golden retriever

This is Buddy.

He’s the one with the ball in his mouth.

Several years ago we rescued him from our local Humane Society.

We didn’t really pick him.  It’s more like he picked us.  We were told he rambunctious and was full of energy and life and mischievousness.

Oh good, we thought.

He’ll fit right in. 🙂

Our Golden Retriever

And forty-seven overturned trash cans and twenty-three torn shoes and twelve ripped pillows and bones hidden everywhere you can imagine and layers and layers and layers of dog hair later.

We truly understood the meaning of the word mischievous.

He plopped his golden brown paws right down into the middle of our sofa and our hearts.

And along the way we discovered he has an incredible talent.

Throwing the ball

He can find a ball anywhere.

Any where.

And he’ll bring it to.

Returning the Ball

And stare at you with those big brown eyes until you throw it.

Buddy mid-air

And he’ll run after it with fierce determination.

Stopping at nothing.

Jumping high in the air.

Buddy jumping

Until he catches it in his mouth.

And lands.

And looks around to find you.

Our Golden Retriever

And then he brings it back to you.

And drops it at your feet and cocks his head and stares at you until you throw it again.

And again.

And again.

Wash.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Buddy catching

And this is the part where the favor comes in.

I’m in a contest to win $5000 for the Humane Society and all the Buddys and Bonzais of the world who might not have met their forever family yet.

I wish I could adopt them all.

I wish I could fill these acres and acres of green grass with dozens and dozens and dozens of ball-catchers.

But I can’t.

So I’m doing the next best thing and trying to raise money for those who are working tirelessly in centers all over the country to accomplish just that.

twins imagination room

So I’m asking for your vote for my imagination room over on the FrogTape website.

Simply click here to vote.

You can vote once a day until Thursday, June 9.

Our Family

I cannot thank you enough.


May your day be full of sunshine and dog hugs.

It’s what makes the world go round.

PS  And now I’m off to clean up spilled trash can number forty-eight. 🙂

PPS  You can see the entire before and after room makeover here.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Michelle B Michelle B

    Rescue pets are the best! Buddy has a wonderful home with your family. I voted and will do my best to vote each day. What a great cause :)

  2. Image for Moriah C Moriah C

    We have two rescues, too. One of which is a Golden :). I will definitely vote for you. Not only do I love your floor, but I love your cause just as much.

  3. Image for karen karen

    Remind us everyday, please. In the Phoenix area there have been over 500 dog surrendered to shelters over the last three days. w h a t ? I plan on dying rescuing a dog , or getting into a fight with an owner over 1. no water for said dog, 2. its an outside dog(never in Phoenix can you have such a dog). leash/lost dog. Really nothing else gets my blood boiling like idiotic pet owners. Shelters need so much help/support the no kill shelters first.

  4. Image for Becky Becky

    Of course I will! We have one of those at our house too. We used to have a beautiful yard with beautiful flowers and now it's just a little less beautiful bc she can dig a hole the size of her head. It used to be a big deal, now it's just second nature to grab a rake or shovel and fill the hole in. Of course we wouldn't trade her. She's a little older now and settled down a bit but when she was a pup she actually ate a rose bush out of the ground. Yep, a rose with thorns. She's a tough cookie. Good luck. Your craft room is gorgeous.

  5. Image for Cherie Cherie

    Voted! And with a sincere heart! You truly inspired me with such a great job, as well as I do love rescue dogs as we now have one, due in large part to me falling in love with Bonsai!!!

  6. Image for Jeanne @ I Dream of Jeanne Marie Jeanne @ I Dream of Jeanne Marie

    Good morning KariAnne, I just voted and didn't even look at the other entries... I want YOU to win... ( I may go back and look at the other entries just for fun...but not for votes!) :o) Thanks for sharing about Buddy... what a wonderful home he got adopted into! Have a great day! Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Image for debi debi

    Buddy is fantastic!!! I rescued a golden, Bailey, he went everywhere with me for 14.5 years. Dogs are very special gifts from Heaven. xoxox

  8. Image for Vicki S Vicki S

    Just voted! What a great gift $5000 would be! We have two rescues - Chance is 9 and Tucker almost 2. They light up my life!!! I'll vote everyday - please remind!!!

  9. Image for Kris Kris

    Haha, it's best to click on what you want to vote for instead of just submitting your personal info. D'oh!!! Not that I'm prejudiced or anything ... but your space is fresh and light and very appealing. :) Speaking of rescue shelter pets ... just got good news that my cat has an infection, NOT cancer like we feared he had. Whew!!!! Love that hairy beast!!

  10. Image for Lisa at celebrate creativity Lisa at celebrate creativity

    Hi KariAnne, what a fun story about your 4-legged family member. Buddy is a cutie and so are your twins. I also love the view of your beautiful yard and grounds. Great, open space for everyone to run, play... and chase balls. Good luck on the room competition... you'll get my vote everyday. Have a wonderful day.

  11. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Voted, and shared for others to vote, too!!! best of luck!! Please send reminders for those daily votes, too....PLEASE!!!

  12. Image for GinaE GinaE

    I have a house full of recued furries and have had all my life. Six cats, two dogs in the house and 3 or 4 cats we feed outside. I voted today and will until the contest is up. Love that you picked an animal charity!!!!!! And love that you picked your two recued pups. Plus, love the room.

  13. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    I voted for the most amazing room of all...yours! And yes...rescuing is a wonderful addiction! I am the guardian of a best friend and have been told it's my job to remind her that, "no, she truly doesn't need a third rescue dog!"! Love that Buddy. And what a perfect forever home he has found with you. One very lucky rambunctious match. ;-)

  14. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Done! and on behalf of my precious mini-dachshund Peanut and all the animal lovers out there, we thank you. Your room truly is the best!

