Blitz, the foster sheltie, is becoming a happy dog. Once the foster dogs are here for a while their true personalities begin to emerge. At first they’re reserved and lying low to see how things work around here. Then they realize they are safe and this is a fun place to be. That’s when we start seeing the true dog. And it’s often when the trouble begins.
Blitz is generally a good and gentle boy so I don’t forsee too many issues. But there are little things. Like when one of the other dogs walks too close to him and he gives a little growl. Or when you tell him to do something and he ignores you. None of these are very serious as long as he learns this is unacceptable behavior. If a dog gets away with it then he will keep doing it and pushing to see what more he can get away with. They are kind of like children in that regard. Give them an inch and they will take a mile. Since Blitz is a fairly easy dog we just have to tell him no or ask in a stern voice, what are you doing? Our dogs don’t take Blitz too seriously either. They can tell he is a marshmallow.
In fact, as you can see, he and Shelby get along just fine. He gets along with everyone else fine too. I think this makes six weeks he has been at our house. He is quite the gentleman and we are enjoying his stay.
Saturday Mornings are a treat that doesn’t come often enough to suit me. I don’t usually get to see animals in their sun worshipping poses. On weekdays I am gone before the sun is up enough to cast much of a shadow. By the time I come home from work the sun is usually too far behind the trees to make a sunbeam suitable for lazing in the house . I think we can learn something from the animals about meditation and relaxation.
As per my e-mail moniker, I am the Sheltie Queen. I am one of the founders of our local sheltie rescue group. I love their furry bodies, their long noses, and their herding attitudes. For the most part, I live and breathe shelties. I am happy this way. Life is good. Why then, for the past couple of years have I had this increasing obsession with getting a pit bull? I see them or pictures of them and am reduced to cooing, ohhh…a pit bull.
Well, for one thing they are beautiful dogs. They have sleek bodies, chunky heads, and their coats come in so many gorgeous colors. I am partial to the brindles, chocolates, and blues. That really narrows it down. Not! They are active dogs and that fits in with the hiking, walking, and playing that we like to do. I have met some wonderful pit bulls and been the recipient of more than a few affectionate kisses from them. Above is Xena, a pit bull that I met at the local pound, she jumped up so as to be close enough to deliver kisses all over my face. Heaven!
Ultimately though, one of the reasons I am drawn to them is I see them as the underdog of the dog world. They are maligned and discriminated against. It is in my nature to help the downtrodden and needy. That’s how I got started in rescue work in the first place. My goal is, when I am ready, to get a pit bull and train it for therapy dog work. Then we can work as a team to combat this stigma. And I will have another canine friend to assist with the therapy dog work that I love. It seems the ultimate win. As we visit and brighten the days of people who aren’t fortunate enough to have the joy of their own dogs, we show how loving pit bulls can be.
Having numerous animals often involves playing nurse. Poor Lacey has been suffering with an abscess on her face for weeks. After rounds of three different types of antibiotics and draining the abscess twice a day there was still little improvement. Finally the vet decided that a bacterial culture was necessary so we could identify the strain and get the correct antibiotic. Once we had the right medicine it started clearing up within two days. We are all very happy about this, especially Lacey. This picture was taken once she started to heal up. I didn’t want to take a photo before because it’s not something I want to remember!
Lacey must be the world’s nicest cat. Through all of the pill and liquids I gave her, and all of the treating of the wound, and the ointments, she was always pleasant. She was an easy patient to work on. And she would still come to sit with me and hang out even after all the “abuse” I had to put her through.
Lacey is 13 or 14 and has always been an extremely nice cat. If I had to give all of these treatments to some of our other cats, I would be covered in bites and scratches. Lacey is also the cat that loves dogs. She never runs from any of the dogs, even those who are new in residence. She just sits and looks at them and assumes they will be nice to her. She befriends our foster dogs, especially the older ones. She sits with them and gives and receives comfort in their company. Below, she is with Maizie our foster dog from last summer who was suffering from renal failure.
Lacey is a peace loving soul. We could all stand to be a little more like her. The world needs more Laceys!
I came up with a new recipe this evening. I call them Mexican Egg Rolls. They were delicious. Gather the following ingredients.
Fresh garlic, minced
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, small amount of thyme
Green Cabbage, finely shredded
Fresh Spinach, finely shredded
Pepper – green, red, orange, or yellow, diced
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, finely grated
Large burrito wrappers
Cut up shrimp, chicken, pork, or bacon
Saute garlic in preheated oil til golden brown (about 30 seconds to one minute). Add the diced pepper and saute one more minute. Add the cabbage and spices and continue cooking until slightly wilted but still crisp. Add the spinach and cook for a minute more. Remove the cabbage mixture from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Put a generous amount of cabbage mixture in a burrito wrapper. Top with minced onion, Cheddar cheese, and your choice of meat. Or leave the meat off for a vegetarian version. Roll like burritos or egg rolls.
Heat a small amount of oil in a non-stick pan. Place the rolls in the skillet and cook briefly on all four sides until nicely golden brown. The cabbage inside will still be slightly crunchy.
