Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Cutie Pies

As it turned out, yesterday wasn't bad at all. That means that today will probably shape up to be a real doosey! I'm kind of anticipating the day with that queasy feeling. Casey grilled a lovely steak dinner last night. Although he started the prep early, dinner ended up running late. We had an unexpected, but welcome, visitor show up that delayed it a little. So unfortunately, I got none of the scheduled cleaning accomplished. Hopefully, tonight I'll get a little more done on that list. I finally got a few of my pictures downloaded from the Greyhound Meet and Greet, so I've posted them below. They are such cutie pies!! Until next time........

Lounging Around at the Meet and Greet

What a Sweet Face!

Donation Dog

The Group That Came Out to Greet Me First.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Dog Days of Summer Weekend!

What a wonderful weekend I had. I got up very early on Saturday morning (4 a.m.), so I could keep the car and go into Nashville. After I got back home and got everything ready, Mom and I were on our way. Mom treated me to a wonderful lunch at Applebee's, and then we were off to the 100 Oaks Mall and PetSmart. I had made the trip just to do the greyhound meet and greet held by The Greyhound Pets of America-Nashville. They were all out front, and I could see them as soon as I entered the parking lot. The Nashville chapter volunteers were GREAT!! They were very friendly and most willing to discuss their dogs and answer any questions. The greyhounds themselves were WONDERFUL!! They are such sweet creatures. Very docile and loving. There were about 15 - 20 dogs there, I believe, and every one of them was wonderful. They would just come up to you and lay their head on your leg. I was able to get lots of pictures, and one of them got really excited when I reached into my pocket for my lens cap. She thought I had a tasty treat lurking in there! It's my hope to one day own a greyhound myself. They had the best idea that I'm going to use for the humane association car wash, when I take Bear. They had a harness on a couple of the dogs that said, "Donation Dog". I admit it was a lot more fun putting my money in the dog's little pocket than just pitching it in a jar. It looked like theirs was specially made, so I'll have to improvise, since the car wash is this coming Sunday. Mom and I stepped inside PetSmart so she could get some treats for her dog. While inside, we met the Governor of Tennessee, Mr. Phil Bredesen. I couldn't believe it. Mom just walked up and said, "Hello there, Governor Bredesen." He was VERY nice and had quite a nice conversation with both of us. It's nice to know that he's an animal person too. He was in the dog treat isle. A VERY nice man, indeed. After we met the governor and got checked out, we went back outside for a little more visiting with the greyhounds and some more picutres. I'll be posting pictures here soon. I remembered to bring everything but the actual flashcard today, so hopefully tomorrow, I'll have everything I need to post them. All in all, it was a fabulous Saturday. Sunday was spent scrubbing every inch of the kitchen. I can fairly say that you could eat off of my kitchen floor. I decided to do the one room at a time attack to make the cleaning more manageable. Today and tonight, it's the living room. It's not too bad, so it shouldn't take very long at all. Hopefully, by the end of the week, I'll have everything spic and span. Well, I'd better run. I have an interesting day at work coming up. It's the first day of fall classes and we have 22,000+ students descending upon us. TAH for now!!

Friday, August 27, 2004

Here Comes the Weekend!

No bites on the 2 little, cute Chihuahuas yet. It's been really slow, but hopefully after Labor Day, the adoption offers will pick up again. Yesterday was a fairly successful day at work; but by the end of it I was fairly stressed. I spent most of the day working on the fall schedule with the budget that the library allows me. We are open everyday from 7:30a.m.-midnight, so covering every hour we are open with a student, is like squeezing blood from a stone. As it turns out, I'm going to have to let 3 of my students go, until later in the semester when hopefully some more hours will turn up. Then, while I was sitting at my desk banging my head working on the schedule, it seems the staff meeting, that we had to sign up for specific sessions, had begun. I hadn't even eaten my lunch yet, so I ended up having my lunch at a staff meeting. All of these things had made me a very cranky girl indeed, so by the time I maneuvered my way back home, through horseshow traffic, I was fit to be tied! Casey had made a fabulous dinner as usual: Chicken breast with Panko bread crumbs stuffed with proscuito ham and guerre cheese!! It was heavenly. Just as we were sitting down to dinner, the phone rang. It was Casey's aunt calling to tell us that she would be coming into town to visit friends and go to the horseshow. EEEEEP! Complete panic. The house looks like a tornado struck it right now. So, this afternoon I have to go home and clean the house so thouroughly it can withstand a white glove test. Needles to say, I probably need some zen today or something.

I am looking forward to tomorrow. I have a trip to Nashville planned. Casey's birthday is next weekend, and Mom and I are going birtday shopping and have lunch. While in town, we are stopping by a local PetSmart. Every Saturday, one of the local greyhound rescues, Greyhound Pets of America-Nashville holds a meet and greet there. I've always loved greyhounds, and one day, I hope to have one of my very own. I hope that I get to meet a lot of neat greys tomorrow. I'm taking the camera, so I'm going to take lots of pictures. I think we may have found the camera cords, so maybe Monday, I can post some of the pictures here. I'm sure after I get back into town and pick Casey up from work, we'll probably go and meet his aunt and uncle somewhere for dinner. Who knows, we may even end up at the horseshow. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Must Resist Temptation....

Here are the 2 newest little shelter dogs, Tootie and Shorty. Tootie is the dark one, and Shorty is the fawn colored one. Shorty is Tootie's father. Their owner has been placed in a nursing home, so now we are trying to get them adopted out. They are so cute that I just had to post their pictures here. Since my mother had a chihuahua for 8 years, and I now have one, it's made me crazy for the breed. It's so hard to resist the temptation to just take them in. I think my 4 dogs and husband would kill me, if I brought any more to the house. I know I have a full house, but it is just so hard to resist. My mother only has 1 dog, and is interested. Time will tell if she decides to take them in.

Maybe I should attend one of these meetings:


Author Unknown

Good Evening. My name is (your name here), and I *am* a dogaholic.

I would like to welcome all of you to this month's meeting of "Dogaholics Anonymous". Some of you are here tonight because a friend or relative brought you here. You may be sitting here thinking that you are o.k. and that you really don't need any help. It is not easy to admit that you are a dogaholic and it is even harder to bring yourself to a DAA meeting for help. DAA is here to assist you.

I have some questions to ask you:

1. Can you say "bitch" in public without blushing?

2. Do you drive a station wagon, van, or 4x4 when everyone else drives a real car?

3. Do you have more than one car? One for you and one for the dogs?

4. Do you spend your vacations and holidays going to shows, specialties, and seminars when everyone else goes on a cruise?

