Monday, June 29, 2009

Scout says: I'll show you mine, if you show me yours!

A great big branch fell in our yard one day when a big wind blew around. Before the big parts got hauled off Freyja an' I got dibs on this biggie chewing an' carryin' stick. We really like to carry things around the yard to make our neighbor dog jealous of our stuff! We tried a couple of times to bring our big stick into the house to play with, but no dice gettin' it through the door. Momma said we need to play with it when we are outside.

Our big stick is one of the bestest sticks we've ever had to chew on and play with. Sometimes I take one end and Freyja takes the other end and we prance all over the backyard with it in our mouths. That sure makes our momma smile and grab her flash box to point at us. What we don't understand is why our momma doesn't throw it when we bring it to her for a game of fetch! She sticks (no pun intended☺) with the tennis balls. She could be a sissy, but we aren't sayin' a word☺

Do you have a favorite yard toy?

Friday, June 26, 2009

In Memory of DAKOTA, a lovely lady with true courage

8/15/1997 - 6/24/2009
We did not know this beautiful lady for very long but we know she was dearly l♥ved by her family. Please join us in our sorrow for the untimely loss of a beloved friend. If you haven't expressed your condolences already, click on Dakota's photo. It will take you to her site's memorial.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

If your dog was your teacher

Scout picking up his toys

If your dog was your teacher
These are some of the lessons you might learn:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face
to be pure ecstasy

When it's in your best interest, practice obedience
Let others know when they've invaded your territory
Take naps and stretch before rising
Run romp and play daily

Thrive on attention and let people touch you
Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do
On warm days stop to lie on your back on the grass
On hot days drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree
When you're happy dance around and wag your entire body

No matter how often you're scolded
don't buy into the guilt thing and pout
run right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm
Stop when you have had enough
Be loyal
Never pretend to be something you're not

If what you want lies buried
dig until you find it
When someone is having a bad day
be silent ...
...sit close by
...and nuzzle them gently.
~author unknown

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I ♥ this! I ♥ dogs! I ♥ this dog! I ♥ my dogs!

I love this. I loved it when I first saw it a couple of years' ago and I love it now. It makes me smile and it makes me laugh and it makes me so, so happy that I love dogs and it makes me so, so happy that I share my home with dogs and it makes me so, so happy that I am alive!

Thank you God. Thank you for creating dogs and thank you for my dogs and thank you for this dog! And God, you hit it out of the park when you decided you'd give us dogs as companions and best friends.

My beautiful Freyja, Queen of the Valkyries. Never has a dog so pure of heart and intuitive graced me home. She is loving and kind. She is loyal and true. Without her I would be less. With her I am more. She owns my heart and I own hers. She is mine and I am hers...always.

Scout, my sweetheart rescue who lives to retrieve and to cuddle and to talk to me and to snack on goodies and is guy enough to tote around his little, pink piggie and still feel secure in his doggy-ness. There will never be this much love, given with such generosity, given to me so freely in my life again. This dog is goodness and light and tenderness.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If I could put time in a bottle. Remembering sweet summer days long ago...

I think we've all done it, sat down to clean a drawer or cupboard or file and then something see an old photo or memento that gently tugs at your heart. That happened to me the other day that brought such bittersweet memories. I was purging some old files on my laptop and found a picture that I took nearly a decade ago. Time stood still for me, if just for a moment, and yes, I shed a tear or two remembering summer days and sweet times...gone...all too soon.

Camille and Rosemary, along with my son's cat, Zoe' (far right) will all turn 8 years old this summer. Now, that's not all that elderly for a cat, but nonetheless, it is eight years and that is a significant amount of time no matter how you count the days, weeks, months and years. In the photo they are about 6 months old. Where did it go? What happened to the three, little kittens that were rescued oh, so long ago? The little kittens that would run willy-nilly from room to room of my house flinging themselves into the air, landing on a dime only to scurry away to begin again? The little kittens who would arch their backs and hop sideways, tail pointing to the clouds as they assaulted an imaginary foe. The time slipped away so quickly.

A litter of kittens that I fostered, 2004

Those of us who cannot imagine living without being surrounded by animals pay a huge price with broken hearts and many tears when there is no more time left. We do the unimaginable when we have to say a painful good-bye to a little life that we've cherished. We moan and we sob and we rail against the fates and our bodies shudder with the pain of unbearable sorrow.

