Friday, November 13, 2009

Toxic Food


We all know, or most of us know, that giving chocolate to your dog is very dangerous even life threatening because it contains caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous systems.but did you know that macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs? A small portion, we are talking an ounce, can cause temporary paralysis to the hind quarters of a twenty pound dog! If you suspect your dog has ingested these nuts get him/her to the vet immediately; where he/she will probably be induced to vomit and given charcoal and be placed on an IV of fluids. Once the treatments are completed the paralysis is gone in a few days.
Here is a great site to read more toxic foods to avoid.

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pet H1N1


I was reading in the AP that a 13-year-old Iowa cat has contacted H1N1. It is the first feline case confirmed in the U.S. The cat was treated at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and it reported to be doing fine. They said that it was contracted as well by two ferrets that unfortunately died from this horrible disease; one was from Oregon and the other from Nebraska.

The story said that the Centers for Disease Control knew that this could happen; that our domestic pets could contract the H1N1 virus and this is the first documented case of a domestic cat or dog with the virus.

I had no idea that this could spread to our fur-children! I know that the world is having enough time manufacturing enough vaccine for us humans and wonder how long before there is one for our pets?

It has been recommended that we use the same precautions with our pets in helping to slow the spread of the flu; wash hands as much as possible to prevent the spread and having any children in the home vaccinated may also help defend against the transfer from child to pet.

It is new for the world now with pets having the flu so it is extremely difficult for the authorities to give us an exact measurement of how sick they may become. I know as a dog mom I will be careful now about play dates as well as letting children near my babies unless I can be sure not to see any “flu” signs like runny nose and such. My dogs are my children and I will protect them as any mom would their human child.

So to all, don’t panic, watch your pets, wash your hands, and stay alert to their health and always always love thy pet.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My lost girl, Sandy


It is quiet this morning and I am up early so that I can get to an appointment in a short while. As I bring the babies outside the leaves are not rattling on their limbs as the air is still, the dogs in the neighborhood yards are still inside their warm beds and the streets are still sleeping at this early hour. A lone squirrel travels the branch of the big oak in the backyard savaging for acorns to stash away for the long cold winter before us. Otis, my mixed breed who truly thinks he is a human fur-child is sitting a few feet away from where I sit holding onto my mug of java. It should be a typical morning for us, we do this seven days a week, sit together looking at the stars, feeling mother Earth's air upon our faces, the wind sometimes blowing our hair, and just sitting. I use this time to remember, dream, forgive, or at times even forget, but just to search my soul and let my mind take me where ever it wants to. Otis I can’t say for sure, but I feel he is doing just the same as I am, just thinking and relaxing while sniffing the air awaiting the day’s full beginning when the world awakes and the quite and soothing time we are now sharing turns into the every day hassles it usually becomes. Our mornings are the clam before the storm, our time to be still, our time to be together, and our time just to be.

Things in our house are in no way what I would call predictable, but we have routines; we have early morning routines, later morning routines, afternoon routines evening and night routines as well. The narrative of Otis and me alone with Mother Nature in our backyard before the sun has even risen is a typical early morning routine. Our later morning routine was just slightly different as it included another fur-child of mine, Sandy. She older than Otis by six years, lab –Sheppard mix, a bit over weight, but what lady these days doesn’t consider herself overweight compared to the models of today? She with her light tan and white her short course fur was beautiful anytime of day or night, but more so when she laid her frame upon the green grass with the sunshine beaming down on her. She would have this smile that she shared with the world and you could not help but feel a smile break out on your own face when she looked at you.

She like many children these days came from a broken home and came to be my child in the year of nineteen ninety nine; and left me on October thirtieth two thousand seven to run and smile upon the stars and heavens that Otis and I now sit and gaze upon during those early hours each day, but now we look upon them with sorrow in our hearts and sadness in our eyes longing to once again gaze upon the beautiful baby girl that was once a significant part of our daily lives and routines, our playmate, our buddy, and now our lost friend.

Sandy was our friend, our companion, our “baby-girl” all one-hundred and ten pounds of her. Although Otis has had his moments, Sandy was the one that could always make you laugh all the while spitting out a mouthful of sandy colored fur that would always find it’s way into anything and everything as she bounced and pranced around with a huge smile on her face of yellow and white.

This is in memory of my "Baby Girl" Sandy who I lost October 30, 2007, it is now two years past and yet I still look for her, think of her, and I still miss her terribly and wish for just one more hug of fur and a wet smooch. Our new babies Marley and Brock never knew our baby girl Sandy but they can sense that something is different with Otis and I today, they can feel our painful hearts and see the sorrow in our eyes. Our memories of Sandy will live on forever in my heart and Otis and I are sending big hugs to you Sandy girl...love you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thank You!

I wanted to thank everyone for their prayers God heard them all! I just got a call from the doctor and I am CANCER FREE!!!!!!! I have tears of joy right now…all I can say is Thank You God.

Sense of Change



The past few weeks have been difficult for me. I found a lump in my breast so I went to my family doctor, who was amazed at what she was feeling, ordered an MRI and ultrasound two weeks out and set up an appointment with an oncologist surgeon. The waiting the two weeks to have the tests was like a cruel joke and now again I am waiting two days for the results of my core biopsy they did yesterday as they did not like what they saw on the ultrasound or MRI from last week.

What has made this bearable? Of course my husband, he has been so understanding and wonderful…doing dishes, hugging me more often, being extra sweet, and giving me the remote! He is a one-of-a-kind angel from heaven.

But as I am home alone all day it is the comfort of my critters that make the time pass. Did you know tears of joy contain different substances than those of sadness or pain and dogs are able to tell the difference? Some people believe that dogs can detect cancer, I don’t know for sure about all that, but I do know my three dogs gave stayed closer to me, snuggled more, and have been by my side every moment now since I first noticed this lump. I don’t think it is that they know the answer to the test results but they can detect that something is out of the ordinary. Their sense of smell, heat detection, and ability to identify patterns of behavior we can't see is part of their design for survival.

It is wonderful, and yet odd, that dogs are not afraid of humans from the moment they are born into this world and that we as humans are so attracted to a species other than our own. Our affection, bond, and intensely intimate relationship with our beloved pets is something not normally found in nature, but it works and I am happy it does because this week would have been unbearable if it were not for my three fur children.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Who is the Dog?


The dog is compassionate, selfless and generous; an immense contributor in our lives. We as dog moms and dads seem to be of our own breed as well, we seem to have less hatred in our hearts and thoughts, we have a kind nature about us, we seem to smile more and can see the hurt in others. We offer encouragement to all that need it just as we are encouraged by our adored dogs to get up and exercise even when we’d rather lie on the couch.

Dogs don’t shrug off responsibility and they always have time for you; be it a big sloppy kiss to wipe away a tear while leaning in to offer their fluffy shoulder to cry on, they sit patiently and tilt their heads from side to side as we explain to them our problems of the day and they wag their tail as if to say,” no problem, I got it and we are all going to be just fine.” God gave to them such a massive heart to be our saving grace here on Earth; for with this heart, they continually sooth our worries from a infinite fountain of common wisdom somehow provided to them for such use with us humans.

