On this occasion it was the loss of our Pedi that had hearts ‘speaking’.
When it comes to dogs millions of people open their hearts to the love that exists between a dog and a dog’s close human. And I am not sure that I have cracked it yet; I know what is felt but putting it into words is more difficult.
So I shall turn to Jess and the guest post she sent to me. But just before sending me the story of Scruffy Jess sent me this email: “Sorry for the loss. Dogs have always been an important part of my life. I’ve cried like a baby every time I lost one. Truly man’s best friend. “
Scruffy is getting up there in years and it breaks my heart to even think of losing him. He’s been my best friend for the past twelve years. He does everything that I do.
I never paint in my studio that he isn’t there beside me.
He will be 13 in February. I only hope that I can get a couple more years out of him. He is one of those special dogs. If someone said, “If there was one thing you would change about Scruffy, what would it be?” The only thing in this world I would change about him is to give him a longer life.
He minds me better than my kids ever minded and I’ve never laid an angry hand on him. I talk to him like I would a human, and he seems to understand everything that I say. I just bought another Schnauzer puppy, only four months old, hoping that some of Scruffy will rub off on him as he grows up. So far Scruffy is not too happy about sharing me with another dog, but hopefully time will change that.
So this is Scruffy at age 12. He still is full of life.
And this is Tux below, because of the Tuxedo that he always wears. He’s also a Miniature Schnauzer, but in an exotic color, and he has one blue eye that I love!
Yes, you should get another puppy to fill the hole in your heart. It seems, you are never sorry about it! You guys have a wonderful day! JESS
Poor Pedi finally succumbed to his failing liver at 5:30 pm yesterday.
It was also the reason why I didn’t have the stomach to post this for midnight yesterday.
On the 8th July, this year, Pedi was diagnosed with having diabetes and a failing liver. This was a photo taken at the time.
Dr Codd, of Lincoln Road Vet, suggested that Pedi might be put down immediately but Jean wouldn’t hear of it. Thus every day, at 06:30 and 18:30 (PDT), Jeannie applied an injection of Insulin; the amount depending on what Pedi had eaten.
Jeannie went beyond anything that I have ever seen before. This morning, the 27th, I was talking to her and Jean said that she had been rescuing dogs since 1980. That’s over 40 years! No wonder that Jean was taking this so very hard.
Now my opinion is that we should get a replacement for Pedi and keep the minimum number of dogs to four. But it is too soon to make that decision and part of the issue is that we are getting reasonably close, probably in the next ten years, to selling up and going into a care home of some sorts. We have seen a couple and we need to do a proper examination of the total market to find the right one.
In the meantime we both grieve for Pedi but Jean much, much more so than me. I shall have my guts kicked out of me when Oliver goes, but that’s for another time.
Penny wanted me to post this guest post from her a little earlier than the ‘chosen’ date. So, I am publishing it today!
Tips and Tricks for Multistate Living with a Pet
As a senior, you get the best of both worlds by spending half the year in one state and half in another. But sometimes, things can get a little hectic along the way, especially when you own two homes in independent living communities and a pet on top of it. There may be days when your stress levels rise as you try to cope with everything. That’s why Learning from Dogs has assembled some handy tips and tricks to smooth out multistate living for you and your pet.
One of your first considerations may be to save some money as you switch from one home to the other. You might, for instance, register your cars and purchase auto insurance in a state that is less expensive. Do the same for health insurance and even pet insurance to save extra money. You might also stock up on nonperishable and freezer items for each house when your budget allows so that you’ll have supplies on hand when you transfer between homes. Finally, consider replacing double cable services with streaming options. This way, you can watch all your favorite shows whenever and wherever you want without paying for access in two states.
It can be quite difficult to stay organized when you’re splitting your time between two different homes, but you can if you get in the habit of making lists. Keep a running tab of your possessions and current supplies, like food and cleaning products, at both homes. This way, you’ll know what you have and what you need to bring with you. If you find yourself overwhelmed by clutter, don’t be afraid to use a storage unit. There are plenty of self-storage options in San Diego, and you can check prices and reviews in advance.
