February Challenge on Wordy Wednesday: Lexi, the Therapy Dog

Love. That’s what this month is about. That’s what this post is about.

Lexi spent ten years of her life going the third Thursday of every month (except November, when it always fell on Thanksgiving) to T.C. Thompson’s Children’s Hospital in Chattanooga. Sometimes I took her, and every once in a while the children’s director at the church where I worked asked to take her.

As an aside, I usually visited with the quilting group at the church every Thursdays, except the third one. Lexi would always come with me, and the ladies always made a fuss over her. On one of the third Thursdays that the children’s director had taken Lexi to do her “therapizing,” an older lady asked for Lexi’s whereabouts. I told her Lexi had gone to the children’s hospital to do her “therapizing”. The lady sat very quietly for a moment, then said, “Well, I knew she’s talented, but goodness, I didn’t know she could drive.”

It didn’t really matter who took her; we were just her means of getting to where she needed to be. After receiving her first treat, she took on her demeanor as a therapy dog and it was all business…and love.

One little girl, Kennedy, was there more often than not throughout the many years we visited. We watched her grow, we watched her struggle. During one visit, we walked into Kennedy’s room, where she had her head covered, crying. Lexi jumped on the bed, and the therapy pet coordinator said, “Look who’s here, Kennedy.” She pulled the covers down and a huge smile brightened her face. She grabbed Lexi in a big hug and held her against her chest. Lexi hated being hugged, but understanding how much Kennedy needed this, just laid there, held tight without a struggle until the little girl finally released her.

Lexi also did therapy at Siskin Physical Rehab in Chattanooga. Two incidents immediately come to mind. They both happened on the same day

In the hallway before entering a rehab area, an older man stood guard. He looked down and just stared at Lexi. “I’ve never much liked dogs, been scared of them all my life. I’ve never petted any of the dogs that come here. But this one here, she’s special. May I pet her?” I picked up Lexi so he could pet her, and he continued, “I used to be a pastor, and I do believe that the good Lord sent her.”

In the room, a young man sat in a wheelchair with his therapist standing next to him. After getting his permission, I gently set Lexi in his lap. She sat there while he pet her and the rest of us visited. We usually spent about five minutes with different patients at the rehab. This time, I suddenly realized 15 minutes had passed, with Lexi pawing at the young man’s hand every time he stopped petting her. This was unusual for her. As we walked away I overheard the man’s therapist say, “That was so good! You actually moved your hand!” I will never know how Lexi always knew just what each patient needed.

On the anniversary of Lexi’s tenth year at T.C. Thompson, I got permission for my husband to come along and take videos. Each person and their guardian gave permission to so this. This was planned to be our last visit, as Lexi was already suffering from the cancer that took her a short three months later.

Thanks to  Comedy Plus for hosting Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

3 Years Ago Today

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.

Lexi’s last visit to the children’s hospital, August 2016

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.

I love birthdays and I love MickyD’s!!

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 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.


Angel Lexi Makes the News (again)

This was in Wednesday’s paper. OK, so they got Lexi’s age wrong (but what girl doesn’t like to be thought of as younger than she is), combined what happened at more than one church, and misquoted me more than once, but hey, it’s the newspaper. What do you expect?

Newspaper Article page 1

Newspaper article

How my Week Turned Around by Piper

About 87 weeks ago I agreed to go home with my Aunt Amy and Uncle Jeff ’cause I knew they were sad and I wanted to help. But it’s been real hard for me. I missed my own Mom and Dad and my sis Ella so much. At Aunt Amy’s, I would sit at the top of the stairs where I know people come up from their cars and I would watch down to the driveway from the patio to see if my Mom was coming. I whined and breathed hard and refused to take my pills (they got stuck down my throat anyhow) and didn’t much feel like eating. Finally, Aunt Amy told my Mom I really needed to come back home because this was too hard on me. I really wanted to be here but I wanted my Mom to be here too.

Aunt Amy would not take me to work with her on Tuesdays because I have never liked being around little kids, and the Parents Day Out program kids come to the church on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I tried my best to go, but she still left me all alone at home. By the time she and Uncle Jeff got home last Tuesday night I was a wreck. I even had what she thinks was a little seizure from getting so worked up.

