Saturday, April 30, 2005

Busy As A Bee

Semester end is always a crazy time. Today has been pretty busy for a Saturday. So busy, that I'm just now getting around to doing my daily post. We are closing in 5 minutes, so this will be a really short one. No big plans for the weekend. I'm going to walk Bear this afternoon in some unseasonably cool weather. Hopefully, tomorrow will be warmer, as they have predicted. Casey's off tomorrow, so we may run into Nashville to Aquatic Critter to make sure that everything is a go for Celebration Pet Day for the reptile program. Other than that, we'll probably just veg and watch movies again. I'm off at Kindred Spirits on Monday. Mom's got her usual 3 month check-up at the doctors. So, we'll all be going into Nashville and probably have a nice lunch afterwards. It will be weird not working on Monday. I will still be helping to teach obedience with Jennie on Monday, though. That's about it for today. I'll make a longer post on Tuesday. Everyone have a good weekend!!

Friday, April 29, 2005

New Link Here at the Zoo

I'd like to welcome Aidana and Kate from Kender Kennel: A Wholesale Manufacturer of All-Natural Pet Care & Grooming Products to the zoo!

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They have a GREAT website and blog and GREAT products! So click the link and hop on over and give them a "look see".

Soggy Friday

It's just pouring in buckets today. I wish it would stop, so Bear and I could go on our nightly walk. It's been pretty quiet today. Finals started, so there is a lot of student panic attacks going on, but nothing we haven't been able to handle. I went home yesterday and did nothing that I had planned on doing. I was really fidgety for some reason. I tried to watch a movie, but the phone kept ringing and interrupting. I finally decided to watch a DVD by my favorite singer, Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues. It's called An Audience With Justin Hayward.

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It's an interview interlaced with acoustic performances. There were some really different interview questions for a change, so it was really interesting. There's also a second section of songs recorded acoustically in a studio with some of Justin's personal footage sprikled in for effect. The whole DVD was fabulous really. There's the most wonderful version of Voices In the Sky from the album In Search of the Lost Chord that I have COMPLETELY fallen in love with. I just wish they'd released an audio CD of the whole thing, so I could continue to listen to it in the car. Needless to say, the DVD calmed my jangled nerves. Also, it was quite funny to watch Bear stare at me so intently while I sang to the music. It was almost like it mesmerized him. He was very quiet and still watching between me and the t.v. all evening. He's such an interesting little dog!!

No big plans for tonight. Casey's making what he calls "breakfast for supper" for dinner tonight. We are having waffles with fruit topping, hashbrowns, and country ham. That's what we refer to here in the south as "heart attack on a plate". Now I REALLY hope that the weather clears. I definitely need to get that walk in now! Not much else going on tonight, I don't think. We'll probably watch some movies. Casey's brought home Finding Neverland from work, so that will probably be our choice tonight. I want to leave you all today with a dog thought. It is a quote from Terry Bain's book You Are A Dog, which I HIGHLY recommend. It comes from the dog's point of view, and I think it is a sentiment that all of us animal lovers SHOULD ALWAYS remember:

pg. 147 From the entry Reward

You live to give all of yourself in the service of companionship, in the service of equality and compatibility, of being with your people, of running, alongside or behind or in front, but always with, as if space means nothing.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Ho Hum!

Nothing exciting going on at all today. Much like the weather, the day has been kind of drab. We had a fire drill at work today in the pouring rain. It was much enjoyed by all employees. Today is a study day on campus, so it's practically like a ghost town. I'm having a lot of trouble concentrating today as well. My mind is off to other fabulous places to play actually. I think I'd like to be on beach somewhere basking in the sunshine. I have a cart that I need to get finished, but the spirit refuses to move me.

Not much to do after work today. Hopefully, the rain will let up enough that I can take Bear on his evening walk. I met yet another neighbor and his dog last night. My neighbor's name is Larry. He lives there with his wife. They are a middle aged couple. They have a beautiful yard full of flowers and wonderful landscapping. They have the tiniest speck of a dog named Pepper. Pepper is 1/4 Chihuahua, 1/4 long-haired Dachshund, 1/4 Shih Tzu, and 1/4 Maltese and he's black. He is 4 months old and hysterical to watch. Currently he weighs almost five pounds. He' not long-haired but not smooth coated either. His hair is a little longer than a rough coat though. Pepper is just so comical looking and EXTREMELY friendly. He's also not afraid of ANYTHING. Little dog syndrome you know. Anyway as my neighbor and I became aquainted, Bear became aquainted with Pepper. Bear seems to think that all little animals are his to play with. Just like he thinks that ALL cats are his. Anyway, I was tyring my best to keep Bear from being quite so enthusiastic, since we were all just meeting for the first time. I always enjoy getting to know the neighbors on Bear's usual walking route. These were not new neighbors I met, but I suppose that our timing has been off for the past three summers. We just happened to all be outside at the same time last night. Hopefully, I'll see much more of Pepper and Larry. I'd really love to get pictures to share of Pepper. Such a little comedian!

I'm trying to get the last little details finished on Celebration Pet Day, all the while trying to make myself little, mental notes about new ideas and improvements that can be made for next year. In just a little bit, I'll find out what all Kroger is giving us for supplies. We are still trying to secure the "elusive" drinks. My friend, Elaine, that is helping with all of the food donations has a friend that works at Coca Cola who is getting us a donation form to fill out. It would be really nice to get some drinks from them. I've also got to send out an e-mail to all of our vendors to let them know that we are providing them free lunches. I'm still working out the details of the volunteer schedule and the vendor booth set up. I suppose that I am stressed over everything, because I started having nightmares about it all last night. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

That's about it for me today. I hope everyone has a great afternoon!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Still Fuming All These Hours Later.....

I've been really busy today, but I'm still fuming over the earlier comment that I received. I've decided to send the weblink to American Humane Association and Humane Society of the United States. I also popped into the PayPal account listed and got the e-mail address it was signed up with. It was a Yahoo address, so I'm going to report it to Yahoo as well. I guess, beyond that, there's not much else I can do. If anyone knows of anything else I can do, please let me know.

Been so busy, busy, busy here. It's the end of the semester and finals start on Friday, so it's been crazy! I was doing my daily blog visits and ran across this over on Puptastic. A new movie with Diane Lane and John Cusack called Must Love Dogs. Click here to get the details on the movie. It's based on the novel by Claire Cook. I'm marking this one down on my "must see" list. The dog craze is growing folks! Everyone have a great evening!

Absolutely Infuriated!!!

I opened my e-mail this morning to find that I had received a comment to my blog. I have it set up to notify me by e-mail, so I don't have to go on and off of the blog to read the comments. Anyway, I gleefully opened my comment to find this a comment that was merely a website address. The website address was the entire comment. Two guys are running a voting contest, whether to kill a rabbit and eat it or let it live. I advise ALL of my readers NOT to visit the site to keep the popularity down. I had seen something posted about this that is either the same thing or similar over at Animal Diaries. (StarGazer, do you know if this is the same or different website than what you posted?) Anyway, I CANNOT tell you how much this infuriates me!!! Taking donations to vote whether an animal lives or dies is just plain SICK, in my opinion. It makes my blood BOIL that these people left a comment to try and take advantage of me, because I'm an animal advocate. How dare they try to STEAL money out of my pocket. To me, these people are just a couple of internet theives trying to make a quick buck off of a VERY sensitive issue. I probably shouldn't even have given them the satisfaction of a mention, but I AM SO ANGRY!!! I plan to delete the comment, and probably this post after a few hours....but I HAD to vent!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Highly Recommended Read

I'm back from a rather long and restful weekend. Casey and I had such plans that we wanted to carry out. We wanted to go here, go there, do this, and do that. We found ourselves totally exhausted, when we finally sat down on our first day. We ended up doing nothing! We just sat, like taters, on the couch all weekend! We rented A LOT of movies and ate snacks and gained weight!! All of the dogs were quite proud to have us around. They wasted not a moment of the opportunity laying upon us in various places. Bear looked totally heartbroken, when I went to leave for the kennel yesterday morning. He also did a really good begging act to go back with me after lunch break, which got him a ride in the country! Not a lot going on today. I have a ton of work to do after my short break. Tonight the humane association is meeting to further discuss our Celebration Pet Day. Luckily, a friend and I have a lot of food donations to report. We've gotten nearly everything for hamburgers, hotdogs, popcorn, and snowcones enough to feed 300+ people through donations by some kind folks and wonderful local businesses!

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The real point of my post today is to let you all know about a super, dog related read! It's the book You Are A Dog by Terry Bain. I was browsing the pet section at a local bookstore this past weekend, when I saw they had it in stock. Since, Terry is on my blogroll for his You Are A Dog site, I HAD to read it! (Terry's also been nice enough to link to me here at the "Zoo". It is the most FABULOUS read for dog lovers. I found myself laughing hysterically and nearly brought to tears in the span of a couple of minutes. It is such a touching book. You can tell that Terry Bain has an ability to convey the thoughts and musings of dogs. As I would tell my friends, "He's very doggy!" So if the animal lover in you is looking for a great read that will give you warm fuzzies, pick up a copy today. Also, don't forget to visit the You Are A Dog site too! Terry posts some very interesting stuff there. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Squeezing In a Post

I'm swamped at work today. I'm trying to get everything caught up, since I the next 2 days off!! I really wanted to get a good post in today, but alas it is not to be. Casey and I did go out for our mexican food last night. Unfortunately, our favorite mexican restaurant was closed for remodeling, so we hit up the other one across town. We met my friend Jennifer, her husband, 5 kids, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law. We had a great time and great conversation. It was really nice to sit and visit with everyone. When the waiter came out and saw our gigantic table full of people, I thought he was going to pass out! We were suprised that everyone did end up getting what they ordered. After dinner, Casey and I went back home and walked Bear.

I saw yesterday that Pennie tagged me for a meme on her blog. I told her I'd try to do it yesterday but as usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short. Ya'll stand back and get ready for the first meme on the zoo. Here's the topic:

Behold, the Caesar’s Bath meme! List five things that people in your circle of friends or peer group are wild about, but you can’t really understand the fuss over.

1. Hot Tea: All of my friends absolutely swear by it. My thinking, I'm a southern gal. The only tea I drink is iced tea, or as we say down here, "sweet tea". It's the housewine of the south you know.

2. Comics: Don't get me wrong. I'm not knocking comics. I just never could get into them. I really don't understand why though.

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (t.v. show): All of my friends are just addicted to this show. I know it was a hit, but I just never really clicked with it. Most shows that are really top in the ratings, I never watch with the exception of Friends. Beware people!! I am a Friends addict!!

4. Knitting: All of my friends know how and have made some absolutely lovely things. I understand why they love it. My problem is I don't know how. I have trouble sitting down to do tasks like that. I'd much rather be on the move, outside, with a dog, in the sunshine!

5. Ipods: I admit they are cool, but I'm just not into them. I have a hard time using headphones. It's that moving around thing. I always end up hanging myself. Besides, I grew up in the age, where the bigger the speakers were the better. I just get distracted with stuff jammed in my ears.

That's it for my first meme. Anyone up to the task?

I hope that everyone has a great rest of the week and weekend. I'll be back to my usual posting self on Tuesday. Hopefully, I'll have some new pictures and good stories to share!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Be Kind to Your Volunteers!!

What a great morning!! The weather here is just fabulous. I've got to make sure to get out at lunch time and enjoy it. We've got some rain moving in for tomorrow and Friday. Not a lot going on here today. I've got a bunch of work stuff to get done, before I leave for the week tomorrow. Casey and I are planning on going to dinner at the mexican restaurant tonight, El Mexico. We've both been craving it for days.

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I wanted to remind everyone that this week is Volunteer Appreciation Week!! If you know someone who volunteers for a shelter, humane association, animal control, or an animal welfare group, be sure to tell them thank you for all of their hard work. Volunteers help animals, because they love them. It's often a hard, nasty, stressful, heart breaking job, and these people do it out of love. Sometimes just a "thanks" or a pat on the back means the world. I'd love to know the number of people that volunteer for animal causes around the country. I bet the numbers are astounding!

Here's one of today's touching Petwarmers stories. You can subscribe to recieve these stories along with other great tips and information by clicking the link. Everyone have a great day!


It was a normal Saturday at the Lohman house.We awoke early to get ready for our bi-monthly trip to the Los Angeles Children's Hospital where my wife, Jennifer, and our 4 year old Maltese, Chloe, and I would spend several hours visiting and working with children.

Everyone looks forward to Chloe visits. Even the nurses get giddy when she arrives. She is well liked because she is small enough to cuddle right up on the bed with the patients -- kids who are dealing with transplants, cancer, or one of a number of extremely debilitating problems.

At times, we just spend five or ten minutes letting them love "The Chlofe". Other times, we provide pain management. Worst yet are the times when death is imminent and we are just there to soothe or take a mind away from what is at hand, if only for a second.

That day we visited a 13 year old girl who had not eaten or spoken for weeks after coming out of a coma. We arrived in her room to be greeted by her mother and grandmother. The love and concern from these ladies was overwhelming as they pleaded with the child to acknowledge Chloe.

I walked up to the bed to say hello and introduce Chloe to her. As her eyes lit up I knew there was a connection being made.

"You have the most beautiful hair," I told her as Chloe sat quietly on her lap.

"Thank you," she said while softly stroking Chloe's hair.

"Would you like to give Chloe a treat?" I said.

"Yes," she spoke softly.

"How about for every treat you give Chloe, you eat a little of your breakfast?"

"OK," she said.

With that, the nurse ran to get breakfast for the young lady as everyone teared up in the room. As they cried, the nurses said Chloe had done what none of them could do. Chloe and the young lady ate breakfast together and we could not help but feel as though a miracle happened right before our eyes.

Chloe has worked her magic on so many people that she has come to be known for making these types of connections. It's her calling in life and we could not be more proud of our little miracle worker.

-- Joshua Lohman

___________________________________________ Joshua says, "We live in Marina del Rey, California. I am a scrap metal trader and Jennifer is a former model, actress, Miss Oregon Coed USA, Miss Los Angeles County USA and currently a corporate flight attendant for private jet companies. Chloe is our 4 pound Certified Therapy Maltese."

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Bear's Weekend Adventure!

Bear's resting at the park. Posted by Hello

Another good close up of Bear. Posted by Hello

A really good close up of Bear Posted by Hello

We just couldn't resist getting a picture of's relevant only to the softball field! Posted by Hello

I had sat down on the picnic table for a break, and Bear had to get up there with me. Posted by Hello

Me, trying to run some of the excess energy out of Bear. (if you look REALLY close, you can see his tongue hanging out!) Posted by Hello

Bear, working on his heeling. Posted by Hello

The Weekend Went By So Fast!

I'm still reeling by how fast the weekend flew by. Saturday after I got off from work, Casey and I did indeed take Bear to the little neighborhood park close by. It was great exercise for him, plus he got new stuff to smell and new trees and poles to, let's say, to leave his mark. Anyway, this little park has a road that loops all the way around it. We walked the loop several times, and then I worked Bear a little on his obedience training. A new environment was really good for distraction. I'll be posting some pictures of the whole experience post haste. Afterwards, we went home and had some yummy leftovers for dinner. My friend that is helping with the food donations for Celebration Pet Day came by and told me that the local Kroger's is wanting to sponsor us. We have to come up with a possible attendance number to give to them, so they can call in their vendors. This is just FABULOUS news!! My friend is doing a GREAT job on the donations. She's also managed to get some hamburger patties donated, along with toppings for the burgers. She also managed to get a gift card from Food Lion donated as well. With her spearheading this part of the project, the humane association is not going to have to spend a lot out of pocket. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

I didn't clean the house on Sunday. It was just too pretty outside. I spent the better part of the day having lunch with Mom and outside with Bear. Yesterday I worked at the kennel all day. It was big dog day at the kennel. No littles around. I bathed a boxer, german shepherd, and a golden retriever. I ran the kennel and trained most of the day, because Jennie is building a house and was actually outside hammering away with the rest of the building crew! Now, that's what I call sweat equity!! Last night's obedience class went well too. It was mostly just informational, because everyone came without their dog. It was really fun though, and I'm so glad that Jennie asked me to help her.

There's not much going on today. I'm furiously trying to get new stuff out into the stacks, so it can be used. It's typical for this time of year. My week will be short, since Casey and I are taking Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off. We still haven't decided if we are going to Knoxville or just hanging out and doing stuff close to home. We'll see as the end of the week gets closer. I'm gonna run for now. Hope everyone has a great evening!!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Cleaning Tips

My friend Jennifer sent this to me this morning. I just had to share. Click here for some tips on cleaning computer screens and equipment, if you have pets.

Ok, so every now and then you have to clean your computer screen. But, what about the inside of screen, how are you supposed to clean that? Fortunately, there is now a website that does this remotely at no cost to you. First, clean the outside of your screen and then click the link below to clean the inside. CLICK HERE


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Another couple of gorgeous trees that I pass coming onto campus. I'm not really sure what these are, but I sure do like them. Anybody know?

What an incredibly beautiful day it has been today!! I just got back from running a few errands, and it was very hard to come back in. It's supposed to be nearly 80 degrees today, so a perfectly pretty spring day. I don't have a whole lot going on today. I've just been trying to get a few work things done.

Last night, I took Bear out for his usual evening walk. I've told you all before that in the spring and summer, the neighbors all watch for us to come by. So, what usually takes me 40 minutes to walk, takes about 2 hours by the time we finish visiting. Bear has such a good nature that everybody just loves him. He's so good with other dogs, cats, and children. As I was on the last part of the walk yesterday, 3 little girls stopped me and asked if they could pet Bear, "the pretty dog". I told them to ask their Mom and Dad, and if it was alright with them, I didn't mind at all. While they ran inside to get their parents, Bear and I went to the end of the street and came back up to head for home. Much to my suprise, they DID indeed ask their parents, and ALL of them were waiting at the end of the driveway for us to come back by. I ended up meeting the wonderful Jones family. Their house and my house back up to each other, and even though we've been neighbors for a few years, we'd never officially met. I don't remember all of the girls' names, but they were absolutely adorable. The middle girl, Madison, wants to be a vet someday. The entire family is full of animal lovers. I learned the story of Trixie, their adopted dog. I also discovered that they love lizards too. I promised to take one of my geckos over for them to look at soon. It's never to early to start teaching good animal education! I invited them all to come out to Celebration Pet Day. Their mother is working an event next weekend, where there will be nearly 100 kids in attendance. She was nice enough to offer to take flyers to hand out for me. They told me that they'd watch for us every day, so they can pet Bear. Bear was just wonderful with the girls. I made him sit, and they all started to pet him. Before I knew it, they were all sitting on the ground with him and what we call here in the south, "wallering" with him. He absolutely loved it. Always the love sponge! I have such great and wonderful suprises sometimes on my walks. I've found that they are great therapy for just relaxation. I talked to Casey a few minutes ago, and since we have enough leftovers to have for dinner, we are going to take Bear out to the local park this afternoon. I can't wait to see what we all get into today.

I have no big plans for this weekend. I really want to clean tomorrow, but I don't know if I'll be able to stand it inside on such a pretty weekend. We'll see. Monday is kennel day, and Monday night is my and Jennie's first night of obedience classes at TSC. I'm really looking forward to being Jennie's assistant. I'm sure I'll have some great stories to post on Tuesday. The coming week will be a short one. Casey and I are both taking some time off from work. We were planning to go to Knoxville to do Bark in the Park, but we are both so exhausted that we've just about decided to stay home and be lazy. Who knows?

Our shelter coordinator sent this to me just a few minutes ago, and I just HAD to share it with you all. It's about time that somebody started taking animal cruelty seriously. I always knew that I liked Georgia!! Everybody have a fabulous weekend!!

Animal abuser gets years behind bars

An Alpharetta man who severely beat a 4-month-old puppy received a 20-year sentence -- five to be served in prison -- and was barred from owning animals during the next two decades, the Fulton County district attorney's office announced Friday. Thomas E. Spencer's sentence in the first felony animal cruelty case in Fulton County history covers the beating and other incidents dating back to 2000 and 2002, authorities said. Spencer, 56 was also ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment. Spencer pleaded guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals, terroristic threats, arson, threatening a witness in an official proceeding, driving with a suspended license and possession of cocaine. In December 2000, Alpharetta police found Spencer kneeling on a bed with the German shepherd wedged between his knees, punching the puppy in the head, police said. The puppy's eyes were swollen shut and bleeding. He had been beating it throughout the day and threatening the life of his girlfriend.

-- Staff reports

Friday, April 15, 2005

Great Stories

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Another shot of the dogwood tree in my front yard.

I hope that everyone is having a great Friday. Not a whole lot to report today. I came into work late, because I had some pressing errands that needed to be done today. So, I've spent all day catching up on my morning stuff. Campus is pretty quiet around here today. It's beautiful outside, so everyone has disappeared in search of better things. I have a friend that has been helping me get food donations for Celebration Pet Day. She has been a fireball this week. She's managed to get buns, hotdogs, lettuce and other produce for the hamburgers, and she's only just started. She's also snagged us 2 other vendor booths. With the one month kickoff started, that in itself has made me rest a little easier about things. She's also recruited other volunteers to help with set up that morning. The project's really rolling now, and there's no stopping it.

I discovered a really cool mailing list this week. It's called Petwarmers. It's a neat little listserv that sends out really good animal related stories every Wednesday and Friday. So if you are like me, and love a good warm and fuzzy animal story, you just might want to consider joining this list. I'm posting last Wednesday's story below. I hope that you enjoy it too! Everyone have a great evening!!

PENNIES FROM HEAVEN by Kathleene S. Baker

When the time came to give our last gift of "love" to sweet Josey Lane, the pain we felt was excruciating. We had been so privileged to share our lives with such a beautiful, smart, and loving Miniature Schnauzer.

The sun hadn't yet crested the horizon when we made that final drive to the veterinarian. As we drove, I told her over and over how much she was loved. Trying to soothe her, I used words that I knew she understood. I assured her several times that Grandma B. (my mother), Dana (my niece), and Maggie (the dog she grew up with) would soon greet her. And, that they would be her caretakers until we all gathered together again one day.

In the wee morning hours, Josey had been in such distress that my husband, Jerry, actually called and awakened our exceptional veterinarian. Dr. Conway scrambled out of bed and rushed to meet us. The clinic parking lot was vacant and eerie without the usual assortment of cars.

Numb with sadness, I stepped out of the car, and directly at my feet were three burnished copper pennies!I grabbed them up in an instant and clutched them tightly. I knew they were messages from Grandma B., Dana, and Maggie proclaiming they were waiting for Josey. I dropped them into my pocket, aware they were also meant to give me strength in the final moments with Josey.

Immediately upon bringing Josey's ashes home, I gently placed the three coins in her urn. I'm positive they were pennies from the angels that now care for her -- the same angels who helped me endure that final goodbye. I also know that one of those angels was a lovely Black and Silver Schnauzer named Maggie. Since that sorrowful morning, I seem to be caught in a continual cascade of pennies!

Strangely, they aren't usually in the typical locations that coins are found, such as parking lots. One morning, a coin lay at the foot of my chair on the covered patio! With coffee in hand, I had gone outside to enjoy a beautiful sunny morning. The moment I sat down I spied the penny sparkling in sunlight, and a coin had not been there the evening before.

Another unusual "penny event" occurred on a car trip several months after losing Josey. Shiloh, then our only Schnauzer, needed a potty stop. I mentioned to my husband that we had never stopped there before, but that the grass was very nice. He reminded me that we had pulled off there once with Josey and Maggie.

As I walked Shiloh on the leash, there was a waist-high cement wall that I drug (DRAGGED) my hand along. I felt something, lifted my hand, and voila -- two shiny pennies!

Yes, Josey and Maggie HAD been there, and I believe they were setting the record straight. "Gotcha Mom, Dad is right!"

I've usually been in deep thought about Josey when another coin appears, and it has become a beautiful feeling. I know that she is always watching over me, just as I am so often thinking of her. Each and every penny is saved and placed with her ashes.

No doubt, on some occasions, Josey and Maggie conspire together in surprising Mom with another penny. After all, Maggie had placed one at my feet the morning I said goodbye to Josey. Now the two are reunited.

I picture them romping in clover and chasing copper-colored butterflies at Rainbow Bridge, as they playfully plot their next "coin drop."

-- Kathleene S. Baker

___________________________________________ Kathy says, "I was born and raised in the small town of Augusta, Kansas, that is only a few miles outside of Wichita. I married a native Texan in 1977 and was soon transplanted to Dallas. I have two stepchildren and three grandchildren. Pets have always played a huge part in my life, and I can't imagine a home without them. In fact, they were my inspiration to begin writing. I've always felt one mission in my life was to give loving homes to the dear creatures God has provided for us. They are always at our side with their unconditional love."

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Today's Zoo Family Member

As promised, I have another member of the Richardson Zoo to introduce you all to. This is Dart. He is a Bearded Dragon. He is very red in color and is a Sandfire X Chris Allen Red cross. The older he gets, the redder he gets. We picked him up at the F.I.R.E. show in Florida last July.

Dart, posing for his closeup!! Posted by Hello

Our newest Bearded Dragon, Dart. Posted by Hello

The "Pants" Incident

It's been a great week so far. Nothing spectacular in particular, but I've just been in a really good mood all week. I got a call yesterday saying that our forms and checks have started rolling in for Celebration Pet Day. I'm getting rather nervous, since it's exactly one month from today!!! You all be sure to schedule me for the nervous breakdown the 2nd week of May!!

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I also found out that we've got a face painter scheduled to come as well. I think that will be really cool! This lady's even going to donate half of the profit made from her booth to us in addition to her vending fee. She does the whole face painting and will paint dog or cat faces on anyone interested. I've got to be sure to remember to take my camera to get some shots of her work!

I have no big plans for today. I've just been getting a lot of my spring cleaning done at work. Clearing out odds and ends that have been left for a later time. There's not a lot on the agenda work wise today. We are just trying to get everything straight and caught up before the semester ends. Finals are due to start week after next. The spring semester really flew by!

Now for the "pants incident". I asked for Casey's persmission, so I could share the following with you all. As you all know, Casey works part time for our local shelter. It is his job to go every morning and clean kennels, let the dogs out into our fenced play yards, and do the routine cleaning. Yesterday as he was finishing up, he let the dogs back inside. Casey always wears old clothes when he goes to the shelter, because he just trashes them while he is cleaning. Since it's been really warm here, he's been wearing his old Jersey's shorts. These are the ones with the elastic waistband. It seems that 3 of the dogs decided to triple team him with love and involve him in their happy game of tug of war. Unfortunately, they decided that Casey's shorts were perfect for the tugging. The dogs were behind him, one on each side and one in the middle. They all managed to not only get Casey's shorts off of him but away from him as well!! When he finally caught up with them, one of the dogs, Babe, got his feet tangled up in them, and Casey almost never got them back!! Our shelter is on a busy main thoroughfare, and one side faces the local McDonald's. Needless to say, there may be some folks that never eat at McDonald's again in our town!! Casey told me all of this, when he got home from work last night. He said, "the dogs pantsed me today!". Of course I thought that I'd heard him wrong, so I made him say it again. I don't think I've laughed that hard or long in a very, very long time!! I just had to share it here, because it's just too good NOT to tell someone. I still chuckle every time I think about it!!

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Everyone have a great day!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Getting to Know My Zoo

I seem to spend so much time going on and on about Bear, the schipperke in my posts. I just have to say that while he is a precious furry in my life, he's definitely NOT the only one. I am left with quite a few other furries and scalies in the "Zoo" household. And while I love them ALL the same, I'm kind of like a parent and love them all in their own way and for different reasons. That's why for the next couple of days, I'd like to one by one, introduce you all, formally, to the entire "Zoo". So, please have patience while I brag a bit!! I've also updated the photoblog again today, so you can see additional pictures of the zoo.

Phoebe, just one of the 3 kittens that is GREAT at camoflauge!! Posted by Hello

Slate, my serious little chihuahua. Posted by Hello

Getting to know Shiloh, the Jack Russell/Dachshund mix. Posted by Hello

Kudos for Canine Security

Had to take a minute out to just say a great big CONGRATS to the Nashville International Airport's canine security unit. They scored and recieved one of the country's top honors. I know that I feel much safer, because they are out there working for me. Read the details below:


NASHVILLE, TN. (April 12, 2005) All dogs have their day, and the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority’s (“MNAA”) Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) Canine Unit recently made history with a sweep of a three-peat, as all three canine teams scored 100% on their annual Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”) evaluation for the third consecutive year, dogging the competition.The MNAA DPS Canine Unit is quickly becoming known throughout the nation as the reigning “Top Dog Dynasty” within the TSA program, as Airport Canine Explosive Detection Teams are required to undergo annual performance evaluations by the TSA National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program. The evaluations are arduous and confirm the capability and competence of both the dogs and their handlers. This year marks the third year in a row in which the MNAA’s unit led the program with all of their teams achieving a perfect score. This is a fantastic feat no other team in the entire TSA program has been able to achieve. This prestigious pack is comprised of the following officers and their four legged partners: Vince Dy and Rexie, Aaron Battle and Xena, and Scott Vick and Jack. The team is under the tutelage of Sergeant David Frensley, who is instrumental in leading and training for the unit. “This elite team performs a highly specialized service and their function is invaluable to the Authority and airports across the country,” stated Raul Regalado, President & CEO of the MNAA. “This honor, three years running, is a testament to the rigorous training, diligent work and refined and respectful relationships shared between these exceptional dogs and their equally astute handlers. They are to be highly commended for their accomplishments and efforts in ensuring the safety of all of our passengers and guests at Nashville International and John C. Tune Airports.” The MNAA was established in 1970 as a non-profit corporation and owns and operates the Nashville International and John C. Tune General Aviation Airports.

article credits click here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Springy Weekend!

Lovely view looking up through the dogwood tree in my yard. Posted by Hello

I had THE most fabulous weekend and anniversary! I left work early, as planned, and Casey and I just gallivanted about. We had a late lunch, so we wanted to wait to have a late dinner. We had to be extra hungry of course, since we had decided to go to the Omni Hut for dinner. We went to all the pet related stores we could find. We ended up playing with puppies for most of the afternoon. We did go a few other places. Casey was on the hunt for a good stainless steel cooking pan. We ended up getting him a Cuisinart at TJ Maxx. All in all, we had a great time just running around in the sunshine.

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Finally, it was time to go and have our anniversary dinner. I always love going to the Omni Hut. We ended up ordering the Tahitian Tidbits (Terriyaki riblets) for our appetizer, and the Chicken Ono Ono (Terriyaki Chicken with a special rice, soup, and salad). As you can probably guess, we had waaaay too much food! So, we boxed up our leftovers for lunch on Sunday. As we were leaving, the hostess agreed to take our picture in front of the fountain to mark our anniversary. Unfortunately, the fountain is right in a corner area, where the space is very tight. You can see a lot more of us than the fountain.

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Afterwards, we just went home and kicked back and watched a little t.v.

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My piece of dog art that Casey gave to me as an anniversary gift.

Sunday was a very lazy day. We slept in and had our yummy leftovers for lunch. We had to drive back into Mufreesboro to pick up Casey's car. We had left it on Saturday, so we could ride back home together. Casey had to go into work Sunday afternoon, so I ended up just sitting around the house vegging for the night. Yesterday was kennel day. I was in charge of the kennel yesterday, because Jennie had gone to a herding class. We were full and busy again this week. I suppose we'll just be busy until the end of summer now. I had 4 baths to give yesterday. One to a little, sweet Yorkshire Terrier/Dachshund mix (a Dorkie, they're called) named Lucy. She was the first dog I ever worked with at the kennel. She has the sweetest disposition, and her owners a just great! I also gave baths to a Boston Terrier, a Springer Spaniel, and a rather elderly Bearded Collie. Everything went really well, and I managed to get everything finished. I took care of pickups and dropoffs, as well as answering the phone and questions from clients. I really felt accomplished afterwards, especially since I'd had it on my own.

Today is pretty normal. There's a lot that I can't get done, since they are doing system upgrades today. I just got back from an awards presentation, where I received my 5 year service award. They had goodies to eat as well, but I was well behaved and abstained from them. Be sure to check out the photoblog today. I was quite the shutterbug over the weekend, so I should have plenty of updates throughout the week! Everyone have a fabulous day!!!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

A Spring Blog Lift

I've spruced my blog up a bit with some spring colors. Let me know what you all think? I just felt it needed to be lightened up a little. If you have suggestions, just leave a comment.

Happy Spring Saturday!!

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This is the beautiful view that I have every day, when I pull onto campus. It has been such a beautiful spring this year. I took this picture, while hanging out the car window this morning. I hope to get several more today.

Yesterday went fine. I made it into and out of Nashville with no problems at all. I attended some really good seminars. The best part was meeting a couple of my former coworkers for lunch. We met at a little cafe' type place that is right inside of the Nashville Public Library. It's called Provence. It is absolutely delicious. I had the grilled chicken linguine with fresh parmesean cheese tossed in olive oil. I had a wonderful lemon iced cookie and a great pecan and chocolate chip cookie. YES!! I DID eat both cookies, but it was a special occassion. We had a lovely lunch just visiting and catching up. I took a bit to walk down to my old work place, The Tennessee State Library and Archives to visit some other old friends and coworkers. I managed to see a new web page document archiver too. Technology is just too cool!! Then, I went back to the conference and eventually made my way home.

Today is my and Casey's 7th anniversary. I'm taking off early today, so we can go and do something special. We may go back to downtown Nashville, or we may just find things to do around the 'Boro, like take in a movie or something. We are either going to eat at The Old Spaghetti Factory or at a little kitchy local place called The Omni Hut. They serve GREAT Polynesian food there, and it always has great atmosphere. Who knows what we'll get into after dinner. I hope that everyone has as fabulous a day as I'm going to have!

April 9th

Love Of My Life

Thank you for being the love of my life, the wonderful one I adore, the person who shares, all my dreams and desires, my plans, my adventures and more.

Thank you for being my very best friend, my comforter when things go wrong, the one who encourages me, cheers me, believes in me, changes my "weak" to my "strong".

Thank you for being my partner in life and for filling my heart with such pride... I feel like the happiest person alive with you, whom I love by my side.

Happy 7th Anniversary Casey!! I love you!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Nose Knows!

It seems that every program that I need to get work done today is offline for updates. So, I've just been trying to find bits and pieces to fill my day. I hope they are back online soon, I have LOTS of stuff to get finished up today. I'm registered for a work conference tomorrow, so I'll be out of pocket in the big city of Nashville. I'll be back on Saturday with lots of updates for you. Other than waiting on offline programs, I don't have a whole lot going on today. I'll probably try to get a little more house cleaining done tonight, since Casey is scheduled to work.

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I recently found out that we have a rabbit rescue here locally. It is called Bunny Rescue. I e-mailed the director yesterday about coming to set up a booth at Celebration Pet Day. I think it will be nice to include them, since we are featuring all kinds of pets. This morning when I checked my e-mail, I had a reply. They said YES!! I'm so excited. I'm hoping that we'll have something of interest for all pet owners. So, if you are interested in learning more about rabbit rescue, check out Bunny Rescue's website. It is really great!

I was looking through some dog literature from a couple years ago. I came across this really unique ID system. It's called Dognose ID

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They use an inkprint of your dog's nose as an ID tool. They have a database and registry all set up. If you want an alternative to microchipping and tatooing, this may be your answer. Sounds like another way to safeguard your dogs. I did try to find if they had this system for cats, but turned up nothing. Maybe we should e-mail them to include cats as well. What do you all think?

I hope everyone has a great afternoon!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Animal Tidbits

It's a rainy day again here. I guess with the sunshine, you get rain every once in a while. Nothing exciting going on for today. Just getting a lot of things done on the work front. I'm going to a conference on Friday, so I'll be away from the post temporarily.

A couple of animal related goodies that I meant to post about yesterday, in all of my non-creativity. The first, April is PREVENTION OF ANIMAL CRUELTY MONTH.

So, be sure to thank all of your local shelter workers, SPCA members, and animal control workers for the hard job that they have to do every day. Also please remember if you see evidence of animal cruelty, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, report it to the appropriate agency. You could very well save an animal's life by doing so.

A few days ago, I was contacted by the nicest fellow about linking our blogs. So, I went over and checked his blog out. Let me tell you, it is fantastic!! It's called Living With Bengals. It's about his two cats, which one just happens to be a Bengal. The Bengal cat's name is Leela, and she is absolutely gorgeous!! There are some great pictures posted over there as well. So, blog hop on over and check out the Zoo's newest link! I think you'll really like it!

Everyone have a great afternoon!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


I am feeling completely UN-creative today. My weekend went by in a total flash. The yucky weather finally broke on Sunday, and it's been lovely ever since. I spent most of the day cleaning my filthy house. I managed to pitch all of the clutter out, which immediately made the place look better. I got some dusting done and also some organizing. I still lack cleaning the carpets, but that's always the last thing I do. I've got a plan to do a little every night this week, and hopefully by the weekend, I'll be ready to tackle the carpets. Yesterday was absolutely crazy at the kennel. We had a full house. This week is spring break in the county where I live, and families were making the most of going out of town. We were just crazy busy. I did get a call from my shelter lady, and she told me our newsletter is ready to go to printing. She wanted me to have a look at it, to make sure that the Celebration Pet Day article was satisfactory, as well as the other article that I've written. I've been playing phone tag with her all day. Not much else is going on right now. I'm chomping at the bit to go and have a bit of a break outside, while the pretty weather lasts. There's some rain coming in tonight until Saturday. So, I want to enjoy it while I can. I can't seem to get anything going here. I'm going to leave you all for now. If I get inspired, I'll try to post something worth reading, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be outside. Everyone have a great afternoon!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Good Saturday to You!

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I hope that everyone is having a good Satruday. There's not a whole lot going on today. I got all of my work stuff finished up. I also got the dog training handouts finished for Jennie. She called me yesterday to let me know that we are scheduled to start our group class at TSC on Monday, April 18th. I'm so excited about it. The more I learn about dog training, the more I like it. I hope that the class goes smoothly for us.

I don't have a big weekend planned at all. In fact Casey's working tonight and tomorrow, so I'm going to attack the house and make it clean again. No small feat, I assure you. I've been rather lax about cleaning, since I started working at Kindred Spirits. That 6 day work week, just makes me want to do nothing but sit on my day off. Then off course, I'll go and work at the kennel on Monday. I've realized that I'll get an hour less time off work this week, because of daylight savings time beginning tonight. EEEP!! I've been reminding myself to remember to reset all of the clocks tonight, or Casey will be late to work in the morning!!

I have managed to update my photoblog, FINALLY, today!! WHOOPEE! The valentines picture is finally gone from the sidebar. I posted a bunch of pictures taken in Atlanta, when I went down for the Atlanta Pet Fair. It's mostly just of places that we stopped in between my seminars that weekend, but some of them are really interesting. So you guys, just click the link and pop on over to see what I have for you today!!

Since I posted about the Dog Mine site last Saturday, I thought that I'd let you all know about the Cat Mine site today. It's designed just like the Dog Mine site, complete with funny cat pictures. Here's one of my favorites:

Cat Attack

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There's lots of other cool cat stuff over there too! Go ahead, click the link and have a look! Everyone have a great weekend!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Items of Dog Interest for the Day

I'm finally feeling much better this morning. Yeah! Hopefully, I'll be back to myself in no time. Not a whole lot going on today. I've just got to get the training packet finished for Kindred Spirits and finish up a few items for Celebration Pet Day. I got an e-mail this morning informing me, that we've lined up another vendor!

Last night, when Casey and I were just channel surfing around, I came upon the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge. WOW!! What an exciting show to watch. They had dogs competing in agility, dog diving, freestyle frisbee, and Jack Russell hurdle racing. In the dog diving competition, they had a Border Collie, named Cappucino, break a world's record by leaping 28 ft. into the dive pool!! It was awesome!! There are more events scheduled through the summer, so if you live close by or just want to watch on t.v., it's well worth it.

The other is a dog tale with a VERY happy ending! I heard about this from a little blurb on my local news this morning. Enjoy and have a great day!!

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Long-lost pooch Hooch soon to be headed for home

Woman offers dog a ride to Fresno area

By Liz Neely UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER March 30, 2005

Labrador mix Hooch will be reunited with his owners

EL CAJON – Hooch was separated from his family two years ago, but no one knows how he ended up more than 350 miles from his Fresno-area home. The Labrador mix was picked up by an animal control officer Friday after someone reported a dog on the loose, said Kathy Cleveland, the city's animal control manager.

Hooch, who is more than 2 years old, has an implanted microchip, so animal control officers were able to find his owners, a family living in Dinuba, a city 28 miles north of Fresno.

It turns out the dog disappeared from the family's home about two years ago. The Dinuba family recently bought a home and can't afford to make the six-hour drive to claim their pet, Cleveland said. But they have seen stories about Hooch on television, and their son is excited to have him return, she said.

The animal shelter has received several calls from people offering to drive Hooch home. A woman from the Fresno area happens to be visiting her daughter in Oceanside and has volunteered to give the dog a ride home tomorrow.

Before he was found, Hooch had lived with an El Cajon family for six months. If they had brought him to the shelter sooner, he would have been reunited with his owners by now, Cleveland said.

El Cajon will pick up the tab for the impound and boarding costs, which amount to $33 a day.

Cleveland urges people to register their pets and to make sure the information in a pet's microchip is current.

"If you find an animal, contact the local animal shelter so they can find the owner," she said.

Shelters keep pets much longer than they used to, and the animals are euthanized only as a last resort, Cleveland said. Every effort is made to find a home for a healthy pet, she said.

Liz Neely: (619) 593-4961;