Monthly Archives: February 2015

Lessons from Dog Rescue


This is our current  foster sheltie named Blitz. He came into our rescue as an owner turn-in. He is only 5 years old and had been with his owners since puppy hood. Usually it doesn’t sit well with me when someone turns over their dog. Sometimes there is a case where I understand and this was one such case. Blitz was intensely loved. I  felt very bad for the poor lady that had to turn him in. It was very hard for her.  The story is one that I have, sadly, heard too many times recently. It was an older woman and her husband had passed away so she had to sell her home to move closer to her children. Blitz was use to having many country acres to patrol and watch over. To be fair,  the nice lady did take Blitz with her to her new condo and tried  to make it work. But this winter has been so cold and icy. Blitz had already pulled her down three times and there is much more winter weather to go. The chance that the lady could have been badly hurt was just too great. But boy was he loved.

20150226_175153 These are all of Blitz ‘ s belongings that came with him. There is  a large fleece dog bed, a buckle collar, a choker collar, a retractable lead, and a whole host of toys. Also a box of biscuits and a large bag of dog food.  Notice that the bears do not have ears. They don’t have tails either. Apparently Blitz likes his toys!20150226_175416He also came with this picture of his mother, and his litter mate and himself at one day old. Blitz is the tiny brown one near the mother’s foot. And if that doesn’t convince you that he was loved, he was also sent to me with his baby teeth. They were lovingly kept and labeled.


My point is that we (I) should remember not to judge too quickly or harshly. Sometimes people must do things that they don’t want to do. There but for the grace of God go I, and all that type of thing. I will try to honor this owner’s love by loving Blitz, taking care of him to the best of my abilities, and finding him his next loving home.

The Blessing of Roxanne

FB_IMG_1424661520063 Happy , happy day . Received the best possible gift today. We were pretty sure we were going to lose 15 year old Roxanne. She became quite ill and seemed to be failing. She had two seizures last week and potty issues and was  refusing food. We set up a crate with the top off in the  living room so she could be close without us cleaning up so many  messes. She did still  continue to get up for water and to go outside. She went so many days without food that I got lunch meat and gave it to her like pills. I  have been expecting the worst for more than a week. Yesterday she ate some rigatoni that she begged for and some dog treats at bedtime. Today she ate all her dry dog food on her own and wanted more at both meals. Also begged from our plates and seems like her old self. I  never thought I would shed tears  because a dog ate dry kibble!  She is also getting up to bark when we go outside or it is time to eat. The sound that we previously found annoying and a nuisance is now beautiful music to our ears.  Oh glorious day! Looks like we will have Roxanne to enjoy for a while longer. 

The Kitchen Challenge


Cooking has its extra challenges around here. Most people just go into the kitchen and cook. Not us. Cooking in our home involves a multi-species audience. Our animals are eternal optimists. They are certain that we will share with them or at the very least that some morsel of food will fall. They are rarely disappointed.


Even the cats insist on getting their fair share. Above, Lacey waits her turn as Baxter eats his treat. Our animals will eat nearly anything. The cats usually prefer meat or cheese but sometimes will have bread or squash.  The dogs will try anything we give them. Having this many bodies in the kitchen does make for some rather acrobatic moves as we try to maneuver from counter to stove to refrigerator and back.


Shelby is a very intense beggar. She takes it seriously and sees begging as a job.

At this point in my life I would find cooking alone without these challenges to be boring and lifeless. I love my life as it is with all my furry family members and the challenges and the joys that they bring.

Happy Harry London Day!


This was the 10th annual Harry London Day.  What, you haven’t heard of that holiday? It might be because there are only two of us who celebrate it. It usually coincides with President’s Day. I have that day off from work and it is usually the first Monday after Valentine’s Day.  This is significant. At Harry London’s they make delicious, fine chocolates. The original purpose of Harry London Day was for my daughter and me to go to the Harry London production and sales facility to procure many fine chocolates at discounted prices. All the chocolates from past holidays, namely Valentine’s Day and a few things that remain from Christmas, are 50-75% off. Pictured above is my haul from this year. This chocolate does last us for a long time which is good because that tin contains 6 lbs. of chocolate. My daughter and I have been celebrating this holiday since she was in high school and this was the 10th year for it.

The significance of this holiday has grown far beyond that of its origins. After the first couple of years it also became known as Mommy-Daughter Day. It is a day that is just for us. First we go to the chocolate factory, then we shop at World Market and look at exotic things. This is usually followed by a trip to the pet store and then a craft store. At this point we are famished and stop for lunch and to hang out for a while. The lunch location varies by year depending on what we decide will be fun that day. This year was IHOP for some more decadence. Raspberry, white chocolate chip pancakes for me and chocolate pancakes with chocolate chips for her. From that point we went back to shopping and as always ended up at the bookstore to rejoice in the magic that such places hold. And of course we take the gems we have gleaned from the shelves back to a table, and again hang out.

