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

http://www.youcaring.com/pet-expenses/please-help-rebuild-waldo-s-muttley-crew-animal-rescue-/296908#.VRtv4QY6nr8.mailto

Their website is:  http://waldosmuttleycrew.com/

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.

http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478754145

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!
I'm WAITING. 

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

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Go ORANGE


WE ARE JOINING OZ THE TERRIER.  (SEE HIS POST DATED 4-3-2015 FOR MORE DETAILS)

BECAUSE APRIL IS GO ORANGE FOR THE 


PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS.


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

Woof!



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:

BRAGMedallion.com 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

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday Black and White

"Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.” -- Clarence W. Hall

Thank you to our hosts Nola and Sugar for the Black and White Sunday Blog Hop!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Sunday Eats on Saturday

Hi - It's Abby the Labrador here.  Since  my Mom will be busy on Easter weekend,  here's this weeks "Sunday Eats" recipe.  I am saddened to tell you I did not get one as it has garlic in it and Mom said garlic can make doggies very, very sick and it's dangerous for me to eat.  So I got an extra treat and a slice of apple with the seeds all removed.  Yum!

So I can't say how these tasted but all of the muffins on the plates were gone before anyway even touched the yummy braised pork with apples.

Bacon Basil Pesto Muffins. They're NOT low fat but they're made with healthy extra virgin olive oil and have NO sugar.  They're savory instead of sweet, Mom says, and pair well with meats or Italian dishes.

Preheat Oven to 350 F.

Cook 6 large strips of bacon , chop and set aside (or use "veggie" bacon, thawed and chopped for our friends who are vegetarian).

Spray a 12 muffin pan with non-stick spray

In one large bowl mix:

2 and  1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
click to enlarge picture - I double-dog dare ya

In small bowl whisk:

2 large eggs,
3/4 cup milk (not skim)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In a third, medium sized bowl, combine:
1/2 cup MINUS 1 teaspoon jarred Basil Pesto with garlic
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (not the green can kind, grate it fresh from a block - it's SOOO much better)
2 generous teaspoons minced garlic
tiny pinch of red pepper
the bacon

Make a "well" in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients.  Stir until moistened but not so much that it gets smooth (that makes a tough muffin).

Fold in contents of the pesto bowl ingredients

Scoop into muffin tins with an ice cream scoop or a 1/3 cup measure.  Can be  drizzled with a couple of teaspoons of EVOO and topped with pine nuts and course sea salt (optional) if you want to go all fancy for company. If so, make sure you hold your pinky just so when drinking your tea as you mutter.  "So Jeeves, bring the car around, we need to take Madam Abby for a  Ride".
Bake for 20-24 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted inside one comes out clean.
Even better you can slice them the next day, add ham and muenster cheese and heat for yummy little snacky sandwiches.

One for Mom
One for Dad.
Try and look sad and hungry.  "I am so abused, please give me a piece of ham"

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Toast to Those at the Bridge

For Angus Fala, Henry, Stanzie, Cody, Cinderella, Bart, Mya, Beau, Dietzman Long, Max, Bailey, Oceana, Ming, Phantom and any other beloved pets we know who left for the Bridge recently. We raise a toast to you with a little poem.

 May you be free from anything but joy until we meet again, and may your humans find comfort in your memory.

Shadows fall in their swift and silent passage
echoing the last word of our common fate 
The sorrow of the world surrounds us
carried upon chill air like smoke 
Let us pour a dram of scotch
as our solitude  descends
We drink the smoke in 
so sorrow may sleep

LBJohnson