Critter Cam

I’m so enamored of my Critter Café that I decided to buy a critter camera to watch the animals.

It’s even got night vision and a motion sensor so I can see what goes on when the sun goes down.

Am I feeding deer and raccoons?

I could really get used to this homesteading thing.

It’s so enjoyable to work from home and have everything I need to do my job and manage my life all in one place.

Tired?

Take a nap for lunch.

Hungry?

Grab a quick snack from the fridge.

Today, because I was at home, I did my good deed for the day.

I rescued my neighbor’s dog, Lady Jane.

Lady Jane, a golden miniature poodle, ran into our garage and acted skittish.

It was hard to get my hands on her.

Until I said the magic words. . .

“Go for a walk?”

She made a beeline for me and laid down right in front of me, presenting me with her belly.

I scooped her up and delivered her to the neighbor, who has no idea she’d gotten out.

Crisis averted.

I’ve definitely got a thing for our four-legged companions.

More than anything, I’d love to get another dog or a cat.

But since I plan to move out in a few years and I know rentals that allow pets are hard to come by, I’m refraining from adopting.

I’ll just have to be satisfied with my old cat and my critter cam.

Can’t wait to see what shows up on my critter cam!

Pints for Pups

I have a “thing” for animal rescue videos.

Whether it’s saving a dog from a swift moving river, or rescuing an abandoned pig, I’m ALL OVER IT.

Truth be told, if my living situation were more suitable to taking care of animals, I’m sure I’d be hosting a farm of animals in my home.

All my pets have been rescue pets.

From Patches, a kitten I grabbed from a box left at the Strawberry Festival in Los Gatos to Wendy, a formerly-awful turned sweetheart of a white German shepherd.

I’m down to one fur baby right now.

Princess.

I first met Princess when I was working at a spa in Saratoga.

She had five kittens and was FIERCELY protecting them from anyone who came near.

She lived in a barn and ate out of a dumpster.

But she was BEAUTIFUL.

Princess has cocoa brown face, paws, and tail, a cream-colored body, and the bluest eyes.

Despite her initial ferocity, she turned into the sweetest lap cat imaginable.

She’s virtually a dog, she’s so attached to humans.

This weekend I am going to an event called Pints for Pups.

It’s all about raising money for homeless dogs via beer sales, ceramic sales, and art sales.

I love this event.

Not just because my friends have organized it.

No.

I love it because it finds homes and provides care for dogs being fostered for adoption.

There’s a group called Thulani and they rescue senior German shepherds.

You can imagine how much love I’m going to pour into those dogs when I see them at there.

Which reminds me to invite you to join in the festivities and come to Pints for Pups!

Don’t buy.

Adopt.

 

Princess

I picked up Wendy’s ashes from the vet and she now lives in my room, on a bookshelf.

It was a sad and sobering moment placing her on the shelf, wishing she was still alive and thriving.

I miss her terribly.

I’m down to one pet now – a cat named Princess.

She’s a GORGEOUS Burmese cat with light blue eyes and the SWEETEST demeanor.

I found her in a barn behind the spa I worked at over a decade ago. She was raiding the nearby dumpster for food and had 5 little kittens with her.

I found homes for the kittens but kept her on account of WHAT A BEAUTIFUL CAT SHE IS.

I didn’t care that she was virtually feral.

I loved her from the moment I saw her.

And she has turned into a very UNFERAL lap kitty.

So you can imagine my dismay when I took her to the vet and found out she had fleas, a gum infection AND pancreatitis.

Between my sons and I, she is getting her medications round the clock to take care of all her illnesses.

In an effort to fatten her up, I went nuts on amazon and bought her eight different flavors of cat treats and a little stuffed turtle filled with catnip.

Because I ALWAYS go overboard.

Luckily, Princess seems to like ALL HER TREATS so I’m hoping she fattens up soon and puts a little weight on her sleight frame.

Lord knows, I’m in no shape to lose another pet.

RIP Wendy

Well, it’s taken me a week to get to the point where I feel ready to blog about it.

My dog Wendy was put to sleep last Friday, May 19th.

I adopted her from the Tri Valley Animal Shelter when she was three years old and she was a TOTAL MESS OF A DOG.

She was crate trained but nothing else.

