Thursday, March 31, 2005

Trudging Onward

Well, I see that it took my post on Tuesday a couple of days to show up. I've been having such terrible problems getting logged onto blogger this week, that I'm just getting frustrated. I've created myself a banner for the blog, so it looks just a tad different. Let me know what you all think.

I ended up not working yesterday. Casey and I both have come down with a very nasty stomach bug. I spent most of the day yesterday just lying around wishing to die. I'm better today, but still not up to snuff yet. I have absolutely NO appetite, but I guess I could view that as a good thing. At least I'm not eating stuff that's bad for me. The dogs absolutely loved having us both home all day yesterday. I had lots of furry friends to keep me company in my misery. I did manage to catch Bravo's new show Showdog Moms & Dads last night. I'm not sure; it could have been the illness, but I just wasn't as impressed with it as I thought I'd be. Some of the families featured just annoyed the p'waddin' out me. It does look like next week's episode might get a little better. I'll hang in there for a few more episodes, before I make my final decision. I'm going for now. I need to try to at least choke down a bite to eat. Everyone have a great day!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Happy Holiday!

Blogger is being finicky again, I see. It has taken me all day to just get logged in to post. I simply had the BEST weekend. When I got home from work on Saturday, the weather was simply gorgeous. I went straight home and took Bear for a nice walk in the sunshine. Afterwards, Casey and I just piled up on the couch and watched some movies that he brought home. On Sunday, I attended Easter church services. My sweet, childhood friend Jennifer invited me to come and have Easter dinner with her family, since Casey was working. They held it at her parents' home, where I spent a many of my childhood and teenage days. It was SO MUCH FUN!!! It was just like going back home. The food was wonderful. The company was wonderful, and we all just had a blast. The rain managed to hold off, and we were able to hold the Easter egg hunt for the children. I just have to say this, and I'm not being biased here just because she's one of my best friends, but Jennifer has the most beautiful children that I've ever seen. Nice thing is they act as pretty as they look, and they are a true JOY to be around!! I admire Jennifer and her husband for being such wonderful parents. They are truly an inspiration to me, in more ways than one! To see all of the pictures hop on over to Jennifer's blog and have a look. On Sunday night, my family had a big Easter dinner. I made the now famous banana split cake and some green beans. We all had fun visiting and eating waaaay too much. Now, if I can just stick to a diet!!

Monday was kennel day. We were working kind of light with less dogs than we had in previous weeks. That left me with a lot of time to train the dogs and help Jennie in the office. She is putting together a new training program to teach at our local Tractor Supply Company. I'm really excited about it, especially since she has asked me to come and help her teach it!! It's going to be a great opportunity for me to learn a lot about training techniques. Bear did fabulously with his obedience lesson yesterday. We were so busy working on the TSC training program, he just got a short one. We worked on his sit stay yesterday. I eventually got to where I could leave him and completely go into another room. That's week 3 of progress!! He certainly is an excellent little student. He got a greenie, when we got home. After work, we held the humane society meeting there at Kindred Spirits, since we had been doing in kennel training on one of our shelter dogs. We've had her there for about 6 weeks, and she's really coming along. She knows how to sit, sit/stay, a place command, how to fetch, and many others. Last night was her little graduation of sorts, so the shelter workers could all see how far she's come. Needless to say, everyone was SO impressed. It was just a moment that I was so proud to have been a participant. Then we did updates for our upcoming Celebration Pet Day. Everything seems to be coming together nicely. Everyone is now going out and trying to persuade other vendors to participate. Afterwards, Casey and I hung around and visited with Jennie and her husband for a bit. We headed home, and I fell into bed quite exhausted.

Today has been pretty typcial. It's beautiful, and everyone here has a definite case of spring fever. It's time for me to head home, so I'm off now. I hope that everyone's having a great evening!!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Dog Behavior Study

The University of Texas at Austin is conducting a study in dog behavior. They are looking for dog owners from all over to participate. If you have owned your dog for at least 1 year, you may be included. To find out more information or to sign up to participate, click here. Here's a quick overview of the project:

I am a Ph.D. student working with Dr. Sam Gosling at UT-Austin and am studying personality and temperament in the domestic dog. Currently, we are designing a questionnaire for the assessment of personality in dogs. Once this questionnaire is completed, we aim to use it to answer a variety of research questions, from what characterizes the best explosives detection dogs and guide dogs, to what types of breed-specific personality traits truly exist, to whether there are specific "types" of dogs who often end up in rescues and shelters. However, to create a reliable and valid dog personality questionnaire, we need thousands of dog owners to fill out the initial version of our on-line questionnaire, which is quite lengthy, and to give us feedback. This is why I'm writing to you! Although the questionnaire is not yet ready, we are compiling an e-mail list of individuals who would be willing to participate in the study. Once the questionnaire is posted (within a couple weeks), I will e-mail the participant list. For further information about this and other studies, please visit our website at and click on the "Attention Dog Owners!"link. To volunteer for the study or if you have any questions,please e-mail me directly at Please tell all your dog-owning friends about our study! All the best, Amanda Jones

Easter Weekend

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It's the weekend of one of my very favorite holidays, Easter. I've always particularly loved Easter, ever since my childhood. Easter is the holiday that falls during my very favorite season of the year, spring. Everything here is just bursting at the seams with spring. All of the flowering trees are in bloom, the rest are beginning to leaf out, and the buttercups and tulips are just beautiful! My allergies are also telling me that spring is here. I took an hour long walk with Bear yesterday, as soon as I got home. It was very warm and with just a breeze blowing. The Bradford Pear trees were in bloom everywhere. By the time I got home, I was so pollen covered and itchy that I had to go immediately to the shower. I'm still suffering from gunked up eyes today as a result of it.

