We are joining Comedy Plus with much thanks for hosting Awww Mondays and hoping even snakes qualify as awws, BOL.
Xena: So Lucy, remember that snake I barked at in our dog lot last summer? Or maybe it was two summers ago. I’ve lost track of time since we’ve all been home together for over a year. But do you remember?
Lucy: Sorta. You stood there barking until Mom took a look and told you to leave it alone. Are you trying to say the snake we all saw last night – and that brother Andrew saw over the weekend – is the same one that you saw one or two summers ago?
Xena: I think so. It’s grown, too! And it held perfectly still just like when I barked at it in the dog lot. I think Andrew eggzagerated when he showed us how big around it was!
Daddy was quick and got a picture. Him and Mommy got up pretty close to it for a good look-see and declared it safe, just like Mommy used to do when her boys were little. Andrew stayed down in the driveway. Mommy says him and his big brother Adam used to play with snakes when they were kids. They would bring them in the house and play with them on the kitchen counter until it was time for their dad – not our dad, they had a different dad back then – to come home from work. He was scared of snakes, so they had to take the snakes back to where they found them and let them go. Nothing ever got mentioned that snakes had been in the house playing with the kids.
Lucy: I don’t think this one’s coming in. It’s gotta be about eight feet long. I think it’s got it’s own home under the shed, and maybe some babies of it’s own, too. Mom and Dad both said it’s a garter snake. It’ll eat the rodents and some of the bugs and lizards around here.
Xena: No! I don’t want it to eat my lizards! They’re my lizards. We play the hunt game together every day.
Xena: Did you know this is Dr. Seuss Day, Lucy? All kinds of weird and fun things can happen today. Let’s pose for a fun picture.
Don’t look so freaked out. Here, I got us some Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat hats. Let’s put them on and try another picture.
That’s lots better, Lucy. Lucy? Are you there? Are we here? I’m, I’m starting to feel weird. What’s happening? Do you feel it?
What the? Where are we? What happened? I don’t feel like myself.
We’re not at home anymore, Xexe. (And we’re not in Kansas, either.) It’s like these hats are magical. Don’t look back, but there’s a transparent cat behind us on the couch. I think it’s the REAL Cat in the Hat.
So you wanna chase him?
No! Anyhow he’s gone now. What do you think we should do?
Look! When I get on the couch, the Dr. Seuss saying changes to be just for me!
Oops, there goes my hat.
Yep, that sure is you, little sis. Hop down and let me try it!
Dr. Seuss must know I love to get my teeth brushed and I want to keep them all, so they all get brushed! Say, did you hear that noise? I think someone’s coming…they’re getting closer…and closer…*shudder*
Let’s make a run for it!
Riley: What are y’all doin’ with those silly hats on? Come play with me, Lucy.
Our Angel Lexi lived by many of Dr. Seuss’ sayings. Here she is with one of her favorites.
Lucy: My BFF in the whole wide world needs your prayers, your good thoughts, your anything that will help. Here is what her Mama, who is my Aunty Jen, found in her mouth on New Year’s Eve.
Besides the pink thing hanging down over her upper teeth, just below and on the right of it is a discolored piece hanging down, too. When she went to her vet today (Saturday), the dogtor found another discolored one growing up over a back bottom tooth, too. The vet wasn’t too worried about the big pink one. She said this happens to boxers, and they are harmless. But the discolored one on the bottom bothered her. Aunty Jen is going to get a biopsy and maybe some x-rays or something else like that done, probably on Monday. My Mom cried and cried, thinking about her Angel Lexi. Those of you who have been with us a while will remember when Mom found this, only five days since she had last looked in Lexi’s mouth:
So please, send POTP to Ella. She heard my Mom say my name over the phone today and she started looking for me. She’s only 8 or 9 years old, and I don’t know what I’ll do without her…
Thanks to Comedy Plus for hosting the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.
Since March of this year, so many folks who never “attended” an on-line meeting or used that type of media are now old hands at it. Our precious Angel Lexi, always a precocious schnauzer, was way ahead of the curve in her use of social media, and I don’t mean just blogging. It seems timely to revisit her skype call with her boyfriend Noodle. Be sure to hit the little square on the bottom right to go to full screen and have your sound on. You’ll probably have to watch it twice to catch the text portion as well as the video portion. (At least we had to, it goes by quicky.) Lexi the Schnauzer and Noodle (of Noodle for President) talk about their Valentine’s date and future plans. Enjoy!
Many thanks to Deb Barnes of Zee and Zoey’s Cat Chronicles, author of Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond, and founder of Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day. And to Ann at Zoolatry for hosting this blog hop.
Lexi had many jobs. One was to come to the Methodist church where I worked, where she was loved by everyone. When she passed, the pastor held a memorial service for her, and everyone and their dogs were invited. This short video was taken outside of the church shortly before she crossed the rainbow bridge from the Big C at age 13. Warning: she is barking in it
Lexi was a different personality with whatever was asked of her. She knew her roles, and threw her entire self into each one. This video sums up her joy in life (look at her smile with the children) and her innate desire to bring joy to others.
I know that my heart-dog, my partner, is somewhere over the rainbow, still busy doing the things she loves.
Lexi the Schnauzer: May 7, 2003 – September 4, 2016
I love you, darling girl and think of you often. Your Mom
Helen from Confessions of a Doctor to Be nominated me for this award, which is really cool because my blogging network has so drastically changed since the first time I was nominated. Thanks, Helen! OK, so maybe it was actually Lexi who was nominated by her boyfriend Noodle the first time, and I was just her typist. I did, however, resurrect the badge from back then!
Rules to the Liebster Blogger awards:
Thank the blogger who nominated you and give them a big hug give them a link to the blog.
