We should have had a clue during the drive into Fort Peck Lake when swarms of grasshoppers and flying crickets made the highway asphalt appear to be moving sideways. Stopping to re-provision at a small grocery, HK commented on the insects fighting their way into the car.

Since the lakefront campground was void of shade trees and the temps hovered in the 90’s at 5pm, we chose the more secluded and shaded “Downstream Campground”. (more…)

Greetings! We’ve updated the sailing trip info over at our other blog, 3pupsinapopup.com. please have a look and let us know what you think!  Arf!

http://3pupsinapopup.com/2011/07/29/sailing-for-dummies-or-how-i-got-the-crabs-at-sea/

It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to post, mainly because we’ve been “off the grid” of wi-fi. From Sequoia national park to Redwoods to Olympic and Rainier, we’re trying to catch up on blogging the adventure. So here is a recap of  our time in California and Washington. (more…)

Ok, so, as some of you know, I am working on writing a children’s picture book. It’s a sweet, uplifting little book that features the newest addition to our family, Chance the dog, as the protagonist.  (Click here to read his blog)

As you also may know, I don’t have kids. Nope, never really wanted them. In fact, at the age of oh, say, 13, I made the announcement that I would never have children. I think this may be because that’s about when I started being big-time rebellious in my teeny-tiny hometown of  Harlan, Ky. and my mother “threatened” me with words I will never forget. “You just WAIT until you have a teenage daughter!” Yes, it was those words, repeated over a period of several years, that convinced me that I would never give her the satisfaction of letting those words come to fruition.    And honestly, I never regretted my decision to remain child-free.  I’ve never been one of those “oh, a baby! Let me hold him,”  kind of people. Take ’em or leave ’em. Shoulder shrug. No big deal.  Ahhh, but I digress…


Now, at 51, I realize that in order to attain interest in my hidden gem, my soon to be discovered blockbuster debut, that I need a platform on which to stand. And that platform better damn well be related to children.  So, having none of my own, and no nieces or nephews in the picture, where am I going to find little ones that will appreciate my genius?

Rewind a couple of months. While checking out children’s picture books at our public library, I asked the librarian if they had a children’s reading program. It just so happens that their reader left in the fall, and they were looking for someone to replace her. Jackpot! Bingo! I gave her my card, the main branch manager called me, and voila– I am now the Tuesday morning reading lady.

So now I have anywhere from 20-40  1 to 3 year olds that single file into my reading room every week, sit attentively at my feet and listen to whatever stories I have picked out for them that week.  Well, being as my book is about a dog, I typically choose at least one book per session that revolves around a dog, and they eat it up!  (They especially like when I use my “voices” to recreate the dialogue  of the different characters.)  Back in Junior high school, I was into storytelling, and won some regional awards for my re-creation of “The Grandfather Tales” stories in competitions. I’ve always been a storyteller, I just needed an audience. Now I have it. A captive audience, but an audience, nonetheless.

So in the process of gaining a “platform” by volunteering at the library, which began as a purely selfish act, I have come to look forward to my time spent with these little ones.  I love to see their faces light up when they recognize a specific creature on the pages. We have fun practicing the sound a frog, or a dog, or a hog makes.  And when they become restless between stories, we stand up and sing and dance, and I like that, too.   It’s funny how things work out that way.

Busted! Damn!

So, you may know by now that I rescued a little doggy that I named Chance about 2 months ago.  He has been a delight, for the most part.  After he was cured of his skin infection and his hair grew back he finally looks like he is supposed to–a fluffy little furball.

In the past, I have always had large or medium sized dogs. 25-30 pounds was as small as I went. No real reason, that’s just usually what I ended up rescuing (all of my dogs have been rescues).  So I get this little 10-lb. pup, and he never ceases to crack me up with his antics.  If I leave the house, he jumps on the kitchen table to watch until I am out of sight.  Then he runs from room to room to check my whereabouts, and waits at the last place he saw me until I return, repeating the ritual in reverse.

As you see in the previos post about Chance, he loves to swim. he also has a drinking problem. Let me explain.  While he is swimming, Chance takes huge gulps of water consistently. Seriously, he consumes gallons. So last weekend, after a fun day at the lake, Chance began acting weird.  He threw up a ton of the lake, then started staggering around and fell down.  He couldn’t lift his head or control his bodily functions.  I rushed him to an emergency clinic to the tune of $500, where he was diagnosed with diabetes. (which I found out the next day was a false diagnosis–another $100.)  He is fine now, they just said it was water toxicity. No more gulping, we’ll have to figure out a way to control his drinking. (any ideas are welcome here.)

So, this morning I found him eating something outside. It was bright red, I actually thought he was eating a ball.  Turns out, it was one of the neighbor’s heirloom tomatoes.  Yep, Chance and a very crafty squirrel are in cahoots. The way I figure it is, the squirrel goes into the neighbor’s garden, picks the ripest, biggest, most prized tomato, and rips it off the vine.  He has his one or two bites, chucks it over on our side of the fence where Chance eagerly devours the remaining fruit.

A dog's version of flipping you off!

The neighbor, Barb, has been complaining that her tomatoes are disappearing, and we, naturally, blame the pesky rodent.  HA! Well, today, Chance got BUSTED—big Time.  Good thing IYum! I LOVE tomatos! had my camera close by!

Well, peeps, after fostering this latest little guy for 2 months and falling head over heels, I’ve decided to keep Chance. I was determined to find his perfect “forever home”, but that just never happened. Every time I got a request for more info about him, or received an application, my heart would speed up and I’d start sweating. (OK, there are for sure some hot flashes mixed in there, but, you know what I’m sayin’…)

I did take him to a Petsmart adoption event, held on behalf of the awesome rescue group I volunteer with-Animal Action Rescue-check them out!–but every time I put him in the crate, he cried and barked and became just a big distraction. Then, on the few occasions that anybody actually picked him up, I just wanted to tell them what an awful little dog he was. He’s not, of course, but surely that would turn them away.

So after countless hours of discussions with self, I realized that continuing to bring strange, temporary dogs into my household was not emotionally healthy for my 12-year old dog Kismet. Nothing to do with me, Nope.  Nada.  (yeah, right).

So I started “grooming” him to be our dog. I took him to the lake, where he promptly fell in twice and nearly drowned.  HK had to jump in in his clothes once to fish him out from under the dock.  So he got this little orange life jacket, and now, 2 weeks later, we can’t keep him OUT of the lake! Hope you enjoy his little video, along w/ Kismet and Roxie-his new siblings.

I’ll continue to be active in animal rescue. I have volunteered to transport dogs (see pup my ride ) and make donations as well as pet food drives, but now I know that I am just not cut out for fostering. (At least not right now).

Oh, did I mention that “Good Dogs Doing Good”, the book that I have a story published in, is doing very well? Check it out! WOOF!

Chance

As many of you know, I have recently joined the ranks of  “doggy foster moms”.  I did this because although I donate to certain rescue groups, (Best Friends Animal Society mostly), I felt the need to become more hand’s on.

Since I am a facebook junkie, I “like” or “join” lots of different rescue organizations online. I was deeply bothered by the sheer numbers of pets that were on death row for some reason. Stray, throw away, puppy-mill rescue..whatever. the entries read something along the lines of “this is rover. His owner decided that he was too big, so he took him to the kill shelter. Please help us get him out before tomorrow or he gets the gas chamber.”

Well, they can’t get a dog out unless it has a foster home (at least) to go to. That’s where I come in.

So, my first foster several months ago was a little minute of a dog I called JoJo. He was young, energetic, adorable and VERY distrusting. He was also a total mess, and chewed absolutely everything he could get his sharp little teeth on!  Within a week he warmed up and decided that I had his back, and lo and behold, I became attached.

JoJo likes beer boxes

I was sure I was heading down “Foster Failure” lane, but then a good friend in Tennessee saw his picture on my facebook page and then I hooked them up on SKYPE and that was history. When I made the “hand-off”, I (more…)