I appreciate the fact that Easter is not as commercialized as the rest of the holidays. As a christian, I have a special appreciation for Easter as well. Easter always makes me feel like I'm part of something very special, a bigger plan of the universe. I'm not knocking anyone else's religion, because that's everyone's own personal choice, but I like reflecting inward at this time of year.

I like spring so much, that I chose to be married in April. I've always just associated April with Easter, since most years Easter falls in April. So, I'm looking forward to mine and Casey's 7th anniversary on April 9th. As luck would have it, the day we started dating as an exclusive couple just happened to fall on April 23rd. On April 23rd, we've been together for 14 years! We decided to wait and really celebrate on April 23rd this year. We are going to Knoxville and Gatlinburg for a long, relaxing weekend. Oh, and can you believe that they are having a "Bark at the Park" event on the same weekend?? Yeah, I supposed I'll be attending that too! I'm sure that it will be too much fun. It will also be a good way for me to get some last minute ideas for Celebration Pet day too.

Since it is a holiday weekend, it is totally dead at work today. I'm the only one working my section, so it is nice and quiet. I'm planning on running out today and grabbing a pack of peeps Image hosted by I read on another blog, that dogs sometimes like one as an Easter treat. Has anyone else heard of this before? I think I'll let the crew have one each for a sweet treat, but I'm still debating about it. If it does happen, I'll be sure to have the camera at the ready. I need new pictures for the photoblog that I've neglected, since February.

Casey brought home some movies for us to watch tonight, so we can just relax. Tomorrow, I'm planning on going to church, and for dinner tomorrow night my brother is hosting an Easter dinner. I'm making green beans and another banana split cake. Both Mom and he are making other parts of the dinner. I'll be at Kindred Spirits on Monday as usual. I've been trying to work Bear everyday on his obedience skills. I hope that he does as well this Monday as he did last Monday. I have managed to work him outside as well, so he can get used to distractions. He's such a good little learner, and I'm so pleased with his progress.

Here's a little Easter treat for you all. A cool doggie website called Dog Mine. It has lots of cool stuff and really hysterical pictures like this picture entitled Disguise:

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So just click the link and enjoy! Everyone have a fabulous Easter holiday!!

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Friday, March 25, 2005

A Tasteful Way of Remembrence?? NOT

I was reading one of my favorite sites, Uneasy Silence (they like to post weird and strange news stories), when I ran across this pet related story. Seems that a taxidermy place out in Nevada will make you a pillow, using your pet's fur, as a remembrence. That just REALLY unsettles me, but I guess to each their own. It actually goes so far as to tell you how to ship your, um, deceased pet!!! It has a picture posted for example, and all I can say is EWWWWWW!!! THAT is just disconcerting!! To read the full story go here.

Sunny Day!

I just came back in after popping out for lunch. All I can say is it is absolutely gorgeous out there!! It is sunny and about 75 degrees. Too bad that it's supposed to start raining tomorrow. Here's to another soggy Easter. Not much going on here today. This is the first year the university has decided to hold classes on Good Friday. Seems that a lot of professors just went ahead and canceled classes anyway. It as quiet as a tomb here today. Melissa is vacationing down in the Florida Keys this week, so I went at lunch to check on her cats. I fed them, gave them some love, and made sure they had enough dry food and water to make it until Sunday, when Mel gets back. Kitty loving makes for a VERY relaxing lunch. Not a whole lot planned for the weekend. We are open tomorrow, so I'll have to work. I'm probably going to try to get to church on Sunday. Casey is going to have to work during the day on Sunday, so I'll get to lounge around. Other than that, "no big whoop", as Linda Richmond would say on Coffee Talk.

Last night, Casey and I were just lounging around watching different news reports. That's when we heard the really gross Wendy's and the finger chilli story. If you haven't heard and want to find out, click here. Just like some sick individuals, Casey and I just continued to talk about it. We just couldn't stop ourselves. We just kept making those horrible, one-liner jokes like, "NOW, that's what I call giving someone the finger." OR "I MEANT finger sandwiches" OR "She wanted an order of ladyfingers". See how truly sick we really are!! Then this morning, we started up all over again before we went to work. Casey came up with what the real plan really was. In his very slanted sense of humor he said, "I think that they really just froze Dave Thomas. Now they are serving him bit by bit to honor his wishes that he serve his customers one last time!!" I mean really, how sick is that??? I've never laughed so much in my life over a news story!! I think that Wendy's may have to award us punative damages. I think we've been traumatized. It WAS Casey that made that Dave Thomas story don't go pointing FINGERS at me!!! BWAH HAAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Everyone have a great afternoon!!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Wild, Wild Life!!

Today has just been the craziest of days. All kinds of work stuff. Tomorrow is my coworker, Zinia's birthday. So we've birthday-ed all day long. I made a bannana split cake to celebrate the occassion. It's so yummy, but not heavy at all. It was a HUGE hit with everyone. I don't have time to post much else today, but I will post the recipe for you all. I'll have a better post tomorrow. Everyone have a good evening and enjoy the recipe. It is YUMMY!!

Banana Split “Cake”

Use 9 x 13 pan.

1st Layer: 2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 stick melted butter

Mix together and pat in bottom of pan.

