The Big Reveal and an Escape!

A few weeks ago, I ordered a DNA kit from Wisdom Panel to learn about Louie’s breeding. He is obviously a mix (37.5%), but he has some tell-tale signs of the hound family and the hound group has the highest statistical likelihood of all the mixed-breed groups in his DNA, followed by the herding and terrier groups. He has a ruff of wiry hair around his neck and going into a  ridge down his back, so I had also assumed he had some type of terrier in his family history. I have spoken about his tendency to herd socks and toys, so it all makes sense.

You can see the ruff of wiry fur around his neck and the smooth, soft fur on his flanks.

You can see the ruff of wiry fur around his neck and the smooth, soft fur on his flanks.

Of all the specific breeds identified in Louie’s DNA, American Foxhound at 12.5% is the only breed he comes close to resembling. Louie is not as large as an American Foxhound, but he has the long legs, sweet hound face and ears. Also coming in at 12.5% is Irish Setter and Pomeranian. I don’t really see either of those, except maybe his tail has a bit more of a plume than a hound. What really surprised me is he is 25% Keeshond or Wolfspitz! I learned Keeshonden have Pomeranian blood in their breed (along with Samoyed, Norwegian Elkhound, Chow and Finnish Spitz). The only influence I see from either Keeshond or Pom, is the ruff around his neck.

This snap also shows his ruff and smooth flanks.

This snap also shows his ruff, smooth flanks and his beard!

Wisdom Panel also checks for the MDR1 (Multi-Drug Resistant) gene mutation that can cause a dog to have severe reactions to commonly prescribed drugs. Louie’s MDR1 gene was normal. I will send a copy of the Wisdom Panel report to Louie’s vets. It was really easy to get the samples from Louie. Wisdom Panel sends a kit with two long swabs that you use to swab the cheek for 15 seconds. The kit has a number that you register online and use the same box (with prepaid postage) to return the sample. Easy peasy! It took about 2 weeks to get the results.

Tell them I'm helping!

Tell them I’m helping! Don’t tell them I’m afraid!

 

The above picture shows where he has been since I sat down to write the post. It started thundering and raining a little (not bad by any stretch) and he’s stood underneath my desk and panted hot, steamy dog breath on my legs. He won’t lie down, he just stands there and pants. It also shows a couple of my freshly manicured fingers which is the perfect segue into Mr. Louie’s great escape. I was leaving the house to go get the manicure, Louie was on the rug with one of his toys, but when I opened the door he bolted right through it. He’s never shown the slightest interest in bolting like that. I caught up with him at the neighbors’ house, I think he may have wanted to visit Kenzie. It scared me half out of my wits, so we need to be more careful with the front door here at Shoeful of Drool! I hope everyone and their fur babies are having a wonderful summer and managing to stay cool!

Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun.” ~ Indian Proverb

 

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My Odd Dog

It’s been a hot summer and it isn’t even officially one month old. The hot weather brings thunderstorms that pop up suddenly, so Louie has been giving the ol’ Thundershirt a workout. It isn’t a miracle cure for Louie’s fear of storms, but it does seem to calm him a bit (he doesn’t tremble quite as much as he does without it). Plus he looks stunning in it.

Mr. GQ in his Thundershirt

Mr. GQ in his Thundershirt

A couple of afternoons, he would start trembling and there was no storm nearby. I’d look at the weather map and there might be storms 75 miles away, but nothing local. One day, the map was absolutely clear for the entire central area of the state. I’d show him the doppler map, and he’d just keep trembling. I have no idea what sets him off, it’s not just the sound because there are times when there is no thunder. Over the 4th, it was clear he didn’t like the fireworks, but he didn’t turn into a quivering mass of butterscotch pudding the way he does during a storm. One night a thunderstorm opened up just as we went to bed and Louie was a wreck for about  30 minutes as the worst of it passed.  Then he settled in at the bottom of the bed even though we could still hear the thunder rolling in the distance. He’s an odd boy.

The unburied cow ear

The unburied cow ear

When I drop by Unleashed or some other place that carries good pet treats, I’ll pick up a bully stick or cow’s ear for him. He always takes these outside and reminds me with a low moan that I need to open the door now if I haven’t already! Those things always kept Dudley and Zoe occupied outside for a good 20 minutes or so. Not Louie, it wasn’t 5 minutes before he wanted to come into the house without his goodie. He buries it and lets it ferment for several days before he digs it up. I guess he’s not wild about the crunch. At least he takes them outside.

Where's that cow ear I buried last week?

Where’s that cow ear I buried last week?

We have been walking every morning before the sun gets up over the trees. It is the only time of day fit for human or beast to be outside. Louie and I both were very happy to see our friend Ms. Harper Lee back in the blogosphere. We look forward to hearing from her and her new little sister Tallulah Bee. Tallulah-loo for now.

“Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.” ~ Dean Koontz, False Memory

 

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Farewell, Bourbon

My next door neighbor Bourbon crossed the Rainbow Bridge last week. He was pushing 16, so it wasn’t unexpected and he had become frail in the past few weeks. He looked to be part Rhodesian Ridgeback with some hound and shepherd thrown in the mix. He was an all around, very cool dog.

Carefree!

Carefree!

Bourbon and his humans moved in next door around 2007, I think. One of the first things I noticed, he was rarely on a leash. Carlin would be working in the yard and he would lie patiently under a tree and watch her. He’d hang out in the backyard while they cooked out and would occasionally score a burger off the grill. That’s not to say he didn’t take off every now and again. Last October, he left one Saturday night and took a dip in the lake (actually a large pond, but they call it a “lake”). He always came home.

Bourbon

Bourbon

It’s hard to lose your dog. Next Wednesday will be 4 years since I lost Zoe and it’s been 2.5 years since I lost Dudley. I knew after I lost Dudley that I needed to wait about a year before I got another dog. I never thought I’d love a dog like a did Dudley. I loved my Z-Queen, but I luh-huh-huh-ved my sweet baby Dudley.

Yesterday after burying his blueberry dipped cow ear.

Yesterday after burying his blueberry dipped cow ear.

Along comes Louie. He is very different from both Dudley and Zoe. He looks a bit like Zoe with the sweet hound face, but she was an excitable mess, while he is almost a Zen master. Louie is most demanding about scratching his ears and the occasional full body massage, but is content to go hang out in the bedroom by himself. Dudley loved an ear scratch, but scratching right above the base of his tail made him dance. He never left me alone in a room for more than a couple of minutes. I might love Louie a little differently than I did Dudley and Zoe, but I certainly love him as much as I did those two. Bourbon, everyone loved you. We will mourn you and miss you and that’s more than I can say about some people. I hope Dudley and Zoe greeted you and we’ll take extra care of Kenzie who misses you very much.

Miss you ZoZo!

Miss you ZoZo!

Often attributed to Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss, but no one seems to know where or when he said it . . .

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

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Random quirks

It has been awhile since I’ve posted here, everything has been fine, just hectic. Louie is his same adorable self and new facets of his personality continue to emerge (maybe I should have named him “Sybill”). One running joke I have with Louie is how wide his mouth opens. When he is beside me on the couch and yawns, I can almost stick my whole head in his mouth.

What a big mouth you have!

What a big mouth you have!

Louie is very thoughtful, he hides gifts of socks that he pulls from the cubby in my closet. He hides them in his blanket, under the pillows on my bead and in the blanket on top of my bed. One day, between my bed and his blanket, I found 8 pairs of socks.

One pair of socks is visible, there were several others twisted in the nest.

One pair of socks is visible, there were several others twisted in the nest.

Another picture of Louie and a sock that came out of hiding.

Protecting his hidden "treasure".

Protecting his hidden “treasure”

I discovered Louie is into Feng Shui. I keep his big bed at the foot of my bed. I walked into the bedroom one afternoon and he had moved his bed into a position diagonal from my bed and the door. Apparently it is bad feng shui to have one’s bed aligned with the door.

Louie the decorator!

Louie the decorator!

Louie is also very possessive of his bed and blanket.  When I take the cover off of his bed to wash it, he becomes very fretful. I put the mattress on the deck to air out and he sits and stares at it until the cover is dry and back on the bed in its rightful place.

He's my little rock and roller!

He’s my little rock and roller!

Louie is a very happy dog. He finds something to roll in most every day. We walked in the local SPCA K9 3K walk in April and right there on the asphalt where the fragrance of a past squirrel carcass must have overwhelmed him, he lowered his shoulder and happily rolled right there in front of hundreds of his K9 brethren.  He’s incredibly playful and each day I try to remember to be grateful that he picked me that day at Saving Grace. I will try to be a little better about posting more regularly.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” ~ Charles M. Schulz

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The Christmas Guest

Christmas Eve 2014. It is raining hard when I pull into the Saving Grace parking lot. I was about half an hour early and they weren’t quite ready, so I slogged back to the car. At least it wasn’t a cold rain, it was close to 60 degrees. I had noticed Madeline among the dogs wandering around and was delighted to learn she would be our foster dog for the holiday weekend. She was great on the 20 minute ride home and she and Louie met with nary a bark or fanfare aside from some serious butt sniffing on Louie’s part.

Madeline

Madeline

Madeline is a very interesting looking girl. Saving Grace lists her as part Basset Hound and German Shepherd. She has the sweetest face (and disposition), a long, sturdy body and the shortest legs I’ve ever seen on a dog her size. Those legs might be short, but she’s fast. After the rain cleared out, she and Louie raced around the yard and those little legs kept up with Louie’s much longer legs.

Louie & Madeline. Look at the difference in their leg length.

Louie & Madeline. Look at the difference in their leg length.

Madeline was an excellent house guest. She seemed to feel right at home as soon as she arrived and followed me everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. I wiped the water off the shower door and there she was, sitting forlornly on the mat between the shower and toilet waiting for me to finish. It was then I decided, Hopelessly Devoted to You from Grease would be her “theme song.” Louie took about two weeks before he ventured back to any of the bedrooms when he first came here. She’s still quite playful and wants you to throw the ball. She enjoys going on walks and by Saturday night she was jumping on the couch to snuggle with me. She and Louie wrestled and ran together quite amiably. And zero accidents in the house!

Madeline the snuggler.

Madeline the snuggler.

If I thought I could afford two dogs, I’d take Ms. Madeline in a split second. She’s a wonderful, sweet companion and she will make you laugh on a daily basis. I was a little heartsick to look and see she was still available. I hope now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays have passed, someone will realize what a little gem Madeline is and take her home. Louie and I wish everyone a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!

“Saving the life of one animal may not change the world, but the world will surely change for that one animal” ~ Unknown

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Year in Review

I was watching Louie playing with his jolly ball in the backyard and it dawned on me that this coming Friday is the first anniversary of him coming here to live. He really has come a long way in a year. It took a week or two before he would even venture out of the living room or kitchen into the back of the house. It was a middle of the night thunderstorm in March before he ever got on the bed with me. Now he thinks the middle of the bed is his spot and I should adjust myself accordingly. We haven’t had much thunder recently, but he even seems less nervous when it rains hard.

Be quiet, you're scaring the squirrels!

Be quiet, you’re scaring the squirrels!

We had Penny come and stay with us a couple of times this fall and Louie hung out at Penny’s house a few times while I went to San Diego (twice!) and then to Pennsylvania for a class reunion. She adores Louie and he acts quite the fool when she is around. In the picture above, there were two squirrels they had chased up the tree and they were both lying in wait.

Louie hanging out in the kitchen

Louie hanging out in the kitchen

Louie weighed 44.2 lbs when he got a bath a few weeks ago. He weighed 32 lbs when he came here a year ago. Dr. Susan at Pet House Calls says he’s at a perfect weight. He is such a confident dog now, he walks with his tail high and charms everyone he meets. He’s great around kids and other dogs and I feel very fortunate I had the good sense to bring him home after he came over to me at Saving Grace and said hello. I am also forever grateful to Saving Grace and all the wonderful, hard work Molly and the volunteers do to save dogs like Louie.

Such a handsome, brash boy!

Dudley – Such a handsome, brash boy!

I brought Louie home one year and one day after I lost my sweetest of sweet babies, Dudley. I always knew 12/18 would forever be a tough date so it was important that I have a happy anniversary the next day. Louie took care of that and brings his own brand of joy every single day!

I wanted to post a festive holiday picture but Louie wants to eat the Santa hat I got for him and refuses to pose. I’ll keep trying, but I have a feeling that hat will be shredded if I don’t keep it out of reach of a certain, 4-legged furry one. Louie and I wish everyone a joyful, peaceful and happy holiday season!

Don’t Shop, Adopt! ~ Saving Grace NC Motto

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Bunnies, Click Beetles and Squirrels

I know I’ve mentioned what a good dog Louie is to walk with. He keeps a good pace, doesn’t pull and he doesn’t sniff every single blade of grass before he pees. He shows little interest in cats but he stops dead in his tracks if he sees a rabbit. Louie will engage the bunny in a staring contest, since the rabbit usually doesn’t move until Louie starts pulling and whining as if to say, “but Mom, I know I can catch him, it’ll be a nice snack!” Then the bunny hops off and Louie jumps around a little bit and then starts walking, while keeping a close eye in the general direction the bunny hopped off.

Louie the walkin' dog

Louie the walkin’ dog+

A couple of times in the past week, Louie has shown great interest in the click beetles we see on our walks. A beetle will be on the sidewalk, Louie paws at it, it jumps making a loud clicking noise and I nearly have a heart attack. We usually walk early in the morning and on weekends, we walk before I have coffee, so I am always completely unaware of the beetle until after Louie sees it. I must admit, I’m a bit more observant after an encounter with the click beetle.

Going in for the roll!

Going in for the roll!

Louie has never shown any interest in squirrels. They run through the backyard with impunity while he lies in the sun. The backyard squirrels tormented Dudley, he would bark at them while they scampered up a tree and I swear on several occasions, I believe a squirrel would kick a pine cone out of the tree at Dudley which further fed his fury. Zoe would catch a squirrel before it hit the ground if it had the misfortune to miscalculate his jump to another tree. But Louie lives in peace with the neighborhood squirrels. Or so I thought. After last night, they might be a bit peeved with Big Lou.

