Friday, December 26, 2014

Bittersweet Time...


Like all of us in my house, Buddy is sad and missing his big brother Dingo. It's so weird to think that, somehow, he knows what happened. I'm spoiling him as much as I can and hope that is helping. He will not leave my side when I am home and I think he keeps looking for Dingo, which is really hard for me to watch. It's still so new and overwhelming for me, but giving Buddy extra love and attention helps a bit. I had to walk out of church on Christmas Eve because the music and singing were just too painful, especially when they started singing Silent Night. That song is so beautifully sad on a good day and to hear it right now was too much for my broken heart. My boys are being strong, but I know how heartbroken my oldest son, Dominic, is. He doesn't show emotion too much and this was very hard for him, which made it all the more painful for me. When my youngest son Lucas saw me crying so much, he said "Mom, don't be sad for Dingo. He's with God", it was just about the sweetest thing for him to say and I realized that is how he is coping. It makes him feel better to think Dingo is in a better place. 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all that jazz...



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Goodbye, My Dingo



He was fine. Then he wasn’t. Then he died. In a matter of hours, my life changed forever and I lost my beloved Dingo. He was my walking partner, my guard dog and my muse and my friend.
I know he was 11 and had a great long life, but I wasn’t ready for him to leave me yet.  I didn’t even know my heart was capable of being so utterly devastated.
I love him and will miss him every single day for the rest of my life. I really have no words to express my grief, so I will probably just be silent for a good long while.
Rest easy, boy. Mama loves you very much. Thanks for being the best protector a girl could ever ask for.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Not Fair, Mama!

Yes, that is Mama's chicken in the background. I had not seen her in months and then she showed up, so I decided to have a little fun. Dingo absolutely loves that chicken. He's never been able to do anything other than sniff it, but he wants to eat and destroy it so bad, that every time I press the squeaker, he's at full attention and licks his lips, every single, squeak. Every one!

The room that Mama's Chicken is in is a room in which the dogs are not allowed. I have such a busy life, that I have to have some restrictions and that is a restricted room. They know that there is an invisible line and Mama's Chicken is just on the other side of it. I placed her on top of some of my decorating books and left her there. I wanted to see what he would do. Oh, I guarantee you that he wanted to go over and take her, but he just sat there, pretending not to notice that she was there. I'm sure he was just waiting for me to leave so he could cross the line. Of course, I didn't leave her there, because, knowing me, I would forget and come back to her flat as a pancake and stuffing all around. That would make me sad!

It was fun to tease my Oldtimer a little bit. We still find ways to have a good time and it's these little moments that soothe the soul and this time I actually laughed...out loud, so that is always a good thing.



Sunday, November 30, 2014

When Will I See You Again?

Picture above © Copyright Jonah N. Kessel.

I love this beautiful photograph by Jonah N. Kessel. It was taken around the Lake Tahoe area, obviously not any time in recent memory, given the amount of snow on the ground. Please visit the site so you can see the photo in full resolution. It's amazing. 

For some reason, I've got major snow on my mind. I keep wondering when I will see it again. Every storm that comes through pushes me to check my Tahoe online webcams, with nothing very exciting to report. To be honest, I'm not much of a snow bunny. I don't ski. I don't snowboard. What I do the best is sit by the fire all day long, enjoying the silence in the house, as everyone else is outside working up a sweat and flying through the sky with their boards and such. I enjoy the snow, for more of the beauty it brings and I'd rather be home cooking for everyone, so that when they return, I can take care of them that way and hear all about their adventures in the great outdoors.

Speaking of snow adventures, last night, Lucas and I watched the most amazing movie on Netflix. It is titled the Art of Flight. It was random that we chose it to watch, but it when I saw the preview snapshot, it just pulled me in. It can get a little repetitive and these are extreme snow boarders in crazy terrain and circumstances, but the result is a fabulous escape for the virtual snow bunny in me. The cinematography is insanely good and I can see why it took them over 2 years to complete this film.
 
I have a friend who is an expert skier and has been hitting the slopes his whole life. He's been a ski instructor for years and was trying to become a part of the ski patrol at Bear Valley in California. He has only been and will only ever be a skier. His comments about snowboarders, I could never repeat here. But, when I watched this movie last night, I couldn't help but get caught up in the beauty of the scenery, the beauty of the lifestyle and the beauty of how some people just live their life doing what they love...free..bold...unapologetic.
 
Sorry, Tom. :)
 
Here's the trailer, if you're interested. 



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's That Time of Year


This was me last week. 


I'm hoping this is me, this week. 

Sickness, sickness go away. Come again some other day...or not...ever...again. 

Thanks for listening. 



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.



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