5. If you do go overseas, is it to London in March to attend Crufts?

6. Do you discuss things at the dinner table that would make most doctors leave in disgust?

7. Do you consider formal wear to be clean jeans and freshly washed tennis shoes?

8. Is your interior decorator R.C. Steele?

9. Was your furniture and carpeting chosen to match your dogs?

10. Are your end tables really dog crates with tablecloths thrown over them?

11. Do you know the meaning of CD, CDX, UD, CGC, HIC, WC, JH, MH, Ch, and OTCh?

12. Is your mail made up primarily of dog catalogs, dog magazines, and premium lists?

13. Do you get up before dawn to go to Training Classes? Dog Shows? Seminars?

14. If you do have dresses, do they all have pockets?

15. Do those pockets often contain freeze dried liver, Rollover, or squeaky toys?

16. When you meet a new person, do you always ask them what kind of dog they have and pity them if they don't have one?

17. Do you remember the name of their dog sooner than you remember their name?

18. Do you find yourself referring to people as "Rover's Mom" or "Rover's Dad"?

19. Do you find non-dog people boring?

If you answered "YES" to one of the above, there is still hope. If you answered "YES" to two, you are in serious trouble. If you answered "YES" to three or more, you have come to the right place.

My advice to all of you who answered "YES" to three or more questions is to sit back and smile, turn to the smiling person next to you and know that your life will always be filled with good friends and good dogs, and it will never be boring.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

They're BACK!!

Got a few more things ticked off on my "to do" list. I've just about caught up at work, and now I'm hoping to get my list going on the house. I'm feeling better about things now. Otherwise, the week is going on pretty much as normal. That is UNTIL I drive back home, into Shelbyville. Yes folks, it's horseshow time in Shelbyville. For those of you unfamiliar with southern middle Tennessee let me explain the tradition. Every year, during the last 10 days of August, Shelbyville hosts The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. This event is recognized world wide by walking horse lovers, and it seems that Shelbyville is its Mecca. Now, here's why this event makes Shelbyville so crazy. See, Shelbyville's city population is around 14,000. Every year 50,000 visitors come into town to attend the celebration. Anyone see any problems forming here? Our sleepy little town is NOT designed to handle that kind of traffic or overwhelming flood of people. This event is so big and so many make their living in the horse industry in Shelbyville, that school is shut down for the whole 10 days. During horseshow time, it's such a pain to drive across town, go out to eat, grocery shop (although they do have price wars and you can get 2 litter Cokes for 39 cents!!!), etc. Town is completely choked with people. Since I love cities, it usually doesn't bother me all that much, except when I drive back into town. There's only one way in from each direction. All routes, except one, are 2 lane roads. Let a caravan of horse trailers get in front of you, and you might as well take a lunch and a book. We also have a city square. There are signs posted all over that say, right turns only. Every year, there is ALWAYS someone driving around it backwards. Not only frustrating, but dangerous as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for our visitors, because without this event the town would shrivel up and die. But crimeny folks, pay attention to driving rules and street signs!!

Now, about the walking horses themselves. They are absolutely beautiful creatures. Granted there are disagreements in certain treatments and training of these horses, they are a beautiful thing to behold. Guidelines have pretty much wiped abuse out over the years, but there are still cases reported. They have a very smooth gait. That is mainly what they are judged upon. Even the most inexperienced rider will usually be able to ride an English saddle on a Tennessee Walker. The whole point is for a clean, smooth gait with no motion for the rider. They are trained to hit one front foot directly in front of the other creating the smooth gait, and they are shod on their front feet on tall platforms. This causes the horse's haunches to squat low thus creating the smooth gait. They were originally trained in the days of cotton plantations used as work horses. Plantation owners trained them with their special "walk" to walk between the rows of cotton without trampling them. To illustrate my point, here are a couple of pictures from the publication The Walking Horse Report.

Anway, just a little share of Shelbyville culture for you all.

Also, after we got home yesterday, after making a cricket run at Aquatic Critter, I took Bear out for his nightly walk. As we were headed out, my across the street neighbor came out with her Chihuahua and her little Pug, Angel. Well, Angel and Bear have hit it off, and spent some time playing and chasing each other. It was just so funny, that little Pug running around barking and chasing Bear. Maybe in the next couple of days, I can get pictures of them playing, and get them posted on here. Well, that's about it for today...TAH!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Fruits of My Labor

Well, here are the fruits of my morning Power Point labor. Hope this is o.k. I've tried to send it to the cable company using the address I sent one to last. I've discovered that their website is no longer valid, so I hope all of this was not in vain..... BEHOLD:

Can It Possibly Be Morning Already?!!!

I can't believe that it's time to get at it and face another day. I feel like I just got to bed, even though I turned in pretty early. Dawn is such a cruel force of nature sometimes. I got a few things "ticked" off of my "to do" list yesterday. I finally got my desk cleaned off and organized at work. That was such a daunting task, but I finally got everything sorted out. Unfortunately, there is so much stuff hanging out in the "what do we need to do with this?" pile that it doesn't look much different.

After work, I went to my humane association's monthly meeting ( a shout out to all of you members that are visiting my blog!). It was nice to have a lot on our itinerary to discuss. Seems that one of the local car dealerships, Mark Pirtle, in Shelbyville is going to support our cause. They've decided to hold a benefit car wash with all of the proceeds going to us. It's going to be held on Sunday, Sept. 5, 2004. They are going to have free hotdogs and drinks for anyone who stops by too! They've decided that ALL donations are acceptable; be it dog food, kitty litter, toys, etc. The dealership has also got these really cool little gift bags to give to car buyers, if they are pet owners. The little bag contains a frizbee, food dish, and food scoop, and they are all going to be embossed with our association's name and logo. I thought that was pretty cool! There are various other things that they are doing for us as well. We are all really excited that we are getting some help by a bigger business in town. Hopefully, it will increase awareness. So today, I need to create a Power Point slide with an announcement about the car wash and send it to our local access cable channel. If you are a non-profit group, the cable company will advertise your event for free. Hopefully, they will get the slide up quickly, since we only have a little over a week to advertise. Well, I'm off to be creative in Power Point. Until next time.....

Monday, August 23, 2004

New Week Begins...

