This is fiction in that I, servant of my dogs, have written it from the dog’s perspective. You will know what in it is true and what is my speculation of her thoughts and feeling. The final line has two connotations. As many know, we lost our Lexi in May of 2016.
The Show opened!
Last night the show I’m in–the Wizard of Oz– opened and I got to perform on-stage for the first time ever! It was a Thursday night and there were a lot of older people, which was great, since I really relate to that age bracket. I have had lots of practice with my Grandma, after all. Dorothy was about to take me out on stage with the old-looking new leash she had gotten for the part when Jeffery the director said, “No. We aren’t using a leash.” You should have seen the looks on both my Dorothy and my Mom’s faces. Dorothy took a deep breath and I think Mom started praying. No one knew what I would do since I had never been able to show them that I am a born actor. We had rehearsed a lot and I knew my part and did it. When I first ran out to Dorothy on cue and the audience breathed a collective sigh of “Awwwwww,” that sealed it. I knew I had found my calling. I would have done anything to hear that again. Then when I stole the hot dog from the stick like I was supposed to do and everyone laughed, I knew I loved this job more than anything. Dorothy had treats hidden in her socks and gave me lots of them during the play. Mom helped by always waiting off-stage where I was supposed to run when it was time and she always had a treat for me too. I think I am in heaven.
LexiToto the happy Schnauzer
If you wish to join in Final Friday Fiction, follow the link here.
This is the fourth in our series of blogs about when Lexi was the theater dog. In this one, she is just beginning to feel the importance of her new role as the star of the show…
August 19, 2006
I got to go back to the Theatre Center and got interviewed by someone from a newspaper. I tried to answer some of the questions but I think the lady only wrote down what Mommy said. I had my picture taken a bunch with Dorothy. I decided I like having my picture taken and posed very nicely outside right next to Dorothy’s red shoes. All of her they got in the picture was her red shoes. Ha, ha, won’t she be surprised! The camera lady said I was very photogenic. What’s photogenic?
When I was a young pup and having a great time chewing to shreds my potty paper, who would have thought that some day I would be featured in a newspaper? Yep, there I am, posing so beautifully with Dorothy on the front page of the Lifestyle section of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Maybe the lady will give some of the pictures to my Mommy and she will put them on my web page.
I followed Dorothy everywhere during rehearsal. I was soooo excited to see her. She came over to my house last week and played with me. Then she came back another day just to take me for ice cream. I wonder how she knew I love ice cream best of all? She is my special friend now. I heard her talking to Mommy about coming to see me again. She is going to come pick me up from my Grandma’s. Dorothy said something about taking me on TV with her. That sounds so silly. Why on earth would she want to be on a TV? I hope I don’t have to sit on the TV. It is up a little too high and I might fall off. I am not a cat, you know.
I love rehearsal now. I get lots and lots of treats. And lots and lots of petting and “good girls”. But especially lots of treats. Everyone is very impressed that I bark when Mommy tells me. Once she remembered the right word to tell me to bark, I understood and now I bark every time she says it. It goes back to me learning to “stay” while we were at the park. First Mom would tell me to “heel,” then “sit,” then “stay.” When it was ok for me to get up again, Mom would say, “free!” The first thing I would do when she said “free” was to jump up and bark, then take off running. So now when Mom wants me to bark, all she has to do is say “free!”
It is late and I want to go to bed now. I always get a treat at bedtime!
Woof, woof! (And a special woof at the witch’s old hat!!)
We’re very thankful to Fivesibes for hosting Flashback Friday! This is the third in our series of blogs about when Lexi was the theater dog. In this one, rehearsal has just begun for her new role as the star of the show…
Being Toto isn’t easy
Man, easy street is over for LexiToto (me). I have to go to rehearsals and get dragged out to Dorothy where she always picks me up. I’m not liken that at all. I have to memorize my lines – mostly woof! It’s getting the knack of when to say “woof” especially after a life-time of being told to stop barking.
But then everything changed. Dorothy came to my house! and she played ball with me! and she played platy (platypus) hand puppet with me! and she took me for a walk! and she gave me new treats! She even understands dog-speak!! And she sang to me too! I heard her tell Mom she’s not going to pick me up any more because I don’t like it. Ya know, maybe she’s ok after all. Then we went to the meat market and the butcher came out to see me and brought me a big bone. It is so big I can hardly lift it, and boy oh boy is it good!
Mom got me this super yummy treat that is soft and tastes like peanut butter. She keeps making me roll over on my side before she will give me any. I don’t like that. It doesn’t feel right. She said something about poppies and looking like I am asleep. Right now, I am hoping she gives up on this “over” thing. What are poppies?
We’re very thankful to Fivesibes for hosting Flashback Friday! This is the second in our series of blogs about when Lexi was the theater dog. In this one, she’s still preparing for her new role as the star of the show…
I might be Toto
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON
Oh boy, I aced my audition to be Toto in the local production of the Wizard of Oz. I am not quite sure what that means, but Mom said that a lot of people will love me. I like that, so I am going to work real hard with Mom before we go so I can be the best Toto ever. (What’s a Toto?) Now I know all my commands with just hand signals. I can sit and down and here and stay and heel and twirl. Mom has started telling me to bark, which is really confusing since she is always telling me to NOT bark. I wish she would make up her mind.
