Posts tagged ‘Heather Kalinowski’

Hero Dog Awards 2014 – and a fun trip to Los Angeles

Susie winnerMy daughter Heather works for Trupanion, a pet insurance company based in Seattle, WA.  They sponsored one of the finalists of the Hero Dog Awards held in Los Angeles this year and Heather was in charge of making all the arrangements for her company for the event.  Since it fell on her son Declan’s first birthday, she asked if I would go with her so she could take Declan and be with him on his birthday.  What a fun trip it was!

Declans first plane ride

Declans first plane ride

Off we flew to the Beverly Hilton where we were met with a nice bottle of Champaign and a platter of assorted fruit, courtesy of the hotel.

s 013s 014Our first night we met my niece and her husband (who, it just so happened, were honeymooning at the same hotel) and went to the Hotel Bel Air for dinner. (One more check off of my bucket list!)

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The next morning, as Heather was whisked off to an event, Declan and I enjoyed our coffee on the veranda.

s 029We managed to get a few pictures with some of the Hero Dog Award finalists.

Declan with Bretagne, winner of the Search and Rescue catagory

Declan with Bretagne, winner of the Search and Rescue category

Over her long career, Bretagne has made a significant contribution to the search and rescue community through her many deployments including the World Trade Center after 9/11, the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and Hurricane Rita in 2005. She now continues as an ambassador for search and rescue dogs as she visits elementary schools where she helps first graders learn to read.

Heather and Declan with Susie, winner of the Therapy Dog category, and Hero Dog Award 2014

Heather and Declan with Susie, winner of the Therapy Dog category, and Hero Dog Award of 2014

A puppy that was set on fire and a woman who suffered a brutal dog attack became a dedicated team that eventually changed North Carolina animal-cruelty laws. Susie the Pit Bull mix began life with terror and pain when she was beaten, burned, and abandoned. Susie and her owner both triumphed over pain and fear to become voices for abused animals that have no voice. They visit hospitals, schools, and nursing homes to inspire people never to give up.

Heather with Kota, winner of the Law Enforcement Dog catagory

Heather with Kota, winner of the Law Enforcement Dog category

A member of the Winchester, Virginia police force, this dog was injured by an eight-foot fall while responding to a burglary in progress. Undeterred, he helped his fellow officers finish the call, fighting with a severely fractured limb to ensure their safety.

Heather with Xena, winner in the Emerging Hero Dog category along with the owners.  Xena is the dog that Trupanion sponsored.

Heather with Xena, winner in the Emerging Hero Dog category.  Xena is the dog that Trupanion sponsored.

This pit bull was knocking on death’s door when she was brought into a Georgia shelter outside Atlanta. Emaciated and dehydrated, she was given just a one percent chance at survival. Unbelievably, she defied the odds, made a full recovery and was adopted by a family with a little boy with autism. Before, the child had closed himself off to the world, but the arrival of Xena sparked something in the child, and now he went from once silent to constantly singing to and chatting with Xena the Warrior Puppy.

We had some free time to enjoy the beautiful pool

Enjoying my niece and her husbands cabana by the pool!

Enjoying my niece and her husbands cabana by the pool!

We even got to take a stroll along Rodeo Drive!

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Aww yes, the LA life!

Ahh yes, the LA life!

Soon it was time for the Award Ceremony.

Heather on the Red Carpet

Heather on the Red Carpet

There were lots of celebrities attending who support the cause.

Heather with Pauley Perrette (Abby from NCIS).  She is a wonderful supporter of the Hero Dog Awards

Heather with Pauley Perrette (Abby from NCIS). She is a wonderful supporter of the Hero Dog Awards

Our last morning in LA, Heather, Declan and I went to Chateau Marmont for brunch.

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A pretty fancy place for Declan to spend his first birthday

A pretty fancy place for Declan to spend his first birthday

I have to include this picture of Johnny Galecki at Chateau Marmont.  I didn’t actually get to see him but my niece and her husband did who stayed there a few days earlier.  I admit watching The Big Bang Theory is one of my guilty pleasures and I was SO bummed that I missed him 🙂

Johnny Galecki (Leonard from Big Bang Theory) at Chateau Marmont

Johnny Galecki (Leonard from Big Bang Theory) at Chateau Marmont

After a busy and exciting few days in Los Angeles, we were on our way back to Seattle.

Too much for Declan!  Fast asleep on the plane ride home.

Too much for Declan! Fast asleep on the plane ride home.

It was a wonderful trip for a wonderful event!  Besides enjoying all the fun and beautiful things in LA, it was so heartwarming to hear all the stories of these very deserving dogs.

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November 10, 2014 at 8:28 am Leave a comment

Early Christmas with my kids

LJ and dad on their way out for a walk

LJ and dad on their way out for a walk

This year I won’t be able to spend Christmas with my family so my kids and I had an early Christmas.  We gathered at my daughter Heather and family’s home in Lynnwood.  Heathers dad, brother Ben and wife Wendy and their grandson Mason all came.

Mason and LJ playing in the tunnel

Mason and LJ playing in the tunnel

It was fun watching the boys play!

Ben and Wendy enjoying the day

Ben and Wendy enjoying the day

After a nice brunch everyone started opening their presents.

Mason like his Rescue Bots!

Mason likes his Rescue Bots!

LJ playing with his zoo

LJ playing with his zoo

DSC08006We all had a really nice time visiting but the mountain passes were bad and all too soon it was time for Ben and his family to make their way back to Wenatchee.