Our dogs know us better than we know ourselves it seems, they watch us, worry about us, teach us, and always love us. They may not always show you all their secrets, but they most certainly know all yours. God bless the dogs and all they bring to enrich our lives.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Not Going To Try This Again


Sorry folks I just had to share this.

A blonde decides to try horseback riding, even though she has had no lessons or prior experience. She mounts the horse unassisted and it immediately springs into motion. It gallops along at a steady and rhythmic pace, but the blonde begins to slip from the saddle. In terror, she grabs for the horse''s mane, but cannot seem to get a firm grip.
She tries to throw her arms around the horse''s neck, but she slides down the side of the horse anyway. The horse gallops along, seemingly ignorant of its slipping rider.

Finally, giving up her frail grip, the blonde attempts to leap away from the horse and throw herself to safety. Unfortunately, her foot becomes entangled in the stirrup, and she is now at the mercy of the horse''s pounding hooves as her head is struck against the ground over and over.

She starts to lose consciousness, but to her great fortune, Bobby, the Wal-Mart greeter, sees her and unplugs the horse.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another reason dogs are better than humans


Another reason dogs are better than humans, as if we really need more proof; dogs can’t read, therefore woman’s best friend, our dog(s) cannot interpret what you have written as something totally different than what you were meaning. Such as, if I was to write “I have nothing to do today.” To some it might mean that I am bored, sad, or lonely. But in reality what I MEAN is, “There is no place I have to be today.” Do you see a difference? The first could be interpreted and read as if I am bored, while the second clearly means simply that my calendar is free to do as I wish!

Because our best friend, the dog, can’t type or read it may be a positive we humans have never thought about in the past. Can you just imagine because of how much time they have on their paws how often they would be on the Internet, playing games, updating their social network sites? LOL…and with the example I have at the start of this blog they may simply write their friend the Poodle down the street staying how you stayed in bed all day on Sunday…possibly the poodle thinks you ignored your pampered pooch and how bad a dog mommy you are, but what your pooch was really saying was…what a glorious Sunday spent lounging all day at the foot of the bed with my mommy!”

So today I am grateful my pooch cannot read or type, but boy oh boy I sure wish he could turn a door knob and let himself and the two little ones out in the morning and pour me a cup of coffee!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Love that Boy!

Sometime I wish my dog could talk; well actually more than sometimes. My oldest dog Otis gives me these looks with his eyes, deep and brown, as if the world’s peace answer was in there somewhere and I just need to understand the expression and put words to them.

He is my gentle giant and I love him more than many other things in my life, as much as this may hurt or confuse some, I love him more than some family members and more than many people I know. He has done for and given me more in ten years than some have done or given me in forty so why not love him as much as he has loved me for his whole life.

For now, when Otis gives me those deep brown eyes and a tilt of his big black head with soft fluffy ears I just smile, walk over, and give him a big hug and then I thank him for being a good boy that provides me with unconditional understanding and love….then he gets an ear scratch and cookie…me, well I get a wet nose, a lick on the cheek, and a tail wag…just for being me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Designer Dogs....Do we need them?


I have been reading and learning about what is called a “designer” dogs, you know, the ones that are mixed breeds such as a cock-a-doo, lab-a-doo and so on. I have always been an advocate of straight out adoption of a puppy or older dog from a rescue or shelter that is already born and needs a good home, not breeding new puppies to place in this world. I may be slightly bending my view as I read more on the subject.

There are some people that have allergies so they are just unable to have a “common” mutt dog (I have three and there is nothing common about my mutts!) or even a champion blue blood due to the fur on these breeds, hence why I call them my “fur-children” so if they wish to join us as happy and proud fur-children parents, they depend and are very thankful for the new breed (actually cross breeds) as we are for our mutts.

Just like anything and everything in life, there is a place and meaning for all, and in this case a responsible and nurturing breeder of the mixed breed designer dog is okay with me as they fulfill a desire for animal lovers like us who once had to stay at a minimum ten feet away to prevent outbreaks on their skin and a barrage of sneezes; but now they can snuggle, just as we do, with their very own fur-child! How can I say no to that…

What we need it for the irresponsible pet owners to spay and neuter to prevent litters, for those reading please be a responsible pet owner so all dogs are wanted and have a forever home.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remember


Please take a moment today and pray for all our service men and woman in battle protecting you and your family. May we also never forget those that perished today in the horrific 9/11 terrorist attack and pray for the survivors and their family as they continue to heal.

I continue to send a heartfelt thank you to all the men, woman, and canines that volunteered their time in the aftermath. These courageous and commendable dogs and their heroic handlers came from all over to offer their assistance, even as far away as France, British Columbia,Puerto Rico and Canada. Each and every one deserves a world of admiration, gratitude, and a warm cozy spot to lie his head for the remainder of their lives.

So to all the canines who gave their noses, hearts, wet kisses, and tail wags to soothe the wounds of our nation; we say thank you again and again, although our words can never express all the gratitude we send, you will live forever in our debt and in our hearts. God bless you and God bless America.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

7 Steps to a Happier Pet


The Humane Society of the United Sates, in its constant battle to end animal neglect, cruelty and abuse, encourages all its members to take the following actions in support of animal.

* Make sure your pet wears an identification tag to enable him to be returned to you if lost.
* To prevent animal behavioral problems, make sure you enroll your new puppy or dog in behavioral training classes, and visit www.petsforlife.org.
* Animal behavioral problems can be health related. Make sure your pet has a complete medical exam by a veterinarian at least once a year.
* Prepare for disasters. Make sure you have a plan for your pet in the event of a hurricane, tornado, fire, or flood.
* Plan for your pet's future in case something happens to you and visit humanesociety.org/petsinwills for more information.
* Learn how to avoid dog bites, and how to prevent your dog from biting, by going to www.NoDogBites.org.
* Have a heart, be smart and make sure your pet is spayed or neutered.

Our pets depend on us for their well being, we can't let them down.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Award


My friend Marie at adayinmylifephotosandmore.blogspot.com gave me this award, that you so much Marie!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Life the easy way


It has been an interesting week, so much drama in my circle world of friends and family. It has been difficult for me to “wrap” my arms around the new persona of someone I consider family, due to the “new’ her. It has caused a bit of a ripple in the relationship she and I once shared as well as the relationship I have with her husband and my best friend (her Aunt by marriage). I have learned this week that I cannot and don’t have to accept all things done by others and that I have to stay true to myself and do so without hurting others if at all possible.

I have also been trying to accept the medical difficulties I have been undergoing the last four months and learning to live my life around medication side effects, the fatigue, and the lack of strength in my hands, the constant pain, and the many doctor appointments. I have always been such a go-go-go person, and now I have to learn to take things slow and easy…which I am finding is not a bad place to be if I can keep the bills paid and my household happy.

The time I get to spend with my three dogs and twenty year old cat has been so special to me, it is as if this is what I was meant to do. Teach them, play with them, train them, care for them, and lots of naps with them!

