Mar 30, 2011

Our Gotcha Day

I had's to start dis postee all on my own 'cause Mom was still trying to figures out if she wants to tell's da real story.  She still gets da goosey bumps when she tinks bout's it.

Anyways...Dis is da lovely ME taken on da day I cames to live in my forever home!
Ain't I jus' da cutest wittle ting?

And dis be my brudder Max (DaOdderWeenie).  He's wit Tucker who you met on my last "Meet Da Pack" postee.  Even Max was wittle back den....unlike da monster weenie he has now become.

Right from da get-go, we luved to play wit each odder!

And....of course I...wittle teenie weenie me...would always beat up my brudder.  He makes up for it's now though.

OK's...Mom's back and I tink she has finally made da big decision..
I don't even know exactly where to begin.  Knowing that Amber and Max's "Gotcha Day" was coming up, I have been burdened with the decision on whether to keep it simple and sweet or to tell the real "behind the scenes" truth as to how Amber and Max really joined our family.  I have chosen to tell the truth even though a lot of readers may find it completely off the wall.  I must warn you, however, that the page where I will be sending you for the truth is a bit long.  It was written a few years ago from notes I kept in a journal documenting things as they were happening.  In the beginning I shared it only with family and close friends because they could see for themselves that things were happening just as I told them it had.

The story begins with a very precious Doxie by the name of Bart who was born to my wonderful girl, Ginger, in January of 1990.  Bart and I bonded from the day he was born.  As he got older, he developed typical Doxie back problems and had to go through many surgeries.  His vet called him the "Miracle Dog" because medical reasoning indicated that Bart should have been totally paralyzed after the second surgery.  But Bart defied all medical reasoning and walked with only a slight limp.  A "miracle" was truly the word to describe my Bart.

Bart's sister, Tiffany, went to the Bridge in July of 2003 after a 9-month battle with Cancer.  Ginger followed her daughter to the Bridge in October of that year at the age of 15.  Bart was all I had left of my Hot Dog Trio and I begged him to never leave me after Ginger died.  Bart died suddenly on December 4 of 2003 at the age of nearly 14.  I went into a deep depression after the loss of my best friend.

In early January of 2004 I had a very minor surgery performed.  During the surgery while I was "out", I had some very strange but comforting dreams.  It was as if Bart was there with me.  He wasn't speaking to me (obviously) but he was somehow trying to convey a message to me that he was coming back and I was not to block his return.  I woke up after the surgery in tears calling his name.  The doctors were concerned because they said I was very restless during the surgery, unlike a normal patient who would have been in a deep restful sleep.

From this point on, I kept a journal of events I definitely couldn't share with the world because I just knew that most folks would think I lost most of my marbles.  Then a dear friend of mine gave me a copy of a book entitled "Animals and the Afterlife" consisting of a documentary written by Kim Sheridan.  I was astounded to be reading that many others also experienced the exact same things that I was experiencing.  So maybe all my "marbles" were still intact afterall.

So I finally gathered all the notes in my journal and put them down on paper and added them to the memorial section of my website, All The Dogs In My Life.  This relay of events is currently being considered as part of the documentary for Kim Sheridan's second book on the subject of the human-animal bond never being broken.

This post is a little bit wordy but I wanted everyone who would like to read the entire story about Amber and Max's "Gotcha Day" to understand fully how things started.

Please click HERE to proceed to the events leading up to Amber and Max's "Gotcha Day" and beyond.  Also, I would welcome any comments you may have regarding this, good or bad.
Thank You


(Thanks Mom)

Mar 27, 2011


We won's a raffle prize from da Banquet.
Wittle teenie weenie me was so excited dat I had to let's brudder Max (DaOdderWeenie) open it.










Mar 24, 2011

Meet Da Pack -- Day Seven

OK Mom
You know da drill.....
Roll it before I changes my mind
Gee, she's getting rather nice about sharing her blog with me and her pack members.  And when Amber's nice about something, she is also up to something that I'll find out about much later.

The next member of Amber's pack that I would like to introduce is

Tucker is one of our rescues.  Originally, he was sent to his new home at the age of 10 weeks old.  Our daughter found out that he was tied up outside all the time and had very little interaction with people.  She was able to get him when he was about 5 or 6 months of age.  He was suffering from severe mange brought on by stress and required continuous medical treatment.  We were more equipped to care for him, so we brought him home to live with us.

Tucker was born in 2002 making him 9 years old now.  He is the only short-legged Jack Russell we have in our family.  When he first came to live with us just before Christmas of 2002, he was very timid and pretty much scared of his own shadow.  We had to take him to the vet once a week to receive treatments for his mange, which had left him nearly bald and covered with open sores.  These weekly vet visits also frightened him and didn't help our efforts to gain his confidence.

In time he did come to trust us completely.  He is now one of the most loving little dogs I have ever met.  Unfortunately he does still have a few mental scars from his early abusive treatment.  We have to remember not to pat him directly on top of his head, as he still cowers when he sees a hand coming toward him.  But he loves to be scratched behind his ears now, and with a slow movement to his head, he is loving head scratches too.