Thursday: a happy, relaxed boy

Wednesday morning finally arrived and I got to go to work. It was just me and Aunt Amy there. I was very, very  good. I got to run all over the church – except for the place where they hold the Sunday worship service – and I wasn’t nervous so I didn’t mess anywhere. I was such a wreck home alone on Tuesday and so good at work with Aunt Amy on Wednesday that she decided to “go against her better judgement” and take me on Thursday. Thursday is the day the people come in to get their food vouchers to go to the Food Bank and get their food. That opening you see behind my foot goes between Aunt Amy’s office and the volunteer office where those people come. I thought about what Lexi had told me, how she always went to them very calmly and suggested that they pet her. I thought I would give it a try with the first two ladies that came in and guess what? It worked!  So this is therapizing, the therapizing that Lexi loved to do and was so good at it. Well, I could be good at it too. In my desire to therapize, I forgot about what color people were, what they smelled like and how big or little they were. I made them feel happy and they pet me and made me feel happy. No wonder Lexi loved to do this!

In between therapizing, I ran downstairs to see what was up with all the little kids. I have a reputation of not being especially fond of little kids. I decided right then that if I could therapize people in the office, I could therapize little kids in their classrooms too. Twice Aunt Amy called me to come back upstairs. The third time that I ran down, she just said, “Well Piper, you know who is down there and you go at your own risk. Come back when you are ready.” I discovered when I went in the first classroom that the kids loved me. I mean they loved me! They were sweet with me and pet me gently. I made sure everyone was happy and then went into the second classroom. Sure enough, the same thing happened. And guess what? Lexi never did this!!  I think I finally got one up on my cousin. I even think I heard someone say that I could be the church dog!

So you think this is good? I have to tell ya’, things only got better from there. Over the weekend I went for a ride up Lookout Mountain to Rock City with Aunt Amy. On the way, she said we would see my Uncle Jeff and, 15886-1and, and my Mom!! Woohoo! I got to lead the way on the trails and sit with my Momma while we listened to the oompah band, the Wurstbrauts. Mom even helped Uncle Jeff teach polka. The only bad part was when I got tied to a chair. Momma was on the dance floor and Aunt Amy was taking pictures. All these middling size kids kept running past and it kind of scared me. I started yelling “Momma! Amy!, Momma! Amy!” My Mom finally heard me and pointed at me and Aunt Amy saved me. Whew, that was a close call.

Now I am safely and wonderfully home in Kentucky with my Mom and Dad and Ella. I miss Aunt Amy and Uncle Jeff.

I am Piper, the why-can’t-everyone-just-live-together schnauzer.

Lexi’s Memorial Service – Recorded

For those of you who were unable to watch live this morning, here is the link to the recorded service. The sound levels are not great on this raw footage, so please bear with it. They improve a bit into it. Later, when my dear, over-worked husband has a bit of time to work on the sound, I will repost it. But for those who don’t want to wait, here it is on Vimeo:

Lexi’s Memorial Service at St. Luke UMC



Final Children’s Therapy Visit

This summer I finished up a ten year run as a therapy dog. I have done therapy in nursing homes and in a physical rehab center; however, my favorite has been at the children’s hospital – as long as the little munchkins stayed in their beds! The last Thursday of each month, Mom would say, “Lexi, do you want to go therapize the kids today?” I felt so good doing that work that I would grin the whole time I was there. So did the kids! See for yourself…

Reasons 7 and 8 to Vote Lexi for Mayor

Hello friends, Lexi here again. If you missed my Campaign Propoganda previous posts informing you why you need to vote for me for the Supreme Leader of Blogville your Mayor, you can check our reasons 1 & 2 here and reasons 3 & 4 here and reasons 5 & 6  here. Today, we move on to reasons #7 and #8:

7. Volunteer Service: I give all of myself at the Children’s Hospital once a month. My job is to make sick kids smile, and I am very good at it. I grin the whole time I am there. It feels good to give back to the community who loves me. How is this relevant, you may ask. I can give you pointers on how to qualify to be a therapy dog, too. Plus, you can use me as a reference. That should do the trick.

We are BOTH smiling.
We are BOTH smiling.

8. Spokesdog for a Major Multi-National Corporation: I will be YOUR spokesdog, too.

Me as spokesperson for CG Roxanne Water
Me as spokesdog for CG Roxanne Water a.k.a. Crystal Geyser.

While you are here, feel free to grab one of the campaign buttons from the sidebar and join my other friends who are proudly showing support for their candy date of choice!

