Buried Treasure

Yahoo!  Look what I found!

Yahoo! Look what I found!

Nothing gets Luke more excited and happy than a new toy, or better yet, finding something in the house or yard unexpectedly.  If he discovers it’s something I don’t want him to have, he quickly turns it into a game of keep away.  My only recourse is to go get a bag of treats and do a tradeoff.  He knows what “leave it” means, but he doesn’t think it applies when he’s having fun.

I think he digs around in the yard looking for buried treasure sometimes.  He shows up running around with the strangest and most unlikely things (that was part of what precipitated our much needed yard cleanup).  Not too long ago he got into the vegetable garden area where he is not supposed to go (he doesn’t know yet not to tromp all over the plants).  The next thing I knew he came romping out of there with something in his mouth.  I couldn’t tell what it was.  I got the bag of treats to do a trade off and here is what I got:


If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you might remember that our late beagle Kobi often wore Pawz dog boots and also little “slipper socks” (non-skid pet socks) to help him with traction in his hind legs.  This is the second time Luke has found one of these socks in the yard since Kobi’s been gone.  The socks were mostly for in the house, and the Pawz for walking, but if the yard was dry we would let him wear the socks outside.  He often came back in without one or both.  We would usually find them when cleaning up the poop in the yard, but apparently over the months he wore them we missed some.

Kobi sporting his color coordinated Pawz.

Kobi sporting his color coordinated Pawz.

Having a snooze with his little socks on!

Having a snooze with his little socks on!

It makes me a bit sad when Luke unearths these treasures, but it also brings a little smile to my face with fond remembrance of how cute Kobi looked in those socks.  There’s another unusual thing about these.  The ones Luke found in the yard aren’t the only ones lying around.  I have a tote in my closet with grooming supplies and extra Pawz and socks, some used, some never used.  That’s not so unusual, but there are others in other odd places; one in a drawer in my writing desk in the bedroom, another in a closet on a shelf, and a pair in the garage.


I don’t keep a lot of mementoes around.  Dishes and things that were Kobi’s personally have been put away.  There are some photos of course.  This is one of my all time favorites of Kobi with my hubby and our Lab mix Maggie from a lot of years ago when we used to hike with the two of them:

Kobi Maggie frame

We buried Kobi’s ashes in the memorial garden, because I simply couldn’t look at them every day.  Some people can do that, but I just can’t….it keeps the grief too fresh for me and I can’t move on with daily reminders like that.  But there is something about these little socks and Pawz that I can’t seem to put away.  I haven’t moved any of the ones lying around from their various locations, even though there’s no reason to leave them there. They could be washed and put away in that tote with the other clean and unused ones.

One single Pawz on the closet shelf....

One single Pawz on the closet shelf….

...And a pair in the garage, still dirty from our last walk.

…And a pair in the garage, still dirty from our last walk.


Maybe one day I will finally pick them up, but if I do, I hope soon after that Luke will unearth another of these treasures from the yard and bring it to me.


Red Herring and Beans, Beans, Beans

No, it’s not Tasty Tuesday and I’m not sharing a recipe today!  We have been overloaded with beans though….I got a little carried away planting green and wax beans in the garden this year.  Luckily for us, Luke LOVES beans, raw or cooked.  (Sheba will eat them cooked but she’s not as excited about it).

Luke and beans, beans, beans.

Luke and beans, beans, beans.

For those of you who love mysteries, you might know what a red herring is, when it’s not a dried smoked herring that has turned red from smoke.  It is a clue in a mystery that is intended to mislead or distract you from the real issue.

How does all of this tie together?  Almost two weeks ago I held a contest for one of my readers to win a box of assorted treats.  You had to guess what treat Luke was eating in this photo:

Luke treat

I gave you this photo as a hint:

No, it's not the stick!  No sticks in the house!

No, it’s not the stick! No sticks in the house!

However, one real clue was in the first photothe fact that I was cooking (pan on stove).  The second photo included the second clue, and inadvertently, the red herringLuke with a stick.  Only the stick was not intended to be the clue.  The clue was in the background:  our bean plants on the other side of the fence.  I swear, I did this totally by accident.  When I was headed down to take a photo of Luke with the bean plants, I needed something to get him to go where I wanted him.  The stick was the closest thing at hand, so I threw it towards the bean plants and then took some photos.  The fact that he was chewing on the stick in that photo made everyone think that the treat he was getting was a bully stick.  That was perfectly logical, but just not right!

