BULLIES come in all ages

BULLIES come in all ages
(click to see movie trailer)

Surround yourself with positive people,
energy, and situations;
always avoid negativity.


Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So, love the people who treat you right.

Forgive, and then forget about the ones who don't.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Why Some Men Have Dogs and Not Wives

Top 14 reasons some men have dogs and not wives:

1. The later you are, the more excited your dogs are to see you.

2. Dogs don't notice if you call them by another dog's name.

3. Dogs like it if you leave a lot of things on the floor.

4. A dog's parents never visit.

5. Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across.

6. You never have to wait for a dog; they're ready to go 24 hours a day.

7. Dogs find you amusing when you're drunk.

8. Dogs like to go hunting and fishing.

9. A dog will not wake you up in the middle of the night to ask, "If I died, would you get another dog?"

10. If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and give them away.

11. A dog will let you put a studded collar on it without calling you a pervert.

12. If a dog smells another dog on you, they don't get mad. They just think it's interesting.

13. Dogs like to ride in the back of a pickup truck.

And last, but not least:

14. If a dog leaves, it never takes half of your stuff.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sassy Says

Don't compare your life to others.

You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dogs in the Classroom

Josh, Brandy, Ms. Joyce (owner/handler) and Kids

The last five years I taught, my class participated in the READ Program. When I was asked if I would like to be involved, I jumped at the opportunity. Dogs in the classroom? You Betcha!

The Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program improves children’s reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to a dog. But not just any dog. R.E.A.D. dogs are registered therapy animals who volunteer with their owner/handlers as a team, going to schools, libraries and many other settings as reading companions for children.
Today, hundreds of registered R.E.A.D. teams work throughout the United States and Canada. R.E.A.D. is one of those ideas that, in the words of Bill Moyers, “pierces the mundane to arrive at the marvelous.”
Intermountain Therapy Animals, a nonprofit organization, launched R.E.A.D. in 1999 as the first comprehensive literacy program built around the appealing idea of reading to dogs, and the program has been spreading rapidly and happily ever since!
READ Program)

Ms. Mary and Sassy

For many students reading out loud in class to their peers can be an overwhelming, embarrassing experience, where students dread making a mistake in front of their classmates. Reading to dogs allows students to practice their oral reading skills without the pressure of impressing their peers or teacher. Dogs don't laugh at or correct children and create a safe, non-threatening environment for reading. As a result, children gain confidence in their reading ability and improve their skills.Before they know it, they are enjoying the experience of reading instead of dreading it, they’re even looking forward to the next time. It is simple, and it works beautifully. Along with helping the students improve their reading skills, the experience helps enhance the human/dog bond, which was very important to me as a dog-loving teacher.

Ms. Shirley and Clancy, Ms. Joyce and Josh, Ms. Alice and Peppy

In addition to improving reading skills, animals in the classroom teach responsibility, develop social skills and foster empathy. I truly believe dogs (and other animals) in school create an atmosphere of warmth, intimacy and safety - in other words, an ideal learning environment.

To see more dogs doing great things in the classroom, visit Nanook and Pooka.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sassy-Clean Inside and Outside

Two days ago I made a comment on another lab blog about how Sassy loves to eat my facial cleansing cloths. Labs will eat anything! Am I right lab owners? I am very careful not to leave my used cloths on the side of the tub. This morning I heard a little commotion in the bathroom and by the time I turned around to investigate, Sassy had helped herself to a new, unused cloth. She had to practically crawl into the tub in order to reach the box. I only caught a glimpse of white and was unable to reach far enough down her throat to retrieve it (without choking her to death).

Exhibit A: The Cloth

I was surprised she was able to swallow the dry, 7" x 6" cloth without getting choked. We called our pediatrician (aka VET) and were instructed to give her a tablespoon of canola oil. She loved it, so we gave her 2 tablespoons-she's a large dog and we were scared.

I remained on POOP PATROL, waiting for the cloth to pass, for 2 hours. I took her out to chase the tennis ball, play tug-of-war, walked her around her favorite poop spots-but nothing was moving!!!!

We called the vet again and were told to give her 2 more tablespoons of oil!
Hubby took her out again to play with Buddy and Zack-SUCCESS!!!!
He proudly carried the trophy (on a stick) to show me because he knew how happy it would make me. (Yeah, I know, we need to get a life!)

Exhibit B: Guilty Dog

I tell you this so you will know what to do the next time your dog (especially labs) ingests something that needs to pass quickly. Apparently the oil did the trick and we didn't have to worry about the cloth possibly getting twisted around her bowels or causing a blockage, which would have resulted in surgery.

After her bath last week and today's episode, I can safely to say that Sassy is clean on the outside and inside.

Note: I apologize to those of you who are not dog owners and may have found this post offensive.
At least I didn't post a picture of the trophy. As Vicki in North Dakota said, "I think I can visualize that one."

I hope after reading the above story, my friend Deb at Posted From Home, doesn't change her mind about passing on the Proximidade Blog Award to me!

This award is to be passed on to bloggers you feel invest in the PROXIMITY of space, time and relationships. Include their link in the post and let them know they have been given the award.

I am passing the award to:

Liz at Ninny's Notes (Congrats on the new granddaughter!)

Robin at Bird In The Hand Primitives

Amanda at 2 fun Sons

Karen at From NY to NC to AK

Congratulations Ladies, I love your blogs!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday's Musher

Jeff King is recognized as the "Winningest Musher in the World." His victories include not only the 1,049 mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race in 1993, 1996, 1998, and 2006, but also over two dozen first place finishes in races all across Alaska. During the past 20 years, Jeff has logged more than 100,000 miles on a dog sled.

Jeff moved to Alaska from California in 1975 in search of adventure. He quickly became interested in dog sledding and Alaskan huskies, devoting all his spare time and money to building his own team, while developing a construction business. He began racing in 1980. His competitive nature had found a new outlet, and Jeff set his sights ever higher, entering his first Iditarod just one year later. In 1992 he decided to devote his full time and energy to training and racing, setting aside his construction business. He won his first Iditarod the following season. While on a training run in Denali National Park in 1980, Jeff's team became entangled with that of a new volunteer ranger, and thus he met his future wife. Donna Gates came to Denali after finishing her master's degree in Medical Illustration.

Donna and Jeff married in 1983 and began developing their homestead on Goose Lake just south of the park entrance. The King family also includes three daughters Cali, Tessa, and Ellen. Their Husky Homestead is home to approximately 75 sled dogs. In the summer months the King family welcomes visitors from around the world to tour their kennel and learn about Alaskan Huskies, the sport of dog mushing and the life and spirit of Alaska, the last frontier.

Jeff likes to invent. Several years ago, he added a comfortable seat to his sled. After falling asleep and falling off the sled, King added a seat belt. As stated in the Anchorage Daily News: "Musher Jeff King has developed a new, sit-down sled that some have labeled the Iditarod Barcalounger. King said it helps him get more rest, although he almost lost his team this year when he got to resting so well he went to sleep and fell off. He's since added a seat belt."

Like most mushers, King has a special relationship and respect for his dogs.

His daughter, Tessa, said, “In all my years of racing and running dogs, the way the dogs respond to my father is entirely different than any of us. We train his dogs sometimes, but they won’t respond to us the same. We’ll have to say a command two or three times, where if he does it, it’s just once. When he walks into the dog yard, all the dogs know. They turn around and look. They know he has something that the rest of us don’t.” (Husky Homestead.com)

My Arctic Camster friend, Dorothy from Australia visited Jeff's kennels at Goose Lake. Dorothy shared her impressions:

"I imagined a big strapping man, but he is slim, wiry, and smallish in stature, he impressed me as a person who would not suffer fools gladly. He is obviously very passionate about his dogs and the responsibilities that come with them. His voice and mannerisms give the impression of strength and calm confidence. He welcomed questions and gave in depth answers during and after the demonstration, then made himself available for photographs/autographs and had time to converse, which was a great thrill for me. Goose Lake is a very beautiful place, and he really made everybody feel that they were genuinely welcome to his home and kennels, I will always have very fond memories of that day --from holding the puppies--to walking amongst and making friends with some of the dogs used in the Iditarod --what a thrill it all was, on that very special day in June 2004."

I look forward to reading Jeff's new book, Cold Hands Warm Heart.
"These autobiographical short stories offer a glimpse into the heart of a champion, the rugged Alaskan lifestyle and the charismatic world of dogs. King opens his heart and mind to reveal an intimate view of himself and his unique life as he shares over thirty years of experiences. He sculpts an image of the true Alaska depicting the spirit of adventure and self-sufficiency. From a wall tent on the trap-line to the Iditarod trail in the heat of competition to the tragedy at his homestead near Denali National Park, he will carry you along in his sled and give you the ride of a lifetime". (Husky Homestead.com)

Please visit Angie at KEEP BELIEVING. She and her family need prayers, support, and positive energy to help get them through this most difficult time in their lives-Thank you.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday is for Family

Mother, Daddy, Brunie and Me

Savannah, GA

I am an only child and Brunie was the sibling I never had. I begged my parents for a brother or sister for years, to no avail.

Since Daddy was a Marine, we moved frequently. I had three different first grade teachers and was always the "new girl" at school. The average "military brat" attends 10 schools in 12 years - some move as many as 36 times. They have no "hometowns" to go back to and rarely know their extended families.

One of the positive effects of this lifestyle is "brats" learn to get along with anybody, from anywhere. They can move and take risks. They're not afraid of change. At the same time, some brats become "change junkies" and can't settle down. Others have difficulties with intimacy, and lack a consistent sense of self.

