Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Hits and Mrs.

Abby's Mom here.

I had my annual check up a couple of weeks ago which includes the usual "female" type checks and cancer screenings. Since I have limited family history available- since I'm adopted- we watch things close. The basic medical went just fine, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers still what they were in my 30's which is great, but we had to wait for the cancer screen results in the mail. Good news - I got the report--excellent health and clean cancer screens and left it for my husband on the dining room table as I left for work, leaving him a message on his work phone --"female check up report is in and on the dining room table table"

Unfortunately, in the dark, what I left was not the note from my doctor-- but the note from the dog walker who takes Abby the Lab out at lunchtime each day.

 I can only imagine his face as he read this--

Wednesday -  Nice! Colder than normal though! She pooped and frolicked!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

It's Official

Laralie is officially adopted as of tomorrow morning when the paperwork is registered.  The Rescue gave us a weekend with her to make sure she was a good fit as we have another dog in the household. They got along great and she really bonded with my husband and me.  She's super affectionate but has already learned not to "head butt" for pets and is learning a couple of commands "out of the kitchen" and "lay down".  As part of the adoption, she will get formal pet training from a local pet training business as people, furniture, and a "house" are all foreign to her as a breeding dog.   She's super smart, which is why yellow Labs are the most popular dogs for Seeing Eye Dogs.

The paperwork is submitted and the rescue fee (quite reasonable given her health needs) paid so she's officially ours tomorrow.

Chicagoland Lab Rescue was great to work with and they truly vet their dog's new families to make sure it is a good fit.  If you donate to animal rescue I'd recommend them.
Definitely a "Daddy's Girl".

To celebrate we bought her a Koda's collars.  These handmade martingale collars (which keeps the dog from pulling, without pain and without slipping OUT of the collar when they are NOT pulling) are amazing  The creator donates part of the proceeds of each collar to animal rescue.  I own three of them for Abby (hey I HAD to have the Marvel comics one) and they are awesome, and years later, as good as new.

Weather Dogs

The Midwest saw a bunch of thunderstorms move through yesterday, some severe.
While Abby Lab hid in the closet all day (there's a dog bed in there), Laralei just chilled while Mom and Dad played Mexican Train dominoes and other board games.
 She's a trooper! (And definitely a "Daddy's Girl".)

Saturday, May 18, 2019

A Toy! A Toy!

 Laralei played with her first toy. It's one that Frankie Furter sent to Abby.

The reason Abby Lab looks so concerned as Dad was making his sandwich in the kitchen which is now gated as Laralei likes to plop down right behind you, making a tripping hazard.  Abby was afraid with the gate she wouldn't get her daily little slice of cheese from the sandwich making.  (she did).

Laralei is getting lots of exercise (new to a dog that had been in a small pen her whole life) so she should trim down soon, but she is very happy to be here.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Rest in Peace Grumpy Cat

In your honor I will try and be more grumpy - at least till my husbands gets home from work.  Thanks for the many years of grumpiness.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

$360 Dog Bed with Memory Foam
 Rescue Dog that Prefers the Floor by the Box.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Laralei is HOME!

Meet and Greet.

Laralei has arrived, exactly (to the day) five years after we adopted Abby Lab who was a puppy mill dog.

She's definitely going to be a Daddy's girl. (look at the hypersonic tail).
Her foster Mom brought her rabies tag and microchip info as well as all Vet updates since she was rescued.  She also left a full bag of her food so we could slowly change her over to the grain-free brand Abby Lab is on.

Her foster mom said she did great in the house, so curious about EVERYTHING (she'd never lived in a house) and one day she was printing something off in the other room and suddenly Laralei came running through the room with the printed paper in her mouth with a cry of Sparta!!! She's curious, but she doesn't chew stuff.

She plays really gently with Abby, who is loving the companionship and she went right in her crate while we made dinner. (I try and keep the dogs out of the kitchen when I have boiling water on the stove for pasta).
She just had a litter of puppies a few months ago but is in excellent health and although she's about 15 pounds overweight, at least she wasn't seriously malnourished as Abby was when she was rescued.  Not all breeder dogs get into rescue cared for as well, but the dogs are starved for affection and attention and make great rescue dogs.  Thank you Chicagoland Lab Rescue!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

New Four Legged Family Member!

Welcome to the newest member of the Johnson household.  Meet Laralei. The photos were taken at her foster Mom's house and she will join us tomorrow.  She's a 92 pound 5-year-old breeding dog who was surrendered as she wasn't producing enough puppies.  Fortunately, she'd had decent vet care even if she lived in close quarters with minimal people contact so she is well fed and very healthy.

I fell in love with her when I saw her post up on the rescue groups Facebook.  Her foster Mom said she has a goofy, gentle personality, loves kids and dogs, and loves to play fetch.

Abby was also a breeding dog.  They tend to be very loving and gentle.

My husband took time off from work so we could get a home inspection and after they talked to our references and our Vet we were approved. The volunteer brought over her very large retriever to see how Abby reacted and they were instant best friends. Abby loves other dogs.

She will be here tomorrow and a big Orvis bed is being air shipped to be here tomorrow so she has her own bed.

I think we nailed the home inspection when in the spot usually reserved for a giant TV was a big dog crate and a pile of toys (we gave our TV away to make room for dog stuff).

Laralei was her name at the breeder's.  The foster Mom says she doesn't react to it, (very little human interaction) but we will keep it for now.  Abby and Laralei have a nice ring to it. Thank you Chicagoland Lab Rescue.