I went to Grandma’s this morning before Mom went to work, but the screen door was locked so Mom took me back home and I had to stay by myself all day. I didn’t even get my toast with jam from my Grandma. I made up for it by tearing something up and pooping upstairs. So there! It really seemed like a good idea at the time. But, when Mom came home, I felt bad because I knew I shouldn’t have done those things and I was afraid she would yell at me and call me a “bad dog.” I hate that. She didn’t yell or anything. She just picked it all up and then worked with me to get ready for this Toto thing. I got lots of treats, too. Hmmm. I think I like this Toto thing better all the time.
I will let you know when I find out what Toto is. Woof! Woof!
We’re thankful to Fivesibes for hosting Flashback Friday! For the next few Fridays we are going to feature the original author and creator of this blog, our angel sister, Lexi the Schnauzer and her time in the theater. Today we will start with the beginning…
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON
I had my audition today to be Toto in the Wizard of Oz. It was no big deal. No, really. I am not just being modest. Come on, think about it— me, modest? Mom just asked me to do some stuff I do for her all the time anyhow, like sit, down, stay, heel, twirl. The guy that was watching me do all this asked Mom if I would walk with him, so she gave the yummy bologna to him and he asked me to heel. He was real impressed, but what did he think, that I was going to let him walk away with my bologna? No way! Anyhow, I have to go back on Wednesday to play with the rest of the cast. He said something about they would all want to feed me cookies. I don’t care if I have to sit or lay down for cookies. I sit and lay around a lot anyhow, so again, no big deal. Cookies and bologna…I knew this Toto thing was going to be good.
Oh, and better yet, this guy wants Mom to let my hair grow out. You know what that means don’t you? No grooming!!!! It only keeps getting better and better. Now, if only I don’t have to take baths, either…
“I’m off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz.” What’s Oz?
Daddy, thank you for sitting here on the arm of the couch so I have something to lean my back against. It’s mighty comfy here on my princess couch pillow.
Look at those two slackers. You’d think it was bedtime.
Well, I’m thankful for my sister Lucy and for Riley, too.
*yawn* Maybe it is bedtime. I’m thankful for my soft couch pillow and for my soft big bed I share wih you and Mommy.
Chia: Get outa the way, sister. I want that spot with my Dad. Move!
Xena: I can’t wait until that pup goes to the Manners Matter class with Mommy. She’ll probably have to take it about 87 times. Daddy, go ahead and put that long mess in my kennel for the night and I’ll meet you in the bedroom with Mommy.
Today we are starting with the founder and original author of this blog, our Angel sister, Lexi the Schnauzer.
Now we each get to take a turn so there’s no resentment or fighting. Since I, Xena, am the schnauzer who inherited this blog, I get to go next. Yesterday I got my monthly groom and weekly bath so I could look nice for you.
Don’t you just love how Mommy made my picture extra special to make me the focus of your attention?
You wanna guess what happened next? All of a sudden, Larry the Lemur, who had been missing since June, appeared from a field of flowers on our back porch! But where did the flowers come from!?
I was never very crazy about Larry, but he seemed changed. He said he’s been hiding because of Chia. Yep, I get that.
And can you guess what happened next? Chia zoomed past me, grabbing up Larry on her way.
Larry’s worst fears came true. Chia’s mouth is open, ready to deadie my stuffie. It was like the movie Nightmare on Elm Street. Do you see him covering his head to try to protect himself? Chia wouldn’t give him up to Mommy, so Mommy pulled her tail. When she looked back to see what was happening, Mommy grabbed Larry and helped him find a high place to hide again. Hey Chia, that was your turn for your selfie, BOL!
Riley’s up next. Mommy gave him a bath in the big tub yesterday, and she hurt her back trying to get all 75 pounds of him out of the tub. She told him he was on his own and left him there. Obviously, he did. (She’s going to the chiro doctor tomorrow.) Anyhoo, Riley said it was his nap time, so just get this picture thing over with. Riley, you’re not gonna get very far with that attitude!
Riley: Grrr. Xena: OK, big buddy, all done!
Finally, we have Lucy, who wanted us to make her picture pretty like mine.
That’s all of us! So, who do you think has the prettiest picture. If you vote for me, I’ll…
Lucy: Xena! You’re doing it again! It’s not a contest!! And there’s no voting, either.
Xena: Well, if it was, Chia would lose.
XOXOX Lucy, Riley, Chia and Xena Schnauzer Warrior Princess.
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
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.
But it took Lexi to teach Mom to say, “Let them eat McDonalds.”
We are thankful for our friends who we know in the furs. Gracie, who never comes to see us anymore.
The big lunk, Achilles. (We love you Achilles.)
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.
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!
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..
Dogtor B, an ex-shelter dog, became a therapy dog in October 2016. In 2020 he moved from Florida to New Zealand. He loves to talk about his endeavors, his brother Sky, and life in general as an American expat in New Zealand.