Kamis, 30 April 2009

Considering I have been to Winslow, AZ and now to Ashland, OH with shelter dogs I should have blogged about Tails of Two Cities.

Traveling with dogs can be good for the soul. I have a renewed appreciation for author John Steinbeck. He wrote TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY, probably before most of you were born.

When I take one of these long jaunts with a pooch I find people are friendlier and even more helpful, i.e. the Tire Plus team off Prospect in Champaign-Urbana. Many people have educated their children on how to approach a strange dog - good for them! If not, I can chat a bit about it with them. Ask first. If OK, put your hand out, limp, back of your hand to the dog. Let the dog sniff it and accept you...and so on.

Eating healthy can be a challenge. I don't leave a critter in the car, crated or not, for very long. So a "sit down" meal is next to impossible. Ah-HA! Pack it and do carryout from home! Since I pay my own way that makes sense too!

Staying in hotels is working better these days as places such as Super 8 and Days Inn have pet considerations. One has a deposit you get back. The other charges a pet rate. I think Holiday Inn Express has a policy too but the one time I asked in the western burbs of Chicago it was $50 to bring a dog. That's hardly pet-friendly.

We haven't heard from Boyd. I do miss him still but understand that a clean break can be right. But I want to see how he grows. We learned so much from him and we know we will always want a big dog in our lives, whether he comes as a puppy or as a big fella, like our Tripp did. There's something about the big dogs that is special. Small ones are special in their own way too.

Hope you're able to pet your pup or cat. If you can, thank your shelter with a donation. If you cannot, thank them for what they do, with a donation. These are the worst of times.

(Book appreciators will recognize the connection between the first sentence and the last.)

Senin, 27 April 2009

Puppies (wk of 04.20.09)

If interested in a puppy, contact Lesley Hiltz

Monday's Dribble

Boyd, the pup, has moved to New York. Saturday he and I journeyed by auto to Ashland, OH to meet his new people. I cannot make any tourist recommendations on Ashland for we met at 6 a.m. (5 my time). It was dark. I had no reason to hang around with a big hole in my heart so I came home. I'm going to need more than a moment to get past him even though I know he will be so well taken care of and loved. I do have our brood though and Beatrice the Beagle/foster! Listening to LEONARDO'S SWANS I realize we should be calling her Bay-uh-TREE-say. How much more beautiful that sounds and it eliminates have two dogs in the household with long ee sounds at the beginning of their names, often the abbreviations, i.e. Bea and Free now become Bay and Free. Better.
The trip was just 1 CD short of me being able to listen to CHANGE OF HEART by Jodi Picoult (sp). By all means read it! It was the first of her books I've read and now I will be taking the others off the shelf and putting them on the top of the "to read soon" pile! And, when you get to the end, hold on!
Turmoil abounds these days and has hit close to home. Change, speaking of it, is essential and is rarely done without someone being upset. Unfortunately, often the meekest and weakest are most harmed by what humans do. Alas, the times are tough at a place I hold dear. We do not know the outcome of the changes in the making but at this time it is the non-speaking population that awaits the delivery of the impact.
Pray in your own way that righteous decisions will break through amidst the emotional confusion many feel.

Senin, 20 April 2009

It's Puppy Breathe Season

A goodly portion of yesterday was spent bottling puppy breathe.

Gee, don't you wish that were true? Who can't immediately recall what that scent is like? Who hasn't heard it said, at least once, that the person who could bottle that would make a fortune?

If someone did the magic would be gone soon, wouldn't it? The joy of lifting a young pup to your face and inhaling really can't be replicated so I don't think we need to worry.

There's more to the experience than just opening up as much as you can and taking it all in. It's tactile - the soft fur on a squirmy, warm body. It's visual - those wondering and trusting eyes looking at you as if you're the best thing that will ever come along. It's the way you feel inside, isn't it? It's joy. Some small being totally loves you and believes in you, even if only briefly, and all it has to give is a panting mouth with a delicious aroma emitting from it!

And maybe, that silly little puppy grin displays itself when your own grin spreads itself, uninhibited, across your face.

If you have a puppy soak up all the puppy breathe you can. If you don't, then just recall the wonder and the reaction to it, by anyone who came in contact with it. (Let's face it. If someone doesn't like puppies they won't get close enough to smell their breathe. And, they aren't reading this blog!)

Lastly, if you need a pick-me-up or have some time to spare, get thee to thy local shelter. The puppies are waiting. But so are the grown dogs who are holding onto their hearts just for someone like you.

Senin, 13 April 2009

The Day After Easter

Today is the day to go outside and find all the Easter eggs not found yesterday.

It gives me a chance to see what I might otherwise miss.

I wonder what Jesus felt like the day after the first Easter. Did He wonder why more people hadn't found Him already?

Let's hope not. Let's hope and believe that each of us arises every morning with a hand in His hand.

Sabtu, 11 April 2009

Once Upon A Time

Being a foster mom to a 2 yr. old dog and a 12 week old puppy...well, it takes it's toll. Time no longer belongs to the human.

This little ditty may bring a smile to your face. It began long ago and far away, in the land of precocious youth. I was eleven. At that age, we all know the world is ours to conquer.