Tucker also has some physical problems.  He has been tested for both Cushings and Addison's diseases but both have been negative.  He has muscle tremors frequently.  His blood has to be tested every 3 months as his potassium levels have been high on several occasions.  He is also taking thyroid medication and will continue taking this for the rest of his life.  At times he is very wobbly on his feet and also hunches his back on the days when his spinal arthritis is at its worst.  There is a possibility that Tucker may have suffered some trauma on his back at an early age.

Considering the bad start to his life, Tucker has come a long way.  He fits in beautifully with the rest of the pack and is very loving and very happy.

About a year after Tucker came to live with us, we were also fortunate to be able to rescue his brother, Rusty, who was also living in horrible conditions.  You will meet Rusty on Amber's next "Meet Da Pack" post.

Here are some pictures of our boy, Tucker.


A good game of tag with his buddy, Reno

Dancing with his brother, Rusty

Playing with the hose

Note:  This same photo was featured on June 18, 2010
on the "Page a Day" calendar published by
Workman Publishing

Tucker hunches his back due to spinal arthritis

Our sweet boy is so full of love and trust now


Ok, back to our hostess,
Ms. Impatience

Mom, you are very long-winded and it HAS to STOP now
I won't shares MY blog wit you anymores.

Now it's time for me's to go takes my morning nap in da sun.
(Sorry bout all da cold, wet wedder lots of you's is havin' now)



Mar 17, 2011

Meet Da Pack -- Day Six



OK's Mom....You's can takes over dis Postee now!

Thank you, my little weenie dog...
Today's pack member is
April will turn 10 years old on April 18.  She is not one of the rescues as her reason for existing was very much planned for.  For many years I was facinated by the Chinese Crested breed.  At the time they weren't readily available but finally in 1997 I located a reputable breeder in Sarasota, Florida.  After many emails and finally a phone call, we drove to Sarasota to meet DeeDee, who was about 4 months old.  It was love at first sight.  DeeDee came home with us and from that day on was such a very important member of our family.  She went to work with me many times and sat in her own chair in my office and greeted everyone who came in.  She went shopping with us and enjoyed visits to the local flea market where we would always sit and have an ice cream cone.  Sadly, DeeDee had to cross the Bridge at the age of 12 after her minor heart murmur turned major from the excitement and over-exertion of barking at a stray dog walking past the house.  We rushed her to the vet but she died a few hours later at the vet's home where he had taken her to be able to watch her more closely.

In 2001 we decided to breed DeeDee once before getting her spayed.  We contacted the breeder where DeeDee came from and chose a small AKC Champion by the name of Timothy to become the father to DeeDee's pups.  On April 18, 2001, April and Angel were born.
April is the puppy on the top.

Angel was born with a cleft palate and couldn't nurse.  We were sure we would lose her the day she was born but our wonderful vet told us if we were able to tube feed (threading a tube down her throat to her stomach) her until she was about 3 or 4 months old, he would be able to surgically repair the cleft.  Of course we would do anything to save our Little Angel, so that's what we did.  Angel survived, the surgery was successful, and she tasted food for the first time when she was almost 6 months old.
Chinese Cresteds come in two varieties.....Hairless and Powderpuff.  April is Hairless like her mother and father and Angel was a beautiful Powderpuff.
In October of 2009 after a frantic trip to the ER, we found out that Angel also had a bad heart that was leaking in two places.  She was only given about two months to live.  Her personality didn't change at all.  She was always so happy and loving and was the Alpha of the pack.  All the other dogs respected Angel for who she was, and knowing we were losing her was very difficult for us.  Of course Angel had to do things HER way.  She was able to give us three more months and crossed the Bridge on my birthday in January.  Knowing Angel as I did, I'm sure she planned it that way so I would always remember her on my birthday.
Her life was cut short - only 8 1/2 years.  But I will never, ever forget my Little Angel.
April, Angel, and DeeDee
DeeDee never formed a close bond with Angel since she really didn't take care of her seeing as Angel had to be tube fed.  But DeeDee and April were always very close.  We would rarely see one without the other.  Shortly after DeeDee departed for Rainbow Bridge, it would almost seem that her spirit would occasionally take over April's body.  Many strange things started happening but I'll only give you one example.  DeeDee was terrified of thunder and would always try to hide in the pantry.

April was NEVER afraid of anything.  But after DeeDee was gone, every once in a great while when it would thunder, this is where we would find April.

Same spot, trying to face the wall.  This doesn't happen every time it thunders.  Most of the time April just ignores the thunder completely.  But sometimes I think DeeDee is just trying to let us know she's still here with us even though we can't see her and shows us that through her daughter.
This photo was taken just hours before DeeDee left us.  April always shared that bed with her mother and wouldn't go near it for months after her mother's death.

