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!
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:
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.
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.
(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.)
"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
https://vimeo.com/channels/606579 For more information email email@example.com 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.
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!
It's so hard for me to decide on dogs to feature on the blog. There are so many that need homes and I could do one post a minute and still not get to them all. I have such a soft spot for Oldtimers, so that is where I tend to focus. Besides, most puppies don't have trouble finding new homes. The older dogs need a little extra PR.
Today, in honor of my mom, I've chosen this beautiful redhead, Katie. My mom was a beautiful redhead and her name was Cynthia Kay. She mostly went by Cynthia or Cindy, but she was also known as Kate. Her email address was based on Kate and it was a special name used by special friends and family.
"Katie is a 35 pound, 14-years-young Border Collie/Chow mix. She is in
excellent shape for her age. Her back legs are a little weak so she
needs a little help jumping in and out of a car. Like many older dogs,
she is hard of hearing.
Katie never tires of going on walks, and will pick up her own leash to
remind you that it's time for another. She is eager to meet people,
though a bit cautious at first. She gets along fine with other dogs but
hasn't yet shown interest in playing with them. She has not been around
cats, but would probably do just fine with kitties. She likes squeaky
toys and soft toys and the occasional laundry basket sock.
rides well in a car, and enjoys sniffing out the window. She is house
trained and is fine being left alone at her foster home, where she is
free to wander about. Her foster mom says "She is a very sweet and
gentle dog. She is shy, but seeing her open up over time is very
"Are you coming back for me? You had your "walk" clothes on. Tennis shoes, a hat and you even smelled like a walk...Mama?"
"Sorry, Dingo. Mama went on a bike ride and you can't go on those. But, here are some postcards of my solo trek out in Morgan Hill. As a consolation, I promise to take you on a nice walk today to make up for you being left behind yesterday."
Everywhere you look is beautiful and peaceful and country-like. It's the perfect place for a bike ride to clear your mind and feed your soul.
Vineyards only enhance the landscape.
Plenty of good ole' fashioned open spaces where you can see for miles and take big, deep, cleansing breaths. You could get lost here and enjoy every single minute.