Minggu, 29 November 2009


Santa was holed up at our house for a long time. He came out of the closet this week to spend time building up strength to face the "Night of the Great Challenge". You've read, haven't you, that the fastest a reindeer can travel is about 32 MPH? You do the math about how long it'll take to get to everyone's domain.

So,taking his position on the hearth, near a trusty replica of abovementioned deer, Santa Claus was ruthlessly attacked today. It was the Beagle. I caught her red-coat and fur-trimmed covered, gnawing away at his hand. So much for not biting the hand that feeds you.

If you read yesterday's post you know I pet sit. If you didn't read it, well, now you know but you didn't laugh at the rest of that entry. My own dogs' behaviors leave me questioning my abilities. It's like kids though, I rationalize. Everyone else's seem to be no trouble at all.

I was in the house with this villan when the malicious crime took place. There I was, in the kitchen, making cold pea salad. You know the one: peas, cheese, and mayo. It was deathly quiet, no clatter at all, in the living room. The poor, stalwart fella had no chance. He'd been cornered. I stepped in to see what was the matter. It was already over.

I removed the bodily remains, grimly and silently. OK, that's just for drama. I uttered a sharp and disappointing "OH!"

Trashy Santa now is ready for his next stop, the outside cans. Before the week is out he'll be transported, swept away by unknowing workers, never to see his elves, his workshop, or, sigh, Mrs. Claus, again.

It seems as if it was only yesterday I was taking the Santa's helper hat I had set out away from this same dog. Ah, it was yesterday.

Well, I managed to re-attach that pom-pon so the hat is still a fashion statement. And, I kept the hood from dead Santa to stitch up and make a larger Donation Dog pocket for dog vests when we go a-collecting and a-caroling for APL. Tis the season.

All's well that ends well.
Guinnie is satisfied with a nylabone wishbone. I am hoping tomorrow is a slow news day.

Sabtu, 28 November 2009

Recently I started pet sitting. Yes, I have plenty here but this is just "fun" and "money". So, I did that early this a.m. and then headed to Starbucks to meet a Missouri friend, as we had scheduled. Ed came from home.

Mind you, we opt for locally owned coffee houses 99.9% of the time. So to the staff we were strangers. The young bari---coffee hound who waited on us was a R-I-O-T. At 9:30 there I am ordering decaf to which he says "It will be a few minutes. We only make it on demand." I responded, "Well, then, I DEMAND decaf." He got it. Away we went.

An hour later he came over to ask us to leave, citing that other customers were complaining. They weren't really and we didn't leave. He said, and other staff backed him up on this, that we were laughing too much and having too good a time.

I let that pass, soaked it in for a few minutes. Then I wandered over to the counter, near the door to the back room. I waited for him to come back out. Another young guy was at the counter working.

It was then that I advised them I was from corporate.

One good yuck deserves another!

BTW, the guy I'd been exchanging barbs with hesitated ever so slightly. The other guy fell for it totally.

Yes, I confessed. I'm really from the buyout company.

Maria's 2nd week with Team Beagle

Maria had a busy week again with lots of walks and conformation class. Everyone in class thinks she is beautiful with good movement. This week we even got off the city streets and hit a trail. It had lots of wonderful smells for Maria to sample. On Saturday night she was out on the town with a visit to Glady the beagle's house. Then more playing in the backyard and in the house with Team Beagle.
Starbuck Torbay Easy Money

Selasa, 24 November 2009


A fellow foster parent, who also is a transporter of dogs being rescued, sent this image set with a brief story. Nico is pictured on what was to be his last day, then in less than 3 full months, in his new setting. Time heals.Nikki Audet took the original photo, and Deena Crouch took the more recent one.

It takes many people hearing God's voice, following His lead, doing the right things.

Sometimes it seems there's no end to what needs to be done. Sometimes it seems as if it does no good because there are so many needing to be saved.

I don't think Jesus ever thought this way, thank goodness.
Keeping this in mind can be inspiring.

Jumat, 20 November 2009

Maria's 1st week with Team Beagle

Maria had a busy 1st week with walks, playing with the big beagles and conformation class. She did well in her conformation class - met some new people and dog friends (weimaraners & papillons). Once she got used to the place, she pranced around like a star just need to work with her on the table. On one of her walks, we encountered a downpour. We ran for cover under an eave until it lightened up but we were still soaked to the bone.

