Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

Feature #3: It Is Never Too Late To Feel Beautiful, or To Be Courageous (A Guest Blog)

I have invited my cousin Tracey to be my first guest blogger.    If you are just joining us on this special feature you can also read the previous interview feature and the very first feature in this series .    Tracey is 51 and is participating in the EM Mag Spring Cover shoot on and she needs your vote to stay in the top ten!   Every visitor has twenty votes a day, every day.

A Word From Tracey

Hello everybody! I’m Tracey Andrade-Berrios, Tara’s cousin. She asked me to do a guest blog as part of her feature on my bid to win a contest that would put my face on the cover of an online modeling magazine, so here goes!

Besides modeling, there are several other things that I love. One is gardening. Another is writing. Still another, singing. And I love animals. Meet my fur baby, Shaman Smoke and Honey. Smoky for short. He is a big, hairy 21 month old Shiloh Shepherd puppy. And he’s as spoiled as the day is long.


Photo by Renee Fazio

Is it because he’s an only dog, and there are no other animals (for the first time ever) for him to have to share the spotlight with? Maybe. Is it due to the fact that he’s the brightest dog we’ve ever had, and he’s viewed more as a child than a pet? Possibly. Is it because he’s an incredible comedian and has us laughing constantly? Could be. Or perhaps it’s that face.  That irresistible face that no one seems to be able to say no to.  And let me tell you, people, he knows how to work it! Smoky is a mischievous dog with a penchant for paper.  Many is the time that I’ve come home from work, and he’s managed to get hold of toilet paper or paper towels and shredded them to confetti.


Photo by Renee Fazio

His favorite, though, is newspaper.  I walked in one day and thought that there had been a ticker tape parade in my kitchen. I stopped dead in my tracks and just looked at him. Nothing needed to be said. He knew full well that he’d been a bad boy, and he dropped to the floor and did the Flying Nun bit with his ears. When I asked him softly what he’d done, his tail swept the floor, sending newspaper flying in every direction, then he rolled partially onto his back and hit me with the big eyed sideways look that had me turning away to smile. And so it goes with just about everything he does that he knows he’s not supposed to do.

You’d think we would have steeled ourselves to his tactics by now, but nope. I’m pretty sure it’d be a hopeless task. He’s very vocal, unhesitatingly sassing us when we’re trying to have a serious conversation with him, and he likes to “box” with us as well. He’s also the only dog we’ve ever had who thoroughly enjoys massages and being vacuumed, and, I’m not sure who told him he was a Chihuahua, but he will jump up on the recliner with me and fold himself up on my lap, leaving me to peer around his bulk at the TV.   Oh, sure, I could just push him off me, but would you push your child away if they crawled up onto your lap, wanting to snuggle with you?

traceysmokey2Like his mom, Smoky has done a little bit of modeling. The camera loves him, and I’ve thought more than once about compiling his best pictures for a calendar. Of course, fame might go to his already big head, and then there’d be absolutely no living with him.   

If my brief introduction of Smoky has sparked interest in Shiloh Shepherds, please just bear in mind that he is considered a giant breed. So, if you live in an apartment, this may not be the dog for you. Smoky, while perfectly happy being a couch potato, does need a fair amount of exercise and can also be rambunctious, and he’s perfectly capable of rearranging furniture and area rugs while playing. He’s also a heavy shedder and because of his longer coat (Shilohs come in plush and smooth coats) needs more grooming than short haired dogs. If the prospect of tumbleweeds floating past guests doesn’t mortify you, and you’ve got the room, a Shiloh Shepherd is a fun, lovable and intelligent companion.

And handsome.   Smoky said I forgot handsome.   Nobody said he was humble.


Photo by Renee Fazio




Feeling inspired and want to lend your support?  Vote!

Visit her profile and you can choose to  like, share, and to vote for her and give the other contestants a good race.  You can vote up to twenty times every day until the end of the contest in March.   There are some captcha ads for each vote, but the process is simple.

It takes a lot of courage to try something you've always wanted, but were scared to try for so long.

Be inspired!

Tracey’s personal statement:   I am a 51 year old floral designer. For most of my life I’ve been someone’s daughter, wife, mother, employee. A few years ago, an unexpected, very welcome infusion of confidence and courage led me to modeling for several area photographers, and I’m having a wonderful time! I want to be chosen for the cover of EM because I want everyone to see that a mature, ordinary working woman can be extraordinary with the right attitude and a little confidence.


You are never too old to try something daring; you are never too young to be inspired to take those steps you’ve been afraid to take.  Be inspired; I am.

Thanks to  The Gloria Sirens and Suzannah Gilman from I Just Have to Say… , and Blue Ribbon Fair for sharing by reblogging!

5 comments on “Feature #3: It Is Never Too Late To Feel Beautiful, or To Be Courageous (A Guest Blog)

  1. sadyalvarez
    March 1, 2015

    Oh my goodness Smoky is adorable! Loved this post. I have three pure breed German Shepherd’s and they’re beautiful and so intelligent!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      March 1, 2015

      She’s had four German Shepherd’s over the years. Smoky is the first Shiloh.


  2. Madam_W
    March 2, 2015

    What a beautiful dog!! And a beautiful sister too ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Feature #4: It Is Never Too Late To Feel Beautiful, or To Be Courageous (Q and A) | Laissez Faire

  4. Pingback: What’s Up Doc #37: My Book Is Live Today (#selfpublishing #indiebookspromo #shortstories)) | Laissez Faire

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This entry was posted on March 1, 2015 by in Article, beauty, feature, guest blog, life, society and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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