Wednesday, July 29, 2009

From chubby pup to teenager - my grand-dog is a big boy now!

Last spring my son, Jeff, and his family made the decision that the time was right to bring a new puppy into their life. About two years earlier, Angie Marie, their nearly sixteen year old dog passed away. All of them needed time to heal from the loss, especially Jeff who had raised Angie since she was four weeks old. After weeks of searching in local papers and on the Internet they found this little guy.
Cody meeting Josh for the first time, May 2008
It wasn't long before everyone decided that even though there were three children in the household, Cody needed a sibling, someone who looked like him - well, sorta. Word was put out at our local shelter for a puppy, hopefully a retriever mix - hopefully a female. Within weeks Holly, our shelter manager, called Jeff and told him of a puppy that was available but that she wouldn't be there long because she was so cute. Holly was right, she was cute. And, that is how Suzie entered into the mix and found her fur-ever home. Cody loved his little sister from the moment he set eyes on her and they have been inseparable ever since.

The thought of not being as close to her as possible just wasn't an option for Cody. He was in l♥ve with his little sister. Thankfully, Suzie took it all in stride and loved Cody right back, sharing her bed with him and giving him her h♥art.

Both pups grew over the summer into wonderful family companions who gave just as much love as they received. They went on hay rides (really) and to baseball games and wherever else the family could include their dogs. A very active life for a couple of dogs who became true family members.

The family noticed that Suzie was having trouble keeping up at times with her brother and with them. Concerned they took movies of Suzie when playing and running, taking Suzie and their videos to their veterinarian. Sadly, Suzie was diagnosed with canine myelopathy. At first heartbroken by the news, the family became educated about the disease. I asked them what they were going to do and the reply not only made me proud but brought tears to my eyes: "Mom, we adopted her. She's not going anywhere. We'll do what we have to do to make her happy and will adjust to her disability". (In another post I'll talk more about Suzie's disability and her disease.)

Cody grew and grew and grew. It seemed like in no time he was celebrating his first birthday. He went to obedience classes with his little sister, learned a myriad of fun tricks and behaviors. Whatever came his way as a challenge he took on with all four paws and a smile!

This past week Cody had his "big boy" operation marking another milestone in his life. Spay and neuter is a way of life for my family. This wonderful dog has traveled this past year from fat and chubby puppy, to big brother, to class clown and now has marked his milestone moment in time - his neuter.

I realize that not everyone is convinced that altering their companion animal is the right thing to do, but go to your local shelter and talk to them about how many animals they put to death because there are far too few homes for all of the abandoned, homeless or over-produced dogs and cats. And, if you are still not convinced, help them with euthanasia. Bring an animal out of its cage all happy with a waggling tail because he thinks he's going for a walk, hold him and watch the life pour out of his body, then put him in a pile with the others that died that day.

Dogs dig under fences and jump over them and chew through their leash. Cats slide out the door in a heartbeat. If not spayed or neutered they will happily add to the pet overpopulation - and when they finally make it back home (and hope they do) you will never know where they've been or what they've done. If you've read this far, I hope I've convinced at least one person to do the right thing for their pet and for all the others that don't need to be born.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jessie, the story of a rescue dog, her family & unconditonal love

What happens when you rescue? I mean other than the fact that you've saved an animal's life. I think you've saved your life, too. You enhance your days and your nights and the quality of your existence. You bring home a never-ending supply of unconditional love. A love that will be there for you when you feel good and when you feel bad. When your wallet is full and when it is empty.

Several years ago my friend, Cindy and her hubby Jim, in a matter of only weeks lost all three of their geriatric dogs (all 13+ years). Cindy and Jim weren't sure when they were going to add another life to their home but as time went on, Cindy decided to make a visit to our local shelter. It was there that she was greeted by Jessie, the shelter greeter. An older dog. A chubby dog. A mixed breed dog. A dog that everyone walked by or passed over for months but that didn't stop her tail from wagging non-stop nor dim her welcoming smile; that is why Jesse became the shelter dog. The staff fell in love with her and hoped that with the extra exposure Jesse would find her fur-ever home. They wanted someone to look into her eyes and see what they saw - a valuable gem.

