Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thankful Thursdays - Enduring Friendships

We're joining our furry friend

for Thankful Thursday.

Today I'm just happy to be coming up on my 4th anniversary of my marriage to my best friend in October, and two happy and healthy years with Abby Lab, our senior rescue (Thank you, Love of Labs Indiana for her timely rescue from the high kill shelter).


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

American Humane - Hope and Help after Harvey

I hope this finds everyone in our Blogville group safe and dry.  In reading about all that is happening in Texas and parts of Louisiana as Harvey finally gets "out of Dodge" not just the human compassion element comes to mind but that for our four legged friends. There are many groups working around the clock to get animals previously in shelters to newer shelters out of the flood zone to make the way for furry flood victims.  One of these, for whom "The Book of Barkley - Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever"  is proud to donate to, is American Humane.  American Human is a multi faceted relieve organization one that has a hundred year partnership with the U.S. military with a lot of new initiatives in 2017 to help Veterans on both ends of the leash in addition to their animal rescue and support programs.  They also have a rescue program with a fleet of rescue vehicles stationed strategically across the country that is ready to deploy on a moment’s notice to rescue animals during natural disasters and cruelty cases.

For more than a hundred years American Humane has been first in promoting the welfare and safety of animals and strengthening the bond between animals and humans. These are a group that you know can be relied on when animals are in need of rescue, shelter, protection or security. Through their innovative leadership initiatives – from our “No Animals Were Harmed®” program in Hollywood to broad-based farm and conservation animal welfare certifications, to rapid response rescue and care across the country – American Humane is an organization that as an animal advocate and international best selling author, I'm so proud to support. I caught up with American Humane's Developmental Officer Madison Schaffer today and was updated on all they are doing to help the animals affected by Hurrican Harvey.
Currently, the American Humane Rescue team is already in Texas to provide relief efforts for the thousands of animals and pet owners affected by catastrophic Hurricane Harvey. They have deployed two of their 50-foot rescue trucks equipped with rescue boats, pet supplies, sheltering equipment, and 100,000 pounds of pet food to distribute to owners as much of the resources in the region are underwater. Their trucks will be stationed in Orange Grove, near Corpus Christi and the Woodlands, a suburb of Houston. This is a very large scale disaster response, requiring multiple rescue rigs, all rescue staff, their trained first responder volunteers and leadership team members.

In addition, American Humane had third rescue truck awaiting orders to move into position in Louisiana to provide rescue and shelter services as the storm turns eastward. American Humane is anticipating that their role will grow as the flood waters recede as the region will likely need additional help with animal rescue and sheltering.
To accomplish this, American Humane will need as much help as possible to ensure they are able to provide the rescue and shelter services necessary. Some of my blog and book reader's have asked what legitimate groups they can donate to in order to help post Hurricane Harvey.  This is one I'd heartily recommend and I know they will make sure funds are spent in the best way possible for the greatest relief, thanks to so many volunteers within their structure and their many years of experience in doing this.

You can donate by mail, by phone, or by going to their website  I know I plan to donate all of September's book sale proceeds to them and Compassion-First Pet Hospitals is also matching donations dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000 for a limited time so their urgent rescue efforts can go twice as far.  Bless you, for any encouragement or support you can provide.  - Rescue Dog Mom L.B. Johnson

 www.americanhumane.org/hurricane-harvey

Monday, August 28, 2017

Paws Together for Texas

Thank you Ann at Zoolatry for the graphic.  Several people have asked how they can help the animals affected by Hurricane Harvey.

If you wish to make a donation to help displaced or injured animals after the flood please make donations directly to  Houston SPCA or SPCA of Texas

(click on the organization's name for a direct link to their website.

For donations for the many pet lovers who have been displaced, many losing all of their possessions, you can safely donate directly to:


Abby Lab and her Mom L.B.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

R.I.P. Petey the Possum

My husband had planned on getting a haircut first thing, but then he came in from the yard with

"I have good news and bad news."

I said, "What's the good news"

He said,"I'm not going to have to trap Petey the Possum (that's living under an evergreen shrub in our yard) and rehome him to the forest across the river."

"Why Not?", I asked

"He's dead, Jim". (Yes I'm a huge Star Trek fan).

I went to check.  Peter, indeed was laying as if well. . . playing possum by the dog dish water bowl that's in the unfenced part of the yard for the critters, as if he just laid down for a nap. Petey was by far the largest possum we'd ever seen around the neighborhood with an unusually long tail, so we knew it was him. There were no signs of injury, he was just deceased.  He wasn't playing possum though -  decomp had set it (that's something I know what to look for, Peter was just past rigor but not quite "I'm a fly motel" yet).

