Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bentley & Pierre's 2013



This is the time of year everyone looks back to see if they have really accomplished anything during the past 365 days.  I was discussing this with my Basset Hound, Bentley and our granddog, Pierre the Westie earlier today.  They both feel that they had a very successful 2013.  I told them it would be fine if they shared their reflections of the past year in today’s blog.  I suggested they draw straws to see who would go first but Bentley nixed that idea.  Pierre thought he should go first since technically he is a guest in our home.  Bentley said that was a lame reason and so it went back and forth.  I told them we would go alphabetically which meant Bentley first by either name or breed.  Sometimes, it is necessary to put my foot down with those two.
Bentley: My year had its ins and outs.  What I mean is I go to the back door, bang the blinds, my mom, or dad let me out, I go bark at the neighbor before I come back to the door and hit it to signal them that I want back inside.  I must say my people have been well trained.  Of course, I could ring the dog bells hanging on the door and bark to come back in but that is so overused by dogs.  Last February, we participated in the Barkus and Meoux Mardi Paw parade.  There were at least a gazillion dogs of every description there.  We wore costumes, made a lot of new friends and I even made the evening news!  Some humans that read my mom’s book started sending me fan mail and I even got some presents in the mail.  I have decided to cooperate when we go out for walks.  It makes me look so much more distinguished when I do not have to drag mom around.  Sometimes a smell still leads me astray but you know…puppy steps.  I also discovered a cool new store called Petsmart.  It is wall-to-wall pet stuff and I get to go inside to shop.  Mom and Dad let me pick out toys, smell a bunch of dog food, and look at some strange lizards.  I didn’t really understand why they had chew bones out in open bins if they weren’t meant to be free samples.  It seemed a bit of a cruel hoax to me but Dad bought me some so it was okay.  We also went to the “Stinko De Mayo” pet wash to benefit the dog park some good folks are trying to get established.  I think it would be awesome to have a place to play with other dogs.  Pierre came to live with us during the summer.  I like having him here even if he is a bit hyper.  We wrestle and play chase in the yard.  He takes off running, can’t stop when he gets to me, and ends up using me as a springboard.  I usually have to take him down for that until he says “Uncle.”  I have a bunch more that I could tell you but he is whining that I am taking up too much space so I’ll let him give you his account of his year. 
Pierre: Happy New Year everyone!  I am so excited to tell you how fabulous my 2013 has been.  What?  Oh, Granma says I can’t give you an actual day-by-day account so I suppose I will just touch on the highlights.  I started the year living with my mom in our apartment.  It was just the two of us and we had a great time together.  We went to the Mardi Paw parade with Bentley and Tucker.  The three of us looked so good.  I am still a bit miffed that I wasn’t on the news too but who understands the media.  Anyway, my mom’s boyfriend asked her to marry him.  She discussed it with me and I told her it would be fine.  I’d love to have a daddy and I knew it would make her very happy.  The thing was, he lives very far away on an Army base where it snows really deep and gets in the sub-zero temperatures.  Now, I’m not saying I couldn’t handle that type of weather but I’m more of a mid-sixties temp guy.  I asked her if I could stay with Granma and Papaw until they move to a more reasonable climate next summer.  I love my Papaw because he gives me treats.  I packed up my stuff and made myself right at home with them.  It has been quite an experience.  I get to run in the back yard, play chase, and I have discovered these furry animals that like me to terrorize them.  Granma calls them “squirrels.”  I sit at the back door and watch for them to climb down a tree.  I kind of lose my mind when they get on the ground.  I run in a circle screaming until they open the door, then I charge out and yell at those squirrels to get out of my yard.  They do too; they are really scared of me.  Bentley laughs at me because he says I will never catch one but I keep trying.  I’ve also discovered some underground squirrels that papaw calls “moles.”  I try hard to dig them up but they have eluded me so far.  I love to chase lizards but they have gone away since it has gotten cold outside.  I miss them and I still check the monkey grass to make sure they aren’t just hiding.  I’m being spoiled here at my grandparents’ house but they insist that is their job.  Bentley is glad I am here because I get on the couch all of the time and now he can get on the couch too.  Before I moved in, dogs weren’t
allowed on the furniture.  I think that he owes me one for that privilege.  Well, I guess I’d better go see if Bentley wants to go outside and bark for no apparent reason; after all, it’s getting late.    