Scout, 2003, the year he entered my heart

But after a time, we dry our eyes and begin to smile again and begin to plan again - for the new arrival, a new beginning. That little kitten or playful pup or maybe that graying senior in need of a home who caught our eye when we last visited the shelter - and we have a home, we have the room. A home that will open its doors wide to new life and new love and new hope and new smiles. We won't think of a time long into the future where illness will tear us apart, because we have to prepare. We have to turn feathers into monsters for little paws to hunt. Or possibly we need to grab a chubby, little body to run quickly out the door so we can say, "Go potty outside", as we stand in the early morning light hoping the neighbors don't see us wearing our torn pink bathrobe and our old bunny slippers.

We do it all over again without looking back at the pain - the circle of life - and what a life it is for us - the crazy cat people and the wacky dog folks. I can't imagine spending my time any other way - ain't life grand?

Savannah Leigh, 1993 - 2007

I'd like to end this post with the lyrics of an old Jim Croce song, Time in a Bottle. I loved the words in 1972 and I love them even more now. They have a deeper meaning for me now than when I was a kid.

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
Till Eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with

Monday, June 15, 2009

Freyja says: Boys, do they ever learn? Nope. They'll fall for it everytime!

Every day at lunch time, our momma gives me 'n Scout a giant Milk Bone. The kind that is for the biggest of big doggies. Momma says that the cookie is our mid-day snack. We ♥ our snack!

To get our cookie we have to do a nice sit-stay for our momma. Scout grabs his cookie and runs right into the living room an' eats it like he's never seen food before in his whole life. He has, you know, he just acts like that. Boys, have no manners.

I wait until Scout is all done with his cookie an' then I lay down in the living room an' check to see if he's watchin' me. An' then I eat my cookie an' give him a BIG RASPBERRY for being so dumb an' eatin' his right away! I never get tired of this game 'cause Scout always eats his first an' I like to play mind games with him! Boys! Go figure!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dancing with dogs: Sharing your life with unconditional l♥ve & a golden bond

Each and every time I watch this little clip my eyes swell with tears...not tears of sadness but tears of happiness. To see such coordination and bond and unconditional love between a human and a dog reminds me how special my dogs are and how privileged I am to share in their lives. My heart is moved at the joy each receives from the other, this dog and his human. What those two have is how it should be, how it is supposed to be. No, I don't mean we all need to dance with our dogs, I'm talking about the bond and the pleasure and the unconditional love.

Man may think that he domesticated the dog, but I don't think he did. It was the dog's choice to take us up on our offer millions of years' ago when we tossed him a bone. The pack could have walked away leaving us to sit by the fire alone and to hunt alone and to protect ourselves alone. After all, they already had their pack order established, knew how to hunt as a group to sustain life and had coordinated their efforts in raising their young. They didn't need us at all. It was us who needed them and we got the better part of the deal.

I need my dogs. I need to talk to them and to walk with them and to play with them and to cuddle with them and to sleep with them. I need to know that they are there for me just as much as I am there for them. They are a part of who I am because without them, I would not be who I am.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gimme a treat, gimme, gimme, gimme another treat!

I've gotta say, this is cute and sweet and adorable and makes you smile and laugh, but what is sad, too, is the fact that so many of us are killing the dogs we l♥ve with kindness. It's no fun to watch a pet die of congestive heart failure or diabetes or heart disease or high blood pressure.

Too much weight complicates hip problems, shoulder problems and degenerative myelopathy. A fat dog struggles when he is playing with other poochies and with you, his best friend in all the world.

(Please mute the music on my blog to get the full value of this cartoon.)
The next time you want to give in to those pleading eyes - grab a leash, hook it to his or her collar and go for a walk. I guarantee you that your pooch will have more fun and be better off than you reaching into the pantry to give it an extra treat. Great "family" time with your dog and excellent for your physical and mental well-being!

What are you waiting for...where's that leash?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DOG JOBS: blanket warmer, cat cuddler, portrait model, kid pillow, best friend

Blanket warmer...