Piper Update and Hodge Podge

Great news from the vet! We got he results from the biopsy on the tumor removed from Piper’s leg. Piper had a histeocytoma, which is bee nine. That means he does not have cancer. *happy dance* It fooled the vet because it is usually only very young dogs, like under the age of 2, who get these. They said it could grow back, but not to worry if it does. Whew! Piper and his folks and me and my Mom thank everyone for their happy thoughts, prayers POTP, well-wishes and concern. Auntie Jen is back to calling my cousin “the punk,” (as in “Hey, Punk, whatcha want for dinner?”)  so I know he is feeling good again.

It has been busy on the home front. Last weekend the boy stayed with us all weekend. Mommy always knew it was him running in the front doounspecifiedr because I would bark and he would smile and pet me. He’s a good kid, and understands it is just my job to bark at him. Then my peeps brother Adam came on Sunday and took over the room where the boy had been sleeping. I love Adam tons and he loves me tons too. I am his very favorite anipal, which is as it should be. I got to see my other peeps brother Andrew too! After everybody left, I got bored, so I barked at Dad until he agreed to be in a picture with me.

Last night I heard Mom ask Dad if he had people and anipals come stay with him before he met her. He gave a resounding, “No!” Mom said this has happened with her for most of her adult life, and she enjoys it. Mom then got quiet for a moment, and said, “This had to be a big adjustment for you – I love you soooo much!” Aw. To put this in perspective, Auntie Jen lived with us all for a year, brother Andrew, Jentry and The Boy lived with us for two years, my schnauzer cousins Piper and Milo lived with us for a year after Auntie Jen moved out, and there have been plenty of drop ins in between. That is just since Mom and Dad got married in 2008, BOL! Because Dad loves all the peeps and anipals who have also called our house home, he hasn’t minded a bit.

Moving on… Yesterday Dad took me for another acupuncture treat mint because my hip was starting to bother me again. I love going to see Dr. Karen, and I love my treat mints – they make me feel so much better. I get to go back next Friday.

Hallway ceiling at children's hospital
Hallway ceiling at children’s hospital

Today Mom took me to the children’s hospital to therapize the sick and hurting kids. There weren’t as many today, which is good. I was sitting in the bed with one 5 year old boy and he said, “Look Mommy, the doggy likes me. It is smiling at me.” Now, I don’t like being called an “it” but I am glad I made it, er him, happy! Mommy took a picture of the ceiling at the hospital – yes, she claims she meant to do that, BOL! Pretty cool, huh?


Blogsville Mayoral Candy Date Debate #2 – Bring It On!


Here we are again with Debate Tuesday, Week 2. I, Lexi, asked the questions this week and am hoping for some revealing answers to help you make an informed decision (to vote for me) in November. Be sure and grab one of the badges in my sidebar and display it prominently on your blog page to show your support!

For more information on us, the Candy Dates, you are invited to visit our blogs:

Lexi at Lexi the Schnauzer

Arty at Dory’s Backyard

Christmas at Paw Province

Now, let the debate begin!

1. If you could wish for any one thing for Blogville and have it come true, what would it be?

Lexi: There’s been a lot of medical problems lately. I would wish for perfect health for everyone throughout their lives.

Arty: My wish for Blogville and every-ville is that all our friends in shelters and roaming the streets find furr-ever homes real soon!!

Christmas: I know it isn’t possible, but I wish EVERY SINGLE Blogville peep could be in the same place all in one time and everyone would get a chance to talk about their experiences and meet the people and pets who they’ve loved from a distance for so many years.

2. Blogville includes anipals and peeps from all around the world. What experience do you have with foreign dignitaries that would help in your role as mayor, if elected?

Lexi: Let’s see. I had the French to my house one evening for an American meal served in the French tradition. Then I took them all for a walk around my neighborhood to observe and admire our American way of life. I hope they returned to France with stories of our American hospitality. Before a stressful production of Home for the Holidays I offered my therapy services backstage to the Chattanooga Symphony Director Kayoko Dan, originally from Japan. I went on to do therapy with several of the performers. Miss Dan was so appreciative that she sent me a Christmas card. I hope she lets the Japanese know of the kindness of Americans.

Arty: Hmmmm, well I love french fries and would love to try Chinese food someday. Other than that, I will be meeting with dogs from all over the world (well, from the USA and Canada) in June, when I attend the B.A.R. and hope to use this time to help refine my foreign policy!

