Happy Birthday Lily! 11 years young today!

Lily, April 2012

Lily at the back door, getting ready for playtime in the yard. April 2012

On March 25th, 2002, Miss Lily Ann McCollister was born. With her white fur, tan spots, perky ears, and beautiful (and now toothless) smile, Lily continues to bring incredible joy to our lives. She may be turning 11 today, but she has incredible spirit, and still loves exploring all that the world has to offer.

Meg with Lily & Cousteau

Lily and Cousteau “circling” Mommy while on a hike in Tomales Bay, Mar. 2013

Family photo while hiking on Ring Mountain, Jan. 1, 2013. Clockwise from top left: Jake, Meg, Lily & Cousteau

I will always be grateful for KCREGAP (Kansas City REtired Greyhounds As Pets) for matching us with our little girl. Both Lily and Cousteau are so much fun, and we’ve continued to be involved with greyhound rescue ever since. If you are thinking of rescuing a dog, I highly recommend considering a greyhound. Nicknamed the “40mph couch potatoes,” they are gentle, loving creatures. After hard lives on the track, they simply want a human to love and a soft pillowly surface to sleep on (which is typically most of the day!). Please visit www.kcregap.org if you live in the Kansas City area, or www.greyhoundfriendsforlife.org if you live on the West Coast. Both of these groups do incredible advocacy work for greyhounds, and they always have greyhounds in need of a forever home.

We’re so excited to celebrate Lily’s 11 years today. She is a spoiled little girl, but she’s so darn cute, we just can’t help ourselves. Happy Birthday Lily!


For Aunt Kathie

Aunt Kathie is Lily and Cousteau’s “Aunt” in Kansas City. Kathie is a greyhound rescuer, REGAP volunteer, and foster mom. She was Lily’s foster mom before we adopted her, and she has since adopted the name “Aunt Kathie” since she sat for our kiddos often when we lived in Kansas City.

Well, Lily and Cousteau have been running around the house “naked” lately (meaning, without their collars), and Aunt Kathie wasn’t very happy about that. SO, being the good mommy that I am, I have put their collars back on.

Aunt Kathie, this one’s for you!

For those of you who are not familiar with greyhounds, they are absolutely the sweetest and most loving dogs I’ve ever known. They have very difficult lives while in the racing industry, yet still make amazing companions despite their hardships. Please consider rescuing a retired racer. You can visit your local greyhound rescue group, or visit one of the following groups we’ve worked with: Kansas City REGAP www.kcregap.org, and Wine Country Greyhounds www.winecountrygreyhounds.com.

My Beautiful Babies: Lily & Cousteau

Most of you know that Jake and I have two beautiful greyhounds, Lily and Cousteau, who we often refer to as “the kids.” Lily just turned 10 in March, and Cousteau turned 3 in October. Both came to us through the rescue group Kansas City REGAP (Retired Greyhounds As Pets).

Lily came to us first. When we set out to rescue our “first-born” back in the summer of 2009, we came across the rescue group at a Petsmart one day. After meeting greyhounds for the first time and getting to know the REGAP volunteers, we definitely felt that greyhounds would be a good fit for us. Sure enough, about a month and an application later, we walked into the group’s kennel, Pooches Paradise, and met Lily. It couldn’t have been 10 seconds before she looked at us, leaned against Jake’s leg, and said, “Okay, you’re taking me home now!” We didn’t stand a chance, and it was one of the best decisions we ever made!

So fast forward to January 2011. Lily was (and still is) such a perfect angel, and we had started fostering with the group. The first 3 fosters were darn close to perfect. They were all sweet, loving, well-behaved, and really difficult to let go of when they got adopted. It was the first Tuesday of the year, and Lily and I drove over to Pooches to meet a new boy that we were going to foster. We weren’t planning to take him home that night, but I wanted Lily to meet him to make sure he was acceptable to her standards. He was. So much so, that she looked up at me and said, “Mommy, I hate to break it to you, but we’re taking him home tonight.” At some point you’d think I had enough will power to tell my little girl “no,” but of course, I do not.

So that night, we took home Cousteau, a beautiful brindle boy. He had way too much energy, carried our throw pillows around the house, and was terrible at walking on a leash. None of those things changed, but pretty soon, we adopted our second child. Now they are like two peas in a pod. They really have nothing in common, except that they are both beautiful, lazy, loving greyhounds. However, they complement each other well, and together, they make up the perfect pair of canine children.

I highly recommend rescuing a greyhound. They are fast, yes, but mostly they just like to lay around and be loved. Lily and Cousteau have been absolute blessings for us, and every single person I know with a greyhound feels the same way. They truly are angels.

In Kansas City, you can contact KCREGAP at www.kcregap.org for more information. In the wine country here in California, you can contact Wine Country Greyhound Adoption at www.winecountrygreyhounds.com.

My Beautiful Birthday Girl: Happy 10th Birthday Lily!

Today, my little Lily turns 10 years young. We adopted her almost 3 years ago from a rescue group in Kansas City called Retired Greyhounds As Pets (REGAP). Well actually, she picked us. As our “firstborn” greyhound, she is a bit spoiled, but she is such a perfect little girl. For her birthday, she is spending the day being extra lazy, though I suppose that’s nothing new. Perhaps her goal today is to see if she can be more lazy than usual. It’s a hefty goal! But I’ll bet she can do it. For example, this is Lily on the love seat this morning…

Here are some photos of little missy and her very busy year. She became a big sister just over a year ago to our little boy, Cousteau. She made a cross-country move to California. She’s been to the beach.

It’s been a wonderful year with my little girl. Here’s hoping for many more:)


Searching for a Cause

Meg has a J.D. in Urban, Land Use and Environmental Law. She focuses on maintaining the balance of community and environmental health, healthy lifestyles, and encouraging sustainable living.

I am absolutely amazed at the different ways you can “give” to charities nowadays. Many people think the only way to be charitable is to donate money to a cause. While this is clearly an important piece of giving to charity, it is not the only way to help support your favorite cause or organization. My family has always been a giving family. My mother helps advise organizations, my uncle helps organizations create strategies, and my grandfather often writes a check to organizations he believes are in great need of financial support. I choose to donate my time. As a recent graduate, it’s certainly more affordable, but it also makes me feel like I’m an active part of supporting my favorite cause.

A few years ago, my husband and I adopted a “retired” greyhound. Our Lily has become such a joy, and she inspired us to volunteer with the local greyhound rescue group in Kansas City, called “REGAP” (Retired Greyhounds As Pets). After volunteering for a few Meet & Greets on the weekends, we then started fostering. Finally, with our 4th foster, we “foster failed,” which means we couldn’t let the little spaz go. Now Cousteau has been with our family for almost a year.

So this all brings me to the point of my title today, “Searching for a Cause.” KC REGAP found this great website where you can do web searches (sort of like Google), shop online, and locate restaurants. Meanwhile, every time you search or shop, you earn money for your designated cause! For example, if I want to search “restaurants in Petaluma,” I simply type it into the search box, click search, and I immediately earn a penny for REGAP just for clicking the search button! I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but imagine how many times you do a web search in a day. Well, if you search 20 times a day, then you can earn $.20 every day for your cause. The shopping section also links you to stores who will donate a certain percent of your total purchase. Such stores include Apple, Amazon, Banana Republic, Nordstrom, and many more. Plus, they have a whole bunch of coupons. It’s really such a great idea for raising money! Here is a link to their site, so you can take a look at it and see if your favorite charity is signed up.

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!

Happy searching!