Hi, there. My name is Scout. When humans think of dog jobs they most often think of guard dogs, obedience dogs, search and rescue dogs, assistance dogs, police dogs and herding dogs. But, there are many unsung heroes in the dog world who do lots of dog jobs quietly and unnoticed. They learn their jobs not in the obedience ring or from a trainer, but their heart tells them what to do and when to do it, quietly and gently.

Cat buddy...

Every day I do lots of jobs around the house but the blog would clog if I listed them all, so I thought I'd show you a few of my favorites. No one needs to ask me to do them because my nature as a dog tells my heart that they are the right thing to do. I bet if you watched your dog today there would be dozens of dog jobs that your faithful pooch does without you so much as uttering a word or whisper. Sometimes all you have to do is think of something or wish for something and us dogs are on the job doing our best to fulfill your every desire. That's just dogs are givers.

Portrait accessory...

Sleep-over pillow for the grandkids...

Best friend, confidant and snuggler extraordinary...

My momma says that all dog jobs are important, especially to the person receiving the l♥ve and affection! Now, go find that dog of yours and pucker up...he wants a big, wet kiss right on the lips!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

L♥ve me now, not later, because I'll l♥ve you always

Tony, 1985~1997
The photo you see here is of the first GSD I raised from a baby. A magical and unexpected (for me) bond formed between the two of us that carried me through a divorce, raising my sons, a heartbreaking life experience and my emergence as someone who became stronger and more capable. To this day my sons and I look upon our years with this dog as special and remarkable.

I came across the following essay quite by accident, read it and wept - clearly, honestly wept. Our dogs ask for nothing but give everything. They are totally selfless. The next time you are in a hurry or are so weary all you want to do is sleep or don't want to be bothered, remember what you've read here on my blog. Look into those eyes that worship your every move...and keep your promise - be your dog's best friend, just as he is yours.

I am your dog, and I have a little something I'd like to whisper in your ear. I know that you humans lead busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise. It always seems like you are running here and there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life.

Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer. See the way my dark brown eyes look at yours? They are slightly cloudy now. That comes with age. The gray hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle. You smile at me; I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? A soul inside, who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a simple moment of your time?

That is all I ask. To slow down, if even for a few minutes to be with me.
So many times you have been saddened by the words you read on that screen, of others of my kind, passing. Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat. Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes. Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in a distant land.

I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just "One more day" with me. Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me. We have NOW, together.

So come, sit down here next to me on the floor, and look deep into my eyes.
What do you see? If you look hard and deep enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart. Come to me not as "alpha" or as "trainer" or even "mom or dad," come to me as a living soul and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one another's eyes and talk. I may tell you something about the fun of chasing a tennis ball, or I may tell you something profound about myself, or even life in general.

You decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share such things with; someone very different from you, and here I am. I am a dog, but I am alive. I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a "dog on two feet" -- I know what you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.

Now, come sit with me on the floor. Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for fifteen minutes. Look deep into my eyes, and whisper to my ears. Speak with your heart, with your joy and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow, and life is oh so very short.
--author unknown

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How's it hangin'...err, what's behind your door...err, got collars?

What's hanging behind your back door? I went to the thrift store the other day and found a pair of over the door /organizers hangers (thank goodness there weren't tools involved☺). My dogs have collars and leashes for just about every holiday or whim or season. Hey, they aren't little floofy dogs, so I have to do the best I can to dress them up with collars and bandannas!

Up until last week, the collars and leashes were strung where I hang my coat and purse by the back door and they have always been in the way because the dogs have so many and I just can't seem to stop buying cute ones when they catch my eye! I grabbed those hangers (I have one more to use on something☺) and thought I had "found the world" for just a dollar!

As you can see, the result is great! No more trying to untangle a mass of goodies when I want to change the "clothes" on Scout or Freyja. BYW, I have more collars that need to be washed before they are added to this assortment.

Do you think I have enough? There are couplers, coordinating leashes, leashes and collars with words and with no words, with glitter and with no glitter, with beads and with no beads, with embroidery and with no embroidery, for all holidays, even a couple of small red/white/blue bandanna collars for the kitties even though they don't get to go outside.

Naw, can't be, there is always something! Now, all I have to do is get all of their bandannas washed and pressed to put in their dresser drawer...sigh.