Sunday, September 28, 2014

Full Moon Rescue

Clayton Knipe rescued Heather Swallow's dog from a high tide pounding surf off Pleasure Point after hearing Heather's screams for help. 
 (Dan Coyro -- Santa Cruz Sentinel)  
PLEASURE POINT -- A full-moon beach walk nearly turned into a tragedy in early September for a Pleasure Point woman's best friend. 

Heather Swallow was walking on the sand below 38th Avenue when the high tide and surf chased her up onto the rocks. Her dog Magnolia, a 3-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, followed her and slipped into the water.
"The waves were crashing, and she disappeared," Swallow said. "She either get swept off the rocks or slid in."
Magnolia was washed into a cove near 38th Avenue. With the water surging up against the cliff the dog was unable to climb to safety. Panicked, Swallow began screaming for help.
"She got stuck in a cove and kept getting hit by wave after wave after wave," Swallow recalled. "I was frantic and I knew she was going to drown."
Fortunately for Swallow and Magnolia, Clayton Knipe heard her cries for help.
Knipe was riding his bike home from a nearby coffee shop, where he had been playing his guitar during an open mic session. As he stopped to look at the waves, the 20-year-old admired the view and heard Swallow screaming. Realizing someone was in danger, he put down his bike and his backpack, and went to investigate.
"I started shuffling down the cliff side, and I fell right in the water," said Knipe, who was fully clothed in jeans, a sweatshirt and his desert boots.

While Knipe was startled by his unexpected dousing, Magnolia knew just what to do. She swam up to Knipe. "She knew she needed help," Knipe recalled, who was able to shove the dog onto a rock ledge. But Knipe discovered he couldn't get himself out of the water. He made his way up to another cove and grabbed onto the rocks. Even then, he had a hard time getting out of the water.
"The waves were bashing like crazy," he said. "I let out a little prayer and managed to pull myself up."

Exhausted from her ordeal, Magnolia could barely move, and Swallow was not able to get the dog off the rocky shelf. Knipe came to the rescue once again, and was able to grab Magnolia's collar and haul her up to safer ground. Swallow was extremely grateful.

"My dog means the world to me," said Swallow, a naturopathic physician who practices in Monterey. "She's a therapy dog and she comes to work with me. She's such an important part of my life."
Knipe, who escaped with just a bruised hand, was humble about the incident when asked about it later. He refused any offers for a reward, other than accepting a cup of hot tea from Swallow, and the use of a towel.

"I don't need a gold medal or anything," Knipe said. "Magnolia is a really sweet dog."
Instead, he told Swallow that he hoped the incident would inspire others to help their neighbors and others in need. And, although it took all three at least three days to recover physically from the incident, Knipe earned something even more valuable than a traditional reward. He came away with two new friends and the satisfaction of knowing he had saved the life of Swallow's best friend. ------ (c)2014 the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) Visit the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services AMX-2014-09-27T20:02:00-04:00

Just wanted to share this story. It could have ended in so many bad ways, but it has a happy ending. Thank goodnss, because who doesn't love that this woman went for a walk on the beach with her dog during a full moon? 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Life is forcing me to take a creative break for a while. See ya when I see ya. 

Peace. Love. Dogs.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014

An Oldtimer's Good Time

Going for a car ride, window down, soaking up the cool night air. Yep, it's my Oldtimer's version of a good time. 

 Wishing everyone a happy Sunday!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Walking in to the Sunset

 They love this time of night, as do I.
They love it because it means "walk" time. 

 I love it because it means sunset time...

 and Lucas time. 

Nothing better than walking in to the sunset with my babies.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bye, Babies

This is the sad scene as we left with packed bags this morning. They know it's not just us going to the store or to work. They know the luggage is a bad thing even if they don't understand what it is that's actually happening. 

Bye, babies. See you soon! Love you. Titi will take good care of you! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

And Then There Are My Two

This bittersweet picture is a snapshot of a working dog's life. This was taken during the search of the World Trade Center rubble in 2001. This dog is taking a much needed break after working with his (or her) partner. The conditions were horrible and the work was dirty, painstaking, emotional and physically exhausting. But still, a cozy place for a nap was found among the ruins.