I am slowly accepting I am changing, not so much for the better physically (rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia) but spiritually and mentally. Slowly fading are the once must follow rules and phrases such as, “the one with the most toys wins”, and “my house is bigger than your house”, “Don’t you just love my new Jag”, and “Where is your summer home located?” and “my job title is more prestige than yours”; I have learned the simple moments are the ones to treasure. Such as a soft nose nuzzle from Brock, or a funny look from Otis, or a paw on my hand from Marley as we nap. Or the simple pleasure of sitting with hubby and just watching a football game or snuggling on the couch just doing nothing; a day hanging out and shopping with my best friend even if we don’t buy anything, an afternoon on the patio with my BFF sharing our day’s events and a cup of coffee. So much in life is free and worth more than you can ever imagine, if you will only open your mind and your heart and keep your wallet closed.

Have a bow-wow day.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Your Right Foot

Okay this is not dog or animal related but I just have to share….

I guess there are some things that the brain cannot handle....

You have to try this, this will confuse your mind and you will keep trying over and over again to see if you can outsmart your foot, but you can't. It is pre-programmed in your brain!

Okay, while sitting at your desk in front of your computer, lift your RIGHT foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.

Now, while doing this, draw the number '6' in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction.

I told you it drove me crazy, and there's nothing you can do about it! You and I both know how stupid it is, but before the day is done you are going to try it again, if you've not already done so.


Have a bow wow great day!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Did you know?


Based on an average life span of 11 years, the cost of owning a dog is $13,350.

Dogs only sweat from the bottoms of their feet, the only way they can discharge heat is by panting. Dogs and wolves yawn as a sign of contentment.

Dogs have about 100 different facial expressions, most of them made with the ears. Unfortunately, the likes of bulldogs and pitbulls only have 10, due to their breeding. Therefore, these dogs easily get misinterpreted by other dogs and often get into fights.

One of the worlds oldest breeds of dog is the Saluki, (Picture posted above). It is thought to have been developed in ancient Mesopotamia around 3000 B.C.

"Three dog night" (attributed to Australian Aborigines) came about because on especially cold nights these nomadic people needed three dogs (dingos, actually) to keep from freezing.

A dog's sense of smell is one of the keenest in nature. If a pot of stew was cooking on a stove, a human would smell the stew, while the dog could smell the beef, carrots, peas, potatoes, spices, and all the other individual ingredients in the stew. In fact, if you unfolded and laid out the delicate membranes from inside a dogs nose, the membranes would be larger than the dog itself.

It was recently discovered that dogs DO see in color, just not as vivid as the color that humans see.

Two dogs survived the sinking of Titanic, yes that's right, two DOGS survived. They escaped on early lifeboats carrying so few people that no one objected. Miss Margaret Hays of New York brought her Pomeranian with her in lifeboat No. 7, while Henry Sleeper Harper of the publishing family boarded boat No. 3 with his Pekinese, Sun Yat Sen.

Giving dogs chocolate could be fatal for them, because theobromine, an ingredient of chocolate, stimulates the central nervous system and cardiac muscle. About 1.1 kg of milk chocolate or just 146 g of cooking chocolate (which has more theobromine per gram) could kill a 22 kg dog.

In the original 101 Dalmatians movie, Pongo has 72 spots, Perdita has 68 and each of the puppies has 32.

And there you have it, I thought they were interesting especially the Titanic information.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Canine Intelligence



Did you know that the average canine has the mental abilities of a 2-year old child? It is true according to the latest canine IQ reported by Stanley Coren, a canine expert and professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia.

The discovery was based on a language development test, revealing average dogs can learn 165 words (similar to a 2-year-old child); including signals and gestures, and dogs in the top 20% in intelligence learn 250 words. WOW, now if mine could just learn a few such as, no counter surfing and please don’t drool on the laptop.

The smartest breeds in order are, Border collies, poodles, and German shepherds. It is thought that these breed are smarter in part because we have bred and trained them to be. The three listed above are on par with the average 2.5 year old child.
Now just when you that was fantastic, how about this; Coren found also that in terms of social smarts, our four-legged friends are even better than the average 3-4 year old.

"The social life of dogs is much more complex, much more like human teenagers at that stage, interested in who is moving up in the pack and who is sleeping with who and that sort of thing," Coren told LiveScience. Huh, if they start gossiping about my love life they are going to learn a few more words!

Dogs also show some basic emotions such as happiness, anger and disgust just as human toddlers do. However the more complex emotions such as guilt are not in a dog’s character; what we humans once thought was guilt was found to be doggy fear Coren noted.

And while dogs know whether they're being treated fairly, they don't grasp the concept of equity. Coren recalls a study in which dogs get a treat for "giving a paw." When one dog gets a treat and the other doesn't, the unrewarded dog stops performing the trick and avoids making eye contact with the trainer. But if one dog, say, gets rewarded with a juicy steak while the other snags a measly piece of bread, on average the dogs don't care about the inequality of the treats, but I know mine do…LOL if I gave one a steak and one a bread stick there would be a grab-fest for the steak and the bread would be lying on the floor, but only until the steak was gone.

Just another reason to hold your head high when you announce you only have fur-children.

Enjoy your day and remember to challenge your pooch!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Paws With a Cause


Approximately 97% of all people with disabilities are not blind; they are physically challenged in some other way. Paws With a Cause® trains dogs to help with many everyday tasks that can pose significant challenges to those with disabilities.

With their constant attentiveness and loyalty, dogs are the ideal service animal. An assistance dog can alert a deaf parent to the crying of a baby in the next room, or to help with daily independence by opening doors using a special pulling device invented by Paws With a Cause®. Dogs can be trained to pull wheelchairs, transfer a wallet to a cashier and back, and even call 911 when needed.

Paws With a Cause® facilitates the fostering of 1- to 3-year-old dogs from shelters with loving families who provide a safe and loving foundation. The dogs undergo careful training and evaluation so they can be matched with the best possible owner. The Animal Rescue Site is excited to support Paws With a Cause® in its noble work. $20.00 helps transform a shelter dog into a trained Assistant Dog.

In 1979, Paws With A Cause®, first named Ears for the Deaf, was born. Only a few small organizations existed to train dogs for the majority of the disabled population, which includes those individuals with the most severely limiting disabilities. Approximately 97% of all people with disabilities are not blind; they are physically challenged in some other way, and very few dogs were being trained to work with them. Paws With a Cause® trains Assistance Dogs for people with disabilities, provides lifetime team support that encourages independence, and promotes awareness through education.

To help this great cause or to read more about it please visit www.pawswithacause.org
Have a great bow wow day! :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fun Facts


Today is Monday, ho hum....so to add a little fun I have a few animal facts that I thought were pretty interesting.

Do you know the answers to these questions?

Q: Since all prairie dogs look alike, even to other prairie dogs, to tell each other apart, do they: (a) sniff each other; (b) kiss each other; or (c) talk to each other?
A: They kiss, during which they grope each other for familiar physical signs.

Q: You just opened your cat’s favorite food. How fast can he run to get there: (a) 20 miles an hour; (b) 30 miles an hour; or (c) 40 miles an hour?
A: The average cat can hit 30 miles an hour for a short distance. Your cat may vary

Q: According to the American Kennel Club, was the most popular pedigreed dog in the U.S. last year the: (a) German shepherd; (b) rottweiler; or (c) Labrador retriever?
A: The Lab. Next, in order: rottweiler, shepherd, golden retriever, poodle, beagle, dachshund, cocker spaniel, Yorkie, and Pomeranian.

