postheadericon Catching up: February 3, 2014

The weather here has been brutal.  I used to love cold weather but the older  I get the more I  detest it.  I used to be able  to go out in the coldest weather without a coat and now I just don’t want to go out even when bundled up.  Even so, my area of Ohio has had it very easy compared to other areas of the country like the area in Michigan where my buddy Roxy lives who is always inundated with inches and inches of snow. 

Well, my I phone fell out of my nightgown pocket into the toilet and gave up the ghost or though I thought.  It was dead.  I used the hair dryer and put it in rice to no avail.  I then purchased a new I phone 5s which I really did not want to do.  I got the new phone all set up and my old phone resurrected itself and is as good as new.  So now I guess I will keep it for a backup.  I am technologically handicapped so setting up a new phone is extremely difficult for me and took lots of conversations with Verizon and Apple to do so.  I have all my apps and contacts transferred but for the life of me cannot get my old ringtone back.   So more calls are in order. 

The Cavaliers are fine.  I have not had puppies in awhile but think that my Alice is expecting a litter.  My Tillie did not become pregnant which was disappointing to me and to the people waiting for a Rattlebridge puppy as well as for me waiting for a show puppy.  Dog breeding is not for the faint of heart.  The Golden Retriever Club of America has put out an excellent video on responsible breeding.

Share this with all who don’t understand what responsible breeders do and with responsible breeders you know who may need a way to articulate how valuable we are.  Please watch the following.

postheadericon 2013

I have never been so glad to escape a year as I have been of 2013.  Plagued by illness, hospitalizations, surgeries, and problems selling our farm which turned out to end in a terrible financial loss, I could not wait to kiss 2013 goodbye.  Looking forward to see what good things that unfold in 2014, I hope that all of us receive many blessings and a terrific year ahead of us.  The good news for me for 2013 was a special puppy developing into a gorgeous young dog.  Rattlebridge The Crack of Dawn, “Sunny,” is now a year old but has already taken major points and bests of breeds from the 9-12 month class when shown by me, inept handler that I am, in a boot yet because of a stress fracture on the same foot that had major surgery in February.  I am exceedingly proud of this young dog who has it all and a personality to boot!  A few pictures of him at six months:

Sunny at six monthssunny standing at six monthsSunny with toy

postheadericon A lot of catching up to do.

I have a lot of catching up to do. This summer is the one year anniversary of the loss of my dear husband Al. My spiritual life has been extremely important to me and it certainly has helped me deal with my loss.

My garden has kept me extremely busy. I will post pictures soon so you can see it.

postheadericon The First and Second Dog

From my friend Vivian—

Put your political feelings aside if you don’t like the new
administration, but please take the time to email President Obama and Vice President Biden on selecting the dogs that they each truly wanted and would work for them and NOT bending to the collective wills of PETA and HSUS.  There is a website for the President and the VP where you can do this.  Also, Senator Kennedy needs an atta boy on helping support the goals of the AKC by using a reputable breeder.  While you’re at it with him, put a bug in his ear and ask for federal legislation to stop these folks and make sure you mention the part about PETA, the IRS investigation, and home-grown terrorists.

The breeder of the Biden’s new puppy has been under attack and received death threats.  Guess who that could have been?  She has been quoted as saying she will never again sell to a high profile individual.  I’m sure the Portie folks are in for it next.  This only takes a few minutes to email each of these individuals and tell them of your support as other responsible dog owners and breeders.  Thank you.


And more on the very, very hard time that the animal rightists have given the breeder of VP Joe Biden’s dog has gotten since she sold the German Shepherd puppy to VP Biden. If you do not think that PETA wants to eradicate purebred breeders, please read below:

cross posted from another list with permission.


AR mad at VP & Breeder

By GRETCHEN METZ, Staff Writer

EAST COVENTRY — It was a proud moment for Linda Brown when then-Vice President-elect Joe Biden selected her kennel to purchase his new German shepherd puppy.

That was in mid-December.

For Brown, that proud moment was short-lived.

After the story about the puppy sale ran in the newspapers and on TV newscasts, three dog wardens from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture showed up on Brown’s doorstep for a kennel inspection.

