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Friday, April 24, 2009

You've got talent...

During a late dinner last night Michael and I sat at the dining room table discussing the days events as we both nibbled on our meal. Two golden's resting under the table, one eye open for you never know when a tasty morsel will tumble to the floor....Niki wandering about, Gemma napping without a care in the world.

Our conversation tuned to an interesting topic....talent. When I worked full time as a dog trainer most people would watch me work with their dog and they would was so "gifted" to have the ability to understand canines. The same with my camera.....then later with my painting....and now with writing a tale or two.
Talented/ Gifted are not words that I use....I remember so many years ago reading an article in a magazine about dog training...I gave it a try and could not believe how the relationship with my dog improved. I read every book on animal behavior...and with each dog that joined our pack....such wonderful teachers, they taught me well. Soon I was training other peoples dogs, teaching group classes....I worked did my dogs.

During group classes I started photographing students on graduation night....the camera just felt right in my hands. Soon flowers were my subjects....while I will photograph everything, anything if the lighting is wonderful... my true love is animals....domestic and wild. own little pack taught me well....for there is a little secret to getting the best shot.... patience.
You cannot rush the moment...the just happens naturally....if your patient. The same with painting...the life that you can create with your lines, must have the ability to look and see what is not so visible to most. My paintings are often time not the exact likeness of the interpretation....what I see.

I no doubt there are those that have chosen the very same journey as I and arrived so much faster, achieved so much more...I suppose.some do have an inner gift....but still their craft must be honed.
Along my journey my furry friends have been by my side every step of the teachers, as my subjects...and as students....and it all started with one dog, a magazine article and a lot of hard work....still ;-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

First Aid Kit...

With the temps in the 80's this afternoon here in the Atlanta area it is no wonder my dogs were a bit lazy. Like us humans, some tolerate the heat better then others. My pups prefer the cooler temperatures that we had enjoyed the last few days. I hope a few more "cold" snaps roll in before the summer temps are here to stay. Looks like early morning walks from now on....and once the sun goes down early evenings, that is if it cools down.

With the warmer temps so too is there an increase in the bug activity around my house. Lot's of annoying but harmless ants...from now on we must be on the look out for fire ants, nasty little buggers. I noticed just about every bee, wasp that we have here in Atlanta flying about....hornets and yellow jackets too. I hate these flying insects as I am allergic. Please know dogs can also be allergic to bee stings as well. The above image shows a carpenter bee annoying the dogs....they love to hoover and chase you. Pretty territorial, or at least it looks that way to me.
The puppy seems to have an interest in chasing I have been telling him to come to me when I see this. Lots of yellow jackets flying about so I have been trying to see if any nests starting up.

Time to go through my first aid kit making sure my benadryl supply is adequate. If you do not have a pet first aid kit time to start putting one together, better safe then sorry.
If your dogs happens to get stung by a bee, wasp stay calm....look for the area that they were stung, with so much fur it can be difficult....look for a spot that in inflamed and swollen....remove the stinger with a tweezer (should be in your first aid kit).

Make a paste of baking soda and water and place on the entire swollen area....then apply and ice pack to the area to reduce swelling....alternate placing the pack on the area, then removing the pack...then, finally monitor your pets health. if you pet is experiencing difficulty breathing get them to your vet clinic ASAP. Again, some animals are indeed allergic and will require immediate medical attention.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Times like these...

The past few weeks has found either Michael or myself at the veterinarian clinic with one of the dogs.
When you share your heart and home with more then one pet there will indeed be times like these.
First it was Montana (whoops....Rocky, funny how we never really stop thinking about our beloved pets that are deceased, Montana dies a few years ago) with the upper respiratory cough....then Niki with her UTI.
Due to the fact she is partially paralyzed she is just prone to them. As I am here a good bit of the time, by keeping the bladder empty...and keeping her clean is really the only way to prevent them. Still....every once in a while one will occur. Catching them in the early stages of course is key. While out with her about a week ago I was emptying her bladder (yep, she needs assistance to empty her bladder) I noticed a bit of blood. No other symptoms....just the blood and then within a day...while urine does not have a pleasant odor, when there is an infection present....phew.
The docs are always surprised when they examine her....for she truly is the little dog that could!

During her examination the vet looked at her teeth....little dog teeth. I put off her cleaning long enough, so after this round of antibiotics...and our upcoming trip to the beach she will be getting her teeth cleaned. I have never seen such bad teeth on a dog....not really sure why as she is a chewer and we do brush her teeth. Not sure how such a little dog can be soooo adorable and have such stinky breath, and bad teeth. No doubt genetics.