This is a Blog Hop for BlogPawsChat on New Year's Eve! @PetBox will be giving away 50 PetBoxes during the Twitter Chat 8-10p.m.est Come join us!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sepia Saturday



Serenity and Sepia Saturday

Today is the first Sepia Saturday Blog Hop hosted by Ruckus the Eskie. 
 It should be a scenic hop so let's get started.
In my photograph, Bentley's paw fills my palm 
almost as much as he fills my heart. <3

Thanks for the opportunity to participate Ruckus ~ Happy Sepia Hopping!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Follow~Up Friday


It’s my Follow~Up Friday to recap what has happened this week!

Christmas Time: This has been a terrific holiday week.  We were able to enjoy family, food, and laughter.  A person can’t ask for much more out of this festive time of year.  The boys were treated especially well by Santa.  Apparently, he didn’t keep an extremely close watch on them the entire year!  The mail carrier delivered another gift package today from our daughter, (Pierre’s Mom) from Alaska.  She sent a squeaky Santa that Pierre threw around and chased non-stop.  They also each got an elk antler to chew on but I haven’t given those to them.  Bentley gets a little too possessive when it comes to bones.  By that, I mean he feels that ALL bones are his property, nobody else can smell, lick, touch, or look in the direction of them.  He is very easy-going except when it comes to these particular treats.  Really it’s not his fault…it’s just that all of the bones in the world belong to him and other dogs don’t seem to recognize this fact.  Due to this misunderstanding, the elk antlers will have to be for their special “alone” times. 

Christmas Clean~up: We spent today packing up the Christmas decorations and getting the house back in order.  Bentley’s new bed was moved to our room last night and he slept until 10:30 this morning.  He is usually up and tapping my arm at 8:00 every morning.  I heard him attempt to get up once around that time, so I peeked out of one eye to watch.  He stretched, pulled himself halfway off the bed, yawned, curled back up, and was snoring within seconds.  I had to smile and chuckle before I turned over to enjoy my extra sleep. 

Move Your Mutt: I’ve enjoyed participating in the blog hops and I hope that you have discovered some new bloggers to follow.  There have been some great holiday photographs and cards along with some great posts.  I’ve found that quite a few of my BlogPaws community members take part in SlimDoggy’s fitness challenge so Bentley and I are officially joining.  You can watch our progress as we walk and play our way to a healthier 2014.  I think that since I have posted it here, I’ll look silly if I don’t follow through with it and you can call me on it.  Yikes!! 

The New Year: I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday and are ready to welcome the New Year.  I spent most of 2013 learning the ins and outs of book self-publishing.  It looks like 2014 will be spent learning more about book marketing, as well as blogging.  I am hoping to attend the BlogPaws Community convention in May.  I’ll be writing more about this as time goes on and I find out the details.  From what I can tell, it appears that it will be yet another 365 days of non-stop learning.  I’m looking forward to it.

Thanks to Jodi Stone of Heart Like A Dog for hosting today’s Follow~Up Friday Blog Hop!  Have fun hopping over to see what everyone else is following up with today!

Before you leave, please read about today’s adoptable pet of the day.
 

PetSavers Adoptable Pet of the Day


You’ll love Lucy! 



She is a 5-year-old Basset Hound who came to PetSavers after being separated from her brother.  He was adopted
and she was really sad being alone.  Like most Bassets, Lucy would rather be with people or another dog than left alone. 
She is a sweetheart that loves attention, going on walks, and belly rubs. 
Lucy gets along great with children, other dogs, and even cats!  She doesn’t care for thunderstorms so she’ll need to be reassured and have a safe place to retreat  during bad storms.  This adorable girl is house-trained but she has been known to be an escape artist.  She is waiting to steal your heart and become a part of your forever family.  Please contact PetSavers to adopt Lucy today!

           
*On a personal note: I am the proud owner of a Basset Hound.  They are
sweet, wonderful dogs.  They have hearts as big as all outdoors and make
amazing best friends.  All of the dogs available at PetSavers are great and
deserving but I just imagine my Bentley being alone there, waiting for a family, and my heart breaks.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

    

Thursday, December 26, 2013

This and That Thursday

This...
   I hope y’all had a great Christmas and Santa left goodies for everyone.  We had a great day and the boys were thrilled with all of their treats and toys.  Bentley got a Kong bed and has already told me that he will be sleeping in late this morning.  Pierre had so many new squeaky toys to choose from, he ran in circles grabbing each in his mouth.  You can see them in these photos from Christmas morning.  Pierre wants me to explain that he simply did not have a chance for his usual primping before
the camera appeared.  They had a wonderful time playing and chasing each other as they snatched toys from one another.    

