Archive for the ‘Dogs We Love’ Category

Story of a Lost and Found Dog

February 16, 2015
My Dog Smokey

In Memory of Smokey – One Darned Good Dog

This is a true story about my dog Smokey from several years ago. Smokey has since passed on, but I still think of him from time to time. I was recently reminded of this lost and found story when empathizing with someone whose dog has been missing for over a month.

Smokey was everything a good dog should be. Smart, loyal, lovable, and well-mannered. He was my boy. He didn’t just love me, he took care of me. I can recall a number of incidences when he had my back, but before I relate the lost and found story, let me tell you about one of these incidents during our trip to the Grand Canyon.

I was separated from my husband at the time and was anxious to go out and see the world. I was really into hiking, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities at the time so the Grand Canyon seemed like a great place to go on vacation. As a single female, I should have been a little afraid to go on vacation by myself. But I really wasn’t going to go by myself. I was taking my boy Smokey with me.

Me and My Dog Smokey at Georgetown Lake

This isn’t the Grand Canyon, but my dog Smokey was my hiking buddy on a lot of trips. We spent three days roughing it on a hike we made around Georgetown Lake in Texas.

Our first stop was in Tucson where we slept in my car at a campsite. We stayed only long enough to sleep and for me to take a quick photo of Smokey in front of a tall cactus. Then we were on our way to Sedona. I think we were there for a day or two hiking the wild green trails surrounding various big red rock formations. It was on that trip that Smokey and I saw our first Tarantula. Cool!

My Dog Smokey in Tucson Arizona 3

Before we headed to the Grand Canyon, we stopped in Tucson.

 

Next, we went to the Grand Canyon. It was here that Smokey first exhibited his role as my guardian. I was young and pretty back then so it is no surprise that I had men hit on me from time to time. For the most part, Smokey could care less. He got along with people well. But he had a sixth sense, as some dogs tend to do. There was this one particular man that Smokey did not like one bit. And he let the man know exactly how he felt, too. Smokey did not lunge at him or even bark, but when the man went to pet him Smokey showed his pearly whites and let out a menacing rumble. Now I don’t really know if this man was up to no good or not. But I trusted Smokey more than I trusted myself.

My Dog Smokey

That’s my boy!

This is just a hint at how close Smokey and I were. So you can imagine how devastated I felt on the day he disappeared. Someone left the gate open and being an intact male, Smokey went out exploring.

I looked everywhere for him to no avail. I must have filled the tank in my car a dozen times while out looking for him. I even checked the animal shelter, but there was no sign of him anywhere. The internet was not as prevalent as it is now, so I did what most people who lost their pet did back then. I put up hundreds of fliers and posted ads in the newspaper. I also talked to people who were out and about and visited the shelter on a regular basis.

No one had claimed to see Smokey. Not a single person responded to my ad or my fliers. I did have a scam call where a truck driver told me he had my dog and he wanted money, but I didn’t fall for it. This man didn’t have my dog.

For two long weeks I feared for the worst. I was sure Smokey had been hit by a car or something. Smokey was smart but he was not streetwise.

By the beginning of week three, I was ready to give up. I almost didn’t place an ad in the paper. But thankfully, I did.

A couple of days after I placed that ad, I finally got the call I had been hoping for. It was a vet office. They said they had picked up a dog fitting Smokey’s description a couple of weeks ago. It was quite a distance from our house, but it really sounded like it could be my Smokey. He had the same collar. He had tags too, although the woman said the tag information didn’t lead her anywhere. (I checked the tags myself later and the tags did, indeed, come back to my current information. But that is another story.)

I still wasn’t sure if it was my Smokey that they had or not, but my heart raced as I got in my car and tried not to speed over to the vet office. When I got to the office, I tried to be patient as the receptionist called someone to the front. As a woman led me to the back kennel area, I asked her a dozen questions. My heart was still racing and she was walking so darned slow!

Smokey must have heard my voice because before we got to the door of the kennel area, I heard a wailing cry. I’ve never heard this sound from Smokey, but somehow I recognized his voice too. The woman couldn’t open the kennel area door fast enough!

She didn’t have to show me which cage Smokey was in. I just followed his cry. And sure enough, there was my boy!