Q: When he gets bored, your dog chews on his paws. Should you: (a) enroll him in group therapy; (b) make him wear mittens; or (c) dab a little oil of clove on his favorite nibble spot?
A: The Old Farmers Almanac says oil of clove discourages nibbling dogs.

Q: According to research at the University of Chicago, not only do birds dream, but they dream about: (a) other birds; (b) worms; or (c) songs they sing during the day?
A: Birds dream about their songs, have dream rehearsals, and sing the same songs better the next day.

Q: Which dog has the best eyesight: (a) Chihuahua; (b) doberman; or (c) greyhound?
A: The Greyhound, better than any other dog.

Okay now some of these I find very interesting while some are just gross...

1.)Hummingbird’s consume half of their weight in food daily.(Good thing I don't take after the hummingbird)

2.)A cockroach can survive for about a week without its head before dying of starvation. (Gross)

3.)The heart of a shrimp is located in its head. (Now I find that interesting and very glad we don't consume the heads)

4.)Every year, $1.5 billion is spent on pet food. This is four times the amount spent on baby food. (Pets are furchildren to many, like me!)

5.)Sharks apparently are the only animals that never get sick. They are immune to every type of disease including cancer.(Okay we need to research this immediately!)

6.)A mosquito has 47 teeth. (And I have felt them all many times over!)

7.)The sex organ on a male spider is located at the end of one of its legs. (So if they are walking on you are they also....well you know? Just thinking outloud here.)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Discussing a Blog


I was reading an article today from someone talking about blogs so I thought I would discuss it as well, in my own way. There are a startling number of blogs that get started and then get abandoned in cyber space for eternity, many are just on line journals of someone’s life, and some offer a point of view or are trying to sell or promote something, others are written on every so often with no real dedication or specific direction, but in my opinion, what your blog is to you, is the right blog for you. I don’t feel there is a wrong or right way, it just all depends on your style and what you had hoped to accomplish with your blog.

Me, I had just wanted to get some thoughts out, speak some on what I feel is important (Pet food recalls,taking care of your pet), share some laughs (Jasper and the unbaked yeast rolls), share tears on heart breaking stories of animal cruelty (to many here to want to think of), but at the same time rejoice when there is triumph in the animal world (A wonderful dog going home after having been missing for 9 years!), to share a story of amazing dogs (The Amazing Skidboot), and post cute and adorable pictures for us all to be in awe over and to bring a smile.

So with that said, because of my great LOVE for animals, especially dogs, I will offer a tip a day on animal care. Hope you are here each day and share the experience.

PS: Happy Birthday to my fur children Marley and Brock who are two Friday the 31st. I have Marley's picture from last year to share now as this years party is not until Sunday and I will post then.

PSS: Brock and Marley are brothers, but Brock did not come to live with us until shortly after the one year birthday. I found out he was still at the shelter having lived his whole life there and I could not let that be his life forever...he was with us and his brother in less than 2 weeks once I contacted Lori at Pet Tender Angels. Life is GOOD!

Monday, July 27, 2009


This story is so sweet and brings tears to my eyes...4 year old Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey, her beloved dog that died the day before... She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
Love, Meredith


We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies..' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey &Meredith and this note:


Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by. Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much..
By the way, I'm easy to find, I am wherever there is love..

Love,
God

Makes you want to hug the next person you see. Have a great and loving day!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Just a Dog"


From time to time people tell me, “Lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or, “That’s a lot of money to spend on just a dog.” They don’t understand the distance traveled, time spent, or costs involved for “Just a dog.” Some of my proudest moments have come about with “Just a dog.” Many hours have passed with my only company being “Just a dog,” and not once have I felt slighted. Some of my saddest moments were brought about by “Just a dog.” In those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “Just a dog” provided comfort and purpose to overcome the day.

If you, too, think “Just a dog,” you will probably understand phrases like “Just a friend,” Just a sunrise,” or “Just a promise.” “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person. Because of “Just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.

For me and folks like me, it’s not “Just a dog.” It’s an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. “Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday people can understand it’s not “Just a dog.” It’s the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “Just a man a woman.”

So the next time you hear the phrase “Just a dog,” smile, because they “Just don’t understand.”




~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I know having human friends is viewed as one of the greatest accomplishments in life...but to be honest, most of the time I prefer and I am more comfortable with dogs.

My dogs love me no matter what, they are always happy to see me, never lie to me, don't tick me off, always willing to do what I am in the mood to do, either play or rest. They show their honest affection every time they are with me and what more can you ask for. They are sweet, loving, adorable, and most importantly they choose me to be their best companion and to care for them for life...no matter what, I am there for them and they are always there for me with cold noses and wet sloppy kisses.

Four legs over two in many instances make for better and longer lasting friendships.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Brock - Trying to help



I have been waiting for my little four-legged fur child Brock to allow anyone other than me to pet him. He will be two on the 30th and has lived with me and my husband now for almost a year. He is the most loving baby, but only with me...he loves to cuddle and be brushed and lay his sweet little head on my lap and watch movies.

So now I am seeking advise on how to get him to interact with...lets just start with my husband who tries so lovingly to offer him a treat or a soft pat on the head but Brock runs the other way. He does this with my best friend Sherry as well, so it is not a male thing. He loves the other two fur children that live here and when I walk in after not seeing him for a few hours he is so excited to see me he is dancing in place and around and around and excited beyond words.

So I think that he can change and allow others to love him, I just need to find out what I can do to help him experience this love so many more than just me want to give to him, as his mom I have to keep trying and searching for the answer.

Trying to help


Man driving down road, woman driving up same road.They pass each other. Woman yells out the window, PIG! Man yells out window, BITCH! Man rounds next curve. Man crashes into a HUGE PIG in middle of road and dies.

Thought For the Day:
If men would just listen...

This was just an example of how ignorant men can be at times (as much as we love them) and no actual pig was harmed in this fictional story.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A soldier's view of Michael Jackson 's death

Okay, I need to rant.

I was just watching the news, and I caught part of a report on Michael Jackson . As we all know, Jackson died the other day. He was an entertainer who performed for decades. He made millions, he spent millions, and he did a lot of things that make him a villain to many people. I understand that his death would affect a lot of people, and I respect those people who mourn his death, but that isn't the point of my rant.

Why is it that when ONE man dies, the whole of America loses their minds with grief. When a man dies whose only contribution to the country was to ENTERTAIN people, the American people find the need to flock to a memorial in Hollywood , and even Congress sees the need to hold a "moment of silence" for his passing?

Am I missing something here? ONE man dies, and all of a sudden he's a freaking martyr because he entertained us for a few decades? What about all those SOLDIERS who have died to give us freedom? All those Soldiers who, knowing that they would be asked to fight in a war, & still raised their hands and swore to defend the Constitution and the United States of America . Where is their moment of silence? Where are the people flocking to their graves or memorials and mourning over them because they made the ultimate sacrifice? Why is it when a Soldier dies, there are more people saying "good riddance," and "thank God for IEDs?" When did this country become so calloused to the sacrifice of GOOD MEN and WOMEN, that they can arbitrarily blow off their deaths, and instead, throw themselves into mourning for a "Pop Icon?"