   This...The next few days will be rough on Bentley since fireworks are legal in our city.  He absolutely HATES all types of fireworks.  We will let him out in the backyard to do his business, he’ll get halfway across the yard, and a firecracker will pop.  He makes a U-turn, hustling his tail back to the door, and promising that he doesn’t need to go that bad.  New Year’s Eve is torture for him so we keep the television turned up and he stays between us on the couch.  Pierre doesn’t get too upset about the noise, he will bark at them.  Luckily, the neighborhood pyrotechnic display has dwindled down over the past few years.

  This too... My “Make Your Pet A Star” contest ended and I have to choose three finalists out of all my entries.  It’s exciting to be able to feature someone’s pet in my new book.  I’ll be posting the three most interesting pet stories on my Facebook page December 29th.  The pet with the most “likes” on their photo will be the winner.  I’ll begin writing the third installment of The Returns in January.  It is always fun to start a new adventure with the gang.  I truly love going off into my own little world of my special dogs, cats, FBI agents, and angels to begin a new adventure.  In this book, they are on the trail of someone threating New Orleans with explosives.  It should be quite an experience.

  And That... I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions because I never like to set myself up for a failure.  However, I am seriously considering taking SlimDoggy up on the “Resolve to Move Your Mutt” challenge.  If you want to join me and I’d really like some company…here is the link to SlimDoggy’s blog with the information: http://slimdoggy.com/new-years-resolutions-for-your-dog/ Bentley and I would both benefit from getting in better shape.  I love him way too much to lose him because he is overweight.  Pierre isn’t overweight but he would love to be even more active.  You can check back with me on the big plan and let’s do this together with SlimDoggy.  He has a lot of great information to share.

   That’s it for my first This and That Blog Hop.  I appreciate 2 Brown Dawgs and Ruckus the Eskie for hosting this hop.  Before you leave to see what everyone else is blogging about, please check out THIS Adoptable Pet because it is important!

PetSavers Adoptable Pet of the Day

http://www.petsaversshreveport.org/index.php


Hi, my name is Pinkie.  I’m a fun-loving girl looking for my forever family.  You can tell by my sweet face that I’ll make someone a wonderful best friend.  We could take walks, play fetch, and you could teach me all sorts of impressive tricks.  Everyone needs a best girlfriend to keep their secrets, listen to them without interrupting, and to give them a hug.  Hey, that’s describes me perfectly!  Please call PetSavers to schedule an appointment so we can meet.  You’ll be so glad you did.
 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Have A Wonderful Christmas


I will be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family and taking a break from the computer.  Have a wonderful holiday, stay safe, and don't forget your four-legged family members!  Barking from the Bayou will be back on December 26th.  If Santa brings you a new e~reader, don't forget to get your paws on a copy of The Returns and The Returns 2 ~ Showstoppers!  Just click the books on this page.
                                                                                          Merry Christmas,
                                                                                          M. K. Clinton
                                                                                          and The Returns
                                                                                         Tucker, Bentley, Bones & Pierre
                                                                                         

