Thursday, April 30, 2015

On Turning 15 - Thoughts From Abby's Friend Simba

“It`s not how old you are, it`s how you are old.”  
―  Jules Renard
"Those who love deeply, never grow old.  They may die of old age, but they die young."
--Ben Franklin
"If your heart has peace, nothing can disturb you."
--Dalai Lama
"There's a treat in your pocket-- I know it."
Simba the Golden Retriever.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Waldo's Muttley Crew - Saving The Furbabies one Freedom Ride at a Time.

Silas in the shelter and Silas on his Freedom Ride.  One of the Waldo's Muttley Crew Rescues.

As everyone knows, funds from #1 Best Seller The Book of Barkley - Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever are donated to the animals, with occasional focused giving to groups in serious need. In May -in addition to reminding everyone about Marge's fundraiser for Shelly (who Mom supports in both need and prayer)  she wanted to tell folks about a local group that she will be helping in May with half of all sales from both The Book of Barkley and Saving Grace.

Waldo's Muttley Crew in Indianapolis.  The President of this organization and some of the volunteers are women Mom knows personally from living and working in the area for many years. When she heard they'd been involuntarily displaced and need help in setting up a new animal rescue location she wanted to help.  This is a great group of men and women who help all breeds from high kill shelters and actively work to find them all loving homes, sparing no expense to make sure they are brought to health and mended spirit.. And its' all from the volunteers. Mom sees the volunteers regularly at the pet stores (not the kind that sell puppies!) with adoption days and meet and greets and really admire them for the hard work they do.

In addition, there's a wonderful anonymous local donor that has offered to match funds up to $10,000 through late May. Bless you!

Also a big thank you to Indianapolis Personal Injury Law firm Wagner Reese who presented Waldo's Muttley Crew with a check for $5000 for THEIR matching donation this last month.  #AskWagnerReese.

So spread the news if you can.  Every purchase of The Book of Barkley or Saving Grace - A Story of Adoption will help this group, but please just consider a direct donation if that is what is best for your budge.t  Saving Grace is temporarily sold out at Amazon but any orders placed as of now will be credited to Waldo, even if the books aren't in stock for a bit.

As I've said before - the book is simply a vehicle of help, but its' not the only way to help.  If money is tight, as it can be for many of us with sick family and pets,please just say a prayer for those that need assistance and share the fundraiser link with others on social medial.

Waldo and the whole Muttley crew thank you as once this project is done they can pull more furbabies in from death row shelters and find them loving homes.

Information is here

Their website is:

I dare you to go there and read the link for the story of Waldo and not be moved.  This is the reason I want to help these folks and do so with Barkley wagging his tail from above.

LB - Abby the Rescue Lab's Mom

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Barkley Memories - Lessons in Mythology

In classical mythology, Cerberus was the hellhound who guarded the entrance to the underworld, and greeted people at home that wanted to date my teenage daughter.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mom Says it IS Like Giving Birth

Writing a Book.

Mom should know - she had my big sissie Rebecca after 34 hours in labor - a beautiful red haired girl who was 10 pounds 6 ouches (that's not a typo, Mom says).  This was the baby to be named Grace - that she gave up for adoption as a college student.

So I asked Mom - why is writing a book like having a baby? This is what she told me - 

It starts with great anticipation, is filled with moments of joy, discomfort, and the occasional sleepless night while thoughts kick from inside, with no place to go.  It takes months and months for it to grow and develop and it seems like the day it is born will never be here.

Then it's done, painfully and protractedly.  Finally, you hold it in your hands, loving it because it's part of you, the most painfully shy, weak, strong, courageous and foolish parts of you.

But remember, there's ALWAYS going to be someone who has never been through the experience that's going to say "Ugly Baby."

It's all worth it.

"Hard times and lean times are only forever if you believe they are.  If you refuse to, they are simply brief glances in which, for a moment without measure or context, will lie in your sights the portent of all  that you think you cannot bear but will, there between the darkness and the light."
 - Saving Grace - A Story of Adoption

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Blogville Police Office Abby Says - KNOW YOUR LAB

This has been on the internets furever but it made my Mom totally crack up laughing.