Hope everyone had a fab weekend. This was the weekend of laziness for me. I just lounged all the way through. Because of last weeks' events, I was mentally and physically drained, so I needed the rest a lot. I did manage to catch up on my reading and also watch the Olympics. Glad that Michael Phelps was able to get the 8th and final gold! Congrats to Courtney Coupets for her bronze on the uneven bars, Justin Gatlin for winning the gold in the 100m dash and being known as the fastest man in the world, and the USA women's softball team for coming this far undefeated! Looks like we have another great week ahead in Olympic history. Hope everyone has a great week ahead! Found this the other day. I certainly fit some of this criteria. How much do you fit?:

You Know You Are a Dog Person When...

(Author unknown)

You have a kiddie wading pool in the yard, but no small children.

Lintwheels are on your shopping list every week.

You have baby gates permanently installed at strategic places around the house, but no babies.

The trash basket is more or less permanently installed in the kitchen sink, to keep the dog out of it while you're at work.

You can't see out the passenger side of the windshield because there are nose-prints all over the inside.

You like people who like your dog. You despise people who don't.

You talk about your dog the way other people talk about their kids.

You put an extra blanket on the bed so your dog can be comfortable.

You go to the pet supply store every Saturday because it's one of the very few places that lets you bring your dog inside, and your dog loves to go with you.

You and the dog come down with something like flu on the same day. Your dog sees the vet while you settle for an over-the-counter remedy from the drugstore.

Your dog is getting old and arthritic, so you go buy lumber and build her a small staircase so she can climb onto the bed by herself.

You match your furniture/carpet/clothes to your dog.

You lecture people on responsible dog ownership every chance you get.

You keep an extra water dish in your second-floor bedroom, in case your dog gets thirsty at night (after all, her other dish is way down on the first floor...)

Your freezer contains more dog bones than anything else.

You shovel a zigzag path in the back yard snow so your dog can reach all her favorite spots.

You avoid vacuuming the house as long as possible because your dog is afraid of the vacuum cleaner.

You keep eating even after finding a dog hair in your pasta.

You make popcorn just to play catch with your dog.

Your jewelry box contains no jewels ... just those fasteners from vari-kennels.

Every time you read the name Bob, you think the guy's first name is Best of Breed.

Your house isn't carpeted - the fuzzy furballs under your feet are soft enough ...

Your hungry hubby comes home from work, lifts the cover of the pan on the stove and says, "Is this people food or dog food?"

At your dinner parties, you always double check the butter before putting it on the table.

You put important papers in the latest issue of your breed magazine ... you know you will find them there.

You have dog hair stuck to the tape on wrapped gifts.

You show up at the car dealers with a ruler, to measure and see if your big dog crate will fit. Before the actual purchase you make the dealer cringe by insisting that you load both crates and dog into the shiny, new vehicle to make sure it works!

You remove all the seats from the van except the two in the front so you have room for crates...

You cringe at the price of food in the grocery store but think nothing of the cost of dog food or treats.

When you get your latest roll of film and there isn't a single picture of a two-legged person in it...

Friday, August 20, 2004

Lost In Translation?

Congratulations to Carly Patterson for taking the gold medal in the gymnastics women's all around competition! The first gold for the U.S. in this event in 20 years! Congrats are in order to Michael Phelps for taking another gold in the men's 200m individual medley! Here's a list of interesting dog commands that I dug up on the web. For more see this site.

Scottish Gaelic Dog Commands

for making your modest canine companion into

"Cù Annabarach Tapaidh"!

(An exceedingly clever dog)

Here are several dog commands in use by dog owners in the Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland that will make your Celtic cur the envy of all his English-speaking dog friends.

A note on speaking Scottish Gaelic:

Spoken Scottish Gaelic, unlike spoken English, flows seamlessly from word to word. If the command has more than one word in it, practice saying the whole phrase as if it were all one word, with no breaks in it.

Remember that "ch" always sounds like "Bach" or "loch." And always roll your "R"'s --though not all over the place -- more as a simple popped "R" sound.

And keep in mind that no pronunciation guide can adequately convey the unique sound of spoken Scottish Gaelic -- anyone interested in an authentic sound should consider trying one of the instructional self-study courses including videotapes and/or audiotapes, to be found on the SGLABA Books page.

The Commands

Fetch! --

-- "Faigh sin" (FAH-ee shin); or "Faigh e" (FAH-ee eh)

Down! --

-- "Sios!" (SHEE-uss) or "Gabh sios!" (gahv SHEE-uss)

Quiet! --

-- "Bi samhach!" (bee SAH-vawch)

Attack! --

-- "Gabh air!" (GAHV air)

Heel! --

-- "Thig air mo chùl!" (HEEK air moe CHOOL)

Stay! --

-- "Fuirich!" (FOO-rich)

Lie down! --

-- "Laighe!" (LAH-ee-yeh)

Come here! --

-- "Trobhad!" (TRAW-utt)

Sit! --

-- "Suidh!" (SOO-ee); or "Suidh sios!" (SOO-ee SHEE-uss)

Go home! --

-- "'Dol dhachaigh!" (Dawl YAH-chee); or "Theirig dhachaigh!" (HEH-rik YAH-chee)

Want to go for a walk? --

-- "Coisich?" (KAW-shich)

Stop that! --

-- "Sguir dheth!" (SKOOR yeh)

And for when you're walking your dog in the park, and that extremely attractive member of the opposite sex walks his-or-her dog in your direction, and the dogs go crazy sniffing each other's behinds, and your leashes tangle, and you nearly fall over each other trying to untangle the leashes, and you both laugh, and you untwine yourselves from each other, and you feverishly search for that Gàidhlig mot juste to demonstrate how fatally charming you are, you then say:

"Saoilidh mi gu bheil gaol aig mo chù air do chù!"

(I think my dog loves your dog!)

Have a happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Dog Dedication

Yesterday was a red letter day in American Olympic history. In other words, our day went really well. Tyler Hamilton won the gold for the men's road individual time trial. When interviewed after the race, he said that he'd like to dedicate the medal to his dog that passed away while he was competing in the Tour de France. He said that the dog was his best friend! I thought that was really cool! So now we have the very first olympic dog dedication that I know about. In other Olympic news: The U.S. took gold for the women's 4x200m swimming relay. Not only did the women take the gold, they broke a 17 year long stadning world record. Paul Hamm took the gold for the men's individual gymnastics competition. After recovering from a near fall into the judges pit on the vault, he came all the way back from 12th place to take the gold! It was quite an impressive sight too, I might add.

Got this in an e-mail yesterday. I'm not sure exactly where it came from, but I thought I'd share:

A lady found the fawn under her step (they think the doe might have been hit by a car)...the lady's Ridgeback dog is helping look after it.

Right now the fawn is being bottle fed. The dog (Hogan) has basically taken over. The fawn even shares his bed.

