Archive for the ‘Dogs, cats, and other animals’ Category

Saturday Selection ~ The Borzoi Killings by Paul Batista

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

While I’m firmly against killing dogs in stories (I’ve been known to put books down for that) this one intrigued me, so am checking this out this week by Paul Batista:

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When the tenth richest man in the world is brutally murdered along with his prized Borzoi dogs in a luxurious Easthampton beach house, only one man is suspected of the crime: Juan Suarez, a handsome, charismatic?and illegal?Mexican immigrant who worked for the victim.

Now, renowned trial lawyer Raquel Rematti must take on the defense of the man the media has dubbed “The Blade of the Hamptons.” Not only must she navigate a media circus to take on one of the wealthiest families in the country, she must also protect Suarez, and herself, from ruthless people bent on lethal revenge; all while straddling the dangerous line between concerned involvement and forbidden passion for her client.

#saturdayselection

Thursday Toss Up ~ Nina

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

My very first borzoi. I’ve long been in love with the breed but never had one until a woman hooked me up with the breeder I got her through.

Nina is an Irish marked black and is a small female. She was a rabid courser until she was t-boned by a dog outweighing her by a good 20 lbs. So while she thinks she wants to race, she doesn’t actually. So I switched over to rally and obedience and she’s got titles in both.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nina is in pink.

The thing with Nina is she has traits of my male shepherd, Clarke, and she never met him. But there have been times that I’m like “Clarke, knock it off. Oh, Nina, it’s you.”

She’s got a wicked sense of humor and an apparent weakness for turkey. Now, this dog will leave pot roast, ham, chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, all of it, she’ll leave it alone on the table. But if there is turkey, you can’t turn away for a second or she’ll steal it and eat while she runs.

One year we had it on the bar height table, behind the ham and roast, as well as the sides. I walked out of the room and DH was getting something else out and seconds later I heard him yelling at her. And sure enough, whoosh, there went that black/white streak, gulping down that turkey breast as she ran. As pissed as we were, we had to be impressed, she didn’t bother a damn thing else on that table. Just plucked the turkey off the plate and beat feet.

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Turkey is what I used for her in the obedience and rally rings. She got it after we competed since you aren’t allowed to take treats in the ring. We would finish and as soon as we were excused by the judge, we’d run back to the seat and she’d get her turkey. She loved it! And worked hard each time we entered the ring.

Thursday Toss Up ~ Lily

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

One of my borzoi is Lily. She’s almost 6 years old. Right now she is the one who is in KY with her breeder, being raced and shown out there. We miss her tons but hopefully when we get her back there will be a puppy tagging along with her.

She’s a therapy dog, courser, show dog. We will be going in the ring for obedience and rally when she comes back to us.

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Of the four zoi I have, she’s the most standoffish which isn’t saying much since they all love people. She’s just the most reserved.

I have a good many people ask me why I do therapy work. Why would I bathe my dogs extra, do their nails, teeth, and spend my time going around to places so someone else can touch my dog in hopefully a nice manner.

One of my favorite stories of her was when we were doing a therapy session at a school and had been through about five classes thus far. The dogs were taking a break (very important) and I was chatting with some of the other women there. The next group of children arrived and we did the talk and demonstration then we spread out so they can meet the dogs individually and ask us more questions.

All was going wonderfully, kids were laughing and petting all the dogs. Lily was the largest and we had about five different breeds there.

I was sitting in the chair as some kids were taking pictures with her and a mother walked up with her special needs child in her arms. I’d watched her try to get him to pet the smaller dogs but he would just pull away and scream, so honestly, this is what I was expecting for him to do with Lily.

The boy began squirming so she put him down. He had braces on his legs and a helmet on his head to protect him if he fell. I asked the other kids to move back a bit from Lily so he could go up to her if he wished. And he did. Made his way right up to her and hugged her, wrapping his thin arms around her and held on as if she would vanish if he let go.

Lily just stood there, dropping her head around his shoulder and back, tail wagging gently. I looked up at his mother and found her crying which nearly set me over.

He’d never gone up to a dog before wanted to but screamed at the last moment. This was his first time. when his legs wobbled, Lily held firm and he didn’t fall.

