Skyrah’s Garden Adventure

Skyrah, the foster dog, is earning her keep as a valuable garden guard dog.

1

Sky’s Garden Adventure

2

Sky is Honoring her Prime Directive: Deer Patrol

3

Sky also Proudly Protects the Garden from Possible Squirrel Invasions

4

Sky Takes her Job Quite Seriously

5

Sky…Always Vigilant, Always Ready

6

Being a True Southern Gal, Sky Checks Out the “Ready to Pick” Mustard Greens

7

Sky Gives her Smile of Approval for a Job Well Done!

Stay tuned for more updates on Skyrah, the foster dog, as her court date approaches.

Advertisements
Posted in Adoptable Foster Dog, animal abuse, Dog Photography, gardening, guard dog, Skyrah, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Skyrah, Our Newest Foster Dog!

We are pleased to introduce our newest foster dog, Skyrah.  As can be seen from her before and after pictures, she is making marvelous progress.

Day one

Skyrah in the Beginning

Skyrah After

Skyrah a Few Months Later

In the beginning, the possibility of her barking again was questionable due to the injuries that her neck had sustained.  As miracles would have it, she regained her voice and uses it to warn all the backyard squirrels into trees as she joyfully chases and nearly catches them on a daily basis.  Our yard has never been so rodent free!  We actually had fruit on the pear trees for the first time in years!  The Humane Society of the Delta and Meals on Wheels Helena-West Helena Dogs were kind enough to choose us to be her caregivers until the animal cruelty charges concerning Skyrah were decided in a court of law.  The trial to determine this outcome is in mid-September.  It is our hope that she finds her well- deserved forever family shortly thereafter. 

playing

Squirrel Chasing School 101, Phillip, the Fabulous, Showing Skyrah the Moves

We ask that you surround this wacky family of ours with “Light and Love” as we embark on another great adventure with this precious pooch.  In the meantime, Phillip the Fabulous, has taken a real interest in helping out as he embraces his new role as a foster dog parent quite seriously.  How else would she learn about squirrel chasing?

 

 

Posted in Adoptable Foster Dog, animal abuse, Dog Photography, Meals on Wheels Helena-West Helena Dogs, Phillip, Skyrah, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

I’ve Had the Time of My Life!

Stan the Man

(2006 – 6/01/2016)

RIP

Stan the Man (2)

Stan the Man Loving the Snow

Our heads are aching and our hearts are breaking as I look at the closed door that was once opened wide by Stan the Man.

Stanley came to us as a 4-month old feral puppy terrified of people, places, and all things new.  With pockets full of hot dog treats, we gained his trust making tasty trails up our stairs and placing food bowls in showers.  He soon came to understand that all people and places were not bad…especially those bearing hot dog treats.  Like us, he never really cared for most people though.

Hours were spent sitting in the parked car stroking his trembling puppy body offering calming words as he discovered car rides meant the wind in his hair and sometimes getting dog biscuits at drive thru’s.  He was the first dog that we ever trained.  Stanley gave us the confidence and skills to help hundreds of dogs from the Humane Society for Animals work out behavioral problems before going on to their forever homes.  Thank You Stanley for giving us this knowledge!

At 6-months old the vet noticed a serious problem with his developing body.  He had no hip sockets!  “This dog will be lame in a year.  Put him down now and find yourselves another dog!  There are plenty of healthy dogs out there needing homes,” the vet advised.  A second vet concurred.  I’m happy to say they were both wrong!  Stanley never became lame despite his deformity.  He ran like a deer and played with the best of them, and he lived another 9 1/2 years.  We called him, “The Hip-less Wonder!”  He was indeed our miracle.

