Archive for Pets Posts

published in Animals, Beauty, Dogs, Greeting Cards, Inspiration, Pets, Photos by Maryanne | February 12, 2017 | No Comment

For the Love of Dogs – Photo Greeting Cards Capture Canine Spirit


Dog card #1: Soda in the bushes

“Dogs do speak but only to those who know how to listen.”

– Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red

Do you know a dog-lover?

Then you might find our delightful dog photo greeting cards of interest! They make a perfect card to send to someone who loves dogs 🙂

Created by Maryanne Pope of Pink Gazelle Productions, these 5 photo greeting cards beautifully capture the canine spirit of Maryanne’s beloved dogs (past and present): Sable, Soda & Sadie.

Here are the 4 remaining cards in the 5-pack of dog cards:


Dog card #2: Sable & Soda in snow


Dog Card #3: Smiling blind Sable


Dog card #4: Sad Sadie with dog bowl


Happy Sadie on shell beach

To order the cards…

The 5-pack of dog cards are $19.95.

To purchase the cards, please visit the PGP on-line store.

“I don’t really understand that process called reincarnation but if there is such a thing I’d like to come back as my daughter’s dog.”

– Leonard Cohen

Related blogs by Maryanne

Tough Love and the Cone of Cuteness

Remembering Sassy Super-Model Sable Pope

When Caring for a Sick Pet Calls for Sleeping in the Driveway

Sadie’s Story – the Path of a Pet

Blah, Blah, Blah…Ginger

Parenting Pets – Why We Fuss Over Our Furry Friends

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.

published in Animals, Caregiving, Dogs, Pets by Maryanne | May 17, 2016 | 5 Comments

 Sadie’s Story – The Path of a Pet


Sad Sadie with food bowl 2015

A very serious-looking Sadie, patiently waiting for her supper

 “No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.”

 – Christopher Morley

 I find if fascinating how animals find their way into our lives.

Sable as a puppy on grass

Sable Pope at 7 weeks, 1997

My super-model Shepherd-cross, Sable, was given to me and John as a belated wedding present of all things. She arrived in our lives as a 7-week old barfing little ball of black and tan fur that proceeded to chew everything in sight, including my pant leg – while I was in said pants, trying to walk.

Soda in sunshine

Soda, age 13, 2013

Soda, also a Shepherd-cross but with a figure more like that of a sturdy farm girl than a slender super-model, found her way to me as a 1-year old dog in dire need of a home. As a puppy, Soda had been found abandoned by the side of a country road and then spent the first of year of her life on a farm – fed and watered but not particularly wanted or loved.

MA Sable and Soda 2001

Soda, MA and Sable, 2001

My friends and family tease me and say that if a dog is lucky enough to end up in my life, they have won the lottery…it doesn’t get much better 🙂

After Soda passed away in 2014, her vet said to me, “Nature abhors a vacuum, Maryanne. You won’t be without a pet long, unless you want to be.”

Sure enough, Sadie, a 5-year-old Retriever found her way to me 9 months later.

Sadie at Dominion Brook Park with white flowers May 2015

Sadie, 2015

Sadie belonged to friends of mine and although they loved and cared for her, she just wasn’t the best fit. And I totally get that. A pet has to be a right fit with the owners and their circumstances. A dog like Sadie needs a lot of attention. She is a retriever through and through; she lives to retrieve the ball. Which means someone has to be throwing said ball…over and over again.

Sadie’s story is interesting. Her original name was “Miricle.” I don’t know why the word ‘miracle’ was misspelled but it makes sense why she got the name. Legend has it that after she and her sibling puppies were born, the Momma stepped on and killed every single puppy – except her. It was a miracle she survived.

Her first owner kept her for two or three years and then ran out of time, energy and money to care for her, so she ended up being taken by my friends – and they renamed her Sadie.

Two years later, Sadie found her way to me. And what a miracle she’s been in my life. We go to the beach every day where she loves to swim. We go on lots of walks and hikes and just hang out. Whenever I leave her at home on her own for awhile, the greeting I get upon my return is over-the-top welcoming. She races up, tail wagging and makes these weird little gurgling sounds. It’s hilarious!

And I love waking up in the morning and hearing her snoring softly on the floor. Or if she’s up first, I will open my eyes to see her sitting beside my bed, ball in mouth, patiently waiting.

Sadie with ball at Kitty Coleman

In terms of her ball-obsession, we have a pretty good system worked out so that she gets her ball-fix and I still get some work done. I’ve even come to admire the seriousness with which she approaches ball-throwing.

sadie with ball in flower pot

Sadie placing ball in flower pot

When I’m working in the garden, she is very strategic about where she drops the ball. She puts a lot of thought into making sure the ball is placed in a location where I will see it as soon as possible…a nearby flower pot, the grass, a chair or the swing. And if I don’t see it quite fast enough, she will nod towards it then look back at me.

Her patient, methodical, relentlessness is rather impressive – perhaps because those are the exact same qualities I have to have as a writer.

And on that note, Sadie knows not to bother me when I am writing. But on occasion, when I am still working on my laptop long after the timer has gone off, she will bring her ball over to my laptop and drop it on the keyboard. This drives me bonkers – but nine times out of ten, she’s right: it is time for me to take a break.

Sadie with squirrel stuffie

Sadie and her favourite stuffed squirrel

Although she is 6 now, she loves to make her toys squeak – the louder, the better. Her favourite squeak toy is her stuffed squirrel; the burger a close second. I will often hear her squeaking away to her heart’s content in another room. Thankfully, however, the squeak-sessions don’t last long.

