Saturday, August 11, 2018

Doc: I'm Momma and Pop's Hiking Buddy!

I know it's not my turn to write, but I am just so excited I couldn't wait. We have been spending some time at a mountain cabin and the other day Momma and Pops snuck me out for a 5.5 mile hike! They had to be sneaky about it because Abby, Hope and Charlie would get sad if they saw us leave without them. Whenever Momma and I go for a run back home she has to take both Hope and me out for a walk first. If not, Hope will hooowwwlll! It's a pitiful sound, so we prevent it as much as possible.

I got to go with Momma and Pops because they know how much I love to run and get exercise. Sadly, the combination of Abby's age and her short legs prevent her from long treks. And Hope isn't in shape for hiking, plus she has a bad knee. And Charlie, well he likes to stop and sniff every single thing throughly which ends up slowing us all waaayyy down.

Momma and Pops took me to DuPont State Forest where we found a great trail in the woods that led to the most beautiful and serene lake we've ever seen - right in the middle of the forest. There was not another soul there. Just some little fishies, birds and butterflies. It really was magical. Momma said it was the prettiest thing she had seen all summer. When I saw that lake I was so excited that I jumped in and started swimming. I kept swimming and swimming - all the way around the dock! Pops got a little nervous that I might swim out too far into the lake. I did that one time chasing geese and he hasn't forgotten that. I never caught the geese, by the way. But I sure did try!

I played it cool when we got back to the cabin so my bubby and sissies wouldn't get jealous. They seemed like they were just fine while we were gone. Phew. Maybe Momma and Pops can sneak me out for another hike soon!

Momma and Pops say I'm as nimble as a deer.

Ahhh! This creek water feels so refreshing!

I love exploring. I felt like a pioneer!

Check me out: Doc on a dock!

My first good swim in a long time. Look at me go!

Pops thought I was going to keep swimming out into the middle of the lake. 
I may have if he didn't call me back.

Momma and me. 💕

Posing with my Pops. 💙


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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Doc: Always Smiling - No Matter What

I've always been the happiest and healthiest dog of the bunch, but the past few months haven't been easy. One late night in March I started shaking uncontrollably - and then I don't know what happened. The next thing I knew I was lying on the floor with my face and neck wet, feeling confused and exhausted. Momma and Pops said I had what is called a seizure. I had been jerking and foaming at the mouth. They don't know why. I don't either. It didn't hurt, but it sure did wear me out. The next morning they took me to our vet who said to keep an eye on me and hopefully it won't happen again. Maybe I had gotten into something and it was a one-time thing. That's what we hoped.

One month later it happened again. And then again a couple of weeks later. The seizures were getting worse, too; I was starting to urinate and jerk more violently. By this time the vet prescribed Momma and Pops some medicine to give me to bring me out of a seizure, as well as a pill to prevent future seizures. But the seizures came again. That's when our vet sent us to a veterinary neurologist. The doctor scheduled an MRI and spinal tap to rule out tumors or meningitis. But when she tried to do the MRI, the test wouldn't work, which means there was metal somewhere in my head. So the vet did an x-ray and found BB pellet lodged in the base of my skull! My momma and pops were so surprised - and mad. Who would do this to me?! It must have happened when I was a wee little pup all alone in the field where I was found a long, long time ago. The veterinarian assured Momma and Pops that it was not causing me any harm and had nothing to do with the seizures. She was able to do a CT Scan and found no signs of abnormal masses or inflammation. That meant I was to be diagnosed with epilepsy.

So now we know what I have, but we don't know why. Along with the medicine I get every 12 hours, I am now fed a dog food made especially to help my brain. Momma and Pops did lots of research to see how they could help prevent further seizures and found out that there can be many triggers, like some room fresheners/essential oils, rosemary extract, and "natural flavoring/MSG." So, Momma threw out the air fresheners and stopped giving me treats containing rosemary extract and "natural flavoring." I continued to have seizures fairly frequently, though, and it got pretty scary. 

But I have some good news to report - it has been almost four weeks since my last seizure! Momma and Pops are so happy and relieved. The only thing different going on is that we have been staying in a mountain cabin in western North Carolina for the past month. Maybe this cool mountain air is helping my brain and body relax. Whatever the reason, we are praying that I stay seizure-free for a really long time. Will you pray for me, too? 🙏🏻

Prayers appreciated. 🙏🏻

I had a bad earache last week, so Momma took me to see a vet here in the mountains. 
I like the name of his practice. It's called Animals of Eden. 
Oh, and he was very kind and patient with me.

We went for a short hike to a cool little lake in the middle of the mountains.  
It's called Fawn Lake, but I didn't see any deer. I was a little disappointed about that.

Speaking of critters that I love to chase and bark at ... this is a White Squirrel, found in only a few places in the world. Oh how I would love to see a White Squirrel before we leave the mountains!

I like this chair. It came with the mountain cabin.

I have a lot to smile about!
Our family celebrated my 5th Gotcha Day earlier this month. 
Always smiling - no matter what.


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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Charlie: I'm a "Bone"-a-fide Family Member!

I grew up in a puppy mill and it was all I knew. I didn't know about cuddling, cooing, petting and love. I think I've got the idea now. I have a Mommy and a Daddy who have been patient with me and two sisters and a brother who have been teaching me how to speak "dog." I didn't realize I was missing out on so much when I was stuck in that cage at the puppy mill in Tennessee.

My new Mommy and Daddy started fostering me in February. I had a different name when I first arrived, but I didn't respond to it. They decided to call me Charlie. Charlie Buck. My new Daddy had a favorite uncle and a grandfather named Charlie and their last name was Buck. It was also my Grandma's maiden name. Just a couple of months before I ever came into the picture, Daddy said if they were to ever get another boy doggy they would name him Charlie. Little did they know I would arrive so soon! Daddy had always wanted a Corgi. Mommy and he decided to work with a Corgi rescue group rather than purchase a puppy because they know there are already too many dogs in need of homes.

I was rescued from the puppy mill by the volunteers at Carolina Corgi Rescue (now Southeast Corgi Rescue). The nice ladies there matched me with my new family. I bonded with Mommy right away. It's been taking some time to feel completely comfortable around my new Daddy. I don't remember having any positive experiences with men at the puppy mill. But my new Daddy is showing me kindness and love anyway and he says he will continue to do so no matter how long it takes for me to feel comfortable. He's a really nice man. I know that. And I'm starting to come around.

From the beginning I really took to my new sister Hope. My family thought that Hope would be the least excited about having a new brother, but I follow her around so much that she can't help but like me. We have grown to understand each other perfectly. But I did find out this morning that she doesn't want me nearby when she is burying a treasure. I spied her preparing a special spot for a stuffed alligator toy and I could tell by the way she looked at me that she wanted privacy. See how quickly I'm learning dog language?

I loved my new yard immediately. It's so much fun to run in big circles in the grass. I never knew about such joy before I came here! There's dirt to dig in, mole holes to inspect, mulch to roll around in and lots of things to smell! There is always something new to take in. And then there's the beach! Wow! The first time I went to the beach was also the first time I was ever on a leash. Mommy and Daddy were so proud of me because I took to leash walking right away.

The rescue organization wanted me to be fostered for at least a month before Mommy and Daddy could officially adopt me. Mommy had to be patient because she wanted to make me part of the family right away. But Daddy and she understood that puppy mill doggies need some time to become comfortable with new surroundings. The day that I became a "Bone"-a-fide family member was the best day! We were all so happy!

I didn't know happiness and safety the first two years of my life, but I do now - because of a new Mommy and Daddy and two sisters and a brother, all who have accepted me and shown me patience and unconditional love.

Meeting my new Mommy and Daddy. And Hope.

I love my new brother and sisters. ❤️

I like to be near my sissy, Hope.

Hope is a little bigger than me.

My first day on the beach.

I walk nicely on the leash for my Daddy.

I'm sticking by my sissy Hope.

I like digging in the dirt!

I'm a happy boy. 


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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Abby: My special birthday (I'm 10!)

I can't believe I'm ten-years-old! Where has time gone? It seems like just yesterday I was racing out the front door to explore the neighborhood with Mommy and Daddy chasing after me yelling for me to come back. Boy, that sure was fun!

When I was adopted Mommy and Daddy already had Bogey, Gus, Buster and Hobbit, but those boys did not intimidate me in the least. In fact, I was the one in charge - and I let them know it! I'm still top dog today, but sometimes Hope gets jealous. I go easy on her though because I know she had a rough start at life.

Mommy and Daddy say I've matured and they tell everyone that I'm sweeter than ever. I tend to follow Mommy and Daddy around a lot more. I like to know what they are doing and where they are going and anytime they sit down I snuggle right up. I like to have their attention more these days, but I'm frisky as ever! I still LOVE to play fetch, run along the beach and roll in dead things, bark at trespassers (which is anyone in my line of sight) and snort and wiggle in the grass on my back. I love life! Mommy and Daddy always say that a good day is also known as an "Abby Day!"

To celebrate my first decade, Mommy and Daddy sang "Happy Birthday" to me, gave me a birthday cookie, and Doc, Hope and I each got a doggy ice cream cone. It was definitely an "Abby Day!"

I'm 10 ☺️

Yummy 🎂

I didn't want to let go of my birthday cookie, but I also wanted Daddy to hold me. 💕 
(After the photo session I buried my birthday cookie in a dog bed, but then Mommy put it away because I was stressing out trying to protect it.)


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Friday, December 22, 2017

DogMom: 3 Salty Dogs

{It's been a few years since our last Doggy Diary entry, but hopefully we will be back more often. We -and by we I mean I- simply got busy with life and just didn't make the time to sit down and put thoughts onto "paper."}


Goodness, a lot can happen in three and a half years! Here are the highlights of what's been going on with us:
  • Abby Grace is now a Certified Therapy Dog ❤️
  • Hope has grown - maybe a little too much 😉 (See Exhibit A below)
  • Doc is as happy and fast as ever 🐕
  • We moved to the beach 🏖

It was a long-time dream to live at the beach and we finally made it happen last year. We found a home just a short walk from the beach here on the coast of South Carolina. Abby, Doc and Hope LOVE it! We take long walks on the beach and the dogs get to run loose off leash most of the time. We usually walk anywhere from three to five and a half miles, but Doc probably covers at least twice that. One of his favorite things to do is the "booty dip." He runs into the water and dips his bottom in, looking at us to make sure we are watching him. He's so funny!

Doc has become quite the crab hunter and likes to proudly prance along the shore with his treasures. We try to keep him from getting the crabs, but like I said, he is fast! 

Hope, our Potcake from Turks & Caicos Islands, loves these walks, too. She smiles the whole time. Hope is not a very expressive dog, but when she's on the beach you know she's happy! She is an island dog at heart, after all. 

When Hope is not on the beach, this is what she is usually doing. (This is Exhibit A that I was telling you about.)

Abby will be 10 years old this winter, but that doesn't slow her down. She keeps a steady pace and and never tires out.

Abby Grace became a Certified Therapy Dog three years ago. DogDad and I took her through two sets of classes and now we are all members of The Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Abby has made many patients and residents smile at various assisted living communities, veterans' homes and treatments centers over the years.

Here is Abby Grace with her friend Stella Grace visiting an assisted living center on Halloween. She is wearing a pumpkin costume I made for our sweet Lindsey over 20 years ago. It's the first time we've put it on any dog other than Lindsey. It warmed our hearts. And the residents thought she was pretty darn cute!

Lindsey ❤️ Our first dog together.

Most recently we visited our friends at the assisted living center and gave out Christmas cards. Abby was such a good sport - she shook off her Santa hat only a few times!

Merry Christmas from the DogDad, DogMom, Abby Grace, Doc & Hope! We hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones  ...  both furry and non!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

DogMom: Happy DogMom Day!

I may not be a mom. A mom to human kids, anyway. But I still feel like a mom. I have an innate desire to protect and care for our dogs and I love them unconditionally. I think that counts for something. I'm a DogMom and, to me, that brings joy and fulfillment. This is who I was meant to be.

I grew up around animals of all kinds. Living on a farm, I was surrounded by cows, horses, chickens, ducks and the like, and of course dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, etc. I loved all of these sweet creatures. 

My dogs of childhood were Beethoven, Ben, Timothy, Gretchen and Holly. Beethoven and Ben were miniature schnauzers and they were a handful! Timothy and Gretchen were strays that showed up at the farm. I loved those dogs. Holly was one of Gretchen's puppies. She was precious.

The first cat I remember our family having was a kitten named Lucy. Unfortunately, my memory is of my brothers and the neighbor kids burying her. She had gotten hit by a car. Interesting what memories stick with us. I wonder how big of a role that memory has played in my desire to save animals. When I turned four years old my parents said I could pick any cat from the animal shelter to adopt. I chose an orange and white kitten and named him Tiger. I vividly remember him sticking his paw out of the cage trying to touch me. I knew then and there that Tiger was the cat for me. He may have grown to be big and tough, but we called him "Kitty." He was with us for 18 years. Gertie was an affectionate and beautiful kitty with long gray fur and gorgeous green eyes. I am thankful I decided to walk outside to look at the stars one cold November night because that is when that pretty gray kitten came running to me, practically jumping into my lap!

Since 1987, I've been blessed to be DogMom to ten sweet, loving, smart and beautiful dogs. All rescued either from life on the street or in the shelter. And I couldn't have done it without DogDad. I love our DogLovingLife!








Abby Grace



Saturday, April 26, 2014

DogMom: Welcome Home, Potcake!

Meet Hope, our little Potcake from Turks & Caicos!

Yes, we have a new member of the family!

Last week DogDad and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on the beautiful island of Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos islands of British West Indies. In preparation for our trip I decided to Google about the homeless dog situation in T&C. (I know. It's not the usual type of research when planning a vacation!) In my search, I came across a really cool organization called Potcake Place. Run solely by dedicated volunteers, the purpose of the organization is to reduce the number of homeless Potcakes on the islands. A Potcake is the name for the local mixed-breed dogs that roam the Turks & Caicos and the Bahamas. They are smart, loyal and loving with an average weight of about 45 lbs. Potcakes tend to have a shepherd look, often with long faces and cocked ears. Many are thought to be descendants of terriers, labs and shepherds. Their mixture varies throughout the islands. Our little girl definitely looks like she is of lab and shepherd heritage. (For more information about Potcakes, click here and here.)

On our first day in Provo we rented a car and drove straight to Potcake Place to check it out. (Yes, we headed for the local dog rescue before even hitting the beach!) We had no intentions of adopting a Potcake. (Really, truly!) We just wanted to make a donation and cuddle some cute island dogs. There were many puppies needing love and forever homes, and although we were tempted, we knew not to worry as they would get homes fast. They were simply that adorable. We hung around for over an hour and spoke with the staff and other potential adopters from the U.S. It was a heartwarming experience. So uplifting to see the love that humans from around the world will pour out to animals in need.

The next morning DogDad and I were walking along Grace Bay Beach when we came across a sweet little 12-week old pup named Hope. A nice family from Pittsburgh, PA, had volunteered to walk her on the beach and provide her with some socialization. We learned that Hope had been found at about five weeks of age, abandoned in a remote shopping center parking lot. She was almost completely hairless from mange, had a glazed eye and was starving. The volunteers didn't think she had much of a chance of surviving, so they named her Hope. When we met her on the beach she was quiet, timid, yet wanting to give and receive love. We could tell she was extra special. Needless to say, we fell in love with this angel of a puppy.

Friends and family members have heard DogDad and me state many times that the plan was for us to stick with just two dogs from now on. It's easier, we said. It's a manageable number, we said. We can travel with two dogs, we said. We sure sounded like we meant it! Such logical thinking. We honestly thought we had closed the chapter of being DogDad and DogMom to numerous dogs. Together over the years we raised seven loving, sweet and funny dogs: Lindsey, Bogey, Annie, Gus, Buster, Hobbit and Huck (and now Abby Grace and Doc) and we loved every happy, sad, joyous, trying, hilarious moment of it.

As we all know, life doesn't always go as planned. A new chapter of the same story was soon to begin for us. A couple of days after meeting Hope on the beach we found ourselves still thinking about her. It was our last morning in Provo and we had just finished packing our suitcases when DogDad suggested we call Potcake Place and inquire about adopting Hope. (I love how we always seem to end up on the same page!) I was thrilled at the possibility of getting her, yet nervous that we would be told "no" because our flight was due to depart soon.

Even though we had a short amount of time to complete the adoption process and get to the airport, it was clear that Hope was meant to be ours. Jane, the director of Potcake Place said a volunteer offered to take Hope out for a walk that very morning, but for some reason Jane thought it would be best to keep her at the facility instead. Five minutes after that decision DogDad called. If Hope had been out on that walk, she wouldn't have been able to go home with us. When we arrived at Potcake Place to pick up our little puppy we were smiling from ear to ear with tears of joy in our eyes that Hope would be ours.

Yesterday marked one week since Hope has been a part of our family. Doc and she became instant playmates. He loves having a shadow as he shows her around the yard. They play with toys together and chase and wrestle one another. And although Abby prefers humans over dogs, she has accepted Hope with no problem. She's just happy that Doc is too busy playing with Hope to bother her!

Hope fits in like the last piece of a puzzle. Like she was meant to be here all along. Welcome home, Hope!

DogDad telling Hope she is going with us to her forever home!

Gotcha, Hope!

In a comfy little carrier at our feet, 
Hope slept like a baby the entire plane ride home.

Exploring her new yard.

Hope has some long legs to grow into!

Look at that sweet face. I see a beautiful Potcake smile!

The official announcement :-)