Answer the 11 questions given to you or at least most of them
Share 11 or so facts about yourself
Nominate between 5-11 other bloggers
Ask your nominees 11 or so questions
Notify your nominees once you’ve uploaded your post
So. I thanked Helen. Now for her 11 questions. The biggest question in my mind, however, is who answers them? Me? Xena? Lucy? Angel Lexi? Hey! How about if we each answer some of them?
What piece of writing are you the most proud of? Angel Lexi: I would have to say it was writing my book, The Life and Times of a Thespian Schnauzer. You can order it here.
2. How long does it take for a post to go from an idea to fruition? Amy: Anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of days. A few minutes is, “I need to post something, it’s been a while.” A few days is, “I thought of something as I was falling asleep last night, and I need to take some pictures and find time to sit down with my computer.”
3. What has been your most enjoyable new hobby during this lockdown? Xena: That would be barking as loudly and as shrilly as possible at anything at everything I see out the front window. Mommy rearranged the furniture, thinking I wouldn’t be able to see outside. That hasn’t deterred me. I am a schnauzer, after all.
4. If you could go somewhere for a week, all expenses paid and you could do whatever you wanted, where would you go? Amy: Somewhere like French Polynesia. Warm, sunny, white beaches, clear blue water, good food, umbrella drinks.
5. What’s one thing you wish you were better at? Amy: Music, especially singing. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, as the saying goes. You know it’s true when your 4 year old says, “Mommy, please don’t sing any more.”
6. What language would you like to learn and perfect if given the opportunity? Amy:French. I took 4 years in high school. I dated a Frenchman for 4 years. I’ve been to France 3 times, where a very nice French lady said she would understand me better if I would just speak English, slowly. Wow. So yeah, I would like to be good at it.
7. What’s an irrational fear you have? Lucy: That Mom is going to hit me when she raises her hand for any reason or when tries to teach me what she teaches Xena. She has never hit me, not ever. I guess I have issues.
8. What’s something you might be embarrassed or self-conscious about, but you know you shouldn’t be? Amy: How I look now vs. how I looked when I was 35. Yep, totally irrational.
9. What food are you craving the most right now? Lucy and Xena: beef, pork, fish, chicken, fresh veggies, fresh fruit, nuts, kefir, anything anyone else is eating. Amy: Ice cream.
10. What’s your best party trick? Angel Lexi: Every night at the theater, when I came on stage to take my final bow, the crowd always went wild. I’m a great actress. So good, in fact, that I was the first animal to win an Annie Award. No, wait, my very best trick was making sick little kids in the hospital smile. Amy: I’m an introvert. I rarely go to parties. Xena: What’s a party?
11. What brings you the most joy in life? Mom: Our family, and ballroom dancing.Xena: Our family, and Freestyle dancing, and my mealsLucy: Our family, and every new person I meet, and my meals.
Now it’s time to share 11 things about ourselvesmyself ourselves. Well, what did you expect when you nominated someone who writes in the voices of her dogs?
1. Xena: When I was a puppy and didn’t know any better, I loved Mommy to dress me up in pretty clothes. Now, not so much. I tolerate it, and that’s about the extent of it.
2. Lucy: Every time my dad comes home from wherever he’s been, I greet him at the top of the stairs with a smile on my face. Then he says, “Look at my big girl smiling at me!” (I sure do love my Dad.)
3. Amy: I love being outside. Yet, the outside is loving me less and less. I’ve recently become allergic to stings and bites from insects, such as bees, wasps and fire ants, and end up at the medi-clinic. And until I discovered that apple cider vinegar laced with salt dries up a poison ivy outbreak, I had to get a steroid shot plus prednisone pills every time I broke out. So now I mostly stay in the yard and on the patio. No more hiking or tramping through the woods.
4. Lucy: We eat a B.A.R.F. Raw Diet. Mom doesn’t tell everyone, ’cause people are so judgmental. (But we trust you.) After losing Angel Lexi to gum cancer (that also went into her lungs and brain), Mom did a lot of reading and studying about things that cause cancer in dogs. Dry kibble is one of them. So she did a lot more reading and studying about raw diets for dogs and we are so, so happy she did! Talk about excitement at meal time! And we always lick our bowls clean.
5. Amy: I can make things happen. No, really. My husband said he knew this for a long time about me before I realized it. Actually, most everyone can, to one degree or another, and, like me, don’t even know they are doing it. I say something – put it out there in the universe, as hubby says – and very often it happens. Example: Years ago, I spent a day on a small, rented pontoon boat. I liked it so much, I decided I wanted one. I’m not one to spend a lot of money or buy a lot of things, but this is something I wanted with all my heart. That morning, I opened the paper to the want ads, and there it was. The first listing was for a 16 foot pontoon. It was like new and $1000 more than I knew I could spend. I called anyway, and the first thing the seller said to me was, “I just got this boat in a divorce and I’ll take $1000 less than it is listed for.” Example: I was in-between jobs, and working for a temp agency that also did permanent placement. One afternoon I looked at my hubby and said, “I want to work for a church, or other faith-based organization.” The next day the agency booked me for interviews with two different churches, and I got offers from both. I was very happy with the compensation and job for many years at the one I accepted. Example: One evening, while visiting at a friend’s house, she told me that Chattanooga Theatre Centre was looking for a dog to play Toto. Without hesitation, I exclaimed, “Lexi can do that and she’s going to be Toto!” Of course, the rest is history. This happens all the time, so I’m careful about what I say. Actually, everyone can do this, but some people are just more in tune to it than others. (I wish I could declare myself a millionaire, but it doesn’t work that way.) That said, how about you?
6. Number 5 is so long that we’re also counting it as number 6.
7. Xena: I’m scared of thunder and lightening, of rain hitting the car windshield, of plastic bags coming near me, of riding in the car unless I’m in my kennel, of the vacuum, of dogs that bark back at me, of farts, and of the vet’s office. Mommy named me Xena Schnauzer Warrior Princess, and Daddy says it’s something to live up to. I’m still working on it.
