Monthly Archives: November 2018

Methods to Success

I have learned over the years that each of my Therapy Dogs has had a different way of working. Each has excelled in his or her own special way.

Jewel was my first certified Therapy Dog. She was one of the moms from a puppy mill case that took in 97 dogs but ended up with 105 after puppies were born. Jewel was a color headed white, full sized collie. I named her Jewel because her beautiful sable spots looked like jewels on her white coat. She was a sweetheart. Her method of providing comfort was to stand quietly while she was petted. Sometimes she would lay down with a person who wasn’t ambulatory. You could feel the gentleness emanate from her.

The photo above is my Trevor. He was an abandonment case that I took in. He came to me as an adult, but weighing only about 20 lbs. At his full weight he was 32 lbs. Trevor was a natural born Therapy Dog. He could do the job without me. He would go to people I didn’t even see, because he sensed that they needed him. He could work a room like I’ve never seen. What a gentle soul he was.

Duncan, above, trained and was certified as a Therapy Dog the same year as Trevor. I was Duncan’s third home by the time he was 4 months old. He was quite the handful and continued to be for many years. Duncan was a good Therapy Dog and brought joy to many. Duncan was different though in that he did the work because I asked him to and it made me happy. Whatever made me happy, made Duncan happy.

That brings us to my currently certified Therapy Dog, Shelby. She is a rescue dog whose original owners purchased her from a flea market. When she was 18 months old, they decided that she was too rambunctious. Hello, is that not the definition of a teenage puppy? Shelby is a tireless worker and has a work ethic that doesn’t quit. She can greet and visit with people for hours. Shelby is a good Therapy Dog because she enjoys working, and working with mom is even better. She is a joyful worker.

There are many ways that a dog can approach therapy work. And more than one way to be a success at it. As long as the method leads to happiness, the goal is achieved!

Donkeys Make Me Happy

Look at this adorable miniature donkey!

On a mini-farm near us, are several miniature donkeys, a couple of burros, and a horse or two. We frequently drive by on our way to walk the dogs.

I would love to have a couple of miniature donkeys but it is unlikely and probably not a good idea for a whole host of reasons. So every time we drive past I say something to the effect of Oh look, my donkeys are outside or I’m glad these people are taking such good care of my donkeys.

I have done this so many times that my husband even humors me and plays along now. He probably figures it is easier than having a discussion about why I can’t actually have donkeys.

Does anybody else do this? Hey, don’t judge, it makes me happy.

Sunday Evening

Sunday evenings are for relaxing. Shelby is a good relaxer.

Yesterday she went along to visit the grand pups and kitties. Just as at home, she appointed herself as Sherriff Shelby and ran interference, and kept the other animals under control. They were actually just playing but she doesn’t like too much rowdiness under her patrol.

The grand pups are Milo and Coco, two corgis who are full brother and sister although from different litters. So Shelby is resting up from her busy day yesterday.

Cassius is also resting. He stayed home yesterday but being a good hound, he knows that Sundays (or any day) are a good day to rest.

A Week in the Life

I thought I would share with you a week in the life of a Zekie Bear. Or his other name, the Zekie Monster. He has been quite busy.

Zekie moves his crate. While he is in it. May you never have a dog with this talent. On Thursday he moved his crate until he got a hold of a heavy, fleece lined hoodie. He pulled it through the slats of his crate as far as he could and shredded it into many pieces. Long strips of fabric that were wedged so tightly that it took quite a bit of work to get it out. Zeke did this once before only with a thin blanket that had been laying on top of his crate. Mercifully he does not not eat the cloth but only shreds it to pieces.

Then there is the issue Zeke has with his food bowl. This is his new bowl. It is two weeks old. I think this one is going to have a shorter life span than the last one.

Zeke had quite a day on Sunday too. We went for a hike. He walked well on leash until we encountered another dog walker. Then he lunged, barked and snarled at the other dog who continued walking obediently with his master. Seemingly thinking, what’s his problem. After the hike we took all our dogs to visit grandma and her dog Paisley. Zeke loved Paisley and played nicely with her all afternoon.

Then we started the drive home. We were behind a truck that put off some strong diesel fumes. After it turned off, my husband put all the windows down a few inches to get some fresh air. All seemed well. Things are not always as they seem. I heard what sounded liked lots of pacing from the back seat. The pacing increased. I finally said, what is going on back there. The pawing noise suddenly became frantic so I turned around. Zeke had his head stuck in the window and had been calm but was starting to flail. I yelled, put the window down. Mercifully Zeke was immediately fine and no worse for wear. I kept an eye on him but he suffered no other effects. Three other dogs were in the car and had no incident. Only Zekie.

This is why I am currently not allowed to foster any dogs. Zekie is a full time job.

Slice of Life With Dogs

This is what your hall closet looks like when you have a house full of dogs. There is the “anti-parasite” shelf. This holds a plethora of heartworm pills, flea and tick medicines, and perhaps a random wormer. And let’s not forget the disinfectant wipes.

Another shelf holds various dog shampoos and more types of disinfectants. And then there’s “the antibiotic shelf”. This does not include all the overflow medications and ointments that aren’t currently in use but I may have a need for someday. But hopefully not. Those have their own separate drawer!

This is what it takes to keep my pups healthy and happy. A small price to pay.

The Last Hurrah

Our garden is having a last hurrah before the snow arrives this weekend. The flowers amaze me with their tenacity.

They keep producing a nice display for us even during the cool fall temperatures.

I found a few poor, confused rhododendron blooms that I snipped and brought inside so we can enjoy them all evening.

The garden is still a beautiful and relaxing place to pass some time. If you wear a coat!


I finally took some time and worked on fall chores. I dug up all my gladioli bulbs to store them for winter. We are in Zone 5 so you never know if they will survive to come up in the spring or not. It just depends how cold it gets. If I leave them in the ground, sometimes they come up the next year and others they don’t. I have enough bulbs now that I don’t want to take a chance.

So I take the time to dig them up so we can enjoy them again next year.

Once I have dug them up, I spread them out so they can dry for a few days to a week. If they are all clumped together they can retain too much moisture and rot.

After that I put them into several paper bags. They need to have air circulation but still be in the dark. I store the bags in the basement so they don’t freeze. And that’s it. Come spring time I will break off any dead parts from the previous season and separate bulbs that have multiplied but stuck together. Then they will be ready to go back in the soil and we can enjoy them all over again.

The Stand Off

This is what we saw for the past few weeks. Our littlest dog (under 20 lbs.) taking up all of the big dog bed. The other, bigger dogs would stand there staring. Then they would pace around and come back to stare again at Nikki. She did not budge. Our greyhound Cassius could spend fair amounts of time staring at her, to no avail. Finally, the last two days, I have seen this.

Nikki still has not budged but Cassius has figured out that there is room for both of them. They may even like it. It’s warmer this way.