The vets were right about the other thing though.  There were many dogs out there that needed homes and during the next year 2 more entered our lives.  We affectionately called the trio “The Brotherhood”.  They went everywhere together and Paul tagged along.  Or was it them that followed Paul?  It didn’t matter since they were a pack.  Three dogs and a man.  They convinced him to drive them all over town in his 1996 Honda Civic with the windows rolled down in all sorts of weather.  Rain, snow, cold, or hot it mattered not, the windows stayed down.  I would laugh watching the happy heads each hung out the window of their assigned seating as tufts of lose fluff blew in the wind.  What a sight they were!  They really could turn heads.  At a stoplight one day a man taken with Stan’s good looks and happy disposition offered Paul money to purchase our handsome boy after watching the pack drive down the road.  Of course the answer was no, but Paul led the man to the Humane Society and helped him chose another dog to adopt.  Because this man was smitten with Stan, a shelter dog found a home that day.

The best part of my day was coming home from work.  Paul would hug me and Stan the Man would work hard to squeeze between us, it didn’t matter how tightly we embraced, Stan would push between us and whap each of our hips with his plume of a tail.  “It’s official,” Paul would say.  “We are now having a proper hug.”  I guess there won’t be anymore “Proper Hugs.”  I will surely miss my daily butt whapping.  I never knew how good an official proper hug could be before Stanley.  Thanks for the hugs, Stan!

Stan the Man had an obsession with doors.  He wanted them open not shut and managed to find a way to get them that way.  Many a day, we would come home to find that we were heating or cooling the great outdoors.  “It’s cold outside,” Gracie Bird would announce.  “It’s cold inside too, Bird!” I’d reply shutting all the doors and latching them tightly.  Within minutes one of the boys would glance at the door which was all it took for Stan the Man to oblige by unlatching and opening the exit wide.  The pack would rush out to party away with squirrel chasing or hole digging.  Sometimes he would just open the door to spread his body across the threshold for a nap enjoying the best of both worlds…the house and the yard.  Stanley was great at opening doors, but he never learned to shut them.

When people came to the house, Stanley would head for the gate to the pasture.  People sometimes frightened him.  Stan the Man was able to spring the pasture gate open just as easily as the house doors even when it was secured with spring clips, rope, and wire.  There were times when he just knocked the gate off the hinges.  The canine crew would rush into the nearby woods in all directions as we chased and called after them.  He knew how to get rid of unwanted visitors, all right!  Once we tired of searching and all the visitors had gone home, Stan would peek around the corner of the garage with his followers.  All would be breathless and happy with mud covered feet and fur speckled with stickers as they returned from another adventure.  We are really going to miss those wild times!

We should all enjoy our last day as much as Stanley.  He achieved his bucket list all at once.

  1. Every morning should start with a massage from the man. Check!
  2. Send Mom off to work with a little piece of Stan Man. Check! (I brushed fluff from my clothes.)
  3. Go for a ride with “The Brotherhood”. Check!
  4. Go to Starbucks to say hi to his friends there. Check!
  5. Visit my favorite bank teller and get a doggie biscuit. Check!
  6. Get either donuts, sausage biscuit, bagel, or muffin to share with “The Brotherhood.” (We got a blueberry muffin at the bakery.)  Check!
  7. Break through the gate and make a mad dash for it with the gang. (The painter showed up giving Stanley the excuse he needed.)  Check!
  8. Romp through the woods. Check!
  9. Take a dip in the pond. Check!
  10. Dry off by running through tall grass collecting all the seeds and stickers my coat will hold. Check!
  11. Come back in 15 minutes so the grown-ups don’t worry. Check!
  12. Eat a hearty supper with some of Mom’s home cooking. Check!
  13. Let Mom and Dad take me for a stroll after dinner. Check!
  14. Stop at the barn and beg for a dental stick. Check!
  15. Sleep in my favorite place. Check!

Your family thanks you for this exceptional day.  Stan the Man never woke from that sleep.  You did go out with a BANG, my friend!  I thank God that you did not linger or suffer.