Full roll!

Full roll!

After supper, I was at the back part of the fence yapping with a neighbor and Louie was playing with a stick, or at least I had hoped it was a stick. It wasn’t a stick, but a petrified squirrel pelt and Louie was having a large time tossing it in the air and catching it and running with it. He wouldn’t drop it, he wouldn’t come when I called and it was all I could do to contain my cookies. He finally came up on the deck, thankfully without his new “toy” and I put him in the house and got the shovel to dispose of the squirrel carcass. Then I wiped him down with some grooming wipes. He’s getting a bath on Tuesday. All part of the joy in having a dog. At least Louie kept it outside. Ursula, a beautiful black Chow mix who belonged to our friends the Powells left the gift of a half eaten rabbit in their bed early one Christmas morning several years ago. Always a silver lining somewhere!

“I don’t think twice about picking up my dog’s poop, but if another dog’s poop is next to it, I think, ‘Eww, dog poop!” ~ Jonah Goldberg

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In the doghouse!

This is what I came home to at lunch today. The guts of Louie’s Boots & Barkley bed (that I bought him 6-8 weeks ago) were all over the living room. Within a week of getting it for him, I saw where he had either chewed or scratched a couple of holes in the corners, but he liked to lie on it and I would drag it back to my office for him if I was going to be in there for awhile. But it usually was over there on the hardwood underneath the window.

Nobody's going to be sleeping on this bed!

Nobody’s going to be sleeping on this bed!

So, I spent my lunch cleaning up bed stuffing. I was not happy about it and let Louie know in no uncertain terms that this behavior would not be tolerated as I took the remains out to the trash. He just wagged his tail and looked at me as if to say, “but it was SO MUCH FUN! It was like snow and I just frolicked and frolicked in it!”

It was just the other night I was thinking he was so cute burying a footie in the middle of the bed and trying to push the bed over top of it with his nose. He pushed that bed until it was wedged between the wall and an ottoman. That may have been the issue, I didn’t put it back to where it normally is. Obviously, Louie didn’t have any trouble dragging it across the room.

From another angle, you can see the green stripe around the sock in the bed.

From another angle, you can see the green stripe around the footie in the bed.

I did boot him outside while I got most of the stuffing off the rug and then vacuumed. When I let him back in, I did sit down with him and tell him that even though I was unhappy and very disappointed, I still loved him. Hey, I always felt bad when my dad took that tact with me. Anyway, I’ll leave you with a picture of Louie having fun outside looking a little “wild-eyed.” And I will be calling that dog trainer that I’ve put off calling since the last time Louie ate a bed.

Wild Eyed Louie

Wild Eyed Louie!

“If you live with dogs, you’ll never run out of things to write about.” ~ Sharon Delarose

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Musings and Miscellany

We live in an odd little corner of the world, at least weather-wise. It can be raining cats and dogs (Louie considers this phrase pure hokum) a mile or two in any or every direction, and we may see a few drops of rain in our neighborhood. Even if we aren’t getting much rain, we still hear thunder and see the lightning flashes if a thunderstorm is in the area and that is any given day in Cackalacky in the summer. We’ve had a few big storms in the past couple of weeks. So, Louie has been wearing his Thundershirt often enough for us to give it an official rating of 3.75 paws up!

Seriously people, it does NOT rain "cats and dogs"!

Seriously people, it does NOT rain “cats and dogs”!

The Thundershirt does seem to calm him. Last week there was a storm with lots of thunder and he was fine curled up next to me on the couch. He was underfoot more than usual if I had to get up for something, but he wasn’t a basket case. Yesterday was one of those days when I drove home from work, I ran into a nice downpour about two miles from the house, but it didn’t look like a drop had fallen on our street. I put Louie in his Thundershirt and after about an hour, it did start to rain here at the house. It wasn’t all that heavy, but I was doing some work and the house was quiet so all we could hear was the rain. Even though he was next to me on the couch, he trembled like the end of the world was near.

Not exactly a "profile in courage"

Not exactly a “profile in courage”

After a few minutes of serious spasms, I made him get up and gave him a cookie. A little nosh always makes things better, right? I also turned on the television so it would drown out the rain – the pun is purely serendipitous — and when we settled back on the couch, Louie was fine. I do recommend the Thundershirt if you have the extra $40 to spare. With Louie it isn’t 100% effective, but it’s close enough, so I feel it was worth it.

It hasn’t been all bad weather as you can see from the picture below. Louie enjoyed a nice butcher bone that was about half the size of him! I think he forgot about it, because I haven’t seen him with it in the past few days and I don’t think he’s eaten it all yet. Where it turns up may be the subject of a future post😉

Louie enjoying a bone!

Louie enjoying a bone!

“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.” ~ Samuel Butler

 

 

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Arthur, Thundershirts and Salmon?

It’s been an eventful week.  Louie tested the Thundershirt when Hurricane Arthur came to visit last Thursday. Let me say, I have yet to hear any thunder and where I live, my deck barely got wet during the hurricane, but we did have some heavy wind gusts throughout the day. The Cackalaky coast took a beating, but there were no fatalities and I think all of the Outer Banks are open for business again.

Mr. GQ

Mr. GQ

I put the Thundershirt on Louie Thursday afternoon when the wind picked up. He was a little antsy, but he snuggled on the couch with me. There was one point in the kitchen  when he scootched into the corner by the stove and he was trembling, but we went back to the couch and he calmed down. He eventually took a spot on the rug in front of the washer and seemed okay. For this first storm, I’ll give the Thundershirt 2.5 paws up (out of 4 paws). He does seem to like it and for the most part I think it did comfort him.

Go to an interior area with no windows during a storm!

I did toss a bed back there, but he stayed on the rug until I went to bed. He went to sleep on his bed in the bedroom and the fireworks that cranked up around midnight didn’t seem to faze him at all. I think animals feel the change in atmospheric pressure and that bothers them as much as the noise of thunder and fireworks. Dudley was stone deaf the last year or so of his life and fireworks no longer bothered him, but he was inconsolable when a thunderstorm passed through. Neither storms nor fireworks seemed to faze the Z-Queen, she slept through everything.

Now about the salmon. Louie gets high quality dog food and a week or so ago I brought home a new bag of salmon kibble. He’s had this salmon food before and always ate it. It’s more expensive than the chicken, so he usually gets one bag of the salmon for every two bags of chicken. Louie isn’t a gulper, but he generally eats his breakfast and supper all at once. Until last Wednesday when he didn’t finish his breakfast until lunch time and the next morning still had remnants of his supper from the night before. By Saturday, most of his breakfast was still in the bowl at suppertime.

Chewing my bone and all is right with the world.

Chewing my bone and all is right with the world.

Saturday night, I put a pouch of tuna in his dish with the salmon kibble and he gobbled that right up along with a good part of the kibble, but Sunday morning he ignored his breakfast. He’s been perfectly normal in every other aspect; we walk for about two miles every day and he runs around the backyard like he normally does and since Friday, the weather has been gorgeous, low temps and humidity. Maybe he’s becoming a “grazer” or maybe he’s just lost his taste for salmon. This morning, I picked up a bag of chicken kibble and gave it to him after I tossed the salmon out of his dish and he ate it right up. I gave him his normal serving at supper and he ate that up, not all at once, but within 30 minutes of my putting it out. I think he just prefers chicken to salmon these days. Can’t say I blame him. We hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday!

“I believe in integrity. Dogs have it. Humans are sometimes lacking it.” ~ Cesar Millan

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Not Exactly Midas

Mom is in a mood, so I convinced her to let me write the post this week. I don’t know why she’s so miffed, we just had a lovely walk through the neighborhood. A “cold” front blew through yesterday afternoon and it was only in the low 70s with hardly any humidity. That is almost unheard of in these parts at the end of June! First an adorable picture of me, how can one be upset with this face to look at?

Louie being adorable!

Louie being adorable!

She giggled but still is muttering about tech support and judging by her language, some insurance company certainly has not been like a good neighbor! She also keeps saying, “be bullish my eye” and I think that’s calling B.S. on bulls or something. Ba-dum-bum! Mom always likes a good pun so every now and then I perform the “3-Legged Stool” where I find some particularly tall grass and do my “business” while standing only on 3 legs. Get it? 3-Legged stool? I’ll be here all week, folks, be sure to tip your waitstaff well. Thank goodness it’s Sunday or she’d be ranting about the lack of tech support at work.

Always ready to offer wise counsel

Always ready to offer wise counsel.

Wow, the dryer stopped 10 seconds after the washer, how often does that happen? Of course had mom put the fitted sheet in with the rest of the linens that she washed in the first load, she wouldn’t have had to do the second load at all. She didn’t seem too upset about that because it was me who distracted her from the fitted sheet to begin with. As she was pulling it off the last corner of the mattress, I leaped on the bed to help her and also to get a belly rub. We played for a few minutes and she got up and tossed the other linens in the wash without even once looking at the fitted sheet balled up on the corner of the bed.

Sort of like with this week’s blog post; she had originally planned to write about the new Thundershirt she bought me on account of I’m afraid of thunderstorms. But it hasn’t thundered once since she bought it. I have worn it several times and it seems quite comfortable and you must admit, I look smokin’ hot in it! I sure hope it helps keep me from trembling so much during a storm, I’m sure mom will keep you posted.

Too sexy for my shirt!

Too sexy for my shirt!

My advice to mom is to chillax, maybe have a glass of wine with lunch. Really, is the lack of tech support going to be the downfall of America? Hmmm, she’s not convinced it won’t be LOL! We do have birthday felicitations to send to Auntie Nantz who is younger than ever! Please tell Ms. Zen Kitty I said, “woof!!” Then there is mom’s best birthday present ever (I was a Christmas present) her nephew Chase Alan hits the big double digits tomorrow, while mom celebrates yet another anniversary of her 35th birthday ! Happy, happy birthday to everyone!

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” ~Ben Williams

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Ridges & Whorls

The first thing I noticed about Louie when we met 6 months ago was his beautiful topaz colored eyes. The second thing I noticed was the ridge of hair between his eyes and down his snout and wondered how he wasn’t cross-eyed.

See the ridge of fur on my snout?

See the ridge of fur on my snout?

It wasn’t long until I noticed he has little whorls of hair on his front legs. Little spirals of hair growing like some crazy, canine crop circle. He also has little vertical ridges where his hair grows in opposite directions. You can also see the ridge of white hair growing down his chest and belly.

Did aliens create these circles?

Did aliens create these circles?

One thing I didn’t really notice until this last bath was the ridge of hair going down his back. Louie has some wiry hair like a terrier, but that hair is concentrated around his neck and shoulders with a narrow strip going down the top of his back like a Mohawk haircut. The hair on his flanks is very smooth and soft.

My crazy hair and natural Mohawk!

My crazy hair and natural Mohawk!

I went back and looked at the pictures I took when he first came here and it wasn’t really noticeable because his hair was all brushed down plus he needed a bath and lots of brushing. He was shedding so bad back then, I could’ve made three more Louies from all the fur that came off of him.

December 2013, my Mohawk wasn't very pronounced

December 2013, my Mohawk wasn’t very pronounced

It’s amazing what six months of good food and grooming will do for a boy’s hair. I do feed Louie a high quality food and try to give him snacks that were entirely made in the USA. Some snacks labeled “Made in the USA” contain ingredients sourced from other countries and I try to avoid those for Louie. I think when Louie gets his next bath, I will have the groomer trim around his neck and shoulders for a more consistent, polished look. Plus summertime is here and it’s hot and muggy! Getting some of that hair off will make him more comfortable and oh, so handsome!

I wasn't clipped like this, it's my natural hair.

June 2014, I wasn’t clipped like this, it’s my natural hair.

“Dogs are how people would be if the important stuff is all that mattered to us.” ~ Ashly Lorenzana

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Walking with Louie

Louie is an absolute joy to walk with. He walks at a good pace and only stops a few times to do his business. The other day his pace was so fast, we knocked off about three minutes from our 40 minute walk. I think there has only been one day in our nearly six months together that we didn’t go for a walk.

My ray of sunshine!

My ray of sunshine!

I really should take a camera with me when we walk because every now and then he’ll do something totally goofy. One morning we were on a street where there is only 20-25 feet between driveways (this is the burbs, but these lots are particularly narrow) and he dipped his left shoulder down and went into a combination roll/slide down the entire length of the easement. He got up, took a good shake and continued walking as if he had done nothing out of the ordinary. I was hysterical, it was so funny and even if I had had a camera, I wouldn’t have been quick enough to catch that little stunt. He did it again the next day in the same spot, but with a little less enthusiasm. Now, he doesn’t give that patch of grass a second glance.

This toy didn't last long!

This toy didn’t last long!

Another day we were walking around a cul-de-sac and Louie found a black bra beside the driver’s side rear tire of a Corolla. Louie likes to play with bras, he grabbed it and tossed it in the air. Again, I was hysterical trying to get it away from him. I had to quit hanging my bras on the door knob to dry, he’d play with them there stretching and pulling until he got it off the door knob and then drag it out into the living room and chew it. It’s much cheaper to replace toys he chews than my unmentionables.

Two days after Louie came home to live

Two days after Louie came home to live

We’re coming up on six months since Louie came here to live. He certainly has come a long way from the skinny little dog who was sort of shy, but never seemed afraid of anything (except riding in the car, that’s getting better). He’s gained about 12 lbs. despite our walking most every day he’s been here. We probably average half an hour, but there were some cold, snowy days that we pretty much just walked around the block. I’ve always like to walk, but walking with Louie is much more fun than walking alone. And it is easier to take him for a walk than it is to deal with his constant, “is it time to go for our walk” schtick!

“I don’t understand people who don’t touch their pets. Their cat or dog is called a pet for a reason.
” ~ Jarod Kintz

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The Nose Knows

Toucan Sam always told us to “follow your nose” so when this stench began wafting off of Louie 10 days after he had a bath, I starting sniffing him. At first, I thought he had rolled in something, maybe where a cat had sprayed, and I wiped him down with some green tea wipes. He still stunk. I had smelled his ears several times and the smell didn’t really seem to be coming from there, but I caught a whiff of the stench on my thumb after I had just rubbed it on the underside of his ear.  I tried cleaning his ears (and feet, because they also get yeasty) with a white vinegar, peroxide and water solution, but I could still smell the stench Monday, so I called the vet.

It wasn't anything I rolled in

It wasn’t anything I rolled in

Sure enough, he had a little yeast infection in his right ear. She prescribed Mometamax drops for the next week and they seem to be helping. He’s going to need another bath once we’re done with the drops because the fur around his ear is greasy where some of the medicine has drained out while he sleeps. I wipe it with a warm washcloth, but it’s going to take a bath to get him looking handsome again.

I didn't have stinky breath, either

I didn’t have stinky breath, either

I have been quite remiss in posting to the blog. I really have no excuse other than after such a dreadful Cackalacky winter, we are having a very nice spring and I have accomplished a few onerous tasks over these weeks I haven’t posted. Louie has been his usual inspiring self, but I have lacked motivation to come back here and put his exploits into words. I’ll try and do better. I do want to link to this article in the Washington Post about dog play. Scientists are beginning to see what we’ve known all along, dogs  experience different emotions, much as humans do.

Not quite in "play bow" but close

Not quite in “play bow” but close

“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

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Happy Easter!

For Easter, we bring you live action with Louie. Apologies for the camera operator and I hope you don’t get seasick. Both videos are about a minute long and I hope show a little of why Louie is such a character.

King of the heap!

King of the heap!

We had a great Easter weekend and hope all of you did, too.

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Happy Spring!

I remember taking the picture below at the end of March. It was the first ray of sunshine that had appeared after many days of rain (I lost count). The camera happened to be on the kitchen table and I was able to get this picture before the cloud covered that one sliver of sunshine. It’s only natural that happened to glance off of my Mister Sunshine, who feels more at home every single day.

Sunshine at last!

Sunshine at last!

Penny joined us for a few days earlier this month. She’s the chiweenie who lives around the corner. Louie loves going to her house and he’s always been quite the gentleman when Penny and her human mom visit our house. But when Penny’s mom left, Big Lou became quite territorial, especially where I was concerned. He adjusted by acting silly and macho for the duration.

Louie and Penny in really bad light!

Louie and Penny in really bad light!

When they were alone together, everything was fine, but when I was around, Louie  constantly jumped up on me or over Penny. I had to stand between them at feeding time because even though Louie had a bowlful of food, he wanted hers. Penny more than held her own, she tolerated a great deal, but she would snarl at him when she had had enough of him.

Deck jumper!

Deck jumper!

The Friday afternoon that Penny was here was the first day since I had Louie that I didn’t take him for a walk. They ran around the back yard and yapped at all the other dogs in the neighborhood while I drank a beer and yapped with the neighbors. It had been a long week and I was whupped, but Louie scared me half to death when he ran onto the deck, jumped up on the bench and flew over the rail like he was setting a world record for the long jump. The top rail of the deck is about 7′ off the ground, but the ground slopes up, so Louie didn’t drop that far, but I had visions of broken Louie legs. He didn’t miss a beat and continued down to the end of the fence to yap with backyard neighbor Nahla. Quite honestly, I had two beers after seeing that.

It's spring!

It’s spring!

Louie settled down after Penny went home, but she’s going to come back next month. I hope to get some training for us between now and then.  I say “us” because I’m sure I need the training at least as much as he does. Louie is a good dog, but I want to have a command where he will stop instantly and come when I call. We live on a busy street, should he ever get loose, I need him to come when I call. But in the meantime, we are reveling in the spring. Even though there is yellow pollen everywhere, it isn’t snow and the weather is warm! Happy spring, at last!

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” ~ Charles de Gaulle

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March Madness

At the risk of offending Southern Baptists, here on Tobacco Road college basketball is an official religion. It is a magical time of year when fans vie for bragging rights as the players scramble for the ACC Banner and an invitation to “The Big Dance.” Loyalty to your family’s college team is right up there with God, Family and Country. So imagine my surprise when I, a devout UNC fan thought my new best friend might be an NCSU fan.

I'll chew on a stick while you watch hoops

I’ll chew on a stick while you watch hoops

Growing up, the Carolina v. State rivalry was the biggest rivalry in the ACC, but since State hasn’t fared so well the past couple of decades, I sort of root for them if they aren’t playing Carolina. I became an official NCSU fan when they beat the Orange Scourge during the ACC Tourney last weekend, it was the balm that calmed Carolina’s loss to the Yankee interlopers from Pitt.

Tyler Lewis

NCSU’s Tyler Lewis

Louie watched most of this curled up beside me with his eyes shut except during the NCSU v. Syracuse game and he seemed as excited as I was that the Wolfpack was doing so well. I started watching Tyler Lewis thinking if he had Topaz colored eyes, he’d be close to what I imagine Louie would look like as a human. Right down to being 5’11” exactly the height Louie is in my mind. Then it hit me, Tyler Lewis. Lewis/Louie, no wonder my dog identified with NCSU, or so I thought.

Louie getting some love from Va Tech Hokies!

Louie getting some love from Va Tech Hokie fans!

NC State lost the next day to Duke, but it was good enough to get them an invite to NCAA Tournament. They beat a very good team from Xavier to secure the #12 seed in the Midwest. They suited up against St. Louis and played beautiful basketball for 35 minutes. NC State was up by 14 with 5 minutes left and managed to lose by 3 in overtime. I looked at Louie, and asked, “Dude, what happened to your team?” He stared at me with those golden eyes until it hit me, Saint Louis. This made perfect sense as given the choice between mere mortal Tyler Lewis and a Saint Louis, I’d pick the saint every time.

I'm a Cardinal!

I’m a Cardinal or maybe just a good prognosticator!

I held this theory until Saturday when I noticed that St. Louis was tipping off against the Cardinals and I finally figured it out. Louie is a Louie-ville Cardinals fan. Or maybe he’s just telling me who will win that first Monday in April, in which case I wish we had had this conversation while I was filling out my brackets. Also, this house is Carolina blue (and WCU purple and gold) so if he’s expecting any Cardinal red do-dads, he is going to be mighty disappointed.  May your March be filled with mayhem and madness of the most marvelous kind! Go Tarheels!

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. ” ~ Archie Griffen

 

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Dog and Stick

Louie loves to play with sticks and pine cones when he goes out in the backyard and I don’t mind letting him run around with a stick, but I have started pulling it away from him if he settles down to chew on it. A stick can cut a dog’s mouth, splinter and get stuck in his throat or even cause an intestinal blockage. None of this is good for your dog or your wallet! Louie doesn’t really chew on the stick like he does a bully stick or an antler, but he does have fun trying to keep me from getting the stick.

The stick is MINE!

The stick is MINE!

He doesn’t grab sticks or pine cones on our walks, but he likes the long sticks that have fallen in the backyard over the winter. He had one that was a good 7′ long that he was dragging around the yard. It was an absolute howl to watch.

This gives you an idea of how long the stick was.

This gives you an idea of how long the stick was.

For awhile, he would grab it at the end as in the picture below and then run in a circle as the other end of the stick barely moved. He wised up though, and grabbed it in the middle and pranced around like a Flying Wallenda. I was heading back into the house to grab a camera when I saw him picking up steam as he headed for two pine trees that were only 5 or 6′ apart . . . with the middle of that 7′ stick in his mouth . . .

100_1053It was like everything switched to slow motion, both ends of the stick hit the pine trees and broke off, Louie looked a little dazed for a few seconds and then dashed through the trees with the remainder of the stick in his mouth and dared me to take it away from him. He seemed none the worse for wear and tear, but he really did slam into those trees.

Say no to this look!

Say no to this look!

I have to admit I nearly collapsed laughing so hard, but that’s what I love best about having a dog. They make you laugh every single day. Louie is a born comedian and as long as he doesn’t try and eat the stick, I’ll continue to let him play with them.

“Every dog must have his day.” – Jonathan Swift

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Crazy Weather (Again!)

Yesterday my thermometer told me it was 72 degrees on my deck.  It was a beautiful day and Louie and I took advantage of the mild day to take a long walk through the neighborhood. There were about a half a dozen kids who came running toward Louie wanting to pet him and he just reveled in the attention. Louie is good with most everyone, but he seems to particularly enjoy children, which is great. Even at 7:30 this morning it was still about 52 degrees on my deck. Now a scant 12 hours later, it is a miserable 26 degrees with ice pellets and a thin layer of ice everywhere.

Louie catching some rays!

Louie catching some rays!

I took Louie to get a bath on Friday and for the first time he willingly jumped in the car when it was time to go home. I had to pick him up and put him on the back seat when we went to Hidden Valley Friday morning. I could tell he had gained weight but I was pretty surprised to learn he had gained about 7 lbs. in 9 weeks! He now weighs just under 40 lbs. which is probably the ideal weight for him.

Positively beguiling!

Positively beguiling!

Louie and I were snuggled up on the couch Saturday morning and even though he was clean, I noticed he still has his own distinctive doggie smell. Louie gets an oatmeal bath and no perfume when he visits the groomer, so his natural scent wafts off of him, especially when he’s all curled up and warm. He smells like a tub of slightly stale popcorn. It’s not at all unpleasant, and Louie is a hound mix and hounds tend to have more of a natural odor than other breeds. It is important to recognize the different smells that come off your dog. Unpleasant smells may indicate an ear infection or a dental problem. Louie yawns right in my face and several times a week I deliberately take a whiff just to make sure everything smells normal. So far, so good!

Love the fu manchu!

Love the fu manchu!

Spring is what, 16 days away? I can hardly wait. After I dropped off Louie Friday morning, I stopped at the store and picked up a bouquet of hyacinth because it smelled so good. I added some tulips for good measure and it’s nice to have the smell of spring in my house as I look at the ice skating rink my deck has become. Typical of our weather, it’s going to be sunny and in the 50s this weekend. In the meantime, stay warm and take a whiff around your dog’s ears just to be sure everything smells alright.

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.” ~ Charles M. Schultz

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Cackalacky Winter

I sure am ready for spring, but Louie really seems to enjoy the snow. We have been safely ensconced in our Shoeful of Drool kennel. We hunkered down at home before the snow started yesterday and we’ve had no problems at all. We got 3-4″ of snow, then it rained last night and this morning, then it snowed again today. It is one huge mess out there!

Action shot of Louie running

Action shot of Louie running

It’s hard to believe yesterday Louie and I took our constitutional about 10:30 a.m. and it was completely dry. Cold as the dickens, but dry. I was bundled up good, so we went for a long walk through the Brittany neighborhood, which Louie had never walked through. I figured (correctly) that we wouldn’t be taking a long walk today, so the extra hills were good for both of us. We came home and it started snowing about 12:30. It was coming down fast and heavy. I took these pictures around 4:00 and we had a good 3″ in this part of the county.

Louie and Fasa at the fence

Louie and Fasa at the fence

Carlin and Mike, my other neighbors (who have the wintry last name of “Slusher”) had gone to Virginia earlier in the week to go  snowboarding. They took Bourbon and Kenzie with them, along with their son Vance. They were coming home yesterday and after six hours in the car, they were still about 40 miles from home and going nowhere fast so they did pull over and check into a motel.  I haven’t heard all the details, but I don’t think anyone got a whole lot of sleep. They got home about 9:30 this morning and I was relieved to see them.

Louie digging the snow!

Louie digging the snow!

The snow yesterday was pretty and we spent about half an hour or so out in it. Louie ventured out on his own after supper last night and ran a couple of laps. Even this morning about 5 a.m. Louie went out after breakfast and putzed around for about ten minutes. The snow had long switched to a drizzly rain by then and I could hear the crunch of the ice layer that had formed on top of the snow when Louie went down the steps.

Stick or warm house? Decisions, decisions!

Stick or warm house? Decisions, decisions!

It started to snow again around lunchtime today, big fat wet snowflakes. I knew Louie wanted his walk, so on with the boots, earmuffs and jacket. We didn’t walk, we marched. The snow falling was pretty, but what was on the ground was a slushy mess that had frozen over. We didn’t walk very far and I was very glad to see Louie do his bidness so we could turn around and head back home. I hope everyone is warm safe and dry. Tomorrow will be about 40 degrees and most of this will melt and by Tuesday it’ll be in the 60s again and 70 by Thursday. Just one of the more positive aspects of a Cackalacky winter.

“Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.” –Jeff Valdez

 

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Snow and the Snowman

We got some snow in Cackalacky last week and Louie loved it! We didn’t get much at my end of the state, barely enough to cover the grass, but enough to have fun and make a bowl of snow cream. I got to work from home on Wednesday and I took some time to play with Louie in the snow.

Louie celebrating the snow as Vance mows . . .

Louie celebrating the snow as Vance mows . . .

The fence was a good meeting place for Louie, Kenzie and Bourbon. This was a Kaffeeklatsch of K9 proportions but it wasn’t coffee that was flowing so freely, but what Frank Zappa warned us to avoid, lo, those many years ago.

Hanging with the neighbors

Hanging with the neighbors

You may notice the stick marks in the snow. Louie loves to play with sticks; big ones, little ones, he plays with them all. I do have a post about Louie and sticks that I will share at another time, but he was dragging around sticks and playing with pine cones in the snow. He also loves pine cones and tosses them around like a ball.

Louie throwing a pine cone

Louie throwing a pine cone

Remember last time I mentioned that in addition to herding my socks, Louie would manage to drag the snowman draft stopper over into his pile of sock booty? At that point I had never caught him in the act of getting the snowman over there, but I have now. He nonchalantly walks over and picks it up and takes it over to his lair. He even sits it upright.

My snowman! Note they all have little hats on.

My snowman! Note they all have little hats on.

As I was running errands preparing for the snowpocolypse (it just happened to be time to restock toilet paper anyway, and you can never have too much wine) I came into the house and noticed the snowman about where it was in the above picture and left again. When I returned, I noticed the snowman was no longer there and walked back to the bedroom to see if he had drug it back there. Nope, and it wasn’t in the kitchen either. I toss a comforter on the couch when I leave in the event Louie jumps up there while I’m gone and I saw that was on the floor. I went and pulled back the comforter (insert screechy violin music here), and

He buried the snowman under the comforter, note there is no hat on the snowman on the right.

Yikes, there was a snowman under there!

He buried the snowman under the comforter, note there is no hat on the snowman on the right. By the time I returned home from work the next day, the snowman was no more. Louie had pretty much eviscerated him. There were no hats left, no scarf or faces; only cloth and sandy entrails littered my living room floor. Out of respect for the family, I won’t post pictures of the remains.

Louie digging the snow, in every sense of the word!

Louie digging the snow, in every sense of the word!

Aside from losing the snowman, we had great fun in the snow. It’s finally warmed up to nearly 60 degrees which is my kind of winter day! So Louie and I are going to take our “constitutional” and check out the neighborhood while it’s so nice. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy and only in the 40s, so we’ll take it while we can get it.

“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

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Sock Herder

I’ve been finding socks in my living room. Sometimes it’s a dirty sock that didn’t make it to the hamper and sometimes it’s a pair of clean socks taken from the sock cubby in my closet. In addition to being a digger, Louie apparently has some herding instincts.

Did my socks just walk into the living room?

Did my socks just walk into the living room?

Sometimes he would even drag the snowman draft stopper at the front door into his pile. It took me several days to catch him in the act with a sock in his mouth and all I did was laugh at him and gave him a half-hearted “no.” I’ve yet to catch him with the snowman and that has bells on it. He’s a crafty little bugger!

Sock Thief!

Sock Thief!

He does attack the sock to keep in shape for whatever critters he might find in the backyard. His friend Penny gave him a bed and he drags it around the bedroom. It’s a small bed and I had planned on putting it in the room I use as the office, but Louie showed so much interest in it, I tossed it beside his other bed in the bedroom. He curls up tight and sleeps in it some nights; although, most nights he still sleeps on the ottoman in the living room.

Catching some rays on a cold day!

Catching some rays on a cold day!

Yesterday was cold here in Cackalakey but Louie enjoyed some time on the deck. He’s getting more comfortable in the backyard and has started running laps just for the sake of running the way Zoe did. Even though we go for a 20-30 minute walk every day I was a little concerned that he wasn’t getting enough exercise. Without proper exercise, what is now a charming little habit of herding socks could turn into chewing furniture. But so far, so good.

Doin' my yoga!

Doin’ my yoga!

Louie is also a big fan of stretching will hold his downward facing dog pose for upwards of 10 seconds before swinging into upward facing dog. He’s quite Zen. He also reminds me of the importance of stretching throughout the day and quite frankly, it’s hard to find something that beats a good stretch. Louie is a good influence on me, he makes me walk everyday regardless of the weather. A couple of days it was a quick 15 minute walk due to the weather, but we’ve walked every day that he’s been here. Actually, today is our first monthaversary! He came to Shoeful of Drool on 12/19. I guess I’ll have to fix something special for supper. My sock herder is very different from Dudley and Zoe, but I think they are smiling.

“It’s just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn’t it? It makes our relationships with people seem as boring as a bowl of oatmeal.” 
John GroganMarley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog

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Everybody loves Louie!

I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays! I have been sick since the day after Christmas so that is the main reason I didn’t post a new blog entry last week, yesterday was the first day I really felt like the end was in sight regarding this “crud” I’ve had. Louie has been great adjusting to his new house and neighborhood. Every time we meet someone new on our walks he is quite the gentleman and stays calm whether or not they have a furry companion. On Christmas day, we had dinner with our neighbor Cindy and her chiweenie, Penny. Louie and Penny hit it off immediately and he quickly made himself at home in her bed.

Happy New Year! Penny and Louie

Happy New Year! Penny also likes Louie’s snooze pad

Louie has been getting used to the backyard. He finally got to where he’ll go out there by himself if the weather is to his liking. Once during a reprieve in a downpour I had to put him on his leash to get him to take a squirt before we went to bed. He holds it for hours! He is good on a leash, I think someone at Saving Grace spent some time with him, he seldom pulls and walks beside me most of the time. Dudley and Zoe used to take me for a walk. Plus I can maintain an air of alpha dog with the leash long enough for him to walk instead of balk when we walk outside. And I do pile on the praise when he does his business in unpleasant weather and give him a treat when we come inside.

Louie checking out the yard

Louie checking out the yard

Louie has done very well meeting our neighbor dogs. If Fasa is running loose next door, Louie might do a couple of laps with him and then something else catches his interest. He  is good with Nahla behind us and the dogs beside them. He hasn’t had much interaction with Bourbon and Kenzie yet, but I expect him to get along with them as well as he does with every other dog he meets. I really want to try and get a video of him running, he looks like a deranged dingo, but he’s having fun!

 

Louie rolling around on the rug.

Louie rolling around on the rug.

Even though I felt like warmed over dog poo, being sick with Louie around was hands down better than being sick without him around. He even came back and snuggled on the bed a few times when I was napping. The picture below is why I’m going to have to break down and buy a new computer, the motherboard fried and will cost about as much to fix as it would to get a new computer. Try as I might I couldn’t download or copy it from Google+ although most of the other pictures I took that day were easily copied. So, until I get that, I’m not going to attempt a revamping of the website, but I do hope to start posting weekly.

My handsome boy!

My handsome boy! And my date stamp on my camera is off a year

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.” ~ Mark Twain

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Louis, Louie?!?

My biggest issue this Christmas is which spelling of Louis I should use. I went to the Saving Grace Animal Rescue the other day and met many dogs, but it was the dog they identified as “Denver” who came over and stayed with me. They told me he was like that with everyone, but he has these beautiful topaz eyes and a soulful gaze that make him seem very wise, and I just fell in love.  He’s good with kids and dogs and that was important to me. The best part, he’s a thoroughbred mutt! He has wiry hair and a fu manchu mustache like a terrier, but he has hound ears and and a sweet hound face. He looks older than 3 because he has white in his muzzle, but the best estimate of his age is 3. He is slowly getting used to being here at Shoeful of Drool.

Topaz eyes

Topaz eyes

I didn’t particularly like the name “Denver” although he bears a slight resemblance to Denver Pyle. People at Saving Grace don’t call the dogs by any name, they just use it for ID purposes, so the new family can name the dog anything they want. He’s so thin, I thought of calling him “Ribsy” after Henry Huggins’ dog in the Beverly Cleary books I loved as a child, but that didn’t seem right either. Denny, Danny? I even considered “Topaz” for about 5 seconds, but that didn’t work, either. Nothing seemed right. I decided to sleep on it.

Ribsy!

Ribsy! Does it look like jail?

In an email, I paraphrased the classic line from Casablanca, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” so I started thinking he might be a Louis (pronounced “Louie”) or even a Bogey. I settled on “Louis” because it’s fun name to say, but I’m afraid if I spell it properly, people will think his name is pronounced “Lewis.” So, I’ll probably go with “Louie.”

Welcome Home!

Welcome Home!

I’m sure Louie and I will have some great adventures. He has ears just as soft as Zoe’s, I even considered naming him Mr. VelvetEars, and I’ve already called him that several times, along with “Lulu.” He thumps his tail just as Dudley did when I speak to him. How I have missed that sound the past couple of years! I think Dudley and Zoe both would agree I got lucky when Louie picked me at Saving Grace. The fence was finished yesterday, so Louie is doing his part in making the backyard squirrels miserable.

Snoozy time

Snoozy time

I will be be giving the website a new look in the next few weeks. My main computer is on the fritz, so I’m using my Chromebook and learning way more than I ever wanted to know about Google Plus. I came very close to adopting Joey, the miniature Australian Shepherd, but he bites and I don’t want a dog who bites. He has a fantastic foster mom who will continue to care for him until he can find a home. So, Louie and I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

“God Bless us, everyone.” ~ Tiny Tim (Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol)

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Updates

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! I spent Thanksgiving with Kenzie, Bourbon and their human family and I’m delighted to report the Kenzie has had great improvement the past two weeks. She was still most unhappy in her playpen “jail” and after we ate they let her walk around the house a little bit. She saw the vet on Friday, who was pleased with her progress so Carlin took her for a very short walk Friday afternoon. She is one very determined girl. She’s so sweet, she reminds me of ZoeGirl with her leaps of happiness and desire to please. Her days of leaping may be behind her, but she’s still the same sweet Kenzie who wants everyone to be happy.

Kenzie looking pretty!

Kenzie looking pretty!

Joey went back to his foster parents’ home. I really missed him after he left so I contacted his foster mom and told her I wanted him. She told me that my Pawfect Match Rescue application has been approved and I am just waiting to get a date on the fence. Heather has been great allowing me to push out my adoption date. I thought my fence would be installed within 2 weeks or so but I am still waiting on an installation date. I keep my fingers crossed it will be before Christmas. I will save you my rant on fence installers who say one thing to get your business and then tell you something different after they get your deposit. Or those who don’t give you their best price on the first estimate and want to “match” the lowest bid afterward.

Joey waiting for a treat

Joey waiting for a treat

Joey is adorable and if anyone had told me that I would ever have a 23 lb. pure bred dog with “miniature” in its name, I’d have said that person was nuts! I adore big, mixed breed dogs, but as I watched Carlin and Mike care for Kenzie (who has to weigh about 60 lbs) I realized I have to have a dog that I can lift. I’m not getting any younger and I figured 35 lbs or so was about my limit. Joey looks bigger than he is because he’s one big fluff ball of fur, but I can lift and carry him with ease. I had no idea from his picture he was a pure bred dog.

T minus 3 for lift off!

How long do I have to look cute?

Even though Joey is small, he is quite zippy and walks fast. Plus he doesn’t have to sniff every blade of grass before he pees and he’s regular and doesn’t need to walk far before he poops — again without undue ceremonial sniffing of the grass — he just stops and squats. He checks out light poles and fire hydrants, but they are communication depots for dogs  (pee-mail, if you will) and he’s even left a few messages of his own in the neighborhood.

Ahh, finally I get my treat!

Ahh, finally I get my treat!

Over the next several weeks, I plan on updating the Shoeful of Drool site. Dudley and Zoe were the inspiration for the site and will remain the heart here, but we need a new look for a new furbaby. Here’s wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season!

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” ~ Immanuel Kant

 

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Good News & Bad News

Apologies for not posting in so long, but things have been busy in the Shoeful of Drool neighborhood! First the bad news, Kenzie who lives next door has a bulging disc in her spine and she lost all use of her back left leg. It was one of those freak accidents, she may have done it as she got off the bed, but she never cried out. She has been on complete bed rest for about 12 days. How does one keep a dog on bed rest? In this case they used Vance’s playpen.

It may as well be jail!

It may as well be jail!

The playpen worked until this weekend when Ms. Kenzie managed to get herself out of it three times and probably aggravated her injury. She has another checkup with the doctor at the end of the week so we are keeping paws crossed she has a complete recovery. In the meantime, Carlin and Mike carry Kenzie outside and use a towel as a sling so she doesn’t put any weight on her back leg when she goes out to do her business.

Kenzie snoozing in her prison

Kenzie calm in her jail

Now for the good news! I was perusing the dogs at Pawfect Match Animal Rescue when I found Joey. He is a purebred miniature Australian Shepherd whose owners (with whom he has lived since he was 8 weeks old) were moving to another state and decided not to take him with them. His Pawfect foster mom used to dog sit for Joey and knew how terrified he was of crates and cages, to the point he could hurt himself, so she volunteered to take him in even though she didn’t want to support their decision to just abandon Joey.

Say hello to Joey!

Say hello to Joey!

I met him last Wednesday and he came on Friday and spent the weekend with me. He was very upset when his foster mom and dad left him, but he slept well and by Saturday morning was more curious about his surroundings and seemed more comfortable with me. He really likes the orthopedic bed I had bought for Dudley, so I’m glad that’s getting some use.

Finally, the bed is getting used!

Finally, the bed is getting used!

We just chilled around the neighborhood on Saturday and on Sunday Sweet Pea came over for a play date, or maybe “ignore date” would be more accurate. Joey doesn’t want other dogs bothering him and Sweet Pea was like, “okay, fine by me.” The important thing for me was that they didn’t hate each other. Sweet Pea brought a ball that held snacks and Joey had no interest in it and again, Sweet Pea said, “fine by me” and took the ball home because she loved it!!! Joey doesn’t have much interest in balls and Sweet Pea loves them!

Joey & Sweet Pea as close as they got to each other!

Joey & Sweet Pea as close as they got to each other!

Nothing is official yet, and it’s going to be a few weeks before the fence is in, but I think Joey is a keeper. He has some really funny qualities that I will share in another post, but any dog who walks off the steps of the deck and pees when it is 20 degrees outside and turns around and comes right back in is my kind of dog! Especially since I had him on the leash. I’ll keep you posted on Kenzie’s recovery and the Joey watch! Have a terrific Turkey Day!!!

The future face of Shoeful of Drool?

The future face of Shoeful of Drool?

“We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults.  Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment”.  ~George Eliot

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Halloween Surprises

Halloween surprises started early when a puppy and his fire hydrant knocked on the door. Actually, it was Vance dressed as a puppy and his mom had gotten creative and made a fire hydrant costume. You knew that though, because seriously, how many puppies carry their own hydrant with them?

Trick or treat!

Trick or treat!

Vance headed straight over to the little stool I use as an ottoman (because the real ottoman is too high, I really wish I had gotten a couch with sections that reclined!) sat down and ate his Kit-Kat. He likes the t.v. which is almost always on at my house when he visits. At home I think he just watches Sesame Street and football, which at his age is probably a good thing.

The cutest puppy I've ever seen!

The cutest puppy I’ve ever seen!

The weather on Halloween was perfect here, about 70 degrees, overcast, and a decent breeze. A front was coming, but until it got here Friday evening, the humidity was high. I went outside with Carlin and Vance, and one of the neighbors came walking up with his dog, Wendy.  This year I had quite a few trick or treaters, more than the last couple of years and I enjoyed seeing all the kids in their costumes. I did miss hearing the dogs bark whenever the doorbell rang.

Two little dogs eyeballing each other

Two little dogs eyeballing each other

Halloween also brought a World Series championship to the Boston Red Sox at home in Fenway Park for the first time in 95 years. It reminds me of 2004 when the BoSox won their first championship in 86 years, or more specifically, the morning after. It was foggy and overcast that morning when I let the dogs out before breakfast. Zoe was mesmerized by the gutter extender and I had to call her several times to get her to come inside. Food for Dudley trumped everything else, so he came right in.

I let them outside again and Zoe went back to the gutter extender, I didn’t want her to chew it so I went and took it from her. I was shaking out sand and pebbles from it when out rolled a bunny rabbit. It scared me to death and I’m sure the rabbit was terrified as he (or she) bolted with the dogs only a nanosecond behind. The rabbit may have had a chance had he headed toward the fence, but he went behind the fan for the heat pump and Dudley and Zoe cornered it and crushed it with the weight of their paws. Unbelievably, they came into the house when I screamed at them hysterically. It wasn’t even 7 a.m. and I had to clean up rabbit carcass before I could let them back outside.

Come home dogSo anyway, I have a man coming to give me an estimate on a fence Tuesday at lunch. I’m waiting to hear back from another fence builder, but I hope to have a fence in place within the month and a dog by Christmas. Then, to paraphrase Gerard Durell, my house will be a home again.

 

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Unleashed Memories

Shoeful of Drool has taken a little sabbatical the past few weeks. I’ve had several ideas and plenty of time to write a post (courtesy of the government shutdown), but I’ve lacked the motivation. It also is a time that I really, really wish I had my very own furface who would put his head in my lap and sigh when I scratch his ears. In times of stress dogs are comforting, plus I’d be laughing more.

10 CommandmentsBut I have been taking a nice walk every day (exercise is also a stress buster). I’ve ventured over into the part of the neighborhood where Dudley and I hadn’t walked in a couple of years. As he got older, and especially after he blew out his knee, we stayed close to the house when we walked. We’d go a couple of blocks then turn around and go past the house again to walk a few more blocks in the other direction.

I remembered there was a cul-de-sac that always made Dudley nervous even when he was young. I don’t know exactly what bothered him, there were dogs who barked that lived down there, but there were dogs everywhere in our neighborhood. He would chuff uncomfortably and get a frantic look in his eyes as he looked around about the time we would get to one particular house. He’d turn around and lead the way out, all the while glancing nervously behind him. Lest you think I’m cruel, I never exactly took pleasure from his discomfort, but he was about 8 billion degrees of cute when he was nervous. He finally began to pull if I started down that street, so we quit walking down there.

Morning DogA small dog not on a leash in another cul-de-sac reminded me of the time about 8-9 years ago when I was walking both Dudley and Zoe and a small dog from the same cul-de-sac came yapping after them. It took me by surprise, and I quickly wrapped their leashes around my wrist as they strained to get to the little dog. They pulled me to my knees and the human attached to the little dog was frantically screaming for me to stop her dog from running into the street. Uh, lady, I’m doing all I can do to keep my dogs from crushing your unleashed dog — and then with one powerful lunge, my chest and chin hit the ground and with my feet still in the air, my dogs are dragging me across a very well-kept lawn. Not fast, but far enough if someone had recorded it, it would have at least been a finalist on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Vance & Kenzie

Vance & Kenzie just way too cute!

Somehow, the lady got her dog and I regained control of Dudley and Zoe. My shirt was hopelessly grass-stained and I had clumps of dirt under my chin. There were drag marks in the grass, Dudley and Zoe were completely satisfied after they peed several times, and I had a tale to tell later that night over a few beers. It’s also a great memory that makes me giggle during a tough time. It’s time to start building new, furry memories! As soon as this shutdown ends . . . I will be looking at fences for the backyard.

Dogs are miracles with paws.  ~Attributed to Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy

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A New Leash on Life

I’ve been going to the same dentist, Dr. Jeff Calamos, for more than 25 years. He really is a painless dentist — he’ll use enough Novocaine to numb an elephant and he always jiggles your cheek so you don’t feel it going in. He will have either a good joke or a funny story to share when I go for my semi-annual teeth cleaning. I’ve had bonus visits this year because I needed a new crown and he told me about a woman who was very nervous and the sound of laughter in the office made her uncomfortable. Dr. Jeff asked her if she would prefer to hear people screaming. Perspective is key to most anything, but especially a trip to the dentist.

Dudley & Zoe early 2001

Dudley & Zoe early 2001

He’s also married to a woman who loves dogs. He does too, but he usually speaks in terms of his wife as the dog lover. He told me that they had adopted “Buzz” from the NC Dept. of Corrections’ A New Leash on Life program. Some minimum and medium security NC prisons partner with local animal shelters and rescue groups to allow inmates to train dogs in preparation for adoption. Through positive reinforcement, they teach the dogs the basics to becoming good dog citizens.

Dudley and Zoe 2010

Dudley and Zoe 2010

This training gives the dogs a better chance to be adopted and the inmates something positive to do with their time. Inmates also have the opportunity to receive certified training that will help them get a job upon release. Two apprenticeships are available to selected inmates, Dog Trainer Apprenticeship and Animal Care Apprenticeship. Solid, steady employment for those who have served their time is a prime factor to keeping them from re-offending  and returning to prison. The program has a high success rate with over 92% of the dogs immediately adopted after completing the program, those dogs not immediately adopted return to their rescue group to await adoption.

Dudley & Zoe snoozing

Dudley & Zoe snoozing

The first time Dr. Jeff met Buzz, Buzz growled at him. Dr. Jeff shrugged it off and said, “nobody likes the dentist.” The inmate who trained Buzz became very attached to him and hoped his mother would be able to adopt him, but Dr. Jeff assured the man that Buzz would be well-cared for and loved — “when you die, you want to come back as one of my wife’s dogs.” I tried to get pictures of Buzz, but I don’t think Dr. Jeff found my email in his spam folder. This program is another example of the positive effects dogs have on individuals and society as a whole. Dogs help veterans, people physical and mental challenges and most anyone open to receiving unconditional, slobbery love.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” ~ Charles M. Schultz

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Brindle Blob

Sweet Pea visited the week of Labor Day while her human mom went to the mountains. Like Lillie, she knows her humans will return for her so she makes herself at home here at Shoeful of Drool. Between the two of us, we managed to knock over a glass of wine on the deck. She’s the 17 lb. bull in a china shop, but no worries, I do have a wine sippy cup that I used for the rest of the evening.

Snoozing after a spell with reverse hiccups!

Snoozing after a spell with reverse hiccups!

She reminded me that Rosh Hashanah began that Wednesday; I’m not sure if she was verklempt a la Linda Richmond or if she was channeling her inner Billy Crystal, but she coughed and hacked and gagged for two or three minutes. I was starting to worry a little, but she jumped up on the couch and settled into a nice little snoozy and was fine. Either she swallowed something or more likely, she had a case of the reverse hiccups (some call it reverse sneezing). This is a short video of a chihuahua with a case of the reverse hiccups. Dudley would get them more frequently than Zoe, and it always sounded bad, but he was always fine afterward. A belated”Shanah Tovah” and wishes for a Sweet New Year to all of our Jewish friends!

That face says it all!

That face says it all!

We had a little excitement on our morning walk when nieghbor dog Fasa was running loose and decided he needed to check out the new girl in town. Sweet Pea is good with other dogs, but Fasa is so much bigger, I worried he would crush her. Before I could scoop her up, she had squirmed out of her collar and piddled a little bit. I managed to get her into the house none the worse for wear, but I bought her a Lupine harness that afternoon to keep here for when she visits. Cars on the street where I live drive entirely too fast and I don’t want her getting loose again.

Hunkering down for a snooze!

Hunkering down for a snooze!

We had a bunch of fun and I started calling her the “Brindle Blob” because that’s what she looked like curled up on my bed, or on the towel on the couch. She is a “piddler” meaning she pees a little bit when she’s excited or scared. I learned not to look at her when I came home from work because if I do, she piddles. I come into the house and walk straight to the sliding glass doors to get her on the deck that way if she piddles, she does it on the deck. Although, by then she’s gotten over the initial excitement and usually makes it to the yard without an accident.

Brindle Blob

Brindle Blob

I’ve said it before, I like big mutts (and I cannot lie), but Sweet Pea sure makes the case for smaller dogs. I love her mobility, you can take her anywhere. An added bonus is the ability to give her a bath in the kitchen sink. Bathing Dudley and Zoe, whether in the tub or the backyard, was an absolute chore! It’s not quite time for me to go find a dog to adopt me. I used to think I knew exactly what type of dog I’d get, a fairly large black dog. Now, I’m not so sure, it’ll be interesting to see who I bring home.

“The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.” ~ George Graham Vest

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Dog Sitting Redux

I had the pleasure of Ms. Lillie visiting me on Thursday night while her human parents went to the Panthers/Steelers game. The Steelers did not win so there is really no point in discussing it. Since she is a Resdkins fan, Lillie concurred. We didn’t even watch the game, just checked the score during commercials of whatever we were watching.

Lillie on watch!

Lillie on watch!

Lillie enjoyed our walks (we did not see the Oreo dog from visits past) and she ate well, but she had a bad case of the itchies. I didn’t see any fleas on her (or me) so I hope it is some temporary allergy. Her human brother, Gabe, had a fall from the monkey bars and has a mild concussion, so she was glad to see her human dad and sister, Lexi, come to take her home. Hope you’re feeling better Gabe!

Kenzie scratching her own back!

Kenzie scratching her own back!

Kenzie and Bourbon’s family headed to the beach Thursday night about the time Lillie left, and I’ve spent the weekend going over there and letting them out and making sure they had food and water.

Bourbon smelling the flowers

Bourbon smelling the flowers

My new iPod came on Friday, so I took it next door to take pictures while the dogs were outside. I don’t know what it is about dogs and flowers together that I like so much, but I did snap a pic of Bourbon taking some time to smell the flowers.

Headin' into the house!

Headin’ into the house!

Kenzie is really cute when she comes back in the house, she stands there and when she sees me reach for the cupboard that has the dog treats she starts doing her twirly happy dance. We had a ferocious thunderstorm last night with thunder so loud and lightning so bright that I surely expected to hear some sound of fear from Dudley’s ashes. Luckily, storms don’t seem to bother neither Bourbon nor Kenzie, but Kenzie didn’t want to go outside in the wet grass to do her “business.” They had done major business before the storm, but when I went over after the storm passed so they could go out before bedtime, she wasn’t having anything to do with it. I did go over early this morning and she seemed very happy to go out into the wet grass.

Carefree!

Carefree!

The last time I was over there, Kenzie tried to take Bourbon’s treat and he snarled at her to tell her to, “back off!” She did and no blood was drawn (unlike Dudley & Zoe, but that’s another story) and by the time I left it was as if nothing had happened. I imagine that is a lesson most humans can take from a dog, get mad, say your piece and get over it!

Amount of time it takes for a dog to “do its business” is directly proportional to outside temperature + suitability of owner’s outerwear.  ~Betsy Cañas Garmon, www.wildthymecreative.com

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Dog Days are Done?!?

I had to grab the calendar this morning to see what the date was and I couldn’t believe it was already the 18th. I have to admit, the clues were all there, I did my time card on the 15th, but it didn’t register that August was nearly half gone by then. Two more work weeks and then Labor Day, most universities begin classes this week, most county schools open next week; summer officially has about five weeks left, but we all know back to school spells the end of lazy days and starry nights.

A blurry picture of Fasa, my other neighbor.

A blurry picture of Fasa, my other neighbor.

It’s been an odd summer. Much cooler than last summer and the summer before, at least I don’t think we’ve had the temperature officially hit 100 degrees this summer; although, my thermometer flirted with it one day a few weeks ago. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been some God awful humid and sticky on some days, but temps have been lower and it has been much wetter than a normal Carolina summer. As hot as it was last summer, Dudley and I managed walk every day and many days a summer storm would blow through and cool off the day just in time for our walk. I sure do miss my handsome, sweet boy!

Dudley sure was a happy boy back in June 2012!

Dudley sure was a happy boy back in June 2012!

Depending on your source, the term “Dog Days” encompasses the days between early July to early September. They were the days that Sirius, the Dog Star, rose the same time as the sun. Many considered Dog Days to be an evil time, “the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.” according to Brady’s Clavis Calendaria, 1813. For the most part, I’ve managed to contain my hysterics and frenzies, but there have been days that I did want to succumb to them!

Fasa stopping by to say hello!

Fasa stopping by to say hello!

Overall it’s been a good summer, I’ve spent time with Lillie, Sweet Pea, Kenzie and Bourbon. Fasa has come over a few times and he’s a lot of fun. I’ve had both of my bathrooms updated, I’ve put in hardwood floors (well, I still have a few rooms left to do, but after Labor Day that will commence again) and after Labor Day, I’m having my yard seeded and a bunch of mulch delivered to extend the natural area in my yard. I think by November I’ll be ready for my very own dog again. I can hardly wait!

Shoeful of Drool is going to continue on the bi-weekly schedule until Labor Day — I figure if Congress can take off 5 weeks, I can work an abbreviated schedule, too. Please check out our Facebook page and twitter @Shoefulofdrool.

“You think those dogs will not be in heaven! I tell you they will be there long before any of us.”  ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

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Great Neighbors

Friday before last, I came home to find this on my front porch — a bottle of Running with Scissors, my new favorite everyday wine and a sachet. Happy Friday, indeed! Vance, my 18 month old next door neighbor knew I had had a rough week and brought me the perfect remedy. I can only assume his mom Carlin helped him with the purchase of said beverage, as he is underage. But what a great way to leave behind a perfectly dreadful week!

Happy Friday! <3 Vance

Happy Friday!

Since it wasn’t an unbearably hot evening, I poured a glass and sat outside with Carlin, Vance and the dogs. Pretty soon, Mike was home, Carlin’s aunt and uncle had dropped by and it was pretty much a party. Bourbon laid in the shade and supervised, but Vance and Kenzie had a great time playing with sticks in the yard. Kenzie would drag a hefty sized stick and chew on it for awhile, then Vance would drag a big stick behind him and Kenzie would run and break half of it out of Vance’s hand as Vance watched a bit bewildered wondering why half of his stick disappeared. Do I have pictures of this? No. Even when I went in for a refill, I never once thought to grab my camera. I did get a couple the next day, but neither Vance nor the dogs felt like vamping for the camera.

Bourbon eyeballing Vance's snack!

Bourbon eyeballing Vance’s snack!

This weekend, I’m dog-sitting while the humans go visit the grandparents. It’s been pretty uneventful and I even caught a glimpse of Molly the cat. I did have my camera when Kenzie abruptly stopped and pointed in the backyard (of course she had put her paw down a second before I snapped the picture).

Kenzie spies something!

Kenzie spies something!

It was a white cat. The same white cat that made Dudley chuff nervously whenever we passed him. He lives at the house behind Carlin and Mike, but he’s been making himself at home in their backyard and every now and then, I see him in my backyard.

It is a blurry kitty!

It is a blurry kitty!

Kenzie was a good girl and didn’t charge after the cat. I called her and she happily dashed into the house and proceeded to dance for a treat. Bourbon was thumping his tail against the wall, a sound I have missed since Dudley lost his hearing about a year before he died.

Kenzie looking pretty!

Kenzie looking pretty!

Shoeful of Drool has had some renovations at the ole “kennel” and there are a few more things that I need to do before I’m ready for another dog to come live here, but it is all coming along nicely. That is part of the reason I’ve been somewhat slack in my blog postings (the other part of the reason is it’s hot and I’m uninspired and lazy) but I would like to invite you to check out and “Like” our Facebook page. I do add humorous tidbits I find floating in the ether of cyberspace daily.

“How’s it going Mr. Peterson?”
Woody
“It’s a dog eat dog world, Woody, and I’m wearing milk bone underwear.”
Norm from Cheers

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One Mia Leaping!

My friend Mike Reid (of the Cameron County, PA Reids) posted some pictures of his dog, Mia on Facebook. Mike and Mia ride around northern PA (mainly Cameron and Elk counties) and take fantastic pictures of the mountains, the streams, the elk, deer and occasional bear. Mia features heavily in these photo albums and Mike really ought to put them on a blog along with his Facebook page so people he doesn’t know can enjoy them.

Mia working the perimiter Photo: Mike Reid

Mia working the perimeter
Photo: Mike Reid

Mia is about 3 and Mike adopted her from the shelter in Coudersport, PA. She is part Maltese and Australian Terrier. Mike says she’s learned how to brace herself as they drive the twisting, turning roads of the PA mountains.

Mia on alert! Photo: Mike Reid

Mia on alert!
Photo: Mike Reid

Then something obviously caught Mia’s attention . . .

Boing! Photo: Mike Reid

Boing!
Photo: Mike Reid

When I saw what was on the other side of the fence, I wanted to jump, too! Keep in mind, I live in the ‘burbs and any wildlife I see here is city-sized . . .

Is it a rabbit or baby kangaroo? Photo: Mike Reid

Is it a rabbit or baby kangaroo?
Photo: Mike Reid

I’m not sure what would have happened had Mia caught the rabbit. Rabbits usually lose in the dog vs rabbit match-ups, but this rabbit is obviously on steroids!

The week got even better when one morning I turned around to see Fasa, a beautiful red and white Siberian Husky, on my deck peering into the kitchen. Fasa is the granddog of my other next door neighbors and he visits them often and has taken to coming to visit me since I took down the fence. Fasa has incredible light blue eyes that look right through you (any excuse to link to a Beatles video). I didn’t have the camera handy, but I grabbed a frisbee (part of the BlogPaws 2013 swag) went outside and played with him for about 5 minutes. I hated to stop, but I had to get to work, plus the mosquitoes were eating me alive!

I miss having dogs around, they make me laugh even when I feel lousy. Kenzie and Bourbon have been at their grandparents and I haven’t had anyone to dog sit lately, so it was welcome relief when I saw the pictures of Mia and the rabbit. Then Fasa came to visit and Deuce, one of the Durham Bulls mascot dogs that runs the bases after games, was found. He bolted after a fireworks display at Durham Athletic Park. So, even though I want to get another dog, I know the time isn’t quite right. I still have much to do before another dog adopts me, but I think I’ll start working faster!

The dog is a yes-animal, very popular with people who can’t afford to keep a yes-man.  ~Robertson Davies

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Walking on Sunshine

I enjoyed an extra long weekend, but as it is every year around the 4th of July, there were many sad dog tales. From dogs fleeing the fireworks displays  and getting hit by a car or lost, to those who leave their dog in a car on a hot day only for the dog to quickly perish in the heat. There were a few other headlines too gruesome to read and I won’t repeat them here, but I was in a bit of a quandary as what to post on the blog this week.

I remembered that Cookie the Smelly Beagle nominated me for a Sunshine Award a couple of months ago. Please don’t think me ungrateful for waiting almost two full months to publicly acknowledge this honor. Since it is an award that recognizes creative inspiration, I wanted to save it for when I needed some “creative inspiration.” Between BlogPaws last May and all my 4-legged visitors lately, I haven’t had to dig too deep to be inspired for material to post. So, Cookie (I’m sure you smell delightful — most of the time) thank you so much for thinking of Shoeful of Drool, it’s always great to see the words “positively and creatively inspire” associated with Shoeful of Drool!

http://smellybeagle.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/20130512-164635.jpg

The Sunshine prize is awarded to “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” As an award winner, there are a few rules to follow: Thank the person (or dog, as the case may be) who gave this award to you and link to his or her blog. Answer the questions below. Pass on the award to 10 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs, and let them know you awarded them.

Favorite Color- purple, just because it’s the prettiest to me

Favorite Animal – dogs, of course!

Favorite Number – 73 from my favorite t.v. show, Big Bang Theory.

Favorite Drink – red wine and water (not mixed together, but side by side is nice)

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ShoefulofDrool (Please “Like” and visit us often!)

Twitter – @ShoefulofDrool

My passion – Dogs, writing, reading and I love eating, too!

Favorite day – Friday!

Getting or giving presents? – I like giving best, but getting is fun, too!!

Favorite flower- Tulips

10 Blogs that Rock My World and Inspire Me:

The K9 Harper Lee – Reflections of a Golden Retriever Named Harper Lee

Pixel Blue Eyes

Life with Beagle

Kel’s Cafe All Things Food

Ask Fisher

Covered in Cat Hair

Wishcuit – Innovative Ways to Help Dogs in Need

Something Wagging This Way Comes

These next two sites aren’t really blogs, but websites that I find inspiring. I met Chilly at BlogPaws 2013 and he is part of Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery & Dental Care in Richmond, VA.

Chilly works to prevent economic euthanasia!

Chilly works to prevent economic euthanasia!

I don’t have any pictures, but I think Fire Safety Dogs is a pretty cool site that teaches fire safety to children (and the adults who may listen in).

So, going through and looking at these fabulous blogs (I couldn’t resist a chance to throw in a Fabulous Knobs video) has vastly improved my mood. I know I can’t stop the suffering of all animals, I can only do what I can to love and help the animals in my life and support rescue organizations.  It’s good to know there are so many others out there that feel the same way.

Support your right to arm bears.  ~Cleveland Amor

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Sweet Pea Goes to Camp

Sweet Pea had a fun filled 7 day 6 night stay at Camp Shoeful of Drool last week. She came to stay while the workers refinished the floors at her house. I’ve mentioned that Sweet Pea LOVES her squeaky tennis ball. She strips the tennis ball of its yellow fur and runs around with it in her mouth all the time.

Sweet Pea skins her tennis ball

Sweet Pea skins her tennis ball

I told her mom that since she didn’t chew or have accidents in the house, I would rather not put her in her crate when I go to work. We left Sweet Pea alone for a couple of hours and when we came back, she was fine. I saw a small indentation in the middle of the bed so I imagine she retired there (with her ball) as soon as we left.

I have to admit, I would put down a towel and invite Sweet Pea up on the couch to snuggle while I watched t.v. So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that first morning when I returned to the living room after I turned on the television to find her up on the couch. She looked at me as if to say, “well you turned on the t.v., get over here and watch with me.” So, the next time she jumped down (she’s part jumping bean) I put an old comforter on that cushion so her nails wouldn’t tear the couch.

Sweet Pea with her ever present ball in her mouth

Sweet Pea with her ever present ball in her mouth

Having a dog around does give someone a reason to get up in the morning and Sweet Pea didn’t move much until I started to stir around and then she started wiggling all over and come up in my face to say “hello” and try and drop her ball in my mouth. She was so excited to start a new day, there was no way I could dwaddle in bed. We’d go for a 15-20 minute walk first thing in the morning and she took care of her business and came back and ate her breakfast. I’d come home at lunch and let her out and then we’d take another walk in the evening. We managed to miss the Oreo dog (who tried to pee on Lillie a few weeks ago) on every single walk, but Sweet Pea spent considerable time sniffing and leaving a few messages near his fence. Why do we always want the bad boys?

That face says it all!

That face says it all!

Dudley and Zoe were big dogs. They ate more food, their flea and tick preventatives and other meds were more expensive, they took up most of the bed and it was a chore to give them a bath. Not to mention Dudley’s poops were about the size of a VW, but I love big dogs. I’m getting older so I have to consider whether or not I’ll be able to handle a larger dog and I’m thinking if I do get a dog over 60 lbs I’ll probably look for an older dog. Sweet Pea makes a winning case for little dogs, though. She’s incredibly mobile and I can clean up her poop with one hand (I have small hands). I’m sure when the time comes, the right dog will find me. In the meantime, I’m having fun with Sweet Pea, Lillie, Bourbon, Kenzie and all the other dogs in the neighborhood!

A dog will quickly turn you into a fool, but who cares? Better your dog than your boss. I’m a fool for my dog and proud of it.” ~ Unknown

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104 Weeks

Saturday marked 104 weeks since I lost my ZoeGirl. I knew she hadn’t been feeling well those last few weeks, I was having to bribe her with sardines to eat, but for whatever reason (denial?) I didn’t take her to the vet until a friend dropped by that fateful Saturday morning. My friend took one look at Zoe and said, “something’s wrong,” and that’s when I got scared.

The Z-Queen was always smiling!

The Z-Queen was always smiling!

I thought Zoe looked like she had gained some weight, but it’s hard to notice the gradual changes in someone you see every day; although her not wanting to eat was a giant red flag that I just didn’t acknowledge then. I chalked the weight gain up to her being less active than she had been. My friend hadn’t seen Zoe in 3 or 4 weeks, so it was obvious to her Zoe looked significantly different. Long story short, she apparently had a tumor on her spleen that had ruptured and she was bleeding into her belly. I always figured Zoe was a little older than Dudley which would have put her at 13 or older that day, and while surgery was an option, it wasn’t a good option at that age. Plus, it would only have stopped the immediate problem, it wouldn’t have changed the fact that she was an old dog and her time was near.

Zoe chewing bubble gum! Not really, but it looks like she is.

Zoe chewing bubble gum! Not really, but it looks like she is.

As much as it hurt, in the end it was a pretty easy decision to make. It was a shock to most everyone that Zoe went before Dudley because Dudley had been diagnosed with cancer a couple of months earlier. Several people expressed concern that Dudley might be depressed without Zoe, but he never gave any indication that he missed her. Her paw print has a few of her hairs in it and I’d hold it down and let Dudley smell it and he’d try to eat it. I think he was sort of happy to be the only dog again even though he and ZoZo were pretty good pals for the 10 and a half years she lived here. Maybe she had told him it was her time and he just accepted that. Most dogs tend to accept reality without the drama humans bring to it.

dudley & Zoe at the water troubh

Dudley & Zoe at the water trough

I always felt like Dudley would accept the loss of Zoe better than Zoe would have accepted the loss of Dudley, but that’s only speculation on my part. I know that Dudley coped better than I did losing Zoe. I hung onto her a couple of weeks longer than I should have and I’ve always felt bad about that. It is because of Zoe that when things started changing so quickly with Dudley, I did call the vet and did not linger over the decision to let him go. Very important lesson learned, thanks ZoZo and I hope you and Dudley are together and you nip his ears every morning on the way to breakfast!

Dudley was always excited over a new day because he knew food was coming his way, but Zoe was so much more animated than Dudley and she just plain loved life. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the name “Zoe” came to me so quickly when she came to live with us, it’s Greek and it means “life”.  So in honor of the Z-Queen, take a moment and just love life!

“Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that’s how dogs spend their lives.”~ Sue Murphy

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Hanging with Lillie

On one of our walks, Lillie got friendly with the little black and white terrier on the corner. He was behind his fence and I let Lillie go say hello. They sniffed each other and preened and everything was fine until the little Oreo dog lifted his leg to take a whiz on Lillie. I jerked her away and told her that he had treated her like a trollop (not the word I used) and she had to walk away with her head held high, and not look back. “Ladies don’t let boys pee on them,” I told her and she cut her eyes at me as if to say, “yeah, like your track record is so great I should be listening to your advice.” She kept looking back at him, a little forlornly, I think. I was never very good at playing hard to get, either.

But I AM a lady!

But I AM a lady!

I tried to get Lillie and Sweet Pea together, but our schedules just didn’t mesh. I’m sure they’ll get together sometime in the not too distant future. I was thinking about how different Lillie and Sweet Pea are. Lillie is pretty mellow around the house unless she hears something, then she does her job and barks (even if it’s 1:00 a.m.). She does get excited from time to time and will rear up on her hind legs and give your knees a hearty slap. She doesn’t follow me from room to room and she’s quite fast on our walks considering her short legs and girth.

Sweet Pea was glad to get out of her crate when I came home from work!

Sweet Pea was glad to get out of her crate when I came home from work!

Sweet Pea is a bundle of energy who likes to snuggle and she follows me from room to room. She enjoys ours walks and for such a lightweight, she can pull her leash pretty hard if she wants to chase a squirrel. She also poops on the sidewalk which is harder to clean up than when she poops in the grass. After that happened, I started wondering what classic rock would sound like today if she had happened to run into the Steve Miller Band in the early 1970s:

I’m a trooper, grab a scooper, I’m a sidewalk pooper . . .

I preferred the rug to my bed for short naps.

I preferred the rug to my bed for short naps.

I think the two girls will get along famously when they do meet. It’s time to wash Lillie’s dishes and give her breakfast. I discovered Lillie prefers her food dishes to be cleaned daily. I usually cleaned Dudley and Zoe’s dishes every other day, but Lillie wants her food in clean dishes. I can’t blame her, I also prefer clean dishes for my food; yet, she’ll let a boy dog pee in her face.

“Why do we love dogs so much? Because they are living proof that in this world good still exists.” ~ The German Shepherd Dog Community on Facebook

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Sweet Pea Returns!

Sweet Pea, the Beaglier stayed here at Shoeful of Drool for a few nights last week. Her house needed some repair work so Sweet Pea’s mom and I figured with all the workers going in and out of her house, Sweet Pea would be less stressed at my house. Even though I was really looking forward to having a dog around the house again, I wasn’t quite prepared for 17 lbs. of high-octane, turbo-charged, throw me the ball NOW — Dog! She really is like a pinball bouncing off the bumpers so hard the machine tilts.

She strips the fur off her squeaky tennis balls

She strips the fur off her squeaky tennis balls

She loves her squeaky tennis ball and will chase it as long as you want to throw it. She carries that ball around in her mouth most of the time just in case someone says, “drop it so I can throw it.” In the picture above, she was dropping the ball. She likes the camera about as much as Dudley did (not very) and I couldn’t get a picture of her with the ball clenched between her jaws as she ran around the house. She looks like a kid who sticks the orange peel in her mouth to cover her teeth. But she is funny first thing in the morning, she jumps on the bed and puts her paws on my shoulders and looks down at me with that ball in her mouth — it has been awhile since I started my day with a hearty belly laugh! I highly recommend it.

She did not want to smile for the camera

She did not want to smile for the camera

We went on an outing to Woof Gang Bakery where we had a little excitement, actually it scared me so bad my knees turned into jelly. Woof Gang is located in midtown where the traffic is very heavy. Sweet Pea and I were walking across the parking lot and I was going to get on the sidewalk by Starbucks where several people were sitting at tables outside enjoying the day. As we got closer to the tables, Sweet Pea began to lag behind and then she just sat down and squirmed out of her collar. I had a mental image of her darting into traffic on Six Forks Rd. (yes, there are roads named Six Knives and Six Spoons in the same area) and I just called her and she stopped and let me scoop her up. I carried her into Woof Gang’s where the very nice people working there let us chill out for a few minutes. We got several different goodies and it’s safe to say, I carried Sweet Pea back to the car and we went home and both had a cocktail.

Sweet Pea enjoyed her "cocktail" while I gulped a glass of wine

Sweet Pea enjoyed her “cocktail” while I gulped a glass of wine, this is just one bag of goodies we got from Woof Gang’s!

I had forgotten that Sweet Pea is rather skittish around men and I think that may have been what spooked her in the parking lot. Several men were sitting at the outside tables .and since I didn’t seem to know them, she wasn’t going to go anywhere near them. This is one reason why I always used harnesses on Dudley and Zoe, they couldn’t squirm out of them and they really were much easier to control on our walks than when they just had their leash attached to their collar. I think I might have to get one for Sweet Pea for any future expeditions we take.

Mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun. ~ Noel Coward

 

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The Grand Finale – Blog Paws 2013

BlogPaws certainly was an exciting few days and they certainly put on the dog for the dogs! They set up a dog park at the hotel so the dogs could get some fresh air and socialize without being on a leash. There were fabulous volunteers who took care of the dogs and made sure they were safely inside the fence. Considering the temporary nature of the fence and the proximity to the heavy traffic speeding along Leesburg Pike, I was very grateful for the close eye the volunteers kept on the sweet babies.

It's not really a jail!

It’s not really a jail!

I didn’t visit the dog park until Friday at lunch when I realized I had not been outside since I arrived Wednesday afternoon. Just like the dogs, humans need fresh air, too! The dogs all got along well, even when one stole another’s Frisbee.

A little tug of war with the flying thing!

A little tug of war with the flying thing!

Dogs were everywhere, checking into the hotel:

Checking into the hotel

Checking into the hotel

Snoozing while the humans had a cocktail in the hotel lounge; I have no idea who owned the derrieres in the following picture, but one of them has a puppy at home named Dudley.

This pup opted for a nap instead of a cocktail

This pup opted for a nap instead of a cocktail

Debbie Jacobs, a certified animal trainer and creator of the Fearful Dogs website, lead an excellent session about dog behavior and some of the myths associated with their behavior. When I described myself on my business card as  a blogger and “alpha dog” I knew I was fibbing about the alpha dog part (the dogs always ruled this roost, I just pay the bills) but I didn’t realize it was because there is a great deal of science that suggests that even though dogs and wolves share an ancestor from long ago, dogs are not pack animals and don’t seek out a dominant status in the home. She is also a huge advocate of positive reinforcement training where the human rewards the dog for good behavior instead of punishing the dog for bad behavior. All of us respond better when someone tells us what we are doing that is right than when they tear us apart for what we do wrong. Same thing for dogs, cats, dolphins and I imagine any other animal.

“Dogs have more love than integrity. They’ve been true to us, yes, but they haven’t been true to themselves.” ~ Clarence Day

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BlogPaws 2013 – Part II

I have finally recovered from all of the excitement of BlogPaws, but a couple of the sessions have stuck with me. The very first speaker I heard was Robin Olson, founder of Kitten Associates, a foster cat rescue she runs out of her home in Newton, CT. The day after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Robin came up with the idea of Kitties for Kids where she invited the citizens of Newtown to visit her foster kitties in an attempt to provide a bit of normalcy during the days when nothing was normal.

Kitties were in attendance at BlogPaws!

Kitties were in attendance at BlogPaws!

Olson wrote in her blog, “We know the healing power of time spent petting a cat or watching them play with a toy can bring to a child and his or her parents.” She confided to us she had no idea whether anyone would come, she just knew she had to try something to help the community begin to heal. And they came. One mother brought her son and told Robin that she was trying to figure out how to tell him that his best friend who lived next door wouldn’t be coming home. Kitties for Kids was such a success that the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) has recognized Robin’s foster kitties as Pets of the Year for their contribution to the town of Newton. They were in some very distinguished company, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal and firefighter Clifford Monges were also CMVA Award recipients.

Another pretty face at BlogPaws!

Another pretty face at BlogPaws!

I had the chance to speak with Robin after her session and the first thing I did was apologize for snot-bawling through most of the 90 minutes she spoke. You have to understand that I’ll cry over a coffee commercial, kid movies and the song Mr. Bojangles, but that weekend of the Sandy Hook shootings was my last weekend with the handsome, sweet-boy Dudley, so it was especially poignant for me to think about those days. I am certainly aware of the positive affect animals have on people in distress, and I was glad to hear about the success of Kitties for Kids.

A beautiful Aussie at BlogPaws

A beautiful Aussie at BlogPaws

Robin reminded me that resources for cat rescue fall way behind those available for dog rescue. Talk to anyone who has ever rescued an animal and most will tell you that the animal is not only grateful, but rescues the human in some way, too. If you can’t rescue an animal now, consider donating to those organizations that work so hard to find good homes for abandoned animals. Kitten Associates is a 501(c)(3) organization which means your donations are tax deductible. Robin proved that it doesn’t take a great deal of time or money to make a positive difference in her community.

My favorite rescue kitty of all, Zen!

My favorite rescue kitty of all, Zen!

“I’ve always been mad about cats.” ~ Vivian Lee

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Highlights from BlogPaws 2013

I am still trying to catch my breath from BlogsPaws, but let me tell you, it was FURtastic! There were lots of people, dogs, cats, birds and even some ferrets. It really was a mixed bag and speaking of mixed bags, you should see the swag that we brought home! There were treats, totes, tees and tips that will come in handy for dogs and humans alike. The peonies in the picture came from Carlin’s garden — I have the greatest neighbors!

Swag from BlogPaws!

Swag from BlogPaws!

Norman the Scooter Dog from Who Let the Dogs Out? was the biggest celebrity that I saw. I heard there was a local weather dog, but I didn’t get close enough to get a picture.

A petite friend checks out Norman

A petite friend checks out Norman

Her fame may not be as great as Norman’s (yet) but Buckley, the French Bulldog charmed everyone who went to the PetSafe booth. She belongs to Robin and Buckley wore a dress matching the bridesmaids’ dresses along with a tiny pillbox hat made by the mother of the bride at Robin’s wedding. I promise, I saw the picture and it was adorable!

Buckley the French Bulldog

Buckley the French Bulldog

Rocco the Havanese was another dog whose name I remembered. We attended a couple of the same sessions and he was most forgiving when I accidentally nearly stepped on him.

Rocco is quite the gentleman

Rocco is quite the gentleman

I also met Pixel Blue Eyes (I swear her eyes are really brown) and her mom, Jenny Lewis. On Friday night, I had a lot of fun with them and Jobi Harris who writes the Ask Fisher blog where she talks about her cats and does pet product reviews. We hung out in the bar as guests of Found Animals, a microchip registry. It’s really lame on my part that I don’t remember her name, she was fun and quite generous.

I didn’t catch the names of all the pets, there were quite a few and all were well-behaved with no knock-down, drag-out brawls. There was a Zoe there and I heard a man mention he had a Dudley at home and that plucked a little twang on the heartstrings. I learned a great deal at BlogPaws, there were wonderful speakers whose messages I will share with you in the near future. In the meantime, I leave you with some pictures of the best part of BlogPaws!

This cat's name was NOT Ziggy or Bob Marley

This cat’s name was NOT Ziggy or Bob Marley

What a terrific smile!

What a terrific smile!

A beautiful black & tan!

A beautiful black & tan!

No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich. ~ Louis Sabin, All About Dogs As Pets

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Happy Anniversary!

May 6, 2013 marked one year since I published the first blog on Shoeful of Drool. I had been thinking about a blog for awhile and the title of the blog came to me years ago when the dogs would drench my shoes as I scooped the dog food into their bowl. The impetus to go ahead and start the blog that weekend was I didn’t want to dust. Between taking care of Dudley (and Zoe up until 2011), working full time and carrying 9 hours each of the last three semesters of school, dusting was at the bottom of things I needed to do. I have a cavalier attitude toward dusting, putting it off for a few days is no big deal since it’s only a few days before dust noticeably begins to accumulate again after I do dust.

Dudley relaxing after his ultrasound in 2011

Dudley relaxing after his ultrasound in 2011

So, I figured writing about my wonderfully amusing dogs was a legitimate reason to let dusting wait for another day. Dudley had just blown out his knee a week or so before I wrote that first blog and Zoe had gone to the Rainbow Bridge about 10 months earlier. Even though Zoe was not here physically, I knew her escapades would be part of the Shoeful of Drool stories.

My Zo-Zo Girl

My Zo-Zo Girl

Writing a weekly (well usually) blog and taking pictures of Dudley helped me chronicle the deterioration of Dudey’s mobility. Writing the blog helped me answer questions whenever I took him to the vet and it let me know when the time was right to let go of Dudley. It’s also been comforting to go back and read what Dudley and I were doing last year and the 13+ years of memories of him and ZoeGirl that it conjures up.

Oenothera Pink Petticoats

Oenothera Pink Petticoats

I was driving out of the neighborhood last week and noticed the Pink Petticoats were in bloom (thanks to Carlin for letting me know these flowers were called Oenothera) on the street Dudley and I walked each day. Dudley would always pause when he came upon the flowers and sniff for awhile before he peed. I remember thinking he looked so beautiful with his cinnamon fur in the pinkish/purplish flowers and I needed to take a picture him in the flowers. I never took that picture. I always had an excuse not to take the camera — I was already carrying keys and poop bags while walking Dudley on a leash and that was about all I could handle. I will regret not getting that picture (and a million more) until the day I die. Take all the pictures you think you should and then take more. One day you will be grateful you did.

“If you can’t decide between a Shepherd, a Setter or a Poodle, get them all … adopt a mutt!” – ASPCA

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Sleeping Dogs

I love to watch dogs sleep. Both Dudley and Zoe yipped in their sleep, but you could always tell when Dudley was dreaming because he twitched a great deal. Zoe rarely twitched or “chased rabbits” while she snoozed. I watched Lillie sleep and never noticed her twitching or making any sounds.

Lillie catching some zzzzs on the ottoman

Lillie catching some zzzzs on the ottoman

The first night Lillie visited she slept in her crate in my bedroom. I left for work the next morning and by the time I came home for lunch, she had discovered the ottoman by the window in the living room made a dandy bed for doggies. It was the one piece of furniture I always let Dudley and Zoe get on; although, Zoe decided that permission to get on the ottoman extended to the chair that she eventually chewed to pieces (that’s another story).

Dudley & Zoe snoozing

Dudley & Zoe snoozing

After that first night, Lillie would jump onto bed with me and position herself horizontally with her butt firmly planted in my chest. Then, just like Dudley, she would look over her right shoulder as if to say (rather sarcastically, I might add), “Yep, I put it there on purpose.” When Dudley did that, I would always laugh and the sound would prompt Dudley to whack my face with his tail which only made me laugh harder and give his butt a good scratching that he loved. But just as Dudley would get off the bed a short while later and stretch out on the floor, Lillie also would jump down and go into the living room for the rest of the night.

Their favorite place to sleep!

Their favorite place to sleep!

Dudley would stay in the room with me all night, he never was far away from whatever room I was in at anytime, but Zoe is the only dog who would stay on the bed all night. I don’t think it was because she wanted to be close to me, more that it was only fitting that the Z-Queen sleep on the queen sized bed. She always headed into the bedroom on her own and climbed on the bed whenever she wanted to nap, no matter whose house she was in.

Lillie scoping out the neighborhood

Lillie scoping out the neighborhood

Lillie also used the ottoman as a perch to look out the window. Many people in our neighborhood have dogs and walk on our street and Lillie enjoyed greeting them as they passed. It was nice to pull into the driveway and hear a barked greeting and see a dog face in the window. I am guessing I will find another dog to rescue by the end of the year, or more accurately, finding another dog to rescue me.

Lillie being sassy!

Lillie being sassy!

Whoever said “let sleeping dogs lie” didn’t sleep with dogs. – Unknown

 

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Pictures of Lillie

It’s been a couple of weeks since Lillie went back home, but she made me realize how much I miss having a dog to come home to everyday. They are great company, even better listeners and truth be told, I like dogs more than most people I know.

Furry frog legs Photo & Caption: Shana Goodin Thompson

Furry frog legs
Photo & Caption: Shana Goodin Thompson

A couple of friends stopped by the Friday night Lillie was here and we had a mini girls’ night. We were laughing at the way Lillie sprawled out like a frog getting ready to jump and remembered how their black cocker spaniel, Tubbs would lay in the same position about 25 years ago.

Lillie checking out the backyard Photo: Shana Goodin Thompson

Lillie checking out the backyard
Photo: Shana Goodin Thompson

I promise that Lillie did not have any of the wine Friday night, but the next day she had a little diarrhea when we went on one of our walks. It wasn’t bad and that was the only incident so I was guessing it was the stress of being away from home or maybe the small can of Evanger’s Grain Free Pheasant the night before was a little rich for her. She didn’t act as if she felt bad, she ran after birds and was very chipper, but I did take up her food when we got home and fixed her some rice. She ate the rice and the next day I mixed a little kibble with it and she ate that, too. I should say eventually ate it. Lillie’s eating habits are completely different from the way Dudley ate. He gobbled all his food in about 30 seconds and out of necessity Zoe ate all her food at once, too (though with considerable more decorum than Dudley). Lillie grazes and doesn’t seem to think the food dish is the greatest part of the day.

Lillie thinks about doing a little gardening

Lillie thinks about doing a little gardening

Since there were no more runny poo incidents, I began giving Lillie treats again on Sunday. Lillie had brought several different treats with her including Newman’s Own Organics Snack Sticks. It has a nice picture of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward on the front, and a little story on the back. I was leaning against the counter reading the back of the package and Lillie is in front of me huffing and chuffing  and she finally barked at me before I realized I was standing there holding her treats and not offering her one. I gave her a stick, she was happy and I realized how untrained a dog mom I’ve become in the past four months. I leave food on the counter, I leave the front door open, I leave my plate on the table to go answer the phone, so I’m going to need a mini boot camp before another dog comes to live with me. In the meantime, visits from Lillie, Bourbon and Kenzie will let me practice a little between now and then.

“The more I see of the representatives of the people, the more I admire my dogs.”
– Alphonse de Lamartine

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Lillie LaLoosh

After Lillie’s mom and dad dropped her off last Wednesday night, we went out in the backyard where she announced her presence with such authority I just knew that to me, she would forever be Lillie LaLoosh. My friends adopted her from Saving Grace Animal Rescue. She seems to have some Tibetan Spaniel (Tibbie) in her, but her snout is longer, she’s taller and she weighs about 3 times what an average Tibbie normally weighs.

Lillie after a walk on a gorgeous day!

Lillie after a walk on a gorgeous day!

Ms. Lillie packs some heft when she jumps up to slap you slightly above the knee in her idea of a double high five. She likes to run and chase birds and I had a time controlling her on a retractable leash. The leash issue was more my fault, I didn’t really know how to work it properly and when she pulled, I instinctively choked up on the leash and wrapped it around my wrist. I could usually get Dudley and Zoe under control that way on a regular leash, but Lillie kept running. She seemed pretty ticked when birds could fly away from her which helped me because she at least stopped running  long enough where I could untangle my wrist from the leash and get the leash at a more controllable length.

UNC v NCSU, always an ACC rivalry!

UNC v NCSU, always an ACC rivalry!

I had Lillie for five days and nights while her human parents went to New Orleans. After she announced herself to the neighborhood (which is full of other dogs) we went inside and snuggled on the couch with a glass of wine. Lillie sports an NCSU Wolfpack Live Pink collar, while I had donned my UNC jammies. We quickly got past the Carolina/State rivalry since basketball season is over.

Lillie is a very social dog and wants to be around people, but she always waited until she was invited to jump up on the couch or the bed. Well, except for the morning I was putting clean sheets back on the bed. She jumped up as I was getting ready to put on the fitted sheet and looked at me like I lost my mind when I told her to get down. She reminded me of Zoe who used to do that nearly every Sunday morning, only difference was Zoe would snort in utter disgust and give me the stink eye until I had the bed made and she could get back on the bed.  I don’t think Lillie quite has the stink eye thing down yet.

Can this sweet face give anyone the stink eye? Thanks to Kelley Chisholm for the photo!

Can this sweet face give anyone the stink eye? Thanks to Kelley Chisholm for the photo!

Lillie is the first dog I’ve seen who will chew on an elk antler. I brought one home for Dudley once and gave me a look that said, “Boring! Why would you think I would want to chew on something that has not been dipped in some yummy flavor or contained some yummy marrow?” Next time we’ll talk about Lillie’s adventures in the neighborhood and why next door neighbors Bourban and Kenzie lost their backyard privleges for the day.

“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.” ~ Mark Twain

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Dog Sitting Duties

Shoeful of Drool has had a whirlwind of activities this past week, including doing a little dog-sitting for Bourbon and Kenzie next door. Last Friday, Mike and Carlin told me they were heading out on a road trip up through Virginia and I volunteered to take care of the dogs. They have an SUV, but they also have a year old little boy and you know how much stuff you have to pack for a child that age and with the two dogs, it would have been a tight fit.

Bourbs (as I’ve taken to calling him) and Kenzie are easy to care for, I just had to go over a few times Saturday and Sunday and let them out and make sure they had food and clean water. They’ll go in the backyard and do their business and come back in when they are done. It was nice hanging with just the dogs for awhile.

Bourbon & Kenz eat side by side with no problems.

Bourbon & Kenz eat side by side with no problems.

Bourbon and Kenzie share a big water bowl and they each have their own bowl for food on each side of the water dish. I don’t think that would have worked with Dudley and Zoe, although I did end up putting both water bowls on Dudley’s towel because Zoe always drank from Dudley’s water bowl instead of the one beside her food bowl. Dudley had a towel by the refrigerator with his food bowl and the water bowls and Zoe’s towel with her food was on the other side of the kitchen by the dishwasher. This usually worked out well, but I always found it funny whenever I gave them their carrot snack, Dudley would take his to Zoe’s side of the kitchen to eat it and Zoe would go to Dudley’s side and eat on the rug that was just outside the kitchen. They were a unique pair, my JamMaster D and the Z-Qeen!

They can snooze together, but never eat that close to each other!

They could snooze together, but never eat that close to each other!

Also, I was able to get the pictures uploaded from the Let’s Get Quizzical drawing for the $25 gift card. Vance was on the straight and narrow when he pulled the piece of paper with Miss Harper Lee’s name on it. Currently, Lillie is visiting, so I am looking forward to sharing our adventures.

Getting ready to pull the winner!

Getting ready to pull the winner!

There were 15 slips of paper and Miss Harper Lee was the winner!

There were 15 slips of paper and Miss Harper Lee was the winner!

“Some days you’re the dog; some days you’re the hydrant.”-Unknown

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Missy Award

the-missy-award

I think the Easter Bunny is really a golden dog with rabbit ears, because the ever delightful Miss Harper Lee brought Shoeful of Drool a Missy Award nomination!

The  Missy Award is presented to those bloggers who support and advocate for animals either in the blog as a whole or a blog post.  They can be animal lovers, vegetarian,vegan, rescue workers, doesn’t matter it’s all about the animals. The rules are simple:

  1. You must post the award picture on your blog.
  2. Link back to The Missy Award.
  3. And answer these two questions: What inspires you to write? Why do you love animals?
  4. Nominate other worthy bloggers (whatever number you’d like), or you can simply accept the award and complete only Steps 1, 2, and 3.
  5. Finally, please let your nominees know you nominated them.

What inspires me to write? I’ve always enjoyed writing, and it comes fairly easy to me. Short pieces anyway, as much as I’d like to write the great American novel, I’m not sure if I have it in me.  It’s an emotional outlet. I love to laugh and to make others laugh, but I can go to some dark places in my head and writing about them is considerably wiser than attempting to go to those places in reality. I also hope that I occasionally offer useful information that makes someone’s world just a little bit better.

Why do I love animals? Unlike people, animals have no guile. At least I think it was just a coincidence the time I saw a squirrel kick a pine cone toward Dudley and not some cunning scheme the squirrel concocted. It was really funny, Dudley and Zoe were barking and raising all kinds of Cain at the squirrel, and the squirrel was chattering away on a branch of a pine tree and it looked like the squirrel had a Bobby Knight moment and flung the pine cone toward Dudley. I think it was just time for the pine cone to fall. Animals make people laugh. Petting a dog can reduce blood pressure, some can even alert humans to an impending medical condition. The provide search and rescue assistance. They alert our soldiers to mines, bombs and IEDsy. They listen with no judgement and when they come and put their head in my lap and sigh, it always makes me feel better. Dogs especially are joyous creatures, and we should take our cues from them and bring more joy into our lives.

I want to nominate my friend Kelley Chisholm who writes Kel’s Cafe All Things Food. Her blog has some excellent vegetarian and vegan recipes. She also has recipes for the carnivores. Every now and then, she throws in some recipes especially for the dogs. I know she’s gone pescatarian for several long stretches where the only meat she eats is fish. I think she tried to stick to a vegan diet for a few weeks. She adopted Lillie from Saving Grace Animal Rescue and Lillie is another member of the family. The fact that she brought Lillie and a nice Merlot over Saturday and is going to let me dog sit Lillie while she takes a trip to New Orleans had no bearing in my decision to nominate Kel’s Cafe All Things Food. But it was really good wine and she is truly an animal lover!

Christmas Lillie, a rescued mix breed dog my friend Kel and her family adopted

Christmas Lillie, a rescued mix breed dog my friend Kel and her family adopted

I also want to nominate Marcela who writes a great blog called All My Canine Companions. Marcela is certified in pet first aid and CPR. She has a beautiful dog named Alex who she wraps in a blanket when Alex seems cold. Marcela also offers in house boarding to clients and we hear about the adventures of Alex and her friends Walter, Josie, Roxie and others who drop by to stay for a few days. I think this is a wonderful service Marcela provides, I would love to board my dogs in someone’s home that I know will take great care of them. She walks her charges and takes care of them just as lovingly as she takes care of Alex (who is on bed rest at the moment for a soft tissue injury).

I also want to thank Harper Lee once again for her nomination and the happiness her blog brings me. Her wry observations and beautiful photos have made these 100+ days without Dudley a little more bearable.

“Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that’s how dogs spend their lives.”-Sue Murphy

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And the Winner is . . .

Miss Harper Lee, the Golden Girl who has wonderful adventures in Louisiana! I promise I do have pictures of Vance Orion selecting the winner, but apparently the USB cable for my camera has bitten the dust. Please let me know your preference for a Target or Amazon gift card and where to send it. I’m so excited for you, coming right on the heels of your birthday! Congratulations!

I know you’ve just been holding your breath to learn the answers to the questions in Let’s Get Quizzical, so here they are!

1. There were 2 dogs in the Archie comics/television cartoons. Can you name both? Hot Dog and Chili Dog

2. The family dog appeared in only one episode of the Brady Bunch, do you know his name? Tiger – Jan was allergic to his shampoo

Tiger from the Brady Bunch

Tiger from the Brady Bunch

3. The Partridge Family also had a dog that appeared in a few episodes, what was her name? Simone

4. What was the name of the American Bull Terrier (Pit Bull) in the Little Rascals Our Gang series? Petey

5. Alexander the Great had a favorite dog who went to war with him, what was his name? Ducky discussed this at length on an episode of NCIS. Peritas, breed unknown; although, Ducky refers to him as a mastiff in the NCIS episode Terminal Leave.

6. LuAnn Degroot, the main character in the LuAnn comic strip, has a dog and a cat. What are their names? Puddles and Cuddles

7. What was the name of the horse belonging to early western movie star Tom Mix? Bonus points if you can name the county and state where Tom Mix was born. Tony was the horse, and Tom Mix was born in Cameron County, PA where my parents and many dear friends are from.

8. What is the name of the cat in Sabrina the Teenage Witch? Salem

Archie Gang with Hot Dog and Salem

Archie Gang with Sabrina, Hot Dog and Salem. Hmm did we ever see Reggie & Sabrina together?

9. Who is the family pet of The Jetsons? Astro

“How’s it going Mr. Peterson?”
Woody
“It’s a dog eat dog world, Woody, and I’m wearing milk bone underwear.”
Norm from Cheers

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