But, she was older and large and not a frisky pup. Three strikes that are difficult to overcome when you are a dog or cat living in a shelter full of puppies and kittens. But on that day - on the day Cindy walked through the shelter door - Jessie met her angel. She met her new momma who would open up a world totally unknown to her thus far. Jessie would go camping and boating and on picnics. She would wear a life jacket when she was on the water or swimming. She would be a member of her new family. She would be treasured and important.

Cindy will often say to me that she just doesn't understand why someone didn't look for Jessie when she was lost because she is the perfect dog! It's been a while now since Jessie walked through the door of her new fur-ever home. Her muzzle is more gray and she needs supplements to help her with hip pain, but boy, is she loved. Her value to Cindy and Jim is immeasurable. No amount of money could tease them to give her up. They need her just as much as she needs them.

A day will come when Jessie will have to leave this earth and I know the pain all too well that my friends will endure. It will be relentless and deep and will rip their heart open to bleed unconsoled sorrow.

But, after a while, they will dry their eyes and they will smile when they think of Jessie. They will remember all the fun camping, hiking, walking and boating. And, one thing you can bet money on - they will go back to our shelter and they will look for another dog. They will seek out a dog that has been overlooked numerous times but who is filled with unconditional love and a new family will be formed and new bonds will take place and a new story will be written.

I have rescue animals (some are purebred). I don't know what words to use to convince the unbeliever that by going to the shelter for your next pet you will NOT be seeing left-overs and rejects. Shelters all over the world are filled with hearts ready to give you all they have if you will only give them a little of what you have - a roof, a bowl, a rug to rest their weary head.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Golden cookie monster! There's always room for one more...

Scout, you're a good boy. Want a cookie?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

OBI-WAN - a life cut short

This wonderful, four-year-old dog, much loved by his family, has gone to the Bridge totally unexpected and unforeseen. Please hug your companions today and when you are done, go to the Cat Street Boyz to leave a message of condolence for the passing of OBI-WAN. This lovely boy's family is totally devastated and heartbroken.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Al Franken's first goal: Service dogs for our military veterans

This blog entry IS NOT a political statement. It is meant to inform about an important piece of legislation brought to the floor by Senator Al Franken. I DO NOT live in his state and I AM NOT registered with any political party. With that said:
Sen. Al Franken unveiled his first legislative goal Monday.
Sen. Al Franken unveiled his first legislative goal Monday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Newly-minted Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, unveiled his first legislative goal Monday — providing funding to train dogs to work with wounded veterans.

"Service dogs … can be of immense benefit to vets suffering from physical and emotional wounds," Franken wrote in a column published in the Star Tribune. "Yes, they provide companionship. But they can also detect changes in a person's breathing, perspiration or scent to anticipate and ward off an impending panic attack with some well-timed nuzzling. They are trained to let their masters know when it's time to take their medication and to wake them from terrifying nightmares."

Franken, who was recently sworn-in after a nine month battle over the election results, said it costs about $25,000 to train and place a dog and noted his bill would provide hundreds of them to veterans.

The Minnesota Democrat also said there is evidence to show that this kind of program could help reduce the suicide rate among veterans.

"Frankly, I believe it is enough simply to improve the lives of those of whom we asked so much," Franken wrote. "But this program isn't just the right thing to do. It's the smart thing to do. This is win, win, win, win. I've been a senator for only a few days. But I've learned that it's better to listen than to talk, that you don't have to be a lawyer to be impressed by a tremendous jurist like Judge Sotomayor, and that I enjoy working with my Republican colleagues as much as I do with my fellow Democrats."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

If cats can PURR 4 PEACE then us dogs can WAG OUR TAILS!

Our kitty siblings are PURRING 4 PEACE today just like they have for the past five weeks. We see momma picking them up and getting their motors running every Sunday afternoon. They get all this attention and we just sit there watching. So, the two of us got together and decided that we want to really get our momma movin' and shakin' this afternoon. We are gonna WAG OUR TAILS 4 PEACE. She's gonna have to keep four cats going and two tails. How about it? Wanna join us in an effort to bring world peace and to finally get all of the soldiers all over the world home where they belong? The kitty rules are posted below and we are going to follow those. No better way to spend a few minutes with your best pal, your momma or your dadda.