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Mischief Blog Hop

Muffin Mischief
Tucker, our Golden Retriever always loved getting treats. If we happened to stand by the treat jar, he would sit and clear his throat until we realized where we were and give him one. Anytime I baked, he always felt it was only fair that he was given a "sample" taste. Of course, birthdays were always his favorite times of the year because it meant a giant chocolate chip cookie. It was the only time he sang. He howled along with "Happy Birthday" from the first note to the last. This tail thumped wildly as his waited for his tiny slice of cookie to be placed on his plate. He was a gentlemen about it and never took what was not offered.
One afternoon I had baked bran muffins and set them on the counter to cool. He paced nervously waiting for his complimentary bite. I washed the mixing bowls and while the muffins cooled, Bentley needed to go outside. We went out in the yard but Tucker sat down in the living room letting us know he didn't need to join us. We shrugged and went outside while Bentley took care of his business. Tucker was still sitting innocently in the living room when we came back inside.
I returned to the kitchen to brew some coffee to drink with our warm muffins for an afternoon snack. I filled our cups, grabbed the butter, and a couple of plates. Setting everything on the table, I went back to get two of the muffins. Hmmm, that's funny...there were only eleven muffins on the cooling rack. I asked my husband if he'd already eaten one. "No, I was outside with you." There was no evidence on the floor, one had not fallen, no empty paper cupcake wrapper, and no crumbs. Suddenly, a very guilty looking Golden Retriever stuck his big head around the corner of the cabinet. He gave me his "Mom, I love you...and you're a great muffin maker," puppy dog eyes. My first question was "Tucker, did you eat one of these?" His tail answered, "Thump, thump, thump." Translation: "Yes ma'am. It was yummy, I'm sorry, kind of, but not really."
While we were outside, he had gone into the kitchen, did a bit of counter surfing, snitched a muffin and devoured it paper wrap and all. Then, returned to the living room as if he'd never moved. Well played Tucker, well played.


Snoopy's Dog Blog

Thanks to the Monday Mischief Pet Blog Hop Hosts:


My Brown Newfies, Alfies Blog, Snoopys Dog Blog

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Black and White Sunday

I'm joining my first Black and White Sunday Blog Hop hosted by Dachshund Nola and Sugar the Golden Retriever! No story needed, just enjoy the photo and hop to next blog!


Baby Bentley

Friday, December 20, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas tree

As a pet owner, I hate to admit that I have missed some hilarious photo opportunities. Bentley, my Basset has some priceless expressions at the most unexpected times. For example, we had a redwood picnic table in the backyard that was past its picnic days. We decided to haul it to the dump one day while the dogs were inside napping. When they woke up and came outside to take care of their business, neither dog noticed the missing table. Bentley sniffed around our building before heading over to give the picnic table a good gnawing. He had taken about ten steps before it dawned on him there was no table. We sat on the porch and laughed as the most amazed look crossed his face. It is the first time I have ever seen a dog so stunned! Did I have the forethought to have a camera? Nope. Did we discuss that Bentley was going to be shocked to realize the table was no longer there? Yes. Ugh!
Since that time, I have tried and missed many more prime opportunities. Now that I am blogging dogs daily, I have promised myself to do better. This brings me to the Christmas tree. Our granddog, Pierre the Westie, besides being the happiest dog ever born also hates anything to change or move in the house. I was certain when the Christmas tree was decorated with ornaments, tinsel, and lights, he would go crazy. Both dogs stayed outside helping with yard work while the lights and ornaments were hung. I plugged in the lights, had Christmas carols playing, my camera ready, and my cellphone on video. There was no way the hijinks and hilarity was going to be missed this go around! I opened the back door, called the boys in, clicked my video, and started
recording. Bentley trotted in and went immediately for his spot on the couch. Now, for the excitement…Pierre comes running in at his usual warp speed and nothing…nada…zilch. He walked over to the dazzling lights adorning the festive 6’ tree, glanced at it, and hopped up next to Bentley on the couch for a snooze fest. WHAT?!?!?!?!? “Don’t you guys see that I am ready for a great photo shot? Where is that stunned look? What about a hysterical barking fit? C’mon give me something; I have my camera this time! Sigh.” I guess that I should have added a squirrel up in the branches.
Neither dog cared a thing about the tree or the presents that I wrapped to put under it. They did give the gifts a cursory sniff but quickly realized they did not contain any sort of food or treats and lost interest. It looked like there would be no problems, and then the UPS man came to the door with packages. We opened the boxes to discover gaily-wrapped presents from relatives to add to the tree. I didn’t give it a second thought since the chances were small they had food in them. What I didn’t consider was the powerful sniffer decipher on Bentley. He smelled new people and their pets on the gifts and felt it was his duty to open them to investigate. It was funny but no chance for photos while rescuing gifts. Now, I have all our gifts from relatives off the floor and still waiting on the perfectly hilarious Christmas photograph. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a great reaction to the gifts from Santa Paws. I’ll have my camera ready; just let me remember to charge the batteries!