Abby Lab

Friday, April 24, 2015

Saving Grace - has been published.

Saving Grace - A Story of Adoption has been published.  Paperback is available at Amazon. (Kindle copy in the works, and should be available in a few days).

If you liked the style of writing in The Book of Barkley you will enjoy this story. It started as a journal I wrote to my daughter after I gave her up for adoption as a teen.  It wasn't anything structured, just notes here and there of thoughts and stories of her birth as well as my life coming to age with the brother I was adopted with.  In a series of vignettes of life and memories crafted from those notes,  I hope some of you will see much of your own journey to family.This book is for my daughter, but I hope the world will enjoy it.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dogs and Modern Home Design

Dear Mom - I appreciate custom lighting as much as the next dog, but if you ever get this light fixture that looks like a giant floating wicker dog poopie - I'm eating my kibble in another room.

Abby Lab

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekend Eats - Retro Saturday

It was a fun day with Mom and Dad.  Dad drove to the city where Mom works and keeps a little crash pad as she just had a brief break from work.   It was a beautiful day so they explored some little shops on the West side of town, one being a retro candy story with all KINDS of goodies.
Mom as able to take care of her  Violet Crumble fix.
As well as stocking up on some of her Dad's favorite - huckleberry salt water taffy.
The store has all kinds of candy and fun gifts.

 Then they had some frozen yogurt.  Mom and Dad eat healthy 90% of the time but Saturday is "ditch the diet" day or what we call in our house "FAT-r-Day. I LIKE FAT-r-Day!

Then it was back to the crash pad, some board games, and some eats in front of the TV later on.
Come on Mom, get out of the kitchen- Animal Planet's Coming ON!

Something smells good in there.
Coney Dog Sauce Nachos.  It was a great way to use up the leftover coney dog sauce. Sweet, Hot, Crunchy Cheesy!

Ring - it's the phone - It's Mom's Dad and he wants to say hi to both of them.
 No - I was not stealing a Nacho. I was keeping your spot warm, and look, I'm asleep. (peep)
 Really - I don't know what happened to that missing cheesy chip
It was worth it bwahahahahaha

You all have a safe and wonderful weekend.

Abby Lab

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ruff-ing It.

For me?

In my previous life I didn't get to get up on the furniture, but after 5 months in a shelter, my new Mom let me up on the couch.  I kept getting down as I didn't think I was supposed to be up there, but she said it was OK and gave me pats.  It's so soft but I only sneak up there when Mom and Dad aren't on it.

I have my own little dog bed where Mom stays when she is working.  It's sure more comfy than the hard floor of of a kennel, but it was cheap and it's not real poofy-nothing like "THE BED".

Today a big box came to Mom's work crash pad.  Mom said it was from Orvis as they had a sale-- a BIG sale and she got something for almost half price. Barkley had an Orvis bed and just loved it  and it lasted forever, but she wanted me to have one of my own.  Want to check out their great dog beds? Click on the well-known name. . .

It's the world's biggest softest dog bed!  It's so fluffy, with really tight stitching and a durable, ultra-soft cover.  When she took it out of the wrapping-- it expanded like a life raft.
Mom knows about that.  Once she was flying an airplane (a little business jet) to India to be delivered from the aeroplane factory.   Three of the VERY young Indian pilots were on board.  They didn't have the experience yet to make that sort of trip so the owners arranged for the seller to deliver it with contract pilots (which was Mom and another pilot) and bring them home from plane school.

They were QUITE excited about the flight and about just learning to fly their first jet so Mom and her copilot told them to just read and relax in the back and  "don't touch anything".

Halfway across the Atlantic there's this big  WHOOOSH sound from the cabin and one of them ran forward  with -

"Captain L! Captain L!  Raft Veery BIG!, Raft, Veery BIG.!"