As Paul arranges the stones on the dirt mound, howls come from the house.  The dogs are saluting their friend in a mournful show of respect.  Even Phillip’s voice, joins the chorus.  I am grateful for the things Phillip learned from this great one.  The closed door catches my eye once more.  Was there a lesson for us with Stan’s open door policy?  Should we step out of the safe familiar surroundings of our comfortable life and see what fun awaits us on the other side of the door?  Maybe there is still a bit of adventure that we should explore.  By staying open, we aren’t closing our doors to the opportunities that are ours for the taking.  Perhaps we need to bust down a gate once and awhile and live on the wild side.  Thank you Stanley for open doors.  These are not bad lessons from a feral pup with no hip sockets that lived an unexpectedly long life filled with love!

I walked to the once opened door that was now closed and flung it wide.  Stanley, where ever you are, keep those doors open.

 

Posted in Dog Photography, Dog Training, Doors open, party, Phillip, Stan the Man, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

School Days, School Days, Happy Golden Rule Days!

The Journey of Phillip, the Forgotten, to Phillip, the Fabulous, in 30 Days Twenty First in a Series January 13, 2016  School Days, School Days, Happy Golden Rule Days Outwardly, Phillip was healin…

Source: School Days, School Days, Happy Golden Rule Days!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

School Days, School Days, Happy Golden Rule Days!

Eating Hot Dog Treats

Phillip relieving the man of those hot dog treats.

The Journey of Phillip, the Forgotten, to Phillip, the Fabulous, in 30 Days

Twenty First in a Series

January 13, 2016

 School Days, School Days, Happy Golden Rule Days

Outwardly, Phillip was healing in record speed due in part from the help of homemade herbal supplements and creams of nutritious weeds.  His mange was gone and hair was quickly growing into the bare spots where scabs once resided.  The cigarette burns on his stomach were little more than memories.  The sad discharge filled eyes were now full of “happy boy” confidence.  I stroked his “velveteen rabbit” fur and looked into those deep brown eyes.  “I always knew you had good eyes,” I whispered to Phillip.  He looked back at me gratefully as a smile and wide wag were traded in for all his troubles.  I remembered back to the first time I stared into those eyes and saw that spark of life buried deeply there.  Despite everything, this dog wanted to survive and goodness lived in him.  As if on cue, Loki pranced over to show me his eyes.  “Yes, Loki!  You have good eyes too!” I said.  Phillip leaned into me for better prime petting access.  It is amazing how these dogs always seemed to know what I was thinking.

Before the car ever came into sight, the dogs knew Paul was on his way home.  Alternating between the door and the window, Phillip joined the chorus of happy soft whimpers.  “What?” I said headed toward the window.  “There’s nothing out there,” I continued.  As the words were forming, the green car crested the hill with the man whose arrival they were announcing.  I looked back toward the dogs, “How’d you know?” I asked puzzled.

Walking into the greetings of his personal fan club, Paul arrived home from another doggie photography session at the Humane Society.  “He is looking good, isn’t he?” Paul said scratching Phillips ear.  “I have never seen a dog clear up from the mange as quickly as he has.  I think your special home cooking had something to do with it,” Paul announced tossing a hot dog treat in Phillip’s direction.  The rest of the gang encircled the man who was back home with many smells to sniff and pockets of goodies to be emptied.  In their own way, each dog made their best effort to convince Paul that they would gladly relieve him of that load of leftovers used to help coax smiles from camera shy shelter dogs.  Stanley circled, Jeff Smith did a “sit pretty”, Cindy Lou howled from her chair, and Bone-it-a stomped the ground with her feet to get Paul’s attention.  Phillip did a move that is best described as the “sit and shuffle” in his effort to cut off the competition.  Paul handed out treats to each of the pack.  That is…everyone but Loki!  Loki lay resting uninterested under the table.  After all, Loki’s body is a temple.

