Brad Ruggles

The Art Of Living

Our New Family Member


On Monday we welcomed our newest little family member into our home. And I do mean little. She’s just under 8 weeks old and weighs 1-1/2 pounds. Her parents were both under 5 pounds so when she is full-grown she should only weigh around 4-5 pounds.


Her name is Bella and she has managed to capture the hearts of everyone who has come over and seen her so far. Bella is a designer breed called a Mal-Shi or Malti-Tzu, which is half Maltese and half Shih-Tzu. As you know if you’ve been following me on Twitter we’ve been looking for a dog for a couple of months now. The longer we looked the more we began to narrow down our search. Early on we decided that we wanted a smaller dog  (nice thing about small dogs? Everything is cheaper – smaller crates, less food, easier to transport). Trying to find that was small enough and cute enough to pass the “There-Is-No-Way-I’m-Going-To-Walk-In-The-Park-With-That” test proved to be the challenge.

We found several adorable dogs online in different states but nothing close to Indy. Then over the weekend Lisa spotted an add in the paper for Mal-Shi pups. She called on them and found out that the parents were both under 5 pounds and that they had two females left. Bingo.

We drove over later that afternoon and fell in love with this adorable little fur-ball.



We’ve gotten quite a kick out of little Bella although we realized just how much like a child a little puppy can be when Lisa and I had to get up 3 times during the night to let her go to the bathroom.


Watching her play in the grass is hilarious because the grass is as tall as her.

And so, after years of waiting we have finally joined the ranks of proud dog owners and our two girls couldn’t be happier. As for Lisa and I? Well, we’re more like proud parents that we would probably care to admit. I’ve already caught Lisa showing her off and sending pictures of her online. If you know Lisa, you know how big of a deal that really is!

So this post is for all the pet owners out there…what kind of pet(s) do you have and what do you love about them?

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Where Will It End?

I’ve said it before, as a Dad to two girls I’m scared to death to raise my daughters in today’s culture, especially when I think about what waits for them when they grow up.

I grew up in the 80s, which weren’t perfect of course but still tame by comparison to today’s entertainment scene. MTV had just come on the scene and featured lots of big hair and cheesy music videos. Artists like Michael Jackson or Madonna pushed the envelope and caught flack for their “edginess.”

Today is a different story though. It seems every time I pull up a news page one artist or another is making headlines for setting the bar lower still with some racy music video or concert publicity stunt.

skitched-20100611-091602Lady Gaga, no stranger to controversy, released her latest music video on Tuesday for her song ‘Alejandro.’ It features Gaga dressed in a latex nun’s habit, sucking on rosary beads and at the center of a gay orgy dressed in a crucifix-emblazoned robe with a cross over her crotch.

Katy Perry (remember the one who “kissed a girl” and liked it?) made news when she publicly slammed Lady Gaga’s blasphemous video saying “Using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling a fart joke.” In the article I read about Katy’s issue with Gaga, the author added at the end in a humorous touch of irony, “The teaser for Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls’ video, in which frosting shoots from her breasts, was also released Tuesday.”

Hello Pot? Yeah, this is Kettle. You do realize you’re black too, right?

And don’t even get me started about Miley Cyrus’ shenanigans. You would think that an artist that started off her career appealing to young kids as Hannah Montana and openly professes to be a Christian would hopefully display some restraint and at least think about the example she is setting for her fans.

skitched-20100611-093337But of course, Miley proved indeed that “nobody’s perfect” when she decided to release a rather risque music video for her latest song and then went on to further generate controversy with her extremely sensual bumping, grinding and fake-kissing in a couple of live shows in Britain and Spain.

But don’t worry parents, Miley helped set the record straight for all her young fans on her blog: “I just want to put an end to this right now and just say one thing to everyone out there making this performance such a big deal. GET OVER IT! NOTHING HAPPENED. THERE ARE WAYYYYYYY MORE IMPORTANT THINGS IN THE WORLD!”

So yeah, this is the world that I’m raising my two daughters to grow up in. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t scare the crap out of me. Sure, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry are setting new lows for what’s acceptable but where does it go from there? What will the “new low” be that the next artist sets? When Disney stars are bumping, grinding and almost-making-out on stage while their TV shows air on Disney every day, what will the next generation of kids entertainment look like? Where will it end? Will our world ever stand up and say Enough? Or are doomed to watch each generation try to out-do the last and push the envelope further still?

I don’t even know if I want to know the answers to those questions. I’m just a Dad to two little girls trying my best to raise them right in a world gone wrong.…

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