There are so many ways to make them. I always use Bisquick for my pancakes. I find that it produces the best results. The other similar mixes just don’t measure up. I alter the basic recipe on the box to whatever suits my taste.
I always add extra liquid so the batter is a little thinner and I can get a bigger, flatter pancake. Not too much liquid though or you will have trouble flipping the pancakes. The liquid can be varied. The recipe calls for milk. I rarely use regular cow’s milk because of lactose issues in our household. Generally I use vanilla almond milk. You can also substitute chocolate almond milk or orange juice. Don’t forget the eggs and oil as per the box recipe. Next the standard recipe calls for vanilla extract. I often use almond extract instead. Any other flavor would work just as well depending on the final product you are going for. I whisk all of the wet ingredients together before adding them to the dry. Sometimes I add in canned pumpkin or mashed bananas. You may have to adjust the liquid depending on the consistency of these. No big deal. If the batter gets too runny, just add a little more of the Bisquick to thicken it up. I like to add cinnamon and nutmeg to the pumpkin and maybe a little molasses to make it like pumpkin pie.
And then you are ready for what I call the “add-ins”. Nearly all of my pancakes include chocolate chips. Other things you could add include: almonds, pecans, walnuts, chopped cranberries, coconut, sliced strawberries, blueberries, orange zest, lemon zest, raspberries or blackberries, chopped dates. The possibilities are many. I mix these items into the dry Bisquick before adding the liquid. I find that having them coated and dispersed reduces the needed mixing and makes a better quality pancake.
I always use a silver stone, non-stick pan to cook the pancakes in. I add a little cooking spray before the first pancake. Make sure the pan is well heated on medium heat. Then pour in the batter and spread it around a little with a spoon to get the pancake thin enough and as large as you want it. Small bubbles or holes will surface starting at the outside and then toward the center as cooking takes place. Flip the pancake when the bubbles are coming up near the center. I often have trouble flipping the first pancake. It is usually the “sacrificial pancake”. After this I never have any trouble. If there is no chocolate, this is the pancake the dogs get.
I hope you have fun making these pancakes and coming up with different combinations. I always do. My particular favorites that I make over and over are:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip (All time favorite!)
Banana Chocolate Chip
Orange Chocolate Chip
Other tasty combinations are:
Orange Almond Chocolate Chip
Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chip made with Chocolate Almond Milk (like German Chocolate Cake!)
Raspberry White Chocolate Chip
So, have fun with this. You are only limited by your imagination!
This figure was a gift from my friend Tina. I keep it out all year because it represents so many things to me. It reminds me of the dogs I rescue. And the gift that these dogs are. And I, of course, think of the friend who gave it to me when I see it. Tina has since left this world but her gifts have not. Her gift of friendship and the thoughtful attention she showed in giving are still with me.
So although this is a Christmas gift and it brings to mind the gifts of hope, and peace, and love, I find it to be appropriate throughout the year. It is a reminder that I should try to exhibit these traits and be a better person. These are ideas that I want to keep close to me the whole year long.
This is Baxter. He looks so innocent, doesn’t he? Don’t be fooled. He is the protector of his home. Last evening I opened the door for all of the dogs to go out in the fenced potty area. The fence is only about 3 1/2 feet high but our dogs have never tried to leave the area. I opened the door and out the dogs went. Baxter went out the door and sailed over the fence without even touching it. He ran just out of my site in the dark. The other dogs were barking within the fence as back up. Turns out there was a opossum in the yard. Baxter was on the job checking it out and patrolling his territory. Although the opossum was hissing and carrying on, the incident ended without apparent injury to either party. Baxter is a good boy and came back when he was called. He came in and resumed napping on the couch. Enough excitement for one night.
Blitz would like to alert you to crimes in our neighborhood. He barked and chased them off but not before two men wearing coveralls in a large, marked vehicle stopped, stole our trash and drove away! They have the nerve to do this throughout the area and come back on a regular basis to repeat said crime. Blitz says thank you for allowing this public service announcement.
(Ummm…Blitz, we pay them to do this. We call them the trash men.)
Three dogs enjoying the balmy weather before the next cold wave. We have a brief respite with temperatures in the 30’s before we plunge back down to zero tonight. These guys insisted that they must go out and enjoy it. From left to right are Blitz the foster dog, Baxter, and Shelby. They were watching me while I hauled more wood to the house. Note that the dog house is not there because the dogs spend lots of time outside and need shelter. It was left here by a previous owner and our guys like to use it for extra shade sometimes in the summer.
This is Blitz keeping an eye on me.
And Shelby supervising me. She usually goes with me to get the wood so is not happy to be behind the fence. She doesn’t know what I might do if left to my own devices.
And Baxter wants to know why I don’t throw the Frisbee instead of trudging back and forth with pieces of wood.
The other three dogs stayed in the house. I imagine Phoebe the greyhound thought she might get her sweater dirty, Nikki, the petite sheltie, does not like dogs ( we don’t tell her that she is a dog ), and Roxanne the 15 year old sheltie is waiting for spring.
So the three dogs pictured above were my audience as I did my outside chores. I wouldn’t want to do it without them. They are good company.