“I stopped off to see Mary at Quality Pets on the way home,” Paul stated with much enthusiasm.  Quality Pets was a locally owned pet supply store that we frequented.  Mary, the owner, was always interested in our extended family of animals and frequently offered valuable insight to help with problems our furred and feathered friends were facing.  “How’s Mary?” I asked with genuine concern.  “Well, she is offering a dog trainer access to the store at night to hold beginning obedience classes.  I have the information on this card.  Since it will be awhile before Phillip is adoptable, I was thinking that basic training classes would make him even more desirable.  What do you think?”  I listened as Paul’s thoughts poured out.  With the extended stay necessary to heal Phillip from the heart worm treatments, this would certainly make the best use of the time we would be sharing.  “Let’s do it!” I replied.  “We have missed the first class, but the next one is tonight at 7 PM.  There are five more classes.  Mary said that we could just show up tonight and play catch up.  Phillip is such a smart dog he should have no trouble,” Paul said detailing the arrangement.  We both beamed down with pride at our budding young scholar Phillip.

Filled with the excitement of a new adventure, I felt like a Mom sending my child off to his first day of school.  “To do” lists filled my head.  There was a great deal to take care of in a very short time.  I rummaged through the box of bandannas and chose a bright green one.  “Just because we are only fostering you, doesn’t mean you are not loved,” I told Phillip as I straightened the knot in the scarf.  Phillip responded to his new look with a full body wag.  Loki, Jeff Smith, and Stanley knew that bandannas were only brought out for special occasions, and I could see that they were giving Phillip the suspicious eye.  “Yep!  Nothing gets past you boys,” I said removing a few more scarves to fasten on everyone so that nobody had hurt feelings.

Paul went to work grilling hot dogs to cut into training treats for the class.  “Whoof,” a low pitched bark came from Bone-it-a as a reminder that everyone needed their supper.  “We better hurry and feed this bunch before we leave,” I said not wanting to be late.

There was a predictable order to the pre feeding ritual that was repeated daily and without variation.  In a well-rehearsed assembly line fashion, I filled the bowls as Paul added the supplements.  As the first morsel of food fell into the bowl, Loki would begin barking loudly to express himself.  Few things stirred Loki, but the anticipation of his supper always excited Loki, and when Loki was excited… he barked.  Stan the Man automatically opened the door for the exuberant Loki to rush outside.  Stanley, being a helpful dog, knew that loud barking was not allowed in the house.  To regain his composure, Loki flew out the door burning off his food frustration by loudly telling the fat squirrel how he felt about waiting to eat even one second longer than necessary.  The rotund target darted up the nearest tree in response to Loki’s verbal assault.  Cindy Lou awoke from her chair to sachet into her crate awaiting the bowl.  She could sleep through any noise except the sound of food being poured into a bowl.  Then as if an alarm clock had rung, she sprang from her slumber and athletically vaulted from the chair…my one and only good chair.  It was a miracle!

Stan the Man moved away from the open door.  He did not close the door before he moved away.  Stan the Man would open doors but he never closed them.   He positioned himself between the chow chefs and the counter staring intently at the floor for any fallen tidbits.  Ever helpful, Stanley was very good at keeping the kitchen floor tidy.  Food never littered this floor under Stan the Man’s shift!  Jeff Smith raced into his crate with feet that slid across the tile onto his “home plate”.  Bone-it-a was sitting very still shifting her head from side to side with the purpose of giving Paul the “hypno eye”.  “Look into my eyes!  You are under my spell!” she projected as she stared intently.

While the gang was focused on food, Paul grabbed the keys to the 1996 Honda and the leash of a puzzled Phillip as we headed for the car to make a quiet departure.  The only problem in this plan was that Gracie Bird was not so easily distracted,” Go for Ride!  Go for Ride!” her tattle-tail parrot voice rang above the clatter of food bowls.  Phillip jumped into the car willingly intent on sniffing out the hidden location of more Daylight Donuts as the noise from the house exploded.  The observation that we were going for a ride and they were not had struck its mark.  The “supper club” barked scolding us for this wrong doing.  “Do you hear something?”  I asked pretending not to hear the beggars.  “Nope, I don’t hear a thing,” Paul answered starting the car.  “I especially don’t hear Loki.”  Loki’s bark wailed loudly over the rest.  With smiles on our faces, the three of us headed on our next adventure.