Although all the other kids I knew were also Marine brats, dealing with the same issues I was, they all had brothers and sisters, which to me seemed like "friends who lived and moved with you". I experienced a great deal of loneliness as a child.

Mother and Daddy bought Brunie for me when I was in the fourth grade. She instantly became my best friend. Whenever we moved, Brunie was always there for me, filling in the lonely periods of adjusting to new towns, houses, teachers, and friends. She was my first dog, my playmate as a child, and my loyal friend for the 15 years of her life.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Splish Splash

We took advantage of the sunny, warm day and gave Sassy a bath yesterday. The hose was hooked up to the sink in the basement, so the water was nice and warm.

Zack and Buddy consider Sassy as their babydoll (aka chew toy). They both love to play with her and Buddy enjoys leading her around by her collar. As a result, the poor girl stays wet, slobbery, and stinky all the time.

Don't worry Girl, the next warm, sunny day will be bath day for the boys!

She doesn't mind her bath- she looks, smells and feels mahhhhvelous!
Don't you, Girl?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sassy Says

Take a 10 to 30 minute walk every day.
And while you walk, smile.

It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

Friday Night Lights is back on NBC, Friday 9/8c.
This is my favorite Friday night buddy!
(my best friend's son)

Thursday, January 22, 2009


One of my favorite authors, photographers, and people (for that matter), Jon Katz, has a new book. I have read several of Jon's books focusing on his relationships and experiences with dogs. I also subscribe to his blog, Bedlam Farm Journal , which is a daily journal describing his life on a farm in upstate New York with a menagerie of animals including dogs, cats, donkeys, sheep, etc.

Jon's Hospice Journal has shown his readers a softer, gentler side of the man. Along with two of his dogs, Izzy and Lenore (the Love Hound), Jon visits hospice patients and their families in private homes, hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities-spreading smiles, love, and fur everywhere they go.

In Jon's latest book, "Out Of The Shadows," he discusses an issue many of us have dealt with personally, depression. Katz says, "The book deals, in words and photos, with fear, depression, anxiety and the search for a grounded and peaceful life. I see the story as something of a Joseph Campbell story, an account of one person's search for his place in the world, leaving his community behind, encountering difficulty and darkness and surviving to give rebirth to life".

As Jon says, it helps to know that others have dealt with and overcome the same worries and fears life throws at us all. I have gained strength, courage and hope through Jon's writings.

A few of my favorite dog books by Jon include: Running to the Mountain, The New Work of Dogs, A Dog Year (my favorite), and Izzy & Lenore- all published by Random House Books.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Help Ugo

I read this outrageous story over on The Brat Pack blog.

The story is about a big lover-dog, named Ugo, who is legally living with his family in a $3 million, 4,000-square-foot, eighth-floor Chelsea apartment (NYC). The family is not breaking any of the building or city rules or regulations.

The building board being led by Soledad O'Brien of CNN is taking the family to court to force them to "get rid" of Ugo, a Neopolitan Mastiff.

Why, you ask? O'Brien, in a 20-page affidavit, complained about the pooch's "size, slobbering, shedding, drooling, gassiness and odors."


I'm wondering if Ms. O'Brien has ever been in an elevator w/ a baby wearing a dirty diaper??? Has she (heavens forbid) ever had gas herself?
Makes me wonder about the old saying: Guilty dog barks first!!!

I hope this story has been exaggerated, but I'm not here to judge. I'm just passing on the info.

More pictures of Ugo with his family...
If you are so inclined, please write to CNN and let them know what you think: http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form4.html?15

Snow in N.C.

Cousin Sydney in North Carolina got OUR snow!!!!

He doesn't even like snow...

No Fair!!!!

If You Want a Friend in Washingon

In his election-night victory speech, Barack Obama promised his two daughters, Sasha and Malia, they could have a puppy in the White House. He later said Malia is allergic and they would need a "hypoallergenic" dog, and that they also wanted a shelter dog. Obama told George Stephanopoulos, of ABC News, that the family has narrowed the choice to either a Portuguese Water Dog or Labradoodle, both low-shredders. President Obama (I like the sound of that) said finding the right dog has been "tougher than finding a Commerce secretary."

The White House never seems to have a shortage of pets and throughout history the pets have received a great deal of press coverage. Here are a few former White House critters.

Spotty and Barney Bush

Buddy Clinton

Socks Clinton

Millie Bush

Liberty Ford

Checkers Nixon

Him and Her Johnson
(I hate this picture)

Kennedy Dogs

Caroline's Pony, Macaroni

Heidi Eisenhower

Fala Roosevelt

(Fala attended FDR's funeral)

Pauline the Cow Taft

Regardless of the breed, the White House needs a dog. Every home needs a dog and every dog needs a home. And don't forget the old saying, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog".