An Unexpected Christmas Blessing

Look at the newest member of our family. Isn’t he a beauty? We rescued him from the shelter early this morning. It’s been a few years since we lost our last collie, so having this fellow come into our lives now is a complete joy. He’s been hanging out in the same general area as the day has progressed. Such heartwarming photos with our new guy and the Christmas tree as his background! He particularly likes to lie so he can place one or two paws on a certain gift bag. It’s very cute.

What does this all have to do with living gluten free? Well, mostly, I’m just sharing a gfe family event, but I do plan to feed our “pup” gluten free. I’ll be consulting one of my friends who feeds her dogs gluten free and will report back. I welcome any suggestions from all of you as well. I also know I want to make these gluten-free pumpkin dog biscuits from Amy (Simply Sugar & Gluten Free). I mean the dog is now a Braden … he’s gotta like pumpkin, right?

If you have a cat and would like to know about a great gluten-free cat food, Sea (Book of Yum) shared one in her very moving tribute post to her beloved Neko here.

If you’re a pet lover, I hope you have some furry (or feathered perhaps) friends hanging out around your Christmas tree … or even in it. We used to raise finches and Mr. GFE innocently let them out of the cage for a little house flight after we put the Christmas tree up. One of the females found a bird’s nest already in the tree (unbeknownst to us until that moment) and she was not really interested in getting back into her flight cage, even though it was a very spacious one and all her buddies and treats were there. 

I sure hope our new guy will still love being here after our tree comes down! Happy Holidays all! More posts are coming for 25 Days of Christmas, but just wanted to be sure to say that now as we get closer to the big day. Suddenly, I’m feeling the Christmas spirit!

You can see all the 25 Days of Christmas posts below.

Day 1 – Gluten-Free Holiday Giveaway Galore x 10—Giveaway of the new book, Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?, plus gluten-free treats and fun stuff. (Although giveaway has ended; you can still order Katie’s new book here. )

Day 2 — Guest Post from Debi Smith (Hunter’s Lyonesse)—My Journey Back to Healthy Living

Day 3 — Corn and Butter Bean (or Lima Bean) Casserole for A Gluten-Free Holiday 

Day 4 — Little Cayman Beach Resort Review

Day 5 — 20 (Plus) Thoughts on International Food Bloggers Conference

Day 6 — Nutiva Products (Coconut, Hemp x 2, & Chia) Review and Giveaway (Giveaway has ended.)

Day 7 — Reindeer Antlers Punch for Share Our Holiday Table (You can still give and feed a child.)

Day 8 – Flourless Pecan Sandies (Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free)

Day 9 — Volcano Pancake and Other Breakfast Fare Plus Allegro Marinade

Day 10 – The Palate Peacemaker’s Pecan Butter & Pumpkin … Uh Oh … Cake!

Day 11 — Kitchen Table Bakers Crisps Review and Giveaway (Giveaway has ended.)

Day 12 — Guest Post: Linda Etherton (The Gluten-Free Homemaker)

Day 13 — The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods & Desserts Cookbook Review and Giveaway (Giveaway has ended.)

Day 14 — Sweet and Crunchy Snack Mix and Classic Spicy Snack Mix (Make Great Gifts … Even Last Minute)

Day 15 — Winners, Gluten-Free Holiday, and Super Short Roundup  

Day 16 — Review: Bakery on Main Granola and Granola Bars

Day 17 — Review and Giveaway of Ricki Heller’s Desserts Without Compromise

Shirley
Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.

Comments

77 Responses to “An Unexpected Christmas Blessing”

  1. Kristina @ spabettie on December 21st, 2010 7:48 pm

    oh ! what a beautiful sweetie ! bless you for rescue, we rescued Basil a few years ago and he makes us So Very Happy.

    <3 Happy Holidays to all of your family, Shirley. XXO

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 2:42 pm

      Hey Kristina–Felt guilty that all of you took the time to comment and I did a group reply … thank you so very much! I had no idea Basil was a rescue. He’s such a handsome pup. How wonderful you all found each other! I bet he and Sonny would get along beautifully. Loved the holiday photos of him with the other “hot dogs.” ;-)

      Happy 2011!

      Shirley

  2. Tia on December 21st, 2010 8:49 pm

    He’s beautiful! I love collies. I’m so excited you have a new family member for Christmas. He looks so huggable and snugly. :)

    xoxo,
    Tia

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 2:43 pm

      Thanks so much, Tia! We are proud parents for sure. :-) And, yes, he’s extremely huggable and snuggly, and will be even more so when he comes home from the groomer’s today.

      Hoping you’ll feel back to yourself immediately! xoxo,
      Shirley

  3. Marilyn on December 21st, 2010 9:16 pm

    Congratulations! Pets are the best gifts ever. Does he have a name?

    Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 2:44 pm

      Hi Marilyn–Thank you so very much! I agree on pets. He definitely made us have a wonderful Christmas! We named him Sonny, and it seems to suit him well, although I don’t think he really knows that’s his name yet. ;-)

      Hope your holidays have been wonderful, too! Happy 2011!
      Shirley

  4. Diane on December 21st, 2010 9:42 pm

    He is so beautiful!! I had a female collie mix as a kid and she was the BEST dog ever!! What a cutie!!

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 2:45 pm

      Thank you, Diane!! We’ve had several collies—all rescues—and we just love them. Sonny is a great mix of playfulness and “chill” … who knew you could have that in a dog? ;-)

      Shirley

  5. Cindi on December 21st, 2010 9:46 pm

    He’s gorgeous!! We’ve been thinking about getting another dog…. just not sure what yet. Collies are wonderful dogs, as you know! Congratulations!!

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 2:46 pm

      Hey Cindi–Thank you!! Dogs are a lot of responsibility, but they give so much. Hubby is looking forward to taking Sonny camping, especially when I can’t go. ;-)

      Hope you’ve had a fabulous Christmas!
      Shirley

  6. glutenfreeforgood on December 21st, 2010 9:48 pm

    Shirley,

    That is SO wonderful. I loved reading about your new addition. And that pup is a gorgeous one. Good for you — what a great way to celebrate life, love and the spirit of Christmas. If you need any GF dog tips, let me know. My guy, Fairbanks, has been totally GF for years. =)

    Sending lots of love your way!
    Melissa
    xoxxo

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 2:49 pm

      Hi Melissa–Sonny is everything you said! He came as just the right time. I’m going to read your gf post on Fairbanks and then I’ll let you know if I have more questions—thanks!

      Incidentally, Sonny will get even more love this evening after his grooming today. Our groomer is fantastic, but he might welcome the quiet of our house and being with us after experiencing other dog action all day. ;-)

      xoxo,
      Shirley

  7. GWSharp on December 21st, 2010 10:09 pm

    Oh how sweet you and the new guy. Looks like you got a very special christmas gift early, that will be a blessing every day. He looks such a love. Can’t wait to meet him at our next meeting. I am just so excited for the whole Braden family. I just can’t understand folks that don’t have pets in their lives. Every furry angel warms my heart and all those around them. Thanks for sharing the joy, I am still smiling. Hugs and Merry Merry Christmas!

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 2:51 pm

      Hey Gloria–Sonny is such a dear! I know you’ll fall in love with him when you meet him next month. :-) He has been a huge blessing for us this Christmas and I look forward to all our time with him in the future!

      Hope you’ve had wonderful holidays and 2011 will be a special year for you!
      Shirley

  8. Hallie @ Daily Bites on December 21st, 2010 10:14 pm

    What wonderful news! I’m a dog-lover through and through, too. Your new addition is a cutie…have a wonderful Christmas with him!

