It’s a Sign!

groom signMy subdivision, Port Royal, is relatively small, maybe 30 or 40 houses. It is also on a cul-de-sac, so we have no through traffic. There are two houses for sale on our street. Earlier this week I got a call from a lady who had been house-shopping and wrote down my number from the sign in my front yard.

She had looked at so many houses that she couldn’t even remember where I was located, but she wanted to bring  Winston, her 10 month old multi-poo-shih-tzu to me to groom. It ended up being a 20 minute drive this morning, but she didn’t seem to mind. What a wiggle butt, and a sweet boy!

After the groom, Winston’s Mom couldn’t come for him for over an hour, so after I grabbed a bite of lunch I carried the little guy upstairs to meet Lucy. She was very gentle with him while he sat in my lap and made friends with her.

My next groom had rescheduled for Good Friday, so I thought I was done for the day. After returning from a quick run to Walmart, which, for an early Friday afternoon, was uncharacteristically packed, my mobile rang with a local number I didn’t recognize. Unbelievably, it was another person who had driven through the neighborhood to look at the houses for sale and had seen my sign. They were a retired couple who had just returned from three months of wintering in Florida. She claimed they couldn’t find a groomer there for their three pound yorkie. Huh?? They lived nearby, so I told her to bring 15 year old Daisy on over. This was definitely another one of those “I wouldn’t normally groom her this way, but if it’s what you want” grooms.

Isn’t this Senior Lady precious? Their granddaughter convinced them to adopt this cutie as a rescue when Daisy was four years old. Daisy is also an experienced girl on the groom table. Such a delight!

Out of curiosity, I did a spread sheet on the origin of all my active grooms. The results are 20% from my yard sign, 55% from the neighborhood blog, 15% from referrals, and 10% from people in the neighborhood asking who groomed my dog (Lexi) when we were out walking.

Angel Lexi: POTP for Sophie

This is Angel Lexi, taking back my blog tonight for an important message. The front part of the story  goes like this:

Mom groomed two schnauzers today. It was just their third time coming to Mom for grooms. Dexter is still a pup at two years. Mom got a before and after picture (he’s looking down because he is thinking about jumping off the table):


Mom likes schnauzers groomed like schnauzers, but she does what their Moms ask. (I think that’s how she gets paid.) In this case Dexter and his sister are outside playing in the woods a lot and only get groomed every three months, so I guess it makes sense to get all that hair off.

Dexter’s sister, Sophie, is nine years old. She got kinda scared when Mom tried to shave her back legs, so Mom stopped and just loved on her a while and got rewarded with a kiss on the nose. That calmed Sophie down enough for Mom to finish.  I don’t know who is the bigger sucker. Anyhow, Mom forgot to get a “before” picture, so here she is after Mom stole her hair. Yes, we schnauzers have hair, not fur. That is why we don’t make people sneeze.

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Sophie has had a lot of trouble with hematomas in her ears and had to have surgery on both of them. Now she has a scary-looking tumor on the edge of her left ear. Mom was almost crying, ’cause she really, really likes Sophie and Mom is scared about the tumor. I guess that’s cause of what happened to me. Anyhow, I got called in to intervene with the Big Guy. Mom took another picture and if you look real close, you can see the tumor on the bottom part of Sophie’s ear.

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It would be great if all my friends would do some POTP for Sophie.  Her family loves her a lot and Sophie isn’t ready to say goodbye yet. I’ll be listening, and so will the Big Guy.

My First Kong

I’ve been pretty much bored out of my skull all day with Riley gone off somewhere with Andrew and no one to play with. I played the in-out game until My Amy Mom yelled NO! NO MORE! and told me to settle myself somewhere. So I went and asked My Jeff Dad and he also said no. I waited a few minutes, thinking they would get bored, too, and want to play the game with me some more. I asked My Amy Mom and got the same answer. Straightway, I went back to My Jeff Dad’s office and asked, and he said I would have to ask my mother.  *hurumph*

After a while, I saw My Amy Mom take my new Kong toy off the top of the refrigerator. Then I watched her tear up some cooked chickie boobies, make some mashed potatoes from a box, and pull a bag out of the freezer. Next, she did this.


When she opened the door and let me go out, my first thought was game on! But then she came out with the Kong, and it had this yummy food in it. I wasn’t real sure exactly what My Amy Mom wanted me to do at first.

I’m not sure what to do with this.

