postheadericon Emma the Cat



The photo below reminds me of my cat, Emma.  About  nine years ago, I dug this little gray kitten from under a wooden barn floor. She was tiny and needed a home so I adopted her mostly as a companion for the cat love of my life, my Flippo. Flippo was a rescue kitten that thought he was a big dog.  He bonded to me immediately, did his best to talk, followed me like a dog, and ran to me when called.  My vet was amazed that I, a self avowed dog person, loved a cat as much as I loved Flippo.  So since Flippo was without feline company, Emma became his buddy. Both of the cats were barn, hay loft, garage cats with laundry room privileges in the winter.

For the cats to be in the house, would be suicide on their part and homicide on the part of the ruling Cavaliers.  When Flippo had to be put down because of a horrible and very fast growing (two weeks start to finish) mouth cancer, Emma became lonely but would never accept another cat companion although we tried to install one!

I tried to bring Emma into the house but she would have nothing of it and just hid from the dogs, hissing the whole time which gave her whereabouts a way. So she lived in the barn, garage, empty back kennel, and laundry room at night.  She constantly followed me, talking or yelling at me the whole time.  So when we left the farm and moved here, Emma came with us to be the garage and outdoor cat until the next door cat stalked her and beat her up a couple of times. She then demanded to be in the house and would not take no for an answer despite my grave misgivings. So we had no choice to bring Emma into the house hoping her new status did not make her a statistic with all the dogs she had blatantly teased for years.

Not to worry!!  With her wicked side swipe, Emma ruled the house and the dogs from day one! She rules me!  She sits beside me wherever I am, begrudgingly lets dogs join us. She sits by my computer as I type, editorializing with her adept paw. The dogs are afraid to walk around her, but I do see them curled up together sometimes. She sleeps with me wherever I light, bed or handy couch.  I love her but realize that I, like the dogs, am only her toy and lowly subject!



postheadericon THE WIZARD OF DOGZ






Those of us who like to give children’s stuffed animals to our dogs to play with, need to be aware of possible consequences when our dogs rip them apart as mine always do;  I find stuffing all over the place.  So now I get the stuffed toys, including those made for animals, that have no stuffing or remove it.  I never give toys with button eyes or noses.

This is from the Show Dog list:

Last night at agility class, a vet, who is a fellow agility student  was telling us about a case she had this week. The dog ate a child’s teddy bear and was very sick. When she opened the dog up to remove what she thought was an  intestinal obstruction she found a huge gelatin type mess inside and the dog’s intestines were black and the tissue dead. The dog died as no surgery could fix him up as there was no living intestine left from stomach to colon.

This  was not an obstruction. …. so she called the manufacturer of the Teddy Bear on a quest to find out what the gel was and what killed the dog. Turns out the  stuffing in children’s toys contains ingredients for flame retardants and mite  control! It is designed to become a gel. It is highly toxic.  Now one would  think a child’s toy would be safe (unless it is made in China!) because it is for children, but they don’t  expect a child to eat the stuffing of the toys which is a scary thought in and of itself.   We know that dogs demolish and eat toys!

So do not give or buy your dog any children’s stuffed animals. Some people. myself included, have gotten stuffed toys at Goodwill. but no morel.  Make sure all your the toys you buy for your dogs are made for dogs.

Please pass this on and help avoid another dog dying a horrible death that can be avoided.

postheadericon CATCHING UP—4/2/10

Catching up 4/2/10

Although I have updated this blog from time to time, I have not really written too much about what is going on in our life presently.  I spent January and February substituting as principal in an elementary school in my old school district—Columbus, Ohio, City Schools.  I was not sure I would physically hold up to the strenuous effort of once more leading a school, but for those two months I had a ball being back in harness once more.   I spent the days working with kids, parents, and of course teachers; I worked twelve or more hour days many a day to catch up on the paperwork at night.  Public schools get so much criticism, but the teachers at this school in particular do a herculean job of educating children with so many needs from children needing to catch up to the gifted.  I spent at least two weeks in depression after leaving; I still miss the kids, parents, and of course the wonderful staff.  I am lucky to still see some of them socially now.  I had wanted to volunteer after my role of principal was finished, but I think that the returning principal would be a bit uncomfortable with me in the school helping as the kids might still see me as the principal instead of a volunteer.  It was a really great experience!

Al is now undergoing chemo therapy for his liver cancer and is very tired most of the time.  He has never given in to his age and has always just trucked along, but he has slowed way down at least temporarily.  Today he had more basil cell carcinoma removed from the top of his head.  He has a four inch wide and very deep area that looks like a crater that results from the surgery he had to remove the cancer from his head in December.  This area is nearly as big and even deeper.  How he endures I don’t know.  He has battled one form of cancer or another for the last eighteen of our twenty six years of married life.  He wants to live and continues to undergo treatment including the chemo which makes him ill and drains him. Please keep my Al in your thoughts and prayers.