The boy’s mother took pictures and sent one to her husband right there. And his response was immediate. We didn’t rush him and let him hold her as long as he wished. When they left, she had a hard time even saying thank you for she still cried.

That right there, is why I do therapy work. Because animals have amazing healing power and their love is unconditional. Yes, we were gone from the house for hours and Lily was exhausted on the way home but to see the joy in both the children and the parents’ face, makes it all worthwhile. At least to this humbled owner.

Thursday Toss Up – Dageus

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

I love animals, that’s not anything new to readers who know me. Right now I have four dogs, three who are with me and one who’s back with the breeder. But I did have a cat. A black domestic shorthair who I named Dageus after Karen Marie Moning’s hero, Dageus MacKeltar from The Dark Highlander, one of my favorite stories. He had little tiger stripes when I first got him at about 5 weeks old.

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He grew up in a house with two GSDs and could often be found hanging from my big male’s muzzle, purring away, or riding on the female’s head. Also purring. If they had an e-collar on, he would be in it with them, keeping them company. He didn’t shred furniture or curtains. He didn’t chew on things other than treats, the dogs, and his cat tower.

Overall, Dageus was a great cat. He wasn’t fond of people other than DH or myself but I could do whatever I wanted to him. Fine for bathing and nail trimming he would just sit there and wait for me to finish. He made our lives so much better. He himself was raised by two GSDs and raised 4 borzoi of our own along with dogs we would take care of for their owners while they were on vacation, before we lost him.

I never realized how much I would miss him in my life. But I know he’s no longer in pain and is back hanging out with Clarke and Isis waiting over the Rainbow Bridge. Love you, Dageus!

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Thursday Toss Up – Quilting

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

I honestly enjoy quilting. I have made a few “practice” quilts for my dogs which have become beds for them or blankets while we are at shows. My next one that I’m going to make is the puff quilt, I know the dogs will enjoy that one, but trying to keep this one for myself. Although, I’m sure there will be something that turns it into a dog one.

I love shopping for material and putting together a color design that I like. I’ve also done kits, to make some quilts as well.

So, do you quilt? Hand? Machine? And do you have a specific station in the house just for quilting? Let me know on social media. #ilovequilting

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The tears won’t stop

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Amongst all of our plans for moving and getting to the next chapter in our life, we’ve lost one of our family this afternoon.

20140630_161143Dageus has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. We’d hoped he would be able to make the trip back to Washington with us but it wasn’t in the stars.

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“From the day we brought you home, with your little tiger stripes, you were determined to be bigger than you were. Clarke and Isis took you in and raised you as a GSD. I remember watching you jump onto them to get them to play, hanging from Clarke’s muzzle as he walked around the house without a care in the world. I watched them correct the bad behavior (clawing on furniture or curtains) and you never had to be corrected again. You were groomed on the table as they were, would sit for nail trimming and never gave me issues when it came time for bathing.

When they got bandanas you had to have one as well, so we gave you one. You were so proud. When Isis had to wear a cone, you would curl up in it so she wasn’t lonely. When we got stationed on the East Coast, you handled the trip like a trooper, not crying on the ride, just being quiet as you lay crated next to the dogs. You settled in here with them.

You offered me comfort as I lost Clarke, clarke2my heart dog, then later when Isis vcm_s_kf_m160_160x120followed him over the Rainbow Bridge, you were there, forgoing your usual avoiding everyone attitude. You’ve since raised 4 borzoi and taught them how to behave around cats and smaller animals. Over these past few weeks, I’ve watched you try to hide the pain you were in, try to continue being the same cat you’ve always been.

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When we got to the vet, you curled up against my heart and purred as you put your head beneath my chin. You purred as my tears fell, as if understanding the pain I felt as well, not concerned with your own. I was the last thing you saw and my voice the last you heard.

Dageus, I will never forget you. I love you and my heart is hurting without you here. But I know you are with Clarke and Isis now, my Three Musketeers are together again, waiting until the day we are reunited. Give them both my love and never forget how much you gave me and our life here. It was so much better having had you in it with us to share.”

