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


And he’s off!


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


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


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


Big Kahuna and Chomper became fast friends


Chomper and Tot in a neck and neck race


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


Nicole, Tot and KC enjoying the sunshine


Totter Tot


Zeus – biggest momma’s boy love bug ever


Nancy and her handsome boy BK


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


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


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


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.


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.

Outside Dog Goes to the Vet

I visited our friend a few days ago. He was as lovable…


and playful as ever
He’s two years old and has never been to a vet. We asked his family a while back if we could take him. They said okay. We made an appointment, but when the time came we weren’t sure if they’d actually let us. Would you let some strangers take your dog and hope they brought him back? But we should have known they would. Anyone who keeps their dog in the yard day in and day out obviously doesn’t care about him.

His appointment was yesterday. Two of us went because we weren’t sure how he’d react to the car ride.  We knocked on the door and asked if we could take him to the vet. The girl who answered said she’d ask her brother since it’s his dog. She left, came back a few seconds later and said okay.  Getting him in the SUV was quite a feat. He wouldn’t jump in.  I was scared to pick him up, thinking he’d bite out of fear. Sandy lured him with salami through the other door, I picked up his rear end, and in he went.

But he was terrified. 

We planned to take him to a self-service dog wash for a bath before his appointment. But the car ride changed our minds. It was obvious he’d never been in a car. His eyes got HUGE. He huddled in the corner and panted like crazy.  We decided a bath and vet appointment would be too much for one day, so we went to the park instead. Watching him there was like seeing a hearing-impaired child get cochlear implants and hear his mother’s voice for the first time.  It was like he had a big thought bubble over his head…”So THIS is what I’ve been missing!”” He was so excited, barking at the ducks and trying to get in the lake for a swim.  Can you imagine? He’s about 2 years old and all he’s seen is his backyard.

He really wanted to get in

We got in the car again (he jumped in on his own this time) and drove to the vet’s office.  We had some time, so we all sat on the grass. He loved having all of his favorite ladies doting on him.

Gah!! His smile, I love it.

When he walked into the office he was afraid of the tile floor. He flattened his body to the ground and army crawled. He trusted us so much, though, that he went wherever we led him. 

Sandy and I didn’t want to go in the treatment room because we didn’t want him to associate us with shots and what-not. Instead, (lucky us) we got to witness a girl — who 20 minutes earlier we’d seen carrying a dog into the office, with his little head poking out of a blanket and very much alive — rush from a treatment room sobbing hysterically. Without her dog. I couldn’t bear that she didn’t have anyone to hold her after obviously having her dog put to sleep. I wanted to hug her, but she rushed out the door and into her car, where we could see her crying for 10 minutes before she finally drove off. And of course by then I was crying. Oh my gosh, I could NOT work in a vet’s office if I had to see that every day.  
“Well, hello there handsome!”

Sandy and I listened through the door, smiling like proud parents when Donna and the vet repeatedly said, “GOOD BOY!!!” every time he tolerated a shot or blood draw or poke in the rear. He did sooooo well… 

…even when held down by two people for a nail trim!

When the worst of it was over, Sandy and I came in to check on our boy.

The good news? Heartworm negative. Fecal testnegative. Ears looked dirty but otherwise normal. He does have fleas, so we got flea meds and heartworm preventative. 

This is the cutest picture of him. He was in love with the vet.

We stopped to say hi to the kitties to see how he’d react. One kitten hissed at him (still hissing in this picture) and he jumped back. He’s a big baby. I think he’d be cat friendly.

“Will you be my friend?”

He was so proud when we left. I swear he trotted out of there, like, “Oh yeah, piece of cake.” 

The car ride was still a little iffy.  He lost his balance during turns and didn’t like that.  It was awful taking him back after being with him for a few hours and seeing more of his cute personality. We put him in the yard, and he tried so hard to get back out the gate to go with us. We filled his water bowl and kissed him goodbye. “We’ll be back, we promise.” 

Next step? Neuter. Not sure how we’re going to pull this off…

Kleenex Mandatory


Can you imagine volunteering to do this?  This story was written by Penny Elms, a writer for the National Examiner.

Manhattan, NY – Tails Magazine recently published a story about a truly phenomenal group of individuals in New York – volunteers with the Compassion Program.
The program, which started four years ago, is designed to give dogs that are scheduled for euthanasia, one final, special moment with a loving person.

The night before dogs are to be killed, volunteers are presented with a list of names or ID numbers – those on the list will be gone by the same time 24 hours later….

In this program, the volunteer spends some special, one on one time with the dog slated to be killed – walking, snuggling, playing, or enjoying a treat.

The program is currently in place at the Manhattan Animal Care and Control Center in New York – the hope is to expand to other shelters throughout the state.