The three puppies we kept from our litter by Ch. Aranel Renaissance out of our Ch. Rattlebridge Delta Dawn are really lovely at four months.  We won’t know for several more months if they are going to be real contenders in the show ring.Their names are Rattlebridge The Dawnald (boy); Rattlebridge Cyber Dawn (boy) and Rattlebridge Dawnatella.  Of course I have no photos as my camera has been in the shop.  We have also kept a tri girl Rattlebridge Tantaliza and a blenheim boy Rattlebridge Over the Hump (he looked like a Humphrey—then I had to find a cute name for registration for my Humphrey.  We will see how all progress; if they look good I may even once more enter the ring for the first time in two years. The Dawnald is with my friend and co-breeder, Sherri Meyer, who will show him. She handled her Italian Greyhound to Best of Breed at the IG national last year so she will certainly do right by Dawnald.

Spring Frenzy is upon me!  Just got 75 Red Robin fence roses in the ground and expecting more to come so that when finished our fenced yard will have these wonderful roses acting as a hedge; they are touted as being better than any fence, but we would never trust anything but fence with the dogs.  I am not a fan of invisible fence for Cavaliers or other Spaniel or hunting breeds—one sniff of a bird or a glance at a butterfly and a Cavalier may be gone!  Many dogs figure out that the discomfort of one zap does not measure up to the joy of freedom.  I would never want to take the chance.  I have also planted several knock out roses,  blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries last year. All look to be coming  up except for a couple of blueberries and raspberry/blackberries (who can tell the difference without the berries!) Although our home had several nice garden areas when we moved here, I have feverishly slaved extending gardens, creating new ones, putting in walks and in general obsessively (is that a surprise!) putting my mark on the place.  How about planting   countless daylilies and daffodils; I transplanted many of the daylilies from the farm and cannot wait until they and the once that were already here and the ones I bought at the lily farm, take over the front ditch and fill in around all the daffodils so that their foliage hides the withering daffodils.  We have no tulips unless one counts the stubs chopped off by the darling Bambi’s. The farm was too spread out to plant really intense flower gardens and our log home in the woods would not allow anything but shade flowers to grow; I am really enjoying killing my back as I plant and then transplant when I put a plant in a place that doesn’t eventually make me happy.

Good Friday—the death of Our Lord Jesus and the birth of our Salvation

Today, well yesterday since I just looked at the clock, was Good Friday. The Stations of The Cross were at 3:00 pm. At 7:00 we came together again for the Veneration of the Cross, Holy Communion, and the prayers to the Divine Mercy.  Both services were very beautiful and well attended at my Church, St. John Neumann in Sunbury, Ohio.  While always a Catholic, I had been a “half assed” Catholic for many years.  I am now “full assed” ( and is my ass full!) and participating in all our Church has to offer.  I wish Al could join me, but Al dislikes all religions as he feels they are all hypocritical and I cannot blame him as some of our religions preach one thing and do another.  Scandals have certainly rocked the Catholic Church, but the horrible sins of pedophile priests do not take away from what our Church teaches— worshipping and loving God  and the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. 

It is very late and I have to be in the garden early in the morning, but finally made myself sit down to “catch up.” May you have a wonderful Easter and go to your Church to worship Him.


postheadericon I RESCUED A HUMAN TODAY


My beloved Snoop is a rescue dog.  I joke that he came for two days and stayed nine years.  He is a big black lab mix,

my constant shadow.  He is very obedient and smart as a whip.  His favorite illegal pastimes, though, are rooting through waste

baskets and garbage cans so he can eat any goodies he finds or chew up any tissues he finds.  He is an expert at clearing

the kitchen cabinets of anything that entices him including very recently my lovely T Bone steak.  I call him my gypsy lurcher.

He knows that he is wrong for after he gets into the garbage, skilled as he is at opening garbage cans, or surfs the counter

tops as he then slinks guiltily off with guilt written on his lowered face avoiding me completely.  I was so mad at him one day

for his usual counter surfing that I chased him around the house with a fly swatter!  Snoop really knows

what he is doing and he knows the repercussions; I think that perhaps he should join Tiger or now Jesse James in going to

a rehab center for his addiction!

Having Snoop in my life has been a blessing. Totally loyal to me, I have no doubt that he would protect me if needed. 

He is a great watch dog, but sometimes gets carried away in his zeal. I will adopt another rescue when the time is right,

but do not support Peta and HSUS in their campaign to end the breeding of purebred dogs as their motto in advertising

now seems to be  ”buy a purebred and sentence a shelter dog to death.”  If HSUS and Peta are so concerned about the

fate of shelter animals, why are they not running shelters or supporting shelters to help dogs directly instead of using

all the millions in donations they receive on advertising their cause and big salaries.  While I am on a roll, I will stop

as the following vignette is so sweet I wanted to race to the Delaware Humane Society shelter to be rescued.

                              snoop and me 3 21 10                                                                   HORRORS! SNOOP AND ME ON A NO MAKE UP DAY!                          


I rescued a human today. 

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively  into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.  I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly,  so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I  didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked  today.  Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future
to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s  life. She got down on her knees and made little
kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her.

Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised 
my paw to assure her that all would be well. Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly
jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to 
see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes. I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor.

So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one. 

I rescued a human today.