And they showed up again and again for four visits over four months.

She said she has also received death threats from animal activists against her and Biden, which were reported to the Secret Service and the FBI.

Bob Slama, special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Philadelphia field office, said the agency “cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.”

J.J. Klaver, special agent at the Philadelphia field office of the FBI, said his agency is not investigating the matter at this time.

“I thought when Joe Biden bought a puppy from me, what an honor,” Brown said. “Out of millions of breeders in the country, in the world, he picked me.”

The glow dimmed almost immediately.

Following a story about Brown and Biden in the Daily Local News, readers posted 131 comments, some chiding Biden for having the Secret Service with him when he went puppy shopping and others complaining he did not get the dog from a shelter.

Brown was taken to task for selling pedigree dogs.

Brown said she has read the comments, even the one that said she was sued.

“I’d like to meet that person,” Brown said, adding that she has not been sued.

Some people were outraged about the photograph of Biden holding a 5-week-old puppy, Brown said. But, the breeder points out, Biden only came to select a puppy on that visit, left it with its mother and returned three weeks later to take it home.

Brown was not only vilified in posted comments to newspapers but also on he Web site of People for the Ethical Treatment Animals, or PETA.

According to a Dec. 12 press release from the animal rights group, it aired its controversial TV commercials “Buy One, Get One Killed” in Biden’s home state of Delaware after he bought his dog from Brown. The commercial blames euthanization of animals in shelters on people who purchase pets from breeders.

Brown also was cited for record-keeping problems and warned about maintenance and sanitation shortfalls by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

“I was cited for a piece of kibble on the floor and five strands of dog hair. They took a picture of that, they walked around, snapped pictures and don’t tell you why,” said Brown, who disputes all the items where she was written up.

Brown’s case was heard by District Justice James DeAngelo in South Coventry on March 31. She was found “not guilty” for each citation, the judge’s office confirmed Wednesday.

Chris Ryder, press secretary for the Department of Agriculture, said Brown was inspected in December because of a complaint. He said it was department policy not to release the name of the person who complained.

Brown’s kennel, Wolf Den, was inspected twice a year by the agency and routinely had satisfactory reports until December 2008 when it had seven unsatisfactory inspection results out of 26, according to the inspection records on the agency’s Web site.

Ryder said the inspectors returned as a matter of follow-up to determine if the unsatisfactory matters had been taken care of. He said more than one inspector was brought in because Brown runs a large kennel.

Before going to court, Brown had to hire a lawyer. So far her legal fees are $4,000, she said.

“Never, never, never again,” Brown said about selling a dog to anyone with a high profile.

Brown said she gets her breeding stock from Germany. Each dog costs between $5,000 and $10,000.

“If I paid that much for them, don’t you think I’d treat them pretty good?” Brown asks.

While the First Family was shopping for a Portuguese water dog, Brown said those breeders were getting in touch with her to find out what her experience had been like.

Brown has a few words for them. “It’s been horrific since December,” she said.


postheadericon VICTORY IN ILLINOIS



One More Brick in the Wall:

 Success in Illinois (HB 198 and SB 53)

By ESaunders

It’s a good day. Due to a united effort from Veterinarians, the AKC, Pet Owners & Pet Breeders, IL House Bill 198 & Senate Bill 53 has been defeated, for now.  As cited on the HSUS webpage for these bills.

“Due to pressure from the Illinois Veterinary Medical Association, the American Kennel Club and puppy mill producers in Illinois, legislation (H.B. 198/S.B. 53) to crack down on puppy mills in the state was not brought up for a vote. We will continue working to crack down on puppy mills.”

It is unfortunate that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) could not gracefully accept that the proposed legislation was rejected by the people of Illinois.  Attributing the bills’ defeat to ‘puppy mill producers’ is sour grapes & an attempt to stain the reputation of the AKC, Illinois veterinarians, pet owners, trainers, responsible breeders and families involved.  In the face of an practiced & expensive lobbying campaign by the HSUS, the mostly volunteer effort held the day through sheer blood, sweat and tears to protect the rights of pet owners and breeders with respect to
the pets they hold so dear.