Christmas: Well, because dog shows are full with top dogs from all over the world, I’ve met dogs from all sorts of places. I’ve met a Standard Schnauzer from Croatia and some other dogs I’ve met have probably been from 87 different places, too. Us Dachshunds are German dogs (wiener schnitzel, anyone?) so I’m part German! I am actually very fluent in German, but it’s a shame that my mommy is a human and can’t understand my German.

3. What is, or would be, your choice for a volunteer service and why?

Lexi: Since 2007 I have been doing monthly therapy with children of all ages at the local children’s hospital. My times onstage at the theatre were also volunteer work, besides being my very favorite thing in the whole world. Putting a smile on a sick or hurting child’s face and making people happy keeps me in touch with my purpose in life, to bring joy to others.

Arty: If given the chance, I would love to be a spokesdog for our anipals that need homes. Coming off the streets myself (when I was only 7 months old), I feel I would do a great job telling the humans out there Rescue Doggies Rock!!

Christmas: My mommy is thinking of training me specifically to be a therapy dog within the next couple of years. I love peeps and I’m very sweet and well behaved. I work well in public and I love to make peeps happy. My long body and longing eyes usually earn me lots of attention on my walks.

4. What is the hardest decision you ever had to make and how did it turn out?

Lexi: Mom and I play the “Leave It, Find It” game with treats. She puts a treat down, says, “Leave it,” and I have to ignore the treat while we go to the next spot in the house where she does it again. Eventually, Mom says, “Find it!” and I get to use my excellent memory to find all the treats and eat them. If I grab and eat one while Mommy is still in the first part of the game, the game is over. So the hardest decision is to leave the treat so that I can have more or satisfy my immediate desire to eat it right then. Things always go better when I listen.

Arty: Hmmm, being just 4 years old, I haven’t had to make many hard decisions except for deciding to resign myself to being an “Alpha in Training” under Dory. After living here for only a few months,  I decided she is the best girl for the job. Now I listen to (almost) everything she has to say! This has helped to give me the patience needed to be a good Blogville Mayor, and the ability to listen to others!

Christmas: My hardest decision? In my short life (I’m 2!) I haven’t had many hard decisions to make, except for one EXTREMELY DIFFICULT ONE!!! It was to decide if I wanted chicken canned dog food or beef canned dog food for dinner one day. Can’t you feel my pain? It was a very difficult choice, but I eventually chose the chicken. Where’s the beef?

5. A good mayor has to use empathy and common sense. Give an example of when you have done either one or both.

Lexi: Empathy: I do that every time I stay home with Dad when he feels bad and give him therapy instead of making demands. I do that when I give up my front car seat to Piper because he gets car sick in the back. Common sense: Sometimes when I come out of work the sun is shining in my eyes. So, instead of walking out into the parking lot without being able to see, I wait for Mommy to leash me or pick me up. Mommy says that is smart; I think it is just common sense.

Arty: I always feel when my Mama or Daddy are upset and am right there fighting for attention to soothe them! Also, as a member of a pack of four, I have the common sense to get to our food bowls first! Can’t have my brothers and Dory eating my dinner!!

Christmas: For empathy? Well, I always look out for my mommy. I make sure she’s happy and I have lots of fun taking walks with her. In the show ring, once I got very nervous. I tried to back off the table in the ring where my mom stacked me for the judge (a stack is a way a show dog stands in the ring). I don’t really know why, I was just nervous. Dog shows can be overwhelming sometimes. So she picked me up and talked to me and made me feel better, and when she put me back on the table, I was calm and happy and let the nice judge look at my teeth and pet me. The judge chose us for first place because my mommy put her dog’s needs first. I do the same for her. If my mommy is sometimes nervous in the ring or just in casual life, I like to lick her face or do one of my tricks to lighten her up!

Lexi for Mayor Day 2

Hello friends, Lexi here again. If you missed my Campaign Propoganda post yesterday informing you why you need to vote for me for the Supreme Leader of Blogville your Mayor, you can check it out here. Today, we move on to reasons #2 and #3.

2. Let Them Eat Cake: I eat at the table with my people. I get McDonald’s food and real cake for my birthday. How is this relevant, you may ask. I know how to manipulate the people and I will both share my knowledge with you and fight for your rights. Like your right to eat cake.