2nd Layer: 2 cups confectioners sugar (10X)

2 eggs

2 sticks margarine

1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix at high speed 20 full minutes. Spread on top of 1st layer.

3rd Layer: Spread 2 large cans drained crushed pineapple on top of 2nd layer.

4th Layer: Place 4 large bananas, sliced, on top of 3rd layer.

5th Layer: Spread 16 ounces of Cool Whip on top of 4th layer.

6th Layer: Drain and place on top of Cool Whip on small jar of maraschino cherries.

7th Layer: Drizzle Hershey’s syrup on top of 6th layer and sprinkle chopped walnuts. Refrigerate overnight or place in freezer 4 hours.

Personally, I like to add a layer of sliced strawberries over the layer of bananas!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Fun Dog Stuff

Since I don't have anything really exciting life wise to report on, I figured that I'd post about some fun dog stuff for you all to check out. The first is how to figure out how old your dog is in human years. There's a fairly new website called Dog Age. The website is hosted by Purina. You can go there and fill out a detailed questionaire about your dog. Based on these questions, Dog Age will calculate the real age of your dog. It will also give you tips for keeping your dog young. Here are
Bear's results:

Bear's DogAge is 11.3!

That's 4.7 years younger than the average DogAge for Bear's breed.

DogAge is the biological age of your dog, measured in people years. Your dog is lucky to have such a good caretaker. You can make your dog even younger by checking out the details of your results below.

It was quite fun and interesting!! So head over there and check it out!

The other fun dog thing today is Bravo's Showdog Moms & Dads. This show features 5 families and their lives in the showdog world. Over at the website there is a short synopsis of the show and each of the families. It premiers March 30th at 10/9 CST. I have to remember to check this out. It really sounds interesting.

I just love dog stuff. Don't you? I'll try to dig up some interesting kitty stuff for later this week. Everyone have a great day!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Such Fun!!

I ended up having the most fabulous weekend. Casey and I made the trip to Aquatic Critter Saturday, after I got off work. We went to ask for their help with a reptile program that we wanted done for Celebration Pet Day. They immediately agreed to come and lend their support. One of their employees, Danielle, who is the greatest, has agreed to come down and do the program for us. YIPEE!! Another thing ticked off the "to do" list for Pet Day. On Sunday, we went to the Miller's Grocery Sunday buffet. It was YUMMY as usual!! We were all absolutely stuffed afterwards. We drove back into Murfreesboro to pick up Casey's car. Afterwards, Mom and I went out shoe shopping. We ended up hitting most of the stores in Mufreesboro. I found several good bargains and ended up carrying several bags home. I do love a good shopping day.

Yesterday was kennel day at Kindred Spirits. You can tell the weather is getting nicer. The kennel was full. It will just keep getting busier now until the end of summer. I had given 6 baths by 10 a.m. yesterday. I bathed a Boston Terrier, a Cairn Terrier, 2 Bassett Hounds, a Doberman Pincher, and a Bearded Collie. All of them were just super, especially the little Cairn Terrier. I got to practice some of my good grooming skills on her. Not any cutting or clipping, just good bathing, drying, and brush out along with some of my special products. It was such fun. I spent the rest of the day training dogs. I've found that I REALLY enjoy training. It was just something that I'd never thought about. Jennie and I worked a Yellow Lab, a German Shepherd, a Silver Lab, a Golden Retriever, and my very, most, favoritist, Bear. Yesterday was Bear's second lesson. He retained his "sit" lesson very well from the week before. Yesterday he learned the "Place" command. He did so well at place, that he was able to sit on the place board while I walked around the room and took a seat somewhere else. We also worked him with some distraction. Jennie brought in a male Sharpei to distract him. He just did so good!! Jennie just bragged on him, and I was just pleased as punch. She said that he had a very fast learning curve and suggested that we really work him to make him a good therapy dog. So, that's my goal, to have Bear pass the therapy dog certifications. I'll keep you all posted on his progress every week.

Casey worked last last night, after working the shelter yesterday morning. I suprised him by having dinner ready, when he got home. I made yummy spaghetti and garlic bread. Not mind blowing, but still a good meal. So, here I am today. Just plugging away at work. We are supposed to get some bad storms this afternoon, which always makes me a little apprehensive this time of year. I hope everyone has a good day! I've posted a news story below that ABC World News broadcast last night. Enjoy!!

A Dog's Life Is Looking Better and Better

Why Americans Spend Big Bucks on Their Pets


Mar. 21, 2005 - The W Hotel near Times Square offers a special room service menu, monogrammed beds, bath robes and a masseuse, and has a psychologist on call if the need arises.

That's not just for you. It's for your dog, if you bring one along.

"When you check into our welcome desks at any of the properties, we always let you know what languages we have by our talent here that are speaking human languages," said Ross Klein, senior vice president of the W chain, "and we added 'woof' and 'meow' to that as an official language about two years ago."

Collette Leonard checked in with Gabby, her teacup Yorkshire terrier. After they settled into their room, Gabby had steak sent up.

"I would say she's very pampered. What do you think?" laughed Leonard, a marketing executive. "I'm single and I travel a lot. I work a lot of hours and it just makes me feel that I'm not away from home as much as I really am."

Numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau suggest that Gabby's first-class treatment is part of a growing phenomenon in America. In the last 10 years, the percentage of households with pets has remained relatively stable, but the amount of money people spend on their pets has doubled. Last year it was more than $34 billion. That is more than Americans spend on sporting goods, candy, jewelry, toys or shoes.