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 2:52 pm

      Hi Hallie–Thanks! We’ve had Sonny a week now and it’s been beyond wonderful. He was meant to be ours. :-)

      Hope you’ve had a fantastic Christmas and wishing you all the best for 2011!
      Shirley

  9. Kay Guest on December 21st, 2010 10:19 pm

    Hey Shirley! Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos of your dog underneath your beautiful Christmas tree! Thanks too for all the time you take to write for your blog and the great photographs that you put with them. Hmm..I love your photos and the way you write and… oh, yeah, you have some good recipes too! Thanks for doing the impossible… turning me into a good cook. :-) Merry Christmas! Kay

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 2:54 pm

      Hi Kay–Thanks so much for ALL your very kind words. You both humble me and crack me up! ;-) (I think YOU turned yourself into a great cook.)

      Sonny loves the Christmas tree! Hope you’ve had a fantastic Christmas and will have an equally great 2011!
      Shirley

  10. Katie Chalmers on December 21st, 2010 10:24 pm

    Shirley,
    Congratulations on your beautiful new family member. What a blessing! Dogs fill a house with love and personality, and what a lucky dog he is to come home to your warmth and tender care. Have a very Merry Christmas!
    -Katie

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 2:56 pm

      Hi Katie–You have stated that so well … yes, dogs do fill the house with love and personality. Sonny has done just that. He has been a huge blessing in the short time we’ve owned him! Thanks so very much for your sweet words. :-)

      I hope you and your family had a special Christmas and that 2011 will bring you all good things! Hugs,
      Shirley

  11. Diane-thewholegang on December 22nd, 2010 12:36 am

    Shirley so happy to see your new collie. He’ll have to meet our collie Shades sometime. He looks really sweet. Did you name him? I find that collies are so loving and loyal. I never thought you could find one at a shelter. So glad you rescued him.

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 2:57 pm

      Hey Diane–We named him Sonny after a few days, although I don’t think he knows his name yet. Yeah, I can see Sonny and Shades hanging out. ;-) He is very loving and loyal and we adore him already. Seems like he’s been ours forever! :-)

      Shirley

  12. Debi on December 22nd, 2010 3:43 am

    What a beautiful blessing and new addition to the Braden clan! That is great that he’ll be gluten-free, too. :D I will definitely have to try that out if/when we bring cats back into our home.

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 2:59 pm

      Hi Debi–Hope you’re feeling better today! Thanks for your sweet words. ;-) Sonny is an amazing addition to our clan … like he’s always been with us!

      So far he’s eating gf with some raw, but I want to get him to be grain free, too. The advantages are huge from what I’ve seen with others’ pets.

      Happy 2011!

      Shirley

  13. Rhonda on December 22nd, 2010 7:10 am

    Shirley – He is beautiful. I know he will have a wonderful home. Merry Christmas!

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:02 pm

      Hey there, Rhonda! Thank you so much. He’s settled in really well. :-)

      Hope you’ve had wonderful holidays, dear!
      Shirley

  14. The Celiac Husband on December 22nd, 2010 8:32 am

    Very sweet dog. A very thankful one as well I am certain.

    Merry Christmas Shirley.

    P.S. GF Dog food? GFE Table scraps! Easy.

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:04 pm

      Hi H.Peter–Awww, thanks. Oh, if only they advised table scraps for dogs. Some basic scraps might work though. ;-)

      Enjoy the rest of your holidays!
      Shirley

  15. Rachel @ The Crispy Cook on December 22nd, 2010 9:36 am

    What a wonderful holiday surprise; a new member of the family. He’s a handsome fellow. My Martha mutt (St. Bernard mixed with something smaller) sends him her regards.