Not much else going on today. Everybody have a good one! TAH!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

For Sue

Peace comforts you now.

We all loved you.

We will always remember you

You will always be with us.

Olympic Update

Yesterday was an excellent day for Michael Phelps. He won a gold in the Mens 200m butterfly. The crowning glory came when the relay team won the gold for the Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay Final. That was such an awesome and exciting race to watch. It was so close! They were followed by silver medal winners Australia, with Italy taking the bronze.

The U.S. 4x200m free relay team celebrates its win.

Picture from NBC.

Team USA took the silver for the team women's gymnastics competition. Romania won the gold and Russia took the bronze. What an exciting day. I can't wait to see what results today will bring. Michael Phelps will be back in the pool, and individual competition in gymnastics begins.

Save a Prayer

Although yesterday started out on a pretty uneventful note, the stress began to pick up shortly after 9 a.m. I have a very dear friend, Sue, that I met through work. She has been battling a rare kind of uterine cancer since this past January. She has tried many kinds of different treatments, including radiation and chemo therapy, and she has been seen by the specialists at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Apparently, the cancer is far too advanced to do surgery, and Sue has suffered many disappointing setbacks. She has certainly fought the good fight and has maintained a good attitude throughout the entire ordeal. This past week, she had a typical CAT scan to determine her progress. The doctors found that she had a blood clot in her lung, and sent her to Vanderbilt Hospital, in Nashville, to remedy this situation. After successful treatment for the blood clot, they administered a new kind of chemo. She had an adverse reaction to this new treatment and has been placed in an induced coma and transferred to the cardiac intensive care unit. So far, there has been no change, and her condition is very unstable. All of this news made for a very upsetting day yesterday. I imagine that today will be the same way, since I'm waiting for updates to come from family and friends. So, I'm sending out all of the prayers and good thoughts that I can, and hoping that everything turns out all right for her and her family.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Hurricane Charley Pet Relief Efforts

New news and updates for you all....

From The Humane Society of the United States:

HSUS Responds to Hurricane Charley

At 3:45 p.m. on Friday afternoon, Hurricane Charley slammed into the Florida coast. By the time the sun rose the next morning, the storm had left a trail of destruction and displaced thousands of people. Many were able to take their pets with them when they evacuated. Sadly, many others left their pets behind.

Within hours, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) sprang into action. We sent our Disaster Animal Rescue Team (DART) into the affected areas, where they quickly assessed the damage and began coordinating a response with local and state agencies.

By Sunday night, our team of nearly 30 trained volunteers had begun setting up an emergency HSUS animal relief center in Punta Gorda, one of the hardest hit areas. Even as you read this, the facility is taking in rescued, displaced, and injured animals; reuniting lost pets with their families; and caring for animals until they can be transferred to local animal shelters.

HSUS-affiliated DART teams are also active in Charlotte, DeSoto, Polk, Hardee, Sarasota, and Manatee counties.

We anticipate a long recovery period from this storm. The Humane Society of the United States will be on the scene as long as we are needed. But you can help, too. Please support our response by making a special donation today. Your gift will help us meet the needs of animals by supporting the work of our disaster response teams--for Hurricane Charley and for future natural disasters.

Please click on the link below to donate. Thank you for caring and making a difference in the lives of animals affected by this crisis.

To make a donation, go to the HSUS website by clicking here.

Another update from Pets & Animals in Distress:

911 Urgent Bulletin from Pets & Animals in Distress

Re: Hurricane Charley Pet Food Disaster Relief!

Pets & Animals in Distress would like to first take the time thank everyone again, that helped make the 2004 Feed-A-Pet Drive possible by getting the much needed donated food from Meow Mix Corporation transported down to South Florida that has been distributed to several cat rescue organization that is now helping to feed thousands of hungry and homeless cats throughout Florida. We again thank everyone that took the time to care, contribute and help in our time of need to make this happen.

We are now contacting you again in this back to back urgent emergency request to help with financial aid to support our Hurricane Charley Pet Food Relief effort to deliver several thousands pounds of dog and cat food to Porta Gorda and Port Charlotte to our Florida west coast neighbors. As you all are aware and have been watching the news, last Friday the 13th Hurricane Charley hit the lower west coast of Florida that has caused a major extensive damage that has left a path of destruction and devastated the lives of people in several counties. Many of our west coast Florida neighbors have been left homeless in the aftermath that has also affected the lives of many pet owners and animal shelters that were in the path of this storm that now need our immediate help for the many homeless and hungry animals in the aftermath of the storm.

We are very great full for the Meow Mix food donation as it came at the perfect time and has given us the opportunity to share a substantial amount of the Meow Mix cat food along with various name brand Dog food (Donated by Mr. Feinberg from the Petsupermarket Corporation in Florida) that our organization has now allocated a substantial amount of this food to be delivered to several disaster relief pick up points areas to help the many victims and shelters feed many hungry pets that are in need of food.

Pets & Animals in Distress has been on the phone with several emergency agencies in Charlotte County (Punta Gorda & Port Charlotte) area which has been the most devastated county to coordinate and offer our organizations assistance by sending several thousand pounds of dog and cat pet food to those communities that have been hardest hit and need our help.

Pets & Animals in Distress is coordinating to have several Trucks from Palm Beach and Broward Counties on the (east coast) of Florida pick up all the designated dog and cat food and have it transported to our fellow Florida neighbors on the west coast 4 hours away, in the (Punta Gorda & Port Charlotte) area. Pets & Animals in Distress will drop off the pet food to the Suncoast Humane Society shelter that is the central location for pet food distribution located at 6781 San Casa Drive, in Englewood in Charlotte County and several other designated emergency relief centers who will be authorized to be in charge to distribute and give away the pet food to many of the Hurricane Charley victims and any animal shelters that were caught in the ground zero area and have lost everything, and are in critical need of dog and cat food to help feed the many hungry and homeless pets & animals in distress in those critical areas.

We have also heard that many people's pets have also been separated from their pet owners from the aftermath of the Hurricane from having their homes totally destroyed. And may be lost and wondering the streets that are scared with no food or water that many emergency rescue and animal volunteers are still searching for to find and re-locate to their owners.

If you would like to help in this time of need and make a online- donation to go to the Hurricane Charley Pet Food Relief Fund to get this much needed dog & cat food picked up and delivered to those devastated areas, your generous support is greatly appreciated again to help our organization provide the pet food relief to those affected areas in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley. Time and Money is of the essence for our relief effort.

