Monday, 27 October 2014

Top Ten Fantastically Scary Movies To Watch This Halloween

There is no shortage of horror flicks this time of year, but the only thing worse than getting raisins for Halloween is wasting your time watching a stinker of a scary movie.

Fear not (ha!) I have the top picks that will soon have you squirming in your chair with suspense, screaming with terror, and covering your own eyes—but not completely because you need to know what it's safe to look again.


#1. FRIGHT NIGHT (1985)

When a teenager discovers his next door neighbour is a vampire, nobody believes him.

His only hope is a washed out black and white movie horror film star, played by the incomparable Roddy McDowell.


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#2. THE CHANGELING (1980)

A recently widowed music professor moves into a secluded mansion and is soon haunted by the ghost of a murdered child.

The spooky séance scene alone will raise the hair on the back of your neck.


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#3. PSYCHO (1960)

A secretary embezzles thousands from her employer and goes on the run only to end up at a secluded hotel owned by a young man and his overbearing mother.

Of course we all know the iconic shower scene, but the creepy camera angles and 'out of nowhere' attack scenes will have you screaming.

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#4. PET SEMATARY (1989)

A big city doctor moves to a small town in Maine with his picture perfect family only to discover an unearthly graveyard with the power to bring back the dead, a power that soon becomes irresistible.

Oh, dear Lord, the last scene. *shudders*

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#5. WHEN A STRANGER CALLS (1979)

A babysitter is terrorized by a serial killer.

I saw this at the drive-in when I was twelve and had to sleep with the lights on for a week.

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#6. THE HITCHER (1986)

A man who escapes an attack from a psychotic hitchhiker is stalked and framed for all his murderous crimes.

C. Thomas Howell, that's all you need to know. Plus there's a French fry scene you won't soon forget.

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#7. REAR VIEW WINDOW (1954)

A wheelchair bound photographer spies on his neighbours and is soon convinced one of them has killed his wife.

Oh please, Grace Kelly's outfits are worth your time. A classic.

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#8. THE SILVER BULLET (1985)

A small town is terrorized by a werewolf and its up to Marty, a paralysed twelve year old, to figure out which one of his neighbours is the killer.

YIKES! I still remember the moment of the reveal. Awesome to watch the youngish Cory Haim and Megan Follows as his sister. Plus, lets not forget Gary Busey as the good natured, drunken Uncle.

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#9. POLTERGEIST (1982)

A family's newly renovated home is soon inhabited by vengeful ghosts.

Remember the scene with the clown under the bed? *whimpers*

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#10. AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON

Two American college students backpacking through Britain get attacked by a beast that none of the locals says exists.

A good combination of funny and scary.

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BONUS!!!!!

HOUSE OF WAX (1953)

After a tragic fire nearly destroyed his business, the owner of a wax museum turns vengeful and soon discovers a gruesome way to make his sculptures more life like.

What's Halloween without Vincent Price?

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Do you have any favourite scary movies?

The Most Important Rule For Writers


There is no rule. Just keep writing.


And if you need a little more encouragement, these guys think you're amazing. They love what you've written so far and they can't wait for the next chapter. So...just keep writing!





Sunday, 26 October 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 4, Episode 5 "Breaking Glass"

Or better title "Breaking Wind"

Because this episode stank so much!


David and Mary Margaret entrust Belle with baby Neal as they make plans to go on their first date since giving birth!

I see nothing going wrong with this at all. 

Elsa hangs out at the Sheriff's office going through photos of Emma and the Snow Queen, which Emma has no memory of almost as if her memories have been ERASED magically!

*snore*

Also, has anyone offered a change of clothes for Elsa?

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Emma takes the photos to Regina because it's obvious that her arch nemesis will help her while she's looking for a cure to save her true love's wife. Regina rolls her eyes and tells Emma they will never be friends and that includes doing favors like using magic to help her remember how she knows the Snow Queen.

Um...wouldn't that be a good thing to do since the Snow Queen is pretty powerful and everything?

Anyway, we flashback to Emma's past where we see her make friends during the turbulent teenage years with another shoplifter—Lily of the light handed.

Lily and Emma bound over stolen luncheon meat and their own stories of miserable orphanage upbringing. Lily comes up with the super idea that she and Emma should break into a big ole summer mansion, now empty for the fall.

While waiting for Emma, Elsa gets lured into a foggy graveyard by the sound of Anna's voice.

And this is totally logical because characters have a way of popping up from different dimensions when you're not looking for them.

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The magic mirror (love sick, Sydney Glass) lets Regina know that he's found the Snow Queen and he leads her (via her compact) through above mentioned foggy forest. She bumps into Emma who is looking for Elsa.

