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 Charlie The Therapy Dog At Work


postheadericon Rest in Peace, Dearest Fletcher

Jim and Margie Rogers emailed the sad news that their beloved Rattlebridge RuffRider (Fletcher) passed away: “Our beloved Fletcher passed away today, peacefully in our arms.  He was 15 years and 9 months old. I only hope we gave him as much joy and love as he gave to us (I doubt it). We thank you for bringing him into our lives. “ 

I remember Fletcher as a dear, sweet puppy and the lovely couple who gave him such a wonderful home.  It is always too, too hard to lose a beloved, but I am sure Fletcher has already met up with my husband and the rest of the Rattlebridge gang and will be waiting for Jim and Margie at the Rainbow Bridge.  Please look at his wonderful face, as beautiful in his old age as it was as a puppy.  I loved him too.



My friend Leanne Bertani, who gave her “Rosie” and my “Callie” a wonderful home for so many years, recently informed me of the passing of Rosie.  Callie, Rosie’s constant companion, is now 16 and the dam of my beloved “Wendy,” Ch. Rattlebridge Dutch Treat, ROM. 

From Leanne: “Tullamore Guns & Roses: Ch Werrington Buoyancy of Rattlebridge x Sweet Lover of Wye) passed away this morning.  She had pretty good quality of life, never a cough, never any shortness of breath; she just didn’t want to eat last night, unusual for such a chow hound who normally would take your hand off for a piece of chicken. Her back legs were getting weak, so we had planned a euthanasia for Saturday when all the kids could be present.  She spared me the decision and passed away the day before it was planned.  Part of me was grateful and part of me wished I could have been holding her — she passed in her sleep, lying in my den with her friend Callie.  Laura and I took her to Schoedingers this morning; we will probably spread her ashes at a later date.”  RIP dear Rosie.


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 Catching Up 1/8/2010







After not winning a Bowl game in much too long a time, Ohio State was victorious at last. Congratulations to our great team and our great coach!

I want to congratulate Tami and Jeff Byroads on how stunning their Ch. Rattlebridge Costume Party looks as she competes for Best Veteran. Party is well loved!  We have been deeply saddened that Party has never had puppies as we expected her to have lovely puppies.  Dog people have always known that when a wonderful bitch is not able to have puppies when bred to really good dogs it will always happen when she is given any  opportunity to romance the neighborhood stray, she will have puppies! 

Party 2009 So Cal Specialty














Catching Up:

Al and I wish everyone a Happy New Year once again. It has been quite a while since I have written about the goings on in our lives–too busy and just struggling to get our life in balance. We have not had an easy end to 2009.  Those of you who remember how excited I was to start riding again on the beautiful black Morgan gelding, Blazer, will understand how unhappy I am that Blazer became lame and went back to Connecticut. He was my dream horse, but what is to be is to be.  I am not riding at the moment which is just as well as I now have two pinched nerves giving me a run for my money; I will ultimately need surgery which will just cause one more difficulty in our lives.  I took myself to the emergency room last week with pain in my jaw and terrible pressure in my chest;  I was admitted for two days while every test possible was done on my heart. My father dropped dead with a heart attack at 45 and my mother died at about 78 of congestive heart failure. Genetics is so unpredictable and I seem to have dodged a bullet; my heart is perfect; stress or reflux was the culprit.  I no longer can do all I once did so I understand all too well my husband’s frustration and anger with the aging process.  The only revenge against aging is to keep moving forward and not give in!  I just wish my orthopedic problems would go hang themselves!

At the beginning of the Christmas holidays, Al had layer upon layer of basil cell carcinoma removed from a four inch area on his head resulting in a real crater on one side of his head to match the dent on the other side of his head from his brain surgery last February. The wound care was really awful for twice a day I had to scrape any new membrane off the crater so that the grafts would take.  It was really fascinating, though, to see the process of the graft taking.  The donor graft site was his thigh so no hair will grow within the four inch circle on his head. I keep threatening to buy him an Ozzie Osbourne wig!