To Make a donation please go to: http://en.groundspring.org/en/go?j=6244511&u=48618

Or to send donation by mail to:

Pets & Animals in Distress C/O Hurricane Charley Relief Fund 1511 east Commercial Blvd PMB #129 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33334 United States

Through all of our combined efforts, we can help make a BIG difference in this unfortunate disaster to deliver this pet food and turn this unfortunate tragedy into a triumph victory for the many animals. Thank you again for your continuous and ongoing support you have given to help feed the animals in this unfortunate back to back time of need.

We will keep you updated of our progress. Please be patient as we are a all volunteer organization working our best to get back to answer your e-mails as soon as possible in this unfortunate time of emergency crisis.

Thank you and please say a prayer to everyone that has been tragically affected from Hurricane Charley. God Bless!


Brenda Beck, President http://en.groundspring.org/en/go?j=6244511&u=48619

Obsession: Day 5

After work and a few errands yesterday, I went home to continue my Olympic obsession. My perfectly laid out plans were foiled by my sick and at home husband. He was happily watching away at the Food Network. I supposed it's o.k., since he picks up all of these nifty recipes and feeds me every night. So, a bit sulkenly, I just let him watch. It was just as well. I managed to pick up some dinner, get a few things done around the house, and get Bear's nightly walk accomplished. Over the weekend, we had rented several movies to watch. They are all due back by tonight, so we figured we'd better give some a watch. We decided on the Butterfly Effect. It was quite good, and we were very impressed by the way every scene kept you guessing the outcome. I highly recommend it. Be warned! If you are an animal lover, as I am, there are some scenes that you may not be able to watch. I just excused myself and went into the bed room until the scenes had passed and missed nothing of the general plot by doing so. Afterwards, I was finally able to resume my Olympic habit. I watched the men's gymnastics team finals. A big congratulations goes out to Team USA for their silver medal. That's the first medal they've won at an unboycotted games, since 1932. Also, a big congratulations to Japan on their gold. They were AWESOME!! Those high bar routines were the greatest! Kudos to the Romanians for their bronze as well. I did take a quick break from the movie to watch the men's swimming 200m free, although I had seen the results posted on the web earlier in the day. Michael Phelps took the bronze. Ian Thorpe, from Australia took the gold, and Dutch swimmer Pieter van den Hoogenband took the silver. I thought Phelps looked really good though. He kept up every meter of the way. Good luck to all the teams competing today. I'll definitely be watching!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Enjoy Each and Every Day

I think this says it all.....
I AM YOUR DOG I am your dog, and I have a little something I'd like to whisper in your ear. I know that you humans lead busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise. It always seems like you are running here and there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life.

Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer. See the way my dark brown eyes look at yours? They are slightly cloudy now. That comes with age. The gray hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle. You smile at me; I see love in your eyes.

What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? A soul inside, who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a simple moment of your time? That is all I ask.

To slow down, if even for a few minutes to be with me. So many times you have been saddened by the words you read on that screen, of others of my kind, passing.

Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat. Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes. Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in a distant land.

I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just "one more day" with me.

Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me. We have NOW, together. So come, sit down here next to me on the floor, and look deep into my eyes. What do you see? If you look hard and deep enough we will talk,you and I, heart to heart. Come to me not as "alpha"or as "trainer" or even "Mom or Dad," come to me as a living soul and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one another's eyes, and talk.

I may tell you something about the fun of chasing a tennis ball, or I may tell you something profound about myself, or even life in general. You decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share such things with. Someone very different from you, and here I am. I am a dog, but I am alive. I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a "dog on two feet" -- I know what you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.

Now, come sit with me, on the floor. Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for 15 minutes. Look deep into my eyes, and whisper to my ears. Speak with your heart, with your joy and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow, and life is oh so very short.

My Name Is Cheryl, and I'm an Olympaholic......

Greetings everyone! I hope that everyone had a swell weekend and no bad luck befell anyone. My weekend was fairly uneventful. I got to blissfully sleep in for 2 mornings in a row, because it was waaaay too chilly to hop into the pool. I just stayed home mostly and did some house cleaning. I'm attempting to whip that place back into some kind of shape. I've found myself completely addicted to the Olympics this year. I've always watched some coverage of them in the past, but never quite to this extent. I've been riveted. It began with the opening ceremonies on Friday night. Quite a spectacular parade, I must say, and continued on with the continuous coverage of NBC. I will admit my special interest is the swimming competition. I actually streamlined my weekend schedule around those swims. Michael Phelps is absolutely phenomenal! What a power house and so young too! He's very exciting to watch as well. Even in the event qualifying swims, Casey and I found ourselves sitting on the edge of the sofa, sweating in anticipation, and screaming encouragement at an unappreciative t.v. He's already won a gold, and the relay team he was on won a disappointing bronze. The exciting match will be tonight in the 200m free. In that race, 4 of the fastest swimmers in the world will be competing. Phelps is on a quest to break Mark Spitz's Olympic medal record. Swimming hasn't been all of the attention though. I've watched men's and women's beach volleyball, men's and women's gymnastics (the Chinese team is amazing!), cycling, and basketball. It doesn't seem to matter what event is coming on, if they're showing it, I'm watching it. It's like I'm hypnotized. I can't turn it off. I've already been on the Olympic website several times this morning. I think I need professional help! Other than the Olympic mania, I haven't got a lot going on for today. Just trying to get everything caught up in advance of classes starting. I did hear from my friend, Barbara that lives in Orlando. They had minimal damage there although they did lose power for the day. My prayers go out to all those who lost much in the wrath of Charley. I hope that everyone's week gets off in the right direction, and may I just say.....


Michael Phelps reacts to his time in Monday morning's preliminaries of the 200m butterfly.

Michael Phelps usually listens to music on the pool deck before each race. Photos from NBC

Friday, August 13, 2004

In the Path of Charley

My thoughts and prayers go out to all that are in the path of Hurricane Charley that is bearing down on the west coast of Florida as I type. I just popped over to the Weather Channel website for a recent update. As they were giving the report and urging residents to take advantage of Red Cross shelters, they mentioned that NO PETS are allowed in the shelters. This disheartens me greatly as many of these displaced residents are forced to leave their often cherished family members behind to deal with the brutal force of mother nature. I can only imagine how distraught that I'd be if faced with this situation. I immediately went online with The American Humane Association and did some further reading on their disaster relief program. American Humane will send in rescue teams, called Red Star Services to retrieve and rescue pets left behind and reunite them with their owners.

To read up further on this wonderful program, click here. I think that I'll go and make a donation now, so that I can help in some small way. A prayer of safety goes out to all the families and their beloved pet family members all over Florida this afternoon.