She was so wild that trainers advised me not to leave my two young boys alone with her.

I didn’t know what I was getting in to. All I knew was that I’d lost my precious Mac a few weeks earlier in a deadly car accident on Highway 80 and I needed to bring a new dog into my life.

Of course, Wendy looked JUST LIKE MAC.

I spent $25 buying Wendy from the shelter and $5000 training her.

The trainers at Cooperhaus Kennels worked wonders with her, to the point that I could recall her with just the sound of my voice.

Over the years, she mellowed but she still maintained a little wild streak.

She never learned how to kiss until the very end, she always wanted to nibble.

Her favorite game was keep away, she never learned to fetch.

On a hot, sunny day in California, Wendy was laid to rest surrounded by her loved ones.

Birds chirped overhead and you could practically see the smile on Wendy’s face as she soaked in all the attention she was getting.

She was so enthralled with all the love bestowed on her, she refused to go to sleep after the vet gave her the sedative.

After waiting patiently for 10 minutes, the vet gave Wendy another shot to make her fall asleep.

Wendy got 10 extra minutes of love due to her stubbornness and her enjoyment of all the attention she was getting.

With two shots of sedative in her Wendy fell fast asleep.

And then the last shot was administered which stopped her fierce, beating heart.

Losing Wendy was difficult.

My dogs have always been an extension of the son I lost to cancer in 1998.

Their presence in my life symbolizes hope, unconditional love, and the bond between a parent and a “child.”

I have been blessed as Wendy’s caretaker, to have been given nearly 9 years with this AMAZING dog and I will hold onto all the precious memories I have of her.

I love you Wendy.

 

Mac and Wendy

My son Douglas died of cancer in 1998.  He was a newborn who developed sacrococcogeal teratoma in utero and his little heart couldn’t keep up with the blood supply demands of the tumor and he passed away September 22nd.

Concerned about my deep, profound grief, my ex-husband adopted a little white german shepherd puppy for me and we named him Mac.

Mac brought me back to life.  He was my dog, thoroughly bonded and I could let him off leash and he would follow me around like we were tethered together.

On the 10 year anniversary of Douglas’ death, Mac fell out of my truck window on Highway 80, was hit by a car, and killed.

People thought I should be comforted that this all happened on September 22nd.

I found no solace in the thought that this was all part of God’s design.

In my grief, I adopted a new white german shepherd – named Wendy.

Wendy was three years old and a total disaster.

I adopted her for $25 – no questions asked.  I spent $5000+ training her.

We called her our Wild and Wicked Wendy!

Wendy is now 11 years old.

Her back legs don’t work so well.

In fact, they barely work at all.

She doesn’t seem to be in pain.  She just can’t move around very well.

I know what’s coming up and it’s going to be SO HARD FOR ME TO LET WENDY GO.

She is also an extension of my son and so long as I have her, I still have a little piece of him left with me.

So spare a thought for Wendy, if you can.  She could use some good thoughts sent her way.

So could I.

Save

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Spoiling the fur baby

I have two fur babies at home – my sweet and cuddly Princess and my wild and wicked Wendy.

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My youngest son, who wants to be a veterinarian, is particularly sensitive to Wendy.  He spends time with her, cleans her food and water bowls, and even gives her baths.

In my budget, I have a line item for Wendy – a small but sensible monthly stipend I can spend on her.

This month, I purchased a Bark Box for her.

Can I tell you HOW MUCH FUN my son and I had breaking open that box and tantalizing the dog with tasty treats shaped like baseballs, a stuffed squeaky baseball bat, a plush hamburger (which my son is sure Wendy will destroy in 3 days), and a jerky stick, etc?

baseballbat hamburgerI guess the theme was BASEBALL and boy, did Bark Box hit one out of the park for Wendy

So I’m here to tell those of you with fur babies of the canine variety, that BARK BOX is INCREDIBLE and doesn’t skimp on their treat boxes at all and they’re SO MUCH FUN to open and watch your dog play with.

Here’s a link to their site, if you’re so inclined to sign up yourself and your fur baby. And no, I don’t get a kick back. I just happen to think they’re AWESOME!!!