Fill PetSaver’s Stocking for Christmas

If you would love to be able to help PetSavers in Shreveport, LA. but aren’t in a position to adopt a dog or cat, there are many other ways to lend a paw. Don’t wait to make it a New Year’s resolution, get a jumpstart on making a difference now.

DONATE: Of course, donations are always welcome and appreciated. It is expensive to house, feed, and care for all of the animals at the facility. You can make donation in your name, anonymously, or in the name of a loved one, even a beloved pet. Just click on this link to give PetSavers a monetary stocking stuffer! https://npo.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=42-1645998

GIFT: If you would rather give a present to them, they always need scoopable cat litter, Wal Mart gift cards to buy basic supplies, and Kuranda Dog & Cat beds. They have a link to the beds on their webpage. They receive 10% of the sale and you receive 10% off by clicking on their banner ad. Win/win situation for everyone on two and four legs!

VOLUNTEER: Now, if you have more time than money on your hands, that’s great too. PetSavers is in desperate need of volunteers and there are many positions available. Please take a few moments to read over these and find one you’d enjoy. If your club or organization is looking for a community service project, look no further! Contact these wonderful pet lovers and let them know they can count on you. http://www.petsaversshreveport.org/index.php

POSITIONS AVAILABLE:

Adoption Counselor: Greet and assist potential adopters in pet selection, explain policies, answer their questions, remove pets from the kennels/runs and allow prospective adopters to interact with them. Help with general administrative duties. Time Commitment is at least one day per week 12:00 p.m. ~ 4:00 p.m.
Cat Socialization & Grooming: This one-on-one attention with cats ensures they get exercise and stress relief to keep them adoptable, active, happy, and healthy. Assist the public with visiting the cats and helping the cats find forever homes.
Dog Socialization & Grooming: Exercise and socialize dogs to increase adoptability, bathe and groom them to make dogs more comfortable and adoptable. Assist the public with visiting the dogs and help them find their forever homes.
Dog Walker: Give the dogs socialization and heart-healthy exercise with a brisk walk around the neighborhood. PetSavers requires completion of a minimum of 40 hours as a Shelter Assistant Volunteer in order to be considered as a Dog Walker. Dog Walkers must fulfill one scheduled shift per week.
Dog Day Adventures: Take a dog out for a day of fun and adventure. Put the dog in an “Adopt Me” vest; sign him or her out for the day and head to a local park, coffee shop, or downtown. Give your favorite dog a little bit more exposure, increase their opportunity for adoption, and allow them a nice break from the shelter. You must become a Dog Walker before being promoted for Dog Day Adventures.
Junior Volunteer: Volunteers age 12 ~ 17 years are Junior Volunteers. At this time, PetSavers has limited opportunities for Junior Volunteers. They will work with High School Seniors who need to complete required educational volunteer hours. Join their Junior Volunteer Call~to~Action list and they will call you when opportunities abound!
Maintenance/Grounds: There is always something that needs to be done around the grounds of PetSavers. If you are a “handy-person” your skills are always needed somewhere. Please help out with the mowing, gardening, minor building repairs, painting, clean-up, etc.
Phone Volunteer: Wouldn’t you love to help people help their pets? Volunteers are needed to answer phone calls and solve problems as well as find solutions. You can help educate callers about PetSavers programs and services.
Photographer/Biographer: Take digital photos and compose appealing, fun descriptions of shelter animals for PetSavers web site and/or PetFinder.com; write articles for the Pet Savers web site and newsletters.
Shelter Assistant: Clean cat rooms and dog/puppy runs. Feed and water the animals. Help exercise the dogs, praise them with treats and attention. This is a critical volunteer position that helps give the pets a safe and pleasant place to live.
Social Media Volunteer: This is an opportunity for anyone interested in volunteering at home for PetSavers’ social media outlets. These include Facebook, Twitter, and the ability to develop more social media outreach. You must have your own email address, access to a computer, and working knowledge of previously mentioned sites.
Special Events Support: PetSavers has many events throughout the year. You can sign up to be on their mailing list and they will call upon you to help with the next event. Events range from adoptions to fundraising. Most events happen on the weekend but whenever they are, they’re guaranteed to be a BLAST!!!
Transporter: PetSavers is always in need of assistance in transporting pets back and forth to doctor appointments and other activities. Sign up to be on the call list.