This picture is from my 10-year-old birthday party. I had a Healthy Choice meal with my Mom and Dad and then my very own cake shaped like a dog. I know, kinda’ weird, but Mom meant well. Can you see the happy all over my face?
This picture is from my 10-year-old birthday party. I had a Healthy Choice meal with my Mom and Dad and then my very own cake shaped like a dog.

3. All Lives Matter: All dog lives matter. All cat lives matter. All pig lives matter. All bird lives matter. All rabbit lives matter. In short, All Lives Matter. I will not discriminate because of species, breed, age, economic status, color, or gender. Not so sure about snakes and spiders, but I am open to discussion on this.

Lexi for Mayor

Hello, I am Lexi. I have been nominated (by me) for Mayor of Blogsville, and I accept my nomination. I won’t go into my entire background, as you can read more about me in my posts, in my Kindle book, and in the About section of my website. I am told I need a platform. I think I will use the platform I have used in the past:

There is plenty of room on my platform for everyone.

This is my platform. It is also commonly called a stage.












I possess many skills, experiences and qualities that make me uniquely qualified for this position as the Supreme Leader of Blogville your Mayor. Over the next few days I will use some of my considerable counting skills to list them for you so you don’t have to figure them out on your own. I am helpful like that. Today, besides, my platform, I will list reason #1 to vote for me, Lexi:

  1. Proclaimed Actor: You may have noticed that my election picture shows me next to my Publicity Photo and Annie Award. My Annie is like an Oscar for people and I was the first-ever animal to receive one at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. I received my Annie for the “Director’s Choice Award.” Quite prestigious. I went on to star two more times in other productions of the Wizard of Oz. Why is this important, you may ask. Some of our greatest politicians have been acclaimed performers. Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono,  and Jessie Ventura, to name a few.

    Publicity shot 2006
    Publicity shot 2006 for Wizard of Oz

    Please be sure to check back tomorrow for reasons #2 and #3.

Therapizing at the Children’s Hospital

Me and Lois
Me and Miss Lois

The last Thursday of every month Mom takes me to T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital where I first meet up with one of my besties, Lois. I lead her to the play room to get my “start of therapy” treat.

Next, it is time to do my job. I have so many jobs – St. Luke, St. Timothy’s, T.C. Thompson –  and I always remember what I am supposed to do at each one. At this job, I smile a lot and work on making the sick and hurting kids smile. I never, ever growl at anyone. You might say I am like a marine at the children’s hospital – the best that I can be. Today, Mom asked if she could take some pictures, and Miss Lois said some of the children’s families had signed releases, so if they said yes, it was ok. I hope my visit helped everyone to feel better. tct2

We are BOTH smiling.
We are BOTH smiling.

Afterwards, I am totally drained.


POTP for the Paw

Nothing much going on around here. Last Wednesday I had my acupuncture because my hip was starting to hurt again. Then Dad took me up the mountain so I could visit with Mom and have lunch with my friend Carrie. On the way home after work we stopped at another church where Mom and Dad are starting to go on Sundays. Daddy met us at the door and introduced me to Pastor Mark. Pastor Mark welcomed me into his office and told me to feel free to explore while he talked to my folks. After about an hour I knew it was past my suppertime so I started to remind Mom. I had to remind her loudly. She finally got the hint and we all headed home.

Thursday, before going to the children’s hospital, I stopped by work and got my treat from my friend Dave. Then I went on to the hospital, saw my friend Lois who always gives me a treat when I get there, and therapized some kids and nurses and a doctor or two. My friend Beth had a treat for me when I went back to work with Mom.

Friday, I really goofed up. I thought Mom wanted me to go downstairs to get groomed, so I kept running away from her. She finally gave up – and left without me! Later I found out that I had been invited to a birthday party!! I still can’t believe Mom went without me!! Happy birthday Jentry. I hope you had fun without me. I know it would have been better if I had been there. Oh, what, Mom? There was no food, not even cake? Well, I am sure Jentry had plenty of fun without me there.

This morning I got groomed. I knew I was picking up grooming vibes. Tomorrow is my teeth-cleaning-at-the vet day. They will do blood work first to make sure it is ok to help me go to sleep while they clean my teeth really good.  The teeth cleaning has been scheduled for a while. Now I also have to have my paw checked. I have had a tiny pink lump on my front left paw for a long time. Mom caught me licking that paw last night and of course she had to stick her nose in and see why I was licking. This is what she saw:

Exhibit A
Exhibit A

You can’t tell real well from this picture, but it is a raised lump. By Mom’s reaction, I sure hope it isn’t anything bad. I sure hope I don’t end up having to wear a cone of shame. I sure hope I don’t lose my paw! Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! POTP for me, please.