Saturday…

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Sigh…

Exub Photo Stock

Exub Photo Stock

I needed a calming image after the start to my day…

So I was out walking the dogs today–it’s not Hades level hot here currently so we took a gentle 5 mile walk. I’m beginning to think the woman who is trying to blame me for being the horrible addition to the plight of all these puppies in the shelters is stalking me. She walks up as we’re on our way back to the house and starts in again about how I’m senselessly breeding, how I should be ashamed as opposed to her because she adopted hers from the shelter. And here we go again:

  1. I’ve never bred a litter in my life. I have all bitches and I race and show them but I’ve not whelped a litter. I have neither the space, time, or enough knowledge to do that (not in my opinion anyway)
  2. Even if I had, breeders, responsible ones, aren’t to blame for all the kennels filled with animals who’ve been abandoned, surrendered, or whatever.
  3. I have nothing against rescue dogs or shelter dogs, nothing at all.
  4. I really don’t like this woman and I’m trying, really hard, to be semi-polite.
  5. She’s berating me because my dogs will be unruly since there are 4. As opposed to her one.
  6. Her one, is yanking at the end of the leash, barking aggressively at my four who are standing around waiting for me to move on. Keep in mind, her dog, looks like what mine chase and would consider a squeak toy, but her “Fee Fee” is the well behaved one.
  7. We then move on to how I’m a bad mom because I won’t let me dogs play with hers. Come on now, I’m not stupid. You have an aggressive dog, smaller yes, but still aggressive. I’m not putting my dogs in a position where they will feel the need to defend themselves.
  8. I try to keep walking but she adjusts and steps back in front of me.
  9. …temper rising
  10. Ask her to move through gritted teeth, dogs are now getting upset that I’m upset.
  11. She decides it is a “wise” move to point her finger at me and shake it like I’m some unruly child and I realize that some days, meditation just isn’t enough.
  12. I open my mouth to say something else, and no, it won’t be a polite statement when a cop rolls up.
  13. I may not always agree with cops but they do risk their lives and in this situation, had my back. I’m appreciative of the officer stepping in and advising the lady to leave me and my dogs alone. after she walked (or stomped, she wasn’t happy), he turns to me and asks about the dogs.
  14. Apparently, a few of the officers he works with have mentioned me and my pups as they’ve seen us walking and have stopped to talk to us. Not sure if it’s a good thing they know me, but hey, guess I’ll have to behave. *grin*

We headed back home after they all got petted and loved on. Filled up their kiddie pool and they’ve been out playing in it since.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

  1. Not everyone who pays for a dog from a breeder is adding to the evils in the world.
  2. As a whole, I’ve found breeders to be loving and caring people, wanting what is best for their breed. Always willing to answer questions and help those they trust their puppies to.
  3. Just because you have an unaltered dog or bitch, doesn’t mean you are breeding just for shits and giggles.

I love dogs, I love more than just my own dogs. I train them (not something I do for others, but I do mine) I want them to behave in public, I want them to be good ambassadors for the breed.

My final takeaway from this, aside from the reason I walk where I do, because I know it’s widely patrolled. If she approaches me again, I’m filing charges of harassment.

Now, I’m going to let some wet dogs in since they are at the sliding glass door, smearing their noses all over my at-one-time clean glass, and get something to eat.

Last Day of June

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Happy end of the first half to the year.

Exub Photo Stock

Exub Photo Stock

How has it been treating you thus far? Well I hope. Been a busy 6mo on this end and the second half of the year surely isn’t going to slow down any. More books to write, edit, release, all of which I am so happy about. The other job is also keeping me on my toes so not a lot of down time. But, we don’t race the dogs during the summer so that frees up my weekends.

Planning on taking a few days and jetting off to the mountains with DH and the hubs just so we can get away from it all. Not sure when, we still have to coordinate our schedules but I’m already looking forward to that. A couple conferences and a few other things to keep me occupied.

What are your plans for the rest of the year? Heck, even for summer only? Books to be read? What’s on that TBR pile that caught your attention? I’m always looking for more books to add to mine.

Introspection

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Today may be Friday and a lot of y’all are probably getting ready for a holiday weekend. First and foremost, be safe this weekend. Second, please don’t forget what the meaning of the weekend is truly about. Remembering those who lost their lives defending this country.