Today us kittiez is PURRING FOR PEACE! All kittiez need ta jump up in the lappy of their momma or dadda to get lots and lots of extra loving' scritches and hugs today wif the one's in the United States doin' the hoppin' at 3:00 in the afternoon. Youz momma and dadda should be done wif the Sunday snooze by then an' all rested to get youz motor goin' for THREE MINUTES! If you don't live in da United States get youz motor runnin' at 8:00 p.m. (20:00 hrs.) BST in the United Kingdom.

Soldiers and sailors all over this world need ta come home an' stay home fur-ever! NO MORE WAR! If da 'beans wanna get mad wif each other den they should just have a watermelon seed spitting contest or maybe toss cow turds in a field or 'sumpthin' of that naturez. We don't need no more of our momma's an' dadda's baby 'beans getting the snot pounded out of dem...or worse.

So lick a little honey or gargle some tuna water an' let's set this world of ourz to vibratin' an' shakin'.

Please post your cat name and the country you purr in at as a COMMENT if you are participating in this historic project. (posting a link to your own website-if you have one-is encouraged.)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Please don't eat the daisies...uhm, lay in the hostas!

This is me, Freyja, enjoying a cool 'n refreshing rest by some green striped things on a hot summer day.

This is me, Freyja, when my momma says to me, "Frey, have you been laying in the hostas' again?" (Notice my ears? I'm lookin' submissive but I'm smilin', too...tricks her every time☺ I'll be back layin' in them striped things in a New York minute!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Paw-some Treats, no bones about it!

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup skim milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets. Stir together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter and milk. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes (check after 15 minutes) in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Rub-a-dub-dub one dog and 2 little boys in a tub!

I have some of the best grandchildren ever! Just ask them to come for a sleep-over and to bring their swim trunks and they know that it will be Saturday night bath time for at least one of the dogs.
Joe and Ben are so patient and so kind and so gentle and so loving with animals, all animals, but with theirs and mine...well, they are amazing!

Poor Freyja, she just loves all of the attention, not to mention snacks, that the boys give to her over a weekend visit but she's never all that thrilled when we lure her up to one of the bathrooms in the house and close the door! She knows what's gonna happen and, bless her, she just "takes what's coming" with such patience and grace.

Once Freyja is all lathered up it's my job to shower her off to make sure all of the soap is out of her thick coat. The boys run hands through her fur during the process to make sure that their Mimi has done a good job.

Joe and Ben are always so amazed at the amount of hair they get on their hands, arms, legs - heck, you name it and there's dog hair on it! A good bath is the best way I know of to kill three birds with one stone. My dog gets clean, the boys get clean and Freyja's shedding is brought down to a slow roar
The aftermath and remnants of a fun Saturday afternoon at Mimi's house!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rin Tin Tin's Grave, Paris, France or The impact of a French rescue dog in the United States

Although I have known about Rin Tin Tin since I was a child and remember reading about his origin, I wasn't aware that he was buried near Paris, France. Strange, isn't it, that a German Shepherd Dog was rescued in France, brought to the United States, became a movie star and then, upon his death, was brought back to France for burial.
The impact that dog had on American canine culture, the film industry and on his owner was remarkable and certainly not even dreamed about when he was brought home by Lee Duncan at the end of World War I in 1918.
There is currently an online petition requesting that the United States Post Office issue a stamp in recognition of Rin Tin Tin and his accomplishments. I've signed it, I hope you do, too. The American public was instrumental in the publication of the Spay and Neuter Stamp several years ago. That stamp was sold out in days and had several subsequent printings. It is now a highly prized collector's item not only among animal people but with those who collect stamps, as well.

Following are bits and pieces I've gleaned from Wikipedia, Google and iReport.

The first of the line (c. September 10, 1918August 10, 1932) was a shell-shocked pup found by American serviceman Lee Duncan in a bombed-out dog kennel in Lorraine, France, less than two months before the end of World War I. He was named for a puppet called Rintintin that French children gave to the American soldiers for good luck. The dog returned at war's end with Duncan to his home in Los Angeles, California. In colour he was a dark sable, with very dark eyes.
Nicknamed Rinty by his owner, the dog learned tricks and could leap great heights. He was seen performing at a dog show by film producer Charles Jones, who paid Duncan to film Rinty. Duncan became convinced Rin Tin Tin could become the next Strongheart.