Posted in car ride, Dog Photography, Dog Training, medicinal weeds, Phillip, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Can’t Drive 55!

The Journey of Phillip, the Forgotten, to Phillip, the Fabulous, in 30 Days Twentieth in a Series January 2, 2016 I Can’t Drive 55! It is time to return to our regularly scheduled programming after…

Source: I Can’t Drive 55!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I Can’t Drive 55!

The pack on a drive

Loki and Phillip going for a ride.

The Journey of Phillip, the Forgotten, to Phillip, the Fabulous, in 30 Days

Twentieth in a Series

January 2, 2016

I Can’t Drive 55!

It is time to return to our regularly scheduled programming after the late breaking news on Fabulous Phillip interrupted the journey of his healing.  The story continues…

“How about it, boy?” Paul asked Phillip as he fished through his pockets for car keys, “Do you want to go for a ride today?”  Everyone knew what those words meant and soon the whole gang was packed tightly around the man in hopes they would be the chosen few.  Phillip had never been “for a ride”, but understood that it was something that caused his canine friends a great deal of excitement.  He joined the varied yips with deep howls and playful jumps of his own.  “Go for ride!  Go for ride!” Gracie Bird added just in case one of the pack had not noticed.  They each barked pleading their case, “Pick me!  PICK ME!  I’m here!  ME, ME, ME!  What about Loki?”  Everyone chimed in except Cindy Lou who noticed the still warm vacated chair that would be perfect for an extended morning nap.  Paul’s hands slowly produced the hidden keys from the searched pocket with a jingle that could only mean, “Let’s go!”  Three dogs rushed into the garage before the door closed.  The rest reported back to me with increased determination to convince me to open that door and give them another chance at a ride.  All was forgiven when homemade “liver doodle” snacks were distributed.  Cindy Lou demanded her treat be served room service style with her mournful Bassett wail.  They soon forgot the car driving away and thought themselves winners as they chomped the liver flavored delicacy.

Surrounded by my books of herbal remedies, the memory of Phillip’s scarred flesh lingered in my mind with the sick realization of the sad life he once knew.  I found it difficult to concentrate as I envisioned that trusting vulnerable tummy exposed for a loving stroke and receiving the sting of a burning cigarette instead.  My eyes could not focus on the words for the tears that filled them.  The sound of the phone ringing broke my concentration.

“Hello,” I answered thrilled to hear from our friendly local shaman.  “I just thought I’d wish you a happy New Year and “check up” on you both,” Kit replied.  It is uncanny how she always just happened to know when to “check up” on us.  “What ideas do you have for Phillip’s latest problem?” I pressed her while blurting out the cigarette damage story.  As always, she emphasized that God “the Creator” provides for us as she asked cryptic questions about the plants that “just happened” to grow in our yard.  I was convinced that those weeds were God given Phillip pharmaceuticals by the end of the conversation.  I thanked her and the plants as I got busy on another homemade concoction.

“Woof, Woof, Woof,” barked Bone-it-a heralding the approach of the dog filled 1996 Honda Civic complete with human chauffeur.  The door to the garage opened as three dogs rushed in and two rushed out to greet the man who tried to remain upright while balancing coffee cups in both hands.  The dog pack circled, barked, and sniffed each other sharing the sights and stories of the latest adventure.  “Have you become a two fisted coffee drinker?” I asked viewing the cups from Starbucks and Daylight Donuts that Paul gripped during the dog chaos.  “As you can see, I had a bit of a mishap,” Paul replied looking down to his shirt.   A coffee stain from a recent spill was visible.