Those involved with the program participate in this heart-wrenching act of love because they see the need – and they feel that they are making a direct impact on the dogs – providing those about to die with one last beautiful act of love and compassion.

** I was going to write more – but I simply can’t. I have never heard of a program like this and the entire concept has completely brought me to tears.

The volunteers that are a part of this program are made of much stronger stuff than I am – I can barely write about their courageous act of compassion – I cannot fathom how they go in and spend time bonding with these dogs – knowing that the dogs will be dead in the morning.

Holding them – talking to them – bonding with them – and then having to walk away……

(Don’t say I didn’t warn you)

Lean to the Left…

Wanted to share pictures from our hike on Sunday.  I took Capote, a 10-month-old Stray Rescue pup who I just LOVE.

        “Lean to the left, lean to the right, stand up, sit down, fight fight fight!” 

“Uh, guys…you’re going the wrong way.”

Capote was having the best time until THIS thing – evil Opal, the Stray Rescue dog who will never get adopted – attacked him.  She grabbed on to his snout like a shark and would not let go.  Poor Capote had a deep puncture wound and had to be put on antibiotics when we got back 😦
Except for the Opal attack, we had a blast.  Capote was asleep before we even left the trail parking lot.  So cute.

I hope he gets adopted.  He’s the best dog.  Friendly with all dogs, great with people and kids. I wonder who I’m going to take on the next hike?  I love that these pups get out of the shelter for the day, and it’s great exercise for me.  I think we hiked about six miles.

Cute pic of my niece and nephew – Mark and Maysie

My dad’s testimony was featured on  I learned more about his life from reading this than I ever knew before.  Very cool.  You gotta read it 🙂
Eric’s team plays in the Regionals tomorrow night.  We’ve made hotel reservations for the State finals, in Columbia, Missouri, which is March 11th.  Wish us luck!
And I had to laugh when I cleaned out my purse today and found the Valentine’s cards Larry and I got each other.  Can you guess who’s is who’s?

Bruce Weber, Playoff Basketball, Best Friend Buddy, and Beast-Like Weather Be Gone!

Eric’s team is in the playoffs (Districts). Last night after the game, Bruce Weber, the Illinois coach, was standing outside the locker room. I think E was a bit star struck 🙂 He shook his hand and said “Hi Coach.” Weber, who was there to watch Nolan Berry, said, “Good game.” DeSmet won 61-41 and play for the District title on Saturday. Eric only got to play for a minute or two at the end.

I meant to share this pic of him where he had his first dunk in a game. A photographer took it and posted it on his website.

My brother Gary has a new friend; he’s furry and has four legs…the best kind. Named “Keeper” by Canine Companions for Independence, Gary now calls him Buddy. What a sweet and gentle doll baby. He was *this close* to graduating from the program, so he knows how to turn lights off and on, open doors, pick things up off the floor, and I heard he even gets beers out of the fridge. That may be a rumor. Or maybe he’s working on it.

Welcome to the family, Buddy. 

Emma and Buddy

Gary and Buddy

You can tell he’s sweet by looking at his eyes

The boys taking a stroll

My obsession with passion for Stray Rescue is as strong as ever. They offered me a job working five days a week, but I’d like to keep it fun…and voluntary. Know what I mean? As tempted as I was to accept since I’m there so often anyway, my friend Katie has been my voice of reason. Besides, how much would they pay to pick up poop? Minimum wage, I’m sure. 

Cleaning poopy cages and still smiling.  Go figure.

Katie and Cling

This Sunday, a group of us from Stray Rescue are going on a hike. We’ll each take a dog from the shelter to a state park trail where the dogs can be “free” for the day. They’ve been doing these hikes for a couple months, but it’s my first time joining them. We can request our favorite shelter dog, but because not all of them are dog-friendly, specific requests aren’t always granted. I’ll be happy with whoever I take, though. 

This winter has been an absolute BEAST. Helping at Stray Rescue has been a huge distraction and blessing because normally about this time of year I’m ready to pull my hair out. I despise cold weather. It makes me whine. A lot. My husband thinks it’s funny in October to torture me by saying, “It’s almost winter!” Apparently Ryan thought he’d play his brotherly part, as well, by sending me this after we’d had snow on the ground for three straight weeks:


Tonight the L.A. Kings are honoring my stepfather, a player and coach for them in the ’70s. Wish I could be there. Here’s an interview the Kings did with him.

Facebook Funny:

Please read!!!

If you are an owner of a dog that belongs to a ‘dangerous breed’ category and you also have a child or a visiting small child please take this as a warning.

Don’t leave your dog with a small child unattended under any circumstances!!!

Only one little moment was enough for the following to happen…

That’s it for now.  Love you guys!