I cried so hard at seeing him again. He cried too. It didn’t take long before the entire vet staff had tears in their eyes too.

When the woman opened the cage, I was mauled by the happiest dog ever. I’m sure he scratched me with his nails, but I didn’t care. I was so happy to see him again. I got my boy back! It was the best day ever!!!

You can’t end a story on a happier note than this, so The End.

My Dog Smokey When He Was 2.5 Years Old

This is my dog Smokey in his younger years. He is 2.5 years old in this photo, long before the lost and found incident.

Happy 3rd Gotcha Day Pierson

January 10, 2015

I can’t believe it has only been three years since I got my dog Pierson. It seems like he’s always been a member of the family.

Happy 4th Birthday & Happy 3rd Gotcha Day, Pierson!

Pierson Cuddling on 3rd Gotcha Day

Pierson Cuddling with Me 2

Maya wants cake for Pierson Gotcha Day

Yes Sweetums, of course you get cake too.

Want to know more about the day I caught my little fluffy pants Pierson in Pierson Park? Check out my post on The Reward of Rescuing a Dog.

 

Wordless Wednesday – Blue Lacy

January 7, 2015

This is Lacy and she is a Blue Lacy dog breed. Lacy was found as a stray and never claimed. My dad and step mom adopted her from the City of San Marcos Animal Shelter. Lacy is blind in one eye but that doesn’t stop her from looking for mischief. :) I can’t wait to meet her in person when I next visit my parents in Texas.

Profile of Blue Lacy Dog Named Lacy Cute Blue Lacy Dog Sitting Blue Lacy with Her Dog Toys

This is a blog hop. Check out the link before for more Wordless Wednesday pet photo fun:

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Holiday Goodies for My Doggies

January 1, 2015

My dogs Maya and Pierson have received a lot of gifts this season. Our thank you is a little late, but your gifts did not go unnoticed.

Maya with light-up stick dog toy

Maya really likes the light-up stick. Pierson only wants it when Maya has it.

We won this great gift from Petco through AllThingsDogBlog. It’s a lightup stick dog toy and Maya absolutely loves it. It lights up and squeaks, although Maya broke the squeaker right away. It’s a soft but hard rubber that Maya can chew on safely without breaking off any pieces.

Boo Bucket from Jones Natural Chews

I forgot to take a photo of the Boo Bucket that Flea gave us from Jones Natural Chews so I borrowed this photo from Flea’s Dog Treat Web site.

We received the Halloween Boo Bucket from Flea when she came to visit in September. Then later, we won a bag of Jones Natural Chews dog treats through Flea’s Dog Treat Web. We won it for this video we did:

Spring Naturals Dog Treats

This is the company’s photo. I forgot to take a photo of the Spring Natural dog treats that we won.

We also won some dog treats from Spring Naturals through Rumpy Dog’s Blog. Those went fast too.

Labrador Retriever Ornament from ForLoveofaDog.com

I was too lazy to take my own photo so I borrowed this photo of my Labrador Retriever ornament from the place I bought it, ForLoveofaDog.com.

I didn’t win this ornament, but it was a gift to myself so I’m counting it. It is a wonderful ornament made by Sue with Talking Dogs blog and the For Love of a Dog jewelry retail site. I would buy her beautiful dog-themed jewelry too, but I don’t wear jewelry very often.

Maya with Kong Stick Dog Toy

Maya is pooped after playing with her Kong stick dog toy.

This gift is from me to Maya. It is a Kong stick and Maya loves sticks. I saw it reviewed on one of the blogs I follow, but sorry, I don’t remember who that was!

Dog Chews Olaf Snowman Dog Toy

Despite not having any stuffing, Olaf still lives!

This is a gift from me to Pierson. Pierson does not chew his toys like Maya does, so this stuffed squeaky has lasted a while. What do you think of the caption? :D

Maya with Hide-a-Squirrel Dog Toy

There are six of these little squirrel dog toys in the Hide-a-Squirrel, and Maya loves every one of them.