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:05 pm

      Hi Rachel–Thank you! :-) Martha mutt sounds very cute and loveable … I’m sure they’d get along splendidly. ;-)

      Hope you’re having a terrific holidays season! Hope to see you in 2011, dear.
      Shirley

  16. Erin Elberson on December 22nd, 2010 11:24 am

    Whohooo Shirley!
    So happy to see your new family member. He is just gorgeous.
    Our girl Tess is GF as well (unless Jeff feeds her pizza crusts, which I absolutely discourage.) Melissa has some great tips. I make Tess’ food weekly and divide into containers for each day. Here’s a treat recipe I’ll be making for all the dogs in our family from Santa. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/2736
    Have a wonderful Merry Christmas!

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:06 pm

      Hi Erin–I keep wanting to say woohoo and yippee, too, Erin. This fellow is just a super sweetie! Thanks so much for the recipe and the sweet words. I look forward to our collaborations in 2011!

      Shirley

  17. Kim - Cook It Allergy Free on December 22nd, 2010 11:48 am

    What a fun surprise for you guys, Shirley! Truly meant to be! I am so happy for you guys! I was thinking about you yesterday and remembering back to the feeling of when we first got each of our pups. There was such a feeling of excitement in the house knowing that we had a new family member!! Enjoy your newest pal and have fun snuggling up to him as you try and stay warm this week!
    Oh, and I too feed our Wheaten totally gluten free as well. I started him on it originally when Conner was a toddler with Celiac. I was afraid he would get sick if he ended up playing the dog food. Then I found out how good it was for animals to be gf and we never went back (even if his food is $94 per bag! Yikes.

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:09 pm

      Hi Kim–I will monitor how long it takes Sonny to go through this gluten-free (but not grain-free) bag of food just out of curiosity and will be looking for other higher quality, grain-free food. $94 is costly, but we do want to take care of our family members. :-)

      We have just loved adding this dog to our family. Thanks so much! xoxo,
      Shirley

  18. Pat @ Elegantly Gluten-Free on December 22nd, 2010 12:12 pm

    He’s a handsome fellow! Maybe by the time you’re ready to take down the tree, he will have become a little more acclimated to the rest of your household. We used to have a Labrador who liked to stand with his nose near the tree trunk…for long stretches of time. He didn’t do that to trees outside, but every year he did with the Christmas tree :-)

    I wish you many blessed days with him in your household!

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:11 pm

      Hi Pat–He’s still loving the tree, but spending a little more time elsewhere in the house, so maybe he knows the tree’s days are limited. LOL

      Thank you so much for your kind words and sharing your dog and Christmas tree story! Dogs are so similar, but yet so different. I think many like Christmas trees though. ;-)

      Shirley

  19. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free on December 22nd, 2010 12:30 pm

    Congrats, Shirley!! He’s gorgeous!! Do you have a good groomer? All 4 of our pups just went yesterday. It’s always a hoot loading all 4 of them into my Pilot. They hate it. But, they must get a bath.

    Our kids have been eating AvoDerm, which is a great gluten-free food. Gatsby’s skin has improved so much since we started him on that.

    Give the new baby a kiss from me and my 4 kids.

    Hugs!
    Amy

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:13 pm

      Hi Amy–We do have a great groomer. Sonny is there today in fact. He needed some special attention and should come home smelling sweet and looking pretty. ;-)

      Thanks for telling me about AvoDerm. I’ll be on the lookout for it.

      Oh, I’m kissing Sonny all the time, so I think I have you all covered! Hugsss,
      Shirley

  20. Sea on December 22nd, 2010 1:13 pm

    He is beautiful! Love that sweet face and those eyes! Congratulations on this new addition to your family. I’ve never had a dog but someday when things are less hectic maybe we will get one…

    All my best, happy holidays and hugs to you and your sweet little collie!
    -Sea

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:14 pm

      Hi Sea–He is such a sweetheart! We’re so happy and lucky to have him. :-)

      Thank you, dear. Hope you’ve had wonderful holidays and wishing you all the best in 2011!
      Shirley

  21. Mir on December 22nd, 2010 1:18 pm

    Awwww, he’s gorgeous, Shirley! Congratulations on your new “baby.” :)

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:16 pm

      Hi Mir–Thank you so very much! This baby weighs 60 lbs (much bigger than your adorable Licorice), but he’s a complete pushover. ;-)

      Shirley

  22. cheryl on December 22nd, 2010 1:43 pm

    what a beautiful baby! I’m sure he’ll bring you and your family much joy–and vice versa.