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

A couple of days ago, I perusing Christine's Blog. She had placed her cat, Nala, on this really cool website called Catster. I figured if there was a website for cats, there must surely be one for dogs too. Yep, you guessed it. It's called Dogster. I took a few minutes yesterday afternoon to list Bear with this site. I'm planning on listing all of my canine "kids" there today too. Monday, I'll be listing all of my cats and kittens. I just have to get the digital pics downloaded for them. Anyway if you'd like to visit Bear at Dogster, click here. Feel free to corral him and add him to your friends list. Kudos to Christine for making me aware of these cool sites!

It's Friday the 13th too! Thank goodness that I usually have good luck on Friday the 13th. Hope that everyone's luck and weekend go well. No big weekend plans here. I'm planning on doing some house cleaning. I'm not sure if I'll swim or not, simply because it has been record breaking cool here, and I'm just sure that the water is freezing! I may wait until the end of next week when the temps come back up to normal. I'm actually going to have some Saturdays off until after Labor Day. This is the first year this has occurred. The university has decided to start fall classes on the 30th, so it caused the whole schedule to change. It's going to be strange not working on the weekend. I'll probably feel wronged, when I have to roll out of bed early on a Monday morning. Until then....

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Too Cool and Other Weather Weirdness

Hola out there to all of my blog readers! I'm happy to report that I'm finally feeling more like myself. Now, if our nasty weather here would just cooperate. The past couple of weeks have been very unusual in our Tennessee weather pattern. We have broken records for it being so cool for this time of year. Usually, by now, we've melted all over the sidewalks. We just tend to do the sweaty slide everywhere we go. Today our high is supposed to be 74. That's usually, if we're lucky, our low temp this time of year. We are usually around 98 - 100 degrees by now. It's just so bizarre. Even the meteorologists here say this weather is more typical of October than August. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone or something. Maybe, I've been in a boredom induced coma and hibernated through August and it's October now. Weather aside, yesterday was again uneventful on the work front. I got some more reading done in Drums of Autumn. It is turning out to be an excellent read. As I was getting ready to walk Bear last night, the weird weather struck again. A really nasty thunderstorm blew up out of nowhere. Much to Bear's disappointment, I had to unharness him and promise that we would go for an extra long walk this afternoon. Goodness knows, we definitely won't be hindered by high August heat! Bless his heart, he was just crest fallen. Casey made the most fabulous dinner last night. He concocted this new chicken dish. It was chicken breast seared then baked in a lemon-butter cream sauce with rosemary. He had homemade mac and cheese and lima beans for sidedishes. Of course this all came after he'd finished his first attempt to make homemade potstickers. He did an excellent job, and I managed to polish off a whole plate of those BEFORE dinner! I definitely have to walk further today to compensate for all that food! He's off again today, so there's no telling what wonderful dinner suprise I'm in for tonight. Nothing special on the calendar today. Just trudging through another boring day at work.

Here's an ASPCA update that I got this morning concerning the animal control problem in Greece. It has another contact with details of how we can help further...

ASPCA Joins International Animal Welfare Community in Condemning Mass Killing of Stray Dogs In Greece Tuesday August 3, 2004 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (New York, NY) August 2, 2004 -- The ASPCA is joining the international animal welfare community in condemning the deliberate and inhumane killing of thousands of homeless dogs in the city of Athens. It is believed that up to 80% of the estimated 30,000 to 50,000 stray dogs living in the streets of Athens have been poisoned in the past few weeks in an effort to eliminate the population prior to the beginning of the 2004 Olympic Games on August 13. It is reported that dogs are being fed food laced with rat poison, causing a slow and excruciating death over a period of several days. Videotape shot by the organization Welfare for Animals Global recently captured some of the more gruesome and disturbing methods being utilized on the city streets of Athens to kill dogs. "The inhumane and archaic methods of population control reportedly being implemented in the city of Athens are simply not acceptable in the year 2004," said ASPCA President Edwin J. Sayres. "The ASPCA stands with the international humane community in expressing our disappointment with the Greek government for their lack of compassion and desire to eradicate thousands stray dogs from their city in advance of the Olympic Games." The international Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) recently sent a representative to Athens and is helping to train Greek officials to deal with the epidemic stray problem humanely. For more information on how you can help the strays in Greece, please visit www.rspca.org.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Wishful Wednesday

Yesterday seemed to go a little better for me healthwise. I'm finally starting to feel better. I don't feel 100% quite yet, but I'm slowly getting there. I had a pretty uneventful day yesterday. Just the regular with work, which is slow because summer classes end on Friday. One of my students, Lindsey, who had been doing an internship in Birmingham, Alabama is back in town and popped by to pay us all a visit. We did a lot of catching up and visiting which was really nice. It made an otherwise boring afternoon interesting. I did manage to get over to the pool and get my laps done for the day. It seemed I struggled a little with it, but I figure that was because I wasn't feeling in top shape. Afterwards, Casey and I went over to my Mom's for dinner. After filling ourselves to the brim, it was a race to get all of the creatures fed and settled in for the night. After the settling, I sat down on the sofa to do some reading. I'm now on the 4th book in the Outlander series. It's called Drums of Autumn. I just finished Voyager over the weekend, so I'm only about 100 pages in right now. I can tell that it's going to be every bit as good as the last 3. If any of you are looking for a good read, that's hard to put down, I HIGHLY recommend this series. I haven't gone through books at this rate in a long time, and they are all over 700 pages! I did manage to check out, from the university library here, The Time Traveler's Wife. It is supposed to be a lot like the Outlander series. I haven't started that one but a friend of mine has, and she's says it's absolutely fabulous. I'm looking forward to reading that one after I finish this series. Seems like my "to read" list is longer than it has been in a long time. Slate, Bear, and Shiloh obviously didn't want me to accomplish any reading. Slate had his head on the left page, Bear had his head on the right page, and Shiloh was trying to sit behind me. Then, Biscuit our gray and white cat got in on the action. After much head petting, baby talk, and pushing I finally managed to start reading. It's so hard to read when they don't want you too! I got an e-mail from The Humane Society of the United States. It was talking about the homeless dog problem they are having in Greece. With the Olympic Games about to start, they are afraid that the city management may just poison the dogs to be rid of them. They are asking everyone to e-mail or write to the prime minister and request that the dogs be spared this fate. I'm passing along this information to you all, in hopes that you will send an e-mail along with me. The more voices that ask, the more they may be willing to listen. Here's the prime minister's addres: info@primeminister.gr You can read the entire article with all of the info here. I hope that you all will participate with me, so we can make a difference. For all of you readers over in the UK, please feel free to particpate as well. You can make a difference too!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Time Not Used

