My Mom is Amazing

July 25, 2014

My mother is amazing! She took a turn for the worse a couple of weeks ago but is determined to still live her life with a smile. She is so determined that she wants to get up and do things. In fact, she is actually doing much better right now. This past weekend, she went to check out the neighborhood garage sales. She loves garage sales. My stepdad says she was wide awake at about 5:30 am Saturday morning ready to go! Thursday, hospice arranged to get her a ride into town. Mom really wanted to go to Walmart. Here are a few recent photos of my amazing mom.

Mom and silly mask

My mom loves to laugh. She got a kick out of this silly mask my stepdad got for her.

Mom at a Garage Sale 7-19-14

My mom loves garage sales. This was taken on July 19, 2014.

 

Mom Mandy Casper

My stepdad and the friend they are staying with, Bill, each bought my mom a stuffed animal, which my mom named Mandy and Casper.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I got my love for dogs from my mom. When I was a girl, my mom was the town’s unofficial dog rescuer. Wendy, in the photo below, was initially a stray. My mom got her exactly one year before I was born.

Spaniel Mix Wendy

There was a Collie my mom had before I was born. I think his name was Ranger. When he was was given up by his owners he was covered in mats. I have a photo of Ranger, but the scan didn’t come out well. In the photo, he has a luxurious coat, all thanks to my mom’s loving care. Squash was a Mastiff mixed abandoned by our neighbors. He was tied on a short thick chain in the back yard and left there. Squash became a loving family member who later returned the kindness by protecting my baby sister from a pack or a pair ( I can’t remember) of aggressive dogs.

Cassie was a Sheltie given up by her family. My mom took her in, but Cassie attached herself to me and became my dog.

Cassie - Shetland Sheepdog

Rocky is the dog that recently passed away just before my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was posted on Craigslist as a dog “free to a good home”. Luckily, he found a great home with my mom.

Rocky Standing Over Mom

My mom recently lost her dog Rocky. This is him standing on the top of her chair. Rocky was a very lovable dog but he loved my mom more than anyone.

Solo was also a “free to good home” on rollanet in Rolla, MO. She came from a terrible dog breeding situation that got way out of hand. Before my mom saved her, Solo lived in a small cage full of dog crap with two other dogs. Solo came with a ton of issues including extreme shyness, fear aggression, and just plain aggression. Today, she is by my mom’s bedside and living the high life. Her shyness and aggression is mostly gone, although she still dislikes other dogs. She is a much different dog than she was when my mom first got her. Love can do that.

Solo the Border Collie Mix

My mom survived lung cancer a few years ago. This is her after recovery and with her dog Solo.

There were so many other dogs that my mom rescued. I remember Max, Lady, Lips, an Afghan Hound, and so many more that I don’t recall the names of. With her generous love, my mom has changed the lives of so many animals. And it is obvious animals have had a positive influence on her. She doesn’t let her illness get her down and the smallest things make her happy. She is truly amazing and I am so proud to have her as my mom.

Mom with First Daughter Dawn

This is me and my mom.

 

Wordless Wednesday – Maya Sleeping

July 23, 2014
Maya Sleeping 1 - July 2014

I almost died laughing when I looked over from watching tv and saw this. :D

Maya Sleeping 2 - July 2014

Cuddle time close-up. If you think Maya looks really innocent in this photo, then she has you fooled. ;)

Maya Sleeping 3 - July 2014

Maya has beautiful eyelashes.

Check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop for more fun pet photos by clicking the link below.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Saying Goodbye to Our Housemates

July 18, 2014
Our Family Sha Sha Jinbo Etc

Left to Right: Pierson, Jinbo, Jinbo’s mom holding Jinbo’s son Eric, Sha Sha, Jinbo’s dad, me, my husband Li Xi, Maya. Jinbo’s parents lived with us for about 6 months. Sha Sha’s mom was here for a while at one time as well. We had quite the house full. :)

Since I haven’t done too much posting these past few months, I thought I’d go backwards and fill you in on some going-ons. It might seem a little strange for a married couple to have housemates, but here’s the scoop on our friends (and recent housemates) Sha Sha and Jinbo.

We had a house with a finished basement. The basement had two carpeted bedrooms and a living area. And it had a full bathroom. The only thing it didn’t have was a kitchen. But it was more than enough space and we didn’t need it all, so why not rent the basement out?

We lived right near KU so certainly there were some students in need of inexpensive living space. My husband, being Chinese and being a part time student at KU, posted an ad on the Chinese student classified section of the KU website.

We’ve had a few housemates over the past few years and everything had always worked out great. Sha Sha and Jinbo were our most recent housemates. They moved in almost two years ago and became like family. And almost a year ago today, they had a baby boy!