Breakfast at Sniffany's

At a Manhattan shop called Trixie + Peanut, people can buy dog boots, dog sweaters, dog necklaces, and dog toys from "Chewnel No. 5" or "Sniffany & Co."

"We've had people in here that have spent over $1,000," said Mark Edwards, owner of Trixie + Peanut.

"It's people wanting to express themselves through their dogs' fashions, just as they do with their own fashions," said Edwards, "and the designers are mirroring the fashions that are out there for people."

Brooke Goldstein came shopping with her dog, Kayla. "I feel bad for her when I leave her during the day, so I like her to have a lot of toys," she said. "My parents don't really understand why my dog wears so many clothes."

Marketers think they understand. They say it has to do with the changing American family, the rising numbers both of hurried singles and empty-nesters. These are people with money to spend, but fewer loved ones on whom to lavish it.

"Dogs are the new children, as far as we're concerned," said John Ryan, who last year began publishing The New York Dog Magazine.

He says many of the magazine's readers are single women who have tired of the dating scene. "For a lot of people the illusion of the long-lasting marriage, the long-lasting relationship is pretty much dead after the second or third marriage."

Calm in a Scary World

Bob Vetere, CEO of the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, said he thinks the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, had an effect on his industry.

"As the world becomes a more scary place -- for want of a better word -- you're looking for something to comfort you, something to make you feel better," he said.

In years when the stock market went down, Vetere said, people's spending on their pets still rose.

That comfort factor is why Leonard says she does not feel as if she is spoiling Gabby.

"She's my only family that I live with full time, and she just gives me so much joy," she said, quietly stroking her dog's back. "To be able to come home on a business trip at the end of the day and have your dog waiting for you -- it's priceless."

Copyright © 2005 ABC News Internet Ventures

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Weekend

I've spent the better part of the day getting my "to do" list ticked off. I had a wonderful lunch with my friend Melissa. It's always good to have lunch with her. I'm always in a good mood by the time we are finished. She's one of those friends that you can just be yourself with and not worry about being judged. A true friend, through and through. I've been pretty miserable stomach wise since. I ended up eating too much, since I skipped breakfast this morning. We even split a piece of Oreo cheesecake. I've just sat here feeling miserable in my chair. After work today, Casey and I are heading to Aquatic Critter. I want to finalize some program plans that I have for Celebration Pet Day. I'm hoping for a reptile program. I guess I could bring some of mine out, but I'm just not that good in front of people. Besides, the guys at Critter are so much more knowledgeable about these things. Tomorrow, Casey and I are planning to have lunch at Miller's Grocery again. Lunch was so great the last time, we haven't hardly been able to wait to get back there. I'm looking so forward the the Pineapple Cheese salad!! Yum!! Monday will be my typical kennel day. The weather forcast is looking good, so I'm planning to take Bear. Hopefully, he'll get some exercise out in the play yards and shed those extra winter pounds! I hope that everyone is having a great weekend!

Since Chrissy had posted about the dangers of feeding dogs grapes over at her blog, I thought that I'd post this new article by the ASPCA. It's about some of the common toxins to pets found in homes. I hope it's helpful! Everyone have a great weekend!

Poison-Proof Your Pet's Home

Did you know that many substances commonly found in and around your home can be potentially dangerous to your animal companions? Here are some items to watch out for as you poison-proof your pet's home.

Non-toxic substances for dogs and cats: Here are a few substances are considered to be non-toxic, although they may cause mild gastrointestinal upset in some animals.

Water based paints

Toilet bowl water

Silica gel


Cat litter

Glue traps

Glow jewelry

Christmas tree water

Foods to Avoid Feeding to Your Pet

Alcoholic beverages


Chocolate (all forms of chocolate)

Coffee (all forms of coffee)

Fatty foods

Macadamia nuts

Moldy or spoiled foods

Onions, onion powder

Raisins and grapes


Yeast dough


Products sweetened with xylitol

Warm Weather Hazards

Animal toxins - toads, insects, spiders, snakes and scorpions

Blue-green algae in ponds

Citronella candles

Cocoa mulch

Compost piles


Flea products Outdoor plants and plant bulbs

Swimming pool treatment supplies

Pesticide Hazards

When using herbicides or insecticides in or around you home:

Always use pesticides in accordance with label instructions. Keep pets away from treated areas for the label recommended amount of time. Store unused products in areas that will always be inaccessible to pets. Be aware that fly baits containing methomyl and slug and snail baits containing metaldehyde are particularly dangerous.

Medication Precautions

Keep all prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs out of the reach of your pets, preferably in closed cabinets. Remind guests to store their medications safely as well. Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, antidepressants, vitamins, and diet pills are common examples of human medication that could be potentially lethal even in small dosages. One regular-strength ibuprofen tablet (200mg) can cause stomach ulcers in a 10-pound dog.

Cold Weather Hazards

Antifreeze: If you think your pet has consumed antifreeze, contact your veterinarian right away.

Liquid potpourris: Exposure to some types of liquid potpourris can result in severe oral, dermal and ocular damage.

Ice melting products can be irritating to skin and mouth.

Rat and mouse bait - place these products in areas that are inaccessible to your companion animals.

Christmas Tree Hazards

Christmas tree water may contain fertilizers, which, if ingested, can upset the stomach. Stagnant tree water can be breeding grounds for bacteria, which can also lead to vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea, if ingested.