As for the morning yoga sessions in my living room, let’s just say that Sadie has added a whole new dimension to my yoga practice. Sometimes when I am doing a downward dog on my yoga mat, Sadie will come up beside me and do her rendition of a downward dog (which is far more authentic than mine, obviously), as if to say, “Actually…this is how it’s done.”

As for the ball-placement during yoga? Well, just like in the garden, the ball gets placed as strategically as possible – for Sadie’s benefit. Sometimes she manages to roll the ball so that it stops beneath my bottom when I’m not looking. But when I go to sit back down, it certainly gets my attention. Or she will drop the ball on my chest when I am doing a reclined spinal twist…that gets my attention, too. She’s even dropped it on my back when I was doing a plank pose!

Anyway, I won’t natter on any longer. There’s nothing worse than a person going on and on about their damn pet 🙂

But I would love to hear (honestly!) how your pet found its way into your life and/or any funny quirks they might have.

Related blogs by Maryanne:

Tough Love and the Cone of Cuteness

Remembering Sassy Super-Model Sable Pope

When Caring for a Sick Pet Calls for Sleeping in the Driveway

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here.




Why Mothering Matters: Thirteen Things My Momma Taught Me


photo of MA & Mom in paddleboat

Mary G Pope (Momma Pope) & Maryanne, 1973

 “The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children.”

– Elaine Heffner

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I got to thinking about all the fantastic life lessons my Mom taught me over the years – in her own weird, wonderful and highly effective way.

So I jotted them down in this blog and thought this would be a perfect way to kick-off the Mothering Matters 2016 blog series.

Here are the 13 things I learned from my Mom (a.k.a. Momma Pope):

1. A love of animals

We always had pets growing up. And my Mom always took me with her to the vet whenever we had to take a pet in…sometimes even when the time came for a beloved pet to be put down. I learned to love and respect animals, how to care for them properly and treat them kindly – and when to let them go 🙁

2. A love of theatre

My Mom loved to go to the theatre to see plays and musicals…and she always took me. From a very young age, I grew to cherish that moment right before a play begins – when the theatre lights dim and you just never knew what was going to happen on stage. It is perhaps no surprise that I became a playwright.

3. A love of travel

Momma Pope loved to travel – and she usually took me with her. But not always. Sometimes she went on her own…and now that I’m older and on my own, I totally get that. As fun, exciting and interesting as travel can be, it can also be challenging, expensive and exhausting. Learning the ropes as a young traveler is a heck of a lot easier than when you’re an old fart.

4. Proper nutrition

My Mom was a nurse and did a stint in community health – so she knew the importance of balanced nutrition. To this day, I cannot eat a dinner that does not include vegetables and I have to have fruit and some sort of protein for breakfast.

5. The importance of strong interpersonal skills and making people feel welcome

Growing up, my Mom and her Mom (my Grandma, Nan Nan) liked to have tea parties in our home. And since I was the only girl in the family, guess who got to serve all the ladies their tea & cookies? What this did, however, was teach me, at an early age, how to interact with people who were not my family or friends. This early exposure to dealing with people has come in very handy over the years. I can network a room like nobody’s business and I know how to make guests feel welcome in my home.

6. The importance of getting away

When life was getting too hectic, my Mom had the wisdom to get away – even if it meant just staying at a local hotel for a night or two. Time away from home often helps give one a different perspective.

7. How to handle money

I learned the money basics from my Mom early in life: saving, investing, staying clear of debt and living within your means. But I must confess to not necessarily practicing them very well…at least, not until circumstances forced me to. My Mother was a shopper through and through – but as much as she loved buying shoes, she loved buying stocks more.

8. Do the most important thing FIRST in the day

Then it’s done!

9. Gratitude

Be thankful for all that you have…and write a thank you card when someone gives you a gift.

10. Independence

Momma Pope was a single Mom. She ran the roost. She ran her own life. She handled her own money. She worked full time and raised kids. My Mother did what she had to do – and what she wanted to do. This may help explain why I have been single for so many years…which is not necessarily a good thing. I have much to learn about how to compromise 🙂

11. Learning is a lifelong process

My Mom was still taking University adult-education courses in her seventies.

12. Stay active

I was very fortunate to be able to do all sorts of sports when I was a kid and young adult: soccer, downhill and cross-country skiing, ballet, basketball, badminton, etc. I don’t do those particular sports much anymore but I do keep active on a daily basis: walking, hiking, yoga and dancing. Movement is life

13. Get out into nature

I remember hiking in the mountains when I was six. They weren’t necessarily big hikes we went on – just enough to get us out into nature, burn off a little steam and eat yummy trail mix. Hiking is still how I spend the majority of my weekends – trail mix and all. I just add more chocolate chips.

And since I was the youngest, after my brothers had left home I got stuck doing the bulk of the gardening. I wasn’t too fussed about it at the time but it sure comes in handy now, caring for my own garden…and somewhere along the way I learned to love it.

14. Bonus (sort of ): Listen to your conscience

Momma Pope was unbelievably good at making us kids feel GUILT. As a result, all four of us have an extremely strong (and loud) conscience. This can be a real pain in the ass at times – because let’s face it, life is a heck of a lot easier if you don’t always listen to that little voice inside your head telling you what is right and what is wrong.

But, as our Mom also taught us, life isn’t supposed to be easy. Yes, it can be lots of fun and a great adventure at times. But if we want a better world, then we have to help make that happen…one good decision at a time.

MA & Mom at dining room table

Maryanne & her Mom, 1998

I would love to hear some of the things YOUR Mom taught you, so shoot me an e-mail if you like!

mothering matters logo 2011

To learn more about the Mothering Matters blog series and/or to subscribe, please click here.

Related blogs by Maryanne:

When a Fear Demands to Be Faced

Even the Best Parties Have to End

My Way

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, please sign up here.