Earth Day Challenge

I got excited about entering the Earth Day Challenge that Louis Dog Armstrong, who is in charge of the A&E Department, is sponsoring. The earth is the only home that I will ever have that will let me do my pee pee and poo poo on it. Seriously. Think about it. So I want to help make sure it is here as long as we are. I heard that it helps to plant a tree, so I  thought up something really special. I planted a Dog Treat Tree!


First, I dug a hole. Then, I planted a dog bone treat (see red arrow). Next, I made some fertilizer (see blue arrow). Finally, I fish ya’ll liced what the tree will look like when it is grown. I learned how to do that fish ya’ll lice thing by watching the video my Sister Angel Lexi made. I can’t wait until the tree is big and I can pick and eat the bones. I hope it will be ready in less than 87 days. I hope I did a good job for Earth Day!

Grooming Marathon

More new grooming clients are pouring in this week before Easter: Wednesday.  Chester lives in a nearby subdivision and is the darling of his three teenage peep sisters. He was a rescue and is about four years old. No one knows what breed this 20+ pounder is. Why don’t you leave your best guess in the comment section? His personality includes sweet and loving, a bit timid, very close to his family, and absolutely terrified of baths. He’s strong (Note to self: ask for help from husband/son next time I give him a bath), but definitely not a biter. Isn’t his shaved coloring absolutely gorgeous!?

0414171109c-1Today – Friday: I booked in five dogs. That’s something I haven’t done for years, so I did my back exercises before and between a couple of them. The first to arrive was Emmy, a darling  9-year-old shih tzu. I only took an after picture of her, since  she is on my “3 week plan.” Emmy first came to me six weeks ago via the Neighborhood website. She was full of mats, and I had little choice but to shave parts of her ears and other places to save her the suffering of me working the mats out. She returned in 3 weeks for a mini-groom. This includes a good brush out, nails, face, paws, and a bath at a discounted rate. Today, 3 weeks later, she got a full groom again. Ears are still growing out.

Next came two new pups, whose Moms also found me on the Neighborhood website.  Charlie is a 4-year-old long-haired dachsund. He only gets groomed twice a year, and he gets a complete shave-down. Charlie’s another one who hates baths. He scared me half to death when he screamed as I was cutting his nails. I thought for sure I had cut into the quick and hurt him. I pet him and told him how sorry I was. Then I looked at the nail, and there was no blood. I placed the nail clippers on the next nail and he screamed again.  He was anticipating pain. (Note to self: get ear protection) He also doesn’t like his paws shaved. Or his tail. At least he did no more than grab my hand once. I reflexively screamed, anticipating a bite. I guess we’re even.

Charlie’s  sister Rosie, an 11-year-old mini long-haired dachshund, was next. She lost her left eye to a possum a few years back. Talk about the perfect lady on the grooming table!

I asked their Moms why they didn’t just get short-haired dachshunds! Turns out, Charlie was a rescue, and precious Rosie was an unwanted puppy (by original owner). After the Moms saw their groomed dachsies, they asked how often people usually bring their dogs, and I saw the wheels turning. Maybe I will see them again soon. Now, where to get that hearing protector…

To finish off a great day, my two favorites showed up. I have been grooming them on my “3 week plan” for four years. In May of 2013, Jeff and I were taking Lexi for a walk and saw neighbors out with their small schnauzer and shih tzu. When they found out I groom Lexi, they asked if I would groom their dogs. That’s how I got started “grooming for pay” again. I only took “after” pics since they are never in bad condition. Just one more way Lexi enriched my life!

  Maggie

Dora

Thanks for following along on my grooming journey, and I hope you are enjoying it, too.

Lucy’s First Vacation

I went in the car with My Jeff Dad on Monday morning after he had stuffed his gut and didn’t give me any eaten breakfast and packed a whole bunch of stuff in the trunk and on the front and back seats. I got to sit in the back (as usual) on a black and silver colored bed that smelled like another dog. I notice that smell around the house a lot, too, and sometimes I get inspiration from it. You know, great ideas, like to go beg for food at the kitchen table.

Bye Chattanooga

Goodbye Chattanooga. I hope to see you and My Amy Mom again someday. 😦 

Since I didn’t even know what a vacation was, I was pretty nervous all day in the car. Where were we going and what would happen if My Amy Mom came home from work and I wasn’t there? I wouldn’t go peepee or drink any water when we stopped, and we seemed to stop a lot.

Lucy in car tongue out

I want to go home.

At the next stop My Jeff Dad pulled off a back road by a really huge field, took me out in the middle of it, and unsnapped my leash. I took this chance to go potty in some bushes. Suddenly, I spotted a rabbit!

Theres a rabbit

You can’t get away from me, you wascally wabbit!

I could have caught the bunny, you know, but it is too close to Easter to take that chance.

After 87 hours, we went into this really huge house with so many smells I couldn’t read all of them, and with lots and lots of bedrooms. Can you believe My Jeff Dad closed me in the bathroom while he went out and feasted on something? I sat on my new bed thinking about how I coulda-shouda caught the rabbit to snack on while he was gone. When he got back, he put my bed next to something called a meer. I could see myself in it, and I wagged my tail and stared at myself for a long time. I then chose to sleep in my very own peeps bed all night long.

Lucy in hotel

For fun, I tried to see if I could blend in with the carpet. (darn red collar)

The next morning My Jeff Dad brought me my own scrambled eggs. This time, I wasn’t nervous when we got in the car. This vacation thing was beginning to seem like a fun thing. I didn’t pant any more and My Jeff Dad figured out that if he took me over to the bushes, I would do my bizness even when he was standing there holding the leash. Then he started explaining to me that I was going to meet my Grandma and that I would love her and she would love me. He also eased my mind by saying we would stay just a few nights, then go back home to Chattanooga and My Amy Mom.

Jeff Dad weren't we supposed to turn there

Hey Jeff Dad, I think you missed your turn. Hey Jeff Dad, did you see that place that smells like hamburgers? Hey Jeff Dad…

It was only day two and My Jeff Dad said I was acting like a seasoned traveller. I’m not sure what that is, but he laughed and said it like it was a good thing.

We finally got to my new Grandma’s house, and she came outside to meet me. I knew she was a person of many years and I was careful not to jump or push against her. I wagged a lot and gently nudged her with my nose. She smiled and petted me and said I am a good dog. I spent most of the evening under her walker, cuddled up against her legs. It’s getting late here in this place called Ill in Noise, so I am going to go sleep on my new bed and dream about wascally wabbits and what fun we will have tomorrow.

Love and wags from Ill in Noise, Lucy.

Pee Ess: Even in Ill in Noise, I heard that my new friend Dory lost her fight with heart disease this week and has gone to the Rainbow Bridge. Her family greatly appreciates all the support they have received from their friends in Blogville. If you haven’t reached out to them, you can go here to do that.

A Beach Party Invite

Dear Shelby,

When Aunt Amy told me about the Spring Break Beach Party, all I could think about was taking you to the beach. I know you don’t really like water, so we don’t have to go swimming or participate in the Scuba Diving or Surfing events. But wouldn’t it be great fun to run free on the beach?

Shelby, you will be so beautiful running with me!

We could also join in the Treasure Hunt — maybe we will find some bones to chew! And the Amusement Park looked like fun too. I promise we will only go on the rides you like.

So, what do you say?   Yes  or    Yes  (or  _ Maybe, but probably YES)
Your biggest admirer,
Piper

P.S. Your protective brother Sidney can come, too, but he will have to find his own ride.

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

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!”

 

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.