How does Emma know Elsa went wandering into the forest?

David and Mary Margaret drop in on the Sheriff's office to grab a walkie talkie and they notice the cell is empty!

How on earth did Will Scarlet (the ice cream shop thief) escape while left alone for hours?

Elsa runs through the darkened forest in her sparkling cape, following the sound of Anna's voice.

For the love of God, can someone give the girl a pair of sweat pants and sneakers?

She sees Anna dangling precariously above a chasm so Elsa builds an ice bridge. Psst...this is useless since we all know this the Snow Queen tricking Elsa.

Also, if Anna really was Anna, wouldn't Elsa find it weird that her sister is running away from her?

David convinces Mary Margaret they should try and track down Will. She thinks he's stupid pants and if they're going to be away from the baby they should be hitting the all night disco instead. So he tells her to head home and he'll do the police stuff on his own.

Two seconds later, Mary Margaret sees a guy shoveling holes on the beach.

This episode is so bad my head hurts. Why did I start watching this show? Oh, wait. Now I remember.

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Lilly and Emma break into a mansion and do what any delinquent would do; play video games and take selfies. Emma notices Lilly has a star birthmark in the inside of her wrist. To prove they're besties Lily marks Emma's wrist and they promise to always stay besties...for like real...for like always.

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 Elsa finds Anna and they hug. The Snow Queen slips out from the trees in her long white sparkly dress and the vision of Anna disappears. She then traps Elsa with handcuffs of ice and begins a monologue about using power to its full potential and how she can control Elsa with fear.

Um...if you magically bind someone you should probably NOT tell them how to break the spell.

Mary Margaret questions Will who is trying to find a bag he buried in the sand. She discovers he was only arrested for breaking into the library while drunk. She figures David let him out of jail so she'd have a little adventure on her own. And since she's the mayor she pardons him.

This C story was kind of pointless.

Emma and Regina end up stuck on the ice bridge and Regina figures the magic mirror has set her up. The bridge starts to collapse and they rush off in time.

Lilly and Emma are discovered by Lilly's dad. Uh-oh. Lilly has been lying to poor orphaned Emma. It turns out Lilly has a mom and dad and regular spaghetti Mondays. Lilly tries to convince Emma they're still alike and once she runs away again, they'll hit the road in Thelma and Louise style, but Emma's not buying it and she wipes off her water color star tattoo.

Elsa breaks her chains by conquering her fears. Actually she says, "I'm not afraid." And ta-da, she's free.

Regina and Emma battle a transformer monster thing that's made of ice. They use their magic in a combined effort—like every other time they have to battle. The Snow Queen appears and takes Regina's compact. Elsa moves in on the scene and throws a few icicle spears.

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The Snow Queen congratulates Elsa on losing her fears. Then she disappears in a vortex of snow.

Regina tells Emma she will never forgive her for bringing back Marion, even if Elsa tells them they should be buds because the Snow Queen will whip them all dead speedy quick if they don't stand together.

The Snow Queen helps Sydney Glass escape from the magical compact and she monologues (again) that the black magic in the compact will help her get what she's deserved for too long.

Hey, another villain bent on revenge because of not feeling loved by the right person at the right time. Isn't that original?

The Snow Queen uses the last piece of glass to complete a master mirror...the mirror of evil doing. And she whispers that it will help her get a family that's always loved her.

Called it.

Emma goes to Regina and explains that she turned her back on Lily because she was hurt and she doesn't want the same thing to happen between her and Regina...or something like that. You know, since they have the whole 'I struggle with commitment issues' thing.

Regina rolls her eyes and says, "Um...okay. Let's try to be friends."

David returns home and Mary Margaret tells him she pardoned Will. She's all happy and feels like her old crime fighting self. David says he didn't help Will escape but since this is the C plot, no one really cares.

Emma sits at the Sheriff's office and pulls out the old photos of herself and the Snow Queen. Hook shows up and she shares her miserable memories because that turns guys on. She finds the old video recorder and starts to watch pictures of her and Lily. The tape keeps rolling and we see new footage of Emma's next foster home, but she doesn't remember any of it.

No memory? Weird.

And guess who's in the tape? Yup, the Snow Queen.

What did you think of tonight's episode? Check out my other Once Upon A Time Recaps here!


 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 4, Episode 4 "The Apprentice"

Or better title "Hands Off!" 


Crying real pirate tears because this episode gave him cramps.
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A long time ago...

A withered sorcerer's apprentice guards a dish of caviar—sorry, its a golden box that looks like a dish of caviar. Anyway, a cloaked figure brandishing the dagger of the dark one tries to steal the box, but a powerful spell makes it impossible to retrieve.