8. Amy: A few years ago, one of the local high schools with predominantly underprivileged kids decided to try out a 6-week ballroom dance program for any of the kids who wanted to participate. Since I can teach ballroom, and I love teens, I was asked to be one of three teachers. I taught the kids hustle with a routine to Gloria Gaynor’s song, “I Will Survive.” I danced with them, and we got to perform in front of the entire school. What a rush!
9. Lucy: While I have a lot of fears, too, I’ve never met a stranger. I love everyone and want them to pet me. I will get in their car if they leave the door open.
In no particular order our nominees are *drum roll, please* 1. Erin the Cat Princess We recently discovered Erin across the Pond. She has the attitude and staff of a princess for sure, and Xena is secretly trying to take lessons from her. 2. Lulu, Charlee and Chaplin and their Dad of the Oceanside Animals. We try not to miss Dennis the Vizsla too much while reading about the real and imaginary adventures of Lulu the dog and her 2 cat friends. Their Dad is an author, and I can’t wait to dig into one of his horror/sci fi novels. 3. Rachel from The Cricket Pages. Rachel only blogs once a week. She blogs – with raw openness – about her struggles caused by childhood abuse, her victories, and her failures. I’ve read her book, and it’s worth a look. 4. BellaDharma of BellaDharma and LadyMeow’s Purrfect Pad is a beautiful solid black kittie who is often the purramedic for her Mom up in Canada. Purrayers badge for her Mom is on my sidebar. 5. Max Power’s Blog is another one I have recently begun to follow. An Irishman blogging from his home country, his posts are both entertaining and insightful. He is also a published author, and I have also read one of his books. Take a look, there are several from which to choose. 6. The Canadian Cats have been going on adventures with my Xena in her blog stories. Beyond that, these two Siamese and one DSH have lots of fun on their own blog. Definitely worth a look. 7. Millie and Walter from Bird Brains and Dog Tails are two sweet pups who share what’s going on in their corner of the world. 8. We love Kosmo from PHOTOFINLAND RANTASALOT. I learn so much about the wildlife and landscape of Finland with the help of gorgeous photos. And Kosmo the tuxedo cat has a not-so-secret crush on our Lucy dog. She’s flattered.
Eight nominees seems like a good halfway point between the 5 minimum and 11 maximum in the instructions, don’t you think? If you weren’t nominated, please nominate yourself, as I would love to hear all about you. And, just so you know, I did leave out some of my other favorite blogs, so come on and join in the fun – you know who you are!
Now, for the questions you get to answer:
1 Why do you blog? 2 Blue jeans or formal wear? Cake or a health bar? Why? 3 If you could have one (more) animal live with you, what would it be and why? 4 What do you feel are your greatest talents? 5 If you could be any age, what would it be and why? 6 If there was one thing you could go back and do differently, what would it be?
Since I’m a rule-breaker, I’m only asking six questions. Besides, this is getting way too long. Just remember to “#3 Share 11 facts about yourself.” And since I only asked 6 questions, feel free to share more than 11.
If you haven’t already, be sure to hit “Follow” on my sidebar. See you around.
Xena: We almost never get snow around here in SE Tennessee. Maybe a light sprinkling that doesn’t stay on the ground. So, at two and a half, I’ve never seen real snow.
Lucy: At Christmas a couple of years ago, when I took my trip with Dad to visit my grandma in Illinois, I found out all about snow. It’s cold, and sometimes it’s fun to play in. Mom got me a really nice winter coat after that so that I will be warm next time Dad takes me.
Xena: Do you remember how I kept wishing for snow last year, and then Spring came without Winter leaving even a snowflake in it’s wake? Apparently, wishes sometimes take a while to come true.
Lucy: Mom hadn’t shoveled the walk or the road. It was still too warm to stick there. Pretty soon, though, the walks and roads gave up their battle with the snow.
Xena: As I watched, the snow started to cover the road and our driveway and walkway. The babysitter for the synagogue where Mommy works called and cancelled. The new groom Mommy was getting in called and debated about coming, and asked if Mommy wanted her to. Mommy said it was totally up to her, since she was the one having to drive in this weather. She decided not to come, and we hope she will reschedule for Monday or next Saturday. She’s got a white shih tzu with a deformed front leg. I can’t wait to see her. Her name is Sandy, just like our last name!
Lucy: Hey Xena, do you remember this picture of Angel Lexi from 2011? I think that’s what you’d look like if you went out in this snow.
Hmm, snow sounds over-rated. I think I’ll just take a nap instead.
Disclaimer: We know that many of you get tons of snow all winter long. Please understand that this is a big deal for us. Schools and businesses close, traffic slows to a crawl, and the stores empty of water, bread and milk. We’ve never quite understood that last part, but at least Mom has plenty of food in the house for us!
Angel Lexi: On All Hallow’s Eve, I am back to play tricks and get treats. So tonight, I am reclaiming my blog. That’s right, my blog! This is the night before All Saint’s Day, the day where I will be especially remembered and prayers will go up for me and a candle lit to show I am still the light of the world and star of the stage to show my spirit still shines brightly in the hearts of those who love me. So tonight I will partake of a little mischief. I would rather partake of Kahlua and cream, but there is no cream in the refrigerator.
Lookout, Xena, here I come. You may eat raw meat every day, but I have not yet had my fill of blood. Eating kibble all my life has left me very, very thirsty. (in best Bela Lugosi voice) I come to suck your…oh forget it, that’s just too corny, even for me. Now, where was I? Tonight, Xena, you become like me!
Xena: You mean I am going to become an Angel?
Angel Lexi: No! You will be a Vampire Dog!
Xena: Aghhhh! Help!
Angel Lexi: There is no help for you. You will crave blood, fresh blood. Now go get some blood! (And bring me all the meat from the fridge.)