This squirrel toy is part of a larger gift given last year by my friend Joanne with FleeceDogHarnesses. The Hide-a-Squirrel has stayed in good shape all year because I only allow Maya and Pierson to play with it when I supervise them. Otherwise, I’d have six destuffed squirrels all over my house! Joanne gave Maya and Pierson a Tail Teaser dog toy from Kyjen this year. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good picture because my camera doesn’t do action shots very well, and Maya was bouncing all over the place for this toy.

Thank you, Carrie, Flea, Jen, Sue, and Joanne! And Happy New Year to everyone. :)

Saying Goodbye to My Mom

December 30, 2014

Sorry I’ve been away so long. If you follow this blog, then you know my mom has been struggling with brain cancer. What you didn’t know is that she passed away just before Thanksgiving. Needless to say, it has been a sad time for me. And so I want to share a tribute of my mother.

My Mom's High School Photo

This is my mom’s high school (?) photo.

MY MOM’S RESCUED DOGS
On July 25th of this year, I told you about many of the dogs my mom has rescued over the years. Well, I found these photos recently and wanted to share their stories too.

Me Angela and 5 Dogs in the Snow

Oregon, winter, 1986 (?) Me, my sister, and our five rescued dogs.

Vacation with Six Dogs
I was probably about 12 years old when this photo was taken. I remember the trip well because we fit two adults, two kids, and six dogs in our car. I remember six dogs but neither my sister nor I remember who that was and he/she is not pictured. It could have been Squash. I think we had Squash by that time. Or we could have still had Lady.

Anyway, I’m on the left and my sister Angela is on the right. The dogs left to right are Prince (nicknamed Poof), Cassie, Licorice (Licky), ?, and Frog Lips. I’ve told you Cassie’s rescue story. I don’t remember the black dog’s name because we must have only had her for only a short time. My mom probably either found her or took her in temporarily, and then gave her away to a nice family.

Frog Lips
Frog Lips has a very interesting story. This man found her near death on the side of the road. She had an axe in her head and one of her eyes was gouged out. He helped her recover and named her Frog Lips. Don’t ask me why, he just did. His health got really bad, though, and he could no longer take care of her. My mom was a good friend of his so she took her in.

Frog Lips had really bad separation anxiety. And like many German Short-Haired Pointers, she would roam long distances if she got out. I remember my mom yelling for her on a number of occasions. We called her Lips for short, so can you imagine my mom loudly calling, “Lips. Lips!” out into our neighborhood? :D

Dogs Lady (Lab) Max (Chi mix) Cassie (Sheltie)

Our rescued dogs, Lady, a black Lab, Max, probably a Chi and Terrier mix, and Cassie, a Sheltie.

Lady
This photo is of Lady, Max, and Cassie. As stated earlier, I’ve told Cassie’s story. I don’t remember Max’s story, but I do remember Lady’s story. My mom went duck hunting with a friend and found Lady out wandering around on her own. My mom tried to find out who the owner was, but never did. Lady was a great dog. I remember sneaking her food from my plate when my mom made something I didn’t like. And I remember that Lady smiled a lot.

Dad and Collie Dog Ranger

This is Ranger, a Collie my mom rescued. I think that is my dad walking him.

Ranger
This last photo is of Ranger. I told you about him on the July 25th, 2014 post. I didn’t have a photo then, but I have it now.

Squash
I could not find a picture of Squash. I told you on July 25th that he was abandoned by our neighbors. But I recently found out that our neighbors were actually going to shoot him because they didn’t want to take him with them when they moved. Thank goodness my mom was there to stop them and rescue this great dog.

Mom and Me on My 2nd Birthday

My mom is holding me for my 2nd birthday.

I AM LIKE MY MOM
I am who I am because of you, Mom. I learned my independence and strength by watching you. When life kicks me down, I get my example from you and get right back up again. I get my love of dogs from you. Before dog rescue groups became common, there were people like you to step in and give creatures that can’t fend for themselves a chance to live a good life. You are the kind of person I hope I can be. I get my joy for crafts from you. Like you, I like to make things with my own hands. I even get my creativity for cooking from you. Although I don’t care much for cooking, I enjoy coming up with interesting recipes. I get that from you. I get my crazy need to save things from you too. Like you, I’m a pack rat. ;) And sometimes, when I hear myself laugh, I realize I sound just like you. :D Like you, I have a positive outlook on life and can smile even through the toughest times. I got that all from you mom. You may be gone, but you live on through me, our family, and through everyone else’s life that you’ve touched. I love you very much. ❤❤❤

Wordless Wednesday – Our Neighbors

September 10, 2014

Look at the cuties who live next door:

Bella the Beautiful Mastiff - Portrait Photo

Bella is as beautiful as she is sweet. I love this girl!