One Lovely Blog Award – for ME!


Woo hoo! Another award! I love awards. Like my Annie Award for being the best ever dog in a play (or something like that). And I love this award. It is so pretty.  Thank you, Puppy Doc and Samantha at Musings of Puppy Doc. You are my newest friends.

Now, according to the rules (below) I have to share 7 facts about myself. Hmm, how can I limit this to only 7… he, he.

  1. I am a svelt 20.5 pounds because I lost 4.5 pounds over the last few months. Mom took away my canned food and topped my kibble with veggies!
  2. My most favorite thing in the whole world is acting on stage. I even got a special blue lucite award with my name on it (the Annie Award I mentioned above) for “Director’s Choice.” I could be on stage every night and never get tired of it.
  3. My second most favorite thing in the whole world is therapizing kids at the kid’s hospital. I only get to go once a month because there are so many dogs who like to do this, but I am the only smaller dog. I sit in the bed with the little ones, and grin the whole time I am there.
  4. Of course, my very, very most favorite thing in the whole world is treats. I get treats while I act and before I therapize. I get a go to the mailbox treat when I am home with Dad and a night night treat. My BFF Carrie brings me treats to work at St. Timothy’s and my new BFF Dave brings me a treat to work at St. Luke. And now my newest friend Beth brings me a treat on Thursdays to St Luke.
  5. I hate being groomed and I hate getting baths. Mom says I creep when I am on the groom table, and I should know better after 12 years of getting groomed every month. I still think I could creep right off that table one of these times.
  6. Even more than being groomed, I hate wearing clothes. I mean, I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate wearing clothes of any kind. When I was younger I would stand like a statue if Mom put clothes on me. She could pick me up and set me down somewhere else and my body would remain rigid like it was made of plaster. Now, I run around in spurts like a crazy dog. Run, freeze, run, freeze.
  7. I am not a cuddler or a huggie girl. I like my space. If I want pet I will let you know. I will continue to let you know until I feel you have pet me enough. Then you need to leave me alone. Don’t hug me. I let the sick kids at the hospital hug me, and my Auntie Jen, but that’s it. Don’t cuddle me. I will run away from you.
  8. Yes, I can count, but I have one more thing to tell you. Here it is: I am smart. Don’t try to pull anything over on me, ’cause it most likely won’t work. And if it does work, and I figure it out, I will pee in your bed, on your side of the bed. And you won’t know it until you are so tired you can barely stand up and you start to slide into bed and suddenly realize it is cold and wet and smells bad. Bwahaha!

Here are my nominees: (Noodle, dear, you have already been nominated, or you would have been first on my list, sweetie pie.)

Shoko and Kali of  The Canadian Cats

Ray of A Dog’s Life? (Stories of me and him)

Rachel of rachelmankowitz

Belle, Bess and Bonnie of Three Pups and a Couple of Kitties

Sidney, Shelby and Sophie of corkscot

Dante of The Dante Diaries

Jasper and Nellie of  jaspersdoggyworld

Kismet (you mean old bird, you) of kylascott

Sammie of  Saving Sammie


The Fine Print for the Nominees:

1-Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog in the post.
2-Copy the rules and add the blog award badge as an image
3-Share 7 facts about yourself to your fellow bloggers.
4-Then nominate 15 people (I of course didn’t do this many ).


Home Invasion

Riley no sooner moved out than Mom came home with two more dogs on Friday. My cousin Piper is here occasionally, so no big deal. However, this is the first time his roomie, Ella has come. Previously, she couldn’t come here because Riley tried to attack her – several times.

Piper the Schnauzer - can you see where the pit bull ate part of his left ear?
Ella, already taking over Mom’s bed.

Piper the Schnauzer – can you see where the pit bull ate part of his left ear?

I tried to set them straight on who is in charge around here. Piper said, “As always.” Ella just laughed and tried to get me to play with her.
I was just about over the shock of seeing these two in my house when I heard Mom fall down the stairs Friday night. Just the last step, but that was enough to have her holding her foot and ankle and squeezing back the tears. Dad and I ran down to her and I sat close, doing therapy. She sprained her ankle and has been on crutches all weekend. I am secretly glad because Ella has been afraid of the crutches. He, he. Moms said that with Dad limping for three months with a sprained ankle, and me limping with the hip dysplasia, she must have been feeling left out.