After they left we all got bundled up and took a walk.

LJ warm and cozy in his new "bear" snowsuit from Ben & Wendy

LJ warm and cozy in his new “bear” snowsuit from Ben & Wendy

After our walk and LJ’s nap, guess which “toy” he decided he liked the best?

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Here’s hoping all of you have a wonderful Christmas this year and are able to spend it with the ones you love.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

December 24, 2012 at 10:36 am Leave a comment

Friday tip of the day – How pet insurance can save you money

Here is a guest post written by my daughter, Heather Kalinowski.   As the mom of a fifteen-month-old boy and two dogs, she is always looking for ways to be thrifty.   She works for Trupanion pet insurance and truly believes in the benefits – both financial and emotional – a pet insurance policy can provide.

Heather_Ava

In today’s economy everyone is looking for ways to save money. For pet owners, saving money requires evaluating even more things, including pet food, grooming costs, boarding or pet sitting expenses, and veterinary care.

dog at vet

Unfortunately, for many pet owners, veterinary care is the biggest thing that digs into the family budget. While expected expenses such as yearly exams, vaccinations, monthly flea medications, and dental care can be easily factored into the budget, the unexpected expenses like major injuries and illnesses can cause a huge amount of financial strain and can lead to heart-breaking decisions.

dog in surgery 2

Pet insurance is one way pet owners can help protect their finances in these difficult situations. When a major medical condition develops in their pet, pet owners with insurance can easily and immediately opt for the best medical treatment available without worry of cost.

When you are trying to be thrifty, it can seem counter-intuitive to pay an insurance company a premium every month on the chance that it will pay off in the end. However, pet owners who cherish their pets as part of the family and who may not be independently wealthy need the financial reassurance that if something catastrophic does happen with their pet, they will be covered.

It makes a lot of sense when you consider how veterinary treatment has advanced in recent years and the increase in expense that comes with those advances. Medical conditions that were once thought to be fatal in pets like cancer and diabetes are now curable with veterinary care that rivals that available to humans.

trupanion insured cat

But if you don’t have the funds to pay for these advanced services, you only have two choices – max out as many credit cards as possible, plunging yourself into debt, or make the heart-wrenching decision to leave your pet untreated. With pet insurance, you don’t have to worry about making this decision – you are financially covered and in the end, you end up saving up to thousands of dollars.

Trupanion insured dog 3

December 21, 2012 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

How Pet Insurance Can Save You Money

Here is a guest post written by my daughter, Heather Kalinowski. As the mom of a five-month-old baby boy and two dogs, she is always looking for ways to be thrifty. She works for Trupanion pet insurance and truly believes in the benefits – both financial and emotional – a pet insurance policy can provide.

In today’s economy everyone is looking for ways to save money. For pet owners, saving money requires evaluating even more things, including pet food, grooming costs, boarding or pet sitting expenses, and veterinary care.

Unfortunately, for many pet owners, veterinary care is the biggest thing that digs into the family budget. While expected expenses such as yearly exams, vaccinations, monthly flea medications, and dental care can be easily factored into the budget, the unexpected expenses like major injuries and illnesses can cause a huge amount of financial strain and can lead to heart-breaking decisions.

Pet insurance is one way pet owners can help protect their finances in these difficult situations. When a major medical condition develops in their pet, pet owners with insurance can easily and immediately opt for the best medical treatment available without worry of cost.

When you are trying to be thrifty, it can seem counter-intuitive to pay an insurance company a premium every month on the chance that it will pay off in the end. However, pet owners who cherish their pets as part of the family and who may not be independently wealthy need the financial reassurance that if something catastrophic does happen with their pet, they will be covered.

It makes a lot of sense when you consider how veterinary treatment has advanced in recent years and the increase in expense that comes with those advances. Medical conditions that were once thought to be fatal in pets like cancer and diabetes are now curable with veterinary care that rivals that available to humans.

But if you don’t have the funds to pay for these advanced services, you only have two choices – max out as many credit cards as possible, plunging yourself into debt, or make the heart-wrenching decision to leave your pet untreated. With pet insurance, you don’t have to worry about making this decision – you are financially covered and in the end, you end up saving up to thousands of dollars.

February 11, 2012 at 12:39 am Leave a comment

My baby is having a baby!

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned that my beautiful daughter Heather and her husband Joe are having a baby.  This last year has been a whirlwind in their lives.  It hasn’t been a year ago that I was at their beautiful wedding.

A special moment before the ceremony

The beautiful bride and her handsome husband

Not long after the wedding they announced that they were going to have a baby!

We're having a baby!

They soon found out that the little bundle was going to be a boy!

It's a boy!

Between now and then they have moved to a bigger apartment and bought a car big enough to carry the whole family including their fur kids Ava & Jackson.

Jackson & Ava

They set up the nursery,

Babys bed

Toured the Birthing Center, got the car seat inspected at the police station, chose a pediatrician, and made practice runs to the
hospital.  They have the bag packed & ready to take to the hospital and are ready to welcome their new son to the family.

Any day now!

It’s hard for me to take this all in within just one short year.  Time goes by so fast, it seems like it was only yesterday that I was bringing my baby girl home from the hospital, and now she will be bringing her baby home.  I know my daughter is the happiest woman alive right now, just as I was 30 some years ago, and I know that she and her husband are going to be great
parents!  I can’t wait until my third grandchild comes into this world.  It won’t be long now…I’ll keep you posted!

August 11, 2011 at 5:58 am 1 comment