The effort is far from over.  Similar unnecessary bills are preoccupying legislators’ time across the US.  Time that could be better spent focusing on the colossal economic issues facing the US and the world right now.

But today, we hold forth a cheer for the little guys.  The people who are dedicated to truly understanding dogs and sharing their lives.  Tomorrow they still have dogs to feed, care for and love while they tell their legislators to get back to work and enforce the multitude of laws already on the books to deal with animal protection matters.


postheadericon One Smart Cavalier


I have so much to catch up on posting to this blog.  I am amazed at how many people read my blog and then email me to find out if I am okay as there have been no new posts for a long time.  I am crazed with all the preparations to move our dogs from the former Rattlebridge Farm to our new Rattlebridge FARMLETT (If that is a real word).  Our farm will hit MLS this week;  Cindy Yeager, my sainted Boxer friend who has long taken care of our Cavaliers, and I have been taking turns staying at the farm getting it ready to sell and taking care of our dogs.  The hold up has been getting the dog living arrangements ready at our new home and all is now ready after five months of bad weather.  We have turned one of our all reason rooms into the dog living area and our other all reason room into our family room for dogs and us.  Both are lovely rooms with my  must have TV’s with DVR so I do not have to miss American Idol (yes I rooted for David Cook from the first moment he opened his mouth!!!) because I adore the surly, sarcastic, and very handsome Simon Cowell!  Reminds me of my Brooklyn relatives sporting a different dialect! Both of the all season rooms are heated and cooled and have lots and lots of windows with pretty views; they open up to the same large deck which feeds into our new very large patio which then feeds into a large area with new playground mulch which will adjoin a fenced lawn when we can get to it.  Not the acres of lawn our Cavaliers have had in the past, but certainly sufficient for our downscaled operation.  We still plan to breed our wonderful Cavaliers.

Cavaliers are so very versatile; show dogs, obedience dogs, therapy dogs, agility dogs, lap dogs, hiking dogs, food stealing dogs, and now diabetes alert dogs.  Please read the following from one of my puppy owners, Carmen Nicklaus, about her little “Julie:’


carmen julie 2

“Julie is taking a nap and snoring here by me while I am on the PC.
Can you believe she will be 7 in October? She is the best little Blenheim ever. And listen to this; she has a certain pitch of bark when I have a low blood sugar and she has prompted me several times to quit what I am doing
and go test my blood sugar and every time it is 60 or less!!

She has saved me from a disaster more than once. I have developed a condition called
hypoglycemia unawareness as a complication of having had diabetes over 44
years. In recent years, people have been training helper dogs to warn
diabetics and or their significant others of low blood sugars. One yellow
lab even goes and fetches the blood sugar machine and gets “his” diabetic
child’s mom up in the middle of the night to treat the child. I guess it
costs about 25 thou to train such a dog–and here my Julie does it on her
own. She does not fetch my glucose machine, but she has this distinctive
bark and she will not stop barking until I heed her and go check my blood
sugar. She has never been wrong and I just realized it recently as I am home
alone with the dogs a lot and I get low and then I get confused and cannot
even think to go check. But since I realized what she was doing, she has
saved me a few 911 calls to say the least. Isn’t that cool?”

Thank you for sharing, Carmen!

postheadericon HAPPY EASTER

HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!!!!!!  May our Lord smile upon you on this celebration of His Resurrection and His gift of Salvation.  Today I went to Mass at St. Mary’s in Delaware, Ohio, which was one of the churches of my childhood.  We lived in Delaware for three years upon our arrival from Brooklyn and Long Island, New York.  We moved every three years. I went to school at St. Mary”s in Delaware.  My father moved us to Ohio to open up a new Midwest territory for the Spicene Company located in New Jersey; Dad made huge money for those days and he excelled at his job until his compulsive gambling got the better of him.  Dad moved us to Ohio because there were more thoroughbred race tracks in Ohio than any other state. We bought our first string of Thoroughbreds while in Delaware;I grew up partially at race tracks as Dad and I shared the same passion for horses and racing often staying up night talking about horses and planning strategy. Horses were my life and losing them has made a permanent hole in my heart; my father left a much bigger hole as we were extremely close and I still miss him almost fifty years later.