 And then, there are my two.  I never realized how high maintenance they are until this week. I'm in the process of preparing to go out of town for five days. Part of this preparation  is arranging care for the dogs. It's always a huge stress, but this time, my sister is taking care of them. I had to type out some information/instructions for her, so that she knows what to do. After I typed it up and emailed it to her, I re-read it. Then, I realized that my dogs are a lot of trouble! How did that happen? I'm the most low maintenance person on the planet. How did my dogs get so complicated? Of course, I'm also a Type-A, over thinking, perfectionist, worrier to an extreme that no one else can compare and part of that involves stressing about leaving the dogs at home with someone else to take care of...

Here's an excerpt from my email to my sister:

To Take Care of Dogs
"In general, they get fed once in the morning and once in the evening. Buddy gets enough food to cover the bottom of his bowl (blue) plus a little more. Dingo gets enough to fill his bowl (black).
Because of their age, the most important thing is that they always have access to fresh water. Please make sure their bowl is always full. It’s on the floor, next to the TV stand.
Typically, they need to go outside more than twice a day, but on the days you can only go in the morning and then in the evening, just try to make it so that they don’t get left too long without going outside. If you come at 7 am, then try to be back by 5-7pm, etc. That will be pushing it, but when you come in the evening it’s to feed them, let them out and then put them to bed, so just use your best judgment. I’ll leave some cleaning supplies out, just in case they have an accident.
Here are the most important parts of taking care of them.
They are not allowed upstairs. They have never been up there and they don’t even try.
 The two nights you spend there, you can sleep downstairs on the couch so they are with you or I will make sure Lucas’ bed is ready for you to sleep in.
Always leave the downstairs bathroom fan running with the door open. It helps to muffle noises from outside, which cuts down on their barking, especially to fire engine sirens. If they start howling in the middle of the night, it will scare the crap out of you. Please leave the fan on during the day, as well.
When you put them outside, you have to supervise by standing out there (sorry).  If you don’t Dingo will attack the back fence and the dog on the other side. It’s very stressful and it will freak you out because he turns in to Cujo and will not hear a word of your screaming to call him back in the house. (rock on)
Please make sure there is never anything on the floor that would be harmful for the dogs to eat. Dingo is just like Bubba and is constantly scrounging for crumbs. Chewing gum can kill the dogs, so if you see any, please pick it up.
When you feed them, you have to wait until Buddy is finished before leaving. Otherwise, Dingo will go and steal Buddy’s food. Sorry.
If you are hanging out at our house for a while and feel like they want to hang outside for a change, just hook Dingo’s collar to the “stay home stick” in the yard and make sure to give him a little thing of water near-by and they will be fine for a bit, as long as you are there. If he’s tied up, he can’t attack the fence, but he can soak up some sun.
Buddy is scared to death of the hardwood floors, so he will not go out of or come in through the sliding glass door in the kitchen. You have to use the one in the dining room.

When you are gone, just leave all the blinds closed tightly. It helps keep the house cool and prevents the dogs from losing their mind every time they see a squirrel or the 100 cats in our neighborhood." 
So, when I looked at my instructions to my sister for taking care of my dogs for five days and then look back at the picture of the exhausted dog who worked all day digging through rubble and then laying it's weary body on the only (hard) bed it found, I immediately felt a rush of relief (ok, also embarrassment) in that I could just let it all go, knowing that they will be fine, even if things don't go the way I'm planning or even if they are left alone for while, they will be FINE. If that working dog can do what it does every day and live to see another day, my high maintenance four legged babies will too. 

A big, huge thank you goes out my sister, Jessica for taking on the care of my high maintenance dogs so I can go on my trip knowing that all will be well at home.

I hope...

(shh..just between you and me. I know it's for the best, but let's be honest. I'm a Scorpio and this advice is SO hard to live.)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Souls Deserving a New Ending...