When it comes to your pet’s needs, you might do well to have a set of care items like harnesses, crates, cat trees, and litter boxes at both homes. This way, you won’t have to drag things back and forth. When you’re shopping for pet supplies, be sure to read online reviews from customers but also from veterinarians and other animal experts so that you can ensure the quality of the products and the health and safety of your pet.
Keeping Your Pet Healthy
Dividing time between two homes in two different states can be stressful for your pet, so make sure you take care of your pet’s health. Find a trustworthy veterinarian in both locations, and take your pet for frequent checkups each time you settle into a new place. Make sure your pet has proper flea and tick prevention for both environments, and find a good pet sitter in both locations, too.
Also, consider pet insurance to help defray vet costs. One state may actually offer less expensive pet insurance policies than another — although you may find it more expensive in many ways — so shop around for the best policy. Research coverage options, prices, deductibles, limitations, and provider reputations before choosing a policy that is right for you and your pet.
Living Well in Two States
Multistate living can be a challenge, but it can also be a delightful experience for you and your pet. Use the tips above to save money, stay organized, keep your pet healthy, and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Learning from Dogs serves as a reminder of the values of life and the power of unconditional love – as so many, many dogs prove each and every day. Click here to get involved!
There are not many who achieve so much, but Sir David most definately has!
This is our planet. It is the only one we have (stating the obvious!).
This beautiful photograph taken from the Apollo 11 mission says it all. That Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969 changed everything.
But one thing that was not on anyone’s mind then; the state of the planet!
How that has changed since 1969.
David Attenborough is a giant of a man, and I say this out of humility and respect for what he has done in his long life, he was born in May, 1926, and he is still fighting hard to get us humans to wake up to the crisis that is upon us.
Please take 45 minutes and watch this film. It is so important.
But before you do please read this extract taken from this site about the film:
For decades David Attenborough delighted millions of people with tales of life on Earth, exploring wild places and documenting the living world in all its variety and wonder. Now, for the first time he reflects upon both the defining moments of his lifetime as a naturalist and the devastating changes he has seen.
Honest, revealing and urgent, the film serves as a witness statement for the natural world – a first-hand account of humanity’s impact on nature, from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to the jungles of central Africa, the North Pole and Antarctica. It also aims to provide a message of hope for future generations.
“I’ve had a most extraordinary life. It’s only now I appreciate how extraordinary,” Sir David says in the film’s trailer, in which he also promises to tell audiences how we can “work with nature rather than against it”.
The film retraces Sir David’s career, his life stages and natural history films, within the context of human population growth and the loss of wilderness areas. “I don’t think that the theoretical basis for the reason why biodiversity is important is a widely understood one,” he told the Guardian in September.
This autumn, a series of publications warned that “humanity is at a crossroads” in its relationship with nature, culminating in a UN report that the world has failed to meet a single target to stop the destruction of nature in the past decade.
Sir David has been vocal about the threat of climate change in recent years, calling on politicians to take their “last chance” to act rather than continue to “neglect long-term problems”.
“We need to learn how to work with nature, rather than against it”, according to Sir David. In the film, he is going to tell us how.
Now watch the film. Please!
As you can see, in the film Sir David states that the only way out of this mess is a massive focus on rewilding.
Coincidentally, Patrice Ayme last Sunday wrote about rewilding: California Grizzly: Rewilding Is A Moral Duty. In the latter half of that essay, he wrote: “One should strive to reintroduce American megafauna, starting with the more innocuous species (and that includes the grizzly). By the way, I have run and hiked in grizzly country (Alaska), with a huge bear pepper spray cannister at the ready. I nearly used the cannister on a charging moose (with her calf which was as big as a horse). The calf slipped off, and I eluded the mom through a thicket of very closely spaced tough trees. But I had my finger on the trigger, safety off. Moose attack more humans than grizzlies and wolves combined (although a bear attack is more dangerous). In any case, in the US, stinging insects kill around 100, deer around 200 (mostly through car collisions), and lightning around three dozen people, per year.
