Monthly Archives: August 2016

Miss Bossy Pants


This is the face of a confident dog. You would think that’s a good thing. And most of the time it is. I can take her anywhere. Shelby is good at dog events with hundreds of people present. Shelby is very good at her job visiting a local nursing home. She is good around new dogs because she is confident enough not to be afraid. She is also pretty obedient so she is easy to take places.

Shelby, exuding confidence
Shelby, exuding confidence

But sometimes her confidence crosses the line a little. She thinks she knows how the world should be. Such as on Monday mornings when I head out the door for the start of the work week. Shelby gives me the stink eye. She glares a dirty look at me for leaving the pack again. Maybe she does know how the world should be. It would be great to stay home.

Shelby also gets upset at heavy rains and thunderstorms. Not like any normal dog though. She is not afraid. She gets angry and barks at thunder and high winds to tell them off. I suspect she thinks that she is in control because the bad weather does go away after she voices her opinion for long enough. Sometimes we put her in her crate during bad weather so we can have some peace and quiet. This makes Shelby indignant because she can not do her job.

What a blessing to have a dog like Shelby with so much personality. Bossy dogs rule!

Making Memories, Do It Now

My daughter, that I dearly love spending time with, and me.

I have been spending some time in contemplation lately. What is really important in life? Making the world a better place and improving the conditions of living things certainly is up there. That goes without saying.

I have begun to realize though that making time to spend with those you love is much more important than I have given it credit for in the past. We go about our busy daily lives. There is always more to do. We tend to take our loved ones for granted. I’ll spend time with them next week. I’ll make the trip to see my dear friend next month. Often, when next week or next month arrives, we say, ok I’ll really go see them next week or month. And so on. We think that we will always have another opportunity to see them. This may not be true.

Making memories with my grandchildren at Lake Erie
Making memories with my grandchildren at Lake Erie

This fact has been becoming more plain to me and the point was really driven home last night. I went to calling hours for a friend’s daughter. The daughter was only 30 years old and succumbed to a short term battle with breast cancer. The funeral home was full of people who were stunned that this young, beautiful, successful lady was taken from them with so little warning. The father said to me, take the time to make those memories. It is important to spend time together, be there for each other, and spend time making the fun and meaningful memories too. Then we will have something to cherish and hold near to our hearts.

My niece training Nikki
Spending time showing my niece how to train Nikki

I have lost a number of people who where close to me in the last year. There is not one of them that I don’t wish I had spent more time with. I have learned. In the future I will try more often to spend time with people. I may not have the chance again.

Tales of a Foster Dog

Foster Dog-Kammie

This is our foster dog Kammie. She is 8 years old and has been with us about 4 months now. She came from a large city kennel in our area to our sheltie rescue. Her owner died and she was taken to the kennel. Shelties generally do not kennel well because  most of them are too sensitive. Kammie went to one of the kennel’s foster homes so she could get out of that environment. With the stress of being there she had developed a green nasal discharge that she was being treated for as possible kennel cough. From the report I received, it sounded as if she did well in the foster home. She got along with another dog and a child. She was not eating well but I didn’t consider this to be much of a problem.  The kennel noted her weight upon arrival at 59 lbs. She was down to 53 lbs. when I got her. I estimate her ideal weight should be 35 lbs.

I actually have a potential home in mind for her. Kammie would be perfect for one of our previous adopters that is ready for another dog. She has had a string of annoying small things that keep going wrong with her that have prevented me from calling about her new home.

First she still had green discharge from her nose. I gave antibiotics for that. We are working on getting her thyroid hormone levels under control. They were too low which explains a few things. She gets pills twice a day for that. She has already lost a few more pounds so that is going well. Her blood work also showed problems with her liver. We ran it again a couple weeks later and it was better after her various treatments and time to de-stress.  Her blood work also showed abnormal kidney function. We discovered a urinary infection and got more antibiotics. They didn’t work so we did a culture and got different antibiotics. Thank goodness for my pill shooter gun.Things seem to be improving.

Kammie and Peonies

Soon we will retest the thyroid levels and check for kidney function again. The vet said it is possible that these kidney numbers are just normal for her. Then…if all goes well she can get a dental and have a benign cyst removed. And once she heals up… then she will be ready for her new home.

Luckily, Kammie is an easy dog. She barks a little but aside from that she mostly just lays around. She comes up to us for petting but if we don’t oblige, she just goes and finds a quiet corner. She does like to spend time outside with the other dogs. I am glad to have the pleasure of being a part of her life.

The Gift, aka Encounter with the Ex’s Wife

Garden gate, flowers

I had the most wonderful experience this past weekend at a post funeral dinner. The funeral was for my one time mother-in-law (MIL), and forever mom and friend. The service was beautifully orchestrated by the aforementioned MIL. It was a fine send off, with some tears, and a whole lot of celebration of her life.  And there was a lot to celebrate.

Afterwards, there was “the Luncheon”. This was a somewhat uncertain event for me because it would be the first encounter with my ex-husband since our divorce some 17 years previously. And calculating out just how long it had actually been, makes me wonder why I gave it any credence at all. That is one heck of a long time!

I have remained family and friends with the ex-husband’s relatives over these many years. They continued to play an important part in my life, even becoming friends with my new husband. This was as it should be. I got divorced from one person, not a family.

There were some minor concerns in my mind about how the whole day would go. I didn’t know how my reception would from my ex and his current wife. Over the years I had thought there were some negative thoughts and impressions of me, and no doubt at some point there were. That would be natural and expected.

However, at “the Luncheon” my ex’s wife approached me with something to say. And what she had to say was this, which I will paraphrase. “Thank you for coming. It was very kind of you to come. Insert MIL’s name, loved you and she would be happy that you are here.” There were a few other pleasantries of a similar nature passed back and forth but this was the crux of it.

I can’t think of a more kind, compassionate, heartfelt gesture she could have made. This was a true gift. I didn’t have to wonder any more how things would go. What a special person she has proven herself to be.

I take a lesson from this encounter. Be kind. Always. It makes the world a better place.