Way Back in the Gardenia Rows by Kay Wheeler Moore [Book Review and First Wild Card Tour]

Way Back in the Gardenia Rows by Kay Wheeler Moore My rating: 4 of 5 stars When I first started reading, “Way Back in the Gardenia Rows” by Kay Wheeler Moore, what really struck me about the book was how personal, Kay brings the reader into the story of her own life. Filled with tales…

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Sunflower Faith

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The Longest Day

sol·stice  [sol-stis, sohl-]
1. Astronomy. a.either of the two times a year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator: about June 21, when the sun reaches its northernmost point on the celestial sphere, or about December 22, when it reaches its southernmost point. Compare summer solstice, winter solstice.
b.either of the two points in the ecliptic farthest from the equator.
2. A furthest or culminating point; a turning point.
Yesterday was the second anniversary of Murphy’s passing and for me it has proven pivotal.  On the walk I often pushed myself physically almost to yet at times past the point of punishment.  I sustained a knee injury years ago and there were nights in our tent after a rigorous stretch of road, the pain would radiate so intensely I couldn’t sleep, not even for a second. But when he morning came, I’d decamp and pack up the boys and get back on the road.  
And I have exacted the same standard on myself emotionally and with the same fervor.  A lot of people I know don’t, as feeling extreme sadness frightens them.  The second Murphy was diagnosed in 2010 just weeks after the completion of the walk, I already knew I was on the downward slope of a different kind of journey.  But I was unafraid for myself.  
You see, in the two years since, some people ask me, “Why do you let it hurt you so much?”  Perhaps the only answer I have, the only one that makes sense to me is, “It is my way of honoring him.”  
And that I have.  
I was at the Farmer’s Market yesterday cooking up some Tex-Mex Tatties and since it fell on this anniversary, the Chef’s Special was the Murphy Tattie.  And that the origin of his name is Irish, the inspiration was my interpretation of Banger and Mash.  It was a huge hit.  
One customer came up and I was launching into a story about how the Tattie was named after the dog I lost to cancer was….
“WAIT!”, he interrupted.  ”You mean THIS has dog meat in it????”  
The smart ass me kicked into high gear.  ”Yeah, I said casually.  I’ve had Murphy in a freezer for two years just waiting to use his meat for this recipe.”  
Everyone one in the crowd burst into laughter.
Given all that I have born witness to, I suppose it should be of no surprise that the week of the solstice is also the anniversary of so many triumphs and tragedies.  
It was a good, good day and not for one second did sadness set in.  
Thank you Murphy for giving me the strength to love and hurt and the strength to endure…
Postscripts to Tish:  Thank you for planting the white rose bush in honor of Murphy and the photo of the budding blossom yesterday.  

2 Dogs 2,000 Miles

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Nice Skin Allergies photos

A few nice skin allergies images I found:

Why Latex is Bad for Me
skin allergies

Image by bellamoden 1
Alternate title: Rebecca overshares.

This is the smallest mildest form of reaction I can have, where the skin sort of gets eaten away and the dark spots are either scabs or what’s left of the skin there. Now you know why I’m so paranoid.

Ania’s arms covered in allergy causing substances
skin allergies

Image by Velovotee

Fat John Playin it PHat….
skin allergies

Image by PUNKassPHOTOS.com
Fat John…..eatin up the skins….

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Dog of the Day: Callie LeAnn Partin

My Dog’s Name: Callie LeAnn Partin Age of My Dog: 7 years My Dog’s Birthday or Gotcha Day (or month): Jan 12th About My Dog’s Birthday: My dog’s birthday is pretty special…

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How many kitties does Teresa really have?

I’ve spent a lot of time this week at parties and music gatherings with my friends and the No. 1 question people always ask is, How many cats do you have?