Bark Box

And. . . let me take a moment to remind you that there are lots of pets out there looking for homes.  If you’d like to expand your home to include (another) pet, consider going to your local animal shelter and adopting.  The closet animal shelter to me is the Human Society of Silicon Valley (LINK).  If you can’t adopt, consider donating to a NO-KILL shelter.

The post where my dog ALMOST got attacked

I took Wendy for a walk in my neighborhood.

I was across the street from a house with people out front. Their golden retriever was off leash and decided to bark at Wendy and charge the edge of the property. I kept Wendy walking forward. She looked at the other dog but she didn’t react. She’s learning her manners. A month ago Wendy would not have ignored the challenge. She would have inflicted some serious damage to the retriever.

Then… I KID YOU NOT…. the owner of the retriever actually COMPLIMENTED his dog for charging us.

Really.

I would NEVER, EVER compliment my dog for displaying aggression. And I would be horrified if she charged someone taking their dog for a walk past my house.

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Because I have a wicked streak, I was half tempted to march Wendy across the street…

“Hello there stupid golden retriever, meet my fearless german shepherd!”

Of course, that would be very bad for Wendy’s training, but don’t think I haven’t mentally berated that owner for being an idiot.

Need a rescue?

Have I mentioned that all my pets, every single one I’ve ever had, has been adopted from the shelter or rescued from the streets?

There are many reasons to adopt a pet rather than buy one from a breeder. The primary reason to adopt is that you when you do, you’ll save a life. About 2.7 MILLION ADOPTABLE dogs and cats are euthanized EACH YEAR in the U.S. 2.7 MILLION ADOPTABLE PETS. That’s a staggering number!

Also, if you adopt, you won’t be supporting puppy mills and pet stores which put profit over the welfare of the animals. Most animals raised in puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with inadequate medical care. By adopting instead of buying a pet, you can be certain you aren’t supporting cruel puppy mills with your money.

The bottom line is that you can go to your local shelter or contact a rescue group and you will likely find dozens of healthy, well-socialized puppies, kittens, and adult pets – including purebreds – just waiting for that special home.. YOURS!

And just to give a little shout out to my fur babies, here are a few pictures of Wendy (my feisty white German shepherd) and Princess (my adorable Burmese lap cat).

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The post where my dog ALMOST got attacked

I took Wendy for a walk in my neighborhood.

I was across the street from a house with people out front. Their golden retriever was off leash and decided to bark at Wendy and charge the edge of the property. I kept Wendy walking forward. She looked at the other dog but she didn’t react. She’s learning her manners. A month ago Wendy would not have ignored the challenge. She would have inflicted some serious damage to the retriever.

Then… I KID YOU NOT…. the owner of the retriever actually COMPLIMENTED his dog for charging us.

Really.

I would NEVER, EVER compliment my dog for displaying aggression. And I would be horrified if she charged someone taking their dog for a walk past my house.

wendygirl

Because I have a wicked streak, I was half tempted to march Wendy across the street…

“Hello there stupid golden retriever, meet my fearless german shepherd!”

Of course, that would be very bad for Wendy’s training, but don’t think I haven’t mentally berated that owner for being an idiot.

Our wild and wicked Wendy

My sons call Wendy our demon dog. This is because she jumps on everyone, frequently knocking them down and always leaves big muddy paw prints all over them (see Exhibit A: my right breast for Christmas dinner)

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Wendy’s abundance of energy has led us to purchase a Walky Dog which we hook up to our bike so that we can run her at least 10 miles a day.

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Do not laugh young Padawan. When energy high dog you have, desperate too will you be. Walky Dog great investment in sanity mental of yours.

We took her for a 10 miles run in the Coyote Hills. We all had a great time. When we got back to the car, my youngest son complained that Wendy had pooped on his hand. I took her to the curb so she could “sniff the bushes” and low and behold, THIS came out of her.

Yes, I snapped a picture of my dog’s crap. It was sludgy and impressively green. And I knew I was going to blog it.

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But the part of this story which you are REALLY going to love is that part where I had to slip on a pair of latex gloves from our first aid kit so that I could take a sanitizing wipe and WIPE MY DOG’S ASS.

Because there was no way I was going to let her sludgy butt back in my car to emboss green starfish on my backseat or my children.

And last but not least, here’s a clip of Wendy showering us with her love. What a sweetie!