There are several things to consider when a new baby comes into the home, but most of them didn’t apply to us. Maya and Pierson are my dogs but the new baby isn’t mine, so there were no jealousy issues. The dogs were not allowed in the basement so all interactions with the baby were strictly supervised. The biggest concern, but still a relatively minor one, was Pierson’s barking habit. He barks at everything. This is why I ended up getting him a bark control collar.

Our housemates had to move out this April. They got a job back home in China and so had to leave the states. It was a very sad goodbye. Oddly, within a couple of weeks after they moved out, we found out we had to sell the house and move too. Everything worked out perfectly in that situation, but we still miss them.

A Few Words About Drawing Rocky for Wordless Wednesday

July 16, 2014

Just before my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer, her dog Rocky passed away in his sleep. My mom really loved Rocky and wanted to have him memorialized with art. And not just art from anyone. She wanted me to draw him. :)

Portrait of Rocky the Dog

It really helps me to draw a dog if I have a great photo, and my mom had the perfect one of Rocky.

Third Sketch of Rocky the Dog

It took a few sketches to get the proportions of Rocky right.

Drawing Rocky the Dog Step 1

I traced the sketch onto acid free pastel paper. As always, the first color I added was to the eyes and nose using pastel pencils.

Drawing Rocky the Dog Step 2

The next part was coloring Rocky’s open mouth. This was actually far more difficult that I first thought it would be.

Drawing Rocky the Dog Step 3

Drawing Rocky the Dog Step 4

Drawing Rocky the Dog Step 5

I’m almost done!

Drawing of Rocky the Dog - Pastel

The final touches were adding Rocky’s whiskers (which is something I almost always forget) and adding texture to his long neck fur. This photo is actually a little dark compared to the original. Imagine the fur as white as in the previous image.

I was lucky enough to be able to complete this drawing while my mom was visiting me (which was just before I moved to Iowa). She was able to watch me draw and got to see me finish it. And I am proud to say that she absolutely loved it!

For more great pet photos, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop link below:

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Moving With Our Dogs and Getting Settled

July 11, 2014
Dogs on New Dog Bed Cover

Maya and Pierson resting on their new dog bed in our new house.

We’re finally moved and settled into our new home in Des Moines, Iowa. It’s been a rough journey for me because of all the things happening on or around the move:

We said goodbye to our housemates who lived with us for two years, my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer, I found a lost dog, I participated in a pet event with my PetAutoSafety.com pet products, I went to visit my mom in Oregon, when I returned my husband started his new job in Iowa so I organized the contractors for painting and home repair, I took my final exam for statistics (and made an A), I wrote a report for my human relations class, we moved, I unpacked boxes and organized our household, Maya got beat up by another dog and I tended her wounds, my mom is still doing well but getting worse, someone wants to buy our house but wants other repairs done first so I am organizing that from long distance, I was really sick for a couple of weeks, and I am working on enrolling in a school here in Iowa so I can finish getting my degree.

Whew! We’re pretty much settled in now and I’m finally getting back into routine. But enough about me! What about Maya and Pierson?

DANGEROUS FOOD SCARE

While still at the house in Kansas, we had a huge scare with Maya and Pierson getting into food that the contractor workers left outside. Pierson ate half a chicken bone and Maya ate half a candy bar. I was so upset! Luckily, nothing came of it. Pierson later puked up the bone pieces with no ill effects and Maya only ended up with soft stool for a day.

DRIVE TO IOWA

The trip went very well. Maya and Pierson were very comfortable and very well behaved in the car. As you know, I use a number of pet travel products from my PetAutoSafety.com website. The newest one I got to try out was the Pet Dek. It is a lot like the Backseat Bridge with a few differences. Most of those differences are good, but there are a few cons. Read the pros and cons of the Pet Dek on my blog. And click the image below to be directed to my retail website.

Dogs Maya & Pierson on Pet Dek in Car

Look how much room Maya and Pierson have in the car with the new Pet Dek!

Maya and Pierson also wore their dog car seat belts. Pierson wore the Ruff Rider Roadie and Maya wore the ClickIt Utility. I had the windows down during the drive but they couldn’t put their heads out because I have the Breeze Guard car window screens in place. And I put Travel Calm on both Maya and Pierson just before we left. Maya is crazy in the car and Travel Calm helps a lot. It also has ingredients to help with car sickness. Even though Pierson hasn’t had trouble with car sickness for a long time, I still wanted to make sure he was comfortable.

FENCED YARD?

I mentioned in my post on May 15th that we don’t have a fenced yard anymore. Someone asked if we were going to get it fenced. The answer is no. There really isn’t any need. Maya and Pierson are indoor dogs. Even when they did have a fenced yard, they didn’t take advantage of it much. Don’t worry, Maya and Pierson are only out on a chain for a few minutes a few times a day and they are supervised the entire time. I did get a baby gate for the back porch. This will allow me to keep the back door open on nice days and allow them to enjoy the fresh air without having to worry about them being in the yard unattended.