(Starbuck Torbay Easy Money (Cookie/Thomas pup))

Minggu, 15 November 2009

Maria's 1st day with Team Beagle

Maria (Cookie-Thomas pup) is visiting with us while Lesley and David are away. On her 1st day, we went to the Monroe show to watch Maria's dad, Thomas, in the ring. Thomas won the beagle group and then placed 3rd in the Hound Group. And what a nice surprise for Jo and I - Roo (now Jack (Abba-Jazz puppy) was there as well with his family. Jack has grown into a handsome young beagle and will be starting his show career in January 2010.

Kamis, 12 November 2009


Elisabeth Kubler Ross wrote about DEATH AND DYING and her book included the steps associated with grieving. That was 1969. I read it in college during a psychology course or maybe sociology.

I'm entering step 2 today. ANGER: anger over Frieda having to die, more anger at the people who mistreated her so badly she feared her own shadow, even guilty anger at myself for not being able to fix it.

Expect me to write about it on this blog. Look at the title if you doubt for a moment that I wouldn't open up and try to rip those unknown individuals (I hesitate to call them humans)"a new one".

We had six dogs. Some people would say that's too many. But there are two of us and we are retired and we love dogs. All the dogs were adopted/rescued - call it what you will, they all have pasts, usually sad, some bad. Frieda's was both.

You might not think going from six to five would mean much. But it does. Each of them is bonded to the others and to us in lots of ways. One of our dogs had been tied to a tree in the country, her dead puppies and 17 other adult dogs nearby. The property owner lived an hour and a half away and drove by once or twice a week to toss out food. If the chain went far enough to get some of it then a dog was lucky. That's Sally's story. Needless to say she has issues.

We started out fostering Sally. She was adopted by friends but ran away, in the country, and that led to 9 days of searching for her, thru mucky fields. It was Frieda Joy who truly brought her back to safety, walking with me thru mud on that ninth day, making a "scent path" back to the live trap set for her. The next morning there was Sally, waiting. We brought her home. She and Frieda found solace in the life they shared here. Sally sits in Frieda's spots and went to Frieda's feeding spot when Frieda wasn't there Monday night.

I'm angry that Sally had already had much taken from her and now she has lost her best friend. Don't we all know how that feels?

For Sally and the others Frieda Joy was the alpha dog. Just her presence made it clear, even when she was frightened. She was first to the door with a greeting, first to a lap when thunder and lightning started, first to leap into the car when a field trip was in order. She got treats and then everyone else got them. We tried not to over-pamper her, tough as it was, because all the books say it's not good for them. But we spoiled her and protected her.

We just couldn't keep her from the demons she brought with her, the past sewn into her soul, carved on her heart. She covered them bravely with all the love she could muster up but sometimes those bad guys eeked out.

We helped her through those times but this time they beat us. But they didn't get the best of her. That's ours, all ours.

Rabu, 11 November 2009

Frieda Joy Hein 2005-2009

This was taken the day Frieda Joy came home with me and got her name. Frieda was named for the wife of D.H. Lawrence. She died in Taos, NM (a favorite spot of mine) on her 77th birthday. On her own she was an intriguing woman, well worth learning more about. Joy was given as our Frieda's middle name because she needed a little joy in her life.
It is unlike our no-kill shelter to take dogs who have been involved in fighting but Frieda's plight was that she'd been used more as bait than as a fighter. Plus I took one look at her and said I would take her. I was at the shelter, volunteering, on the day someone brought her in and we asked the young woman to hold her at her home for a few days, until there was room for her to come in and be examined, get her shots and microchip. I was there two days later and answered the phone when the girl called to say she couldn't keep her and had just left her at Animal Control.
I freaked. We pulled her from there. She went straight home with me.
Frieda's timidity revealed itself in her fear of loud noises, storms, fast moves. She'd been abused terribly. Don't let the gorgeous image of her fool you.
Our time together was outlandishly brief. She very occasionally became dog aggressive and in an unprovoked incident she latched onto another of our dogs, through a gate. It was this that brought us to the realization that we could no longer trust her nor could we trust her to be all right in another home.
We said goodbye to her for two hours Monday morning and then she peacefully left us, never to have to defend herself or be afraid again.
And, with a love bigger than we can contain, we began to grieve, knowing we should also celebrate.
We gave her almost 3 full years of continuous love, pampering, attention, and spoiling. She gave us all she was and left us with wonderful memories.
I took her dish from the feeding area. Her old collar and tags are gone. The bedding she used has been washed and the bed moved to a new location so the others will not wait for her to appear. We did all necessary tasks to keep her dog friends from stressing out. But they can't help us.
Well, maybe they can. We can hold them, play with them, exercise them, carry on with them. Through them we will smile and eventually laugh.

