Monthly Archives: October 2015

My Xanadu

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These are the faces of happy, tired dogs. And we all know, a tired dog is a good dog. Friday afternoon was the perfect day for a Fall hike so we loaded up four of the dogs and went to a park near us. Above are Phoebe the greyhound and Baxter whom we refer to as a baxterhound. If the world had more baxterhounds, it would be a better place.

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Shelties, Shelby, and foster dog Sweetie also joined us on this fine day. The fall leaves looked spectacular against the dogs’ coats. They really brought out the rich browns and mahoganies. Each enhanced the other and looked all the better for it.


Here, Phoebe and Shelby pose for effect. Our own three dogs are trustworthy off leash so they were free to sniff for squirrels and to tell off chipmunks. Whenever we encountered other hikers, especially with dogs, we called our dogs to us and leashed them up so as not to bother anyone else. As you can see from her picture above, poor Sweetie had to stay on leash. As a foster dog, we just don’t know her as well as we know our own dogs. I find it hard to imagine that she would stray very far from my husband but it’s just not worth the chance. Sweetie is a daddy’s girl through and through. She thinks I’m nice too, but only as an afterthought.

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The views as we hiked were beautiful. I feel very fortunate to live in this area of Ohio when I am looking at views like this. The dogs paused to look too, although I’m not so sure that they’re not looking for wildlife rather than at the Fall leaves.


Normally yellow and gold are not my favorite colors but Mother Nature does it right and I am a big fan of the bounty of color. There are several small lakes in the area making this enjoyable hiking terrain.


As we enjoyed the sites, I was thinking a Fall hike in the woods is about as good as it gets. With dogs of course!

A Sheltie Gathering


We had a Fall Picnic at our house over the weekend  for members of our rescue, Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue, and some of our adopters came too. It was glorious to see so many shelties at our house. Even more than usual!


The thing that truly amazed me was with all those dogs running around, some of whom had never met, we didn’t have one incident. Not one scuffle, not one nip or fight. To tell you the truth, if it was going to happen I expected my dogs to be the culprits. After all, here were these strange dogs showing up on their turf. I guess with the number of foster dogs that come and go, it didn’t faze them.


It was wonderful to meet so many shelties that I had never seen before. Most of them had been through our rescue at one point or another but not all. I enjoyed meeting each and everyone. And to have the chance to see again some of the dogs that we fostered,  it was a rare treat. Blitz came with his new family. He got to go in the pasture and run with his old pack. It was heartening to how much his new family loves him.


And Miss Sassy Pants came for the afternoon. It was so good to see her and to have her gaze at me fondly as she used to do. And I, of course, gazed adoringly right back at her. Sassy has been in foster care with friends of mine and has a new prospective family coming to meet her on Tuesday. I hope they are able to appreciate her spunk and character as she deserves.


Sky, previously known as Skylar, was in attendance. Friends of ours adopted Sky so we do get the pleasure of seeing him from time to time. None the less, it was a joy to see him running with our pack again and trying to be first to catch the Frisbee. Our dogs stayed out in the pasture all afternoon because they are used to it, and to leave more room inside for other guests.


After the big shindig was over, we let our dogs into the vacated party area, which was one of our outbuildings, to hang out with us and to see and smell what all the fuss had been about. Above are Baxter, Shelby, and foster girl Sweetie playing with my daughter.


Phoebe attended the after party as an observer. Being a good greyhound she didn’t see any reason to expend excess energy.

A great day all around!

Continue reading A Sheltie Gathering

Fall Beauty


I am fortunate to live in such a beautiful place. And I think fall is my favorite season of all. Just look at the shot above that I took over the weekend while I was kayaking. It was actually my first time kayaking on a body of water of any size. The weather was perfect and I thought, I’ve wanted to do this for years. Today’s the day. I’m so glad I did.

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This was my view as I paddled around the reservoir at West Branch State Park. I saw a blue heron flying low overhead, gulls, and ducks. Although there were a few power boats out, the water was still and peaceful. I could take a few minutes to stop paddling and enjoy the gentle sound of the waves . The leaves on the trees were just starting to turn but there were plenty of jewel toned leaves to enjoy. (Many thanks to my wonderful brother for the loan of his kayak so I could experience this.)