Xena: Oh, Mo-o-ommy… hold me, Mommy, hold me close bawahaha
Three years. Three years since Lexi lost her battle and I was forced to let her go. I can’t lie. It wasn’t pretty. I waited too long? She had seizures all night and was mostly gone by the time the needle went into her vein. Don’t we always feel guilt, thinking we either acted too soon or waited too long. I’m one of those waited too long people. I kept asking her if she was ready, and I never got a yes. At least I never understood her if it was ever a yes. Lexi stayed with me for my sake for as long as she could. In the end, neither one of us could stop it with a simple no.
Lexi was my heart dog, and so much more. She was my partner, my inspiration. I clearly remember the evening at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre when I felt God tell me that He had given Lexi to me to bring joy to others. And she did. That’s how she lived her life. She brought happiness and laughter – even if it was only for one night – to 7,000 people during her six week, 24 performance run as Toto.
She went on to become a therapy dog, where she continued to bring joy to folks, this time one-on-one. There was the hospital worker – an elderly black gentleman who was also an ordained preacher – who never touched the therapy dogs at the physical rehab hospital. He was a bit afraid of them. When he saw Lexi, he smiled, reached out to pet her, and said, “This dog is something special. God has blessed her.” During the same visit she sat in the lap of a young man in a wheelchair while his therapist chatted with me and another worker. I always kept an eye on what was happening with her when we were doing therapy, or “therapizing” as she and I called it. Every time the young man stopped petting Lexi, she nudged his hand and he would start petting her again. This went on for about 15 minutes, quite a long visit compared to most. As we were walking away, I heard his therapist say, “That was great! You actually lifted your hand.”
Lexi especially loved going to the Children’s Hospital, which she did faithfully every month for 10 years.
Even before I had this revelation about Lexi’s mission in life, she was busy bringing joy to people. For three years Lexi rode for an hour every week with me and Jeff to help teach ballroom dance to a group of home schooled teens. She even knew the halfway point where we pulled off the highway to get dinner at Mickey D’s. She was a Mickey D’s type of girl. Lexi would stand up and stare out the window when we would be getting close to the exit. Of course, she always got the fries. Back to teaching dance. How can a dog teach dance, you might ask. Here’s how: The kids would be lined up with their partner, trying out the dance step we had just taught them. Lexi would walk along the line of students, watching each one. She would stop in front of a dancing couple and bark. By then, everyone knew what that meant, and the other students would laugh while the “chosen” ones would hang their heads. I would go over and ask them to show me what they were doing, and there was always something wrong with it. Somehow, Lexi knew. Then we would put on the music for them to practice, but before they could practice, Lexi would come to me and stand on her hind legs for me to take her front paws so she could “show them” how they were supposed to do the step. OK, so maybe she couldn’t exactly do the step correctly, but in her mind she sure was. That done, she left everyone in peace to practice. By the way, rumba was her favorite.
When Lexi was just one year old, my elderly mother moved from Pennsylvania to be near me, and started out in an apartment within a block of where I lived. Mom loved dogs and kept Lexi every day while I was at work. It was a good arrangement for them both. On one occasion, when I came to pick up Lexi, Mom declared that Lexi was a “kind” dog. She said she had felt so sick all day and Lexi just laid her paw gently on her leg to comfort her. Eventually, Mom broke her hip and the rehab didn’t help, so she ended up in a nursing home. When we would go to visit, Lexi wouldn’t stop to see any of the other patients until after her visit with her Grandma. On the way out, however, she would “therapize” anyone who needed her. One time we thought Mom was dying after aspirating her chewing gum. Jeff, my son, and I were sitting vigil around her bed, with Lexi sitting on the bottom of the bed, never taking her eyes off her for an hour. Suddenly Mom opened her eyes, lifted herself up and cried, “Lexi!” with a great big smile on her face. I must admit, that was the only time I ever felt jealous of my dog.
Jeff and I had planned our backyard wedding for October 16, and my Mom passed suddenly on my birthday, exactly one month before that. Because Mom loved Jeff so much we decided to go ahead with the wedding. Of course, Lexi was in attendance and hoping for a big slice of wedding cake. We felt like Mom was also there, smiling at us.
Did I mention that Mickey D’s was Lexi’s favorite food? During the last year of her life, she was shopping with me at the local Ace Hardware store. I checked out and was ready to leave, but Lexi had other plans. The cashier had not given her a treat – you know, like you get at the pet store or the bank drive through. So she refused to leave, and just stood there staring at the cashier, as if by sheer force of will she would make her give her a treat. The cashier kept apologizing that she didn’t have anything to give to Lexi, and I finally got her to at least step back so other people could pay for their purchases. Normally, I would have picked her up and carried her to the car, but my arms were full of what I had bought. After a very long five minutes, it dawned on me that there was a McDonald’s across the street. I said, “Lexi, do you want to go to McDonald’s?” She looked at me and headed for the door in consent. Of course, we went to Mickey D’s and she got an ice cream.
Lexi also got Mickey D’s on most of her birthdays.
So, even though I try to eat healthy, and even though I mostly eschew sugar, tonight, for supper, I honored Lexi. While Jeff’s gluten-free pizza was in the oven, I drove the mile down the road to Mickey D’s and bought a hamburger, small fry and hot fudge sundae. And since they were on special for only $1, I added a large Dr. Pepper. I ate it all, and it was good. So now I sit here, wired up on sugar, unable to sleep, thinking about my girl. Lexi. I hope, wherever she is, there is a Mickey D’s.
I know you liked squirrels, Angel Lexi, and that you even had a back yard living arrangement with them when you were young. It didn’t make you too popular with the other dogs, but you couldn’t have cared less.