April is using her mother as a pillow

April is very precious to us.   Over the last few years she has developed a few physical problems.  She has Epilepsy and also suffers from Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  She is taking Phenobarbital for seizures and we are very fortunate that she hasn't experienced a seizure in almost 2 years now.  Her seizures when she did have them were very mild with the exception of one where she had to be taken to the vet at 6 am one morning.  She has occasional flareups of her IBD but we usually just let it run its course unless it's severe enough for intervention.  In 2009 six inches of her intestines had to be removed.

I would like to share a few pictures of April with you now.

I still don't know where April got her gigantic size.  DeeDee was a very petite 9 pounds and April's father was even smaller than that.  Angel was also very tiny at 9 pounds, even with all that fur.  April weighs in at 16 pounds.  (Whew, girl!)

Bad Hair Day....Ok, bad day all around!

Now...back to our weenie host!
Tanks, Mom
I didn't tink you was ever gonna gets done.
I protests!

Anyways.....everybuddy don't forgets..
Have a fun GREEN
St. Patricks's Day
Don't drinks too much of da


Mar 14, 2011

I Gots Shrunk and Bunned






Mom is dozing working on a big project and hers won't lets me on da 'puter witout her snoopervision.  So my "Meets My Pack" will be continued soon as her is finished goofing off wit da project.

Oh, and don't forgets to visit me and my brudder Max (DaOdderWeenie) at da kissin' boof.  I be's in da boof wit da girls and he be in da boof wit da boys.



Mar 10, 2011

Farewell to Discovery

Amber's taking a little break today so I wanted to share with you an event that I'm sure brought goosebumps to many, especially those living in or visiting Florida.

On Wednesday I was out in the backyard with the dogs for a quick ball-playing session.  At 11:53 AM I noticed our Jack Russell, Rusty, (you will meet him in another post of "Meet Da Pack") was starting to get nervous.  He always seems to sense impending doom, whether it comes in the form of a thunderstorm, rain, or anything else that he doesn't accept as "normal".  Sure enough, it came ...... the big sonic boom of the
Shuttle Discovery re-entering the atmosphere over Central Florida.  There were two rapid "booms" that could actually be felt on the ground.  After living here for 19 years, we've become used to the sonic booms of returning shuttles, but Wednesday's was different because it was like saying goodbye to an old friend.  It was the final flight of the Shuttle Discovery.  After the boom, we went into the house to watch the final landing of Discovery on television.


The following video was taken from my front porch during the March 13, 2009, launch of Discovery.

This video was one of the last night launches of Discovery on August 28, 2009.  This one was also taken from my front porch.

You will have to be a little patient with this video because you won't be able to see Discovery until about 26 seconds after the start of the video.


Farewell, Discovery!
Thank you for 27 years of excellent service!

Goodbye Old Friend.

Mar 9, 2011

Mar 7, 2011

Meet Da Pack -- Day Five

Hellos Out Dere...Hopes you didn't miss me.
I's been off da radar purrty much since last week.
Mom has been busy wit some friends on vacation from Pennsylvania and also visiting anudder friend who had emergency open heart surgery last week.
So..her has been away from da puter and she still
doesn't trust me on da puter without supervision.

Anyways....Mom is here for a wittle while dis morning to tells you abouts my next pack mate.
Hers name is SARAH and her is Bailey's daughter who you met on Day Three and
Holly's sister dat you met on Day Four.
Take it, Moms!
Now, really, would you trust a sausage alone on your computer when you know she's a compulsive shopper.....with YOUR credit card???

Anyway, Sarah is the daughter of Bailey.  She, along with Holly, were from Bailey's first litter of nine puppies.  Sarah and Holly were both Christmas presents to us from our daughter on the Christmas of 2000.

Sarah and her mother, Bailey

Sarah is also of the "couch potato" species as is her sister, Holly.  They can usually be found huddled together on the sofa, fast asleep.  I had a cute picture of that but it vanished, probably at the paws of my little sausage dog.  Here is another photo of Sarah showing how much she loves her sister.

Whenever I look at Sarah, I always think of "Pig Pen".  No matter how many times I give her a bath and brush her extra long hair, she ALWAYS looks like a mess.  Her hair just seems to go every which way immediately after I stop brushing.  Here are a few more pictures of "Fuzz Ball" as my husband calls her.

Well, I think you get the idea.  Could you imagine seeing a face like this every day?

A couple of months ago I just couldn't stand it another minute.


I finally charged up the clippers


This is the result!

Yes, much better!

Bailey and Sarah's younger sister, Jennie, also have long hair (rough coats) but they never look as messy as Sarah.

Now, back to our host!

Well, I tink Mom is getting ready to leave us again today.  I'll be sooooo happy yappy when tings gets back to normals around heres.  Hers still won't let me have her puter so I guess I won't be catching up visiting all my furends in Blogville for a couple of days.  Butt, I wills be back to normal soon.
In da meantime, I go back to sleep now.