I spent the entire weekend doing nothing. Saturday, before I left work, I noticed that my ear had started hurting. By the time that I got my haircut and got home, I figured out that I was fairly miserable. I promptly went straight to bed. Sunday morning rolled around and I still was suffering from the same ailment. Only then, my throat had joined in on the action. I spent most all day Sunday just laying around and watching t.v. I took a lion's share of ibuprophen too. Poor Bear, he didn't manage to get his weekend walks. I woke up yesterday with all intentions of getting a few things done around the house and getting to the pool for a few laps. It just wasn't to be. I still felt really crummy. I had kept the car, so I cleaned up and picked Casey up from work. We made a really quick trip to Nashville to Aquatic Critter to pick up those crickets that we never managed to get around to on Friday and Saturday. We just swung through Sonic and grabbed a couple of burgers for dinner. When we got home, I did manage to get motivated enough to get Bear's walk in for the day. Casey had the VCR loaded up with all of the Sunday night Adult Swim programming that we had taped. We were both very disturbed to see a blurb on Aqua Teen Hunger Force being cancelled? I wonder if it's just a gimmick to get everyone tuned in on Sunday. Anyway, we'll just have to wait and see. After watching our usual shows on tape, I found myself sound asleep on the sofa. So finally, I just trudged myself off to bed. Hopefully, today I'll feel better and will be back to normal soon. Tah!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

A Dog's Rights

A Dog's Bill of Rights I have the right to give and receive unconditional love. I have the right to a life that is beyond mere survival. I have the right to be trained so I do not become the prisoner of my own bad behavior. I have the right to adequate food and medical care. I have the right to fresh air and green grass. I have the right to socialize with people and dogs outside my family. I have the right to have my needs and wants respected. I have the right to a special time with my people. I have the right to only be bred responsibly, if at all. I have the right to be foolish and silly, and to make my person laugh. I have the right to earn my person's trust and be trusted in return. I have the right to be forgiven. I have the right to die with dignity. I have the right to be remembered well. Author Unknown

So Very Tired....

Casey and I ended up completely changing last night's plans. We ended up going to Franklin. Our first stop was the Factory at Franklin and the Viking Store. Casey ended up purchasing his coveted Microplaner/Zester. He's been wanting this for some time to be able to grind fresh spices, such as nutmeg and also to do grating and fruit zesting. It's a pretty nifty little tool, I must say. It wasn't very expensive given the amount of quality either. After Viking, we stepped across the hall to Happy Tales Humane. They had all of their dogs in from foster homes and available to view for adoption. They sure did have some cutie pies too! After visiting with the dogs, we stopped by the cat room. They have the most beautiful cats there too! I've never been in a shelter that smelled so fresh! I've just got to learn their secret. They had a LOT of people in, so I'm hoping they did a lot of good adoptions yesterday afternoon. I'm just so glad when ANY homeless animal gets a good home! After we left the Factory, we headed to a little dog shop called Bones Du Jour. It's a little specialty dog shop that has bowls, collars, leashes, novelty items. It also has a dog bakery built in as well. They specialize in the homemade dog treats. They have a sign a lot like the Krispy Kreme Doughnut shops that says "Hot Bones" and lights up, when they have fresh treats just coming out of the oven. I thought that was just too cute! We bought the dogs a big bag of treats. We bought sausage and cheddar bones, peanut butter and carob bones, and BBQ rib stick treats. They are just gonna love me so much tonight!! After our little shopping excursions, we stopped by Carrabba's Italian Grill to eat, which is my absolute favorite place in the whole world!! I had gone in with the intention of trying something new, but ended up sticking with my favorite the, Pasta Carrabba, instead. Too yummy!! We had decided to eat somewhere really good, because afterwards we had decided to go to Wild Oats Market to grocery shop. It's an all organic grocery that has some really good stuff! We knew that if we didn't eat before hand, that we would buy way too much stuff. We ended up getting some spices, pasta, stuffed chicken breasts, and lots of fresh fruit! I just love that place. Organically grown and processed foods really do taste much better, and I highly recommend that everyone try one of the grocieries close by. The final stop of the night was Petsmart. Could we ever have a weekend go by that a Petsmart trip wasn't on the list? We picked up a new dog bowl for Shiloh, the Jack Russell. The kittens had broken hers while on a wild playing fray, earlier in the week. She had been very unhappy about having to share food bowls, and was very happy to have one of her own again. Needless to say, we got in very late (well late for us folks that have to get up at 3:30 a.m. everyday). So, this morning I'm feeling very tired and sleepy. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. This afternoon I have an appointment to get my hair cut, and we still need to get to Aquatic Critter to pick up some crickets. Looks like it may be another late night for us again. At least I'm off tomorrow. I'm planning to swim tomorrow, since I've got an appoinment at Puppy Palace to meet with my grooming mentor on Monday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the meeting goes well, and that I can start learning in September. Looks like another weekend with a full plate. I hope everyone has as beautiful Saturday as it is here!! Toodles!

Friday, August 06, 2004

Friday Perspective

It's Friday, finally! That time of the week when everything starts winding down in favor of a more relaxed pace of life. Even though I work on Saturdays, I still love Fridays. I guess it's the symbolism of it that I love. Also, Casey and I always get to go out and occassionally do things on Friday nights. We don't have anything mindblowing planned for tonight, but we will be out and about. We've got to make a quick trip into Nashville to night for a stop at Aquatic Critter. Seems we are out of small crickets for our new baby lizards. Got to feed the kids you know. We may hop on over to Franklin. Casey is wanting to get by the Viking Store to check out some new cookware. Afterwards, I think that we are meeting some work friends of Casey's for Chinese tonight. Heaven help me, it's a buffet! We always fly by the seat of our pants on these Friday afternoon jaunts, so who knows what we'll end up doing. I don't have anything monumental on the "to do" list for today, so the day will probably drag on and on. I'm all caught up with shelter work, unless Kitty calls and tells me otherwise. It's been really slow on adoptions the past month. I hope that the pace picks back up soon. We sure need to find those babies good homes. Funny thing is, most all of the animals we take in have the best attitudes. Very rarely do we get one with a hateful disposition. It always makes me wonder how these wonderful creatures have come to be abandoned and unwanted. I see their little personalities sparkling, and it just breaks my heart. I'll never understand how people can just pitch animals away. I just have to make sure that I find all of the good homes that I can, but sometimes I just feel helpless. It's a case of two steps forward and one step back, but that's o.k.. At least we are still moving forward. I think we have several adoptions pending over the weekend, so I'll just cross my fingers and hope all goes well with those. Happy Friday everyone!!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

What a Cutie Pie!!