As it is, I run and hike a lot in California wilderness, out of rescue range. I generally try to stay aware of where and when I could come across bears, lions and rattlers. My last close call with a large rattlesnake, up a mountain slope, was partly due to hubris and not realizing I was moving in dangerous terrain. Fortunately I heard the slithering just in time. Dangerous animals make us aware of nature in its full glory, and the real nature of the human condition. They keep us more honest with what is real, what humanity is all about.
And that should be the primordial sense.“
I will close by offering you this photograph. May it inspire you to rewild, in small ways and also, if you can, in bigger ways. All of us must be involved. Otherwise…
Once again I am delighted to publish another post from Penny. This is a relatively short post but nevertheless of supreme importance.
With no more ado from me, here it is:
Protecting Our Pets: Resources for Volunteering at Animal Shelters
By Penny Martin
August 10th, 2022
If animal welfare is close to your heart, you might want to consider helping out at a pet shelter for abandoned or unwanted animals. There are always a number of charities in the USA and beyond looking for eager volunteers.
Before You Apply
Animal welfare work can be challenging for an individual, even if you’re just volunteering. It’s important to take precautions before you commit to your decision.
Read about the experience of working at a shelter to better understand the challenges and obstacles you might encounter.
Often, volunteers need to undergo training, orientation, and background checks before they’re allowed to contribute.
Connect with your local shelters on social media to see the kind of work they do and whether there are opportunities to volunteer.
Shelters for abandoned and neglected pets are frequently found throughout the country. If you want to do your part, the logical first step is to locate one close to you.
Institutions like Guide Star have been established to hold animal rescue services accountable and ensure they are being maintained properly.
Take some time to learn about the listed charities in your area.
If you find an abandoned pet and you’re not aware of shelters in your area, try reaching out to American Humane.
Ways to Help
If you’re unable to volunteer in person, there are still plenty of ways to get involved and do your part.
There’s good work to be done online via social media and you can help out by engaging in discussion and sharing posts about missing or unwanted pets.
If you have any spare supplies that you’re willing to donate, these can make a profound impact on the lives of animals.
If you’re purchasing supplies to donate, read expert reviews to choose the highest-quality products.
Unfortunately, across the USA and beyond, there are a great many pets in need of our help but even small acts of kindness can take us a significant way towards eradicating the problem altogether. Reach out to your local shelter and see how you can help.
Read the Learning from Dogs book for a reminder of the unconditional love dogs give us every day.
Where did it all go? That is: Life! Or more accurately my life.
I was born in Acton, London before the end of WWII. I am in my 77th year. Life these days seems to be more or less a paradox.
There are so many challenges at the moment. Not just in the USA nor in the UK but globally. We love where we live here in rural Merlin but we are already in the third year of below normal rainfall.
The contradictions in terms of our life locally and the global scene are huge. This is all leading to me quoting extracts from a recent George Monbiot article. The article starts by saying: “On both sides of the Atlantic, powerful interests seem determined to trigger the collapse of life on Earth. Why?“
A little later on in Geo. Monbiot’s article, he writes: “When I began work as an environmental journalist in 1985, I knew I would struggle against people with a financial interest in destructive practices. But I never imagined that we would one day confront what appears to be an ideological commitment to destroying life on Earth. The UK government and the US supreme court look as if they are willing the destruction of our life support systems.“
Because it does seem as though the political leaders are not taking the future of the planet seriously. As Patrice Ayme concluded recently in a remark to that post: “Biden ought to declare a climate emergency.” But it won’t happen!