Luke enjoying his beans!

Luke enjoying his beans!

Our follower Edie Chase, however, guessed closer than everyone else.  She guessed that Luke was eating vegetables, and even though she went further and said carrots which was incorrect, she still came closest so I’ve declared her the winner.  Congratulations, Edie!!   (I am going away for a couple of days but I will contact you when I get back for your information so I can get the treats on their way to you).  Thank you to everyone who played our little guessing game!  Sorry about the red herring!

In the next photo, Luke is sitting outside the fence waiting patiently for me to throw him a bean as I’m picking them!

Beans - waiting at fence

We also want to congratulate Jenna, who writes the blog Love is Being Owned by a Husky.  She won our giveaway for a Fido Float life jacket, which we gave away as part of our Summer Safety Series last month.


I felt a little mischievous about the red herring, so we’re joining the Monday Mischief blog hop.  Thank you to our blog hop hosts Alfie’s Blog, Snoopy’s Dog Blog, and My Brown Newfies.  Please visit them and the other participants through the links below!


#WOOF Support – Working Towards Traveling

Woof 2We are pleased to be co-hosting the 5th WOOF blog hop along with Oz the TerrierWOOF (Working Out Our Fears) Support is where reactive dogs and their owners can come together to share similar experiences.  Are you a reactive and/or fearful dog or its owner?   We’d love to hear your story!  This month’s theme is:  Traveling with a Reactive Dog.   Whether your travels take you all over the country, your state or just your neighborhood, tell us how you cope while traveling with your reactive dog.  The Blog Hop is open through Sunday.

My hubby and I don’t really travel a lot; it’s rare that we leave New England.  On the occasions that we do travel further, we don’t take the dogs with us.  Even our closer getaways don’t involve the dogs.  My hubby feels that in order for us to really be able to relax, we should leave the dogs at home (with a sitter).  We have a fenced in yard where it’s easy to take care of them, and if we go places without that, it’s actually more work for us to leash them up to take them out for their potty breaks.  Plus we’re just not sure about leaving them behind if we wanted to go out to dinner or something.  But part of the reason we don’t travel as much is because I hate leaving the dogs behind; I miss them so much.  I’m trying to convince him to let us take the dogs on our next trip.

First we have work to do.  Cricket is not only leash reactive, she’s fearful of riding in the car.   I had told you in our last WOOF post that we planned to try the Anxiety Wrap on her to deal with some of those fears and maybe even to get her to relax on walks.  We didn’t have much luck:  I tried it on her for car rides and she was still shaking and panting.  At first I thought she was better but that only lasted a few minutes.  I haven’t given up on it completely, but I’m feeling discouraged about that tool.

My view most of the time!

My view most of the time!

For now we work on our travels around the neighborhood, and we also take short drives to get to some other trails as well.  I’m hoping she’ll get more used to the riding that way.  One thing I’ve learned with Cricket now is that running (jogging) is really great for her.  She seems so much more relaxed when we jog than when we only walk!  I’m not sure why but some of my thoughts are:  1)  I’m keeping up with her pace better.  She’s a fast walker and a puller, but if I’m jogging she isn’t pulling at all.  2)  Jogging seems to give her more of a purpose, perhaps she feels more like she’s doing something constructive.

Relaxed enough to do some sniffing.

Relaxed enough to do some sniffing.

Even when we slow down to a walk, she seems more relaxed and isn’t pulling.  She’s even stopping to sniff things like most beagles do!  She has rarely done that in the past, she is all about go, go, go, when we’re out.  Just this week I got a SnapLeash to try (review coming soon) and this can be used as a hands free leash.  It went really well using it that way with Cricket.  I was afraid I’d feel less in control of her but that wasn’t the case at all.  It was almost like she felt more relaxed without my constant tension on the leash, but we’ll need more time with it to know for sure.

Stopping to smell something!

Stopping to smell something!

We had another positive experience on our street when we were out on a run a few weeks ago.  We had just left the rail trail and headed up towards home when I heard someone behind us.  It was two women on horses!  I immediately expected the worst of Cricket, and we picked up our pace but couldn’t stay ahead of them.  I looked back and told them that I wasn’t sure how she would be, and they said not to worry, the horses would be fine with her.  I thought sure Cricket would be afraid of them and start barking, so we crossed the street to let them pass.  She was so good!  She started to woof just a little bit and I told her no, and she stopped right off, and just watched them go by.  I was so pleased!

