Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dogs Having Some Snowy Day Fun

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

If you think that cats don't stick together, you're wrong!

Joey was my Grandmother's cat, who came to live with us around the age of one; he's now eight years old and 20 lbs. He took about a week to feel comfortable enough to let us near him; several months to come out where the dogs were.

Mathilda was found hiding in our shed at only seven weeks old; she is now one and a half years old and less than 10 lbs. Although she still runs from my husband and I, it's still possible to pat her on the head, play string, and give out treats at close range.

Best Friends

Here's Mel, about half the size of Joey, but thinks he needs to Cercei's deputy. All three of the dogs have seen and smelled Mathilda, but since she HATES them (translate -- scared to death), I really try to keep the peace in my animal kingdom by giving them all their own spaces.

Me'ls All Smiles

Mathilda and Joey are best friends. He allows Mathilda to lay on him, "nurse" him (yes, he's a boy), and pretty much do as she pleases. I never realized just how much of a mothering role Joey played until today...

Before I left for work, I went scoop all the litter boxes. Apparently, Mathilda didn't like all the noise I was making and decided to jump the dog blockade, past the dogs, and into a bedroom to hide on the side of the bed. Because she's running, Cercei and Mel can't help but run after her; that's when the calamity began.

So here's Mathilda, backed up against the wall, feeling trapped, and hissing her head off. Cercei's in the background, barking. Mel doesn't heed the warning signals that Mathilda is giving off; meanwhile, Joey has run into the room, jumped on top of the bed, and is now hissing his head off.

Only seconds have passed; I'm trying to shoo the dogs out of the room, and step in between Mathilda and Mel. Just as I pick Mel up off of the floor, Joey jumps in front of Mathilda and then leaps up into the air and bites the crap out of my leg, through my jeans, leaving two puncture wounds.

So there you have it, cat's do stick together!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thing 1 & Thing 2

Mel and Cercei won 1st place in the Halloween costume contest at their Vet's office. Yay!

Monday, August 15, 2011

How could you?

Too Sad To Move by reneetellezphotography
 Too Sad To Move, a photo by reneetellezphotography on Flickr.

A man in Grand Rapids, Michigan incredibly took out a $7000 full page ad in the paper to present the following essay to the people of his community. 

HOW COULD YOU? When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" -- but then you'd relent and roll me over for a belly rub. My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect.We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs" you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day. 

 Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.

She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" - - still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love." As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch -- because your touch was now so infrequent -- and I would've defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.

There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog ," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf. Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets.You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family. I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her."They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life.

You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too. After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked, "How could you?" They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind --that this was all a bad dream... or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited. I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room.

A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured, "How could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dog speak, she said, "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself -- a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not directed at her. It was directed at you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of you. I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty. 

A Note from the Author: If "How Could You?" brought tears to your eyes as you read it, as it did to mine as I wrote it, it is because it is the composite story of the millions of formerly "owned" pets who die each year in American & Canadian animal shelters. Please use this to help educate, on your websites, in newsletters, on animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards. Tell the public that the decision to add a pet to the family is an important one for life, that animals deserve our love and sensible care, that finding another appropriate home for your animal is your responsibility and any local humane society or animal welfare league can offer you good advice, and that all life is precious. Please do your part to stop the killing, and encourage all spay & neuter campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals. Please pass this on to everyone, not to hurt them or make them sad, but it could save maybe, even one, unwanted pet. Remember...They love UNCONDITIONALLY. Now that the tears are rolling down your face, pass it on! Send to everyone in your address book and around the world! This IS the reality of dogs given up to shelters! By Jim Willis, 2001

Monday, July 25, 2011

When dogs are afraid of storms, what can you do?

Mel wears his new Thundershirt by reneetellezphotography
Two out of my three dogs are terrified of storms and fireworks; so much so that they pace furiously, shake uncontrollably, and search for the place they feel safest (like wedged between the couch and end-table or sitting on my head).

Instead of each passing year getting better and desensitized, their stress level had reached sad proportions. No amount of comfort or treats made them feel at ease, so I thought, "What can I do?"

Thanks to many searches on the web, Twitter, and Facebook, I finally found something that made a difference -- RESOURCES Canine Anti-Anxiety & Calming Formula tablets, which contain Melatonin, and this new piece of clothing called the Thundershirt®.

What's a Thundershirt®, you ask? According to the company's website,, "with its patent-pending design, Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited."

At first I wasn't convinced, but after reading tons of positive reviews, and a little insight from my pal on Twitter, @fearfuldogs, I figured that I didn't have much to lose at this point.

We've had three loud storms since the shirts arrived, and I'm happy to report that both dogs seem more relaxed and are content to lay down and take a nap; it's almost as if they hadn't even noticed the thunder. 

Now, if I could just get all three of them to calm down when ANYONE comes to my house!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gertie™ Gear Pet Beds are Grrrrrrreat!

Cercei loves her new Gertie™ Gear bed!

Michigan Made Gertie™ Gear Pet Beds: Available online at

Read more about Gertie™ Gear and the namesake on