Yesterday, Angel Lexi, I was walking down the street with our Mommy and Daddy and saw a squirrel laying in the street. I wondered if it was bathing in a sun puddle, or maybe had gotten tired and fallen asleep. I tugged on my leash, wanting to go over and greet her, and when I reached her, she didn’t move. I don’t know what I expected, but it sure wasn’t what I found. I sniffed her body and could smell some blood under her head. I gently nudged her head, asking if she was ok, but she still didn’t move. Before we continued on our neighborhood walk, Mommy reached down, picked up the squirrel and laid her in the grass by the road.
On the way back home I wanted to check on the squirrel again. I could tell that something very important was missing, and looked to Mommy for help on what it was. She explained that the squirrel’s soul had left her body because she was dead. This was my first time staring death in the face. The poor little girl’s eyes were still open, and they were brown, like mine. I was starting to feel really sad about this whole thing. I just stood there staring at the dead squirrel and thinking about what to do. Finally, I said a silent prayer for Angel Lexi to find her and take her to meet the Big Guy. Then I tried to nudge her eyes closed with my nose, but they came back open, so I left her in peace.
This video is In honor of the little friend I will never know, and of my Guardian Angel Lexi.
Today’s post is not a “fun” post, like you are accustomed to on this blog. However, I felt this was a good time to explain some things. As you all know, cancer, in all it’s forms, is rampant in our country and across much of the world. I doubt that there is anyone reading this whose life has not been affected by it’s destructive ravages. Blogville has certainly lost it’s share of beloved animals, and many bloggers have also bravely battled this usurper. My first encounter with the dreaded “C” was when I lost my aunt – who I called Nan and was a second mother to me. She had intestinal cancer, treated with radiation that was not well understood or controlled back in the 60’s, and at the cost of a forever colostomy bag. As a teen I remember helping with that bag, swallowing back what kept trying to erupt from my stomach, and never letting on it bothered me. As too many of you know, that’s what you do for love. I remember Nan celebrating her 10 year cancer-free date, only to be once again struck down – this time permanently – by this killer.Nan was the fun adult in my life. She taught me how to waltz; she took me trick or treating; she sat at the dining room table and colored with me for hours on end; she taught me how to plant pansies (sorry, Nan, that one didn’t take so well) and pull weeds; she taught me card games; we laid in bed together while she made hand shadow puppets on the wall; she showed me how to walk with a book on my head to teach me posture; we sat in front of the fireplace and put together beautiful puzzles for hours on end; and she taught me the correct table setting for a formal dinner.
My next encounter with the dreaded C was with my sweet Sammy dog. The first sign something was very wrong was when he stopped eating. I worked at the vet hospital at the time and, after hours, assisted in the surgery that removed a huge malignant tumor from his abdomen. The vet, Dr. Sally, went through three saline solution bags, letting them run into his open abdomen and swishing around to try to remove any remaining cancer cells. I suctioned as she swished. Sammy had always been a shy, sweet dog, playing second fiddle to my first schnauzer, Freda, and afraid of his own shadow. Dr. Sally gave Sam – nine years old at the time – just three months to live after the surgery; she even showed me the article in her medical book that said so. Many prayers went up and Sam miraculously recovered. He seemed to realize that he had been given another chance at life, and he was determined to take it with all the zest and gusto he could manage. No longer afraid of anything, he flirted with all the ladies (yes, dogs can flirt) and was my main boat dog.Sam loved to jump off our little pontoon boat, swim to an island, explore for a while, then wait until he got eye contact with me before swimming back to the boat, which I later named “The Sammy Joe.” Sammy lived two more years before a different type of cancer hit again and took our boy from us.This was Sammy’s last Christmas. He got a new Teddy Bear sweater that he was so proud to wear. He was 11 years old.
I always did everything the vets told me I should do: give monthly HW prevention that also contained flea and tick prevention, get the dogs’ vaccinated annually, feed the best dog foods, brush their teeth with pet toothpaste, etc. After all, this is why they went to school and they knew best, right?
Then, as many of you know, my busy, vibrant 13-year-old schnauzer Lexi came down with a carcinoma that first showed it’s ugly self as a tumor hanging from her upper gums. The above picture is of me brushing her teeth.I went out of town for 3 days, then it took me 2 days to begin to brush Lexi’s teeth again. In just those 5 days this tumor appeared in her mouth and grew huge. (Look just to the left of her canine.) I immediately took her to the vet, who removed the tumor and a small part of her upper jaw, and sent it all for a biopsy. Upon arriving home from the vet, my stoic girl cried in pain until my husband, whose truck got a flat tire on the way, got back with the pain meds. Lexi never liked being held, but the only thing that comforted her was me holding her close and rocking her while I sang little songs to her.
We were then sent to UTK (University of Tennessee in Knoxvillle) Vet School, where they did more tests. There was a new , promising drug that had shown great results, but would take a month to begin working. They told me that Lexi did not have a month.
From the first day I arrived home with her as a puppy, my heart dog was always a precocious girl. So, as if to prove the vets wrong, she lived three more months before she succumbed to what was already – seen on x-rays – in her lungs and heading to her brain.
I have not told you all of this to make you sad. Rather, I think it explains what I did next. During the year following Lexi’s death, I grieved hard. But that’s not all I did. I started asking hard questions. What caused this cancer? How could I have prevented it? What more could I have done? So I began searching the web for answers. First, I focused on food. I began to read informative articles on why prepared pet food is so harmful. First I found out that the high heat that kibble is subjected to creates cancer-causing agents. And kibble is subjected to it first in cooking the meat, then again after it is formed into kibble. I then read over and over again how dog food companies source their ingredients, and I began to understand that most of them, even the supposed “good ones” will do or falsely claim anything about their products to get consumers to buy their brands. Then I read about the Raw Diet and realized that, done right, this was the safest way to feed. I submerged myself in information so that I would have the best chance of doing it right. Within a few months after she arrived at our house I started Lucy on the B.A.R.F. Raw Diet. chicken drumstick, gizzards, egg, spinach and coconut oil
beef, kale and sweet potato
I’m sure many of you were shocked and/or put off when you read about this on my blog. But I have always tried to be honest and transparent, and this was now a part of our lives. Feeding raw takes a lot of work and time.