I just added this little guy to our Petfinder site, and thought I'd share with you all. This little guy is such a cutie pie! He's got personality to die for! His name is Rob and he is 4 months old. I sure hope someone gives him a good home. He loves other dogs and cats and is already leash trained. He'll make someone a very good friend.

Sugar Free for Pets???

Casey is feeling much better. There's not so much pain now as there is the fierce itching. Yesterday after I got home from the pool, Casey was practically on his hands and knees begging me to go to the store and get him some anti-itch cream. He'd scratched all day, making the sting places HUGE. One was covering nearly half of his arm. We struck out to Wal-Mart and got him some Benedryl cream. He had such a relieved look on his face, when it started working, that it was almost funny. We didn't do much else than have little frozen pizzas, which I had to share with all of the dogs, and watch Alton Brown's "Good Eats" on the Food Network. We lovingly refer to Wednesday night as Alton Brown night. There are 3 episodes that air in one night. Casey swears that he's Alton's long lost brother, since they have so many things in common. I secretly think it's just hero worship msyelf. But, I'll have to say that Casey has gleaned a many tasty recipe from the man, which I've had the priviledge of enjoying. I mean, who knew that you could do so many things with eggplant! So all in all, it was a very uneventful night, but Wednesdays are hardly ever wild and raucous. I received an ASPCA e-mail alert in my inbox this morning. It had some very informative poison updates included, which I've posted below. I sure didn't know this, and I am glad to have the information. I hope this is helpful to someone.
PET HEALTH ALERT: PRODUCTS SWEETENED WITH XYLITOL CAN BE TOXIC TO DOGS Sugar-free candy and gum may be sweet enough for you, ASPCA News Alert readers, but they can possibly be toxic to your animal companions. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), xylitol--a sweetener found in certain sugar-free chewing gum, candies and other products--can potentially cause serious, even life-threatening problems for pets. Based on data collected from the 40-plus related cases the center has managed since last July, canines who have ingested significant amounts of gum or candy solely or largely containing xylitol may develop a sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, loss of coordination and seizures. "These signs can develop quite rapidly, at times less than 30 minutes after ingestion," says Dr. Eric Dunayer, consulting veterinarian for the APCC. "Therefore, it is important that pet owners seek veterinary treatment immediately." The APCC advises pet owners to be especially diligent about keeping candy, gum or other foods containing xylitol out of their animals’ reach. For more information on how to protect your pet from potentially dangerous substances, please visit APCC online.
Everyone have a great Thursday! Tah for now!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Bear, The Curious, Visits Dairy Queen!

I forgot to mention in my earlier post the funniest thing about this past weekend. For the last several days, every time that I take Bear out, he has a fit to take a ride. He just rares up on the car, scratches, whines, and claps his little paws trying to be cute. It is as if he's saying, "Look at me, I'm so cute, the least you could do is take me riding!!". Last night after dinner, Casey and I decided that we simply MUST have a Blizzard from Dairy Queen. We decided that Bear was, in fact, so cute that we'd take him along for the short ride. He was extremely well behaved. He just loves semi-trucks. You can actually see his little head trying to take in all of those wheels! Anyway, Bear just LOVES anything that makes noise. He loves his squeek toys, he loves it if we make a funny noise with our mouths, he loves cell phones, toy guns, firetrucks, whistles, PlayStation games, etc. He has his little head cocked to the side most of the time. He goes around the house looking like this: And yes, by the way, the photographer was using a toy ray gun to make noises to get Bear to look like this. Anway, all was calm until we went through the drive thru. When that speaker came on, Bear just went nuts. He turned that little head, sat up, and clapped his little paws. I think he wanted the lady to just keep talking in that funny voice to him all night. His crowning moment is when he hung his head out the window at the nice lady handing us our blizzards. He looked up and gave her this look like, "would you please make that funny voice again?". Anyway, we finally made it safely back home. After all of the doggies had had their little bite of icecream, everyone was settled for the night. Bear was so worn out, he didn't even want to go for his walk! Now we're just trying to figure out which drive thru to take him to next week.

Another New Month!

I can't believe how fast this summer is flying by! Sorry for the Tuesday absence. My weekend was o.k, but I don't think I can say the same for Casey's. I didn't manage to get a swim in over the weekend. I had too much to do around the house. I managed to finally get that "date" in with the dishwasher, and did loads upon loads of laundry. At least I feel a little more caught up now. Mom's doctor appointment went well. She got a good checkup. Afterwards, we drove over to the Green Hills area and ate at Princeton's Grille. Mom had a wonderful chunky chicken salad plate with lots of fresh fruit and banana bread. I had the chicken tenders plate. It was HUGE! We both had lots of leftovers to carry with us. After we got home on Monday, Casey decided that he was going to clean out the garage a little. He was going to make some extra space in the garage for the fish tank that we picked up at the yard sale last week. About 15 minutes later, he comes running into the house yelling at the top of his lungs. For the longest, I couldn't get him to tell me what was wrong! It seems that he disturbed a nest of yellow jackets and had gotten stung by the lot of them! All over! Since I wasn't sure if he was going to be allergic or not, I tried to take the necessary precautions. I filled ice packs for him and gave him a big dose of benedryl. He still had a lot of swelling around one of his eyes, but that was about it. Luckily, he suffered no ill affects. Now he is just contending with the itching mostly and a little tenderness where he got stung on the face. Unfortunately, one of the worst parts was as he realized his face was being stung, he tried to bat them away and ended up knocking his glasses off in the garage next to the nest. We had to leave them out there until after we had bombed the nest, and it was safe enough to go in and retrieve them. Believe me, we had tried before the bombing and those little suckers came out and chased us every time! Poor thing. Not only was he in pain, but he was blind as well. I know that was just awful! We had our own version of Fear Factor going on in the backyard, as we tried to get close enough to spray the nest down. We'd spray a little, the nasty buggers would all fly toward us, and we'd just take off running! I'm sure the neighbors had a fabulous time watching the hilarity of it all. I ended up staying home with him yesterday. I was up most of Monday night with him, so I just vegged yesterday. So much for a boring weekend huh? Oh well, maybe the rest of the week will be interesting but uneventful. I'm planning on getting some swimming in this afternoon. I'm sure it will be a welcome break from all of the sweltering heat we're getting. Seems I'm melting!! Not much planned other than work today. Oh well, until next time.....