Sunday, September 18, 2016


While browsing at the library a book cover with an adorable puppy caught my eye. I grabbed the book, read the blurb inside the jacket and checked it out.

The book was The Dog Merchants by Kim Kavin. I had absolutely no idea how much I did not know about dog breeding, rescuing or the canine world situation. What an eye-opener!

This book talks extensively about how all types of dogs are marketed and about breeding for traits as well as cultural differences between countries such as the USA, Great Britain, Japan or China. Most importantly, the author points out that change can come to all areas of the pet industry if people educate themselves and use their power as consumers to bring it about. Specifically, she mentions rating breeders, rescuers and shelters online much as we do with all our other purchases pointing the reader to as the place to write such reviews.

I highly recommend this book. It is more than a good read, it is a textbook to educate you and help you make informed choices when adopting your next canine companion and a blueprint for bringing positive change to the lives of all types of dogs.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


In a house with one dog and three cats it's safe to say there's never a dull moment. Annie's medical issues were the main reason I put this blog aside over a year ago drastically reducing my posts to almost nothing.

Annie had a second tumor in the same family group as her first, went through a second operation then started radiation therapy. After five days of radiation therapy she developed back pain and lameness in her hind legs. She had some sort of spinal infection but all her tests came up negative.

The pain was excruciating; she lost the use of her back legs. Three neurologists and untold varieties of antibiotics and painkillers later the pain was relieved and the infection erased by a doctor wise enough to ignore the negative test findings and treat the symptoms.

Annie would have been cured but lame if Artie and I hadn't realized that her legs were atrophying. We contacted Dr. Young who has a therapist on staff. Regular at-home therapy sessions restored her back leg strength along with her ability to walk.

February 2015 was the second cancer surgery. One month later the radiation therapy started when the infection developed. Radiation was discontinued. Annie's recovery was very slow but steady; she spent many months on medicine, Early on, the Oncologist and Neurologist handling her radiation told us there was nothing else that could be done for her suggesting we end her life. Dr. Young believed whatever was going on was curable and deep in our guts so did I and Artie.

We worked with two more Neurologists, their assistants, many techs and everyone at Dr. Young's office to bring Annie back to health.  It took months of weaning her off the antibiotics but by New Year's Eve Annie was off the last of the antibiotics long enough that we could safely say the infection was eradicated.

Her therapy continued and she steadily regained strength in her hindquarters coming back to her old self by early summer of 2016 more than a year after her surgery.

The video footage was taken during the first few days of Annie's radiation therapy before the spinal infection manifested itself.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


I've been trying to organize my kitchen cabinets (and my life but that's another story) so I can find ingredients for meals, etc. without having to dig through the entire closet.

While browsing Amazon I came across a set of labels from a company called Native Spring made with a chalkboard finish. You can use real chalk or purchase chalk markers. I purchased a set, got out some chalk I had lying around and picked a jar I felt was perfect to use for treats.

My jar of choice, washed and dried.

The label design I picked, carefully centered and applied.

Dental treats within easy reach for Orphee, Handsome and Belle.
I love the finished look. The jar is on the kitchen counter where Artie or I can get treats in a second. Now I can't wait to label my cabinet storage jars!

This is a totally unsolicited post. Native Spring was not aware I was writing it nor did they ask me to. I've not been compensated in any way. I wrote the post because I was impressed with the product and the professionalism of the company's co-founder in answering my questions.

Friday, August 5, 2016


My brother Artie adopted Mr. Handsome (formerly Porch Guy). It seems like ages ago when he was a stray showing up for a meal every day. Now he spends his days in Artie's apartment making it his own private man cave and his evenings at mine exploring and slowly becoming part of our family.

Recently, Artie prepped my kitchen cabinet for a paint job but Handsome had other ideas. He decided it would be a great place from which to survey his domain (meaning my kitchen)! Boy was I relieved he did this before we painted the inside. I hate to think what the cleanup would have been like if he waited until we were finished.

Once we coaxed him down it was easy enough to rewash the inside with a bit of vinegar and water to disinfect it.

King of the Hill.

Master of  his domain.

Actually, such a beautiful sweet boy.