The dog's big break came when he stepped in for a recalcitrant wolf in The Man From Hell's River (1922). Rin Tin Tin would be cast as a wolf or wolf-hybrid many times in his career, though not looking like one.

His first starring role was in 1923's Where The North Begins, playing alongside silent screen actress Claire Adams. This film was a huge success and has often been credited with saving Warner Brothers from bankruptcy. It was followed by Shadows of the North (1923), Clash of the Wolves (1925), A Dog of the Regiment (1927), and Tiger Rose (1929).

Although primarily a star of silent films, Rin Tin Tin did appear in four sound features, including the 12-part Mascot Studios chapter-play The Lightning Warrior (1931), co-starring with Frankie Darro.

Duncan was so devoted to his dog that his wife filed for divorce naming Rin Tin Tin as co-respondent. The published report stated her feeling that Duncan loved the dog more than he loved her. The case was later dropped and the divorce not granted.

Following Rin Tin Tin's death in 1932 in Los Angeles (in the arms of actress Jean Harlow, according to Hollywood legend), his owner arranged to have the dog returned to his country of birth for burial in the Cimetière des Chiens, the renowned pet cemetery in the Parisian suburb of Asnières-sur-Seine. He was 14 years old.

"Rin Tin Tin" was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1623 Vine St.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July ~ Let FREEDOM Ring!

Please join us in celebrating the precious freedom we, as a country, enjoy and hold dear. Freedom that our young men and women are fighting for overseas in so many countries - in too many countries. Freedom that the young people of Iran, wearing their green ribbons in recognition of their fight for freedom, marched for and died for after a sham presidential election - their blood falling onto the hard, cold pavement. Freedom that we were born with - the same freedom that others throughout our world fight for and pray for and die for each and every day, quietly and without notice.
Today as we celebrate our remarkable freedom with picnics and family and friends and fireworks and sparklers, please stop for a moment to remember all those that came before us who died for this day and all those who are not home with their loved ones because they are deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan fighting to preserve this day.

Happy 4th of July ~ Let Freedom Ring ~ God Bless America

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Homemade Kibbles 'n Bits Puppy Chow

Puppy Chow with no additions
This makes a very large batch but it never lasts for more that a couple of days when I have a houseful of grandchildren! With the summer in full bloom and a holiday just around the corner, I thought I'd share with you my variation on an old stand-by! I added the nuts and raisins because the mother's of my grandchildren are always asking me if I am serving them food high in nutrition when we have a sleep-over. Heck, nuts and raisins, those are good, right? And, cereal, that's good, too, right?

Makes about 6-8 cups


  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 stick butter
  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups peanuts
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 6 oz. milk chocolate chips
  • 12 oz. box of Crispex (or similar cereal)
  • 3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 paper bag

1) Melt together the peanut butter, butter, semi-sweet chips, and the milk chocolate chips in a double-boiler until it is a creamy delightful mixture; stirring occasionally.

2) Pour the entire box of cereal into a large paper bag (brown grocery type) along with the nuts and raisins. Add the chocolate mixture to the mix.

3) SHAKE IT! (Roll the top of the bag over a couple of times so nothing falls out) Shake the bag until the cereal has an even coat of chocolate. By now you might be drooling (a little like your pooch) from the yummy odor of the chocolate and peanut butter…but "sit and stay".

4) After a few good shakes of the bag, add the powdered sugar the same way, directly into the bag, and shake it until the chocolate-coated goodies have a layer of powdered sugar.

When I make my puppy chow I add enough sugar so that I can't see the chocolate coating any longer. But beware, too much sugar will result in wasted sugar at the bottom of the bag because it is the chocolate coating that is making the sugar stick to the cereal, nuts and raisins.

5) Pour the puppy chow out of the bag and onto parchment paper to cool.

This puppy chow recipe is easy, fun, delicious, and its calling your name!