Once again, the significance of something in my life is about love. How fortunate I am! Something that 10 years ago started out as a physical pursuit, is about the love and enjoyment of time spent. When my daughter was still in high school, I offered one year to let her invite a friend along with us, thinking that it might make the day more fun for her. I was met with the response, “No, it’s Mommy-Daughter Day!” What a blessing. This girl (young woman now) wants to spend time with just me. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world either. Now we start the countdown months in advance. We plan so that we can savor the anticipation. Although it is still referred to around our home as Harry London Day, it is so much more. The chocolate is a nice side benefit but the real miracle is the love.

P.S.  I notice that the tags for this post read Chocolate, Daughter, Love. Quite similar to Eat, Pray, Love. This day of the year does help sustain me.

Girls like to be Pretty



Phoebe is no different than any other girl. She likes to feel pretty. She loves her necklaces and sweaters. For Valentine’s Day she got a new necklace. (One dollar at Walmart. ) I held it up and she hurried over and stood in front of me so that I could put it on her. She also loves her sweaters. She waits for you to put those on her too. I don’t think it’s so much what she is wearing as the fact that she gets loads of attention when she is wearing it.



That’s ok, it’s as much fun for us as it is for her!

Nikki’s Visit

Nikki in car

Nikki is a small, timid sheltie. I have to admit that she’s not particularly bright either, not for a sheltie. She is remarkably cute.  And I’m learning that she does have priceless gifts.

I take Nikki with me to visit at a nursing home/assisted living facility. I started taking her because, being so small, she is easy for me to hold so that people in wheel chairs can pet her. I didn’t think she ever really liked it. She would just be still and tolerant while people petted her. Apparently I was wrong, she does like it. This week I took Nikki visiting and when we got there no one was in the lobby to visit with us. They didn’t get the message that we were coming and forgot to post the sign for people to gather. I know some folks look forward to our visits so I sought them out. One gentleman, Larry, visits with us every time. He never misses. So we found his room, knocked on the door, and entered at his request. He was indeed happy to see us. I put Nikki on his bed and she sat for petting as usual. Larry paused in his petting to talk to me. Nikki sidled closer to lean on him and get more petting. She was really enjoying it. She leaned into Larry even more and got the biggest grin on her face. And then Larry got the biggest grin on his face. It was such a “feel good” moment that it will last me for a long time.

This is the miracle of a therapy dog.

The Life and Times of Sassy Pants


Last picture with Sassy Pants.

 Sassy went to her forever home this afternoon.  It is always bittersweet when the fosters leave.  They are loved and missed but they move on were they can be the center of attention. Sassy will have an 18 month old sheltie sister at her new home. The family has been eagerly planning for and awaiting this day.

Sassy was glad to see her new family when they arrived. (They had come to visit her once before. ) We talked for a while and when it was time to go they put the leash on her and asked if she wanted to go  bye-bye.  Sassy yipped and went to the door. Made me think “what are we, chopped liver?” Although chopped liver would be good in a dog’s eyes, wouldn’t it? Really I don’t mind that Sassy likes her new family so well. It’s terrible when they look back at you like you’re a traitor who is  sending them away.

Sassy has a great life ahead of her and I’m sure I’ll get reports as to how she is doing. And of course the next foster sheltie is waiting in the wings. He is scheduled to come next Sunday. And so life goes on.

Leek Spinach Potato Soup


The leek is a wonderful vegetable. Very like its cousin the onion, but so much more. It adds a depth of flavor that is a pleasant surprise. The only fault of the leek is that it often has gritty dirt within its layers. You must carefully wash this away. It is easiest to cut it into slices first and then soak and rinse them.

Ingredients for the soup:

  • Leeks (1 or 2)
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes
  • Broth
  • Salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper
  • Butter, 1 Tablespoon

The amount of the ingredients used is not really important. Just suit your taste. The de-gritted leeks should be sautéed in the butter until soft. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook until the potatoes are soft. The final step is to blend it all. I used an immersion blender. You can also blend batches in a blender or food processor.

Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy!

Still Life


This picture, taken on our side porch, speaks volumes about my life. In the foreground is dog paraphernalia. A leash with choker collar so those needle nosed rescue shelties can’t get away. An Elizabethan collar from two foster dogs ago. Baxter ‘ s frisbee is there. A tote bag for my library books. Plants that I brought in to winter over:  a fig tree, a seckel pear sapling, a cutting from our ancient azalea. And behind that, catnip and thyme that are dry and waiting  to be stripped from their branches and stored. Not to mention everything is on the table where we sometimes eat dinner in warmer weather. So much to be gleaned from an ordinary photo.  Simplicity can speak volumes.