She looks like she's more relaxed and happy, doesn't she?

She looks like she’s more relaxed and happy, doesn’t she?

I feel the key to lessening Cricket’s reactivity is getting her to relax when we’re out and about.  We’re making progress here, but I have to be honest, she hasn’t really been put to the test.  We haven’t run into any other dogs, on or off leash, lately.  I’m the one that needs to get brave and get her out to places to meet other dogs.  If you read my post last Friday about what happened when walking Luke and our neighbor’s dog coming running at us, you’ll understand that I’m wondering if that would have gone differently if I’d had Cricket and not Luke.

For now I’m continuing to work with Cricket, and also working on my husband, and maybe next year when Luke is a bit older I’ll talk him into taking the dogs on a trip.  I’ve recently been hearing more and more people who do find places to take their dogs where they have fenced in yards for them.  I think it would be great for the dogs and it’s something to look forward to.  A change of scenery could be good for all of us!

Enjoying the view of the river!

Enjoying the view of the river!

Do you travel with your dogs, and what special things have you done to prepare them for it?

Wordless Wednesday – Dogs Have It Rough Here


Photos from this past Sunday, which from what I understand was “Spoil Your Dog” day.  How did we do?

Futon 1

My hubby and I like to sit out on the screen porch on a nice Sunday afternoon and watch the Nascar race (yes, we have a TV on our porch!).  The dogs got their play time in the morning, so were ready to relax with us in the afternoon.

Futon 2

Luke gives Sheba the “evil eye” for stealing his spot:

Futon 3

“He’s staring at me, isn’t he?”

Cricket prefers the “lower deck”:

Futon 4

“There should be no cameras on spoil your dog day, Momz. And where’s our bon bons?”

“She’s still in my spot!!”

Futon 5

“Fine, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!”

Futon 6

WW badgeThank you to BlogPaws for hosting Wordless Wednesday!  Please visit the other participants through the links below.

Monday Mischief – Oh, Deer!


Despite the dogs’ best efforts to deter them, sometimes the mischief comes from wildlife!  We have White-tailed deer in our area, and since my hubby started our yard clearing project to reduce the fleas and ticks (which, by the way, seems to be working, but more on that in another post), we’ve been seeing some regular visitors to our yard.  They’ve always been there, as evidenced by the destruction of my hosta lilies and some other flowers, but we didn’t usually get to enjoy seeing them.

Note all the missing leaves.

Note all the missing leaves.

This plant was determined to blossom in spite of the destruction!

This plant was determined to blossom in spite of the destruction!

For some reason, they don't like the Daylilies - I don't know why.

For some reason, the deer don’t eat the Daylilies – I don’t know why not.

On deer watch!

On deer watch!

The dogs spend a lot of time on watch for the deer, but sometimes they bark at them and sometimes they don’t.  Luke has been pretty good about barking and scaring them away in the morning when he’s seen them in my flower garden.

A great (and comfortable) vantage point to watch for the deer.

A great (and comfortable) vantage point to watch for the deer.

But this lady made a visit in the middle of the morning on Saturday, and no one ever barked at her.  I was alerted to her presence when Cricket’s nose went in the air (she was in the house) and she went running to the door.  This happens a lot….they smell them probably more often than they see them!  I was able to grab the camera and get some photos.  I actually walked all the way down to the fence and though she kept a close eye on me, she didn’t run away for a while.

I got pretty close!

I got pretty close!

I think this is the same one we’ve seen several mornings, and she often has a little one with her (I need to get some photos of that fawn too).

Showing off her white tail.

Showing off her white tail.

It seems kind of funny that most of the time when Luke barks at them, it is when they are in my flower garden, and they all often ignore them when they’re just down in the yard munching on the edge of the woods!  The deer also have luckily so far stayed out of my vegetable garden area, even though they could easily jump the fence into it.  Hopefully they’ll get barked at then if they ever decide to try it!

Not too worried about us!

Not too worried about us!

Thank you to Bev (FozzieMum) for the inspiration for this post (her wildlife includes kangaroos) and to Mrs. Deer for actually showing up when I needed her to!

In case you missed it:  We are giving away a goodie box full of treats, click here to play our guessing game and see if you can win!!  Contest is open through Friday.