Electrical cords - Avoid animal exposure to electrical cords. If they are chewed they could electrocute your pet. Cover up or hide electrical cords and never let your pet chew on them.

Ribbons or tinsel can become lodged in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction. This is a very common situation for kittens!

Batteries contain corrosives, and if ingested they can cause ulceration to the mouth, tongue, and the rest of the gastrointestinal tract.

Glass ornaments can cause internal laceration when ingested.

Friday, March 18, 2005


I was catching up on my blog reading yesterday, and I came across a kitty type recipe over on Barb's blog Cat-O-Bloggo. The recipe was for cat poop cookies. If you'd like the recipe, pop on over there. Barb has it posted. This recipe reminded me of the infamous Kitty Litter Cake. So, you all know me, I just had to share. I just can't bring myself to post a picture of it, but if you all would like a visual you can go here.

Kitty Litter Cake

1 spice or German chocolate cake mix 1 white cake mix 2 large pkg vanilla instant pudding mix, prepared (I like Bird's® dessert mix) 1 large pkg vanilla sandwich cookies green food coloring 12 small Tootsie Rolls®

1 new kitty litter pan 1 new plastic kitty litter pan liner 1 new pooper scooper

Prepare cake mixes and bake according to directions (any size pans).

Prepare pudding mix and chill until ready to assemble.

Crumble white sandwich cookies in small batches in food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup cookie crumbs, add a few drops green food coloring and mix until completely colored.

When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble into a large bowl. Toss with half the remaining white cookie crumbs and the chilled pudding. Important: mix in just enough of the pudding to moisten it. You don't want it too soggy. Combine gently.

Line a new, clean kitty litter box. Put the cake/pudding/cookie mixture into the litter box.

Put three unwrapped Tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until soft and pliable. Shape ends so they are no longer blunt, curving slightly. Repeat with 3 more Tootsie rolls bury them in the mixture. Sprinkle the other half of cookie crumbs over top. Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly on top of everything -- this is supposed to look like the chlorophyll in kitty litter.

Heat 3 Tootsie Rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake; sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Spread remaining Tootsie Rolls over the top; take one and heat until pliable, hang it over the side of the kitty litter box, sprinkling it lightly with cookie crumbs. Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around for a truly disgusting effect!

Further notes: I had a reader write in saying this recipe only needed half the amount of pudding. I personally liked the cake with the amount given in this recipe. But feel free to use this as a loose guideline, use more or less as you see the need. Also, since the layer of cookies (with the chloropyll green specks, covers the top, you could really use any flavor or flavors or cakes underneath. Last but not least, you can also opt not to crumble the cakes, but rather layer them in the pan with the layers of pudding in between (much like you would layer a trifle into a trifle dish), sprinkle the top layer of pudding with a heavy layer of crumbled cookies. Same effect, different texture entirely to the dessert.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Review Time

I woke up this morning to about 2 inches of white, fluffy snow on the ground. Look, it's St. Patrick's Day for heaven's sake!! Let's get on with the spring. Can you believe that, NOW, I get snow!! Anyway the roads were still in good shape, so it did make for a rather pretty drive into work. I have to pass a Christmas Tree Farm everyday on my way to work, and it was absolutely breathtaking this morning. I just wish I'd had my camera with me. I'm doing the traditional wearing of the green today. I can't seem to help it. It's a carry over from my childhood. So, I hope that everyone has a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Night before last, I managed to catch the "dogamentary", A Dog's Life on HBO. It was a documentary about a Shih Tzu named Chelsea and her person, Gayle. Not a bad watch. When it first started out, I was a bit disappointed. It was very bubbly (not that there's anything wrong with being bubbly), silly, and going off in many different directions. As the show progressed in New York, the 9/11 event occurred. The whole tone of the show changed at that point. Chelsea became a therapy dog, and the documentary followed her through a hospice providing therapy for patients. It was a very good documentary from that point. I'd say overall, I enjoyed A Dog's Life. It lasted about 50 minutes. So, if you have HBO, try and give it a watch. You can go here, to learn more about the A Dog's Life dogamentary.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Finally Getting It Together!!

It's been quite a while, since I've logged a post. I so wanted to enjoy my long, spring break weekend, but it wasn't to be. I ended up making it to the doctor's office last Friday morning. After prescribing some meds, he sent me on my way to the pharmacy and back home. He promised that I'd feel better in a few days. I had agreed to take care of the kennel for Jennie to go to a seminar on Saturday and Sunday. I stopped by and worked for a couple hours on Friday afternoon, to get familiar with which dogs were there and their temperaments. It just gave me a leg up on the comfort level. I like for the dogs to be somewhat familiar with me, before I have total control of their care. Anyway, I REALLY felt lousy afterwards, so I managed to crawl my way home and head straight for bed. I got up Saturday morning feeling only a small bit better. I just lounged around the house, until time for kennel duty. Luckily, I was only scheduled to work for a couple of hours. I managed to get through it, and once again, crawled my way back into bed. I didn't have to work at all on Sunday. Casey made us a great breakfast, and I was finallly feeling a bit better. We headed for the dog show on Sunday afternoon. It wasn't nearly as big as last year, and it didn't have nearly as many vendors. I made my rounds of the ones that were there to hopefully get some commitments for Celebration Pet Day. It only took us about an hour and a half to do the whole show. By that time, I was feeling VERY tired and worn out, so we came on home. Monday, I did my usual day at the kennel. I should have known I was pushing myself too hard, but I thought that I felt fabulous. Anyhow, after work on Monday, we had a humane meeting to see what progress we'd all made on Celebration Pet Day. It seems to be coming together very nicely. The poster contest is just about ready to be announced, I'm getting more vendors everyday, the contests and times are organized, the food for our booth is just about taken care of, and we've just about gotten our special programs all worked out. I may have a nervous breakdown before it's all over, but it seems like it's going to be a pretty fun day. We finally made it back home for dinner and to relax. I woke up yesterday morning feeling crummy again, so I took the day off to try and regroup. I'm finally feeling a lot better today. Hopefully, I'll feel fit by the end of the week. I gotta run and catch up on a bunch of stuff. I'm still planning on posting some of the Atlanta pictures this week. I've posted a little kitty bit for you all below. Enjoy!!

Cat Survives 10-Mile Trip on Top of Car

Mar 4, 7:29 AM (ET)

INKOM, Idaho (AP) - Torri Hutchinson's cat might just have one less life to live. Hutchison was driving along Interstate 15 one day recently when a motorist kept trying to get her attention and pointing to the roof of her car.

She said she was wary of the man, but wondered if perhaps her ski rack might have come loose.

She pulled over to the side, but kept her doors locked and the motor running.

The man pulled up behind her. Hutchinson rolled down her window to hear the man frantically shouting, "Your cat! Your cat!"

He reached for the roof of her car and handed the shocked Hutchinson her orange tabby.

She had driven about 10 miles with the cat on top of the car, and didn't even notice the feline when she stopped for gas.

Hutchinson said Cuddle Bug, or C.B. for short, had climbed into the back of her car as she was getting ready to leave. She put him out, but he must have jumped on the roof while she wasn't looking, she said.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Blogger is being a real hoo ha today on my server. I’ve been busy finishing up some work projects and tweaking my information packets for Celebration Pet Day to take with me to the dog show this weekend. I’m realizing as I type this, that I just may have to go through a blogger back door to get this post done. I’m probably going to skip out of work early today, since I basically feel like a piece of doggie poo today. I woke up this morning with a very swollen and sore throat. I really feel like it’s my allergies wreaking havoc on me, but the fact is the throat ain’t one bit pretty looking today. I’ve made myself a doctor’s appointment for tomorrow morning. Campus is closed tomorrow for spring break purposes. So, at least I get a nice, long weekend to try to recover from whatever is ailing me. I think I need some rest more than anything. NEED to be better for this weekend. I have TOO MUCH TO DO to get ready for the humane fundraiser, and I really need the vendor contacts at the upcoming dog show. I think I'll go home, drink some hot tea, and have a nap. Maybe I'll feel better in the morning.

Bear did the funniest thing last night. See, he makes these little, what I call, "talking noises". Since we got him, Casey and I have been making the little noises back to him. Every once in a while, he'll get all excited and wound up and make the noises back to us, as if he's trying to talk. Anyway, last night Casey was speaking "Schipperke" to Bear. He got so excited, while trying to talk back, that he just started howling. Then Casey started howling back at him. Well, that excited him even more, and the howls got louder, longer, and more intense. It was absolutely hysterical!! I was falling off of the sofa laughing at the mere sight of it. Bear went to the extreme and threw his head all the way back and howled just like a wolf or coyote. He's never done anything like that before. That dog just never ceases to amaze me. We discover something new and funny about him everyday. I just wonder what we'll get him to do next.

I'm going to head off for home and some lunch. Gotta nurse myself back to health. Everyone have a good weekend. I promise to have a really good post and maybe lots of pictures from the dog show on Tuesday!! TAH!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Soliciting for the Animals

I can't believe that I almost let today slip by without posting!! I've been busy with a lot of work stuff today. I've also spent some time contacting pet business people about vending at Celebration Pet Day. I've got 3 vendors committed, and one that says if their schedule conflicts they will send the booth fee anyway!! YAHOO!! There's a big dog show this weekend, so I've made information packets complete with forms and maps to hand out. Hopefully, I'll come home with a lot of committed vendors on the list.

I'm also scheduled to work quite a bit at the kennel over the long weekend. We are on spring break at campus, so work is shut down from Friday until Sunday. Jennie is going out of town, so I'll be doing feedings for her on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. I'll be doing my usual work day for her on Monday too. It was so crazy busy last Monday. I ended up doing 7 baths in addition to morning and afternoon feedings. WHEW!!! I can't help but just love it!! It seems that my Monday's help to get me through the rest of the week.

Casey talked to his cousin Andrew last night. He's doing o.k., considering what he's been through the past week. We found out that Lupe's funeral is going to be on Friday, so Andrew is leaving out for New Mexico on Thursday and will be back on Saturday. When he gets back, we are hoping to get down there to see him for a bit. It will be good when his routine can get back to somewhat normal. I know that everyone's different, but that's usually when I can begin to come to terms with things. I sure have thought about him an anwful lot this week. I hope things will turn out for him in the end.

Well, I gotta run. I'll make a longer post tomorrow. Everyone have a good evening!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Back from the Fair!

I'm finally back from my whirlwind trip to Atlanta. I had SO MUCH FUN!! I'll be posting some pictures soon. I ended up attending 6 seminars, which were all excellent. I learned so much that I could take back with me and immediately start using at Kindred Spirits. I got to watch a lot of the grooming competitions during the breaks between seminars too. It was so interesting. I just wish that I could go to grooming school NOW!! I brought back a lot of good literature and handouts to use everyday. The weather in Atlanta was absolutely beautiful. I couldn't have asked for better weather. It was nearly 70 degrees and sunny everyday. Casey and I decided to go out for a fancy dinner on Saturday night. We ended up at the Cheesecake Factory. It was absolutely divine. I had the four cheese pasta and for dessert we had the Godiva chocolate cheescake. Needless to say, Casey and I waddled back out to the car. We took our leftovers back to the room with us. There had been a mix up with our reservation, so we ended up in a suite at no extra charge!! We had our own little mini kitchen, microwave, and refrigerator. So, we ate the leftovers on Saturday night, and believe me, there were plenty!! After I finished my last 2 seminars on Sunday morning, we stopped for lunch at my very favorite place . After lunch, as much as we didn't want to, we headed for home.

As we pulled into the driveway, we received a call that involved some rather bad news concerning Casey's cousin Andrew and his fiance', Lupe. I've talked about them both here before after we spent the weekend with them at his aunt's house back in January (See the Whoosh post from Jan. 18th, 2005). Andrew is in the army and scheduled to be deployed to Iraq in June. Anyway, we received the news that Andrew and Lupe had been involved in a bad car accident on Saturday night, and Lupe had been killed instantly. They were hit by a drunk driver. Andrew was driving their car and escaped with only minor injuries. He loved Lupe so much and we are all absolutely devastated. Lupe was only 23. Such a brilliant life taken away all too soon. She was a wonderful girl, got along great with us all, and we just loved her. Below is the article from the local paper in Clarksville, TN.

Article published Mar 7, 2005 Charges pending in fatal wreck

By CHANTAL ESCOTO The Leaf-Chronicle

A 20-year-old Clarksville man might face charges in connection with a woman's death after his 1992 Honda Accord crashed into the car she was in Saturday night, police said.

The impact split the 1999 Honda Civic in two and killed Guadalupe Aguilar, 23, of Tynewood Drive. Her fiance, Andrew Bond, 25, was driving, said Officer Jimmy Dill, of Clarksville Police Department's Fatal Accident Crash Team.

Bond was turning left onto Ringgold Road about 9:15 p.m. Saturday, when the Accord, driven by Fernando Ruiz Hernandez of 2871 Fort Campbell Blvd., hit his car, Dill said.

The officers said Hernandez ran a red light on Fort Campbell Boulevard. Speed did not appear to be a factor, but Hernandez might have been drinking alcohol, Dill said.

"The impact hit on her door and spun around" Dill said. "It wasn't so much he was speeding, but he just hit a weak spot in the car."

Aguilar, originally from New Mexico, was living with Bond, who is a soldier at Fort Campbell, Dill said. Both were wearing seat belts. Bond and Hernandez received minor injuries and were treated and released.

Aguilar died at the scene.

Dill described the wreck as chaotic.

"I've never seen a car ripped in half like that. It was one of the worst ones I've seen," Dill said.

Hernandez, who is from Mexico but living in Clarksville, was charged and held in the Montgomery County Jail for driving with no license, having no insurance, and possession and consumption of alcohol under 21. Dill said he expects to get blood-alcohol test results in about two weeks to determine if more charges will be filed.

My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this time. May she be granted peace. They are also with Andrew at this time. I hope that with time he will too find peace and be able to move forward.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Running Behind Already!!!

I knew that my day today would be pressed. I've got so much to do and so little time to do it in. Everything is cranked up into high gear for the trip to Atlanta. I've been busy today printing off driving directions to The Atlanta Pet Fair, our hotel, some restaurants, and some other places that Casey wants to visit while I'm at the lectures. I've got a HUGE "to do" list to accomplish today. I have to get the oil changed, laundry done, packing done, clean out the car, get by the drugstore, get Bear dropped off at Kindred Spirits , get by Curves, and try to get my haircut. I think of all the list, my hair will probably be the task neglected. I'm tired just thinking about it all.

I've had several positive responses regarding Celebration Pet Day. I've already got 2 vendors lined up and a pretty positive response from the Nashville Greys. It's been sent to their board for their approval. I've gotten several new ideas to work on as well, just today. I'll really start to get cranked up, after we get back from Atlanta. I'm trying my best to concentrate on one thing at a time today. I'm hoping to get some pictures from the pet fair, but I know they are not allowing video cameras, so I'm not sure about the camera policy. I'll try. I can at least get some pictures of beautiful Atlanta. I'll do my best to post from the hotel, so hopefully, they'll have some internet access. I'll have several breaks between lecutres with some time to kill. I'd better run and get started on all of this. Everyone have a GREAT weekend!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

I Need Organization NOW!!

I'm starting to put out the initial feelers for our Celebration Pet Day. I've sent several e-mails, hoping to get some vendors to sign up. I've also contacted the Nashville Greys organization to bring their greyhounds out to do a meet and greet that day. It seems that so many love the greyhounds, I thought that it would add to our event. I'm hoping to get a couple of the vendors that have been so good to help us in the past, such as Pawsitive Notes and Pet People Gifts to come and set up booths. I've already contacted one artist that does pet portraits, and I am planning on contacting a second one that I know pretty well to come out and set up. I'm attempting to get some dog food company reps to come out and set up booths as well. I've searched in vain to locate any petsitters that service our area to come out and advertise, and would you believe there is not ONE SINGLE petsitting business in Shelbyville? That could be a pretty lucrative undertaking. It might be something that Casey and I could get going. Who knows? See this is the kind of thing that happens, when I start working on my humane association fundraising stuff. I get all kinds of these crazy ideas put in my head. Pretty soon, I get so much going in my head that I get kinda goofy.