The apprentice says, "Every dark one has tried to steal this box, but none have ever succeeded."

Flash forward to present day. Mr. Gold studies the exact same box. He uses the dagger to open the box to reveal...the sorting hat from Harry Potter.

Big deal, he did that last episode.

Henry encourages Emma to hang out with Hook so she asks him out on a date. You know, like most teenage boys who find their adoptive mother after reading a magic storybook.

Hook's totally into the idea. He gives Emma a smouldering grin and tells her to leave the planning up to him.

Maybe a BBQ? That way he can use his hook as a kabob.


Faster than you can say, give me five, Hook runs over to Mr. Gold's shop and blackmails him into giving him his hand back—Mr. Gold has had kept it in a jar all these years.

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Gross.

Ignoring Mr. Gold's warning that his old hand may turn him into the unscrupulous pirate he used to be, Hook insists he's a changed man.

Emma puts on a pink dress and wears her hair up in a ponytail for her date with Hook. He arrives in a short leather jacket and jeans.

Summer Lovin'
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Oh my God! It's Sandy and Danny from Grease.

Back in the enchanted forest, Anna makes her way into Rumpelstiltskin's castle. He tells Anna her parents paid him a visit asking for help. She's intrigued and agrees to do anything to learn the truth.

He twirls and giggles, then gives her a small glass bottle. Anna is to visit an old man at the base of the mountain and slip the potion into his tea. When Anna visits the man, it's the apprentice. But instead of pouring the potion in the tea, she throws it in the fire.

Danny and Sandy go to a restaurant, and here's the shocking part—it's not Granny's pub/diner/laundromat. Emma tries to bring up the problem of the missing Snow Queen, but Hook is intent on keeping things romantic.

The thief from the ice cream shop is there (yes, I just wrote that). He sees Emma and freaks out because she's the Sheriff and he needs to keep a low profile. He does this by walking directly to her table, and bumping into a waiter who then spills all the things but none of it stains her dress.

Hook viciously grabs the dude. The guy runs off, but Hook looks at his evil hand worried that Mr. Gold was right.

Bad hand. Bad, bad hand.

Henry and Regina go through her magical supplies trying to think of a potion to help Marion (the wife of her boyfriend, Robin). Henry tells her she should be happy that Robin's kiss didn't work because that proves he doesn't love Marion.

Wow. Henry is way too concerned with his mothers' love lives.

Where is Dr. Hopper? I think I need therapy.

Hook and Emma share a good night kiss, but the bad hand keeps distracting Hook.

There are so many inappropriate jokes going through my mind right now.

While Emma convinces her parents she's not pregnant yet, Hook roams the dark streets. He finds the thief trying to break into the library. Hook starts to beat him up—yes, that's right, with his BAD hand.

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Anna returns to Rumpelstiltskin's castle with the empty vial and lies that she gave the potion. He tricks her into thinking she withheld an antidote, making her responsible for the apprentice sudden transforming into a mouse.

Anna cries when he convinces her she'll never see her sister again. He pushes her to the brink, but she refuses to stab him. He takes his dagger and captures her tears—the only thing that will let him gain access to the gold box (the tears of someone who faced their inner darkness and turned away.)

Blah, blah, blah. Who cares? What's Hook's bad hand up to?

Hook goes to Mr. Gold and asks to have his Hook back. Mr. Gold tells him he's already switched the real dagger so if Hook wants to make a deal, he'll have to pay with a favour.

Emma's car slips on a patch of ice. She sees the Snow Queen and chases her on foot, but tracking a woman in a long white sparking dress in the middle of a maritime town is super hard. Emma loses her after two seconds.

Belle calls Emma and tells her someone has broken into the library and he's passed out drunk with a copy of Alice In Wonderland.

Dear ABC,

I see what you're doing. I won't start watching another fairy tale show.

Mr. Gold finds Hook and asks him to follow a magic broom which will lead him to an old friend.

With the power of Anna's tears, Rumpelstiltskin gets the gold box. He then tells Anna her parents came to him asking for help with Elsa's powers. The gold box contains a magic hat that has the power to absorb magic, making it more powerful than his own abilities.

But Anna has made friends with the mouse/apprentice. It jumps from the rafters and bites Rumpelstiltskin's hand. He drops the dagger and Anna picks it up. She soon realizes that as long as she holds the dagger, she has power over him. She takes the gold box and orders Rumpelstiltskin to send her back home.