Not yet finished with her round of anti biotic's when I notice Bailey having the occasional bout of Diarrhea. Yesterday found me making a batch of basmati rice (smells so good) and cooking some chop meat. With held his breakfast.....dinner was the rice/ chop meat. This morning some Flint River and the rice mixture was breakfast, same for dinner.
So far so good, though we shall give this a couple of days.
He will ingest everything and anything...with all of the rain we have had here in GA as of late I no doubt that is the problem.

Let me tell you it is not easy to not feed a golden....
As I was doing the breakfast dishes he sat next to me and leaned against me just looking up at me with those brown eyes. Following me....while this is not at all unusual behavior, part of a Golden's charm is that they are ALWAYS with you. This type of following....having to lean on, touch....stare at....through you.
Once he realized there would be no food what could he do....
He finally wandered over to Rocky's crate....looked in for Rocky was napping....ever so gently entered, turned around, one last look in my direction....gently laid down next to Rocky and napped.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Lovely Spring Day...

Sammy is again visiting with us for about three weeks. Trying to keep him amused in the early days is pretty darn easy....lots of walks, time for some bird watching and of course resting at my feet when working on the is good. That is for a few days....then he really pines for his people. As he does not LIKE Rocky and Bailey...he much prefers being the ONLY male dog....he will have several outings a day with Niki...she likes all dogs, and he seems to like her.

Lots of time spent outside on this lovely spring, playing and of course chasing the butterflies, bees and chewing a great stick!!!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Not a Rescue in the White House...

If you have watched the news the last few days I no doubt you have seen a pic or two of Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog. He is indeed a handsome pup...these are wonderful dogs that are lively, fun and active. Like ALL breeds of dogs training and adequate daily play is a must....nor are they for everyone....since not as popular as some breeds...well, hopefully they will stay that way. Keeping my fingers crossed !!!

In visiting a few forums, listening to a few friends that are active in rescue many are not happy about the arrival of Bo. Seems the first family should have gone to a shelter and rescued a dog. would have made great press but really, it is indeed a personal choice as to find a reputable breeder (soooo much easier said then done) or visit your local shelters.

I have rescued my entire life....last few years I have sought out breeders and purchased dogs....and I do NOT feel bad in doing so. Please know I am so very aware of the amount of animals euthanized on a daily basis in this country. I have saved more dogs in my life time then most I know....not looking for praise or pats on the back....just a fact. I dedicated my professional career to training dogs, helping humans better understand and communicate with their furry friends. You do have a choice and as long as you have researched the breed....researched the breeder....shelter and or rescue organization and are dedicated as a FAMILY (a pet should be added to the family as a family member....not for the children to care for, or to teach them responsibilities.....children learn by example).
In a perfect world .....Education during the time of acquiring a dog....breeders are indeed responsible for all of those puppies they create....soo too are the rescue organizations and local shelters that adopt out animals.

I assure you the Obama family is not responsible for all the dogs put to sleep in this country....nor was their choice to accept a dog as a gift a bad one. While I do not recommend giving animals as gifts....this is a family that was actively seeking this breed...and they could have easily said doubt looking into Bo's, indeed.
I do hope Bo teaches this family much, and vice a versa ;-)

If you are looking to add a furry friend to your family....please make sure you have the time to raise a dog. Daily training...please know that training a dog is a life style and is for the life of the dog. Research the breed of dog....breeder or shelter. The simple truth....not all of us should have and raise children let alone dogs...cats....hamsters, etc.

Just a couple of reasons dogs are given up on and re homed, placed in shelters....
Housetraining...sorry must teach the dog....oh, and even small dogs can be housetrained ;-)
Jumping on family members...easy to fix with proper daily play and exercise and of course training....consistency is indeed the key.
I personally believe if you bring a dog in your heart, home they are yours for must work through all issues and problems....which is why the research in breed, breeder, shelter or rescue organization is soooooo important.
To those that have noting better to do then criticize another for their choices....go volunteer you time in a shelter training those dogs....exercising those dogs...better yet, go train your own ;-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Walk for a Cause...

For those in the Atlanta area, mark your calendars for on April 25, 4 PM at Piedmont Park is the annual Walk for Lupus. I would like to post at this time that I will be attending, however this year I will be sitting this one out. I did however make my annual donation....please know you can make a donation (I made mine) or you can support a team, or an individual that is walking. If not in the Atlanta area just visit the Lupus Foundation site and check the dates for a city near you. Please do share this, even if you not int the Atlanta area, or even if this illness has not touched you in any way....if you read my blog...I have Lupus...there, you've been touched.

** Please know that more than 1.5 million Americans have Lupus.
** The effects on individuals with Lupus and thier families can be life diminishing, chronic and life threatening.
** Lupus is one of the most misunderstood and misdiagnosed diseases, with no known cause.
** Presently, no cure or satisfactory treatment exists. there has been no new FDA approved drug for the treatment of lupus in 50 years.

I am not this body,

battered by disease.

I am not this body,

achy hips and knees.

I am not this body,

worn out from the fight.

I am not this body,

skin so pale and light.

I am not this body,

carrying this weight.

I am not this body,

with an unsteady gait.

I am not this body,

marked and scarred.

I am not this body,

that is forever marred.

I am not this body,

the reflection in the mirror.

I am not this body,

my truth I couldn't see clearer.

This poem was found on the web....Author kendra.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Snow on an April Spring Day...

his morning a Golden woke me with a poke of his nose, then a growl....then another....then two more. I was slow to rise for just about every joint, muscle and tendon the end it was my hands which got my attention. The left so sore and painful, the right just a hint of very similar to how the left started.

I went in search of slippers....sharing your life with two Goldens your guaranteed to wake and walk barefoot for your slippers are never where you left them the night before ;-)
This morning...well let me just say I no doubt they will eventually turn up!
Dogs do indeed have a sense of humor and it matters very little to them how often I threaten to sell them off on e-bay if they hide my slippers one more is the same ritual each morning. Just a little thing we share together!
I put on my fancy yellows crocs (a fashion statement for sure) and out in the cold...windy air we go.
It is a bit overcast and I cannot help but think that the weather forecast is indeed correct in that a cold front moved in. The cold air and wind just made me ache more so I hurried the dogs up and we retreated back in the warm house.

Once in, I filled the tea kettle with water and just longed to wrap my sore hands around the warmth of the cup. A little breakfast so a few anti-inflammatory can be taken....another cup of tea and I found myself wandering into my office, sitting in front of the Mac, hands wrapped around the tea cup cup. I noticed the sun peaking through here and there....birds feeding at the feeders...I wondered if I should skip the blog today...clearly I should not be typing. A few sips of tea and I once again focused on my hands...the what know if two hands are in splints who will do my hair...and of course a few more personal things with which we each do throughout the day using our hands without ever a thought!
Who will walk the dogs, groom the dogs...those what if's.

I turned my gaze out the window and I saw what I at first thought was rain....then I really looked....yep snow. Snow in April....and the sun was shinning....the dogs and I rush outside and I extend my hand and catch a few tiny was then I realized I was smiling. First smile of the sooner did the snow stopped, sun once again disappeared behind the clouds. We retreated back into the house, me to my office where I am once again sitting in front of the Mac....with a smile on my face I start typing for the blog about the cold front that moved through GA on a spring day. I am also thinking how I could have easily gotten so lost in my pain and discomfort that I could have missed the sun/ snow shower...and so, the day begins and I resume my daily tasks without skipping a beat!!!

Spring was here not long ago, with days so warm and nice
But then it yielded to the snow and also to the ice
My tree is sparkling with the jewels that hang upon the limbs
But with the weight of dripping ice my tree begins to bend
The buds were bursting forth to bring the flowers to the tree
But now the ice has captured them,….when will it set them free?
I’m longing for those purple flowers to grace my little friend
But now I fear they won’t appear,…when will this winter end?
We need the moisture that is true, but could it come when it was due?
I guess that I am feeling blue,… because I wanted flowers too
But Spring is there beneath the veil, and God’s good plan it will prevail
In His good time He’ll lift that veil, and send the flowers over hill and dell
The earth will warm, the birds will sing, the bees will buzz, and honey bring
And then my heart will happily sing the song of gladness over Spring
So today, with Winter’s blast, I’ll look for beauty too
Then snow will cease, the ice will melt, and Spring comes into view
The warmer days they will return and Spring will come again
The moisture that this storm has brought will then become my friend
Today I view it as my foe, but my vision isn’t true
The Lord knows what we need and then He gives it to us too.
The seasons as they come and go each bring their special gifts
This final Winter storm is bringing needed moisture with it’s drifts
Why do I fret and worry so when God is in control?
I guess it is because I am a fragile mortal soul
But our Creator knows what’s best, the blessings He will bring
And yes, when Winter shuts it’s door, God opens it to Spring!
Written by: Linda Hogeland

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Love is...

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Celebrating...Six Months...

Finally a dry day...a bit overcast but oh how everything is green and lovely.

After several more days of rain...time for a nice long walk. Looking down at my hand and wondering if I should take the two Golden's together...a second later I have better judgment. Taking them one at a time is the best I can manage at the moment. My hand does not seem to be the weeks drag on I am amazed at the pain that it is still causing me. I know I should not be walking them at all for one pull can further damage it, but they must be walked, especially the pup.
I look over at them....clearly the most wild and hyper dog will be going first....Bailey. At this thought I smile....he is six months old today, gone are the puppy features...he was such an adorable puppy. Not yet full grown....short legged compared to his body.
His behavior....more like Dennis the Menace ;-)

He is so very inquisitive, enthusiastic....and yes....he loves to stir up excitement within his pack....and at this moment in time I am almost certain he believes his name to be No No Bad Dog!
There are moments of such's there...he has learned if he looks at you in such a way it will just melt your heart. if you have ever loved a know the look...head cocked at a slight angle....looking directly up at you...wide eyes, slight, oh so very slight goofy upper lip curl...they have learned with that one look you will pet, hug them, regardless to what your doing at that moment!

Bailey still seeks out the comfort of being near this point in time I am still so enjoying their relationship. Rocky...enjoys Bailey...simple. The other day I was busy, preoccupied....fed bailey lunch and then forgot about him in the crate. Funny how they learn certain things....I no doubt he would have eventually whined to let me know he was forgotten.....but they know they must be quiet to gain not a peep. Rocky on the other hand did all he could to get me to let Bailey out of the crate. The addition of Bailey to the pack has made Rocky such a happy Golden....someone to play with....and someone to annoy....non stop.
He has helped me to raise both good and bad ways ;-)

Funny how they know it is time for a walk....Bailey loves going out...even if you just take him to the mailbox, it's an adventure. I start our walks pretty much the same....with a purpose to burn off a little bit of energy...and a little bit of training. I am so saddened at the timing
with which my hand is bothering me....he is missing out on working around other dogs, people....being socialized....It annoys me to no end to have to admit I just cannot control him with the one hand. Oh....and they do so know when you are weak, both physically and mentally.
This in no way makes him a bad dog, just a normal six months old.

The beginning of our walk was normal....heel, sits, downs....a few stays....walking at a faster pace, then slower pace....once some energy was expelled we start walking the neighborhood, hoping to not encounter any loose dogs, and if so....that they are indeed friendly. I walk with a walking stick, and attached to my hip a can of citronella spray...both of which have been used in the past....I would prefer to not have the need to reach for either.
As we walk I can not help but chuckle for it has been a few days that we have had a good walk and everything....sights, sounds....smells,,,all seemed new to Bailey. Our pace is now slower as we were taking in our surroundings....there is a corner house in our neighborhood and there are multiple dogs always out in the yard, chain link fence. They bark and bark and today I notice Bailey's fur hackle up...give a look in their direction. I pause and make him pay attention to me....look in the direction of the other dogs....if they seemed agitated, or were growling and barking....running along the fence we would continue along our way so that we not cause any trouble within their pack. They were quieting down so I took the moment to work with Bailey....put him in a sit, down....and we then resumed our walk and once again my thoughts were on the fact he was six months old. Since the majority of dogs that have shared their lives with me were rescues....I did not know how old they were....guessing the age....not knowing a birth date. I will celebrate the fact he is six months, acknowledge, pay attention to his behavior for a six month of male Golden....whew so much energy....oh...and the trouble they can get into if your not paying attention....or for that matter acknowledge their age and the puppy development stages. So, at six months the hormones are kicking in....yes....for all those that are going to be concerned over the fact that Bailey is an intact puppy. He will indeed be neutered in time. At six months he is so very easily excited....I must say he does get easily over stimulated and while I would prefer for him to be a tad bit calmer we will work though this stage. It is the enthusiasm at this age that I so adore...and the fact that they are truly sponges soaking up all that goes on in their pack and in their environment. So yes, I will indeed acknowledge the fact he is six months old...we will celebrate with an extra game of fetch, just he and I...then play time with the pack...a pretty great six month old celebration ;-)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sammy has come a calling...

Sammy is back with us fora few days....sporting a new do. I do so love when he is a scruffy pup, however, look it those eyes. Yep...he is one handsome poodle ;-)

Sammy on

A Prayer in Spring...

Yes....A Prayer in Spring... by Robert Frost, one of my favorites. If you have not taken the time to look around at the lovely greenery, new growth here and take the time to do so. If in parts of the country where there is still snow covering the ground...look closely, it's there.

Above is the apple tree that grows out front...oh and the scent just when the blooms are opening is soft, sweet. the bees...soo many drinking in the sweet nectar of the flowers. Sadly...the flowers do not last very long....with all of the rain no doubt they will drop to the ground sooner then usual. Time to stop and smell the flowers ;-)

Just what to do on a rainy day....once it slows down, time to head out for there is new scents every much to explore, sniff and of course if you find a good stick along the way, by all means stop for a chew.


Gone but Never Forgotten

Gone but Never Forgotten
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