 Today, Sunday, Mom has been getting around without the crutches, which made it easier for her to chase Ella when she started to do her pee pee downstairs. After thinking about it, Mom blamed me. How is it that I get blamed for everything. Just because I marked that spot when Riley was living here…

Now Ella has taken over my Dad:0919152133
And Piper has taken over my couch:0919152138And they have both taken over my bed:

IMG_0212_2 (2)

Come to think of it that really looks like me and Riley. Oh wait! It is! Memories…

Here is Ella and Piper on my and Mommy’s bed:


Why does that picture look so familiar?

To make things even worse, Mommy can’t take me to work with her this Monday or Tuesday. She has some seminar thing she has to attend. I bet she didn’t even ask if I could come. My hip still hurts and I gained back the weight I lost. I’m starting to feel a little depressed. Noodle, if you read this, will you please come take me on vacation?

If you remember, I asked for POTP for Piper. His diabetes is under control now with two shots a day – Mommy has to give them so Daddy doesn’t faint. Piper is also on an additional heart med for his class 4 heart murmur. His heart is enlarged, too. Dad says it is because his little heart couldn’t hold all the love he has for everyone, so it had do get bigger. Hmm, I wonder if that is true.

I am Lexi the limp-along in the doggie B&B.


Memory Monday: Nursing Home Therapy

I don’t get to go to nursing homes anymore, not since my Grandma died. Sometimes I still think about it, though, because I still like older people. And sometimes when we go to the children’s hospital, we sneak into the section where there are sick big people – mostly older – and I feel their need. I give them the very best therapy possible. Hmmm. I think I will ask Mom to start taking me to nursing homes again. They need me. I have asked Mommy to type my memory Monday part in blue so you will know when it ends and we are back to now.

Memory Monday: My first trip to a nursing home.

March 20, 2007: Mom came home from work early on Friday and took me to a nursing home. At first I thought I was going to see my Grandma who lives near there, but I got to see lots and lots of other people who are old like my Grandma. Their rooms all open out to hallways, too, so they wouldn’t be able to let me stay all day either. They all talked to me nice and petted me. Mom told everyone about me being Toto in the Wizard of Oz. The bling on my collar was the picture button with me and Dorothy on it. No one had met a real, live star before, and I think they liked that. I felt very proud. There were a lot of cookie crumbs and I cleaned them up for everyone. I am a good helper.  It was hot and stuffy in there and my throat got parched. It smelled funny too, like stuff I am not allowed to do in the house. I started whining and Mommy looked like she was going to be sick, so we left. She said we might go to a different nursing home next time.

I am a therapy dog now. I hope I don’t have to learn a new name again, like I did for the play.

Saturday I get to see my good schnauzer friends, Piper and Marley.

Lexi_Piper_Marley on patio 07
The Three Amigos: (L-R) Piper, Marley and Me

We are all going to get tested to be therapy dogs for hospitals that take care of children. I like all the children petting me. I am so sure I will pass whatever the test is. I hear that Marley is a little worried about this because she never liked kids. I think I will talk to her about it. After all, I never liked kids either until the Wizard of Oz. I will let her know they are really OK. Sometimes they are yummy sticky and they usually drop food, so it’s good to hang around them. I am Lexi, the new nursing home dog.

See, I even said way back when I was only 4 years old that I am a nursing home dog. Yep, gotta’ get that going again.

Noodle 2Now for a Memory Memory post from my bestest guy, Noodle.

The Swing-Dancing Schnauzer

Things have been relatively quiet lately. No more frenetic drives to the theater. I didn’t even get to go to the children’s hospital in November because my special day fell on a holiday and the Lois lady wasn’t there to give me treats or to ask the children if they like dogs. The same thing is happening – or not happening, as the case may be – this month. Sigh. I bet the kids miss me.

I have been going to work with Mom more often. It can be tiring. I often sleep a lot, especially at her Tuesday and Thursday job. When I go to her church job on Wednesdays and Fridays there is too much to do for me to sleep. I have to visit with the lady next to Mom’s office. She needs to pet me a lot and always gives me treats. A pup has to stay awake for that, you know. I hear people walking around upstairs so I have to run up the stairs a lot to be sure someone isn’t getting something I’m not there isn’t a burglar. So far, so good. Then comes lunchtime and I have to run up to the secretary’s office and watch her eat. I never get much, but I am certain I will eventually wear her down. I heard Mom tell Dad she was leaving me home today, but he was on my side. He said he was too tired to deal with me today, and asked Mom to pleeeease take me. Thanks, Dad!

