Monthly Archives: April 2019

Flower Walk

Early spring always calls for a walk around our property to look for signs of life. And it is so exciting when you find some. It means winter is on its way out. And while I like winter, there is a time for everything and this is the time for gardens and warmer days. Above is the lungwort nestled amongst the vinca vine. It is a native perennial. You can identify even without the flower, by its mottled leaves.

These are the only trilliums we have. Trillium were once endangered in Ohio. They do not like to be disturbed so I have never moved them. They are also nestled amongst the vinca vine. The lungwort and trillium like to grow in shade. They reside in our pine grove under the tall trees.

Pale pink blossoms belong to the viburnum. The bush and its flowers are not particularly showy but the smell is amazing. Worth growing for the fragrance alone.

This is the beginnings of flowering on our red bud trees. I was not familiar with them before we bought these from the county extension office but I am a big fan.

These trees are also from the county extension office. They are river birches. It amazing what you can grow from sticks not even as big around as a pencil.

We have many plants from the extension office because we like the try new things. Their offerings are selected to do well in our area. We have several of these bushes from one such experiment. They are plum bushes that grow little football shaped plums. So far the bushes have only produced a few fruits and the birds enjoyed those before we had the chance.

Onward spring! I look forward to many more blooms.

Stay! Good Dog.

Zekie continues to improve his behavior. He can hold a stay long enough for me to take a few pictures.

Of course just last week he chewed a second bungee cord in half that was used to hold the pasture gates together. Without it there is only the latch and cross board holding the gates together at the top. With no bungee cord Zeke can push his way through and escape. I was working in the patio garden and he couldn’t bear to be that far away from me. The gate is now held together at the bottom by a chain and a metal closure with a snap on each end.

Sometimes you take what you can get. Look at that stay!

Lessons From the Dog

Dear Human,

Don’t stress out about things.

This too shall pass. No matter what it is.

Spring will come. As will summer, fall, and winter.

Your child or pet will outgrow the terrible two’s, three’s, and teens.

That time you spend wishing you didn’t have to go to work, one day you won’t.

Be in the moment. Enjoy the now.

From the Dog

With Love.

(And could you pet me while you’re enjoying the now?)

Daffodils in Spring

And so it begins…

We have many daffodils, and soon narcissis too. This is just a small fraction of the daffodils we have blooming today and they are just getting started. Many more to come.

This lady vase is special. She was given to me by a friend and former co-worker. The vase belonged to her parents and she chose to share it with me! I reserve the Lady Vase mostly for spring flowers which are special after a long winter. I keep the vase up on our living room mantel so it is safe.

This is why. Kitties love biting and batting flowers around. And I cannot be around 24 hours a day. So up out of harm’s way she goes.

May you have spring flowers to enjoy and friends to share them with!

Bring Joy!

Photos with residents are cropped to protect their privacy.

Oh, to be able to bring this much joy into someone’s life. Apparently dogs are more powerful than I am. No one smiles like this when I walk in by myself. But that’s ok, I get it. Dogs are all accepting and instantly make nearly everyone feel better.

I take Shelby and Nikki to visit at a nursing home twice a month and they are always a hit. Many residents want to visit with them. And any passing workers stop for a few pats, from aides to nurses to dining room employees. Family and friends who come to visit their loved ones like to stop and visit with the pups as well.

Everyone enquirers about Shelby and Nikki. How old are they? (9 and 12 1/2) What breed? (Shetland Sheepdogs) Do they live in the house? (Of course) You must brush them a lot? (Yes, my hobby while I watch tv) And many other questions.

I’ve been visiting nursing and residential facilities with dogs since 2000. Of course not with the same dogs. I am on my third generation of therapy dogs. On every visit I’m repeatedly asked the dogs’ names amongst other information about them. How often have I been asked my name? Once.

Does it bother me? Not one bit! Why would I have kept it up for the past 19 years if it did? (Wow, that’s a long time!) It is a great testament to how much people need dogs. People do talk to me and are glad to see me. They tell me about the dogs they had as kids and when they were adults.

Dogs give acceptance to people, whatever state they are in. They are a connector between people and a bridge to memories and conversation. They facilitate miracles. One of my life goals is to be able to bring as much joy as my dogs!

Normally Mischievous? Don’t Be Fooled.

Zekie is not always anxious and getting into trouble. He can also be a happy and playful dog. He plays with toys and invites us to chase him too. In fact, if we never went away from home, we could be tricked into thinking that he is a normally mischievous pup.

But we know better. The separation anxiety and leash reactivity are still lurking beneath the surface and waiting to come out. We haven’t done a good job of walking dogs lately. Between icy or rainy weather and bouts of flu, the walks haven’t happened. So I haven’t been working on the reactivity.

On the plus side, the damage to Zeke’s cruciate ligament must have been a partial tear. He runs on that leg with no problem now. He even leaps to catch the frisbee. So either the leg is healing, or the muscles are strengthening enough to compensate for the injury. The thigh muscle on that leg is still slightly smaller than the other one but the bulk is greatly improved. That leg is well on the way to recovery.

So life with the Zekester continues, status quo.