The Element of Surprise

A fan of my writing, not a reader of this blog, made me a sign for my office. The elements are made up. If you are a fan of Star Treck or author Ann Rand you will get it.

Thank you Bob Kartman, it was a truly kind gesture.

LBJ (Otherwise known as Dr. Johnson).

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Sunday Carb Coma

 Carb Coma inducing French Toast.

Start with six-eight slices of Challah Bread (available in most larger grocery bakeries).  It's so pillowy soft on the inside it makes great french toast.

In an 8 x 8 pan, whisk 2 eggs, 1/4 cup milk, 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla, two toothpick swirls of Young Living Vitality Nutmeg and 1 toothpick swirl of Lemon Vitality essential oil (or 2 pinches of dried nutmeg and one of grated lemon zest).  Dip bread in the batter for 15 seconds per side, shake off excess and grill in a lightly oiled pan until golden brown.
Click on photo to enlarge if you dare. 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

New Treat on the Block

I think I'll pass on your vegetarian baked beans on toast Mom.

Abby Lab here - Mom eats meat only a few meals a week.  She tried strict vegetation for a while, but with low blood sugar, she didn't feel really good on a high carb diet and she can't eat soy so that limits her somewhat. So she balances small portions of locally raised meats and game with lots of fruits and veggies, raw almonds and smoothies and occasional oats and homemade sourdough bread.  (OK, and she does have a couple of "cheat meals" on the weekend where sugar is our friend).

But with a sensitivity to grain, and being a canine, I need meat, not grain in my diet.  I've had really great luck with my Blue Buffalo Basic food, but when a friend of Mom offered to share another limited ingredient snackies, I was like "hey, sign me up!"

So Mom's friend gave her the remains of a bag of what he feeds his healthy sixteen-year-old retriever.  Orejen Brome Lake Duck treats, which, like all their treats,  are all single ingredient, meat based freeze-dried nibbles made out of lamb, bison, beef,  boar and duck.
Wow - those were some tasty treats.  I actually woofed to get a second one as she was putting them in a zip-lock baggie and Mom says I hardly EVER bark.

So Mom got on the computer and ordered some from our friends at (and the prices for the treats were lower than the pet store!)

She ordered another bag of the Brome Lake Duck ones, which are made by flash freezing, using no preservatives or cooking so I'm getting a raw, protein-packed little nugget of tastiness. They don't outsource any of their food preparation, making everything there right in their own kitchens.
Treat - twelve o-clock, slow moving.
Traffic's in Sight! We have a lock on.
I'll just sit here and wait for the Chewy guy to show up with my own bag.
Abby Lab

Friday, May 10, 2019

Friday Smiles

 It's been one of those weeks in terms of "busy" so just so more smiles. 

The whole issue of "in" or "out" has been solved. 

Bad SURI - no treat!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Labrador Retriever Digestive Track and Hockey Pucks

Angel Barkley

A friend, who is a member of this outdoor forum, sent me this link about Labrador Retrievers and all they will eat.  It's hilarious.

The thread is like a pinball game. It goes all over the place. You will learn the merits of canned pumpkin and that a Lab can ingest a hockey puck. Everything else is a bonus.

But I guarantee you will laugh.

Monday, May 6, 2019

What Are You Waiting For

Today Only - the #1 Amazon New Release True Course is only $10.85 for the Paperback. Save $6.00.

Thanks to all of you that support my writing efforts. All sales go to Animal Rescue, Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort Dogs, and Search Dog Foundation.

Click to Enlarge and Read Book Description

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Sunday In the Yard

After the post-Easter blizzard followed by a week of rain, we took the opportunity to mow and get the flower beds cleaned up.

The Evil squirrel cartel was out in full force today.

After mowing you could see the trail they've made over the winter taking some of their peanuts to a spruce tree on the neighbor's property.
 Some of the flowers in our flowerbeds.

Time to fire up the grill.
Chicken marinated in a little EVOO and lemon juice for dinner dusted with homemade barbecue seasoning.
Around here it's known as Appetizer Crack

(easily cuts in half measurement wise)

2 cups roasted corn, chilled before blending with other ingredients. (honestly, you can  use the Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn and no one will be able to tell the difference)
2 cans black beans - rinsed and drained
2 red peppers
2 green peppers
2 Roma tomatoes - chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and finely diced.
1 cup chopped cilantro. (I'll be honest, I don't like cilantro but I loved it in this dish).
1 medium to med/large red onion - chopped (but not one of those Jabba the Hut sized onions).


juice of 4 limes (if you must use bottled lime juice, try and find the Key West brand, use 8 tablespoons).
2 Tablespoons APPLE CIDER vinegar
1 clove garlic (if you used the minced fresh in the jar, the amount to equal a clove is on the jar, about 2 tsp).
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika (there's sweet and smoky types, get the sweet)
few grinds of fresh pepper,
1/4 (roughly) teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder (I used Penzey's, their stores are in many Midwest cities and you can buy online, very reasonably priced). Some stores carry other brands. If you absolutely can't find it, use regular chili powder.
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 cup  extra-virgin olive oil

Directions: Wash all the produce well. Chop and combine all the fresh veggies, the corn, and the beans. Chill while mixing the dressing. Mix all dressing ingredients except the olive oil. In a thin stream, while using a whisk like you mean it, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whipping it until it is emulsified (if you want to be boring you can use a blender).

Pour over veggies and stir well, chill at least two hours, re-stir and serve.
Chicken!!!! (yes Abby, I made one piece seasoning free for you).