She's always going to be with me. Her solid frame, her big brown questioning eyes, her need for a tee shirt during storms, her serious-dog approach to making certain we were all secured each night - always, always will be here.
She was what I am.
After Frieda was home with me I called the young woman and told her the dog was safe and would be with us. She wanted to know what we named her and I told her. Turns out her paternal grandmother's name was Frieda.
God gave us this beauty and the irreplaceable relationship we had with her. On the day she moved in He had to have a good time with the naming game. On the day she moved up to be with Him I bet He told her that story as she snuggled in next to Him and took a deep, relaxing breath as she realized now she could see everything we do all of the time. It's what she always wanted.

Minggu, 08 November 2009

WARNING: Do Not Try This At Home

The sirens were roaring. The fire truck steaked past our country dwelling. Out I went. Out came my husband. Whoosh. It was over. Back to the house we went, not knowing where the truck stopped but it was not far from our place.

In the meantime, the door had locked behind my husband. Not to worry, there is the side door. Whoops. Someone who grew up in a big city keeps that door locked. Not to worry, two of the dogs are out and the one who never locks the sliding door put them out so we'll go in that way. Whoops. Never isn't always true (ha).

Genius. Three ways to get in or stay out. We have a key stashed. We used it once before to get in. It unlocked the top lock handily. Huh. It doesn't seem to want to open the lower lock. Nor will it open the side door locks. And, it's the wrong key for the sliding door.

Fortunately, and I do mean this, we'd begun working on painting the bedroom and the window was open, screen preventing ladybug lookalikes from entering, but nevertheless, tis spelled A-C-C-E-S-S and it was all mine.

It could have been, really. His Nims went to get the screwdriver to remove the screen. We worked together and got it off. At that point he said, "Are you sure you can get in there?"

All right, who doesn't know how big the standard window is? Ya, I thought so. Now you know where I'm headed.

He got The Look.

Then he proceeded to say, "It's kinda high, that's what I mean.". Can you see him backing up? I pointed out the bench 2 feet away. He was overjoyed that I knew to slide it over.

I easily climbed thru and crawled on my hands till I could lower a knee gently to the floor. One leg, then the other, then up on my feet and I'm inside looking out.

Decision time. Let him in? Let him suffer?

Notes to self:

Advise husband to get new keys cut and test them on all locks.
Add "can break into own house" to list of living in the country benefits.

Selasa, 03 November 2009

Coat of Many Colors...and Many Years

Do you have one of these: A clothing item you just haven't been able to part with although you've tried? I confess. This Liz Claiborne wool blazer, circa 1993, is one of my all-time favorites. I know where I bought it and who was with me and what else I purchased that day.
Like a favorite Christmas sweater I had for a couple of decades, this blazer appeared in photos of me with long hair, longer hair, short hair, long hair. Once I shuffled through those photos and pitched them I knew it was also time to say goodbye to the blazer. Look at it! It's long. I purposefully hung it on the doorknob to show how outdated it is.
As for waiting for this to come back in fashion, hello? Not gonna happen. You know as well as I do that those fashionistas prey on people who think something will come back in style. Off we trot to the retail store or web site and declare "Oooo, time to get out the Bianca Jagger outfit from the 70's. It's back." Then, upon closer observation or even study, we see, well, not really. It's different now. Not only that but the item we cherished and lovingly moved from one closet to another, from one town to another, one dry cleaner to another, well, it looks worse than ever next to the updated version.
Admittedly lofty thoughts drift into my mind at times and I've envisioned turning some of these favorite pieces into priceless works of art. Yes, fill the home with braided rugs made from old business suits. Turn the 10k tee shirts into stuffed pillows. Fortunately those thoughts did not anchor themselves to anything so have floated away.
So today's the day. As I head west to town my first stop will be a place where one person's trash becomes another person's treasure. It's turning colder.
Someone who appreciates warmth is more important than fashion will be sporting a new blazer soon.
Maybe that's what has made it so difficult to give it up. It's symbolic of me, and so many of us. We trade in. We upgrade. We replace rather than repair.
And, I'm about to do just that.