Next, I started learning more about vaccinations and discovered that, just like people, most vaccinations are unnecessary after the initial puppy vacs. Not only are they unnecessary, but they play havoc with a dog’s gut, from where their immune systems become strong or weak. My holistic vet has worked out a plan for Lucy and Xena to have titers taken every three years. The titers will let her know if they are still protected from the diseases that vaccinations cover. We have agreed they will each get a 3-year rabies vaccination at that time because it’s the law.
Have you ever asked yourself why you are poisoning your dog? I used to do it every time I gave them their monthly heart worm prevention, and the answer was always because I don’t know how else to prevent heart worms. Then, through more research and study, I found out how.
There is a DNA heart worm test available from Canada. The normal occult hw tests only show the presence of adult heart worms. If the result is positive, the dog has to go through a long, dangerous, expensive and sometimes painful treatment. The DNA test, however, detects even the smallest beginnings of heart worms. It takes almost six months for the heart worms to mature, so Lucy and Xena get the DNA test every five and a half months. So far, so good. If, however, anything was detected, one single injection of ivermectin would kill the larvae. So no, I am not ignoring it or downplaying the terrible affects of heart worms. I am simply approaching it from a different angle, one where I am not asking myself why am I poisoning my dogs.
All of these seemingly radical changes I made have been done for one purpose. And that is to never again have to say goodbye to my beloved dogs because of cancer. Everything I have changed is because so many of the old, accepted ways have been proven to cause cancer. It has taken time and much study and reading; it didn’t happen overnight. I have to keep reminding myself that I couldn’t help what happened to Lexi because I didn’t know any better. And now, I’ll never know if it would have made any difference. I do things differently now, praying it is the right way, and go forward from here.
So, my dogs eat raw food, don’t get vaccinations, and don’t take heart worm prevention. I use essential oils, probiotics, herbs, and other natural aids to keep them healthy and help when they have a problem. I also have the guidance and good advice of a holistic veterinarian who is open to new ways of doing things. May these “extreme” efforts keep my girls healthy and free of cancer all their lives.
I’m not adding a lot of links. You know how to Google anything you are interested in learning more about. I will tell you that I rely a lot on dogsnaturally.com and mercola.com, from whom I get daily emails. And if there is any question in my head about what I’ve read, my vet is wonderful about taking my calls and discussing it over the phone. (Xena’s not the only one who loves her.)
May your lives and the lives of your loved ones be cancer-free. Let’s work to beat this ubiquitous disease in our lifetimes.
Amy, aka Mom, aka Mommy
Note: When you realize how vet schools are funded, some things the students are taught make much more sense. It is the giant drug and pet food companies – who make huge donations to the schools – who influence their choices.
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. Xena and I have been thinking about what we are thankful for, so here goes.
First we want to say how thankful we are for Blogville and all the friends and support we have gotten. You are happy when we are and sad when we are. When Angel Lexi went over the bridge, Mom could not have made it without all of you. And oh, yes, although it is a very fun virtual reality to live in, we know the peeps and pups who make it up are real. We love you!
In our little corner of Blogville and the world, we are thankful for the family dogs who came before us and had the hard job of training Mom. On birthdays, they taught her to say, “Let them eat cake.”This is from Sammy’s birthday on the fourth of July. Every year, Mom used to keep 10 dogs for that whole week, so they all helped Sammy celebrate his birthday. Freda was Mom’s first schnauzer.
Lexi: This picture is from my 10-year-old birthday party. I had a Healthy Choice meal with my Mom and Dad and then my very own cake shaped like a dog. I know, kinda’ weird, but Mom meant well. Can you see the happy all over my face?
But it took Lexi to teach Mom to say, “Let them eat McDonalds.”
I love birthdays and I love Micky D’s!! This is all for me!
We are thankful for our friends who we know in the furs. Gracie, who never comes to see us anymore.
My (Lucy’s) bestie, Ella.
The big lunk, Achilles. (We love you Achilles.)
And our newest buddy, Chaz.
And we are thankful for the memories of our friends who are now waiting at the Rainbow Bridge.
And our blogger buddies who have gone on, too.
We are so very thankful for all of our blog buddies still with us, too. We would love to meet you all in the furs, like Mommy did with Angel Lexi’s boyfriend, Noodle.
We are both especially thankful for really yummy food.
beef, kale and sweet potato
We are thankful for our Mom and Dad, who love us and give us a good home.
And I am thankful for you, Xena. I love you!I love you, too, Luce the Deu…I mean Lucy. XOX
And, in the spirit of this holiday, we are both thankful to be red-blooded American dogs, born in the U.S.A. What was it I heard the other day? Oh yes, American by birth, Southern by grace, BOL!
We hope everyone has as much to be thankful for as we do! Happy Thanksgiving to all our furiends. Be sure to go to the the blog hop today by clicking on the picture.
Love, licks, and wags, the Southern girls: Lucy and Xena Schnauzer Warrior Princess
I asked Mr Google why a ginormous footstool is called an ottoman, and he said that it is called that after the ginormous Ottoman empire. I guess that’s why Angel Lexi always called it her “throne,” and delighted in laying on it.This is Lexi, seven years old in 2010. She was the reigning queen on her throne.
My Guardian Angel Lexi bequeathed her throne to me, the warrior princess. Here I am on the same ottoman throne. Someday, when I am a little older, I will be the reigning queen, too!
