Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Four-Legged Veterens Day

These beautiful and amazing pictures are from an article in The Atlantic, titled The Dogs of War. Please take a minute on this Veterans Day and read the article and the descriptions under the pictures. You'll be glad you did.  

All pictures courtesy of The Atlantic. All are Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Man, His Dog and Their Woodshop

In February of 2000, Carl was injured when he fell on the ice which left him facing surgery to repair his spinal column which collapsed around the spinal cord, leaving him to be an invalid for over a year. This injury was only 1/2cm difference less than that of Christopher Reeve. After cervical spinal plates and screws were applied to his C2, C3 and C4 vertebrae in surgery, Carl went through 5 years of rehabilitation, re-learning to do things all over again. Although he has 100% mobility from his neck up, he currently has only 75% use from his neck down, working every day to become stronger. Carl stated, “My limitations are like wearing oven mitts all the time, or like a kid in a candy store that cannot touch anything because of a plate of glass in front of him.” Carl suffers from pain, stiffness, and lack of ability to completely feel while trying to grip things, often dropping items or inadvertently having items release from his hands.

During his rehab, Carl obtained a Rottweiler Service Dog, from a friend in 2003. Drago, an older “pass-around” dog was already set in his ways, a non-retriever type, but was good for Carl’s depressive mind set. Drago would help him to be stable when getting up from sitting or laying, and staying at his side as his best friend. Carl owned the dog for 5 years before Drago passed on from kidney failure.

One month after Drago’s passing, while out doing household shopping, Carl would watch for bulletin board ads at pet stores for another pup to train into a service dog. He came across a 14 week old Saint Bernard in one ad, but the cost was more than he could afford. At this point Carl was intrigued because of the photo and by the Saint Bernard breed as they are not usually bred or trained for this type of duty. By chance at another store that very same day, Carl lucked out with a family that had posted the same breed of dog but had no time for the 14 week old Saint Bernard pup, and the price was perfect for Carl’s disability budget.

On the way home, the pup stuck his head out of the car window when he heard a bunch of Harley Motorcycles passing by, thus endearing him to the name of Harlee.
Harlee is no ordinary service dog, but a Mobility Service Dog. Carl said, “Having the type of disability I have is awkward, painful and very tiring. I have total nerve damage and only true feeling in 20% of my body. Over time I have learned to grasp things but with the censory and motor  nerves in my hands damaged, it gets awkward. I grip things really hard. I have my shop table built so Ido not have to bend over very low, and rubber work matts on  areas that I work. My service dog Harlee, is a big help, he’s always there to pick up anything I drop. If he can get it in his mouth he picks it up. I won’t let him pick up sharp objects I use a magnet or my pickup tool for that. If I do have to get down on my knees, he is there to help me get on my feet.”

He helps Carl get in and out of his bed, chair, car, and stabilizes him when he needs to get up from a kneeling position or walking up and down stairs to his woodshop.

Harlee wears a special vest with a built-in handle to assist Carl when his spine locks up to get mobile again. Carl trained him from a pup in a non-treat dependent way using the Susquehanna Service Dog Program to learn how to retrieve small things at first. Then graduating to larger things as Harlee grew. Carl not only trained him on what to pick up, but what not to pick up, as in no sharp items or edges allowed.

Now full grown at 4 years old this August 2012, weighing in at 125 lbs, Harlee is quite the woodworking dog in his own right, enabling Carl to do his woodworking.

Harlee picks up and brings woodworking items inspiring Carl every day to have fun in the woodshop.

All Harlee requires in reward is some scratching behind the ears!

Full article available on Woodworking Adventures.  
Text and pictures courtesy of Woodworking Adventures. 

One of the nurses I work with shares with me stories about her dad's woodshop and the things he's made for her. When she needs something, like a frame for a just finished jigsaw puzzle, he just goes out in to his wood shop and makes her one with whatever he has on hand. I've seen a few and they are wonderful. 

 To me, a man having his own working woodshop is incredibly down-to-earth, humble, soul soothing and, yes, romantic. It's grass roots, old fashioned and real. Glad I stumbled upon this article and just wanted to share.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Simple Pleasures

Now this is a good time! Not sure what tickled me more...the dog going crazy in the leaves or the laughing by the man filming it, especially after whatever amount of time it took to rake all of that! Sweet. 

To me, this video is about enjoying the simplest of life's pleasures. Ok, so raking all those leaves is a lot of work, but in a good way. It's take a certain amount of pride to spend hours doing that. It takes a pride in one's home and a pride in hard work. But, then, out of a nowhere, a routine chore turns in to a simple, comedic pleasure and, of course, it's because of a dog. I truly enjoyed hearing the man's laughter as he enjoyed the moment. So glad he decided to share it with the rest of us. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Bo's Game of Hide and Seek

(CNN) -- By Faith Karimi, Man's best friend? Maybe not.

