Handy Resources for Moving with Pets – Sans Stress

By guest blogger, Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends

Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash

Moving can be ruff, especially for pet parents. You may be worried about keeping your furkids safe and happy, all while trying to find the purr-fect home and plan a stress-free move. I’m here to let you in on a few secrets that will set your mind at ease and help you keep your move organized from start to happy tails. Let’s dive in!

You Need a New Home

 Obviously, this is going to be the first step you take. The good news is that finding a home with pets in mind isn’t that different than doing so without. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Even in the pandemic, buying a home can be safe and as low stress as possible.
  • The upside to using virtual tools to tour homes is that your furkids can take a look, too!
  • Any home that makes you and your budget happy will be perfect for your pets, as well.
  • If you have aging pets, you may want to buy a new home that doesn’t have stairs.

You Need to Start Packing and Planning

Hopefully, that first step was simple enough. Next, you will want to begin packing your belongings and planning out your move. Keep these tips in mind to keep your pets calm:

  • Feline family members can be sensitive to change, including packing.
  • Your pups will also need some reassurance and planning to avoid anxiety.
  • For all pets, pack their essentials last and unpack them with your day-of box.
  • Your kitties are also going to need some basics to stay healthy on the road.
  • Although many hotels are pet-friendly, confirm their policies before you book.

You Need to Help Pets Feel at Home, Too

All of the stressful parts of your move are done. Well, stressful for you anyhow because moving to a new home can also be stressful for your pets. You can soothe their stress by:

  • De-stressing yourself — because your pets will pick up on your moods and anxieties.
  • Maybe make yourself a big and tasty pancake as a treat for surviving the move.
  • You can even share with your pets but remember that some human foods are toxic.
  • Upon arrival, start by allowing your pets to explore one room and then go from there.
  • If your pets still seem anxious after a few weeks, it may be time to talk with a vet.

These are all of the resources and tips you need to ensure a smooth and low-stress move with your pets. As a fellow pet parent, I can say that the most important things to keep in mind are that change can be hard for animals, but patience can go a long way. Pair that patience with positivity and planning to give your pets everything they need.

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Thank you, Jessica, for all the great info. For resources, stories and some cute animal pics, you can visit Jessica’s website, Our Best Friends.

For another great resource on moving with dogs, check out this post on Fluent Woof!

It’s Zaturday – A Perfect Job!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Ziggy here. Actually, it’s Zaturday night, so we’re really late. But it’s not our fault. Zorro and I write our own posts, but we still need Mommy around to turn on the computer. Mommy was gone all day, though. Daddy even ate dinner without her. When we asked her about our post, she said she forgot. How could she forget about our Zaturday post?

Usually Mommy works at home. She says she’s writing books. But sometimes she goes to another job. This week, that happened a whole bunch. Zorro and I don’t like it when she goes to that other job, because she leaves us. Sometimes we’re home alone all day.

It’s fun, though, when Mommy is writing. A lot of times, she sits down at the dining room table with her computer. I’m not allowed on the table. But if Mommy is really thinking about what she’s doing, she doesn’t notice me, and I’m able to sneak up on the table and lie down behind her computer.

Zorro likes to get up in her lap when she writes. Sometimes he sits up and watches her. He pretends he knows what she’s writing, but I wonder if he can really read it.

Our favorite place is North Carolina. Mommy writes out in the special room she and Aunt Kim caged in for us. Mommy really likes it out there, and we do too. While Mommy writes, we watch the birds and squirrels. We get to hang out with Mommy and be in our favorite place, all at the same time.

Zorro and I think writing is a perfect job. We’re pretty lucky to have a (mostly) stay-at-home Mommy.


New Year’s Resolutions – Succeed by Keeping them Realistic

2020 goals
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I just googled “Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions” and found several that appeared on almost everyone’s list.

  1. Lose weight (on every list I checked)
  2. Get in shape (a/k/a exercise more)
  3. Get organized
  4. Spend less/save more
  5. Quit smoking
  6. Learn a new skill or hobby
  7. Spend more time with family and friends
  8. Travel more
  9. Enjoy/live life to the fullest
  10. Adopt a healthier lifestyle (i.e., reduce stress, sleep more, eat healthier)

These are all great goals. Unfortunately, for most people, they fall by the wayside pretty early in the year. (Strava, the social network for athletes, analyzed 31.5 million global activities online and found that January 12 is the date when most people report failing their resolution.)

To-do list
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

I’m more of a planner than a resolutions kind of girl. I live by to-do lists. We all hear that goals need to be S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). I’m great at goal-setting, but not so hot at the “attainable” and “realistic” parts of the formula. So I take my to-do lists a step further and put everything into daily schedules. Extreme, I know, but it works for me. I tend to be overly optimistic on what I can accomplish, and when I break the day or week down by hours, it becomes quite clear that I’ve got way more on my to-do list than can possibly be accomplished by one person (and still hope to get any sleep). I also find that some of the items on the resolutions list above, like exercise, spending time with family and friends and enjoying life to the fullest, don’t happen if I don’t consciously schedule them in.

My New Year’s routine starts with making a list of what I hope to accomplish during the year. I’m currently in the midst of three different writing projects. I’ve plotted and done research for a series for Love Inspired Suspense set in Pensacola, Florida. I’ve discussed it with my editor and was in the process of putting together the official proposal when I was asked to write a book for a K-9 search and rescue series (also Love Inspired Suspense). So the Pensacola one will be put on the back burner until I finish the SAR book. I also got my rights back to my first Love Inspired Suspense series and will be editing those books and writing two more, expanding the original three-book series into five books, then indie publishing them.

Here’s what my “Year at a Glance” tab looks like.