There was no help for compulsive gambling in those days and at the end my father had gambled all of our financial resources away. He died at forty five leaving my mother and five kids in really dire financial straights.  I was fifteen when Daddy died; our youngest brother was three.  My mother leaned on me for everything.  People so often think I am so tough, but we had to be tough to make it and with the grace of God we did all make it.

At Mass today, I could see my father kneeling in Church in our first parish in Ohio.  Enough of reminiscing which I seem to be doing more and more in my later years.

My friend Melissa Charbonneau and her darling mother Mona are visiting during spring break so Melissa could tour Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware; Melissa had an interview with the Admissions officer which went extremely well.  Melissa has many options for college when she graduates next year, but her plan has been to go to Ohio Wesleyan and live with us as she shares my passion for Cavaliers and may bully me into showing a bit again.  Who knows what the future will be.  We will have to see what Melissa will decide; she has always wanted to go into medicine and although Ohio Wesleyan has a very strong premed program with nearly all of its premed students getting into med school, She is also considering Ohio State University which would also allow her to live here. Melissa is considering all her options.  Al and I do want her to come here as we have become her second set of parents.  She has a wonderful Cavalier who we think will grow up and become a champion, Rattlebridge Dusk Bunny, as she is by Clooney, our beautiful Ch. and Ch.  Rattlebridge From Dusk ‘Til Dawn.

Well my Faulkner stream of conscientiousness (spell check says word is correct, does not look right to me, but too lazy to get a dictionary) is over for today.  Happy Easter everyone!  May our dear Lord bless you all.


postheadericon March 5, 2008

Our life has been in an uproar with our moving house.  We got possession on January 28th and the fun began!!–and what fun it has been.  We hired painters to paint (now I should be able to paint, but when I paint I get paint everywhere, mostly on me clear through to my underwear creating my new look in multicolored bras) We hired tile guys to put down really stunning porcelain tile in the rooms of the house which were not already tiled leaving only the bedrooms to worry about with sneaky little Cavaliers.  We hired a decorator just to put up the Staffordshire dog wall border that I have hoarded for 11 years for some reason never putting it up in our former home.  I guess I knew this home was waiting.  We love this house and its setting, truly love it.  The only flies in the ointment are that the dog yards are not finished due to weather and that we have not even had time to  get our former house and farm ready to sell. We moved in on February 21 and it has been non stop since.  Only a few of the dogs are with us as we have no fencing yet; we have barricaded the deck which connects the doors to the all season room that is going to be our dog room and the all season room which is already the family room/dog room. While the deck is an adequate size clip_image001for the dogs to potty, we really want to be able to let our dogs run as they always have. Soon we hope!






These are two pictures of the outside of our new home.  It is so open and airy on the inside with two master bedrooms with their own baths on the main floor. Upstairs is an office loft with wrap around office set up, a bedroom with another complete office set up, huge attic rooms which could be finished as additional rooms, a guest bedroom and full bath.  It truly is the house for us.  We found it accidentally, and were under contract with all financing within two days. The way things happened could only be the work of God as I was so ready for a change and this house was the necessary impetus I needed.  I love my Cavaliers and still want to breed, but not on the scale we have done in the past with the search for the next great show dog or producer. For some reason, after all our success, joy and heartache of breeding and showing purebred dogs, I have lost my drive to succeed at the level that was so important to me in the past. There are so many interests that Al and I want to pursue together and independently right now; Al is my main concern  and I do not want to regret losing time with him because of the heavy show and judging travel schedules that have been my life in the past.  Al and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last Monday.  I cannot believe the years have gone so fast.  I got married later in life and Al has been my only husband.  It certainly has been better than following my original plan to go into the convent; I would have never been able to follow all, or to be truthful, any of the rules.  Just ask my poor husband!

Our biggest worry right now is selling our farm. Carrying two mortgages is going to get old fast. The housing market is absolutely awful here.  We have a great realtor who has been our friend for many years and we have a great property to sell, but the market is awful right now.  Ohio is one of the leading states in foreclosures and still new houses are being built all the time.  We have subdivisions standing empty.  The economy is really not good here with so many companies moving or closing and so many jobs being cut.  I pray that our next president will be blessed with the capability to put us back on track, address the many issues challenging us, and keep the good of our country and its future foremost in his or her mind rather than political party or personal gain.  May our next president have the courage, the fortitude, and the ability to truly chart a new course for us.  Would you not like to go shopping to buy products “made in America” rather than other countries.  I cannot believe how few product seem to be made in our own country!  We really do need a new direction!