Angel Lexi: On All Hallow’s Eve, I am back to play tricks and get treats. So tonight, I am reclaiming my blog. That’s right, my blog! This is the night before All Saint’s Day, the day where I will be especially remembered and prayers will go up for me and a candle lit to show I am still the light of the world and star of the stage to show my spirit still shines brightly in the hearts of those who love me. So tonight I will partake of a little mischief. I would rather partake of Kahlua and cream, but there is no cream in the refrigerator. Angel Lexi: Lookout, Xena, here I come. You may eat raw meat every day, but I have not yet had my fill of blood. Eating kibble all my life has left me very, very thirsty. (in best Bela Lugosi voice) I come to suck your…oh forget it, that’s just too corny, even for me. Now, where was I? Tonight, Xena, you become like me!
Xena: You mean I am going to become an Angel?
Angel Lexi: No! You will be a Vampire Dog!
Xena: Aghhhh! Help!
Angel Lexi: There is no help for you. You will crave blood, fresh blood. Now go get some blood! (And bring me all the meat from the fridge.)
Xena: Oh, Mo-o-ommy… hold me, Mommy, hold me close.
My cousins Piper and his housemate Ella came to stay with us last Wednesday while their peeps moved and got settled in.
Then, early Friday morning, Mom packed the car, kissed Dad goodbye, and took me and Piper for a ride. Ella stayed home to keep Dad company.
Yay! Road trip! (8:30 a.m)
Are we there yet? (9:30 a.m.)
Wake me when we get there. (11:00 a.m.)
Finally, 87 hours later (no, Lexi, it was 10 1/2 hours later~Mom) we got there. Where’s there? Pee A. Also known as Pencil Vain Ya. There were a lot of women there eating and laughing and they were all very nice to us, even if they couldn’t keep straight who was Piper and who was me. After a couple of hours they all left and we have been visiting with Mommy’s friend Rhonda and my friend Paisana, who everyone calls Pai (pronounced Pie).Pai
Yesterday, Piper made a new friend. Rhonda’s brother dropped by and we sat outside and visited. I remembered John Paul from when we all vacationed together at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Piper sat in J.P.’s lap for at least 87 minutes and got a back rub. J.P. liked Piper a lot and thought all the noises he makes are really funny.
Claud, hiding in the closet
Later that evening, everything was going just fine…then… Piper got in a lot of trouble for trying to attack Claud (short for Claudia) while Claud was in her Mommy’s lap. Piper got scolded and sent to his room. That upset Pipe so much that he has been pretending Claud doesn’t exist, which is better than scaring her.
The Moms have been having way too much fun going out during the day and leaving us all alone. We aren’t telling them about any parties that may or may not have happened while they were gone. *burp* Here is all three of us outside with Ms. Rhonda:
Mom finally got us all to look the same direction, even if it wasn’t at the camera.
Firecrackers have been making lots of noise all weekend, which bothers Pai; however, her Mom said she hasn’t been as freaked out as usual, and she thinks it is because we are here, ignoring all the noise. Glad to be of service, Ms. Rhonda. I AM a service dog, you know. Well, therapy dog, anyhow.
We are getting back in the car tomorrow and going home. Mom and I wish all our American friends a happy and safe Independence Day.
My birthday was Friday, and I went to St. Paul’ Episcopal Church – where Mom works – to spend the day. We had a party – cupcakes and doggie ice cream for me, people ice cream for everyone else. How many schnauzers do you know who get to have a birthday party at church! I have been there more lately, since our house is up for sale and I go with mom when there is going to be a showing. Everyone loves me (of course) as I play my magic on them. If Mom can’t find me, she just has to look for who has food at their desk. I will be sitting there staring at them. Not long ago I greeted one of my bestest friends, Gail, at the back door, and made her understand I wanted her to follow me. I led her into the work room where I had detected bagels on the table, but couldn’t reach them. I had been sitting staring up at the table until I heard Gail come in and ran to ask for some help. Unfortunately, Gail didn’t give me one.
It has been anotherexciting year for me! Mom and I graduated from three agility classes; then mom put it down for a while. I was doing fine. Mom was having trouble keeping her bearings on the course. So then we moved on to Freestyle with a different group. Pam Moore (with Sophie) was in agility with us, and went on to Freestyle. Sophie has really blossomed with this special attention. She even won some events her first time out at an agility competition! Anyhow, it was mostly just me and Sophie in the Freestyle training with a couple of good teachers (and mom and Pam). They were starting to prepare us to compete in the April event here in Chattanooga. Then another opportunity opened that I couldn’t resist – I was asked to play Toto again at the Colonnade in Ringgold, GA. We had six weeks of rehearsals and two weekends of performance, and it knocked us out of Freestyle training. I figured we could get back into Freestyle, but this opportunity wouldn’t wait. Anyhow, I bonded with my new Dorothy, who Mom couldn’t call Dorothy, because every time she did, I went running off looking for Kim, who played my first Dorothy. So mom just called her by her name, Kandis. The wicked witch, Jan, used to train dogs, so we spent some time at her house with Kandis, too, during which time I also bonded with her…not such a good thing. Read on… The second weekend of the play, during the scene where Miss Gulch (also played by Jan) has lost “that dratted dog” and gone back to the farm looking for me, I got away from a distracted Kandis (who was probably texting, but definitely not watching me) and ran back out on stage to Jan, where I stop and look up at her. Jan looks down at me and cracks up. At that point “Uncle Henry” points at me and says, “There’s that dratted dog!” and, as if on cue, I run back off the stage to Mom. Everyone in the audience roared with laughter. I do love to make people laugh!
I remember my role from 2 1/2 years ago. I picked up old habits, like how I followed the foursome down the yellow brick road. My agility and freestyle training had honed my responsiveness to their movements. And yes, in the opening scene where I run out onto stage at the end of the Rainbow song, ending up in Dorothy’s arms, a collective “awwwwww” still resounded from the audience.
Jennefer (Piper’s mom) and my mom are still good friends. So she came the first night the play opened and sat in the second row. Yeah, not a good idea. Halfway through the second act, I peeped out from behind the curtain, spotted her, and tore across the stage, and down the stairs, leaping into her lap! Jennefer said she felt like such a proud aunt. People started asking her if I was her dog, and she said, no, I am her niece. Now we call her “Auntie Jen.”