A pooch in Alabama got its owner busted for alleged drug offenses -- all with a gleeful wag of its tail.

Edward Melvin Henderson was arrested in Prattville, Alabama, and faces a variety of charges.
The dog, Bo, was caught up in the incident when police executed a drug search warrant this week at the Prattville home of suspect Edward Melvin Henderson.
Henderson took off and dashed toward a wooded area at the back of his home, the Prattville Police Department said in a statement.
Bo, a mix of a pit bull and husky, ran after Henderson after investigators told the dog to "go get him."
Authorities briefly lost sight of them and were close to giving up. But an excited Bo had found his owner hiding in tall grass, and was wagging his tail. Authorities saw the tail and arrested Henderson.

"Henderson was taken into custody without further incident, thanks to his dog Bo," the statement said. "The search warrant resulted in the recovery of methamphetamine and components from a meth lab."
Henderson was charged with failure to obey police, two counts of unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
As for Bo, he is doing fine after the Tuesday incident.
Relatives are taking care of him and the local animal control has been checking up on him.

 Of course, it's good that the criminal was caught, but I feel bad for Bo.  He thought he was playing a fun game of Hide and Seek with his daddy. Isn't he a beautiful dog? Hope he is being well taken care of.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

OK, so this headband on my head and changing myself to a brunette for the day (I must admit...kinda fun!) is about as Halloween as I get. Halloween is my least favorite day of the year and I'm not sure why. I just don't like it. It's stressful and annoying and too much hype. Halloween also happens to be my best friend, Rachel's birthday, so I always put on a smile for her. But tomorrow? Well, that's another story. November 1, is one of my favorite days of the year because it means October 31 is over! (Sorry, Rach)

 I really don't like this picture because I look like Wynonna the country singer, with big hair and chubby cheeks, but it is the only one we could get with Dingo in it. When I tried to pull him close, he just kept licking my face and my husband didn't have the patience to keep trying. I can't believe Dingo let me put that headband on his head. He was just so unsure of what the heck mama was trying to do! Just trying to have a little fun, boy. 

And here is the belle of the ball! He looks like one of Santa's reindeer, doesn't he? He's so cute. We've had some major health issues with him the last few months, so I'm so thankful for him feeling better and looking so cute for me this evening.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

 She loved lighthouses. 

She loved Santa Cruz.

She loved this saying and used it all the time.
Cynthia Kay Jenkins
November 10, 1953 - October 30, 2006

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Katie, Barn the Door!

by LoNine Designs on Etsy. 
How fun is this? I love my dogs, but I love gates that keep them out of places, even more! Most gates are ugly and cheap and you hide them away when they aren't in use. Not this one! It adds some serious country style to your place. 

Of course, because I'll never have one of my own, the country girl in me is always looking for ways to add a little "barn" in everything. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy October 28th!

Today is my birthday. Happy Birthday to Me! What do I want for my birthday? Well, the truth is this.  I'm the simplest girl in the world. I don't want flowers (unless it something I can plant in the yard) or cake. I don't want a party. I don't want a gift. I don't want cards, balloons, clothes or jewelry. Every single October 28, I only want two things. 1. A clean house. 2. To be in Tahoe. This year I didn't get either, so boo! Of course, there are some good reasons why, like a an under-the-weather 16 year old, but still. Boo!

Not to fret. I'm working on #2 as we speak. In fact to get in the spirit, I've check my beloved daily Tahoe Web Cams (Sunnyside, El Dorado Beach) and spent time searching Tahoe City Real Estate because, yes, a Tahoe real estate purchase will be in my future. Here's one of my favorites from today: Cedar Crest

So what is my substitute birthday? Low-key laziness, a light walk with my oldtimer dogs, a facial (ooh. something girlie!), tomato soup in a bread bowl for lunch, my favorite pizza for dinner and watching the World Series (Go Giants!) with my family. I wanted to go to the movies and to the beach for a sunset, but it's not to be this time because I can't fit everything in! But I believe in birthday weeks and this is, officially, my birthday week, so I have a few more days for the rest of it. :)

Wishing everyone a great day! It's BEAUTIFUL outside where I live.
I spent a little time outside in the back yard with my Buddy

 and my Dingo. Love my dogs!

hbh. I miss you and think of you every day.  i.l.y.always. 
Hope you're somewhere today, with the one you love and that your soul is happy.

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