My friend and I started with the American flag! How I wish we had a copy of our suggestions to then-President Eisenhower. That was before copiers and scanners became a mainstay in every building that has a door. Alas, that document is secreted away in the Presidential museum, no doubt. I have no idea what we came up with or what we were thinking. The often mentioned cousin of mine has indicated this could have been spurred on by the addition of another state. Very likely he is right for Alaska joined us January 3, 1959.

The proverbial cat is now out of the bag; I have been writing for years. There were the necessary letters to stars such as Troy Donahue. That relationship caused some mental conflict for I deeply loved him in a boy-girl way. But he was a bit older, and there was the issue of his real last name being Johnson and mine being Johnson and, well, maybe we were related. So I ceased communicating with him to ease the pain of needing to break his heart someday. I was better off writing to Dwight D. for the connection there was that my grandmother wrote to him at least once a year. Her twins (my dad and uncle) were born on Eisenhower's birthday. So we all sent cards. I am not certain we ever got to the point where we just signed them with our first names, believing he'd remember who we were.

All this memory jogging has me mindful of an urge I had after the election in 2008. When the pups are adopted I may just act upon it. If I do and I hear back from anyone I'll let you know.

Rabu, 08 April 2009

There Is No Downside

Often we are asked how it is we can foster dogs/pups and if it is difficult to give them up. Ummm, YES. It is difficult. But the great reward comes when you see a critter bringing joy to its new family or owner. When that happens it serves as a reminder that there are more out there to be saved and by placing this loved foster in a forever home we are freeing up a space or two for others to be given a chance.

It's tough to enforce and to remember. We love them all, whether they are here for a few days or a few weeks. We have had the full range of fosters, very young, sick and small to robust, large, mature. Each is a favorite for his or her own reasons. Each teaches us about loyalty, faithfulness, steadfastness, discipline, honor, reward, leadership, (unfailing)friendship, trust, relaxation, playfulness, and love.

We don't go places we would go if we didn't have our own dogs and our foster dogs. Sometimes it seems we are missing an experience, an event, or a site. But we do enough. And, we know when we look around here, we don't miss anything important.

Saturday we faced "giving up" our two fosters, Mia and Boyd. As with all the others, we will feel a little empty and the house will be in less turmoil when they do go. But, there is no downside to fostering. It is a gift given to us. We can instill confidence in a shy dog, train one who needs attention, play with one who never romped before, and allow love to flow between us when the dog is ready. In turn we pass the leash to the new owner with tears of hope and blessings for a long, happy, remarkable life together.

And, now we know, Mia will go to the shelter to meet new people tomorrow morning. In the afternoon, Beatrice will come to stay with us for her post-heart worm treatment recovery time.

There is no shortage. If you feel unwanted or unneeded consider helping a shelter animal.

Jumat, 03 April 2009

Airing My Thoughts

Having now confirmed that I'm not the only one who does this, I must ask, why do people make a notation in their own calendars of their own birthdays? Are we all likely to FORGET our own birthdays?

I re-read a book, for the first time in years. Usually it's not my thing. This was DOGS OF BABEL, a novel novel. Gentle. Written by a woman but the main character is male and he tells the story. Of course there is a dog - don't even think there wouldn't be! Regardless, the guy is a linguist/professor and the best sentence in the book, for many reasons, is "I remember my wife in white." It leaves much to be imagined, remembered, considered, questioned.

Yesterday I lost my glasses. Doing so, early in the day, set the tone for the rest of the day. Unfortunately I allowed that and had a pity party wherever I went. Having checked my gym bag (twice), my purse (twice), my jacket pockets (three times), the car in general, the locker room, and the house, I was perplexed. I made that work for me by getting in a bad mood.

Today I put my jacket on to walk the puppy. As I pushed my left arm through the left sleeve my hand grabbed hold of my glasses.

Mind you - I had actually put my jacket on to leave the locker room and that is when I discovered my glasses were missing for I had set them on my jacket initially. They rode around in my jacket sleeve, stayed there even when I took it off and set it down.

Already, today is a better day. I just saved all that money I would have paid for new glasses.

I'm hoping that realization helps me see more clearly and appreciate this day and the next. I'm hoping I'll not need to write down my own birthday anymore. I'm hoping everyone who has a wife remembers her in white and those who don't have a wife remember a special person at a special time.

And the theme is Australia!

Congratulations to Andrea who again guessed correctly. She also guessed that Abba would have more than 8 puppies.

While searching for names, I came across this site
and then Lesley added a couple more Australian suggestions and there you have it.

Roo: kangaroo
Snag: sausages
Maccas(pron. "mackers"): McDonald's (the hamburger place)
Aussie(pron. Ozzie): Australian
Mel: Mel Gibson an Australian
Surfer: where Lesley's parents live
Zac: sixpence (5 cents) - "it isn't worth a zack", "he hasn't got a zack"
Claire: Lesley's mom, an Aussie, whose b-day also happens to be 3/30
Matilda: swagman's bedding, sleeping roll

All the puppies are gaining weight and doing fine along with Abba. So Abba should be with us next week sometime and then I can start taking thousands of pixs of them. FYI, with Abba's last litter of only 3 puppies, I took over 2000 pixs - don't you just love digital.

Kamis, 02 April 2009

Introducing the Puppies

For more information contact Lesley Hiltz
Can you guess the theme for the names?

Pictures courtesy of Lesley Hiltz