Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Christmas Decorations



Happy Howlidays everyone!!


This is pretty much the extent of my Christmas decorating.  
 I made this snazzy red and green plaid coat for Lissa to wear outside on cold mornings!  And yes, it gets cold here in Phoenix.  This morning it was only 33 degrees so she needs her coat!

Merry Fur Christmas everyone!!
Karen
 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lissa Update Part Two


It's been several days since Lissa's 'reading' by the animal communicator. 



After the initial reading I asked the communicator to let Lissa know that it is not alright to do her 'thing' in the house and I got the response below. 




I suggested to her that doing her business outside is something that is fun but she keeps telling me that it hurts, no not like an infection…. More like “eeewwwww I don’t like this”.  I still get that she likes her privacy and she doesn’t feel protected out there….coyotes?  Alerts… too open… snake!  Wow… she’s going ADHD on me. 


Unfortunately we've had two more accidents in the house and I still have to drag her to the door to get her outside.  But, I can say she does seem a little bit calmer.  Maybe that is because of what the communicator told me next?

One thing that she tells me is she loves to have her eyes rubbed with the heal of your hands.  It’s almost like “mom” is caring for her.  I feel she has a level of trust with you and is easing into it.  I get that her ears picked up with the mention of forever home and that she was in the process of getting one.  I get the sense that she’s glad to know that there is at least a destination at the end of this journey. 

So....maybe not the end result I had hoped for but there are rarely any easy answers in life!  At least I have learned that she does like hotdogs and they will motivate her a tiny bit.  I have managed to get her to walk halfway down the hall to the front door by dropping hot dog pieces on the floor in front of her.  

Baby steps....baby steps!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lissa Update


Several of you have asked about my newest foster, Lissa and how we are getting along. 


This is what she does most of the time!  
Snoozing away on the living room floor. 


The rest of the time......not so good!  She constantly challenges me and if we manage to take one step forward, she steps back three!  Sometimes I catch myself thinking that the dog is going to get the best of me and I've never had that happen.  

She is scared to death to go outside and I have to pull her down the hall and out the front door!  Often when we get to her bathroom spot, she spins, whirls and pulls me to get back inside.  Needless to say, she has fooled me quite a few times thinking she was 'done' with her business when she was not.  The problem with this is, whenever I am not looking.....she finishes her business inside on the dining room carpet.  She is smart like that, knowing just when to do it so I can't catch her in the act.  Now, I've house-trained lots of dogs before but always use a crate.  I don't have a crate for her nor would she go in one if I did.  I tried putting her inside of an exercise pen (a metal portable folding fence) and that was a disaster because she freaked out so badly.  

I bought a great little Bissell Green Machine and every time I am down on the carpet scrubbing away, she is laying comfortably on the living room floor giving me the 'eye'.  Like she is saying,  "See what you made me do because you forced me to go outside"!  She knows exactly what she's done and that it is wrong, wrong, wrong!  She knows that I won't correct her if she isn't seen doing it.  Have I mentioned that she is one smart cookie?

So, in frustration and talking about this problem with my foster coordinator, she decided it was time to try an Animal Communicator to talk some sense into Lissa.  A what?!  Ok......I am open to anything if it will help. So, the Communicator was contacted and pictures of Lissa emailed to her.  She is in Georgia, I'm in Arizona and this reading is all done telepathically.  Nothing to do now but wait.  
Then, out of the blue yesterday, I received the following email:

She tells me that when she’s outside it gives her a prickly feeling, like being electrically charged, static snapping, everything is sharp and her feet are tender.  I get the feeling there might be a crack in her one or more of her pads? I also get that she’s feeling pretty stressed about what is hers, if she’s wanted and where she’s going from here.  She’s afraid of abandonment, and a “revolving door”.  She’s not getting anything that she’s used to so her comfort zone has been destroyed.  She’s used to being in control and now she’s not.  She’s trying her best to control you to make herself feel more comfortable as she isn’t aware that there is a clear alpha in the pack since she’s not allowing herself to be open to the rules.
 
The front door is facing the wrong direction, I get that there is a huge brightness when the door is opened which she is not used to.  She tells me that it is huge… the door, and the light is shockingly bright.
 
I get that she will continue to try and control the situation by acting out the only way she knows gets her results until she relaxes enough into a role/slot she belongs in.  But right now she does not trust what is going on around her is in her best interest and she doesn’t have the personality of going with the flow.
 
She shows me a picture of a hotdog… I think she really liked or likes hotdogs.  This might work to your advantage ;-)

Well to say I was surprised by some of what she wrote is an understatement!  First, Gail the Animal Communicator, doesn't know where we live.  She doesn't know that Lissa goes outside to the bathroom on rocky dirt ground because I can't get her to go to the dog park where the grass is.  I did check her feet completely but found no cracks in her pads.  

What really blew me away though was the comment about the door.  There is no way in the world for Gail to have known anything about my front door.  The door, faces east/southeast but is only slightly larger than a normal door, but the porch it opens onto is big!  And there is the light situation, the shockingly bright light.  Ok are you ready for this photo?