Thank you to our blog hop hosts Alfie’s Blog, Snoopy’s Dog Blog, and My Brown Newfies.  Please visit them and the other participants through the links below!

Happy 13th Barkday to Sugar!!


What is making us smile around here today?

Lounging Play ball Pool

Yes, all of those things make us smile, but today we are smiling for our friend Sugar the Golden Retriever, because it is her 13th Barkday celebration!!

 Sugar birthday card

SUGAR_PawtyBlogHopYou can join in the celebration as well, by sharing your smiles with Sugar.  There are prizes to win too!  Thanks for sharing your day with us, Sugar, we hope you have fun and have lots to smile about this weekend!

FitDog Friday – One of THOSE Days


Alternate Title:  Ignore the Signs at Your Peril (that your day may not go well)

Yesterday was a rare day that my hubby got up at 5am with the dogs and I was able to fall back asleep.  That should be a good thing, right?  But instead I found it difficult to wake up before he left for work and I had a headache.  It was one of my stay at home days and I didn’t have any bookkeeping work, so I was free to blog and do chores around the house.  But first of all, I planned to take Luke for a run, and then Sheba for a walk.  I don’t let headaches slow me down unless they’re really bad.  I’ve been suffering with them for years and I just can’t give in to them.

We ALL slept in.

We ALL slept in.

Before heading out I decided to drink some coffee and have a bite to eat, and sat at the computer while doing so.  I got into my email and saw a post was up from Heart Like a Dog.  Jodi always has a good story to tell, and this one was titled “What Do You Do When Accosted by Off-Leash Dogs?” This is something I’ve dealt with and am interested in.  I left a comment saying that I’ve experienced that with Cricket but don’t have to worry about it very often around here.  That’s Sign #1.  Clearly, I forgot to knock wood (and that’s not exactly what happens).

I was halfway down the driveway when I looked at my feet and realized I put the wrong shoes on, not my running shoes.  The girls were already howling when we left, so I didn’t want to go back and change them.  It wouldn’t hurt me this one time I’m sure (no, the shoes didn’t).  That’s Sign #2.  As Luke and I head out, I noticed that our neighbor across the street had tied out his German shepherd, Whisker.  Whisker is an old guy, a rescue dog, and Wayne likes to let him sit out front and watch the world go by sometimes.  He always barks at us, lunges a bit, but Wayne will come right out and take him in the house when he does so.  That’s exactly what he did this time.  I had hesitated and considered taking Luke the other way, but decided to keep heading down to the rail trail for our run.

We were on the road for a short way, then there is a short trail through the woods and we emerged on the rail trail, with the option of going right or left.  I choose left, but we didn’t get very far before I saw a deer sitting on the trail watching us.  I didn’t want Luke to see the deer, because when he sees them in our yard he usually barks and carries on.  That’s Sign #3.  So we turned around and headed the other way, no problem.  Luke was pokey and wouldn’t listen to me, even when offered treats.  He definitely needs some work, but we jogged off and on with me coaching him by saying “run” when he’d pick up the pace.  We didn’t go as far as I’d hoped since he wasn’t very cooperative and were soon headed back up our street.  I was ready to pick up the pace at the top of the hill in case Whisker was back out again.

That didn’t help.  Whisker was tied to what I think is an old truck tire rim, and guess what?  That old dog can drag that thing and he dragged it right across the street because he really wanted to see Luke and me.  I had no idea how either one of them was going to be, and here’s a big dog running across the street at us (I know Jodi can appreciate this) and I started freaking out.  Now, I think Luke was more scared of the noise from the tire rim than Whisker, and I was just trying to hold on to his leash to keep him from bolting.  Yes, of course, down I went.  So there I am sprawled on the ground (feel free to laugh at that image, I was not hurt, having landed in the grass), Whisker was trying to see Luke, and thank goodness neither of them was looking for a fight.  I think Luke did emit a growl but since I was yelling to my neighbor, he had come running out by then.  Next thing I see as I’m getting up is that Luke has twisted himself out of his harness.  Hey, I held on to the leash, for all the good that did!

Now I’m panicking because Luke is loose, and there is traffic going by (I’m pretty sure they all saw what was going on and slowed way down though).  I was convinced that Luke was going to take off (his recall is not that great yet), and terrified he’ll get hit by a car, or run away.  I’m just praying that since we’re so close to home that if he runs he’ll just run up our driveway.  Now, this could be the first thing that went right that day….Luke didn’t run!  He stayed right there and waited for me.  I was able to get right to him and he followed me up our driveway, staying right with me.  Clearly, he was way less traumatized than I was.