I’m a private person by nature, just who I am. However, I’ve been feeling sorry for myself. That’s pretty much the bottom line. And I’m owning it and refusing to do such any longer.

slide38Our lives are full of ups and downs, it’s just a fact. I wasn’t where I wanted to be and I’ve been allowing that fact to get me down. I shouldn’t complain, I’m right where I am supposed to be right now. I may not be aware of the reason, but He doesn’t always give me the answers merely because I want them. So, while I wait to get to where I am to end up, I’m planning for the future, checking out the business I want and lining things up. I’m healthy, DH is healthy, the animals are fine as well, (even the cat for those of you who think I only care about the dogs) so we’re good.

There are two speeds, the speed we want it to happen and the speed it does happen. I take from this I must have more patience (not something I’ve been good at) and wait. It will happen.

slide21 slide46Life is short.

Love hard.

Love well.

Love true.

Find your happiness and hold onto it.

Mine is near and within touching distance, I just have to wait for the right moment for the connection to be made.

In case you forgot since the start. Have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day. To those serving (active or family) my many heartfelt thanks for all your sacrifices. To those we’ve lost: You are in my heart and I thank you for what you’ve done. I will never forget.

Fair Winds and Following Seas

Giving back

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Most of y’all know that I have three therapy dogs. My eldest Borzoi are all CGC/CGCA titled and are therapy dogs. Typically when I go out, I have cards with the organization and my direct number on them if they wish to give me a call for another visit if I’m not planning on being back there for a while. We have a lot of different places we go (from hospitals to hospices, schools, 4-h events, libraries, and more) and while I try to keep everything even, doesn’t always work that way.

Anyway…

I was at home yesterday, dogs were playing outside (or in using the downstairs as a track) when I got a call from a friend who does a lot of teaching of pet safety classes (we also do those and Canine Ambassador things) and she needed another large dog since her planned one had dropped out last minute. Hadn’t expected to head off to do anything like that for the day before the “other job” especially given the word count needed for the day. But, it’s a good thing for us to get out and do this, so I closed out my writing and got ready for what I knew would be a few hour stint with different groups of kids learning about the proper care and way to approach dogs.

I took my Nina nina1who is the oldest and my most solid, doesn’t care if the visit is 15 minutes or we’re there for 7 hours, she’s fine either way. The others are good but she’s the best. So we were there for a little over three hours. As they were getting pictures taken with the children (I don’t take any) I got a call from a father to another person I’d been to visit a few times. A young girl battling cancer, Tracey.

In a shaky voice he asked me if I could come with Opal (who she loved to see) and do a visit this day. Deep down, I knew it wasn’t going to be good news but I told him I would be there as soon as I picked up Opal. Made the switch and headed to hospital where we needed to be.

Opal is the biggest of my girls around 75-80lbs and the child we were visiting is barely at 35lbs given how the cancer has ravaged her body. I’d not seen Tracey in a while and my heart broke in seconds after walking in the door. I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy visit but the chances of me ever seeing her again was maybe 2%.

Dogs know and sense more than most give them credit for. Opal adjusts her energy level to those she’s around and she had never been more gentle than when she lay beside Tracey. I did my best to blend in the background why the small family, with Opal, shared in some of their last moments together. They got some pictures and I hope with all my heart they will help this couple remember their daughter when she’s no longer with us but up with the angels.

Opal dm_267462was not her usual happy self when we left and I knew she felt the sorrow that had overflowed in the room. Even this morning, she’s sad but she ate and played a bit before coming back to lie beside me.

That visit was emotionally draining to me. I cannot image the pain that a parent must experience knowing you will bury your own child.

So, while I may have been exhausted and hadn’t gotten any writing done (to speak of) being able to help ease what tragedy they were living was worth it. I don’t do as much volunteer work as I should, or could, and I was down for the rest of the day as well, but I will never forget the smile on Tracey’s face when she opened her eyes and found Opal walking toward her. For a brief moment in time there, she was a five year old, not a cancer patient.

I know it seems much of the time we don’t have any extra time to help others but if you do then you understand. It touches you to do this. Not saying you need to get a dog and do therapy work but something. Anything. Help lessen the suffering in any way you can. Small gestures go a long way.

Tracey passed away during the night and has gone home to God. She will be missed but He needed her more.