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Apathy Warrior

Sanctuary Acres


I decided to title this piece Apathy Warrior but it could just as easily be titled Having a Melt Down. It’s a fine line. I suppose one leads to the other. This is my journey.

Above you see Sassy and me. Sassy, affectionately referred to as Miss Sassy Pants, sometimes as Miss Bossy Pants. I love this little girl. She is filled with spunk and character, the likes of which you won’t often see. She is one of our sheltie rescue dogs that got returned last week. I thought her new home was a great fit. But apparently not good enough. Due to a behavioral incident she was returned. I find it suspicious that her “family” is now going to be doing long term travelling. That is neither here nor there. The policy of our rescue, as is the policy of most rescues, is that no matter the circumstance, we take…

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Daddy’s Boys

We have had only two cats for about a year now. We used to always have more. They have both claimed my husband. I am catless. They don’t dislike me. They just treat me more like a roommate.

The little black and white guy is Morty aka Mortimer Kitten. Makes him sound like a Beatrix Potter character. He is tiny, about 8 lbs. He is a little chunky right now so his winter weight may be closer to 9 lbs. He is also 8 years old. He is a playful kitten who is shy around most people, except his daddy. It’s not so much that he’s afraid of people. It’s more that he has no use for them. He apparently finds them to be filthy since he washes furiously after anyone touches him. Morty finds me to be one step up from most people. I am to be tolerated.

We also have Orange Kitty. He is 3 years old and weighs in the neighborhood of 18-20 lbs. Although he dwarfs Morty, they are fast friends. They eat, sleep, and play together. Orange Kitty is tolerant of everyone, animals and people alike. If he has a choice he will hangout with daddy or Morty. He particularly likes to sit beside daddy in his armchair and watch tennis.

I’m not going to look for a cat for myself though. It’s only a matter of time before someone drops one off near our house. This happens every few years. Then we will have room to keep the next foundling.

Work, what? No!

It is hard to go to work when the second hand on the clock hits 6:00 am but you look down and see this face looking back at you from your lap.

And then you look over and also see this.

And on your way to get your coat, there is a little furry sheltie who got up to see where you are going.

And then a large, orange cat awaits at the base of the coat rack.

And they wonder at work, why I start to talk of retirement. Actually, I don’t think they wonder very hard. There is a whole world awaiting me!

Spoiled Much?

Do any of you have dogs with discriminating taste? Meet Baxter. He will only eat artisan or homemade bread. Try to give him grocery store, pre-wrapped bread? I don’t think so. He politely turns his head.

But bring home freshly baked bread from the bakery and he is at your side. He gently takes fresh bread and makes short work of it. The same goes for things I bake at home. I take it as quite the compliment.

Just one of Baxter’s many fine features.

Time with Zeke

We are learning more about Zeke as time goes by. Such as, he loves spending time outside as long as he is with the other dogs and knows we are nearby. He especially loves the snow, burying his nose in it and snuffling for what I don’t know. Maybe for the sheer joy of it.

We have also learned that he is not above stealing food from the counter and eating all of it. But only when we are not around. For this the fault lies with us for allowing the opportunity.

Zeke continues to move his crate across the room when there are no humans at home. And drool. The weather has not been conducive to walking so no updates on that front.

Even so, we are enjoying our time with Zeke. He is a fine dog.

Share the Puppies!

It’s been a red letter day! I spent most of it working as a team with Shelby and Nikki. And I was blessed today for many reasons.

First we conducted therapy dog testing at All Breed Training Club of Akron. They are kind enough to allow me to use the building and they have most of the equipment that I use so I don’t have to load up the car with much. There are now several more dogs eligible to visit nursing homes, hospitals, etc. ! If you’re wondering how Shelby and Nikki help me with this, they are my assistants to check the testees for reaction to a neutral dog. They work as the neutral dog.

Ways I was blessed during this event:

  • My friend Linda graciously showed up to unlock the building and help with testing.
  • The club allowed me use of the building.
  • My daughter showed up to help me check people in even though she wasn’t feeling 100%. She showed up because she is reliable and had committed to helping me.
  • Another friend, Meganne, and her daughter came to help with the reaction to children portion of the test. The daughter enjoyed it and wants to help again!
  • I was able to certify five more dogs for visiting!
  • I got to meet a Bernese Mountain Dog, a Scottie, an Irish Wolfhound, a Parson Russell mix, and two Border Collies.
  • The person who didn’t pass was understanding and pleasant about it.

Then after the test I got to have lunch with my friend Erin who drove an hour and a half to have her dogs tested as a team. I first met Erin about two years ago when I tested her first therapy dog. We connected on Facebook and over time have discovered that we have more and more in common. We had such a good time talking about dogs and connecting!

Then Shelby, Nikki, and I came home for a while where they got to spend some time outside with our other dogs and bark at their brother Baxter while he chased the frisbee.

Then on to more therapy work! I recently met someone at work who’s parents live about a half mile down the road from me. The father is not able to get around like he once was and could really use a visit from a sheltie, I was told. Shelby and Nikki to the rescue! We walked down the road for a visit and now have even more friends.

I was so proud of Nikki. She sat on this gentleman’s lap for 45 minutes and I do believe she made his day.

Blessings from this encounter:

  • I got to hang out with my girls some more.
  • I got to talk about my favorite thing-dogs.
  • I got to go for a walk.
  • I made new friends.
  • I had the opportunity to make someone’s life just a little bit happier.

Life is good. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings and what opportunities I have to spread happiness.

Does This Happen To You?

Is it just me or do random people at the store stop you to talk and ask questions of you too? I’m talking total strangers that I have never seen before.

There was the lady who was determining what kind of cat food to get. I was there getting cans of cat food for my 15 year old cat who would eat nothing else. Little did I know that by entering the pet aisle that I would become her prime suspect. She saw the food I put into the cart and asked, “Do they like it?”. Umm, no I just buy this to stack around the house? Of course, I responded that yes, this was the only thing that Lacey the cat would eat. Then I got to hear a little about her cats.

Next I was asked about a number of other brands on the shelf. I had no experience with most of them. Then it was, “Do you think Brand X is good for them?” Umm, you really should discuss it with your vet if you think that your cat has special needs. I thought this would be my opportunity to make a break for it. I don’t mind helping people but I had already spent some time on this and I had to get home. Not to mention, this lady was in desperate need of a bath. Mercifully, I was not all that close to her but I didn’t need to be. I explained to her that I was on my way home from work so really needed to get going.

I should have been faster with my departure. “What kind of litter do you use”, was next on her agenda. She wanted to discuss the merits and my experience with the various cat litters. I gave her a few words of advice and moved to leave. She was still talking as I made my way down the aisle and I called have a nice day. I could still hear her as I left the aisle. I’ve always wondered if she was still standing there talking by the time the next unsuspecting soul came along.

Driving home I thought there went 15 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. I can only hope that this random shopper’s life was improved in some way by our discussion. Whether it be from some advice I gave her, or just that someone took 15 minutes out of their day to talk to her.

There was also the day that a friendly lady asked me about acorn squash in the produce department. She seemed nice and mercifully was well groomed.

Her: Do you know anything about acorn squash?
Me: Yes, it is delicious.
Her: (Picking up random squash) Does this one look good? How about this one” (And so on, until she had the appropriate squash.
Me: (Thinking she is all set now and we are done)
Her: Ok, what do I do with this?
Me: (Gave her various cooking methods)
Her: Well, what do you cook with it?

So I gave some more suggestions and made my get away.

These are the most notable instances but these types of encounters seem to happen to me from time to time. I went home one day and asked my husband, “Does it say Sucker or Has no life on my forehead? He said no, that he thinks people can sense that I am a kind and caring person. I like his answer better so that’s the one we are going with.

Dogs and Tools

Some people say that a sign of high intelligence is the ability to use tools. In fact, at one time it was thought that only humans were intelligent enough to use tools. Other animals have since been found to employ the use of tools. 

Tools are used to make survival easier. Wouldn’t a greater sign of intelligence be the use of toys? Toys are used for fun and play.  Although I suppose the argument could be made that play is practice for skills needed later in life.

Still play does not support immediate survival. So I think that only highly developed animals play. Food for thought.