The magic broom leads Hook and Mr. Gold to the house of Mickey Mouse the apprentice, who is no longer a mouse. Hook holds the elderly man in the chair while Mr. Gold opens the gold box, making the hat appear. The apprentice is sucked into the hat, thereby giving it more power.
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Anna returns home to Kristoff's arms, but the reunion turns sad when Anna tells him that her parents left on the ship because they were afraid of Elsa's power.



Mr. Gold gives Hook back his well...his hook. They have this looooong conversation about who is the worst and who can blackmail whom. It turns out Mr. Gold video taped Hook helping him dispose of the old man, and even though he STILL has the real dagger, Hook is now being blackmailed by Mr. Gold.

And by the way, the hand wasn't evil, it was just Mr. Gold messing with Hook's head.

I need a drink.

Emma and David learn the Snow Queen didn't come to Storybrooke because of the curse. So how did she get there? And what does she want with Emma? And why does it matter that the thief was making out and partying with a book in the library?

Henry tries to convince Regina that they can't give up on operation Mongoose. He reasons Mr. Gold knows who wrote the Storybook. He goes to the pawn shop and asks to help out as an after school job, but *wink wink* he's really working undercover.

Sweet. This show is always better with Regina.

Check out my other Once Upon A Time Recaps here!



Friday, 17 October 2014

How To Know If Miss Piggy Is Your Spirit Animal



#1. You act like this for the rest of the day after getting your hair done.


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#2. You're not afraid to let a guy know you like him.

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#3. How you respond when people keep talking to you while you're reading.

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#4. You're a true romantic...about shopping.

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#5. You realize the importance of making a grand entrance.

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#6. You don't care what other people think of you, unless they think you're fabulous.

Jim Henson Company




#7. You're no damsel in distress. You are your own hero.


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#8. You're so amazing, you could have your own superhero costume.

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#9. You never underestimate the power of great hair and the ability to 'walk your own walk'.


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So...is Miss Piggy your spirit animal?






Sunday, 12 October 2014

Once Upon A Time Season 4, Episode 3 "Rocky Road"

Or better title "Cold Hearted Mongoose"

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Robin and Marion take their little son to the local ice cream shop—the only other business in Storybrooke besides Granny's pub/dinner/laundromat.

The ice cream lady gives Marion a little something special with her sprinkled cone.

Emma and Hook confront Mr. Gold, but he has no memory of Elsa or Anna. Emma threatens to use her super power of lie detection on him.

Her words, not mine.

To prove he's not lying, Mr. Gold has Belle use the dagger to command him to tell the truth.

Psst...they don't know it's a fake.   

In a flashback, Elsa is determined to go after Anna to the enchanted forest. Kristoff shows up and tells her that the evil Prince Hans is building an army (including his twelve brothers) to invade her kingdom.


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Now that she's the new Mayor, Mary Margaret tries to hold a town meeting while holding her baby. While everyone begins to shout about tracking down Elsa for the evil ice wizard that she is, Marion passes out. 

Regina confides to Henry that she's trying to find out who wrote the original Storybook. She wonders if it's possible to change how she's written as the villain. Henry thinks it's a super swell idea and they give their quest a special name, Operation Mongoose.

Get it? That's where the title comes from. Ahem, anyway...

Robin rushes in and asks Regina to check Marion. The diagnosis isn't good, the magic will continue to make its way to her heart, and once it's frozen she'll die. Elsa says the only way to break a freezing spell is with true love's kiss.

Thanks Captain Obvious.

But Robin's kiss can't wake her. David says he saw this once before with Frederick.

Who's Frederick, you ask? It's from season one, entitled, "What happened to Frederick"

Kristoff decides to sneak away and spy on Hans and his army. He witnesses a feud between the brothers. Hans lets it slip there is a magical urn hidden in a cave that will trap Elsa, thereby leaving the kingdom unguarded. Elsa and Kristoff risk leaving the kingdom defenceless and travel through the forest in search of the urn.

Granny and Grumpy begin a mob intent on lynching Elsa. Nothing pleases the ice cream shop lady more.

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David and Emma go to Marion's camp site, looking for clues. They find one of his former Merry Men, and famed thieve. He has information; while on a stealing rampage during the black out, he noticed the ice cream shop didn't have any melted ice cream.

Isn't that interesting? It's also interesting there's a new business in town run by someone new.

Hook and Elsa go to Mr. Gold's shop. Hook threatens to tell Belle that Mr. Gold is lying because he knows the dagger is fake. Mr. Gold begrudgingly agrees to help Elsa. She gives him a strand of Marion's hair. He casts a spell and lets them see the magic that created the curse. He lets it free and the wave of tiny snowflakes journeys back to the source.

Follow the snowflakes!

Dr. Hopper runs into Mary Margaret who is finding life difficult doing everything while holding baby Neal. Dr. Hopper senses she's afraid to miss anytime with the baby since she wasn't there for Emma. He tells her it's okay and in fact healthier to let someone hold the baby once in awhile.

Emma, David, and the thief break into the ice cream shop. In the back, they discover everything is frozen. The thief empties the cash register and takes off.

Elsa and Kristoff find the urn in the cave. When Elsa picks up the urn, words magically appear, but she can't read the inscription. Hans and his brothers arrive and a clumsy sword fight ensues. Hans quickly has Kristoff at knife point. Elsa gives hands over the urn to spare his life.

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Hook and Elsa follow the snowflakes through the forest and find the ice cream shop lady, but now she's in a sparkly white dress. Hook leaves Emma a voice mail.

Hans opens the urn and a liquid escapes, filling the cave floor. It takes the form of the ice cream shop lady. She immediately freezes Hans. His brothers flee. The ice lady turns to Elsa and tells her she's been trapped inside the urn for a very long time. When Elsa questions her powers, the woman smiles and explains that Elsa's mother was her sister.

Auntie!

Hook's leg is suddenly caked in ice. The ice lady tries to convince Elsa they can only trust each other, and she drops the bombshell that her own sister, Anna was the one who trapped Elsa in the urn.

Oh, man. They lost me.

But Elsa isn't buying it, she knows the ice lady was trying to frame her for Marion's curse.

Emma and David finally show up. The ice lady calls Emma by name. Emma is slightly confused because she's never seen this woman before. She decides words are useless in this situation and uses her super power— not the lie detecting one, the convenient one when there's no other way out. She defeats the ice lady, but she still manages to escape.

In order to save Marion, Regina enchants her heart and removes it from her body before it freezes. She'll have to stay frozen until a cure is found.

Hook corners Emma and she confesses the reason she pulls away from him is because everyone she's ever been close to dies. He says, "I'm good at surviving."

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Mr. Gold encounters the ice lady in the forest. They know each other. She refuses his help and says, "I'm not ready to make a deal yet." He also knows her connection to Emma and reminds her if Emma remembers their past...it's game over baby.

Check out my other recaps of Once Upon A Time, here...even from the very first episode!





Top Five Reasons To Adopt A Senior Dog

It was around six months ago that my family and I decided we needed a pet—after all it had been a few years since the fish died.

A cat was out of the question because my son and I are allergic. We considered guinea pigs, but when we went to the pet store, no one wanted to reach in and pick up one of the 'large fluffy rats.'

Have you ever seen a guinea pig yawn? They're like little vampire hippos.

Anyway, a dog seemed the natural conclusion. However, I had no interest in taking care of a puppy. Don't get me wrong, puppies are adorable, but I didn't have the time to devote to training a puppy—and neither did my teenagers, despite what they promised.

We eventually decided to start looking for an older dog.

My family and I adopted Cody almost four months ago from Litters n' Critters, a non-profit, dog rescue organization. He's a nine year old cocker spaniel who was much loved by his original owner, but due to circumstances that had nothing to do with Cody, she was no longer able to take care of him.
The day I brought Cody home.

I brought Cody home on a Tuesday morning. By that afternoon everyone in the house was in love with him. He's like this big fluffy pillow with a heartbeat. When he cuddles up close and falls asleep against your leg, you feel like a star. He slipped into our family so effortlessly, I can't imagine having a puppy or any other dog for that matter. He's such a perfect fit for us.

It must have been heart wrenching for Cody's owner to say good-bye, but she was comforted to know he was going to be taken well care of for the rest of his life. I'm so grateful to Litters n' Critters for helping people and dogs find each other at just the right time in their lives.

And now, please enjoy:

Top five reasons to adopt a senior dog...

#1. They won't chew your shoes or anything else. We've gotten Cody a few chew toys and he likes to play tug of war with the kids, but other than that, he saves his jaws for eating food.

#2. They're already trained so there are no accidents. Plus, they don't need to go out for a pee in the middle of the night.

#3. They love to nap! Which means you can nap too!

Cody lurvs his naptime.

#4. They're fully grown. No more guessing at how big they'll get. That means the dog bed you buy will fit them FOREVER!!

#5. Enjoy the simple fact that you're giving a lonely creature a loving home to spend the rest of his days.

Dogs are incredibly loyal. If your properly nourish and love your dog, he will feel the same way about you, no matter how many previous owners he's had.

Me and Cody today.

If you'd like more information on adopting a rescue dog, please check out your local SPCA or Litters n' Critters for pictures and bios.

Who knows? You could meet your next best friend today.

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