Just a few Volunteer Requirements: 1. At least 18 years old. (If your 12 ~ 17 yrs. old, the Junior Volunteer Program can provide a wonderful volunteer experience when opportunities are available.)
2. You must be able to squat, bend, twist, lift, or stand for long periods when working directly with animals.
3. Volunteers must possess strong customer service and clear communication skills as all volunteer position work directly with the public, staff, and other volunteers.
4. Work both indoors and outdoors in all weather conditions during both daylight and potentially after dark.
5. You could experience frequent exposure to loud noises, odors, fumes, chemicals, and animal waste.
6. Walk on paved and unpaved surfaces and flooring that may be uneven or wet/dry.
7. There may be exposure to animals that may be agitated and attempt to bite or scratch.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

At the "Meet the Bloggers" Hop


  I am really having fun with my new blog format.  Barking from the Bayou has proven to be the perfect outlet for me to gush over dogs.  Several of you have written with story ideas and I’ll be including them in the near future.  I appreciate your support and welcome your input. 
   One of the great things about having a dog-focused blog is the new readers and followers.  I have also discovered “Blog Hops” and they are such fun.  Today’s hop is “Meet the Blogger” and you can follow the links at the bottom of this section to discover some other awesome pet bloggers and their sites.  I appreciate Kolchak Puggle for the invitation to join in the excitement.  She posed some questions to answer in an attempt to learn something different about all of the participants.  Let’s hop to it now!
What have I don't that makes me proud?
Assuming this does not mean my marriage or raising my children, which are my biggest sources of pride, I’d have to say writing and publishing my books and this blog.  I’m very proud that I set this page up on my own.  When I first decided to write a blog, I was absolutely terrified it would kill my computer if I touched the wrong button.  Now, I click fearlessly and have even dared to mess around with the intimidating HTML codes!  My first love in writing has to be my book series, The Returns.  Earlier this month, I held both books in paperback for the first time.  It was surreal.
My List of Favorite Things~
   I love to read, so when I saw the favorite book question I thought “no problem.”  Then, I saw the additional comment non-animal related.  Ugh…that makes it a bit harder.  It truly is like picking a favorite body part.  I loved the Hunger Games trilogy, “Honest Illusions” by Nora Roberts, and “Promise Cove” by Vickie McKeehan.  My favorite non-animal movie would probably have to be “Sweet Home Alabama” but still there is lovable dog in it and Disney’s “Up” has the talking dog.  Hmmm…okay, how about The Wizard of Oz?  Still a dog...darn!  As far as my favorite actor, I love Bradley Cooper.  My favorite restaurant food is Mexican but anything my husband grills is my favorite home cooking!  Yummy!  The dogs agree with the grilling as a favorite!  My weakness is any kind of nuts or bread.  I can eat my way through a can of mixed nuts or a bag of almonds at a ridiculous rate.  Don’t even let me near fresh baked rolls or bread.  It can get ugly!
How would I describe myself and how would others describe me?
   I’m a creature of habit and way too organized.  I even alphabetize my spices.  It is impossible for me to leave my house without making the bed.  I don’t do messy very well.  It can be a bit annoying because I put things away before people are finished using them.  I can usually find things when anyone needs it though.  My kids like the saying, “It’s not really lost until mom can’t find it.”  I hope people would describe me as nice and funny.
How would my dogs describe me?  What drives me crazy about them and what would I change?  If I didn’t have them, what animal would I have?
   If you asked my dogs, they would say I’m a pushover and like to hug on them too much.  I am most like my Basset Hound Bentley because neither of us enjoy being woke up before we are ready.  We both need to exercise on a regular basis!  I strive to be as happy as my "granddog", Pierre. 
It drives me nuts that they can’t really talk to me but they melt my heart when they come lay their heads on my shoulder to love.  If I could change anything about them, it’d be their lifespan.  If I didn’t have Bentley, well, I can’t think about that.  If I had a choice of another animal, I’d still have another dog.  I could very easily become one of those “crazy dog ladies” if I had the room and the money.  I am very prone to acute puppy envy.
What Would I Change About My Life?
   I’m very happy with my life so I don’t think I’d change anything.  I wouldn’t complain if I had a metabolism that allowed me to eat anything and not gain weight.  It would be very satisfying to be able to make a real difference in the lives of abandoned, neglected, and abused dogs.  That would fill my heart with such joy.  Of course, I’d love to become a bestselling author! 
That’s my story for now and I’m sticking to it.