The next day I was able to get out for a walk with some of the dogs. The weather is cool enough now that we can get out more and go for walks.

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These are some of the views we saw as we walked.  I noted that the body of water seemed much larger when I was paddling across it in a kayak.

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The dogs always have a confused look when I stop walking to take photographs. They must wonder why I am stopping if I’m not even going to bother to sniff anything.

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This is one of my favorite walks not only because of the beautiful scenery but because the sound of the waves makes me feel like I am at the ocean. Almost like a mini-vacation.


That is Sweetie on the left and Shelby on the right. Sweetie is our foster dog. She and Shelby make a nice brace walking so nicely together. I couldn’t ask for better companions to enjoy my day.

Sleeping Arrangements

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I was pondering our sleeping arrangements recently and wondered, why is it that only two of our dogs have the privilege of sleeping on the bed with us, but it happens to be our two largest dogs? This does not seem like very good planning on our part. Baxter comes upstairs in the evening and immediately jumps on the bed before I even get in. He will move on request, to make more room. He so loves to sleep on the bed that he will forgo evening biscuit time to go up with the first person to ascend the stairs for bedtime. He has also been known to continue snoozing on the bed in the morning once all humans are up for the day. Baxter weighs 55 lbs.

Phoebe, our resident greyhound, is the other dog that sleeps on the bed. She is slightly sneakier though. She comes upstairs and lays down on the dog bed on the floor. Here she stays until it is time for lights out. Some time after the light goes off she jumps on the bed, spins around as many times as it takes to suit herself and plops down. If I do not turn the light out soon enough to suit her, she starts sighing and gets louder until I am obliged to turn off the light. When she does make it up on the bed to start the spinning around, she acts like she is nesting and just making herself comfortable. I know she is really doing it to steal my covers! It does make some sense to me that Phoebe sleeps on the bed because greyhounds are so bony and angular and definite comfort seekers. Phoebe weighs 65 lbs.

What I want to know is, what is wrong with the dog bed on the floor? It is large and cushy with a pillowed rim around the edge. I think sleeping with the humans is as much a status symbol as the fact they are on the bed. I imagine if we slept elsewhere, they would want to sleep there too. Sometimes I am tempted to sleep elsewhere. When the covers are pinned so tightly under the weight of dogs that I can’t turn over, or I have a paw in the face, or a hip bone in my back, I am  fantasizing about sleeping somewhere other than where I am. But really folks, it dark and I am warm, and I have dogs. I’m not going anywhere. Baxter and Phoebe do get along extremely well. Baxter does often growl at Phoebe when she jumps up on the bed. That’s the end of it though. Soon we are all one big heap of humans and dogs.


The other dogs all sleep downstairs. If I had planned better I would have the 18 lb. Nikki Pouncer sleep on the bed. She wouldn’t take up much space at all. She could sleep on the pillow by my head and I would never notice her. But wait, she is an indiscriminate eater of poop. Scratch that idea. I don’t care to have an odiferous assault while I am trying to sleep. You may be thinking, why don’t you just stop her from eating poop? Right. We have between 5-7 dogs here at any one time. You do the math. I’m not that fast. Even if I picked up each time the dogs went out, I can only pick up after one at a time. I do my best.


Shelby would be too busy patrolling to keep the house safe from intruders and strange noises. She would have no time to sleep on the bed. Shelby is what we call “a busy girl”. She goes in a crate for the night so she can be off duty and get some rest.


And Roxanne is old and arthritic at 15. She is no longer able to get up the steps. At her advanced age she likes to wander around during the night anyway. This is not conducive to sleeping. She is free to wander around downstairs to her heart’s content for the night though.

By this time you may be wondering how I get any sleep. After years of practice I am able to sleep through most anything. I have slept through dogs walking across my body, through barking, through storms and loud noises. Not everyone can do this and I consider myself fortunate to have learned such a skill. Not something you can put on a resume but none the less, it is one of those important life skills that is indispensable.