I think that if they are going to hold a moment of silence IN CONGRESS for Michael Jackson , they need to hold a moment of silence for every service member killed in Iraq and Afghanistan . They need to PUBLICLY recognize every life that has been lost so that the American people can live their callous little lives in the luxury and freedom that WE, those that are living and those that have gone on, have provided for them. But, wait, that would take too much time, because there have been so many willing to make that sacrifice. After all, we will never make millions of dollars. We will never star in movies, or write hit songs that the world will listen too. We only shed our blood, sweat and tears so that people can enjoy what they have.

Sorry if I have offended, but I needed to say it.

Remember these five words the next time you think of someone who is serving in the military;

"So that others may live..."

Isaac
A young man serving his third tour of duty in Iraq.

My thought now...No matter your thoughts or feelings on the war itself, you have to own up to the facts and the feelings of our militery men and woman, and I do think Congress needs to somehow publicly show respect for all our fallen men and woman as they did for MJ. God bless the troups, their families, and America!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jasper and the unbaked yeast rolls

Received this via email and thought I would pass along.


It has been awhile since I first told this story and thought that many may have missed it so here it is again. For those that have seen it in my first posting, if you are like me....you can't help but read and laugh and laugh and laugh all over again. :)Those of you who have/had animals will probably appreciate it more. Enjoy

We have a fox terrier by the name of Jasper. He came to us in the summer of 2001 from the fox terrier rescue program. For those of you, who are unfamiliar with this type of adoption, imagine taking in a 10 year old child about whom you know nothing and committing to doing your best to be a good parent.

Like a child, the dog came with his own idiosyncrasies. He will only sleep on the bed, on top of the covers, nuzzled as close to my face as he can get without actually performing a French kiss on me.

Lest you think this is a bad case of 'no discipline,' I should tell you that Perry and I tried every means to break him of this habit including locking him in a separate bedroom for several nights. The new door cost over $200. But I digress.

Five weeks ago we began remodeling our house. Although the cost of the project is downright obnoxious, it was 20 years overdue AND it got me out of cooking Thanksgiving for family, extended family, and a lot of friends that I like more than family most of the time.

I was assigned the task of preparing 124 of my famous yeast dinner rolls for the two Thanksgiving feasts we did attend.

I am still cursing the electrician for getting the new oven hooked up so quickly. It was the only appliance in the whole darn house that worked, thus the assignment.

I made the decision to cook the rolls on Wed evening to reheat Thurs am. Since the kitchen was freshly painted, you can imagine the odor. Not wanting the rolls to smell like Sherwin Williams #586, I put the rolls on baking sheets and set them in the living room to rise for a few hours. Perry and I decided to go out to eat, returning in about an hour. The rolls were ready to go in the oven.

It was 8:30 PM. When I went to the living room to retrieve the pans, much to my shock one whole pan of 12 rolls was empty. I called out to Jasper and my worst nightmare became a reality. He literally wobbled over to me He looked like a combination of the Pillsbury dough boy and the Michelin Tire man wrapped up in fur. He groaned when he walked. I swear even his cheeks were bloated.

I ran to the phone and called our vet. After a few seconds of uproarious laughter, he told me the dog would probably be OK, however, I needed to give him Pepto Bismol every 2 hours for the rest of the night.

God only knows why I thought a dog would like Pepto Bismol any more than my kids did when they were sick. Suffice it to say that by the time we went to bed the dog was black, white and pink He was so bloated we had to lift him onto the bed for the night.

We arose at 7:30 and as we always do first thing; put the dog out to relieve himself. Well, the dog was as drunk as a sailor on his first leave. He was running into walls, falling flat on his butt and most of the time when he was walking his front half was going one direction and the other half was either dragging the grass or headed 90 degrees in another direction.

He couldn't lift his leg to pee, so he would just walk and pee at the same time. When he ran down the small incline in our back yard he couldn't stop himself and nearly ended up running into the fence.

His pupils were dilated and he was as dizzy as a loon. I endured another few seconds of laughter from the vet (second call within 12 hours) before he explained that the yeast had fermented in his belly and that he was indeed drunk.

He assured me that, not unlike most binges we humans go through, it would wear off after about 4 or 5 hours and to keep giving him Pepto Bismol.

Afraid to leave him by himself in the house, Perry and I loaded him up and took him with us to my sister's house for the first Thanksgiving meal of the day.

My sister lives outside of Muskogee on a ranch, (10 to 15 minute drive). Rolls firmly secured in the trunk (124 less 12) and drunk dog leaning from the back seat onto the console of the car between Perry and I, we took off.

Now I know you probably don't believe that dogs burp, but believe me when I say that after eating a tray of risen unbaked yeast rolls, DOGS WILL BURP. These burps were pure Old Charter. They would have matched or beat any smell in a drunk tank at the police station. But that's not the worst of it.

Now he was beginning to fart and they smelled like baked rolls. God strike me dead if I am not telling the truth! We endured this for the entire trip to Karen's, thankful she didn't live any further away than she did.

Once Jasper was firmly placed in my sister's garage with the door locked, we finally sat down to enjoy our first Thanksgiving meal of the day. The dog was the topic of conversation all morning long and everyone made trips to the garage to witness my drunken dog, each returning with a tale of Jasper's latest endeavor to walk without running into something. Of course, as the old adage goes, 'what goes in must come out' and Jasper was no exception.< BR>
Granted if it had been me that had eaten 12 risen, unbaked yeast rolls, you might as well have put a concrete block up my behind, but alas a dog's digestive system is quite different from yours or mine. I discovered this was a mixed blessing when we prepared to leave Karen's house. Having discovered his 'packages' on the garage floor, we loaded him up in the car so we could hose down the floor.

This was another naive decision on our part. The blast of water from the hose hit the poop on the floor and the poop on the floor with stood the blast from the hose. It was like Portland cement beginning to set up and cure.

We finally tried to remove it with a shovel. I (obviously no one else was going to offer their services) had to get on my hands and knees with a coarse brush to get the remnants off of the floor. And as if this wasn't degrading enough, the darn dog in his drunken state had walked through the poop and left paw prints all over the garage floor that had to be brushed, too.


Well, by this time the dog was sobering up nicely so we took him home and dropped him off before we left for our second Thanksgiving dinner at Perry's sister's house.

I am happy to report that as of today (Monday) the dog is back to normal both in size and temperament. He has had a bath and is no longer tricolor. None the worse for wear I presume. I am also happy to report that just this evening I found 2 risen unbaked yeast rolls hidden inside my closet door.

It appears he must have come to his senses after eating 10 of them but decided hiding 2 of them for later would not be a bad idea. Now, I'm doing research on the computer as to: 'How to clean unbaked dough from the carpet.'

Makes my story of when my three dogs ate my homemade Italian Rum Wedding Cake the night before our wedding...they were ill but not as bad as poor Jasper. I on the other hand had to stay up all night baking a new cake and Jasper's mom didn't have to remake the 12 rolls that were missing.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Human Interest Story – brings a tear…



It was toward the end of Sunday service and our Minister asked, “How many of you have forgiven your enemies?” Eighty percent held up their hands. The Minister then repeated his question, all responded this time except one very elderly lady.

“Bea? Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?" and she replied with a sweet smile “I don't have any.”