Yearly schedule

Three of the column headings are the projects I mentioned above. The others are social media/promo, business, and other engagements. During this initial planning process, I realize that about one third of what I hope to accomplish will have to be pushed into the following year.

When I finish a rough overview of each month, I move to the next stage. Using a calendar, I plug in appointments, speaking engagements, recreation, etc., then figure my daily output on my writing projects, allowing for knocking off at a reasonable time to go bike riding or hit the gym with hubby. This is the point at which I realize I’m still being overly optimistic and have to spread the tasks out a little further. I’m now finished with the first three months. I won’t complete the calendar for the second quarter until I see what has to be moved from the first.

Strategic planning, 1st quarter

So there you have it. I’m making it public. During 2020, I hope to complete two and a half books for Love Inspired Suspense. In my indie-pubbed series, I plan to finish revisions on two books and write one new book. That is all barring the unexpected. Unfortunately, there is ALWAYS the unexpected. That’s what the “cut and paste” function is for.

Event of a Lifetime (or at least a decade)

Last week, most of America tuned in for a spectacular celestial show. I don’t remember ever being this excited about an eclipse. Then again, I’ve never had the opportunity to experience a total one.

I was blessed to have family right in the path of totality. So the Saturday before the big event, hubby and I loaded up the cat and dog and our solar glasses and headed for Murphy, North Carolina. When we hit Atlanta, it looked like everyone else was doing the same thing.



The next day, the rest of the crew arrived—my daughter and son-in-law from Connecticut, my son-in-law’s parents from Louisiana, and my two critique partners from Florida. Karen, my one CP, bought T-shirts to commemorate the event, so the day of the eclipse, we three writers were decked out in our matching eclipse T-shirts.

By noon on Monday, the whole gang was ready with our lawn chairs and NASA-approved solar glasses. We’d even cut some of the extra glasses apart and used the filters for our cameras.




Then it started, the first bite out of the sun. It didn’t take long to notice an appreciable difference in temperature. When we were setting up the lawn chairs, it was blazing hot. It felt more like Florida than North Carolina. But once the eclipse started, the temperature became quite comfortable.








The sliver of sun got smaller and smaller. Then came totality, and we were able to take our glasses off. All that was visible was the corona around the sun, which can be viewed with the naked eye. It’s only visible during a total eclipse.

The difference between partial and total is like night and day. Literally. For almost two and a half minutes, it was dark. The cicadas even got confused and all started chirping. Then the sun started to reappear, and the glasses went back on.

In the seconds preceding and following totality, if you lay a white sheet on the ground, you can see light waves moving across it. While we were filming it, my daughter’s dog had to get in on the action.

I have to say, I didn’t stay outside for all of the last half of the eclipse. It was the same thing we had already witnessed, except in reverse. But that two and a half minutes of totality is something I’ll never forget. In fact, we’re already making plans for our next one, which will take place on April 8, 2024. Unfortunately, I don’t have family in the path of this one. But we’re thinking about Hot Springs, Arkansas…

Freedom is Never Free


All gave some; some gave all

Today, all over America people will honor the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. With a son-in-law who is in his 20th year with the Navy, a brother-in-law who retired from the Air Force, and a dear friend who finished 27 years with the Army, I am especially touched by the sacrifices our soldiers and their families make on a daily basis.

One especially poignant picture that gets posted frequently around this time of year makes me cry every time I see it. It depicts Katherine Cathey lying on an air mattress in front of her fallen Marine’s casket. She’s staring at her laptop screen, listening to songs that remind her of him. She had asked to sleep near him one last time before his burial the following day. The Marines made a bed for her and, at her request, stood watch through the night.

As we participate in our Memorial Day activities–cookouts, parades  and other commemorative events–let’s remember not only those who have fallen, but also those who are still serving. Pray for our soldiers.

Meanwhile, I hope you’ll grab a tissue and check out these seven heartwarming veterans stories in honor of Memorial Day.

Help for Rough Times

Whenever I’m going through rough times, I often think, “Will this even be an issue a year from now? Usually the answer is no. Oftentimes the things that worry me and so occupy my thoughts today have resolved themselves within six, two, even one month, and new concerns have taken their place.

Julie Jobe has a better question, which is represented by the acronym DIME–“Does it matter eternally?” Yesterday, on her blog, “Redeemed Hope Dweller,” she shared about one of those kinds of days we’ve all had, where everything seems to go wrong, and how a radio program unexpectedly put everything into perspective. It was a great post that really made me think. You can check it out here.

Coloring – Not Just for Kids

On Mother’s Day, I received the usual flowers and sweet card from my hubby.

But this time, he got me something different – an adult coloring book. It’s titled Color Me Fearless and is split into seven themed sections: Courage, Strength, Resilience, Confidence, Power, Adventure and Freedom. This desert scene with cacti represents resilience. Very fitting, wouldn’t you say?







These designs are in the “Freedom” section:









I got my first coloring book (as an adult) and a set of 24 colored pencils this past Christmas. It was pretty cool, because I was visiting my sister in North Carolina, and she got one, too. We spent our evenings that week playing games and coloring. Two things we quickly discovered that had changed since we colored as children were the complexity of the designs and our visual acuity.


My sister, the ingenious person that she is, figured out a way around those obstacles – jeweler’s lenses. That’s what I call someone who is serious about her coloring!

I thought I had outgrown coloring by the time I reached my first double digit birthday, but in recent months, I’ve been hearing a lot about its benefits. I find it very relaxing and a great way to enhance creativity. But coloring isn’t just for creative people.  Researchers have recognized the benefits of coloring on the adult brain for over 100 years. Here’s a very informative post on the subject that Wellness Mama did a couple of weeks ago.

What about you? Have you gotten into the coloring craze? Gel pens or colored pencils? Any favorite books?