Then she told me it was mine and I could have it and the food that was in it.

I’m licking the good end. I finally wedged it against the fence and that worked better.

My Amy Mom sat in the sun while I worked out the best tek neek to get all the yum out of the Kong. I guess it turned into a pretty good day after all!

Wiggles and wags, ❤  Lucy.

Note from My Amy Mom: Here’s the easy recipe, especially if you have some leftover chicken.  Ground beef would work equally well. You can place the stuffed Kong in the freezer to make the play time with it last longer. Also, I doubled the recipe so I could refill it when this play time was over, and it will be ready for next time.

Chicken Pot Pie for Dog Kong

  • 1/2 Cup Cooked Chicken
  • 1/2 Mashed Potatoes
  • 1/4 Cup Frozen Peas and Carrots

Mix all ingredients together and stuff into a KONG. Freeze for a longer lasting treat.

*Will fill one to two Large or X-Large KONGs

Memory Monday: Sammy Joe

Sammy heading to shore…                          and returning to boat

Boating Dog: My first boat dog, Sammy, deserves a lot more recognition than I can give him in one short (or longish) post. His passion was the lake and boating. If the traffic was heavy on the way to the lake, he ran back and forth whining, trying to encourage me to go faster. Like Lexi, he always knew what it meant when the boat bag got packed. On one occasion — as we were walking along the dock, heading to the car — a couple of pretty young ladies passed us on the way to their boat. Without missing a beat, Sammy made a U turn and walked beside them, staring up at them as he went. I believe the expression is, “You dog, you!” He always did prefer women over men.

Sammy Dec 1999 edited

Sammy age 8 years

Adoption Story: In 1991, four identical six-month-old pups were brought to the vet hospital where I worked in for us to try to find them homes. We didn’t normally do this, but this lady was a good client, and the pups were just so darn cute. At the time, all we had was a one and a half year old schnauzer, Freda. I thought it would be good for Freda to have a friend, and for my 12-year-old son to have his own dog. He picked one out and home we went. I suggested the name Sammy after a dog who lived down the street from me when I was a child, and the name stuck. Or Samuel Joseph whenever he was in trouble.

And the Rest: Sammy didn’t shed, he got ear infections, and he bayed like a beagle. With these and other characteristics, I had him pegged as a schnauzer/cocker spaniel/beagle/+ mix. He was a great help in keeping my side of the bed warm until I joined him. Then he kept my back warm while I spooned Freda. For years we slept all night like that, me the bologna and the dogs the bread.

Sam’s favorite trick — especially when I had company — was his “Grand Entrance.” He would nonchalantly exit the living room and stroll down the hallway to the bedroom. You could almost hear him saying, “La ti da de da de da. Don’t pay any attention to me. I’m not doing anything.” He would wait about ten seconds before  galloping back to the living room and spinning around 180 degrees, landing with his legs spread, his head high and an open-mouthed grin. It was easy to picture him shouting, “Ta daaaaa!” This never failed to bring smiles, laughter and applause. I could also prompt him by suggesting he do an Entrance. He would act like he hadn’t heard me, wait a few minutes, then head down the hall. In his mind, it always had to be a surprise, or it wasn’t any good.

Sammy loved to wear clothes. I discovered this when I put one of my son’s outgrown T-shirts on him and he walked around making sure everyone saw his new duds. He had a strong sense of self and always strutted proudly after a groom. It was as if he was saying, “Look at me! I am as good as my schnauzer sister!”

Sammys 9th B-Day party

Celebrating July 4th and Sammy’s 9th Birthday with cake.

During this time I had a thriving grooming and boarding business in my home. Sammy made friends with most of the boarders, some of whom are shown above, eating cake on his birthday. Sammy is in the middle wearing his Independence Day scarf. This same year, Sammy was diagnosed with cancer. I assisted in the surgery while the vet removed a large tumor from Sammy’s abdomen. She flushed and flushed his abdomen with sterilized water, swishing it around with her gloved hand, while I sucked it out with a pump. She was trying to wash away any loose cancer cells. With this type of cancer, he was only given three months to live. All the prayer warriors went to work. He made a good recovery from the surgery, but the strangest thing happened. His personality totally changed. While still the sweet, loving dog we had always known, he suddenly became happier and fearless. It was as if he was thumbing his nose at death, as if he was saying, “I’m ready to live!” He was happier than I had ever seen him.