"Well Bea, that is certainly very unusual and should be commended, how old are you?”

“Ninety-eight.” she replied. Amazed the Minister said “Would you please come down in front and tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years and not have an enemy in the world?”

The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation, and said,“It's simple really, I just outlived the bitches.”

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's all in the name


Well today I am a bit excited and very anxious. I have a face book account and yesterday I was searching for my birthmother’s maiden name and I came across a woman in NY with the same last name. I wrote to her with a little information of myself and asked if we could be related. She replied with her family background and I am certain we are related! She is generation ahead of me, which is awesome, as she will have much wanted family history to share with me. I recognized many of the names she supplied, but was unable to unscramble the information in my mind and place everyone in the proper place. I look forward to exploring this new adventure and most importantly, making a new friend with whom I share so much. Wish me luck!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A friend for life


In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephant’s foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.

Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenage son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, and then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

Just a little humor to start the week off; no elephant was harmed in this story.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sending Dogs to Prison



I think this is AWESOME, everyone is a winner in this program and many dogs that were wasting away in shelters just waiting for their number to be picked in the lottery of death are now saved and become a beloved and respected service animal for a forever grateful loving friend. How much better could it get for a shelter dog, I am happy with tears for this program and will be sending a donation. If you place prison dogs in Google search you can see many more heartwarming stories, pictures and videos.

To start a program, there must be a sincere focus in helping the lives of the inmates... and to really make a difference to help rehabilitate the inmates. To warehouse inmates, punish them and then throw them back out into the community does not rebuild damage lives but rather it builds more anger and disrespect to authorities.

For more information on how you can help,please e-mail the Prison Dog Project. srpauline@pathwaystohope.org The Dog programs that have allowed a personal approach are the programs that will succeed.

I hope that prison dog programs will base their programs on mutual respect and dignity... where love is the focus... more than control and intimidation because if you want people to return to society, focused on being better persons, then the ingredient of love needs to be included, rules to be followed but not to the point that a program would fold because an officer gave a hamburger to an inmate after speaking at a community school to children about the prison dog program. The DOC punished the officer for showing compassion to a prisoner. The 25 year veteran of the Department of Correction with an unblemished record was so hurt in being treated like that, that he quit the Department of Corrections and the Liberty Dog Program folded because the volunteers who were very supportive of this officer refused to carry on with a program that would treat their staff and the inmates the way this department of corrections did.

Downeast Correctional... Bucks Harbor, Maine

This is a program where inmates in prisons are training dogs to assist the disabled. The dogs are then placed with someone who needs a specially trained dog to assist them.

Also in other prison programs they raise future assistance dogs and guide dogs for the blind for existing training schools, thus cutting back the time that a disabled person must wait for a dog to assist them.

The third prison dog project is where inmates are taking unwanted dogs from animal shelters, then groom and train them to be good citizens. They are then placed back into the community as "paroled pets". This gives the dogs a second chance in life, exactly what the prisoners are wishing for in their own life.

The prison dog programs help the inmates learn how to become "other" centered, thus giving something back to society. The inmates learn needed skills in order to help them get jobs when they are released. They also learn responsibility, patience, tolerance, as well as being good trainers with kindness and love.

The Prison Dog Programs are developing in many prisons around the United States and other countries. It helps to bring a sense of calm in the institutional setting. The dogs are also a bridge between the inmates and the guards as well as with a disabled person to people in the community. When a disabled person in a wheel chair or a prisoner has a friendly dog by their side, people want to go up and greet them. The friendly dog then helps to break the tension.

One of the dogs ready for graduation from the York Correctional Institution in Niantic, Connecticut The dog is wearing a "Gentle Leader", like a horse halter... a gentle way to train. His Picture is up above....how cute!

Money will buy a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail.
~ Josh Billings ~

These prison dog programs are mostly developed without the help of state funds. Many supplies are needed to help other prison dog programs develop, as well as to help them continue on. We need donations and supplies to make this unique rehabilitation program a continued success.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Happy Day


Do you ever wonder what the day will bring as you lay in bed in the early hours of the morning just before the sun comes up and the day must begin? I try to envision my day before it actually happens; I try to think of a day filled with necessary work, and then friends, both two and four legged, and smiles and joy…it doesn’t necessary always work out to be a good one, but I do think that if I am in a positive mood prior to getting out of bed I have a very good chance of having a day filled with laughter and joy. You should try it sometime and let me know if it did indeed alter your mood for the day.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dog tired


So today I am trying very hard to get done what needs to get done. My best friend and I made homemade pizza for my hubby and some friends last night and it was out of this world. Our favorite from last night’s line up was Shrimp Scampi Pizza. We have been making homemade pizza for the last month now once a week, it is fun, delicious, and a great way to spend time together.

I got to bed about 11:00pm and to be honest I was tired but I am still suffering from insomnia so I was up again at 2:00am and was up all night until 6:00am when I again was able to sleep for an hour. So now I am very tired and it is extremely hot outside, so I think I will just get the few small chores completed and then see if I can get a nap in so that I am fresh for when hubby gets home.

Today the picture I wish to share is one of how my mood is…hope everyone has a great day!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

OMG!!!!


Huh, I guess this says it all without any more words from me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Brock the helpful one



Today I want to show you my boy Brock’s talent. My husband, to whom Brock will still not go to, loves this one thing about him the most…you see Brock makes cleaning up his “messes” in the backyard very simple for me. He does not make a mess on the lawn at all and they are very easy to locate without stepping in them. The sun dries them out very quickly and thus also reduces the smell. So I am curious if anyone else has a pet that does the same for them?


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Week-Old Puppy Flushed Down the Toilet


OMG!!! I was horrified when I read this headline, but all is well.



Week-Old Puppy Recovering After Being Flushed Down the Toilet
by Kristen Seymour Jun 16th 2009 2:00PM



Dyno, the cocker spaniel puppy, is recovering from a trip down the loo. Photo: YouTube.com

Four-year-old Daniel Blair thought he was being a good boy when he decided to give a week-old cocker spaniel puppy a bath. Unfortunately, the child tried to bathe the puppy in the toilet, and, when he pulled the chain, the tiny pup was flushed right down!

Sky News reports that neighbors were asked not to flush for fear of sending the pup out to the sewer while the fire brigade and RSPCA tried -- but were unable -- to rescue the puppy, which was trapped in a pipe 20 yards from the home.

Drain experts Dyno-Rod were called in for the rescue. They used specialist camera gear to locate the pooch, after which they were able to nudge the animal to a manhole cover so the firemen could grab him.

The puppy, now aptly name Dyno, is recovering, and little Daniel is "so, so sorry." But hey, he learned a lesson -- puppies go in the tub and poopies go in the loo.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Today is my Birthday!

Too much to try and catch everyone up on so I will just start with what is happening now; we are moved into the new house, all changes were made successfully and beautifully and everyone is very happy!

Today I have to take Brock, the dog that I rescued almost a year ago to the vet, doesn’t sound like a difficult task unless you have read previous blogs of mine. Brock has lived with hubby and me since August 2008 and he does not allow anyone to touch, pet, or get with five feet of him except me. He is a very loving dog and will play and give kisses and snuggle on the sofa…again only with me. I had advised my vet about Brock and they said to just bring him in and see what happens. That scares me, I am not so worried about them, it is Brock I don’t want to traumatize. I will update how it went tomorrow.