Sunday, December 15, 2013

That Doggie in the Window

   We’ve all walked by the pet stores and seen the adorable puppies and kittens frolicking in the big front window display.  I’m sure back in 1953 when Patti Page sang, “How Much is that Doggie in the Window,” people didn’t give much thought to where the store received “the one with the waggy tail.”  As the saying goes, the times they are a-changing…
   The availability of pups from pet stores has diminished in the past few years.  However, there are still too many in the business of offering designer dogs for ridiculously high prices.  As long as there is a demand, there will be stores selling them and puppy mills breeding them.  What’s wrong with that, you ask?  Let me explain…
   Puppy mills are large-scale breeding operations where the puppies are considered products for profit.  Most puppies are kept in over-crowded, unsanitary conditions with little or no socialization.  Most of the cute little puppies in those pet stores have never played outside, been to the vet, or handled with care.  They are kept in wire cages with little food or water, taken from their mothers at 6 weeks of age, then hauled in an 18-wheeler truck by a pet broker to various pet stores.  Once the puppies get to the store, if they are lucky, a vet gives them a quick check-up before they are made presentable, and then put out on display.
   Meanwhile, back at the puppy mill the female dogs are bred again as soon as possible.  When the time comes that they are no longer able to reproduce, they are often abandoned, shot, or starved.
   I know this is not a happy story, but it is an important one.  What can you do to help?  First, NEVER buy a puppy or kitten from a pet store and NEVER buy your pet from a website or ad.  No reputable, responsible breeder will sell a pet to someone without meeting the potential buyer first.  If you go visit a home that is advertising puppies for sale and discover they have a variety of breeds for sale, be VERY LEERY!  Better yet, leave.  Most breeders specialize in a particular breed and have a wealth of knowledge on their dog of choice. 
   Christmas season is a huge time in the pet industry, not only for the sale of new pets but for gifts and stocking stuffers for our furry friends.  Remember, a new puppy or kitten is not a toy to play with until you get bored.  They are a responsibility for the life of that animal.  Make certain before you put one under the tree, that you are ready for that type of commitment.  Never give a pet as a surprise present for someone.  This video from the ASPCA is not graphic, but it does make a point.
  There is another way you can help in the fight against puppy mills.  Please join with me in signing the pledge to “Not Shop Until They Stop.”  It is a pledge sponsored by the ASPCA stating you refuse to buy anything from a store that sells puppies or kittens.  To sign, follow the link on the video or just click on the badge at the upper left sidebar of this page.  Thank you!
   If you are looking for a pet, why not consider adopting?  Your local shelter has many wonderful friends just waiting for a loving home.     

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holiday Gift Ideas & Blog Hop

Yappy Holidays! Fleas Navidad! Today I am joining in my first Blog Hop! It is a Holiday Gift Blog so I am going to feature some great gift ideas for both pet lovers and lovers of pets. Since we are officially empty nesters with no grandchildren, our furry babies get tons of gifts from Santa Paws. Bentley has asked for a new bed and our granddog, Pierre wants a squirrel. Actually, Bentley wants OUR bed and Pierre wants a REAL squirrel but even Santa has to draw the line somewhere! I also have a link to my Pinterest Board “Dog Gifts for Dogs & their Humans.” After you check out the gifts here, click on some of the other blogs to discover what great suggestions they have dreamed up!


For Your Best Friend:



*Martha Stewart Pets Large Self-Piped Bolster Bed ToyShoppe Flatty Plush Toy & Martha Stewart Cable Sweater are available at Petsmart.com **Christmas Dog Treats available at www.healthyhoundbakery.com ***Pugz Dog Boots available at www.baxterboo.com

For the Pet Lover:

*Dog Breed Tees available on Amazon.com **Gift Basket from www.dogloversgiftbasket.com ***I kissed a dog tee from www.keeponwagging.com ****Basset Hound wine is from The Slobber Shoppe and a portion of the sale benefits Basset Rescue *****The Returns series are my books and make great gifts for the dog lover! Available on Amazon by clicking the link on this page!

Visit my Pinterest board "Dog Gifts for Pets & their Humans" for more great fun ideas! http://www.pinterest.com/mkclinton/dog-gifts-for-pets-their-humans/