Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Healing by rescue

recovering from loss
Introducing Saxon Sword
Possibly the most epic dog name ever.
My mom and I tend to roll towards similar tastes, as many mother and daughter combos do. We agree on lifestyle choices like the preference of spending a quiet afternoon with a book over a shopping trip. We both enjoy the decadence of a rich cup of coffee with a side of chocolate cake as a favorite noshing opportunity. She loves to garden and I love to look at the gorgeous landscaped creations she brings forth every summer.

And Mom and I are fully aware that even though retro styles are the thing with young folk, there's really no way to bring sexy back to the mid-70's fashions. We were there together once and the memories of toe socks just won't fade.

And through my mom, this appreciation of All Things Dog is a value I come by honestly. We always had several canine companions at our home, most of them working dogs with a job on the farmstead. And as a young explorer into the wooded areas about our home, I would have a protector or two to share my adventures.

Mom and I know how dogs can be so much more than kibble eaters and couch warmers. Instead we live an ideal life of total immersion in this Human-Animal Bond thing.

Life is good, y'all. It's better with dogs.

So I was surprised when Mom and I had a philosophical disagreement on dog rescue.

We were going through the "how's everybody doing" roundup part of the phone call and the topic of my Favorite Kid was up next.  His dog had recently passed and he was still grieving the loss. This was his first dog he adopted since he ventured out to the world as a full-grown card-carrying adult. A tough loss on a handful of levels.

Will he adopt another dog then, asks Mom.

Oh, Mom, I said. He has to get over Elsa first. Seems like the next dog would be a rebound decision to me. He needs time, don't you think?

Every day he waits, said Mom. Is another day a dog is left homeless.

There will always be shelter dogs, I said. That's the way it is. It sucks, but he'll always have a choice.

It's not about his choice, said Mom. It's about saving a life. And he can do that now.

I see her point. I do. But my own over-protective mother hormones kicked in and I just wanted my kid to make this big decision only when he was ready. I wanted it to be right.

Let's be honest here. I wanted it to be perfect.

(Cut me a break here, people. He's my only kid.)

On my next phone call with the kid, I feel my feelings shift.

Ma, he said. I wanted to tell you. We're heading down to the humane society tomorrow.

Really?, I asked. Are you sure you're ready?

The house is too quiet, he said. It doesn't feel right.

And then he wondersmacked me with this.

There are too many dogs waiting at the shelter, he said. We can't save them all, but we can save one today. 

And I thought he took after me.

Which he does, of course. Much of the time, anyway. But it looks like my mom's genetics are carried onto this generation as well.

So we welcome Saxon into our dog lovin' family. An alumni of The Kentucky Humane Society, this fella can boast of the trifecta of looks, smarts and a high count of the snuggle factor.

raising a super dog

A great choice, my young son. And I would say the same to Saxon.

A rescue goes both ways, you know.

Well done, the lot of you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It's snow fun in the midwest

The puppies of this Hero Litter are with volunteer puppy raisers across these great states of ours. And while the H pups in the Midwest are blissfully snowplowing their noses through the latest frosty precipitation, their puppy raisers are trying to be happy for the pups in California and Florida.

We are trying. But we have our challenges here. Because by the time we're white knuckling through these bitter February days, our daydreams of warm weather are getting rather desperate.

The latest Hero Litter update from the Canine Companions for Independence blog (click here for All Weather Pups) reminds me of these generous thoughts of happiness for others. From snow to sunny beaches, our Hero Pups are indeed made of Wash & Wear stuff.

And today, the Hero Litter celebrates their eleven month birthday. Holly poses for her monthly photo with the confidence of a puppy who is nearly full grown.

One more photo left to add to the Birthday Collage.

Let's all hope for a mild March.

Or I may be making my own beach out here with cat litter or something.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Be Mine

Be Mine

Happy Valentine's Day wishes from Holly.  She hopes you have the love of a dog in your life.

Or a cat, if that's your thing, of course.

But Holly is rooting for dog love, since the cat got her in trouble this morning.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Another unrealistic beauty standard

raising a super dog
Another unrealistic beauty standard
for dogs. 

Look at this gorgeous creature.

Just look at her. 

Only nine months old with the promise of a flower with impending beauty still yet to bloom.

Grace and poise, our Miss Holly.

But hold onto your toboggans, people.

Check this out ...

Here she is without her makeup.

raising a super dog
I'm no longer sad about the snow
 melting, Food Lady,
says Holly.

Now doesn't this make you feel better about your own dog?

Sure, you see the mud on her feet, right? Well, I have to tell you her nose pad is not naturally brown.

Neither is her tongue.

What a lab.

Ok, so the pet park at the office is a mud pit after the recent snow melt. Like La Brea, but without interesting bits like mastodons. So on the next business trip out to the park, I get smart.

Real smart, too. We grab a poop bag-to-go and head out for the picturesque nature path on campus. On a normal day I usually avoid this job perk, mostly because of the exercise involved in walking.

My life motto: People get hurt exercising.

But the nature path sure is pretty.

There's a lake.
raising a super dog

And landscaped waterfalls by a foot bridge.

raising a super dog
And this fella.

raising a super dog

This guy was peeved off, too. How do I know? Because it's only fifty degrees and he's cold-blooded and why is Ohio weather so flippin' weird and he just got stepped on by my size sevens and that's pretty much a kung fu striking stance for a snake who's totally prepped to open a can of whoop-butt on me and my little dog, too.

Just because Nature is so fascinating, I leaned in with my camera phone to take a photo of the thing with his mouth open, realizing just in time just how stupid that would be. Even by my standards.

But I still need a deliverable from Holly before we can go back into the building. What to do? I guess it's back to the pet park with the likes of us.

Well, there's worse things than mud. Besides how bad could it be, really?

raising a super dog
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