Today, my birthday, will be spent, other than the vet visit this afternoon, relaxing with the dogs and tending to the vegetable garden until the 90 degree heat hits and then inside to watch a movie with the AC on high!

PS: It has been over 2 months now that I quit smoking!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chanel: World's Oldest Dog Is 21





Chanel, the world's oldest dog, celebrated her 21st birthday on Wednesday May 9th with a certificate from the Guinness Book of Records and a visit to a dog hotel and spa.

The dachshund, a rescue dog from Port Jefferson in New York, wore an orange sweater and red goggles as her owner, Denice Shaughnessy, accepted the award marking her longevity.

"Chanel is the Guinness world record holder for the oldest living dog," said Jamie Panas, a spokeswoman for Guinness.

The record authority reviewed a veterinarian's certificate, statements from four witnesses and photographs to verify Chanel's age, Panas explained. Chanel became the world's oldest dog following the death of Butch, the 28-year-old former record holder, in 2003.

Though visibly nervous and shaking at times, Chanel posed for photographers as she sat on a red mini-sofa. Shaughnessy said Chanel tires quickly, wears goggles for cataracts when she is in the sun, and booties to cushion a benign tumor on her hind leg.

"I just take good care of her," said Shaughnessy, 51, who cares for Chanel with her husband, Karl. "I treat her like a person."

Shaughnessy got her pet from a shelter when the dog was six weeks old. Although Chanel could run miles in her younger days, now she suffers from joint problems and spends most of her days at home.

(Reporting by Aarthi Sivaraman; editing by Patricia Reaney)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Growing up Italian

A "family" member had me read this after he returned from a trip to Flordia where he spent seven weeks in a town with his mother and a bunch of other Italian heratige people everywhere. He siad it was like being "at home". I read this and smiled, cried, and was once again remided of where I came from and it brought back so many wonderful memories in my family.I plan to print it on special paper and hang it in my hallway entrance at the new home.

Growing up Italian - "No one covers the fig tree"

I was well into adulthood before I realized that I was an American. Of course, I had been born in America and had lived here all my life, but somehow it never occurred to me that just being a citizen of America meant that I was as American. Americans were people who ate peanut butter and jelly on mushy white bread that came out of plastic bags. Me? I was Italian.

For me, as I am sure for most second generation Italian-American cildren who grew up in the 40's and 50's, there was a definite distinction to draw between Us and Them. We were Italians. Everybody else, the English, the French, the Irish, Germans, Poles, they were the "inglesi". There was no animosity involved in that distinction, no prejudice, no hard feelings, just... well... we were sure that ours was a better way. For instance, we had a bread man, a fruit and vegetable man, a chicken man; we even had a man who sharpened knives and scissors right outside our homes. They were part of the many peddlers who plied the Italian neighborhoods. We would wait for their call, their yell, their individual distinctive sounds. We knew them all and they knew us. The Americans... they went to the A&P for most of their foods... what a waste.

Truly, I pitied their loss. They never knew the pleasure of waking up every morning to find a hot, crisp loaf of Italian bread waiting behind the screen door. And instead of being able to climb up on the back of the peddler's truck a couple of times a week just to hitch a ride, most of my "inglesi" friends had to be satisfied by walking with their Mamas to the store.

When it came to food, it always amazed me that my friends and classmates only ate turkey on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas. Or rather, that they only ate turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. Now, we Italians, we also had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, but only after we had finished the antipasto, soup, lasagna, meatballs, salad and whatever else Mama thought might be appropriate for that particular holiday.

The turkey was usually accompanied by a roast of some kind (this was just in case somebody walked in who didn't like turkey) and it was followed by an assortment of fruits, nuts, pastries, cakes, and, of course, the homemade cookies sprinkled with little colored things. No holiday was complete without some home baking; non of that store-bought stuff for us. This was where you learned to eat a seven course meal between noon and 4 P.M; how to handle hot chestnuts and put peach wedges in red wine. My friends ate cornmeal mush. We did too, but only after Mama covered it with sauce, sausages and meatballs... we called it polenta... now it's a gourmet food...
Mama must have known it all the time.

I truly believe Italians live a romance with food. Sunday was the big day of the week. That was the day you'd wake up to the smell of garlic and onions frying in olive oil, as it dropped into the pan. Sunday we always had sauce and macaroni. Sunday would not be Sunday without going to Mass. Of course, you couldn't eat before Mass because you had to fast before receiving communion. But, the good part was that we knew when we got home we'd find hot meatballs frying, and nothing tasted better that newly fried meatballs and crisp bread dipped into a pot of hot sauce.

There was another difference between us and them. We had gardens, not just flower gardens, but huge gardens where we grew tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes. We ate them, cooked them, and jarred them. Of course, we also grew peppers, basil, lettuce and squash. Everybody had a grapevine and a fig tree, and in the fall everybody made homemade wine. Then, when the kegs were opened everyone argued over whose wine tasted the best. Those gardens thrived because we also had something that our Canadian friends didn't seem to have... we had grandparents. Of course, it's not that they didn't have grandparents; it's just that they didn't live in the same house or on the same block. Their presence wasn't that noticeable. We ate with our
grandparents, and God forbid if we didn't visit them at least 5 times a week. I can still remember my grandfather telling us about how he came to America as a young man, on the "boat". How the family lived in a tenement and took in boarders in order to make ends meet. How he decided that he didn't want his children, five sons and two daughters, to grow up in that environment. All of this, of course, in his own version of Italian/English which I learned to understand quite well.

So, when they saved enough money, and I never still can figure out how, they bought a house. That house served as the family headquarters for the next 40 years. I remember how they hated to leave the house for any reason. They would rather sit on the back porch and watch their garden grow. When they did leave for some special occasion, they had to return as quickly as possible... after all, "nobody is watching the house".

I also remember, the holidays when all the relatives would gather at my grandparents' house and there would be tables full of food and homemade wine. The women in the kitchen, the men in the living room, and the kids... kids everywhere. I must have a thousand cousins, first cousins and second and some friends who just became cousins, but it didn't matter. Then my grandfather, sitting in the middle of it all, his pipe in his mouth, his fine mustache trimmed, would smile and his dark eyes would twinkle as he surveyed his domain, proud of his family and how well his children had done. One was a cop, one was a fireman, the others had their trades, and of course there was always the rogue about whom nothing was said. The girls? They had all married well and had fine husbands, although my grandfather secretly seemed to suspect the one son-in-law who wasn't Italian. But out of all of this one thing that we all had for each other was respect.

He had achieved his goal in coming to America and to Brooklyn and now his children and their children were achieving the same goals that were available to them in this great country, because they were Americans.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This is incredable

I thought this was amazing, shows me how much I could do if I spent the time with training. The youngs ones are not yet two so there is still time and I hope to try. I may never get my dog to be a star in public, but it would be great bonding time.

video

Friday, March 6, 2009

The moving saga




Well it has been some since I have been able to post but I have made an effort to keep up with everyone’s blogs whenever possible.

We sold our “old” home and are set to move into the new one in two weeks! I am very excited and yet sad to be leaving a home that has been full of love and nurture for six years.

I have spent these last few, four maybe, picking out counter tops, paint colors, curio bathroom unit, kitchen cabinets, kitchen faucets, lighting fixtures (still have not found that foyer chandelier), new toilet seats, new towels for the now three bathrooms we have, and buying items such as a Shark floor cleaner and a Dyson vacuum to keep the new house clean.

The dogs have not had much of my time I must confess, the new fence at the new house does not go up until next week therefore they have had to stay at home during the day while I work, and then for a few extra hours in the evenings when I go to the new house and most of the day on the weekends. I miss spending down time and play time with them as much as they miss being with me. But in two weeks we will be all done with the renovations on our only eight year old home (LOL I had to change it to make it mine) and we will all be living and spending more time together.

One goal is to walk each night with the dogs, I most certainly need the exercise and they just love to walk with me and enjoy the new scents and surroundings of the outside. The other goal is to be sure as I finish, who am I kidding, to be sure when I pack I give much to Goodwill! Heaven knows I have not looked, nor missed, many items that are still in boxes from when we moved down here from RI in 2000.

Well, I must run to the new house and I promise to be back “full-time” in just a few shorts weeks.

As a side note, the picture on top is how I feel about all the packing I still have left to do!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Dear Dogs and Cats:

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:
TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT AND LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PETS:


(1) They live here. You don't.

(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.

(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.

(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they

(1) eat less,

(2) don't ask for money all the time,

(3) are easier to train,

(4) normally come when called,

(5) never ask to drive the car,

(6) don't hang out with drug-using people;

(7) don't smoke or drink,

(8) don't want to wear your clothes,

(9) don't have to buy the latest fashions,

(10) don't need a gazillion dollars for college and

(11) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children ..

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This is too funny!



WOW! I wonder what school she went to and how in the world she made it past the second grade!!

10 Reasons Why It's Great to be a Dog

1.) If it itches, you can reach it. And no matter where it itches, no one will be offended if you scratch it in public.

2.) No one notices if you have hair growing in weird places as you get older.

3.) Personal hygiene is a blast: No one expects you to take a bath every day, and you don't even have to comb your own hair.

4.) Having a wet nose is considered a sign of good health.

5.) No one thinks less of you for passing gas. Some people might actually think you're cute.

6.) Who needs a big home entertainment system? A bone or an old shoe can entertain you for hours.

7.) You can spend hours just smelling stuff.

8.) No one ever expects you to pay for lunch or dinner. You never have to worry about table manners, and if you gain weight, it's someone else's fault.

9.) It doesn't take much to make you happy. You're always excited to see the same old people. All they have to do is leave the room for five minutes and come back.

10.) Every garbage can looks like a cold buffet to you.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A letter from my dog today...



How to wash a toilet...

This was simply too much of a time saver not to share it with you.






1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.

2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.

3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close the lid.You may need
to stand on the lid.

4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come
from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.

5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a 'power-wash' and rinse'.

6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people
between the bathroom and the front door.

7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can and quickly lift the lid.

8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom,and run
outside where he will dry himself off.

9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.

Sincerely,

The Dog

Okay I Would NEVER do this to my 20 year old cat or any other cat..don't know what got into that dog???

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine’s Day!


I always wondered how this “holiday” began, so I did some research, and to be honest now that I know how it all started I don’t think I will be celebrating this holiday any longer.

The birth of Valentine's Day began with the very ancient, Roman pastoral festival; Lupercalia, observed February 13 through February 15 to ward off evil spirits and cleanse the city, releasing health and fertility. Okay so far not bad, sounds okay and I’m still with it. The festival sported many of the noble youths of the magistrates running naked through the city for sport and laughter while girls and young woman purposely lined their route in hopes of getting lashed by whips or “thongs” made of the sacrificed goat and soaked in it’s blood as they believed it would ensure fertility and ease the pains of childbirth. Okay, gross. In order for these young men to obtain the thongs, the festival begins by sacrificing two male goats and a dog, no gender specified. A piece of the goats skin in cut from the carcass and the blood from the knife is wiped upon it and then soaked in milk before the running of city partakes. This went on until the fifth century, when the public performance of pagan rites was outlawed. Hurray for someone finally coming to their sense! Later a priest named Valentine came along. Valentine was a romantic at heart who for his belief in love disobeyed the mighty Emperor Claudius II. You see the Emperor wanted all his soldiers to remain bachelors so they would not be distracted by love (heaven forbid) and concentrate on fighting.Valentine,had other thoughts and he secretly performed marriage ceremonies for the soldiers. As a result of his defiance of the Emperor in his fight for love he was put to death on February 14th. And there you have it folks, how it all began. Oh there are a few more Roman stories in between and at the end the magical “Cupid” comes in to play, but for me the story ends here. It is hard to enjoy a day which started way way way back in 44 BC when many animals were sacrificed so we could get a box of chocolates and a few roses; I guess I will reflect on the story of Valentine, for he sacrificed his life for love…

Friday, February 6, 2009

A PET'S TEN COMMANDMENTS...









1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative,ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too,will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so. ALWAYS!

~Take a moment today to thank God for your pets.Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller,less joyful experience without God's critters~

Friday, January 30, 2009

Dog in Need

A story like this makes me cringe, but at the same time warms my heart. Enjoy the story of Yugo found in yesterday's paper.

Pit bull mix found severely burned in E. Providence 1-27-09: Tatiana Pina


EAST PROVIDENCE -- In the end it was Yugo's wagging tail that saved him.

A woman found the American Bulldog-pit bull mix sitting on the side of the Henderson Expressway Tuesday near the on-ramp to Providence.

The brown and white dog's front legs were burned so severely he could barely stand. He had another burn on his right ear. The woman used her handkerchief to place under the 80-pound dog so she could lift him into her car because he couldn't move much. She brought him to East Providence Animal Control Center. Workers took him to to the East Bay Animal Hospital in Seekonk so veterinarians could treat him.
William Muggle, animal control supervisor at the East Providence Animal Control Center, said the burns were about two weeks old and so severe that veterinarians considered whether they should put the dog to sleep. But Yugo had a great disposition and wagged his tail a lot.

"The dog had a great disposition even with the severity of his wounds. I was picking him up to walk him up the stairs of the ER and he wagged his tail and he didn't growl. Had he been an iffy dog, there would have been a question about the amount of money that is needed" to heal him and then try to get him adopted, he said.
Workers at the animal control center named him Yugo, after the Yugo automobile built in Yugoslavia in the 1980's for his compact size.

Muggle said Yugo's care will cost in the hundreds. He said workers at the animal control center raised more than $100 for his care and so did some of the other animal advocacy agencies. The animal control center is looking for donations for Yugo's care.

The agency is also looking for any information about the possible owner of the dog. The owner did nothing about Yugo's wounds, Muggle said. He was also malnourished. When he came out of the anesthesia after the veterinarians treated his wounds, he ate two cans of dog food. He is about five years old.
Muggle said the veterinarian could not determine whether the burns came from a chemical or hot water, but it did not appear that the dog had stepped in the liquid because his paws were not burned.

Anyone who had information regarding the dog or wishes to make a donation should call the animal control center at 435-7675.
(Photo courtesy of East Providence Animal Control Center)