Two Dogs on the Back Porch

We don’t have a fenced yard so in nicer weather, we will hang out on the back porch, which is blocked off with a baby gate.

LOCKED IN BASEMENT

A few days after we moved in to our new house, I accidentally locked Maya in the basement. I didn’t realize she had followed me down and so when I went back up, she stayed down there for a while. By the time I realized it, I was so worried about her. There was still a lot of junk in the basement left by the previous renters and I was worried rat poison might have been left down there. There was rat poison left under a bathroom sink, so I wasn’t sure where else this stuff might have been left. Luckily, the landlord confirmed that they did not put any rat poison in the basement.

MAYA GETS BEAT UP

Maya had some back luck with some dogs in the neighborhood. There were two incidents and they were completely accidental. I would not consider them the result of irresponsible dog owners at all. I will talk more in detail about that in a few days. Don’t worry, Maya is okay. She just had to wear the cone of shame for a while.

My Sad Dog Maya in a Cone

Poor Maya.

A quick little update on my mom – She is sleeping up to 22 hours per day now. Some days she does very well and other days she has problems with confusion and hallucinations. My stepdad is taking very good care of her and she now has help from hospice care. She is in good hands and surprisingly still in good spirits.

Thank you everyone, for stopping by. I think you will start to see me visit your blogs again. I’ve really missed everyone and can’t wait to catch up with all of you. :)

Almost Wordless Wednesday – Four Letter F-Word

July 9, 2014

Okay, so it’s not quite wordless. Is it ever?

The four-letter f-word at our house has a whole different (and much better) meaning.

Cute Dog Pierson

“Did someone say FOOD?”

Maya Handmade Dog Collar

“I’m pretty sure you said you were going to give me food for posing in this new handmade dog collar from our friend Yinghua.”

(Admittedly, the photo of Pierson is from a while back when we still lived in Kansas. But it isn’t a photo I have posted before. Maya’s photo, however, is recent. Our friend, Yinghua, made this for Maya and sent it to us just after we moved to Iowa.)

I hope you enjoyed the Wordless Wednesday blog hop! Check out the link below to see more cute pet photos.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Nearly Wordless Wednesday – Our New House in Des Moines

July 2, 2014

We moved from Lawrence, Kansas to Des Moines, Iowa in mid May. Maya and Pierson settled into our new house very well:

Cute Maya Upside Down in Des Moines

Maya has a dog bed, but she’s made herself quite comfortable sleeping upside down on the hardwood floor in the living room.

Two Dogs Under My Desk

Somehow, Maya and Pierson both manage to find room under my desk when I work.

Dogs and New Dog Bowls

“Hey, our bowls are empty!” In celebration of our new home, I bought Maya and Pierson new colorful dog bowls and dog mats.

Pierson Looks Out the Back

There are a ton of squirrels and rabbits in our back yard so Pierson likes to sit here and watch.

Two Dogs on the Back Porch

We don’t have a fenced yard so in nicer weather we will hang out on the back porch, which is blocked off with a baby gate.

Dog Pierson Looks Sad

Pierson looks unhappy about his new home, but in reality he was pouting about having to hold still for the photo shoot.

Dogs on New Dog Bed Cover

Maya and Pierson got new bed covers for their dog bed. This dog bed is upstairs by the bedroom and their other dog bed is in the living room.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

The Rein Coat for Dogs is More Than It Seems

June 26, 2014

The Rein Coat for Dog Anxiety

The Rein Coat isn’t just a rain jacket for dogs. Nope. It is so much more than that. Not only is it great gear for the outdoor dog, it is also a calming device. Does your dog feel uneasy in public settings? Perhaps he wasn’t socialized properly before you adopted him, or his puppyhood started out in an indifferent breeding facility. Maybe it is just in his genes, or perhaps he had a bad experience that made him afraid.

The Rein Coat can help. People compare it to the Thundershirt and other dog anxiety wraps, but it is not like these products at all. The Rein Coat mimics a mamma dog picking up her pup, thereby releasing oxytocin, which is a natural hormone that calms your pet and reduces anxiety.

The Rein Coat has several other features that other calming shirts don’t. For example, did you know that it is hand sewn right here in the USA? And the quality ripstop fabric is really lightweight, making it comfortable for dogs that aren’t used to wearing anything but a collar. The fabric also provides UV protection and, like any rain coat, it is water resistant.

Two features that I like are that it is so good-looking and it has a leash attachment. Pierson has a Thundershirt, but it looks funny on him. I can take him out in public with it on and attach a leash to his collar, but he is so pathetic looking in the Thundershirt. That shirt is tight-fitting and it compresses all his luxurious fur. The Rein Coat, on the other hand, has a looser in fit so I imagine Pierson won’t lose his poofiness when he wears it. Plus, Pierson looks fantastic in blue!