The next year, a young adult German Shepherd named Ara entered our lives and home. Ara and a very much alive and healthy Sammy soon became fast friends.

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Ara and Sammy (age 10) April 2001

Freda  the schnauzer was always in charge. Sammy never even tried to say, “You’re not the boss of me!” I was soon to lose Freda, at age 11, to complications of Cushing’s disease, from which she had been blind since she was five.

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Freda and Sammy – April 2001

Below is the last picture I have of my sweet Sam looking healthy. He was ten here, and still cancer-free.

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 December 2001

The following year, two years after his first bout with cancer, he was diagnosed with a different type of malignant tumor.Sammy celebrated his last Christmas in 2002 with a new Teddy Bear sweater. He was so proud to wear it!

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I was to lose him before the new year. Remembering you with love, my dear boy, my Sweet Sammy. ❤

 

My Week in Pictures, or How I Got Fired

Hi this is Lucy. I finally got Amy to help me with a post. After all, I now share this post with my sister Angel Lexi.

My week didn’t start out the best. Riley went off with Andrew and left me at home all day on Tuesday. Here’s what he was doing. I am not sure I would have wanted to do that with him. But he’s my boyfriend and I think he should have at least asked me.

                                    The water’s not cold — it’s refreshing!

Then he teased me with this video.

The next day, I showed him! I went to work with Amy and left him at home!! When Amy wasn’t paying attention, I wandered down the hall and went into the nursery. It smelled funny, so…


I figured everyone was leaving pee mail, and I would say hi too. Boy, did I get in trouble! Amy lectured me, and said I got one more chance when she brought me back the next day. The next day was Thursday, and it started out really great. All the little people came and I got to be the greeter!

Welcome to St. Luke. I am Lucy, and I will play with you.

A little later, I really had to do my business, so, since Amy had given me another chance, guess where I did it. Amy told Jeff and Jeff told Andrew and Andrew said he would clean the carpet before the babies and toddlers came in on Sunday. Then I got fired. When we left for home, Amy said I should tell the pastor, “Goodbye, see you in a year.”

When I got home, I ran into Jeff’s office because I knew Amy was still upset with me. Riley was there, and we practiced our coordinated half moon sleeping position.Today after work Amy put me and Riley in the car and took us someplace called a dog park. She said we could only stay if no one else was using it, which she said is usually the case. I think it would be lots of fun if there were other dogs there, but she said after what happened to Riley at another dog park, she wasn’t risking it. This one is just a big grassy area enclosed by a fence. It’s tons bigger than our dog lot. It has a bench for peeps to sit on and a sign with rules and a stream running through it.  Except there was no water in the stream today.  Amy said most people don’t come ’cause it doesn’t have any ex straws. I don’t need ex straws, whatever those are. Riley and I had tons of fun there just like it is!

At first we just played like we do at home.

Then, we ran like the wind!

I hope you enjoyed catching up with what I’ve been doing. Now that I am unemployed, I will have to find other things to get into things to chew activities.

Lots of love, Lucy

 

A Happier Nextdoor Story

On Sunday, my idea was to post about all the grooming business I have gotten from the Nextdoor website. Somehow, my flow of consciousness never got past the boat. I guess that was something I needed to share.

Back to Nextdoor and grooming. I believe in visualization. That’s sort of like seeing things in your mind’s eye as if they are really happening or have already happened and believing that image. Others might say it is how a person can manifest what they want. I have to be careful, though, because not everything I have wanted has ended up being good for me: otherwise known as bad decisions. I thought strongly about having more dogs coming to me to be groomed. Nice dogs. I love dogs and love grooming them, so what better way to make some money? Next came the action step.

I posted on the site that many of my neighbors read – even in surrounding neighborhoods – that I groom small dogs and included information like price and that theirs would be the only dog here at their appointment time. My first new groom was Della, a miniature yorkie whose Mom wanted to stay during the groom. No problem. As long as the dog isn’t acting out because of it, that just gives me someone to talk to — or listen to, as is usually the case. The next day I groomed Della’s brother, the teacup yorkie, Chaz, with Mom staying again. I didn’t manage to get a picture either day, but next time…

Next was Pete, a morkie (maltese and yorkie designer dog). Pete’s Mom told me the females were selling for over $1000, but they were giving away the males. *scratches head* His Aunt Freda sits in the pew behind me and Jeff every Sunday at 8:00, and also lives with Pete and his Mom. Again, next time I will get a picture.

Both these folks gave me such glowing reviews on Nextdoor that the appointments picked up steam!

Pretty soon Sadie Jo, the terrier/chihuahua mix showed up. The hair on this sweet girl’s back hadn’t grown since Thanksgiving. With all the hair on her head and legs grown and sticking out every which way, this was one crazy-looking dog. As I saw a big possibility of thyroid problems or Cushing’s disease, I encouraged her Mom to take her to visit her vet. While the vet agreed with me, the tests all came back normal. She wants to see Sadie Jo in three months to retest her. Another great review brought more pups through the door.

Emmy is a shih tzu with bad allergies and lots of mats. Then came Laila and Louie. Laila is a shitzu/poodle mix, born last November. What a sweetie, and what a handful. She is all puppy and wanted to keep giving me face kisses. ❤

                                                                    (Laila on left, Louis on right.)
Her brother Louis is a shih tzu/ petit basset griffon vendéen mix. When he showed up, his hair was standing up on his head and hanging in his eyes and he looked a fright, kind of like a gargoyle. He’s still a puppy at 10 months, but much calmer, and of course you can see how adorable he is post-groom in the picture on the right. After an hour with him I had fallen in love and would keep this pup forever, but he is his Mom’s heart dog. She is willing, however, to part with Laila to the right person, since she has only had Laila two months, and Louis was happier as an only dog. That was definitely a Lexi trait. After hearing all about Louis and seeing the tricks he already knows, I said something I have only said once before in my life. Louis would be perfect on stage as Toto. I encouraged his Mom to take him if — no, when — this role becomes available in Chattanooga again.  I guess his Mom would know where to come looking if I dog napped him.

Then I got Lizzie, the shih tzu/basset mix. She’s five. I promise you, this is how her Mom wanted her groomed and I aim to please, as they say. Below is Lizzie “before” and “after.” Can you see those little basset griffon legs?

Finally, on Saturday, I got in Bella, an older yorkie mix with lots of skin tags, so I just did a scissor cut on this good girl. I have to say, every one of these dogs have been absolutely delightful. And their folks have all been thankful to find a groomer they like in the neighborhood — giving me great reviews —  with all the activity keeping my post near the top for everyone to see.

I never dreamed I could generate this much activity, with such wonderful dogs. All I can say is, “Thank you, God!”

 

Nextdoor

Our neighborhood, like many others , has a Nextdoor website group. In short, it is a closed group for just the neighborhood folks and surrounding areas. People can post what is going on in the area in real time: crime; items for sale; services available; questions, especially about needing help with something, such as who is the best person to contact for a service. Through Nextdoor I recently found an individual to work on my old pontoon boat’s outboard motor. I dropped it off at his house this afternoon.

My first boating dog was my precious Sammy. When he succumbed at age 11 during his second bout with cancer, I renamed the boat the Sammy Joe after him.

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Lexi wanted me to rename the boat the Lexi B. However, she realized Sammy only got that honor after he had left for the rainbow bridge, so she decided she was in no hurry. Now, after losing both my precious boat dogs, I can no longer bear to take the Lexi B out on the lake. Unless the mechanic decides to buy it -his eyes lit up when I said I wanted to sell it and gave him a price – I will park the Lexi B in front of the house with a for sale sign. I’ll also put it on Nextdoor, with this photo:

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And so ends another chapter – a long and fun chapter -in the story of my life.

Loyal

I bet you thought I was talking about my dog. Well of course you did. My dog, your dog, all our dogs. Loyal is a defining word for our 4-legged, tail-wagging companions. It is also the name of a touching new book just out by author Rebecca Ascher-Walsh. I was pretty amazed as well as excited when  TLC Tours sent me a hot-off-the-press copy of Loyal in exchange for an honest review. No strings attached. So, here goes.

I love it. Yep. I mean, who wouldn’t love real life stories about dogs — just like many of ours — who have risen from unwanted shelter pups to heros in their own right? OK, so no one pulled a child from a burning building. What I’m talking about here is on-going, every day heroism. Not just the kind that we all need in our lives at least a little: the head in our laps when we are down, staying close when we are sick, the unconditional love. I’m talking about the kind that enables someone to continue on with life when all seemed lost. Who are these featured heroes?

There is Wyatt the Ridgeback, who detected a melanoma the doctors had missed in his soon-to-be Mom, saving her life.

There is Diamond the Lab Mix, who enabled an Afghanistan war veteran suffering from a disabling case of PTSD to resume a normal life.

There is Duke the Border Collie, who works as a team with his wheelchair-bound person to gather cattle on the pasture faster than the mounted cowboys.

In Loyal you will also read about Drago the Spinone Italiano, Zoey and Andy the Golden Retrievers, Scout the German Wirehaired Pointer, Glory the Bloodhound, Lyric the Beagle and many more.

Lucy wants to be sure I mention Roxy the Pit Bull. She said she wants to grow up to be just like Roxy: a glowing example representing her breed. She also wants me to give honorable mention to Niko the Pit Bull-Corgi Mix. He’s all hugs and licks, just like her. Oh, and he performs his magic in prisons.

Atlas the French Mastiff is Riley’s favorite since the Ri Boy also has some Dogue de Bordeaux in him. Atlas also shares Riley’s passion for children and acts as a champion for disabled children in rehab wards.

Angel Lexi wants you to know that her book is better because it is all about her. (She was never very good at sharing the spotlight.) Even so, she thinks maybe you will like this one too. After all, many of them are therapy dogs of one kind or another, just like Lexi was. Hmm, where was I? Oh yes.

Loyal is written as 38 short stories, all with beautiful color photographs.  I like that it lists facts about many of the dog breeds represented, such as origin, temperament, appearance and training tips. I also like that the hardcover is illustrated the same as the beautiful dust cover. That way, when your dog chews off the dust jacket, you still have the pretty picture on the front of the book! Come on, you know it’s true.

The rest of this post is the material the publisher gave me. You can click on links to read more about Loyal and author Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, as well as to purchase it.  Happy reading!

About Loyal

• Hardcover: 160 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic (March 7, 2017)

This special collection of dog stories and photographs features four-legged heroes who have worked side by side with soldiers, searched the wreckage of natural and man-made disasters, changed families’ lives through emotional support, and administered aid around the world and at home in the United States. Heartwarming photographs and touching anecdotes bring to life thirty-eight caring canines who have served the people who mean the most to them, from a German Shepherd who leads a blind man on his marathon training mission to a belly rub-loving Sheltie who supports at-risk youth in the classroom. For anyone who has experienced the extraordinary affection of a dog, Loyal is a lasting celebration of the joys of canine companionship.

Purchase Links

National Geographic | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Rebecca Ascher-Walsh

Rebecca Ascher-Walsh is a writer who specializes in celebrity and lifestyle coverage, but who also loves dogs and telling stories about amazing animals. She contributes to many newspapers and national magazines including Entertainment Weekly, Adweek, and the Los Angeles Times. She is a volunteer at a high-kill shelter in Manhattan and a founding director of the Deja Foundation, devoted to funding the medical care and training costs of dogs rescued from high-kill shelters.

 

MS Awareness Month

One of my blogging friends posted this. She has MS, and is an amazing young woman. Also, if you don’t already know her English Bulldog, Nugget, I highly recommend you stop by for a visit.

How much do you know about MS? I decided with it being MS Awareness Month I would share a great website I follow it’s called Positive Living With MS by Penelope Conway the link is below. Penelope has some great facts, advice and info on MS some of which I have used below. MS effects everyone differently and […]

via March is MS Awareness Month  — Nuggets Drooling

Are We Still in Kansas?

lexi-dorothyFive years ago, Lexi was recruited to help the Chattanooga Symphony Opera (CSO) promote their instrumental score of the Wizard of Oz (WOZ) while the much-loved film played on a screen behind them. On March 2, 2012, Lexi’s new “Dorothy” – who Lexi knew from a different role in the previous production of WOZ – came to pick her up in a Pedi cab. They were to travel the streets and businesses of Chattanooga for the CSO promotion. On that day, one of Lexi’s life-long dreams came true: she was allowed in a restaurant!

Something else happened that day, too, while Lexi and her “Dorothy” were riding around town. As the line goes in the play, “The wind began to blow.” The darkening sky showed tinges of green, with swirling, ominous clouds. People looked up at the sky, stopped them and asked, “How did you manage the weather?” before running for shelter. Meanwhile, I was shut in the basement of the church, praying that Lexi didn’t get whisked off to Oz.

Note: Multiple tornadoes touched down in the Tennessee Valley area that day, doing extensive damage.