Al is no longer in remission for his progressing liver carcinoid syndrome; he was to undergo surgery yesterday, but since my strong, stoic husband badly bruised his ribs while trying to fix the snow blade on the tractor, surgery was postponed.  Why do men not listen to their wives?  I called home yesterday to find that said husband was out clearing the driveway ( a long one at that) with our new snow blower!  Now with his bruised ribs causing him great pain and the remnants of a nasty cold, why would such a bright man wish to put himself in further jeopardy risking pneumonia thereby causing his extremely necessary liver procedure to be postponed even longer.  When I get on his case he becomes condescending, patronizing, and rude–attributes I do not find endearing but which are typically male!  Since I am back being an substitute elementary principal full time for two months in Columbus City Schools at Forest Park Elementary, a wonderful school, I cannot make sure he is “behaving” and not getting up on the roof to clear snow from the gutters.  However, our new kennel help/housekeeper/my spy, Angie Ward, is just dynamite at balancing everything at home while I do what I love best, work with kids.  Angie tattles on Al when he is not taking care of himself so we can double team him.  I have even asked her to use Al’s car to go back and forth to her home so Al has no wheels and cannot do anything stupid! I love him so much and I understand how frustrated he is because he cannot do the hard manual work he once did; he could and did fix anything. Although his education and career was in biochemistry, he is brilliant at coming up with ingenious solutions to repair machinery or fences or anything at all; he thrives on working outside. Last summer he kept transporting our tractor and our zero turn mower back and forth to the farm to mow as my nephew was working so many hours that he need the help.  They also put up fence at the farm for the horses and down here for the dogs. He is unstoppable!  Please do say a prayer for him as his body has been insulted with so many problems.

We seemed to hibernate over the holidays this year.  I had planned to see movies; I am dying to see Precious and Up in the Air, but never seemed to find time although I really didn’t accomplish much except to bake cookies for the first time in my life and then proceed to eat them to eight pounds more on my flabby body!

The only family we saw were Al’s daughter’s family on Christmas and New Year’s day. Al’s granddaughter, Audrey, is now seventeen and has been accepted at Ohio State. Darren is enjoying middle school. We were invited to Christmas dinner at my brother Bob’s home, but we always spend  Christmas with Al’s daughter these days.  We did go up to the farm for an evening after Christmas to see my niece and nephew and check on the horses.  It was a very quiet holiday time for us which suited us fine this year. Like so many people, I always get really depressed during the holidays as, since my wonderful mother died, my family is not very close anymore; my brothers and I talk and see each other occasionally, but my sister no longer communicates with us–me specifically, although her children stay in touch. It is very sad when families drift apart and old frustrations and still festering open wounds take the place of closeness.  It seems that so many of us long for the wonderful family traditions of Christmas that may still escape us; the warm and loving Walton family dynamics  from the old television show seem to be more of a myth than a reality for so many.

We did not put up a tree this year as last year I sobbed while putting up doggy ornaments each with the name of one of our dogs most of them departed.  I broke down when I put up Bandi’s ornament and Jeanie and Rubens and Danny and Rocky and Nancy and Katie and Rosie O’Grady and the list of beloved dogs goes on. I am sorry if I am getting a bid maudlin, but I can see the faces of all of my babies and will miss them forever until we meet at the Rainbow bridge. 

However, I kept in mind that the real reason for celebrating Christmas was the birth of our Savior and that is quite enough for me.

As for our wonderful present dogs we are enjoying them! We do have puppies right now and will be hoping for the right wonderful homes for them after we have selected the puppies we wish to keep for show. We never let our Cavaliers go to new homes at Christmas time–too busy a time for a new puppy or dog to be introduced to a family.  I do love seeing our dogs become beloved members of families especially when they become as therapy dogs.  At Christmas my friends Lu Ann Rogers and Eddye White gave me a lovely framed collection of all their Rattlebridge therapy dogs in all four colors; all of them beautiful representatives of our breed. The dogs belong to the therapy group Love on a Leash.  I hope to photograph the framed collection and put it on this blog.    Below see our Dory with her owner Angela. Angela helped form a therapy group in her town.  Dory is an absolute hit with all!Dory and Angelam, therapy






I am pleased that a three of our older puppies still look like they may make the show ring.  Rattlebridge Over the Hump (Humphrey) is a really nice blenheim male;  the tricolor Rattlebridge Tantalize (Liza) is looking good as is the ruby boy Rattlebridge Red Planet at Dawn (Mars). Although I have only shown one dog in two years helping to finish the championship of Ch. Rattlebridge Truth or Dare, if a puppy turns out to be really top quality, we will show him or her.

We had a snow day today, or yesterday as I just looked at the clock.  We have lots of snow and will probably have lots more–hence the purchase of the snow blower as the tractor has frozen lines of whatever which I refuse to let Al fool with since he fell and bruised as related above. The dogs adore the snow, but hate to get their fannies cold and wet and try to sneak in and pee inside!

Flash My friend Kisa Reinke, a really good Border Collie breeder from California just sent me this picture of her Border Collie going best of breed handled by her son Jared.  The Border Collie is a very acceptable color although many people do not often see this color. I think the dog is beautiful ad the kid is not bad either! image 

 I have gone on long enough.  Feel free to contact me if you would like:

until next time  . . .


postheadericon TWITTER 6/18/2009

Well, I am now on Twitter, Lord help me.  I do not even understand the concept.  My friend Roxy Hayes bugged me about “tweeting” and is now bugging me to do Facebook.  I am too old for this.  You Tube was plenty for me  My blog does not get done on a regular basis I am so possessed by my spring frenzy of creating gardens.  I do nothing half way.  How then can I possibly keep up with the computer age!?!