As soon as we get our new home organized and really livable with most of the little odds and ends completed, I will be moving back to the old house where my friend Cindy has been staying with my dogs; when I planned on living in the old house to take care of the dogs and get the house ready to sell, our friend Cindy said she and her Boxers would move in and stay so that I could go with Al.  I do so appreciate her kindness;  I am up there to see our dogs every day, but am frantically busy here putting finishing touches on this house.  I am so ADD that I am always in a frenzy trying to find this or that in the upheaval of unpacking boxes.  I just get everything in order and one of us brings up another load of boxes.  My local friends have been so wonderful helping all they can despite their busy schedules.  

On a different note, more and more anti dog and anti breeding legislation is being introduced throughout our country.  If we do not band together and fight for the right to breed and own dogs and without so many specific breeds being banned, we must be afraid that dog breeding and maybe dog ownership will be challenged at every level.  It is the PETA goal, buried in their manifesto, to end the ownership of animals. With PETA’a organization, money, and political clout,, PETA along with the Humane Society of the United States, must be challenged as to their beliefs, practices, and actions. Please become proactive in this fight.  Keep up with what your elected officials are doing in your community and state before it is too late to fight back. 

Until next time… may God bless!








postheadericon Merry Christmas!!


I just got back from Christmas Mass.  The school children performed a Christmas pageant which was darling.  In all of our planning and activities for Christmas, let us not forget the reason for Christmas and celebrate the coming of Jesus as a humble infant who grew up to become our Savour. His act of sacrifice which is represented in the Mass brought Salvation to what was a very troubled world then which continues into the present time.  You can tell this Irish Catholic gets very sentimental at Christmas. May you have a wonderful Christmas.  May all of our Jewish friends celebrate a wonderful Hanukkah also! 

merrys christmas card 2007



Thank you to my dear friend Roxy Hayes for doing the above montage of many of our Rattlebridge Cavaliers. Some of the dogs are gone now, but memories are sweet as they live in our hearts forever.


We have wonderful news!  We have found the house of our dreams and will take possession the end of January.  We are so very excited as are our Cavaliers.  We are moving back to the woods which Meredith has always missed.  Our present home, the wonderful Rattlebridge farm, was bought mostly for the dogs; the new house is for us, less acreage, wonderful floor plan to serve our needs as we get older; plenty of  room to raise puppies and closer to everything! Al will move first and I will stay here  going back and forth for a few months so I can raise puppies, get the house ready to sell, and decide what to do with our horses—probably board at least one of them. It is time for new adventures and Al and I are ready.  We will offer our  place to dog fanciers first and then list it on the market; the market is down right now, but the way all of this happened when we were not even looking for a house, we feel it was all in God’s plan.  Picture of new house and address below.  Email and Meredith’s cell phone stay the same 419 560 1548.  Merry Christmas to you all!






Our friend Roxy Hayes of AARH website design is now working with a company that will put logos or pictures on great items such as caps, baby clothes, mugs, buttons, license plate holders, sweatshirts, tee shirts, and more. Right now you can buy Rattlebridge items with our dogs on them so you can show that you are part of our extended family if you have Rattlebridge dogs.  You can also design your own!!!  Please check out the site!!!! No profit goes to us! Roxy now has a partnership with the company that makes the items; she does the design.  She will also do websites as she did our beautiful one.  Roxy has been one of my very best friends for all of my Cavalier mania; her Kelsey, still going strong at over fifteen years, is from our first litter.  I want to support Roxy for all she has done for the breed.  You will have to copy and paste the following URL:

I am so excited to buy a few of these items for my partners in Cavaliers for Christmas.  More pictures of Rattlebridge dogs follow:

funny facephotopuises1

bday making 143 (1)







 reggie frogs

amen Too Much Playing reggie tired