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:17 pm

      Hi cheryl–Thank you! He’s already given us tons of joy in the week we’ve owned him. :-)

      Wishing you a wonderful 2011, dear!
      Shirley

  23. Lexie on December 22nd, 2010 1:50 pm

    Ohhhhhh, Shirley that pulls at my heart strings. Good for you for rescuing!

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:18 pm

      Hi Lexie–He melts one’s heart, doesn’t he? ;-) Thanks so much, dear!

      Shirley

  24. Johanna b on December 22nd, 2010 2:08 pm

    Your collie is beautiful. I didn’t know that cat’s could be gluten-free. After I read Sea’s post (and shed a few tears) I’ll have to check out the cat food she talked about. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:21 pm

      Hi Johanna–Thank you so much! :-) If you think about what animals eat in the wild, it makes sense that dogs and cats would be carnivores, but I never gave it any thought before going gluten free and coming across the literature on cats, too. I very much appreciated Sea’s lovely post and her info on gf cat food, so I’m glad you did, too.

      Hope you had a great Christmas, too, and all the best for 2011!
      Shirley

  25. Cinde on December 22nd, 2010 2:29 pm

    Oh Shirley… he is absolutely beautiful! Congratulations!! :)

    We feed our dog gluten free food to help protect our daughter from unwanted “gluten dog kisses”; we currently use Natural Balance Dry Food and Pedigree canned.

    Happy Holidays!
    Cinde :)

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:22 pm

      Hi Cinde–Thanks so much! And, special thanks for the info on the gluten-free dog food. I’ll check out both right away!

      Hope you’re having wonderful holidays and hope to see you in 2011. :-)

      Shirley

  26. Barb on December 22nd, 2010 2:53 pm

    He’s a beauty! I’m so glad you rescued one and didn’t go to a breeder. All of our pets have been rescues. We can’t have them anymore because I have become allergic. I had asthma for years and when our last pet passed away, my asthma went away. So we no longer have them. What a special Christmas gift.

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:23 pm

      Hi Barb–Aww, thank you … proud mama here. ;-) All of our dogs and cats have been rescues, too. It’s worked out beautifully. So sorry that you can’t have pets anymore … that must really be tough.

      Hugs and happy holidays,
      Shirley

  27. Renee on December 22nd, 2010 3:14 pm

    What a great gift! Such a beauty and a gift for you and her with a new home. I am going to miss my two pups while we are gone this week. They are such a big part of our family but alas, they can’t go on the airplane with us.

    We fed our pups gluten free for the past 5 years, their entire lives. (We have now switched to a raw, BARF diet.) Look for an independent pet store in your area for foods free of wheat, corn and soy. Or look on one of these companies websites to see where they sell their product: Prairie Nature’s Variety, Solid Gold or Taste of the Wild – all favorites of ours. Our boys are eating Taste of the Wild this week at the kennel.

    The foods are pricier but worth it for their health, esp if they have any ‘issues’. And we all know how much food can affect our health, so when I got my first pup 5 years ago, I knew I wanted him on a gf diet. I am not so concerned about breathing the ‘fumes’ of any wheat but more so for their health. Dogs are supposed to eat meat, not subsidized wheat and corn and meat by-products. But also know too, that many of these pet foods still have barley or non-gf oats in them. There are only a few that are totally grain free.

    Let me know if you want any more info!

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:26 pm

      Hi Renee–Well you may be back with your pups now! Hope you had a great Christmas break! :-) I truly appreciate the info on these dog foods and will check them all out. I totally agree that dogs are supposed to eat meat. Will let you know if I do research and have questions!