(Well I may stand corrected. Yesterday it was widely reported, and I chose Renewable Energy: “The clean energy industry celebrated a moment on August 7 that would have seemed impossible just a few weeks earlier: The Senate passed a budget measure that includes the largest investments in clean energy and climate change in U.S. history.“)
Every morning when I go down to feed our two ex-rescue horses I also feed the wild deer. I have been doing it for many years. Long enough that a young buck has turned into an adult and comes within a few feet of me.
It never ceases to delight.
The contradiction between me going every morning down to the stable area and feeding the horses and the wild deer, and the outcome for the planet is beyond words. In a very real way it is incomprehensible.
Again, Geo. Monbiot writes: “All this might seem incomprehensible. Why would anyone want to trash the living world? Surely even billionaires want a habitable and beautiful planet? Don’t they like snorkelling on coral reefs, salmon fishing in pristine rivers, skiing on snowy mountains? We suffer from a deep incomprehension of why such people act as they do. We fail to distinguish preferences from interests, and interests from power. It is hard for those of us who have no desire for power over others to understand people who do. So we are baffled by the decisions they make, and attribute them to other, improbable causes. Because we do not understand them, we are the more easily manipulated.”
It really is a paradox! And who knows the outcome. All I can say is that, despite me being the age I am, I would not want to be any younger and aware that soon one would be facing the global changes full on.
More words from Geo. Monbiot: “Since 1985, I’ve been told we don’t have time to change the system: we should concentrate only on single issues. But we’ve never had time not to change the system. In fact, because of the way in which social attitudes can suddenly tip, system change can happen much faster than incrementalism. Until we change our political systems, making it impossible for the rich to buy the decisions they want, we will lose not only individual cases. We will lose everything.”
I have no idea of the global changes that are afoot and how they will affect us in Merlin. Indeed, I have no idea how long I have to live.
Jean and I met in December, 2007. We met in Mexico but Jean was also born in London, just a few years after me. How’s that for chance!
Jean’s American husband had died in 2005. She was rescuing dogs off the streets, sorting them out, and finding homes for them, mainly in Arizona.
I went out to Mexico with Pharaoh in 2008. With a one-way ticket!
However of one thing I am sure. Since that meeting in December, 2007 life has been as good as it comes. I have never been happier.
Dogs are not always happy as we know with the loss of our Sheena. Because the other dogs felt the loss inexplicably. But in the main they are happy, happy animals. Unlike us humans who have lots of things to contend with. I say this because in the last twenty-four hours we have had the sudden explosion of fire down in Northern California, the McKinney blaze, which has grown very rapidly.
California’s Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency over the fire, which began on Friday afternoon before rapidly exploding in size due to a combination of dry fuel after a drought, strong winds and lightning strikes.
Around 650 firefighters are battling to contain the fire, officials say, but with little success. Sheriffs said on Sunday evening that it was “0% contained”.
As a result, more than 2,000 inhabitants of the area around the Klamath National Forest are being forced to evacuate their homes. Rescue teams have been aiding hikers who had been on the national park’s trails.
The China 2 fire, that is part of the group of California fires, is about 55 miles due south of home. Far enough not to panic but not far enough not to get us to check our evacuation preparations.
We hope that we are not evacuated in the next few weeks because of fire!
Here is a delightful dog article courtesy of The Dodo.
Dog Dances In The Rain After 175 Days Stuck In Shelter
“The absolute joy in his eyes and the feeling of freedom was wonderful to watch.”
When staff members from Forgotten Dogs Rescue pulled Rambo from a shelter and placed him with a foster family, they had no idea how much the pittie mix would love the feeling of freedom.
It was raining outside, but that wasn’t going to stop him. After 175 days, Rambo was finally out of the shelter, and he was so happy that he started running and dancing in the rain.
“I cried happy tears when his foster mom sent me the video,” Julie Saraceno, a shelter volunteer, told The Dodo. “That was his second day in his foster home, and the absolute joy in his eyes and the feeling of freedom was wonderful to watch.”
