vets - someone had taken in a pregnant stray and needed homes for the kittens. Whenever I have been in an actual pet shop, the kittens and puppies especially just look so cramped and miserable.

    I do try to post some personal stuff every now and again. For me it's hard to find the right balance as I'm a teacher and therefore don't want to publish anything I wouldn't want the children in my class to know. Which does restrict a little bit. Kitten posts are fine though :)

  16. A wonderful story about Roma -- she is just too sweet! Love the Santa outfit and the New Year's headband... and that she'd actually let you put those on her! My dog flips out in anything but his winter coat (from L.L. Bean, no less -- he dresses better than I do).

    My golden retriever is a rescue and was 40 pounds underweight and neglected when he was saved from a high-kill shelter in Delaware. A friend of my dad's has a horse ranch and brings dogs there until she can find homes for them... and Rudy just waltzed right into our lives! He absolutely loves people, and I can't imagine who chose not to feed him and then abandoned him... makes me so angry. Thank goodness there are good people out there to care for these little guys!

  17. That sentence: "Had she stepped four feet to the left" gave me the shivers. You are all so lucky!

    Have to check out those sites.Thanks.

  18. Congratulations on your newest family member, how lucky you all found each other. We were lucky enough to add a new family member as well. An adorable mini-pinscher we named Annie, rescued from the streets of Las Vegas (where my brother is from). Thanks for making people aware of the need to adopt from shelters.

  19. Roma is a beautiful dog, and I am so glad that she ended up with you guys, because you surely know how to love her and treat her right. We always opt to adopt from the pet shelter when we can and have a great dog named Boogie that is perfect and oh so lovable that was once a shelter dog. I am also going to have to check out these great new blogs you posted. Thanks for the info, and for the adorable pictures of Roma!

  20. Thanks all who have stopped by my website and / or Facebook page. I really do appreciate it. As far as Roma is concerned, my family wants to keep her for ourselves. She's as sweet as she looks in the pictures which I had fun taking.

  21. What a beautiful dog! I'm so happy you found each other! I Thoroughly enjoyed your post and the directs to The Black Dog Gang mission and your sister's photo site. Lawd knows my photos skills need much improving! Looking forward to the tips and the adventures of The Black Dog Gang too.

  22. What a sweet story ... she was lucky to find you, and it sounds like she's rewarded you with much love! There are not many dogs that would tolerate being dressed up like this!!

  23. how wonderful that she found such a happy loving home. puppy might be the cutest name for a cat ever...

  24. What a beautiful dog...such an expressive face! She's so lucky to have found you and your husband. And congrats to your sister!