  15. Image for Alyce Alyce

    Your room was original and fresh. Loved the flowers. Everyone else was just a different take on straight lines. Yours was the BEST!!!!


    Just voted and will continue to vote each day -- for you! Your cause is so worthy of winning! You have done a fabulous job with the Imagination Room! I'm sure that Buddy will spend lots of time upstairs with your gals! Gorgeous home, beautiful family and such a loving dog! And what a wonderful gal who designed all this! May you all be blessed as you enjoy your beautiful home!

  17. Image for Susan Susan

    Done! And keeping the voting tab up on my browser so I will remember to vote every day, too! My guy loved to play ball, too, KariAnne...that was his thing...he liked it better than attention...better than food, even! When he was younger, he would even return the ball to he got older he thought, "Hey, what kind of sucker hands over a golden treasure like this?" And so, in his senior years, once he got the ball, he didn't let go. Miss that guy. I love the cause you have chosen to throw your support behind, of course, but I'm voting for the room because it IS the best! Keeping my fingers firmly crossed for you! I'll bet both Buddy and Bonzai have their paws crossed for you, as well! Best of luck, KariAnne!

  18. Image for Kerry Kerry

    Voted because your room is the best and because of the good deed that you are doing. You are such an inspiration! Remind us everyday and I'll make sure to vote again and again!

  19. Image for Lisa @ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air Lisa @ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

    You got my vote, always help the Humane society here they are a no kill shelter. But I must say I would have voted for your room regardless! It is full of whimsy that any young girl would love to work in. Awesome job! Lisa@ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

  20. Image for Leona Leona

    V...O...T....E.....D........................FOR YOU. I have got a sticky note on my laptop to remind myself to vote every day. Fingers and toes crossed..............for a good cause. How nice of you to do this.

  21. Image for Diane + Dean DIY Diane + Dean DIY

    Anything for pups and Thistlewood! We are puppy raising a black lab, Whiskers, for Canine Companions For Independence and enjoy every moment knowing she will be placed with a child or adult in need. The Humane Society does such great things and glad you are helping raise funds. That's wonderful. Good luck!

  22. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    Love the pictures of Buddy......and the stories of his "antics"! Was happy to vote for your room, too! Happy Monday, Friend!

  23. Image for Michele Marrie Michele Marrie

    Love your makeover but love your heart towards rescue animals even more! Voted already today and will continue until the end! You got this! Blessings always! PS - Love that sweet Buddy of yours!

  24. Image for Michelle Michelle

    All done! And Daisy (our rescued girl) says to tell Buddy hi! And thank you for bringing attention to rescuing pets. So many need loving homes. Daisy is our second Pit Bull mix...the shelters are sadly full of them.

  25. Image for Mary Mary

    I voted! Anything that helps rescue pets is a wonderful thing. I have a houseful of them! And your room is the best! :)

  26. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Hello!! I voted and I'll vote every day until June 9th and beyond -- if they'll let me. Now, I know how much you love to read and how much you love romance so I'm going to share one of my very favorite authors -- Linda Howard. I just finished her latest book - Troublemaker. Let me tell you there is a heart throbbing story between the the hero and heroine. But the best story is of the golden retriever - Tricks. She will win your heart! I couldn't stop smiling. And of course at the end I gave a huge sigh. Linda kinda reminds me of you -- her stories never fail to touch the heart. I'll vote again tomorrow.

  27. Image for Ellen Ellen

    Voted- The Imagination Room is the winner! No doubt about it! I love that room and will love it even more when it wins the noble prize(as it should). My daughter's dog, Harley, is a rescue too and she loves her dearly. Marked the calendar to vote every day to June 9th- it might be lucky because that's my birthday. Thank-you for this beautiful post with all the great photos of the twins and Buddy. P.S. You do us a favor everyday with your lovely posts, so it is an honor to help.

  28. Image for Linda Andersen Linda Andersen

    Done! Will vote every day too! I too have a rescue, and I wish I could adopt more.....Your room is the best of course as well.....xoxo, Linda

  29. Image for mary beth at MBZ interiors mary beth at MBZ interiors

    Hi Karianne, I voted! Love your room with the clean white and pops of orange. I have our pup on my blog today. He's a scalliwag and quite the handful but we would not give him up now either (he's 2). We got him as a baby from a lady who had him in a townhome, he would have gone nutz living in a townhome without our big yard to run around in ALL DAY LONG. He's depressed today, it's raining outside LOL. I know you will win the contest :)

  30. Image for Sandy Sandy

    I voted and will continue to vote for your designed room. It reminds me of summer and its beauty. Your daughters are charming just like their mother. I'm sure they are so proud of you as you are of them.

  31. Image for Pamela A Pamela A

    I'm in! Every animal should be as lucky as Buddy. I would need Noah's ark for everything I wish that I could rescue. Hope you win - for all the Buddy's and just cause your room rocks.

  32. Image for Helen Helen

    I never was that crazy about dogs until we had to take in our son's dog. He has brought us so much joy. His name is Buddy Lee. All animals should have a chance at being loved. I voted for you because your room is truly the best. Good luck and I will continue to vote daily.

  33. Image for Julie Julie

    Done deal Karianne!!! Love your room and I am the consummate dog lover (all animals really) and will do anything to help out shelters and rescue organizations. They do such amazing work. Your puppy is beautiful and, no doubt, very special of course. We have a rescue Doxie who just had her 4th birthday and she has filled our hearts so full sometimes we can barely breathe. God Bless all of the precious animals. ;)

  34. Image for D'Arcy D'Arcy

    Done!! I have five little rescues of my own and am always happy to help the greatest cause on earth, helping our furry friends. Also, your room really was the best!

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