“I will need your help before taking Phillip on any more rides,” Paul explained.  “I opened the car window at Starbucks to get my drink, and Phillip jumped out!  The man in the pickup truck parked behind me rushed out to help me catch him.  We ran all over the place trying to corral him until Phillip noticed a full figured babe in the form of a Mastiff sitting in the front seat of the same man’s truck.  He hopped right into the truck and made a move on that lovely lady,” he continued.  I laughed, “So, you’re telling me that Cindy Lou is no longer the object of his desire.”   I imagined the scene complete with canine passengers cheering their approval of the events that opportunistic Phillip had enjoyed as the humans pursued him.  Even in my mind, the noise from the car must have been deafening.  With a smile Paul continued, “After all that chasing around, I thought I’d better do something to get their attention and settle them down.  I went over to McDonald’s next door and got one of those $1 sausage breakfast sandwiches.  I thought that I’d tear off some pieces for treats to get their focus.  I had broken off small bites for everyone and was ready to take just a taste for myself when I found the rest of the sandwich missing.  It had somehow vanished in mid-air between my hand and my mouth.”  “Who would do a thing like that?” I questioned.  “Someone was trying to help you with your resolution to eat better,” I added in defense.  Phillip burped.  The smell of sausage filled the room.

“Phillip hasn’t been given the chance to associate car rides with fun times since memories of being tossed out the window and getting poked by vets are probably still present.  I’ll get some treats and go with you to the Humane Society for Animals.  There is a storm coming tonight, and I imagine they could use some help winterizing the place.  Let’s go!” I said justifying another errand.  “Yep, a storm’s a brewing!” Paul chimed in satisfied with the plan.

Bribed with “liver doodles” and kind words, Phillip climbed tentatively into my lap in the front seat as we got ready to go.  I noticed that black and white peach fuzz had replaced the mangy scabs that were washed down the shower drain with his first bath.  He felt as soft as a velveteen rabbit surrounded in a halo of newness.  Touching his baby downy fur was addictive.  I don’t know who enjoyed the ride more, Phillip or me.

All the shelter volunteers were introduced to Phillip, who praised him with words, treats, and tears.  As beautiful as he was becoming to us, his past was still visible to them.  Despite the kindness that surrounded him, Phillip also noted the desperate sounds from dogs missing families they once knew…unsure why they now lived here.  Others were happy and ready to move on into their new lives after being cared for and loved…maybe for the first time.  We placed Phillip back into the car and quickly went to work helping these animals in transition get warm and comfortable for the coming cold snap.

“Why look who learned how to drive!” Paul said approaching the car with Phillip sitting proudly in the driver’s seat and munching on something.  I opened my door to find the crumbs from newly emptied bag of Daylight Donuts.  The memory of the emblem on the second coffee cup returned.  “I wonder what a bag of donuts is doing in Phillip’s seat?” I teased.  “Perhaps, he is helping you keep that New Year’s resolution.”  Paul’s face flushed as his secret life was exposed.  Yes, indeed he did have a sweet tooth.  “I just wanted to show Phillip to Suzette at the donut shop, and I had to buy something,” he justified.  Suzette had adopted a cocker spaniel and shared her dog stories with us.  We knew so much about her dog through her tales that we felt like family.  “I hid those donuts under the seat really well.  I don’t know how he found them.  You didn’t think that I was planning on eating them, did you?” Paul explained away sheepishly.  Phillip burped again!

Go for Ride?

Phillip riding shotgun

From that day on, Phillip never had another problem riding in cars.  Phillip felt he was a much needed member of “team Paul” with a very important job.  He was always the first in line for rides and ever ready to dispose of any remnants from the man’s hidden stash of sweets before that gluten free, no sugar vegetarian could discover his secret.

Posted in Adoptable Foster Dog, car ride, Dog Photography, Herbal Medicine, medicinal weeds, Phillip, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment