Stella and KC Host a Pittie Party

Stella and KC had themselves a pittie party this weekend, inviting a few of their closest pit bull friends over for a Memorial Day swim.

Most had attended doggie daycare – so we knew everyone was dog friendly – but just like with kids, the introductions were slightly awkward.  Once they met (sniffed each other’s butts), got over their shyness (ran away), and established ranks and set boundaries (growled), everyone relaxed and had fun.

KC only showed her true (mean girl) side once…when claiming her outside couch-throne.  A few minutes inside for a time out, though, and she got the message.

Nancy and her recent foster fail, Big Kahuna (with a name like that, you know he’s from Stray Rescue) get used to the water

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And he’s off!

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Tot, rescued by Stray Rescue with her brother Tater and adopted by my friend Nicole, brought her own pool to the party.

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With help from her mom, Tot tries out the big girl pool

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Despite prodding from his mom Kelly, Zeus wants noooo part of that wet stuff

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Big Kahuna and Chomper became fast friends

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Chomper and Tot in a neck and neck race

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Cockapoo KC has no problem partying with the pitties.  Here she passes by Niki, who chooses not to follow the crowd.

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Nicole, Tot and KC enjoying the sunshine

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Totter Tot

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Zeus – biggest momma’s boy love bug ever

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Nancy and her handsome boy BK

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Nicole rethinks her snack time idea. Actually, they were all very well-behaved 🙂 To her right (besides me laughing my head off) is Mia, a pugador (pug-labrador), whose dad Brad works with me at the Watering Bowl.

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Tot getting a leg up on Chomper to get to the cheese

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Mesmerized by the cheese, Zeus tries to will it into his mouth

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Stella, almost 11, made an appearance until nap time; then we never saw her again.

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We had one minor mishap. Tot, whose legs are as short as a Basset Hound’s, took a flying leap from the 4-foot wall to the pool deck and landed on her chin. We don’t know how she didn’t break a leg or her jaw.

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Our hope for the day was to hang out with friends and watch the pups run around and wear themselves out.

Based on the pictures sent to me later…

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…I’d say the party was a success.

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Woodchoppers’ Ball 2013

Ever heard of a Woodchoppers’ Ball? Neither had we. But sounding like something that should be on a Bucket List, it had to be checked out (and off).
How does one travel to a Woodchoppers’ Ball?
On a 4-wheeler, of course!
Our friend Donna won Best All-Around pie for her lemon meringue! 
A band entertained the crowd.* 
So did the free moonshine samples.
A random cute baby smiled for my camera, and I used my friend’s horse for a photo op of my own.
*”Woodchopper’s Ball, also known as “At the Woodchopper’s Ball” is a 1939 jazz composition by Joe Bishop and Woody Herman.  The up-tempo blues tune was the Woody Herman Orchestra’s biggest hit, as well as the most popular composition of either composer, selling a million records. (Betcha didn’t know that.)

A little boy mesmerized by the huge bonfire.
What is a Woodchoppers’ Ball without chopped wood?
And what is a food buffet without a long line?
A tug o’ war between Ellisville and Wildwood town folk.
A man put his horse before the cart. Good thing.
Kiddie potato sack races.
Our friends Jeff and Katie celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary.
 I was obsessed with the baby donkey and his little girl.

Jeff and Katie ready to ride on home. Yee-haw!
Someone started this event on their property years ago with 20 people, and this year there were about 300. 
From left: Me, Larry, Jane, Paul, Jeff, Katie, Donna, Mark

New for them this year was chicken shit bingo, which is just what it sounds like: everyone standing around waiting for chickens to poop on their number…what else?
Donna showing off her her prize-winning pie ribbon. (And that goes for your horse, too.)
They had the coolest catapult thingy for the kids.
The baby donkey lost his little girl for a minute. (I really, really want a baby donkey.)
Cute tractors. (Can tractors be cute?)

“Fried, baked, thighs, wings…I’m really not picky.”

Attend a Woodchoppers’ Ball….

Our Month in Pictures – October

You know it’s a slow month when I post pictures of myself with friends at a hookah bar. But it was such a fun experience. Have you ever been? My friend Katie is the best at making people do things outside their comfort zone. So when Katie, Jan and I had lunch at a Middle Eastern restaurant called Ranoush, we ordered things like shish tawuk, chicken shawarma, and baba ganoush. Then Katie insisted we try a hookah. I thought she was nuts, but all of a sudden the waiter was telling us the flavors and bringing the hookah to our table. We were cracking up.
“Is this even legal?”
“We’re not really doing this, are we?”
“Take a picture of us!”
By the way, it’s molasses, fruit flavoring (we picked watermelon and bubble gum) and a little tobacco. It’s actually pretty good. It’s like having dessert without the calories, since it leaves a fruity flavor in your mouth.

We ended up having the best time…eating great food, laughing, and trying something new. We even did a little shopping afterwards. Who would have thought lunch could be so fun. Thanks Katie! Crossed off “Experience a Hookah Bar” from my Bucket List.
My niece’s (Larry’s sister’s daughter) teacup micro Maltipoo, Phoebe, came over for a visit. Stella absolutely adored her and was sad when she left.

KC, who wanted to eat Phoebe at first but eventually tolerated her for the hour she was here, had surgery last week to remove the mass on her back. It was about the size of a silver dollar, but to get clean borders, they made the incision big.
Biopsy results:  Grade 2 mast cell tumor
Translation:  On a scale of one to three – one as benign and three as malignant – KC’s tumor is a two, and it’s actually a low grade two so it’s closer to a one. This means she’s likely to get more masses, so we’ll keep a close eye on her and remove any new ones right away. If it was a grade three they would send her to an oncologist. If it was a one it would be totally benign and they wouldn’t worry at all. Her stitches come out on Wednesday, and otherwise she’s doing great.
I wanted to share this picture I took of Stray Rescue pup Nelson Hull. He is just the sweetest!  Apparently Brett Hull found him somewhere and brought him to the shelter, so they named the dog after him. Nelson Hull must have been adopted already, because I can’t find him on the website. I knew he wouldn’t be there long.

My last enrichment dog, Phycox, is still available.

He’s so sweet. I’m going to take a break in November. I can’t stand having so many of my enrichment dogs still at the shelter. Madame Butterfly, one of my dogs from last year, is still there. So are Kiddo and Phycox.

And my dog for this month is Barry White…

Even though most of my former enrichment dogs are assigned new enrichment buddies, most people work full time and aren’t able to see them as often as I did. Plus, I’ve made a connection with the dogs and feel I should visit them. That’s four dogs worth of guilt right there!
So next month I’m not going to get a new dog; I’m going to focus on the ones I already have and just hope they get adopted. Soon.
Eric…remember him?
He had 16 points and 10 rebounds in his scrimmage yesterday in Tampa, FL. Larry and I are going to see him play in Ocala on November 13, and then he’ll be home for Thanksgiving. 
He’s doing well in school and has made friends. He likes his basketball teammates, but he’s become good friends with guys on the baseball team and with girls on the volleyball and softball teams.
Yep, that’s Eric in a shopping cart. 
I don’t ask questions.

Defending NJCAA National Champion CF Men’s Hoops 2013-2014 schedule set

The defending NJCAA National Champion College of Central Florida men’s basketball team had its 2013-2014 schedule announced recently.
The Patriots will kick off their regular season home slate with a game against Pasco-Hernando on November 2.
CF’s non-conference home schedule also includes games against State College of Florida-Manatee (November 5 and December 14), St. Petersburg (November 13), South Georgia College (November 16), Hillsborough (December 4), Pensacola (December 13), Palm Beach State (December 15) and Polk State (January 11).
From there, the Patriots kick off conference home slate on January 22 against Daytona State.
CF will have a pair of conference home games against FSC-Jacksonville and will face DSC and rival Santa Fe one time apiece at Patriot Gym.
The Patriots have five home games against teams that made the state tournament last season, with two of those matchups coming against Manatee.
CF rallied from a 23-point deficit to knock off SCOF 105-103 in Ocala last year, before rolling to a win over the Manatees in the opening round of the state tournament.
SCOF, along with another state tournament team from a year ago, Palm Beach State, will be CF’s foes during the Florida Colleges Men’s Basketball Shootout.
Meanwhile, the last team to knock off CF at home back in 2011, Pensacola, returns to Ocala for a game this season, as does Polk, a state tournament squad from a year ago.
As far as road games, CF will make out-of-state trips to South Carolina and New York for games this season.
The Patriots will face USC-Salkehatchie, a national tournament team from a year ago during their trip to the Magnolia State and will also embark on a trip to the Big Apple for the second consecutive year.
I’m going to make a separate post for this later because I have a ton of pictures, but today I crossed off “Attend a Woodchopper’s Ball” from my Bucket List. 
Let’s just say it involved tractors, chicken shit bingo, baby donkeys, pie contests, and moonshine samples.
Only in Missouri.

And I can’t go without posting a picture of baby Will, who’ll be 7 months on Halloween.

Scrumptious.

"Leave It" Challenge and My Crazy Dog Friends

My Stray Rescue friends and I have a Facebook page with about 90 members where we share pictures, exchange advice and sometimes vent. The posts range from funny to downright bizarre (think dog poop). We get together for Happy Hour once a month with a turn out of 20-30 people. Several members are seriously involved in rescue, so just about every day someone on our page is saving a dog from death who is about to be euthanized due to lack of space in a shelter or rescuing a dog tied to a tree in a backyard without food, water or shelter. We all pitch in by contributing money, offering to transport, foster, or knock on someone’s door with an offer to pay for a neglected dog, with some made up story about a dog once loved who looks just like theirs.  We’ve driven around searching for each other’s lost dogs and cross posted for dogs found. We’ve done it all. I LOVE our group. 
I also love the Star Thrower story, which epitomizes what we do and the fact that we can’t save them all (See bold type):

Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1907-1977)
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.”

Besides saving dogs, we also have a TON of fun on our page.  Here’s an example:  
One member posted a picture of her foster dog performing the “leave it” command with his absolute favorite treat in the whole world….
Pizza!  
Huber – Pizza Leave It
Next thing you know, everyone started posting their dogs…
Scarlett – Lion’s Choice Hamburger Leave It

Banker – Popcorn Leave It

Hannah – Cheese Leave It

Canada – Cheeto Leave It

This is my favorite!!! Ellie – Double Paw Hot dog Leave It

Aries – Milkbone Leave It

Gamble – Turkey Leave It
Huber (again) – Cheeseburger Leave It
Wojo – Cheeseburger Leave It

Murphy – Marshmallow Leave It
Stella – PBJ sandwich crust Leave It
Vinnie – Double Paw Meatloaf Leave It
Sydney – Pretzel Leave It
Even Combo participated…

Combo – Beefy Treat Leave It
 And then it started getting a little ridiculous….
Lisa – Carb Leave It

Etta – Milkbone Leave It with a little help from Photoshop

(Apparently Etta hasn’t quite mastered “leave it,” but her dad didn’t want her to feel left out)

There you have it…my crazy dog friends.

Honey, Look What I Found at the Gas Station!

How did you meet your friends?  Did you meet in the usual places…work, school, or neighborhood?  Or maybe through other friends or through your kids?  I’ve met many of my friends in those typical ways.

But I’ve also met friends in unusual places.

I met Danielle in a bar.  I know it’s not unusual to meet members of the opposite sex in a bar.  But how often do women meet women friends in bars?

My brother Gary was in St. Louis for a visit and we went to a club one night.  Danielle was on the stage participating in a contest (it had nothing to do with a t-shirt or water).  Gary said, “I want to meet her.”  I waltzed right up and said, “My brother wants to meet you.” They ended up going out the next night.  Long story short – Gary went back to L.A. and Danielle and I became friends.

I met Brian in a bar.  During our conversation he told me he was a Big Brother through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.  Eric was 7 years old at the time.  Long story short – Brian ended up becoming Eric’s “Big Brother” and is now considered family.  Here we are at Brian’s wedding last year.  (l to r:  Eric, Marlys, Brian, Me, Larry)
I met Renee at a Blues hockey game.  She and her mom had season tickets, and because my stepdad was the coach at the time, so did we.  We hung out together all the time. Here she is with her mom visiting me when I had Eric.
I met Jacki at the hospital while having an ultrasound.  I was overdue with Eric and the doctor wanted to make sure everything was okay.  Jacki had fallen down while pregnant with Morgan and was getting checked out. We were lying on tables, side by side.  I could tell by the conversation with her mother that Jacki, like me, was a single mom.  I asked if she wanted to exchange phone numbers, and we did.  She had Morgan the next day and I had Eric 5 days later.  We’re still friends 16 years later, and in fact went out together a few days ago.  We both have very big boys.  Morgan is 6’5″ and hopes to play college baseball.  Eric is 6’9″ and would love to play college basketball. I think those ultrasounds were radiating steroids.

My mom tends to meet friends in airports and on airplanes.  Here she is holding Eric on his first airplane ride at 8 weeks with her seatmate she just met. 

My dad also met a friend on an airplane years ago.  I don’t have a picture, but they exchanged phone numbers and emails and are very good friends to this day.

I met a friend on an airplane once. She sat next to me.  Because I was going to miss my connection and have to sleep in the airport overnight, Claire invited me to stay with her in Dallas and offered to take me to the airport the next morning.  I didn’t have any luggage, i.e. nightgown, so she let me wear one of hers.  We didn’t keep in touch, but she was a very good friend for a day!  I even wrote a letter to Ann Landers about her that was published during her “Acts of Kindness” week.

Larry meets friends at gas stations.  I kid you not.  He’s brought several people home from the gas station.  He says something about their car or they say something about his car, and that leads to him talking about his other cars.  Next thing you know they’re following him home to see his garage. 

Another not-surprising-if-you-know-Larry-but-still-unusual way he meets people is while racing them on highways.  He pulls up next to someone with a nice/fast car and gives them that wanna race? look.  That’s how he met his friend Frank almost 20 years ago.  I’m not sure who won, but they pulled over, exchanged phone numbers, introduced the wives and kids, went on trips…

I took this picture last month.  We stopped for gas while on a motorcycle ride, and Larry chatted it up with a new friend.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Lynne, come over and check out this engine.”  Business cards were exchanged.

I guess it’s not suprising then that Larry and I met on a blind date.

What’s the most unusual way you’ve met a friend?