I've also been thinking about several contests and events that we can hold during the event. This is what I've come up with so far: Poster Contest for School Children (they enter previous to the event and receive the awards during), Best Bark (Singer), Best Costume, Best Trick, Best Kisser, Best Tail Wagger, and Owner/Dog Look-A-Like contest. For activities I have: Pet Art, Agility Demonstration, Obedience Demonstration, Ask a Vet, Police K-9, Face Painting, Nashville Greys Greyhounds (I hope) and Pet Photography. So, what do you all think? Any of you have any more creative ideas to offer? I'll be happy to take your suggestions, just leave me a comment.

Other than the fundraising craziness, today has been pretty typical. I've been thinking about all I have to get done, before I leave for The Atlanta Pet Fair. I've got a ton of laundry to do. I also need to get the oil changed and my hair cut. We are dropping Bear off at Kindred Spirits tomorrow night. Casey and I are planning to leave out for Atlanta by 6 a.m. on Friday morning. That way, I'll be able to attend the early afternoon seminars on Friday. I also found out that the weekend after we get back from Atlanta there is going to be a HUGE dog show in Franklin, TN. I attended this particular show last year and absolutely had a blast. It starts on Friday, March 10 and goes through that following Sunday. The best part is campus is on spring break next week, so we'll be closed down Friday and all weekend! I'll have plenty of opportunities to get by there. I'm planning on making a flyer to hand out to all of the vendors (and there's LOTS there) to get some of them to sign up for our event. Can't waste an opportunity like that can I? Hopefully, I can catch one of the Schipperke classes. Like I said, there is ENTIRELY too much going on in my head today. I feel excited and like I need to go and run a couple laps around the outside of our building!! Hey, maybe that'll give me plenty of strength for my nightly Curves visit. Everyone have a great evening!!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Greyhound Paced Weekend!!

Whew!!! This past weekend really flew by! Casey and I went out with Jennie and Jason on Saturday night for dinner. Before we knew it, it was nearly 10 p.m.! We all have so much in common. It was really nice to have the time to sit and visit. On Sunday, Casey and I managed to get out of the house and did a little bit of shopping (READ as...Casey and I went and spent our hard earned money to buy food for all the critters!) I actually don't mind. I always enjoy an outing to PetSmart. Yesterday was kennel day for me. I learned all about how to pair different dogs to let them into the pens and play-yards. It was a lot of fun, albeit some pretty wet work. We had pouring rain for most of the day yesterday, along with VERY cold air and snow coming in late last night and early this morning. We all woke up to a white, wintry world. Casey and I are going to take care of the kennel weekend after next, while Jennie attends a seminar, so Casey spent the afternoon at the kennel as well learning the ropes. Speaking of working with animals, Casey has taken a part time job working at our shelter for a few hours every day. I guess you could literally say that we have BOTH gone straight to the dogs!

Today has been a pretty typical day. Hopefully, I'll get myself to Curves tonight. I skipped last night because of I had worked all day and then had a humane association meeting last night. We have started planning the spring fundraiser. It's going to be like Dogs Days in the Park. We are calling it Celebration Pet Day. We put the Celebration in there, because the Celebration grounds are letting us use their HUGE, covered pavillion. Our event will get to go on rain or shine that way. We had lots of little details to cover. I'm in charge of getting vendors to commit to set up booths. No small task. Everyone keep their fingers crossed that I have my sanity come May 15th. I'm going to start contacting potentials tomorrow morning. I was pretty beat by the time I finally got home. It's just about time to head for home. I'm posting a local dog story of interest. It was posted on a local newstation's site. Seems this guy got his justice!

Man accused of defrauding people who lost pets March 1, 2005, 10:43 AM CST

ATLANTA -- Police have arrested a man they say ran a scam that took advantage of people searching for missing pets.

Andre Gould conned as many as 17 people in six states, including Tennessee, to wire him $85 for a pet carrier to fly their dogs back to them, plus any extra money they wanted to send, police said. But the owners never got their pets.

Gould's victims paid him a total of $3,000 since December, police detective Paul Cooper said. A woman in Beaufort, N.C., sent him as much as $500.

Police arrested Gould at a motel in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood on Friday. He has been charged with wire fraud and racketeering.

Gould, 37, used the Internet to find people who had posted classified ads seeking lost dogs. He focused on ads that said the animal had been implanted with a microchip that had identifying information. He also only targeted people who lived far outside the Atlanta area.

Gould would then find addresses for the phone numbers in the ads. Using mapping software, he would identify cross streets or landmarks to add credibility to his claim that he had found their dog beside the road.

Using skills he developed as a telemarketer, Gould would pose as a truck driver who had found and nursed the lost pet and offer to fly the animal home.

"He's the scum of Earth," Ann Rittenberry of Antioch, Tenn ., said of Gould, who told her his name was Ron Barton when he called claiming he found Peanut, her son's beagle. "It's the lowest of low, preying on people who are desperate to get their animals back."

Rittenberry and Justin, her then-8-year-old son, waited in vain Dec. 22 at the airport in Nashville for their dog.

"I had to tell him Peanut wasn't coming home after all," Rittenberry said.

Gould, who had been released from a federal prison halfway house just a few weeks ago, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, Cooper said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.