      Thanks for the compliments on Sonny, too. Happy New Year!
      Shirley

  28. Linda on December 22nd, 2010 3:49 pm

    Shirley ~ I’m glad you shared this unexpected blessing with everyone. It seems that many of us share your joy. Collies are wonderful dogs and I’m so glad you could give him a home. I feed our dogs Innova, but it is not gf because it contains barley. I used to feed them a homemade raw food diet, but it grew too time consuming and expensive. I do still give them raw meat occasionally and they love fruit and veggies as treats. I’ve never tried Amy’s pumpkin treats, but I’ve been meaning to do that. I’m sure your newest family member will love them. Do let us know his name when you decide on one!

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:28 pm

      Hi Linda–As you know, we went with Sonny on the name. Sonny doesn’t answer to it yet, but he will. ;-)

      Thanks for all the dog food and treat info! I’ll be reviewing all of it as he goes through this first bag of gluten-free dog food, plus some raw so far.

      Shirley

  29. Maggie on December 22nd, 2010 7:34 pm

    Yay Shirley! I am so happy for you and Mr. GFE. He looks so content, I’m sure he was meant to be there! And I’m sure he’ll LOVE being with all of you. Lucky pup. xo

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:29 pm

      Such sweet words, Maggie—thank you! Sonny seems very content, and so are we. :-) It’s amazing we’ve only had him a week!

      Shirley

  30. Karen@Cook4Seasons on December 22nd, 2010 7:38 pm

    Oh, Shirley, what a doll! I think Diane said it best – you know how much our furry friends add to the warmth and joy in a household…and he is just precious. We are all about rescues – our two Aussies and cat ‘saved’ us, too:) I have all my pets on a grain -free raw diet – it’s all locally sourced sustainable goodness and they deliver twice/month. We’re fortunate to have the options here.
    Say, did you get my comment from yesterday? At least I thought it was yesterday – but I’m not seeing it. (Too much baking!;) Anyway – it was all about kudos to you and your dedication here.
    Happy holidays!! XO Karen

    • Shirley on December 22nd, 2010 11:04 pm

      Hi Karen–I got your other comment and really appreciated it …. just like I do this one! :-) Happy to hear about your successful rescues and the fact that you have them on a raw/gluten-free diet—way cool! Incidentally, I’m still behind on posting. :-(and while I really want to comment to everyone, but it’s been hard to do this month. ;-)

      xoxo,
      Shirley

  31. Alta on December 22nd, 2010 8:46 pm

    He is adorable, Shirley. Congrats on the new addition to your family. We purchase a store bought gluten free (grain free) dog food for our pups. Probably easier their tummies, but also one less source of contamination for me.

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 3:31 pm

      Hey Alta–Thank you! We are thrilled with this guy. :-)

      I think the gluten-free, grain-free dog food is a win-win for all! ;-)

      Happy 2011!
      Shirley

  32. Shirley on December 22nd, 2010 11:13 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your wonderful comments, including input on the best food for our new pooch! He is tentatively being called Sonny. He’s a total sweetie. It’s hard to believe we’ve only had him for a day and a half. We are so lucky! :-)

    Shirley

  33. Zoe on December 23rd, 2010 2:55 am

    He’s wonderful, Shirley! Sounds like he’s in the Christmas spirit! I love that story about your finch finding a nest in the tree. What happened to the nest? My sister has two budgies, but they’re not going to be in the tree anytime soon. Gosh, if it wasn’t so close to Christmas I would seriously bake up some treats and send them to your new addition in your family – Sonny c/o Shirley of GFE. ;) Merry Christmas, Shirley!

