Love is on my couch!


When it comes to a life partner, I hit the jackpot. He asked me to marry him two months after my final chemo treatment. And he’s suffered through my crazy animal obsessions over the years, with a smile. My husband’s childhood was pet-free. But he did grow up with a big heart, and loving parents. For you good-hearted rescue wanna be’s, here’s my two cents… if you’re starting a rescue, or bringing homeless pets into your home, make sure you have a partner who supports your “habit.” We purchased our first little puppy from a well-intentioned breeder. We knew nothing about the rescue world. The breeder brought us into her home, and grilled us. I sat on an ottoman in front of her – intent on answering every question, and my husband was behind me on the couch.  All of a sudden I turned around to see my husband in “Yorkie hell.” He was covered in Yorkie puppies. They were biting his ears, jumping on his shoulders, grabbing his hair… and he just sat there, trying to be the model of patience so our interrogator would approve us. And she did… twice. I remember his Mom saying, “Oh! I wonder how he’ll do with a pet. He didn’t grow up around animals.” Years later, knee high into our rescue operation, working with hundreds of dogs and cats, I can say, “He did just fine.” Happy Valentine’s Day my love! (He bought me a belt sander… yeah, we’re old married folks).

Note about Beau, the beagle: I spotted this little guy running down a 4-lane highway. Knowing he didn’t have a chance, I grabbed him with the help of a pound of smoked turkey. (Later, I learned through social media that Animal Control had set traps all day without luck.) Once we were home, I noticed he had lumps all over him. The lumps turned out to be engorged ticks. After I removed number 100, I quit counting… Beau is now happy, healthy and hogs our bed at night – oh, and adores my husband.


New Year’s Resolution – Volunteer

You’re making your list of resolutions, and volunteering is a high priority. Good for you! We love our volunteers – helping out an animal rescue/shelter is not only noble, it’s really appreciated. But if I could give you a tip…

Here’s what most folks think they’ll be doing when they volunteer at a rescue/shelter:girls-w-puppies1rev

…laying on clean straw, covered up by puppies, taking a little snooze maybe…

But here’s what you’ll really be doing:


I’ve spared you the details by creating some artful “flowers” over the poops. This is what rescues/shelters really need, although you may get to sniff some puppy breath before you leave.

Our volunteers have painted buildings,  exercised and groomed dogs, raked leaves, played fetch, collected garbage, cooked lunches and many more helpful tasks. So get out there and help out your rescues/shelters. And don’t forget your rubber boots!

Happy New Year!

Deer me…

No picture of this actual incident because we were scared to take one… Just moved in, I was called out to a business appointment at a nearby medical center. The sun was setting, and I stopped to chat with my husband. We heard a loud noise and watched a truck, with a lift kit (if you don’t know what this is, it’s worth a google) careening down our driveway toward us. The female driver skidded to a stop, and yelled out the window “Did you take the antlers off that deer?” She meant business. Earlier that day, we noticed a dead deer – obviously a hit & run victim – at our driveway entrance. We had no idea how to address the disposal – “who do we call?” “will the sheriff come and get it?” etc. The woman barked at us again, peering down at my husband like Cruella de Vil, “did you take the antlers off that deer?” He said “no” in a small voice, and I couldn’t speak at all. She went on to explain, “image-33revMy husband and I are in a contest, and the first one to get 7 points wins. I hit that deer at 4 this morning, and I need those antlers.” I had no idea what she was talking about, and decided it was time to exit. The film crew from Candid Camera hadn’t appeared, so I’m thinking this is for real. Ten minutes later, my phone rang – “thanks for leaving me with the 3-tooth wonder.” I believe my husband gave her a 1-tooth credit. I asked, “where is she now?” He replied, “She’s at the driveway, cutting the tail off the deer.” (For what? a key fob??) I calmly told my husband, “you have 24 hours to get a gate up on our driveway, or I’m moving into a hotel.” We are not in Kansas anymore –

My favorite stump

img_3481revHave you ever claimed a stump as your “fave”? With all the fallen trees on our property, stumps abound. This one though, I watch like a hawk. The shelf mushrooms cover it, then turn colors. The squirrels use it for a dinner table with acorn bits left behind. The moss gains territory, then gives it up, then climbs back again. This photo almost looks like the stump is wearing a skirt. The colors called me to this palette. I hope you enjoy it! If you’re curious about my use of the palette, you can visit my shop here.

I Get Allergic Smelling Hay


Our rescue family was growing and soon our nice two-story home was crowded – so we bought some raw land… That’s “raw”, with no house, and a driveway only a 4-wheel drive could negotiate. I was itching to move – “Can you live in a mobile home for 6-12 months?” asks my husband. “Then we could build…” “Absolutely!” I screamed. I would have pitched a pup tent (giggle) to start our rescue efforts. The day our new home rolled down the newly graveled driveway was a joyous day. It was in two parts, and had to be kinda glued together but that’s just details. Now our family members were a bit dubious about this decision – mainly when bad weather loomed. So when the TV weather folks talked about possible tornados, we received phone calls from all over the country – in addition to Nixle alerts, our local sheriff alerts and Code Red calls. And did I mention our neurotic weather scanner? People who loved us were convinced we would be traveling to the Land of Oz in our mobile home. Finally, my husband came up with a snazzy explanation about how the home was “wedged” in a grove of trees and impossible to take flight. This calmed the family members, somewhat. We’ve made it through three passing tornados, which did do damage to our neighbors property but hopped over ours. We’re thankful –

The “Calling”

huskiescroprevDo you believe in “callings”? You get this irresistible urge to accomplish something and just can’t ignore it? I was driving home from my corporate job and stopped at a stop sign. An emaciated dog eating roadkill was directly in front of me… I was stunned. How could we live in a country as rich as ours, and witness a scene from a Calcutta street? That same day my mailbox contained an alumni newsletter from my college, with an article about someone who had worked at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT. A few phone calls later, a visit was booked for me and a friend… I knew nothing about the “rescue” world. Before leaving, I visited a sad “animal control” in a neighboring county. Housed in a tiny concrete block building, complete with rats, the officer was trying to take care of 9 dogs. “If unclaimed in a short time, they would be euthanized as usual.” I asked him to hold off until I called him. He seemed tired. Best Friends is an amazing place – the kind folks were very encouraging about starting an effort, and giving us all kinds of information. Five days later, despite a nasty case of food poisoning from a local Mexican restaurant (we were so tired of tofu – I guess our illnesses were “karmic”), we headed home. Best Friends put out an SOS to local folks, and we had volunteers ready to help us pull the 9 dogs. On December 23rd, our little caravan careened into the parking lot and took the dogs-with-no-future out. The officer said it was the best Christmas gift he could have possible wished for… Driving off with my two in the back seat was absolutely the best feeling I’ve ever had – there was no turning back.

Workin’ in the car wash

img_3292revYep, I’m in a car wash – my favorite one. All these sudsy colors dripping all over your car – or so you “think.” Actually, the suds are simply illuminated by the lights above as you tirelessly move right on through, fascinated. Who thought of this? “Hmmm, folks are pretty bored in our car wash. Hey, remember those revolving Christmas dials that lit up trees? I bet that idea works on suds! Let’s do it! Folks will flock to us!” And we do. Enjoy this palette and your weekend. If you’d like to see my interpretation, here’s the link to my shop.