Dainty Mastiff Bella

Bella is dainty for a Mastiff but still a big hugable girl.

Bella the Mastiff Rolls in the Grass 1

Bella’s mom put in some new grass and Bella really loves it.

Bella the Mastiff Rolls in the Grass 1

“Oh, yeah. This feels good.”

Bella the Mastiff Sleeps with Her Binky

Bella loves her binky dog toy. Her mom says she loves carrying it around in her mouth and sometimes sucks on it when she sleeps.

Chewy the Jack Russell

Bella’s brother Chewy is a cutie too, but he didn’t hold still long enough for me to get many good photos.

For more fun photos of dogs, cats, and other pets, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below:

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Just Because My Dog is Shy Doesn’t Mean He Was Mistreated

September 5, 2014
Pierson Rescue Dog

Pierson was nervous on his first day at his new home. He wasn’t quite sure yet what to think of me and my husband or Maya.

I was talking to someone about my dog Pierson the other day (when do I not talk about my dogs?), about how he was rescued and about how shy he can sometimes be around strangers. Their first reaction to his shyness was to say he had probably been mistreated by his prior family. My immediate response was to say this is not necessarily true and here’s why.

SHY BUT NOT FEARFUL
Pierson is wary and shy, but he is not fearful. He darts out of the way of a fast hand movement or if someone bends over him. But this is a natural reaction for many dogs. He doesn’t snap or growl in reaction. He simply takes a few steps back.

Dad Pierson Shake

Pierson was a bit shy around my dad at first. But he warmed up to him after a few treats.

BREED BEHAVIOR
Pierson is most likely part Border Collie and part Australian Shepherd. Both these breeds are very high alert dogs. They were bred to guard flocks and so they tend to be naturally wary of strange things, including strange people. Pierson tends to warm up to a person better if I or my husband is there and if the other person lets Pierson check them out first on his own terms.

LACK OF SOCIALIZATION
I got Pierson when he was probably a year old so I have no idea how well he was socialized. He was very shy when we first got him. I have been doing my best to introduce him to new people and new things. And as such, he tends to warm up to new people much quicker than in the past. There are still occasions when he decides to be shy. Generally it is around small children since he doesn’t get the opportunity to be around children much.

Family Playing Hungry Hippos

Pierson looks on as my niece and nephew, my brother-in-law, and my husband play Hungry Hungry Hippos. He was wary of the little ones but not fearful. My sister has done a good job of teaching her kids how to approach dogs and to leave them alone if they don’t want to be bothered.

MISTREATED
A dog very well could be shy due to mistreatment. If Pierson had been mistreated, however, I would expect his reaction to be a lot more severe. I’d expect tail tucking, ears going back, eyes dilating, growling, or cowering. He occasionally growls, but it is usually when a person tries to be too overly friendly with him. He’s not a Labrador. You can’t just go up to him and try to put your arms around him! (Actually one shouldn’t do this to any dog regardless of breed, but you get my point.)

I honestly don’t know whether Pierson had been purposely abandoned in the park I found him in or if he had wandered off from his family and found his own way to the park. I have no idea if he was loved or if he was unwanted. Either way, I very much doubt he was abused. For Pierson, I think the most likely explanation for his shyness is his breed mix. Lack of socialization is probably a factor too, but I think it is possible for certain dogs to have a shyness tendency regardless of proper socialization.

Do you have a shy dog? Why do you think he or she is shy? What do you tell people when they suggest your dog might have been mistreated?

Crazy Month – Fair, Ikea, Motel 6

August 29, 2014

Sorry I haven’t been posting in a while. It has been a crazy month. Here is an update.

Maya’s Birthday
My Maya is now seven years old. Go check out this cute photo of her I posted on my other blog yesterday: Maya’s Birthday

Doctor Who
Sometimes I just don’t feel motivated. I think it is tied to my cycle. I call it depression, but I’m fine for the most part. I just don’t have any energy. Mid-August was like that. I found myself cuddled on the couch with Maya and Pierson three days in a row and watching Doctor Who. It was a great way to spend a depression but I obviously didn’t get much done.

Iowa State Fair
I’m vegetarian now so going to the Iowa State Fair where they display animals that are soon going to be butchered seems a contradiction. I suppose it is, but I heard the Iowa State Fair is one of the biggest in the country and so wanted to see it at least once. Despite the fact that many of the animals will soon become someone’s food, I loved seeing them. The horses are my favorite. The Iowa State Fair also had an art show. There was a ton of different art work of different media and different subjects. As an artist, I loved this part of the fair.

Gorgeous Horse at Iowa State Fair

Isn’t this horse gorgeous? I believe her coloring is called flea-bitten gray.

Cute Kid at Iowa State Fair

This kid at the Iowa State Fair was so cute!

Ikea and Mall of America
A few days after the fair, I went with a friend to the Mall of America in Minnesota. We also went to Ikea, which is across the street. I didn’t buy much there, but I did buy lots of stuff at the Blick Art store, which we happened to drive by on our way to lunch at Good Earth.

Mall of America Me and SpongeBob

Yes, I love SpongeBob SquarePants and so when I saw him at the Mall of America, I had to get my picture taken with him.

Snoopy at Ikea in Minnesota

This was outside Ikea in Minnesota. Yes, I’m copying Emma from MyGBGVlife who always shares these finds. :)

Road Trip
The day after that trip, I broke a tooth and went to the dentist. Then the day after that I went to Wichta, Kansas to see a doctor for my fibromyalgia. Maya and Pierson went with me. I don’t like to travel alone and my husband couldn’t go, so Maya and Pierson eagerly agreed to make the boring trip.

Dogs on Road Trip to Kansas 2014

Maya looks like she’s scared of my driving, but she’s actually very excited about the trip.

Motel 6
I opted to stay at a Motel 6 because I knew they didn’t charge much and that they accept my two big dogs without charging extra pet fees. If you want to stay at a nice fancy hotel with all the amenities and free breakfast, Motel 6 is not the place to go. But who needs a fancy motel when you’re mostly going to be out?

Motel 6 August 2014 Maya & Pierson

The dogs and I had a nice comfortable room at Motel 6 in Wichita.

I discovered how great Motel 6 is for us when we got stuck in Oklahoma during a terrible ice storm. This Motel 6 in Wichita on Kellogg Dr. was even better! The bed was so comfortable, the room was clean, the property was quiet, and it even had a mini fridge. But what made it the best was the manager and the staff. The manager, Ron, told me, “Without customer service, I’m just another hotel chain.” So true!

Motel 6 August 2014 Ron and Dogs

Ron the manager of Motel 6 in Wichita was very nice and even posed with Maya and Pierson.

My Mom
You all won’t believe how well my mother is doing. She has terminal brain cancer, but that is not stopping her one bit. A month or so ago, she was in really bad shape. She couldn’t keep food down, she was sleeping 22+ hours a day, one of her hands went numb, she can’t see out of one eye, she started to have uncontrollable ticks, and she was so weak she could no longer walk. My stepdad had to get hospice care in to help.

Now my mom is up out of bed and dancing!!! No more hospice care either. My mom is able to eat again. She says her sleep is back to normal. She still can’t see out of one eye but the ticks are gone. And she can now walk an entire block and back. I so totally can’t believe it! But if anyone can kick brain cancer’s butt, it’s my mom.

One of my sisters lives closest to my mom and has been visiting her often. She gives my mom foot rubs and has been painting her nails. Recently, she did a leopard theme to match my mom’s leopard print robe and my stepdad bought her a leopard print hat to match. (leopard print, not actual leopard fur… no way!)

My Mom Wearing Leopard Print

My mom has always loved leopard print. The only thing missing in this photo is her leopard print slippers.

Well, that’s all for now! How has your month been?

Wordless Wednesday – Doggies on a Road Trip

August 27, 2014
Dogs on Road Trip to KS 2014

We aren’t going anywhere particularly exciting, but that doesn’t stop Maya and Pierson from enjoying the road trip.

Find out where our boring trip was to later this week. In the meantime, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below.

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Spoiled but not Spoiled Rotten

August 8, 2014

Big Bone Jones Natural Chews 003

Do people tell you your dogs are spoiled? I hear it so much that I’ve actually told people my dogs are spoiled. But I think the word ‘spoiled’ when referring to our pets can have two different meanings. The Google definition is to “harm the character of (a child) by being too lenient or indulgent.” I imagine that this is what some people mean when they tell me I spoil my dogs. But when I say it, I simply mean to care for in a generous way. And I think this less harsh (albeit incorrect) definition of spoiled is what most people mean. Here’s why.

By the standards of many non-dog-lovers, it can certainly seem that I go overboard with all the things I do for my dogs. Maya and Pierson have lots of dog toys, nice plush beds, get quality food. They get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation with learning tricks. And I buy lots of dog products to promote their health and safety.

Dogs Maya & Pierson on Pet Dek in Car

This kind of treatment is easily perceived as spoiling by those who only get their dogs the basic supplies. But I am not lenient or indulgent with Maya and Pierson.

Spoiling My Dogs with Food?
For one, my dogs are not overfed. They have set meal times and are only fed a certain amount. They get treats ever so often, but I don’t overdo it. Sometimes I give treats to be indulgent. But most other times, Maya and Pierson get treats when we do fun training time.

Spoiling My Dogs by Training Them?
That’s right, I train them. It can’t be called spoiling by the true definition if I’ve taken the time to train my dogs manners. Maya and Pierson don’t get to run amuck. They are not allowed in certain rooms. They sit and stay in certain situations. And they come when called.

I can be lenient (or lazy) when it comes to certain training aspects. I am terrible about being consistent with leash walking habits. While I do cross the street when we see another dog in order to help with Maya and Pierson’s leash reactive behaviors, I do not make it a point to specifically train for modifying leash behaviors on a daily or even weekly basis. Because I still try to be responsible about their behaviors, I do not see this leniency as spoiling my dogs.

Maya and Pierson Cuddle on Couch 2

Allowing Dogs on the Furniture?
Some people believe that allowing your dogs on the furniture is spoiling them. They say this could lead to certain behavior issues. I’m not going to dispute that here. While Maya and Pierson are not generally allowed on the furniture (a personal preference), I’ve allowed it in the past and on some special occasions. And it certainly hasn’t harmed their character.

Spoiling with Love?
Perhaps allowing my dogs to live in the house where I can pet them every five minutes if I want can seem indulgent. Maybe it is, in a way. But this action does not harm their character. It is actually a benefit for both of us. They get to relax. I get to relax.

Maya Getting Nails Cut

Cutting doggy toenails.

Spoiling with Care?
While I do spend a lot of quality enjoyment time with my dogs, I also do things to them that they do not enjoy. Things like brush their teeth, cut their nails, and comb their hair. Is this spoiling? I think not.

Dog Toys All Over the Floor 001

Spoiling with Lots of Dog Toys?
When I buy Maya and Pierson a bunch of toys it can be perceived as spoiling. I beg to differ, though. Having toys to stimulate the mind and to get exercise is not going to harm their character. It’s going to help it.

Spoiling with Dog Clothes?
If your dog wears cute clothes, people will probably stop and tell your dog in a cooing voice that he’s spoiled. But they certainly couldn’t mean spoiling as in harming their character because how can dog clothes harm their character? Dogs don’t get the uppity attitude that some people can get regarding attire. They don’t think, “OMD, that dog looks like she’s wearing a hand-me-down. What a loser.” Right?

Buying the Best for My Dogs?
Spending money on quality dog food, safety gear, and veterinary care can be seen as spoiling a dog by people who do not do these things for their own pet. But it’s not spoiling them if these things are beneficial.

So if someone tells me I spoil my dogs and they mean I spend a lot of money on them, then yes, I do spoil my dogs. But if someone tells me this and they mean I overdo it to the point of harming my dogs’ characters, then I completely disagree. Maya and Pierson have their faults (who doesn’t). But overall they are very good dogs. Pampered, yes. Spoiled, perhaps by my less harsh definition. Spoiled rotten, no way!

What do you think most people mean whey they say your dog is spoiled?


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