My darling Wendy aka Ch. Rattlebridge Dutch Treat, ROM, slipped and did her knee in.  Her heart is still fine at 11 and 1/2 so she went through the surgery to fix it just fine.  He leg may not be a hundred percent again, but she is back to her antics and driving me nuts with her “woo,woo, woo” if any door, gate (even a see through dog gate), window separates us.  She has always been my girl and my constant companion as she does not let me out of her sight.  

Ch. Rattlebidge Dutch Treat ROM2




Wendy has this tenuous relationship Emma the Cat.  Wendy thinks that Emma is very strange as the cat, whom I rescued from under a barn floor over nine years ago, is very attached to me also and does not like to share.  Emma looks down her superior feline nose at Wendy’s slavish devotion to me (how can it be slavish when I wait on Wendy hand and foot especially through her injury which she is milking for all its worth) although Emma seems to be just as devoted but just in total command. Al, of course, being the he man he is, has no use for cats, but he has lost this battle as well as all the other ones in our married life (WHY DO HUSBANDS EVEN TRY???).  Emma makes sure she crawls on his lap occasionally just so I can say to him, “don’t even think about it!!!” as he sits there steaming as little Miss Emma kneads his lap knowing full well that he wants to fling her across the room.   Until next time while I  “tweet ” away.

emma the cat

postheadericon sad news

While we routinely have dogs live into their teens, mitral valve disease still wreaks its havoc on our breed as well as other breeds.  Sometimes genetics plays cruel tricks with the parents of the dogs having really good hearts and then one of the progeny getting an early heart murmur which just moves too fast into congestive heart failure.  No breeder can predict and no breeder wants to put a Cavalier, or any other breed for that matter, into a home to break hearts by developing health problems. 

My advice to those who are afraid to love a dog because a dog’s life is too short:  If you can’t face the agony of losing them, you will never experience the joy of having them.

Reported by my dear friend, Marilee Snyder, a week or so ago:

Our beloved Brandi went peacefully into her final sleep last night, in
Rick’s arms.She has been battling heart disease for awhile and a few
days ago went into congestive heart failure. Brandi was rushed to MedVet in
Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday night, and cared for by a wonderful group of
cardiologists and staff, but her little heart just couldn’t take anymore.
Rick and I are devastated, and heart broken, but our lovely, little smiling
dog will always be a part of us. Her spirit is on the other side of the
RainbowBridge, alive, well…and waiting.














postheadericon Too Tired to Post Tonight, But . . .


I am really too tired to post tonight, but will give it a try. I had a terribly busy day taking Al to doctor’s appointments and his therapy. His CAT scan today shows no evidence of brain trauma and he is also going to be released from therapy.  The neurosurgeon gave the okay for Al to drive; not being able to drive was very hard for Al and hard for me because he is a terrible passenger seat driver and I do not take corrections well!

I have heard from another one of my oldies owned by Jim and Margie Rogers.  It is truly wonderful knowing that Cavaliers that I brought into this world have made their families so happy and have been so loved.  I remember Ruff Rider well. His sire was Ch. and and Ch. Redthea Daniel of Rattlebridge, ROM. Happy Birthday, dear Fletcher!

I just wanted to let you know I’m doing fine, almost 14 years after 
leaving Rattlebridge.  Although Mom and Dad call me Fletcher, my 
Rattlebridge name was Ruff Rider (son of Daniel).  My 14th birthday will be in a few days on March 27th.  I’m happy to say that I’m pretty spry for my age.  I have a slight heart murmur that I take a daily pill for, and I’m a bit hard of hearing.  I still have all my teeth and my eyesight is good.  I can still jump up on the bed or couch (most of the time) and I still love a good (short) game of fetch with Daddy.  I’ve had a good life, moving from Columbus to El Paso, Texas then back to Missouri where we are now.  I have three rescue  companions (from my vet): two Cavaliers and a Japanese Chin.  I love to bark at them when they play with each other, but I still prefer playing with my humans.


fletcher at 14

postheadericon Wendy and Clooney in winter!

We have tremendous snow here!  I love this photo of Ch. Dutch Treat ROM, my darling Wendy, looking in through the sliding glass door with Ch. Rattlebridge Dusk ‘Til Dawn, my very handsome and very spoiled Clooney looking out in great comfort while poor Wendy is covered in snow.  (yes, the previous sentence is one sentence and not a run on sentence, trust me!!!)