I mentioned the leash attachment as one of my favorite features too. This is a feature not found on any other dog anxiety shirt. And of course, those shirts aren’t designed for extensive outdoor use. They can be used outdoors, sure, but not like the Rein Coat can. Pierson can do anything in the Rein Coat. He can go hiking, swimming, and running. The fabric is lightweight and breathable, making it perfect even for warmer weather activities. This jacket is so comfortable that it can even be worn indoors.

I have to admit that I just received the Rein Coat and haven’t had a chance to try it out much yet. The first thing I am going to do is test it when we are out on walks. As you may know, Pierson is very dog aggressive. I’ve been working with him on this issue for some time. And although he is getting better, anything I can do to lessen his distress would be beneficial. Then later, towards the end of the year, I am going to test this jacket on him when he goes to the vet. Hopefully, he won’t pee or poo on himself when he goes in for his next annual exam.

If your dog is fearful, anxious, or has aggression issues, go check out the Rein Coat. It might just make the difference that training alone didn’t do. Or if you want to first wait and see how my Pierson does in his new jacket, keep an eye out on this blog. I will follow up in a month or two to see how he is progressing.

Chart to Compare Rein Coat to Thundershirt

(This is not a paid post. This post was written as a form of exchange – people interested in each other’s products offering to write about them. I have not had a chance to try out this product yet so my review is strictly based on the information on the Rein Coat website and the testimonials posted there.)

Sillyboy Fluffypants

May 22, 2014

I admit it. I like to watch Spongebob Squarepants. It’s idiotically silly, to say it nicely, and it makes me laugh. Nautical nonsense, indeed. For whatever reason, I’ve attributed the silliness to my boy Pierson. One of his many nicknames is Sillyboy Fluffypants, named after Spongebob Squarepants. The Spongebob intro song gets stuck in my head sometimes and so I’ve put my own words to it about Pierson:

Who gives me snuggles and doesn’t have fleas?
Sillyboy Fluffypants!
On bushes and hydrants and corners he pees;
Sillyboy Fluffypants!
If cutie dog nonsense be something you wish,
Sillyboy Fluffypants!
Then go get some kibble and fill up his dish!
Sillyboy Fluffypants!
Silly Boy… Fluffy Pants!

My Dog Pierson and Spongebob Squarepants

SillyBoy FluffyPants!

Incidentally, when I need a mood lift, I play this video:

Admit it… you know you sing silly songs about your dog too. I know I’m not the only weird one out there. ;)

Update on the Move and My Mom

May 15, 2014

Hi everyone! Did you miss us? We sure missed all of you. It has been a very long but very busy month for me and a confusing one for Maya and Pierson. First off, Maya and Pierson had to be without me for a week while I went to visit my mom in Oregon. Then when I got back, my husband was gone, already starting his new job in Iowa.

I stayed at our house in Kansas as it was being fixed up for resale. Maya, Pierson, and I moved from sleeping in the bedroom, to the spare bedroom, then eventually to the basement while work was being done. They were, at one time, allowed in the kitchen, then denied; not allowed in the basement, then restricted to the basement; allowed free run of the back yard and porch, to only being allowed outside on a leash.

When we finally left our Kansas house on May 9th, we drove to Johnston, Iowa to stay with my husband in the temporary apartment he was staying in. We were supposed to move into our new home in Des Moines the following day. But that fell through and we stayed at the apartment through the weekend.

Then finally on Monday afternoon, we got to move into our new place!

Our New Place in Des Moines

We’re all moved into our new place in Des Moines!

Maya and Pierson have been exploring all over. It has been fun for Maya, but a little intimidating for Pierson. There are new noises for him to get used to (this is tough for a dog that barks in alarm at everything). There are a ton of big boxes all over the house that he’s not sure about. And it is a bit of an adjustment in the backyard because we no longer have a fenced yard. Yes, I chain them up, but only for less than 5 minutes at a time unless they really seem like they want to hang out back there instead of inside where I am rushing around from room to room trying to get things unpacked and organized.

I am still unpacking and organizing, so I’m not ready to get back into the blogosphere just yet. But soon, very very soon.

By the way, my mom is still doing okay. She is sleeping about 20 hours a day now, which is not a good sign. But when she is awake, she is still in good spirits. She is not in any pain. She is losing some of her mobility, but it is not so bad yet. She still gets to be at home with her husband (my stepdad) and her dog Solo. She had a very good day on Mother’s Day. Although I wasn’t there, my stepdad said that Sunday was one of her better days.

Here is a photo we took with our mom while I was visiting her in Oregon:

Family Photo with Mom

My brothers and sisters and I with our mom. That’s me with the turquoise head band.

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Dawn with Maya and Pierson.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,117 other followers