 This picture was taken today.  The hallway leading to the door is dark, but....need I say more about the "shockingly bright light"!!!!

Stay tuned for part II of the reading! 

 

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Ghost of Thanksgiving Past

My post today is a bit overdue. I've gotten behind lately!


My baby brother came out to visit dad and I for ten days over the turkey day Holiday. 


 Here he is on a ladder....in shorts....with a beautiful blue Arizona sky in the background.  Wonder what he's up to......besides the roof!




AHAAA....he's hanging Christmas lights with dad supervising!  In six years of coming to Arizona for the winters, I've never had lights on the house, or inside for that matter!  He even hung cup hooks on the rafter so that I will be able to put up lights every Christmas now.  He is such a good brother and was determined that dad and I have some Christmas spirit since none of our family will be visiting then.



Have I mentioned how great I think my baby brother is?  I'm so proud of him because he lost 90lbs this year!  He is able to do things he's never done before.
Like climb Silly Mountain.  I had so much fun exploring this little foothill of the Superstition Mountains with him.  


 We hiked at least a mile or more up hill and down. He loved it!


Horseback riding is something else he hasn't been able to do in a long time.  He debated about going with me but decided that he should wait a few more months due to his back surgery this past summer.  


So.....he stayed with dad and a friend and I got to go!
Yippee Kaiyay!!

That's me in the big hat with my friend Lorraine doing one of our most favorite things....riding in the Mountains.  It just doesn't get much better than this.  I even got to ride one of my favorite horses at the stable, Mouse.  He is extremely sure-footed going up and down all those rocky climbs.


So maybe when baby brother comes back to visit in March, he will get to ride too! 

Happy Friday everyone and have a great weekend!
Karen


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lissa has a Visitor

My foster Greyhound has proved to be anything but boring!  She challenges me everyday.  Most days it's like taking one step forward and three steps back.  

I had a day boarder last week and just had to share a couple of photos of Spike and Lissa.  They look like twins, short and tall, Mutt and Jeff!!




Me:  Spike, meet Lissa.  Lissa, meet Spike.

Lissa:  What is that thing?  Did his legs forget to grow??  


Spike:  EXCUSE me!  My legs are just fine.  What are you doing wearing that sissy pink coat anyway!

Lissa:  Well for your information buddy, I'm a greyhound and it's cold out.


Spike:  For your information, it's Spike not buddy and you look like a girly dog

Me:  Ok, you two that's enough.  




And that.....was the end of that!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dottie Update

I got to see Dottie today!!  

She was the foster English Cocker Spaniel I had last spring.  Actually she was who I was walking to the dog park when I fell and broke my ankle, but I didn't hold it against her!!

 Here she is with her adopted fur parents, Barb and Bob. 

Dottie was staying with my English Cocker friends at Barking Dog Ranch while her mom and dad were on vacation.  I think she looks pretty happy to see them.  And they were over the moon to see her!!

Look at all of Dottie's travel luggage....and that's not even all of it!!!  

Here she is in the car all ready to go home with her mom and dad.  She looks like a queen!  What a life she has.  

My Christmas wish is to find homes like Dottie's for all dogs!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rescue Newsletter

 I know that most of my readers aren't English Cocker Spaniel owners but many of you have followed my foster dog Dottie's story from last spring.   You all know about my passion for dogs and that I recently accepted the position of interim Rescue Chair for English Cocker Spaniel Rescue, so thought I'd share our first ever Rescue Newsletter.



And besides....there are several wonderful dogs there looking for their 'furever' homes and one of them might be right for you!!!

 Like this one....Archie who is in Pennsylvania!  
You can read about him in the newsletter!!!


 OH....and I have an English Cocker Spaniel in the Chicago Heights Animal Shelter (Chicago, IL) that we are trying to 'spring' out but I need a foster home for him.  

 This is Spider!

If you live nearby, or a bit farther,(we can always work out transportation) and can open your home to Spider, fostering is a wonderfully rewarding thing to do!  Just let me know and I can set you up!!

Happy Tails and hope you enjoy our newsletter!





Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It Ain't Pretty

Warning.....Warning......Warning!!!!!


If you are squeamish about eyeballs and blood then this post is not for you!!


Don't scroll down and don't look.



Cuz I guarantee it's not pretty.



Not to worry though, I'm ok.  
It's just a bursted blood vessel, no harm, no foul.

It doesn't hurt now, but was a tiny bit painful the first two days.  
It is scary looking though and it kinda freaks me out when I happen by a mirror.  And....people do look at me weird too.  

I went to the doctor, just to be sure I didn't have a problem with my blood pressure.  It was a little high but not enough to cause this.  Instead it is likely stress and eyestrain due to the fact that I was on the computer Sunday for five hours straight handling things that an Interim Rescue Chair has to handle.
  
At least I am decorated in Red for the Holiday season!!!
 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Craft Fair

Our annual craft fair was yesterday.  

I was all set up and ready to go when the doors opened at eight.  My collars were laid out with care in hopes that St. buyers soon would be there!

They came.......and they went.   An hour and a half passed with only one sale of my homemade dog biscuits you see in the middle of the photo and not one collar.  Mind you, the biscuits are yummy and healthy for the dogs made with peanut butter, pumpkin, oatmeal and a bit of cinnamon and they sure smell good!  