Technically he was in the adjoining neighbor's yard, but my husband let her know about Petey and assured her we would bury him downwind on our property.  Having once been tasked on her own to remove a dead skunk from her garage, as an older widow, she was VERY happy to not have to wrangle another deaded forest creature. We have extraordinarily quiet and kind neighbors on both sides of us so we're happy to do this.

As the deep hole was dug, my husband said, "I think he was old or sick - the other night, he didn't even hiss at me and he was walking really slowly".  I too had noticed he was out in the daytime just a day or two ago drinking a lot of water from the wild critter water bowl, not a normal sign for a nocturnal critter.

So Petey got a proper burial.
No, not here - behind the garage. There's a large chunk of concrete that used to be part of the front sidewalk to mark his spot and keep other forest critters from bothering him (we live fairly close to some city forest preserve that's hundreds of acres).

Of course, that threw the whole day's schedule off as we had an appointment at noon and our church picnic in the afternoon.

I said, "Well you don't expect a dead possum. . ."

To which my husband replied, in his best Monty Python Spanish Inquisition Voice. .

"NO ONE expects a dead possum!"

It went downhill from there as. . .

More Monty Python.

Husband: " That's no ordinary possum.  That's the most foul, cruel and bad-tempered possum you ever set eyes on."

Me:  "He's got huge sharp - eh - he can leap about --look at the bones!"

Husband:  "I warned you, but did you listen to me?  Oh no, you knew it all, didn't you?  Oh, it's just a harmless little possum, isn't it?  Well, it's always the same.  I always tell them--"

Me, "Run Away!  Run Away!"

Kidding aside, I'm glad Petey passed quietly and peacefully.  He was sometimes cranky, but never got into the trash and kept the mice population down as well as the slugs and the insects that eat our plants. I know that Abby is going to miss chasing him out of the yard.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Flower Friday

Abby Lab here -Today we are joining Mini Dory in Carmel for


as da boyz travel to Oregon to the mini BAR.

My human Dad had a business trip to Vietnam and sent some photos he and others took to Mom of a guy on a motorbike with LOTS of flowers and other craziness.
He wasn't the only one

 How do you even SEE to steer?

Seriously dude?

Happy Flower Friday everyone!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

On Today's Episode of "Suicidal Squirrel".

There's a car coming, run into the road.

Car slows as you're 95% of the way across.  GO BACK!~

STOP.  

Run back across the road.  SCREEEECH!

Thanks for watching. Our show sponsored by Midas Tires and Brakes.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Poopiter - A Rollicking Fun Read for Canine Lovers

Quit laughing so much Mom, you're making it hard to maintain a sulk.

It WAS pretty hard to quit laughing.

For you see - I was reading POOPITER.

Yes, Poopiter, as in "Poopiter and Mars", by talented artist and illustrator L. Bowman.

One of the other members of Blogville mentioned how much they liked this book about a week or so ago, so I HAD to order it.

The author has two Cairn Terriers, Geordie an older dog, otherwise known as" bitey dog", and the other a pup named Toby, added to the household at which point more fun filled mayhem ensues.

Not familiar with the Cairn Terrier? If you've seen the movie The Wizard of Oz, you've seen one of the most famous Cairn Terriers ever. The dog who played Toto in the film was a female Cairn named Terry. Paid $125 per week for her role as Toto, she was owned by trainer Carl Spitz, and she had appeared in several movies prior to her famous role in Oz. Cairns are a highly intelligent and inquisitive breed, with a great curiosity about a lot of things, which you will soon find out when you read Poopiter.

But I warn you, you will laugh, and you may cry and you may never look at a Peppermint Candy stuffie the same G-Rated way again..

In a collection of heartfelt and often hilarious poems, stories, and colorful drawings the author explores what exactly does goes through the minds of these small souls as they go about their daily life with their human.  The answer is EVERYTHING - from planet Earth to Planet Poopiter and back again.

You can tell the book was crafted by a dog lover who looks deep into those simple yet universal moments we share with our pets and comes up with a warm way of looking at even the messier ones, as even the most mischievous pet brings with it nothing but love.  As Gordie and Toby make it their quest to make sense out of a nonsensical universe you too will truly look at the world in another dimension, one where He who has the golden collar is King and dogs do rule.

Poopiter would be the perfect gift for anyone who appreciates hilarious and subtly brilliant insights into dog and adult human nature.

A Kindle copy will be out soon, but I am so happy I ordered the beautiful glossy paperback version, one I will read again and again.


There's some more fun at the author's blog (and seriously, click on her blogroll on the right sidebar to see her Store "Needful Things of Salem" for some incredibly beautiful handcrafted items for people and pups of all ages).

Monday, August 21, 2017

Pancake Panhandler - Life with a Dog

A house without a dog
With a dog.

Abby had her two year gotcha day not long ago.  As many rescues are, she was quite shy the first couple of weeks but is now is simply a happy lab playing with her toys, retrieving a ball, the tail thump thump thump against the couch when I come into the room. She is very well behaved, not chewing on anything that's not a chew toy, obeying basic commands and learning new ones each week. She's been allowed on the bed to sleep but prefers the cool surface of the leather sofa or her big poofy Orvis dog bed.
She does well in her harness and likes her rides in the vehicles to visit friends or run a quick errand while one of us stays in the car with her. The "exploding retriever" experience of our first trip north is but a memory (hey, we've all gotten car sick)  On the last  trip home from she laid quietly on the seat snoozing the whole time but for one time I turned on some Classic Country and she sat up with an irritated look that said "they're playing LeAnn Rimes - if she yodels I'm going to start barking". I turned it off.

The only other non snooze moment was a stop to stretch legs and get a Chick Fil a. Like her Mom, Abby loves Chick Fil a, the smells from the bag setting her tail on high rpm.
Abby on her "gotcha day".   So very skinny and SO happy to have a home.
where she wasn't in a pen outside having puppies.

Like all labs, Abby does like her food, going into a full-body wag each morning as I get up to feed her a bowl of kibble.

We are looking forward to a few days off at home, suitcase unpacked, and pancakes to be made. I think back to the lst batch I made, a little experiment.

It was right after we'd adopted Abby and my husband was driving down to my crash pad, to give her a couple of weekends to get used to us all together as a family before we took her to Chicago to her permanent home for a weekend.  I wanted to make one of those Dutch Baby pancakes like we'd had at a local restaurant. There was one recipe in this little book of Swedish recipes I picked up out West, though and I thought I'd try that. In mixing it up, the proportions seemed a bit off, and the amount of batter seemed like too much for the size pan recommended and the recommended temp a bit high. But I tried it anyway thinking, "it's a published cookbook, how can it be wrong". But I said that about the "overnight, no knead yeast bread" recipe I got from a well-known website. And we know how THAT loaf turned out
The pancake was assembled and after 45 minutes  I had what looked like a giant pan of hot jello in the oven, even after cooking an extra 15 minutes. I'm not sure how the edges can be almost burned dark brown AND raw inside, but they were.  I poked it with a spatula and it rippled and growled. I've had science experiments that looked less toxic.
I disposed of it like any good bio-hazard.

Abby played dead to avoid having to act like she wanted to try it. . . .
while my husband started looking for cold cereal (or the nearest exit).

I double-checked the recipe and I'd made it just as directed.  Oh well, that's what I get for following the rules as opposed to my usual cooking style of "Watch this!" with the fire extinguisher handy.

Not willing to admit defeat, I tried again, this time just winging it, Husband patiently waiting, as anyone that hangs around someone that likes to experiment with stuff, often does. Since an oven pancake is sort of a cross between a pancake and a popover, I adapted my standard popover recipe to the bigger pan and added some Cardamom and Lemon Zest. Melting four Tablespoons of butter in the pan, getting it all nice and hot before pouring the batter in, didn't hurt, either.

Ta Dah!  Puffy Oven Pancake. (recipe in the comments)

This is what the doctor ordered.  It was perfect, with a tender crunch to the edge, and soft and fragrant in the middle.
Served the traditional way with powdered sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
I do think the second try was worth the wait, as my faithful lab assistant seemed to agree. For yes, she begged for a piece and I gave in.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Travel-Logs

Dad's finally home.  He got to sit in business class on his flight home with Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, and that's all he could talk about. What about ME Dad, what about Mom and Me chasing Petey the possum out of the yard, and what happened to the last of the Cadbury Bar.

Oh what? - Enough of our stories? We've had our sleep and it's time for foodables.  What's that?  I heard the sound of a bowl.
 I hear it, I smell something.
 Could it be?
Yo, Mom.  Dad has foodables and I don't! It's a bowl of Great Nuts (I hear they're made out of stone-ground squirrels).
 The prosecution objects!
Look - I'm not against bribery.  Will $15 get me a bowl of Great Nuts?
 Fine - distract me with throwing a stuffie.
 He Shoots. She Scores.
Oh boy, that's the ball my boyfriend Frankie Furter's family sent.
 I got it!
Seriously, Mom, you're not on your game, first the cereal and now a Chewy box that's been sitting here for like four YEARS.
I'll just sit here and starve to death, you all go ahead and open the boxes and listen to ZZ Top.