    • Shirley on December 29th, 2010 11:56 am

      Zoe–Coming back to all these comments a week later … I’m not completely sure, but I believe we left the nest in the tree, and the discarded tree become an outdoor animal home. Our indoor/outdoor cats have often liked sleeping near our old Christmas (cedar) trees. ;-)

      Oh, you’re so sweet to even think about making our new doggie treats. If you met him, he’d have you wrapped around his paw. LOL He’s a total sweetie!

      Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Zoe. We’re almost at the New Year!

      Hugs,
      Shirley

  34. Carol, Simply...Gluten-free on December 23rd, 2010 10:20 am

    Oh he is so beautiful! It has been such a pleasure getting to know you this year. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! xo Carol

    • Shirley on December 29th, 2010 11:58 am

      Thanks so much, Carol! He has been such a delight for us in this week we’ve had him.

      Thanks, too, for the sweet words. I feel the same way. That’s why I say the conferences are not to be missed—just for the opportunity to meet and get to know each other. :-)

      Hope you had a lovely Christmas and will have the best New Year! xo,
      Shirley

  35. Wendy @ Celiacs in the House on December 23rd, 2010 11:30 am

    What a wonderful Christmas present. Judging by the photos, you will have a great model for your blog, too. Our dogs wouldn’t sit still for those great holiday shots. Wishing you and yours a beautiful, furry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    • Shirley on December 29th, 2010 12:02 pm

      Hi Wendy–This guy was without a doubt our best Christmas present! :-) Christmas had some challenging moments, but seeing his smiling face always pushed those to the background. He’s a fur ball of energy at times, but then completely chills … so yes, he might make his appearance on gfe more often. Maybe I’ll develop a sideline project of making gfe dog treats and have him test them for the blog. ;-)

      Hope you had a fantastic Christmas and the New Year brings all things good! Thanks so much for your lovely wishes!

      Shirley

  36. Alisa Fleming on December 24th, 2010 7:24 pm

    Oh my gosh adorable Shirley! Congratulations!

    We just started feeding our cat gluten-free (and raw food) and she is much healthier!

    Merry Christmas!

    • Shirley on December 29th, 2010 12:05 pm

      Hey Alisa–Thank you! We feel the same way. If you saw him in person, you’d be even more smitten. ;-)

      Thanks for your input on gluten-free and raw pet feeding, too. I love hearing the success stories. Like people, so many pets are suffering needlessly. So far we’re doing gluten free and some raw, but want to be completely grain free and raw next week.

      Hope your Christmas was wonderful and that 2011 will be extra special! :-) Thanks so much for the Christmas wishes,
      Shirley

  37. Kelly on December 24th, 2010 11:45 pm

    Congratulations, Shirley & Mr.GFE! Your pup is adorable! We feed Cherry, our Boston, homemade gluten-free dog food. We get most of it at Costco (I know, always me with the Costco!): organic quinoa and brown rice, wild alaskan salmon, ground turkey (which I cook), carrots, and eggs. Plus we give her sweet potato and pumpkin (which Costco doesn’t have). I also add oil and probiotics to her food =) Was I supposed to say all that in the comments? If not, sorry for the long one! Merry Christmas! XOXO

    • Shirley on December 29th, 2010 12:08 pm

      Hi Kelly–Thank you! Some friends had a Cherry lookalike visiting them over the holidays. He was so cute. ;-)

      I love all the details on how you feed Cherry! I’m going to put a lot of what you’ve shared into Sonny’s diet. That’s really very helpful–thanks again!

      Thanks so much for the Christmas wishes! Sonny is making it one of the best ever. :-) Hope yours was lovely, too!
      Shirley

  38. Jill on December 29th, 2010 10:47 pm

    What a beauty! Can’t wait to meet him. Happy new year, Shirley! Jill <

    • Shirley on December 30th, 2010 2:39 pm

      Hi Jill–Thanks so much! :-) He’s a dear boy … he’s getting groomed today, so he’ll be even more handsome. ;-)

      Seeing you here reminds me that I need to get out our support group newsletter–thank you, and Happy New Year!
      Shirley

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