Saturday, March 31, 2012


So... working in a vet clinic, you see a lot of animals and there is a percentage that need homes.
Sometimes it's people with a litter puppies.
Or an unclaimed sick or injured animal from the Humane Society that the Doc does "Pro-Bono" care for that needs a home.
Sometimes clients just want to get rid of their pets. My Rosie was given to me when she was 12. Suddenly she was just too much work for the lady.
My Louie was going to be put down at the age of 3 because he had thrown up one too many times. (He no longer throws up).
Right now, there's an adorable little pup that just got hip surgery that reminds me of Ralphie but much more well mannered, and one of the techs is adopting him.
Another person had a litter of purebred puppies and one of the pups had a blaze of white that would disqualify him from being able to be a "show" dog and they would have given him to me for free but I said No.
Yep, I have turned down quite a few.
I say my plate is full. I also would never get a BIG dog while I have my Blue and some days I don't think I will get a BIG one again even when Blue is gone. Not that Big dogs aren't Good's just that as I get older, I'm thinking I will stick to Small. Small is easy to carry, Small is easy to feed. Small is easier to pick up after.
So the other day, a rare day when it wasn't crazy busy. I was up front helping cover the receptionist lunch hours. I was chatting with the other receptionist about someone we both knew. We were talking about how all of us have multiple pet households and how this woman we knew had dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs and a horse. She had not ridden her horse at all last summer and would sometimes go a month or more without seeing him and yet she wouldn't sell him to his caretaker. We just couldn't figure out what was going on in her mind. Why have pets if you didn't spend time with them. Eventually the conversation came around to our own crazy households. She asked me if I planned on getting any more dogs and I said NO. I was perfectly happy with the status quo and I would never go hunting for a pet like the woman we had been talking about.
We talked about our favorite breeds and I joked about a quote I had once read that went something along the lines of "I regret that I only have one lifetime and won't be able to have every breed of dog that I wanted." We laughed and both said - Why couldn't you?
So she kept putting the question to me and asking if there wasn't some type of dog that I would break down and take home someday. I told her that while I love Goldens, I truly thought I'd never get another because no one could compare to my Maddie that I had for 12 years. The perfect Golden.
But she pressed on - "Come On!, there must be something that would make you change your mind."
So I told her there was one type of dog that I thought about but I had a lot of restrictions concerning it.
I said that someday I would like a Dachshund.
But not a big long one, more of a mini.
And I would never get a puppy, it would have to be one that needed a home.
And also a female dog. I am tired to male dogs wanting to raise their legs. Yep, definitely must be female.
And she couldn't be bossy, not the type that would get in Blue's face.
And she had to get along with cats.
Lastly it had to be a Dapple or a Piebald.
She laughed. She said it was like I making a list of stipulations so that I won't be tempted.
I just smiled and said, "Yeah, my NEXT dog has to be ALL of those things.
I felt pretty safe that a dog like that wouldn't just drop into my lap.
Not even ten minutes later a client walks in for her appointment and the receptionist calls to me to look at this woman's dog. An adorable little piebald mini-doxie. After the client came out from her dog's appointment, she asks if anyone would hold her dog while she paid her bill. So I held her little dog, who snuggled her face in the crook of my arm and then gave me kisses.
I laughed and said - I'm going to run out the door with her! she's just SO sweet!
The client said "Go ahead, I'm trying to downsize". I laughed it off and told her she would regret it. She nodded her head and said "Maybe, maybe not" and she would be "thinking" about it.
So fast forward about 10 days... guess who called me at work?!?!
She and her husband want to retire eventually and travel.
...and I have a new dog.
I sort of won my own personal lottery.
(Now I need to win the BIG money one.)
Her name is "Annie".
I'll probably keep that name....
although I've already called her "Petunia" and "Poppy" and "Daisy".
 Yeah, I know...I'm nuts. Crazy. Thank God I have my vet discount...and truly, there's no other type of breed of dog that I wished for. So, I'm done.
(She walked into my home and everyone had to give her a butt smelling greeting and then she instantly "clicked" with the problems, it's like she's been here all along.)
Careful what you wish for!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I know people who claim that their cats don't get up on the counters, tabletops or climb their Christmas trees.
I'm not sure that I really believe them.
Or maybe their cats just wait until they are out of the room or gone off to work.
Can it really be possible to have nice things? What's the secret?
I've been told to crowd things so there is no room for them to jump and land. That doesn't work in my household. They will leap and plop down in the middle of it all and what hasn't fallen, they will calmly push out of their way. I will be in my living room and I hear a loud crash upstairs. I used to run up the steps to make sure everyone was unharmed but it happens so often that now I just wait a moment and listen. No cries, so it must be OK, right?
Most times the sounds are from my art/craft room and except for the "gesso" incident, nothing too major has been damaged. I guess part of the reason that things are fine is because I have all my supplies stored in containers. I haven't been creating anything lately and ONE of the reasons is because I have to do that at the kitchen table and keep the cats upstairs.
So I've spent this weekend sorting through STUFF in the basement. I am organizing and moving everything to one side and then the whole other side of the basement can be for the cats. At least while I am at work. I need to keep them out of my "art/craft" area so that I can actually "create" something.
So here's the question, I know that most of you own cats and still create.
How do you do it? Any helpful tips?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