By the end of the fair I had sold all but one of my biscuits and only 4 collars.  I was pleased the dog treats sold but I really thought I would sell quite a few collars.  I don't get it.  They are not expensive, in fact I've been told I don't charge enough.  I've been sewing for months, now what do I do with all of them!!  


Bummer...I am seeing an end to my dog collar career!  Dog treats anyone?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Absent but not Absent-minded

I have been far away from blogging these days.  I haven't even had time to read many of my favorite blogs either and I love to stay on top of what's going on in those worlds!   

There is a reason though, I can explain.  I certainly haven't been absent-minded, more like I've been overwhelmed-minded!  You see, about a month and a half ago I took on a new challenge.  I stepped up to become the Interim Rescue Chairman for the National English Cocker Spaniel Club Rescue.  It could be worse, English Cocker Spaniels are still fairly uncommon in the USA so thankfully, when I took over we only had about 14 dogs under our care.  But still.....it has been difficult because these dogs are spread out all over the US.  Sometimes there just aren't enough resources to help a specific dog in need.  The most challenging job seems to be finding foster homes.   A foster home is someone who takes in the dog and cares for it like one of their own until the dog is adopted.  

Not only are foster homes in short supply so is our funding.  It doesn't take long to run through our money when many of the dogs we take in have significant medical issues.  One dog had 26 teeth pulled, several others came in heartworm positive.  All need to be vaccinated and/or spayed or neutered.  

Recently we took in this adorable young boy from the San Bernardino, CA shelter.  
He was found wandering the streets, emaciated, scared and weighing only 15 lbs when he should weigh at least 25.  Thankfully a foster parent was found here in Phoenix, AZ and he is doing better but he was seriously ill due to stress and being so hungry.  He required a visit to the emergency dog hospital where ECSCA (English Cocker Spaniel Club of America) incurred a bill for over $400.  We will still have additional costs as he, Westley, must be neutered and vaccinated once he is feeling better.  


My role as Chair is volunteer and challenging without a doubt, but the rewards are awesome.  I am excited to share that some of Westley's medical bills are being 'sponsored' by a fourth and fifth grade class in Knoxville, TN.  Their teacher is a member of our National Club and her class is selling school supplies to other students and donating 40% of the proceeds to Rescue in Westley's honor!  WOW!!  The students will be receiving pictures of Westley and communications from his foster mom as well. 

Of course, you don't have to be a club member to sponsor one of our Rescue furkids.  If you are interested in coordinating a project like this for your students, friends or group, please let me know and I can set you up.   Or should you just feel inclined to make a donation that can be done at:
http://www.ecsca.org/store.html#donate  Scroll down the page to 'Rescue' and make a Paypal donation.  


You can also go to this page, http://www.ecsca.org/rescuehome.html to see some of the other dogs we have in Rescue that are ready to be adopted by a 'furever' home, could that be you???


So, now you know....that's why I have been absent lately! 



 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Greyhound Sew an Sew Sunday!




For my Greyhound friends and readers!

I had to do it!!!!

This one is cute, it has Christmas Poinsetta's, buttons and Holly leaves.  And...the D ring part of the collar is polka dot!  So Christmasy!


See the polka dots!






A Houndstooth Christmas!!


And....thinking down the road.....
 I was on a roll and wanted to make more but since my foster Lissa is the only Greyhound around here, I don't think I'll sell too many Greyhound martingale collars at the Craft fair!  


 Have a GREYT week!!
 

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Friday Photo



 Two of my favorite things....horses and the Superstition Mountain Range in the background.  Now....only if I could be riding one of them in the mountains!

Have a great weekend everyone!
Karen

Monday, November 14, 2011

Caught 'cha!!!

Hey Lissa....is that you in the kitchen!!!!!


Oh my gosh...this is a HUGE improvement for her to set foot in the kitchen!  It's a good thing I 'caught' it on camera or I probably wouldn't believe it.

Lissa - 1   Foster Home - 1 
Now we're even!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Sew an Sew Sunday!

Yes I've been at it again!  I'm trying to get ready for our community Art's & Craft Fair on Dec. 3rd.  


 Fa La La La La



Ho Ho Ho
 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I Don't Think I'm Winning!

It's very slow going with my new foster Greyhound Lissa.  I see teeny tiny improvements each day.  But then other times....not so much.  Like last night.


All she wants to do is lay on her blanket in the middle of the living room and it's not a big room and I don't want dad to fall over her.   Before I went to bed last night, I tried to talk her into moving in the office.  I put her blanket down, fluffed it up and went to bed.  I could hear her pacing in the living room, then the whining started and just as I was about to drop off to sleep, woof woof.  

Now....Greyhounds don't very often bark so I knew when she did, that she had just told me off for trying to mess with her routine.  I lumbered out of bed into the office, retrieved the blanket, returned it to the living room, fluffed it up, put it down and went back to my bed.  I swear I heard a 'harumppfff' out of her as she flopped down on her relocated blankie!  

Foster dog - 1    Me - 0
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