Last night I went to a local dance studio and helped teach dance again. I was so excited that I bunny-hopped all around the floor and kept yelling, “Hurray!” Mom finally told me to stop barking. I didn’t recognize her at first, but the student was  a girl from when we used to teach dance in Dunlap many years ago. She is all grown up now and was there with her boyfriend. I remembered to watch them very closely and bark when they didn’t do something right and bark again when they did. I know, I used to only bark when something wasn’t right, but I have decided that people need encouragement for a good job. Savannah remembered me, and laughed and smiled and said what a good girl I am. Every time Dad walked off the dance floor, I ran over and stood on my hind legs to dance with Mom. Then the music would stop. It’s no fun to dance without music. I got pretty disgusted with that and laid down in front of the door so that no one could leave until I got to dance, too. Mommy finally scolded Dad and told him to let me dance to the music before he turned it off. I didn’t dance very long because it is harder to stand up on my hind legs than it used to be, but I did a very good job with the Swing. I had so much fun!

I am Lexi, the Swing-dancing Schnauzer


Boating and Fast Food

It has been an exhausting couple of days. Two days ago Mom came home from wherever she had been for over an hour and I could tell right away she was upset. Not a little upset, either. She even told my Dad to get out of her way. Wow. He backed way up way fast and didn’t say a word. Quick as a wink she changed into her boating clothes, grabbed her boat bag and plopped me into the truck. She hooked up my pontoon and off we went to the lake. I started doing therapy on her while we were still in the truck – she really needed it. He face was salty and her eyes were red. We spent the whole afternoon in one spot on the lake. I swam around the boat once to cool off, then napped on and off and tried to do a little more therapy while Mom took turns reading and laying in the sun.

Even all the boating and sunning and reading didn’t help Mom’s mood. I hate to say I benefited by it, but look, when a dog gets to go to the lake and out to dinner at Mickey D’s, yeah, things were going my way. Seems like I was the only one she could stand to be around that day. You’d better believe I was careful to be a very good girl. I have never before had a McD’s hamburger. OMG it is good! Later that evening I heard her say that she was taking me back to McD’s the next day for my birthday. I starting singing and dancing, and everyone laughed. I couldn’t help myself, I just got so excited thinking about that hamburger.

When we got home that night Mom sat down in front of her computer and in a very short time yelled at my Dad to come quick. After getting yelled at earlier to get out of her way, he came running lickity-split to see what was wrong. She told him to read something on her computer and they both started smiling and saying happy things.  Now I know why Mom wasn’t going to the church to work and why she was unhappy today. She had to find a new job so she could make money to buy my kibble and other things. Everything finally worked out great. She is going to work at another church and she is going to work at a non-profit when she isn’t working at the church. She seems really happy about it. I hope I will get to go, too. I will do therapy and keep food cleaned up from the floor.

Finally, the sun came up the next morning and my real birthday day started. After several hours on the lake in the Sammy Joe, I went to the pet store where I found some ferrets I wanted but no one would let me have them. I found some treats and we got those. There were dog beds that I was not very interested in, so we didn’t get any of those, nor any of the collars, harnesses or clothes we looked at. It would have been cruel to buy those things on my birthday.

From there we went to Mickey D’s where I got another hamburger and a dish of ice cream. It was a hot day so we sat in the shade and ate our supper. I ate my hamburger in about five seconds flat plus an extra second for the pickle. Mom couldn’t understand why I didn’t dig into my cup of ice cream. Duh…she still had some of her fish sandwich left. Of course, when she realized that was the reason, she shared it with me so that I could move on to dessert. Once again it took her a minute, but she finally figured out I wanted her to feed me the ice cream with the spoon. Once we got that established, I ate until I got brain freeze. I mean, I saved her a little bit of the ice cream at the bottom of the cup.

On the way home we took a detour to the dog park. A big white dog wanted to “friend me.” I was polite but not interested, so I didn’t “accept.” Why is Mom laughing?  I hear people say this all the time, so I think I should be able to say it too, don’t you? What’s Facebook?

Lexi the fast-food schnauzer