Well, I never tell the number any more because people who don’t have pets or who only have one or two freak out to hear of any more than three, and I DO have more than three! I do rescue work with the help of a friend who owns a cat clinic and I have a $ 600 per month holistic pet food and litter bill, need I say more? There are CATS in my house … along with electric catboxes. It’s tidy and clean and most people come in and say, Gee, you can’t really tell you have cats here. So there!

The take-home message that surfaced was really that I need to help people understand rescue, so I steer the conversation to what kind of rescue work I do. One friend (who has gossiped about my kitties) said she didn’t even know that I did rescue! The nature of rescue is that you take in special needs kitties, get them better or socialized or whatever, and adopt them out.

So I talk not about the “numbers” but about the “work” and the “quality”, you know, like, two months ago someone brought me a little kitten that someone had locked in a carrier and thrown away in a dumpster, and I’m helping that kitten to calm down and be ready for adoption… and right before Thanksgiving, a sick cat went up a very tall tree and was stuck there for a week before the fire department came and shot it out of the tree with a high-powered firehose. (Don’t worry, they caught him in a net!). THAT kitty is doing much better and will be adopted out probably after the first of the year.

It makes for a much healthier, less gossipy kind of conversation.
A day in the life of a HealthyPetNet Rep

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What 120 Dogs At A Hometown Buffet Would Look Like

No second trips allowed on this crazy buffet line. Once its your turn you definitely stand your ground with this hungry crowd.

hounds of cheverny

No salad with dressing on the side for these buffet hounds!


source: YouTube

The Daily Treat: Animal Planet

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flea insane bass solo

puts me to shame.

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‘Today’ Stars Show Support for Jill Rappaport’s Rescued Me Collection

Today show presenters past and present recently showed their support for a line of pet products that will help to create a brighter tomorrow for animals in need as Petco unleashed Jill…

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3 Easy Ways to Ruin Your Dog’s Summer

It’s summer, hooray! Now that everyone is out with their dog enjoying the sunshine, it’s time to revisit some of those top causes of mid-summer angst. Go forth, have fun, and if you want to have a stress free season, avoid my Top 3 Ways to Ruin Your Dog’s Summer.

1. Forget to bring enough water

I’m working on a pithy catchphrase about the dangers of summer heat. (I think I have it.) We all know that leaving the dog in the car is a Very Bad Thing, but there’s many more subtle things we do that can also lead to an ER visit:

  • We don’t provide proper shade
  • We exercise our out of shape pups in the middle of the day
  • We leave for a trip without enough water. Such a big one and often overlooked.

Dogs, especially overweight, brachycephalic, or dark coated dogs, overheat awfully rapidly. We have a whole sweaty body over which water can evaporate and carry away heat; dogs have only their tongues. Keeping your dog hydrated plays a big part in preventing heat exhaustion; in addition, you can dump it on your dog to give their body heat something to dissipate into. Water is everyone’s friend; don’t skimp on it.

One of about a billion ways to provide your dog with H20.

One of about a billion ways to provide your dog with H20.

Here goes: Heat stroke ain’t no joke. BOOM

2. Use a retractable lead

Once upon a time, a sweet elderly couple was walking their Pomeranian on a retractable lead when a large dog in a passing pickup jumped out and attacked the Pom, yanking the handle out of the elderly lady’s hand with the force of a pulley. Neither dog was controllable in this situation. The pickup truck driver jumped out to grab his dog, but he forgot to put on the emergency brake and the truck rolled down the hill and smashed into a bus. The Pomeranian died. The elderly man was so distraught at this horrible scene that he fell down on the ground and had a heart attack. He lived to tell the tale to me several months later. Yes, this happened to a client of mine.

Those long skinny strings provide no sense of control, just a false sense of security. They are thin enough to provide a real entanglement risk: people have lost fingers, dogs get tangled in each other, around objects, or loose and injured. No matter how many times you say “Oh, my dog is 100% perfect and never out of control” the bottom line is, there are external factors very much out of your control.