When Rambo went from a small concrete kennel to a large grass-covered yard, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
The young dog with beautiful, big eyes has an exuberance that shows. He loves other dogs and cats, and while he’s certainly high energy, he’s also always willing to snuggle on the couch.
“He is the sweetest guy to the people he considers his crew,” Saraceno said.
Rambo, who was originally found roaming the streets of Kennewick, Washington, as a stray, is working every day to become more confident and less fearful. Through his work with a trainer, he has learned obedience, how to meet strangers and lots of other skills that have made him a good boy.
Once Rambo finishes his training, he’ll be ready to meet potential fits for his forever home, ideally one where there’s space for him to exercise all his energy.
Pretty soon, Rambo won’t have to jump at every opportunity to get outside. He’ll have a yard — and a family — all his own.
(The first photograph was taken by Julie Saraceno and the last two were taken by Billie Wensveen.)
Six months in a shelter! That must have been a real joy for Rambo when he was let out. Correction: It was a real joy because that was how Rambo expressed himself.
There I was celebrating Donald’s exquisite photograph, published on Friday, and today we are bemoaning the loss of Sheena. As in:
Sheena has a one-way journey to Lincoln Road vet.
Jean had been putting it off because she knew the likelihood of the outcome. But yesterday with Sheena heavily breathing, but not in pain, Jean decided it was time to take our girl to Lincoln Road Vet.
Later in the morning Dr. Carolyn called us; Sheena was not at all well, she had fluid inside her, she had a growth in her lungs, and more. Jean decided while Sheena was not in pain it was best to have her put down. Dr. Carolyn said that if Sheena was her dog then that is what she would do. Simply because when Sheena goes downhill she will deteriorate very quickly.
Here are the photos I presented when we took her in back in June, 2020.
All things comes to pass but that doesn’t stop the deep sadness that is felt in the Handover household!
As I said at the outset, what a difference a day makes!
Another very useful guest post from Penny Martin who is becoming a very regular contributor to this place. This time Penny writes about being on a budget, aren’t we all, but still keeping your dog safe and happy.
Six Ways to Make Your Home and Yard Dog-Friendly on a Budget
By Penny Martin.
Dogs add many wonderful things to their owners’ lives; however, owning a dog can be a drain on your bank account. According to statistics, the average American dog owner spends $1,480 per year on dog expenses. These tips can help you make your home and yard more dog-friendly without breaking the bank.
1. Add a Fence
Dogs need exercise, a place to go to the bathroom and a chance to sniff around and be a dog. However, if you don’t have a yard with a secure fence, it isn’t safe to allow your dog outside without a leash. Even a well-trained dog may run off to chase a squirrel, greet a strange dog or go exploring. This puts your dog at risk of being hit by a car, getting in a fight with another dog or animal or becoming lost. Adding a fence to your yard allows you to enjoy time with your pet off leash without risking your pet’s safety.
2. Add a Backyard Pool
Not every dog loves to swim, but many do. You can give your dog a place to cool off and have some fun without spending a lot of money by purchasing a wading pool or a small stock tank. If you think your dog would enjoy more than splashing around, search for a dog-friendly place in your area where you can inexpensively take your dog to swim. However, don’t just toss your pup into the deep end. Not all dogs are natural swimmers. Many facilities that have pools for dogs offer swimming lessons.
3. Create Shady Spots
Dogs love to run and play and on hot days they can easily overheat. Help your dogs stay cool by making sure they have plenty of shady spots to hang out. One inexpensive way to do this is to purchase a portable awning. You can set the awning up anywhere in your yard and put it away when you no longer need it. Trees are also a good source of shade, but it is important to keep your trees maintained.
4. Remove Dead Trees and Branches
Dead trees create a safety hazard and provide a home for pests. Have a professional local tree service remove any dead trees and branches in your yard before they cause an injury or accident. Do not try to remove the tree yourself. Professionals have the right gear, tools and safety training to remove the tree safely and without damaging your property. Read online reviews before you reach out to contractors. Get at least three estimates and make sure to ask whether stump grinding and disposal are included in the price.