The same doggie bakery who made all my healthy treats and “hot dogs” (really dog biscuits) donated them for the play. They remembered me. Who wouldn’t?
A couple of weeks after the play ended, Mom and Dad and I attended the cast party. They played the video of one of the performances, and at the end of the opening credits, it said, in great big letters, “Introducing Lexi as Toto”. Not quite accurate, but pretty neat, nonetheless. I mingled and when dinner was served I sat at the head of one of the tables and ate my salmon and asparagus off a fork (of course Mom cut it up and helped me with the fork). I never, ever, put my head down into the plate when sitting at a table. I to know that would be extremely bad manners.
I go once a month to T.C. Thompson Children’s hospital. Among all my tricks, the best one is putting a big smile on a sick kid’s face. I sit quietly on the bed next to a child to let him/her pet me. I don’t move around the bed or ever step on the child, which is pretty important since many have had surgery. We would both love to go more often, but there are too many dogs who love to do the same thing. Mom is certainly blessed to have a boss who sees the importance in what we do, that she can take off work every month to do this.
I am scheduled to go to an elementary school next week. The children have been reading about service dogs, and they want me to come so they can see a real, live, therapy dog. Mom says I will probably spend the time sniffing under their desks for crumbs!
It’s been such a busy year! I am looking forward to lots more fun in the year ahead.
Ya’ll be good, and if you can’t be good, don’t get caught!
I’m Toto again!! This time I’m with Kandis instead of Dorothy. Mom said, “Here’s Dorothy,” and I looked all around for my Dorothy. I don’t know why mom said that when Dorothy wasn’t there. Kandis is fun and gives me lots of treats and says a lot of the same things Dorothy said. We are doing something called rehearsing every Thursday night. We have to drive farther than we did before, but I love riding, so that is ok with me.
People wonder if I get confused when they call me Toto instead of Lexi. Heck no…I know it really means, “Lexi, you are going to get lots of treats and attention!” So I always answer to Toto. Wouldn’t you?
Oh great. (You know I am being sarcastic, here.) Why can’t I have anything all my own anymore? Lily and Ivy come over and I have to share my toys and share my Mom and share my step-dad and share my house, and share my yard, and share my screen house and share, well, you get the picture. Now I have to share Dogster with them. Oh great (that sarcastic thing again).
Let me tell you, it’s not easy having them here. Ivy attacked me (can you believe Mom said it was my own fault!). I didn’t get hurt, but I screamed a lot. Now I am much more respectful of Ivy. I sorta, kinda, admire her, too. I am thinking about trying to be more like her. She is the boss.
Then there’s Lily. She just wants to play with me all the time. That gets on my nerves. I try to keep her in her place, but sometimes she doesn’t put up with that. Hmmm. Just so she doesn’t go in my kennel or eat my cheese. My kennel, my cheese. Mine, I tell you!
At least this week they are not here and I have everyone and everything all to myself, just the way I like it.
Hi ya’ll. I have gone and done therapy twice now at this Siskin Rehab Hospital place. You want to hear something funny? When Mom tells people what I do, sometimes they ask if I am getting therapy. And this is even after she has told them where I am doing it, at a people hospital. So she said next time, she will say, you know dogs can have health insurance now, so the hospitals have to treat them. It’s part of Obama’s stimulus plan. Then she’ll sit back and wait for them to get it. I they really thought I was going to Siskin to get therapy in the first place, I think Mommy is going to be sitting there waiting a long time.
I think she needs to say I am a therapy dog. That would clear it up right away. She thinks the other way will be more fun. Anyhow, I didn’t mean to go down a bunny trail. Although usually I do mean to, ’cause I can smell them. Since both sessions were really uneventful, Mom says I should tell ya’ll about the second session I did a year or so ago. It was at Siskin, too. There was this young fellow who couldn’t seem to move real well. I sat on a stool next to him and made him pet me. You know what I mean – I kept scooting my nose under his hand so he didn’t have much choice. Every time he stopped, I scooted my nose again. I did that for about 15 minutes, and would have gone a lot longer, but Mom said that was enough. As we started walking away, I heard the guy’s therapist say, that was really good – you lifted your hand! Wow, he must have really like me!! Keep barking! Lexi the Therapy Dog
I have started my work again as a therapy dog. Mom says I should tell about how my first session went almost two years ago. So here goes:
A big man who worked at Siskin asked if he could pet me. He pet me a lot, which I thought was the patients’ jobs, but he seemed to need that. When we walked away, I heard the boss tell Mom that this therapist had never before touched a dog there. Then another therapist, a woman, came up to us and asked Mom if she could take me over to her patient. As I was walking away with her, I could hear the boss tell Mom that this therapist avoided the dogs and had never done this before. On our way out, after I was finished spreading the love, the big man stopped us again and asked if he could hold me. He said there was something really special about me. Duh…we all know that!
Anyhow, I really liked doing this, but didn’t get to go back for several months. I will tell you about my second trip there tomorrow. Gotta go help Mom fix some chicken now.
Be good, and if you can’t be good, don’t get caught!
I'm Dalton, a Rat terrier mix and I came here in Sept, 2017, I was rescued from Hurricane Harvey. My birthday is 8-20-2016. My Gotcha Day is 8-27-2017. And I am Benji, a terrier mix of unknown origin. MY Birthday is June 6, 2018, and my Gotcha Day is Dec 28, 2018. I also was a rescue from a different part of Texas. We also have Angel MrJackFreckles, (2-5-2018); and also we have Angel Minko, (6-18-2017); and Angel Pipo, (11-3-2020);There are also Angels Groucho, Simba, Suki, & Toki. We meezers used to be known as WeBeesSiameezers. We'e all from Michigan, Dalton and Benji both came here from Texas, as rescues..