Oh, and this quote from Donna C. on Facebook: “I worked the Emergency Room while training to be an EMT. The number one cause of amputated fingers was from extendible leashes.” Yikes.

All those leashes are good for is hamstringing your enemies and, in a pinch, use as a garrote. Not that I’ve, uh, tried.


lead ow


3. Let their vaccines expire

We all know that the immune system is not binary; your dog is not 100% protected against rabies 2 years and 364 days post vaccine and 100% susceptible to infection when the clock strikes 12. However, the bureaucracy is binary. You are legal one day and illegal the next, and that is that.

From a medical perspective, your dog is very likely protected for some time after their vaccinations officially expire. However, if you have an emergency or a sudden invitation to Lake Como (it could happen!) and need to leave right away , most boarding facilities won’t let your dog in without current vaccines. Not only that, most of them want a 48 hour period after vaccination before they’ll let you board. The rules may be arbitrary, but they’re seldom negotiable.

Let’s take it one step further, another example from real life: your lovely sweet dog who has never had an issue is attacked by another dog while out on a summer hike. While trying to separate them, the other dog’s owner gets bitten; because it’s not clear who bit the guy, both dogs are ordered to produce proof of vaccination. Your dog is several months overdue, and in the eye of the law is unvaccinated. Commence nightmare.

If you’re going the titer route, same rules apply. Get your ducks in order before the official expiry date and document, document, document.

All right, you crazy kids. Go out there and have fun! And bring your water!

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Dogs Help Seniors Stay Fit

Dogs are a favorite pet for senior citizens and there is plenty of research showing that dogs help seniors stay fit by urging them to exercise. The way the dog does this is by insisting that it be walked every day or be joined in a game of catch the ball or frisbee. Dogs also encourage seniors to participate in other activities with them.

Walking is by far the favorite way for seniors to exercise with their dog. According to a poll by AARP, sixty one percent of people aged 65 or older who own a dog, exercise by walking their dog. What may surprise a few people is another statistic from the same poll: fifty four percent of people between the ages of 50 and 64 who have a dog also exercise by walking with their pet.

Of this same group of 50-64 year olds, forty two percent also play catch or toss a Frisbee with their dog as a fitness routine, while twenty six percent of the seniors aged 65 or older who own a dog, exercise with their dog in the same way. Other favorite ways of exercising that both age groups regularly do is jogging and wrestling. Yes, wrestling with their dog. Respondents said that they love to wrestle at home with their dog and also when they go to a park for exercise.

The frequency that dog owners exercise with their dogs varies substantially between the age groups. Twenty two percent of people aged 50 to 64 regularly exercise with their dog, while thirty three percent of the seniors 65 and older exercise with their dogs more than once a day.

The difference between the regularity of exercising with their dog may possibly be attributed to work responsibilities or more active social lives. Of those who don’t exercise every day with their dog, about seventeen percent exercise with their best canine friend two to three times per week. As for the slackers, fifteen percent say they never exercise with their dog.

Research seems to indicate that people who exercise with their pets are more likely to stay on a regular fitness program. Walking, jogging, or playing catch with their dog provides the same exercise benefits for both the person and the dog, helping keep muscles and joints flexible and aiding in controlling weight gain for both.

Companionship is the primary reason that people aged 65 and older decided to get a pet. Companionship was also the major reason people aged 50-64 chose to adopt a pet.

Taking care of a dog is not something everyone can do or is willing to do every day of their lives. Dogs come with a lot of responsibility for the owner. A dog must be fed regularly and always have access to fresh water. Dogs need a fenced in yard to play in or they must be taken for a walk at least twice a day to take care of their biological needs.

The cost of buying pet food, regular checkups by a veterinarian, and necessary vaccinations can place a heavy burden on seniors dependent upon Social Security for their retirement income. Sixty percent of people 65 and older and thirty seven percent of those between the ages of 50 and 64, say they don’t own a pet for these very reasons.

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