5. Buy Trash Cans With Lids
Trash cans are smelly, full of tasty food and plenty of stuff to shred. It is no wonder that most dogs love to root through them. However, spoiled food, sharp objects or toxic materials can injure or sicken your dog. Avoid this problem by purchasing trash cans with lids that lock.
6. Remove Dangerous Plants
Many plants can be harmful to dogs who ingest them. Research the plants in your yard and remove any that could cause a problem.
Owning dogs is not a cheap endeavor. However, you can make your home safe and comfortable for them without spending all your savings by adding a fence and pool, creating shady spots, removing dead trees, purchasing garbage cans with lockable lids, and getting rid of poisonous plants.
Here at home, because we live in a rural location, dead trees and branches are an ever-present problem. Luckily our dogs don’t seem to be drawn to them but the issue of pests is a different matter. We have thirteen acres of which half is forest and it is all too much for a contractor. Correction: It is all too expensive for us!
For the wider audience of readers this, I am sure, offers very good advice and is another great post from Penny.
When Maile Trist checked her email last week, she opened up a message she assumed was a prank. Her beloved dog, a senior Chihuahua named Jazzy, was at the Cowley County Humane Society after being found wandering around a nearby rock quarry.
The email didn’t make sense to Trist because Jazzy had passed away two years ago.
When Trist first met Jazzy at San Diego Humane Society four years ago, she ignored the “Do not pet” sign on her cage. Somehow she knew they’d have a connection.
“I came across my gorgeous girl, I stuck my hand in the cage, and she automatically walked right up to me, tail wagging, and put her head in my hand,” Trist told The Dodo. “I started crying because I had found my dog!”
Two years passed, and Trist moved from California to Kansas. Overwhelmed with the move and a new full-time job, she felt she didn’t have enough time to give to Jazzy. So she asked a dog-loving couple she was friendly with to watch her pup until she got settled.
However, when Trist tried to get back in touch with the couple, they ignored her calls and deleted their social media accounts. She couldn’t find them anywhere. Then, six months later, Trist’s fiancé managed to track them down and asked for Jazzy back.
“The lady told him she had died three months prior,” Trist said. “About a year and half went by, and lots and lots of grieving. I felt horrible for ever giving her to them because I thought I wasn’t there for her last moments.”
Trist thought she’d never see her beloved dog again, but luckily, Jazzy had a microchip. And when she got the news that Jazzy had been located, she dropped everything to be with her dog again.
“I automatically headed home from my job and got in the car and headed to her,” Trist said. “I was crying on and off the whole way there, which was almost a three-hour drive. I couldn’t believe she was still alive and I had no idea how she ended up that far away, but in those moments, I did not care.”
When Trist arrived at the shelter, and watched Jazzy walk towards her again, she couldn’t hold back her tears.
Jazzy recognized her mom immediately, and her little tail started wagging uncontrollably.
“She kind of went to sniff around, but came right back to me and gave me even more kisses,” Trist said. “She would not leave my lap or my arms the whole car ride home, either.”
Now, Jazzy is home and the little dog is not letting her mom out of her sight ever again.
“She’s been so, so happy ever since and she will not leave my side or let me go anywhere without her,” Trist said. “And I feel the same way!”
What exactly happened to the senior dog remains a mystery, but what’s important is that she’s safe and ready to spend her golden years in comfort, surrounded by her loving family.
“She’s a little more white than she was from the last time I saw her, and her hips are a little more sore,” Trist said, “but she’s still the same old lady she was before, and I’m so glad she stayed loving through these last two years.”
(All photographs by Maile Trist.)
Yet another example of the love between people and their dogs. I would like to say that it doesn’t get any better than that but I would be wrong. It is a perfect case of unconditional love and there are hundreds and hundreds of other stories out there.
Hopefully a few of them will be featured on Learning from Dogs!