It's probably not the best marketing plan to do a tutorial on how to make a cat/dog bed for free and in less than 60 seconds.
Especially when I have been working on making handmade painted pet beds to sale.
But, oh well! Here ya go!
                            My first tutorial:
First get a towel. A big one, a beach towel would be perfect.

Lay it out flat.

Take a hold of the lower left hand corner...
I suppose you could do it from the right, but I'm left-handed,
so I'm saying left.
Start to roll it.

Keep rolling.

If you don't have a huge surface you will have to turn it but keep rolling and then
STOP. How much you leave kinda depends on the size of the pet. After you do it once, you will be able to judge.

Now take the end on the left hand side and curve it up.

Then take the right hand side and do the same.

Take the piece laying flat and pull it up and over.

Tuck it in.

Now for the test....she jumps in!


Perfect! and Cat approved!

A free bed that you can shake out and wash.
If you have a large dog, you can use a blanket.
I make these for my boarders.
The little grey cat is "Lacey".
She lives at the clinic and likes to "help" me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

How was YOUR weekend?

Today it hit 85 degrees! Craziness. But I am loving it.
I've talked about my overgrown ravine-like lower backyard before and my goal this year is to cut all the trees and shrubs down and make it usable. So I got to thinking last Monday that if I waited too long it would be covered in wild weeds and trees again and be impossible to tackle. It is Spring Break so I had several of my part-timers available to cover my shift.
So I took Friday off.
I spent Friday dragging all the old limbs that had been thrown down there from the year past from all the trees that both me and my neighbor had cut down.
(this is NOT my yard, but it's close...just add wild trees and a zillion cut branches.)
I also got busy hacking away at the shrubs and things. I had thrown pieces of cement edging down there (forgotten about that!) and lots of old fence pickets and odd lumber was buried under all that disaster. I would pull at these things with my rake...I'm deathly afraid of snakes and I didn't want to overturn something and surprise some creepie or crawlie.
I spent the next day bagging. 37 tall leaf bags full of branches.
Sunday I packed my van tight with the bags and made 3 separate trips to their undisclosed location.
There is still more work to be done but the worst is over.
Then I spent some time searching garden ideas on Pinterest but couldn't find what I was looking for. Maybe it's because the photos I want are listed under something random like "Must Do This" or something.
But I found a few images after Googling, of what I have in mind.
 I've already enclosed the top area directly behind my house and while it presently has a very bad makeshift patio out of broken cement pavers and odd cement blocks, I will eventually fix that. I hope for it to be something like the photo at the top of this post.
The rest of the yard, which includes the sideyard, I thought about making it very clean and simplistic.
Like something out of Dwell magazine but I've decided to follow my heart and go with a dog-friendly garden. Something like this?
At some point of Saturday I realized that it was St. Patricks Day. That USED to be my SECOND favorite holiday.
The First being Halloween, of course.
Back in the day my friends and I would start early and what was then great fun, now seems kinda silly and stupid.
But I decided to kick back that evening and enjoy a beverage at home while watching a DVD.
Larry Crowne.
I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed it! And I loved the message that your life isn't over at 50 or whatever. That life can hold new and happy surprises.
Yep, I liked that film.
I relaxed with a glass of Moscato and my roasted brussels sprouts.
Thank you Steve for the great healthy snack tip.
Which brings me around to my healthy eating.
I'm still on course and I will remain there. It's a lifestyle not a diet.
I can't believe how much better I already feel!
It's amazing what cutting TONS of sugar, cheese and chocolate out of your life can do for a person's sense of well being.
I plan on doing a post of yummy things that I've discovered.
Easy stuff, because you know I hate the cooking and especially the PREPARING of food.
So, that's my weekend!
I feel so happy and energized by this warm weather.
I hope you all had a great one too!
Oh! and soon you will notice that I have ads on my blog.
Something I just thought I'd try.
I can't pick what they will be but they are supposed to go with the "tone" of my blog.
Scary. LOL!
I just hope it's not Adult Diapers!

Friday, March 16, 2012


and GRAB what you really want in LIFE

so that you can ENJOY it

and sometimes you have to SMART enough to know when to RUN

and be very STILL and QUIET

when someone tries to take that JOY away

and wait until its SAFE again to come out  and be BRAVE again.