"Polar Bear is a goofy and happy 6-year-old deaf Australian Shepherd who loves people! He's a big guy at 70 pounds, and he has a huge smile for everyone who stops to say hello to him. Polar Bear came to AFRP when his owner passed away and he had no where else to go. He's currently in foster care in Santa Cruz and gets along great with other playful and respectful dogs. He loves to play with balls and toys and enjoys rides in the car. Though he is completely deaf, Polar Bear knows some hand signals and is eager to learn more. Deaf dogs can lead very rich and happy lives!"

 "Zephyr is a silly and smart 2-year-old terrier/schnauzer mix and weighs about 18 pounds. He originally came to AFRP from the Salinas Shelter as a small puppy, and was quickly adopted. Sadly, he recently returned to our care because his family had to move to housing that did not allow dogs. Zephyr knows his basic commands and is house trained. He walks nicely on the leash and enjoys a daily hour-long nature hike. He's a loyal boy who loves to spend time with his people and is good with other dogs, cats and kids. If you are looking for a fun little best friend, Zephyr is your guy!"

 "Got tennis balls? Shadow is a friendly 5-year-old, 80-pound black lab mix who originally came to AFRP from Kern County as a puppy and was quickly adopted. Now that his family can no longer care for him, this wonderful boy is back in our care looking for his forever home. Shadow knows his basic commands and walks nicely on the leash. He gets along with other dogs of all sizes and loves people. (Unknown with cats.) Shadow loves to play fetch and to lay by your feet at the end of the day. He's house trained and is eager to please. Can you give this nice dog the second chance he deserves?"

For more information about meeting or adopting these dogs featured above, please visit AFRP

"Rocco is a 7 year old Retriever/Chow mix, rescued from the South Los Angeles shelter. He is a people-loving sweetheart (including kids!) who equally enjoys cuddling and play. Rocco has been PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED. He will thrive in a home with a buddy or buddies who will welcome him to the pack, and a pet parent who will show him his place in this world and a family identity he has never known. He is currently in boarding in Los Angeles. Check out his training videos at  For more information email or call 310-650-2475."

I really love Rocco. All of these dogs tug at my heart, but some tug just a little bit harder than others. I'm not sure if it's because he reminds me of my Dingo, but Rocco is special. I hope he finds a family of his own that will love him and comfort him and give him the life he deserves. 

Pictures and text above courtesy of AFRP. For reference and informational purposes only. © Copyright protected. All rights reserved. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Life Changing

First of all my current laundry room is the size of a postage stamp and to have more space would be divine. BUT, the real life changer in this picture is this dog washing station. Washing my dogs is such a huge ordeal and to have this convenience would be worth the money required for install. Not to mention, it is a good looking space.

I guess this picture is more about Dingo and it being life changing for him. Although, I don't really like the colors or types of materials in the room in this picture, I love the area for a dog bed under the counter and next to the work space. My husband works from home and, if we had this set up, Dingo would be so happy and would be right there next to his daddy all day long.

We have crates just like this, although bigger. The problem with crates is that they are ugly and cumbersome and it's easier to just put the dogs in another room when you need them out of the way for a bit. But, having something like this would be so wonderful because it's neat and clean and functional, as well as allowing the dogs to still be in the same room. 

 Ok, so yes, this area is hospital bland, but there is nothing in the world that could change my life more than my garage actually being this neat and clean and organized. So, maybe that's an exaggeration, but I've have always dreamed of a garage that is like another room in the house and to this day, I've yet to see it. It's such a battle to get it this way and, in my house, I'm outnumbered and the garage is always like a storage unit. Boo! I do like the space for the crates in here, as if my garage looked like this, I wouldn't feel so guilty putting the dogs in there, especially during the times it would bring me peace, like when my mother in law is over. She isn't their biggest fan. Boo again!

This one represents a life changing room for Buddy. I don't like the dogs in the kitchen, but if this was my space, I would make an exception, so that my Bud Bud could sit right there in that window and be a happy boy. Of course, he is petrified of the hardwood floors, so I'd probably have to pick him up and put him in the window seat. :)

Nothing really life changing here. I just love that dog!

 and now I will share these life changing words...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Big, Handsome Bear Rug

His name is Dingo and I love him all the time. But, I especially love him on days like today when he's doing nothing but being my big, handsome bear rug. 

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