Yup - they'd accidentally inflated the life raft and Mom had to kill it with a cheese knife from the galley so they could exit the airplane when they all landed to fuel.
MMMM Cheese.

So, it was sort of like that.  Bed very big!  Bed very big! Look - my tail has gone hypersonic!

My Ovris bed is SOOOO COMFY!

I can't believe it's all mine all the time and I don't have to sleep on the Pita Bed from Walmart any more.
I love my Mom.
Abby Lab

Tuesday, April 14, 2015





The ASPCA is once again urging supporters to "Go Orange for Animals" to help raise awareness and our picture is one of Mom's favorites (she didn't take it but it makes her laugh)  The little Japanese Monster "Domo" (she has one dressed up in a Batman suit on her desk) in the pumpkin patch.  Domo is going to kick some (@)! if anyone is mean to the animals he loves.

Spread the word and post your own orange picture.

Thanks Oz!

Abby the Lab

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Black and White Sunday - Anticipation

If I stare at it long enough - my food bowl should magically refill itself.

Thank you to our blog hop hosts Nola and Sugar

Thanks to our blog hop hosts Nola and Sugar

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Mom made Frisbees of Goodness again

Why I never got to eat an entire pancake when Barkley was around.

 Abby is getting the look down as well.

So-- residents of Blogville - what people food do you beg for the most?

And what to you think

tried to eat in order to get that face??

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Canine Aerodynamics

50+ mph winds at home tonight.  I'd like to stay in but I have a pet that wants to go out real quick to potty.

Just think . . . . . Control Line Labrador Retriever.   (No!  No! Abby - elevator UP, trim, then drop the cargo load!)

You all stay safe out there, this is a nasty line of storms.

The Johnson Family

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Writing two books in 12 months, with a challenging career, family thousands of miles apart and a long commute-- was work, but enjoyable work.  Editing and marketing the book once it was published was even more work. It felt like holding down two full time jobs. I tried not to promote to the point that my readers were throwing rotten fruit, or resorting to dressing up in a dog suit, while handing out copies at the pet expo, but marketing a book is not for wimps.

Sure I could have got a publicist but that can cost thousands, money I didn't have with Dad's full time nursing care.  So I just started telling anyone I knew about The Book of Barkley, and submitting it to any reputable review site and those awards that didn't have  large entrance fee.   It's hard to get noticed when more than half a MILLION new books get added to the book ranks every year. The  blog community's support and the literary acclaim has been great but last Friday, on Good Friday, a day that's pretty difficult for me as it's the anniversary of my brothers death, I got notification that a well regarded group in the publishing industry, deeply involved in promoting self-published authors, and very selective about the books has given The Book of Barkley prestigious B.R.A.G. Medallion.

From their website: is owned and operated by indieBRAG, LLC, a privately held organization that has brought together a large group of readers, both individuals and members of book clubs, located throughout the United States and in ten other countries around the globe. The word "indie" refers to self or independently published books, while B.R.A.G. is an acronym for Book Readers Appreciation Group.

"Our mission is to discover new and talented self-published authors and help them give their work the attention and recognition it deserves. Our primary focus is fiction across a wide range of genres; however, we selectively consider non-fiction books as well.  One fearsome, yet reassuring, statistic is that IndieBRAG rejects 90% of books that it considers. Not quite two years old, it already has an excellent reputation as a serious “Guardian at the Gate”. At the recent Self-Published Book Expo in New York, IndieBRAG presented an authoritative report on self-publishing and was the only panel out of 17 filmed by C-SPAN’s Book TV."

I’m honored to have The Book of Barkley recognized with such an honor and happy to be part of a literary family so passionate about independent authors while they raise the bar on what can be expected from authors working beyond the traditional publishing standard.

It will show up on their homepage on the 16th of April.

All proceeds for April Sales going to Kevlar for K9's

Thank you, all of you, who have shared this journey and supported both the effort and my family.
 -LB. as always, in memory of Barkley

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Who Needs Snow

I can do my "happy happy yard dance" in the leaves and twigs!

Aren't you glad you got me all groomed for Spring?