We got back in the house and he and Sheba started romping around….next thing I know Luke steps in our nice new water fountain dish (seen here) and sends water everywhere!  It’s broken and I’m so disappointed, we really love it.  I should go back to bed now, right?  Or at least sit down and have a good cry?  No, I’m a trooper (or just plain stubborn).  I mop up the spilled water, get everyone settled down, and take Sheba for a walk.  My hand was a bit sore from the leash rubbing on it (I ended up with one small scrape and cut and I think that’s it), but I didn’t even stop to clean it.  I’ve been slacking off lately on running and walking, and I had decided this week that it was time to get back into it.  It’s been such a bad year for ticks, and we finally got them under control in our yard.  Every time I’d take anyone out of the yard, they’d come back with ticks.  I was just tired of dealing with it, and the dogs love playing in the yard anyway.

We LOVE playing in the yard.....

We LOVE playing in the yard…..

....but sometimes a change in scenery and routine is good too.

….but sometimes a change in scenery and routine is good too.

However, I know it’s good for them to have a change of scenery, and some variety in their exercise (and I need more exercise too).  Usually by mid-summer the ticks are better because it gets drier or they go deeper into the woods or something.   I had taken Cricket running already this week, and I was damned if anything was going to stop me now from Sheba getting her turn.  So take that, bad day!  You didn’t defeat me!  Just to be on the safe side we did, however, stay home the rest of the day.

Come on, Momz, join me in chilling out for a bit.

Come on, Momz, join me in chilling out for a bit.

BTW:  My neighbor did come over shortly afterwards to make sure I was OK.  He’s a nice guy and really did feel bad.

fitDogFriday_180x150No one ever said trying to stay fit with your dogs would always be easy, right?  :)

We are happy to be joining our blog hop hosts SlimDoggy, To Dog With Love and MyGBGVLife.  Please visit their sites and others through the links below to learn more about keeping your dogs fit and happy!

Give Cancer the Paw – Paying Tribute

give cancer the paw buttonToday is the last Give Cancer the Paw blog hop.  We have been happy to participate in all the hops, and to be part of a successful endeavor.  This hop raised awareness of cancer, we learned about studies and treatments, and many stories were shared to help and support everyone who has had a pet whose life was affected by cancer.  Thank you to our hosts Peggy at The Writer’s Dog and Jackie of Pooch Smooches for having this great idea.  For the last hop it was suggested that we keep it simple by sharing a photo or a little story about a pet who is battling or has survived cancer, or who has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.  It could be our own pet, a family member’s or friend’s, or perhaps a blogger we admire.

Suggesting a blogger we admire immediately brought to the surface something that has always stuck in my mind.  I will never forget the day just over 13 months ago when our golden retriever Moses was undergoing surgery to hopefully remove a tumor on his spleen.  The hope was that the tumor was benign and could just be removed.  We also knew there was a possibility the cancer had already spread.

I was sitting at my computer trying to occupy my mind by perusing my news feed on Facebook.  My blog was not yet a year old then, but I had already started following many other blogs and one of them was Tales and Tails, which many of you might be familiar with.  I read the blog and followed the page on Facebook.  I was shocked and dismayed to read that Blueberry, one of the greyhounds featured on the blog, had just passed away from osteosarcoma (bone cancer) that day.  Literally, as my fingers raised to write a condolence message, the telephone rang.  It was our vet telling us that Moses’ cancer was spread throughout his organs and there was nothing to be done to save him.





Cancer does not discriminate.

  • Blueberry was 13 1/2 years old, Moses was 8 1/2.
  • Blueberry was a greyhound, Moses a golden retriever.
  • Blueberry’s cancer was osteosarcoma, Moses’ was most likely malignant hemangiosarcoma.
  • Blueberry lived in the Midwest, Moses in the Northeast.
  • Blueberry had already survived another form of cancer once, Moses was healthy throughout his life, other than very infrequent seizures.

However, these two dogs did have one very important thing in common:  they were greatly loved by their families and are extremely missed to this day.

Blueberry 2

Moses patriotic

Thank you to Carrie from Tales and Tails for allowing me to use her wonderful photographs of Blueberry.