Monday, March 12, 2012


I have had a revelation : rev·e·la·tion(rv-lshn)
a. The act of revealing or disclosing.
b. Something revealed, especially a dramatic disclosure of something not previously known or realized.
and I find it a bit shocking.
First, let me say that I am not really a "KID" person.
Of course I adore and love my nieces but they are different, they aren't like most kids I've met.
I hated babysitting when I was young and gladly passed off the job to my sister who adored doing it. Especially babies. I was always staring at them as they slept, terrified that they were no longer breathing. I woke many babies up during my short baby-sitting stint. I, myself never liked playing with baby dolls, my favorite toys were a raggedy stuffed dog and a tiger kitty. (Both of whom continue to sleep in my dresser drawer). I just never enjoyed spending an evening with kids running around screaming as they chased siblings from room to room. I hated fighting with children to eat their dinner or trying to get them in bed and stay there at the appointed time their parents had dictated. I would end the evening sitting on the family sofa pretending to watch the TV while I was actually tense and frightened. I watched the clock and heard every creak of the house. I spent most of the time locking windows and double checking doors and praying for the parents to return soon.
Luckily they soon met my sister and called her instead.
She was the Baby-Sitting Queen. I remember the day she pulled out her little pocket-book and happily showed me a couple of school photos of her favorite little ones. She said she felt like they were kinda like her kids too. She adored them and loved taking care of them.
I had just looked at the photos and then at her in wonderment. I just didn't get it.
But then again, she didn't understand why I knew every dog's name in the neighborhood or why I always wandered down to the corner house and played with neighbors dog when his owner tied him outside.
Now in my adult life, when I help out in the front reception area of the clinic that I work at and someone comes in with little children and they start screaming and running around, I can't think.
My mind shuts down and I can't focus on anything, yet when someone comes back to my Boarding Area and the dogs start all barking at once, I'm often asked how I can stand listening to it. I usually don't even notice it and I also tell them they are barking because someone has just walked in. When it's just me and the dogs, it's usually completely quiet...
Anyway, I am not saying that I don't LIKE kids.
Just the other day a mom was at the front desk checking out. She had her hands full with picking up her pet and getting paperwork and kinda ignoring her little girl. It was very cold outside that day and the little girl had thrown her mittens on a table and her coat in a chair. The mom was calling to her to hurry up so I went around and grabbed her coat and started helping the little girl on with it.
She said to me in a small voice that I had to put her mittens on "first".
So I did. Then I helped her on with her coat but the kid didn't zip it up, so I zipped her up and looked at her.
Her little face stared up at me and I kinda got it.
Her standing there looking at me.
I reached down and pulled her hood up on her head and she gave me this little smile.
It was like she knew that I didn't dislike her.
So I smiled back at her and quietly said "Stay warm" before walking away.
So yeah, I would never say I was a kid person...
OK, for the BIG revelation.
I was at the library looking for a book on birds. Don't ask me why but I was and the location for the book I was looking for ended up being in the "Juvenile" section. As I was looking through the kids book on birds I found the book "Stellina" (by Matteo Pericoli).
I flipped through and realized that it was very much what I had in my mind for my book about Blue. That's when it hit me.
Is my BLUE book really a kid's book? NO! I think not.
Then I started going through the shelves, I found one that was called "Fuddles" (by Frans Vischer) about a cat.
OMG! Kanga's story IS a Children's Book. I grabbed a couple of others with graphics I was mad for and took them to the desk and checked out.
I drove home in a bit of a daze.
Children's books? for KIDS?
What is happening to me!
I thought about my paintings at the clinic. Two of them had been bought as gifts but one was bought for a little girl who begged her mom and another was for a little boy who had told his mom that she had PROMISED he could get it if it was still there the next time they came.
I thought about the first craft show I did. I sold Folk Art stuffed dogs and cats and Folk Art cat/dog jewelry (necklaces and pins) and almost all were bought by a parent of a kid demanding it.
I remember remarking to my friend that it appeared that my target audience was 8-12 yr olds!
A few years later, I did another craft show of painted furniture. I had all sorts of things and a lot of people told me how much they loved my stuff but either they had no place to put it or it was the wrong color for their decor. The only pieces that sold were a chair that a woman said would be a "time-out" chair for her kid and then another chest/bench painted with cats to another woman who was going to use it for a toy chest.
Then I had a young couple telling me how much they loved a head-board that I had painted with little "Bugs" but they had already just purchased a new bed for their son....
I started thinking about my nieces and how they never want me to get them anything off of their Christmas/Birthday lists. They always want something that I "made" instead.
I started thinking about the Folk Art dolls, and cats and bunnies I had made them and the weird "wolf" I made my youngest niece.
I remembered the time my middle niece opened the old hat box I had and looked at the fairy doll that I had made her and how she said that she "felt dizzy"... yeah, that's one of my biggest compliments ever.
Maybe, I AM kind of a KID person after all.
Wow, what a revelation! I AM feeling DIZZY! LOL!