Friday, April 10, 2009

JUST WHAT CAN YOU DO? from backpackingdad . . .

Backpacking Dad: What Can You Do?

Sometimes one must step out of voyeurism and get involved.

I do not know the Spohrs or Backpackingdad or THE WIND IN YOUR VAGINA or any of the people on the side of my blog except for The Cheeky Monkey Show. Being new to this realm, I am certainly more voyeur than blogger . . .

Yet . . .

However little I may know the Spohrs, who can deny their adorable Maddie who has moved on from this world so quickly.

Heather and Mike,

I am so sorry for your loss. Would that I could lend more comfort than to help you in laying your little beauty to rest and honoring her through March of Dimes .

Most Sincerely,

A mere stranger


Dear Anyone who Stumbles Across this Blog, however Inadvertently . . .

Please do what your heart moves you to do.

J Phoenix

Friday, April 3, 2009

JUST HELP "whosyourdachshund" . . .

As you may or may not know, I have four dogs -- "The Poopers" as I call the pack. Three of them are tweeny-dachshunds and the fourth, well . . . we call him Oliver. All of my pets over the last fifteen years or so have been rescues, mostly taken in from their families who no longer wanted them because there was a "new" animal or thing they wanted more.

I have taken two dogs from a doctor with a family of five kids -- their Great Dane, Muldoon, and their Beagle, Brownie. After taking the second dog in, I lost touch with them -- thankfully because I thought it horrible for them to continue getting "popular" pets that they tired of within short periods of time. Both these animals have since passed but they were well loved and cared for the last years of their lives.

I had a Boxer named Missy that I got from friends who bought a new Boxer puppy. Missy kept kicking the puppy's ass (the puppy kept asking for it) so she had to go. She was over ten years old and had been with that family since she was found as a baby. WTF!?!?! I no longer have a relationship with these "friends" either (my "x" got them in the divorce!). Missy lived to be 17 years old and took no shit from any dog, bigger or smaller than she. (Fun was watching Missy who is on the miniature size of boxerhood terrorize a 100 plus pound Rottweiler.) She raised my current dachshunds (my boys) for over a year before a seizure required me to put her to sleep.

I absconded with little Sammy. Sammy was a Yorkie who belonged to a dear friend of mine who places strays and unwanteds with families. Unfortunately for Sammy, he was bounced between a few homes and landed in one where the "husband" was too much a "man" to have a "little" dog and used Sammy for football practice. Manly, eh? My friend, BW, saw that action one day when the guy dropped kicked the dog down a set of stairs. She kicked that man's ass (BW is female and was in her late 50's the day this happened) and took the dog away. She told me the story and I took Sammy in up until his death at age 15.

I also had a Borzoi named Sherri that I inherited for the last few months of her life from my mother. I don't even remember how that ended up happening. I think it was because my mother knew I had the strength to put her down when it was time and I did just that. Sherry's claim to fame was saving Meagan's hamster from certain dachshund death when it escaped it's cage one fine day.

At the Houston Dog Show, a Bull Terrier Rescue Society lady came in with the saddest reject who had just been found on the side of the road that very day. I named her Sophie and immediately adopted her -- infected eyes, heartworms, bleeding wounds and all -- right there on the spot because she wedged herself right between my legs and refused to let me go. She picked me and I could not deny her. She was with me for four years until her massive heart finally gave out.

The only dog I've ever bought was my beloved English Bulldog Brutus. He was one who picked me and I found him irresistible. I loved him beyond words and still find it difficult to talk about him without shedding a tear. His life ended way too soon . . .

I stayed with each and everyone of these animals from the time I got them to the time of their death. I never allowed them to suffer or endure a moment of non-quality life. When it was time, I did not leave their side during euthanasia. I did not leave them until they left me. I never wanted them to feel abandoned again. I took them on and I promised to love them and keep them until the end. I owe them that for the love they so unendingly give to me. I kept my part of the bargain to each of them as they kept their part to me.

Please meet my boys . . .

Chad (or The Chad)

Yes, he is always this intense -- I tease him and call him Arnold Schwartsenweeny . . .

and Joey (or Joe-Bear).

Joey is a glued-to-your-side kinda boy -- super sweet and sensitive . . .

My boys came to me by way of BW. She knows of someone who breeds whatever is popular that day for profit. When a litter arrives, this lady counts the money until they're gone. However, at about the 4 week mark, she gets very tired of and bored with puppies and all that that implies (poop, feedings, mess!). The puppies had best go fast at that point or the remaining puppies have an "accident." They "accidentally" get out of the house, down the steps, and all the way across the yard (ALL BY THEMSELVES allegedly) to the fence where the woman's pit bulls are on "guard." The pits (who are to be pitied since their entire life is lived tied to the fence for home "protection" and with little human contact) attack and destroy the puppies. My boys were the last remaining puppies of such a litter and BW brought them to me at FOUR and A HALF WEEKS OLD. They will be eight years old this year and going strong. Both have survived back injuries which left them paralyzed for two months (about a year apart from each other).

**Allow me a moment to express my never-dying gratitude to my daughter Nichole for patiently providing therapy to the boys every day, six times a day without fail. She is solely responsible for the fact that the boys are extremely active and can walk and run and play without surgery. We would never have been able to afford the surgery and would have had to put them down. I did a lot of research on the Internet and found a therapy that lifted their spirits and, after the time and intensity described above, the issue healed and they are as if the paralysis had never occurred.**

And then came Lacy . . .

Lacy, Lacy, Lacy . . . or Lacy Lu Lu as Leon likes to call her. I found this little jewel wondering the streets of a nearby neighborhood. I sought her owners for a month after I found her. No one put up a sign, no one responded to my signs, no one came forward to claim this little creature of fabulosity!!! She is one of a kind for sure. I kinda think that someone didn't know their dachshunds and was maybe glad she got away??? Yea. And. Um. She thinks she's a cat too. A real cat. Not just the walking on the back of the furniture and the jumping (and mostly slipping off of) the windowsills and stuff but . . . she meows people. Yep. Really. Besides being CatDog, there are other little quirks that go along with having a Lacy -- she is a manipulator. Um. Hmm. For realsies. Examples? She will not touch her food until Chad, Joey and Oliver have eaten theirs and are eyeing her bowl. Then she will eat. One. Kibble. At. A. Time. Same with treats. She waits. Then taunts. For hours. She tries to manipulate me by getting "lost" on the back patio when it's time for dinner -- meaning, she knows where the damn doggy door is (around the side of the house from patio) but she looks through the glass and whimpers for me to come "save" her. All the while I can see her and she can see me and I just haven't quite figured out where this all going but it started about a week ago??? Weirdness. That's my baby girl though . . . pure weirdness.

And our latest addition, Oliver. I reserve Oliver for another post. His is such a story and such a character, and being the oddball in the bunch, he simply requires his very own blog. We'll just keep him as the Mystery Poo for now. =)

All of the reminiscing has been not just for me to blather about my most adored pets but because of a blog I found that I love . . .

No Ordinary Rollercoaster is a contributor to Who'sYourDachshund and has three dachsies of his own. I found him through Google Reader's "browse for stuff" section. Google Reader has been very good to me. I heart both these blogs LOTS.

To help with his cause on the dogblog and maybe because of the stories on it like the ones I told you above, please consider a donation to this:

Please help us help our four-legged, furry friends who cannot do this for themselves.

In the alternative or in conjunction with it, please consider this:

Not only can you "click to give" for animals but breast cancer, hunger, illiteracy and more. I click all the tabs daily -- please help, it's easy.

Thanks for reading and for giving . . . I hope your days are filled with love and grace.


*hug your pets today -- they love you like no other*

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

JUST A STORY INSPIRED BY "theselittlemoments" . . .

I read "Molly" today. I'm glad google reader popped her blog into my bloggers you might like window. You can visit her here. I don't know her IRL. She seems pretty awesome -- has an insatiable appetite for shoes and a big hairy beast of a dog. Shoes and Dogs. I like her writing. Nuff said.

I loved her blog today. She mentioned Starbuck's and kindness in the same blog entitled "Acts of Kindness."

Recently, while in Minot, ND, I really *wanted* Starbucks. I placed my order at the drive through and caterpillared my way to the window. I received my venti vanilla latte and was told to have a nice day. ???

Me: "I owe you $4.30 for the latte though?" (I know what my vanilla latte costs!)

Window Guy: (smiles) "No you don't -- the person in front of you paid for your coffee."

Me: (confused) "Why? I'm from out of town and don't know anyone here. I don't even know who
was in front of me because, I'll admit it, I wasn't paying any attention."

WG: (smiles really big, almost giggles) "A little while ago, one of our customers paid for
the person behind him and asked us to see if we could keep it going. He called it 'Pay It Backward Day today.' It's been going on for a couple of hours now."

I smiled. I laughed. I thought this was somewhat silly. It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside too, almost like a kid who's up to mischief (good mischief). This feeling increased when I looked in my rearview to see that, sure enough, there was a car behind me. In it was an elderly lady, in an older model Buick that had seen some better days, someone's grandmother for sure, hugged up onto the steering wheel with both hands gripping it fiercely at the top, complete with a flowery scarf tied around her "do" and horn-rimmed glasses on a chain.

I turned to the still smiling young man at the window.

Me: (grinning from ear to ear) "Well, let's just keep that happening! I would love to buy her b
everage for her, how much?"

I paid and drove away. I had to circle the building to get to the street so I got to see him explaining to her that I bought her coffee for her. A grande mocha cappuccino. She was the last car in line. There were no others. For some reason I felt even better, knowing she was last in line, that I got to see the end. I felt GREAT . . . and . . . something . . . something else . . . renewed . . . yes . . . that's it. RENEWED. I smiled all day and told everyone I could about it. It was silly, it was goofy, and, yea, it was a little weird BUT IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!

It was an awesome experience and I intend to do it here at my local Starbucks in Houston. For the silliness, for the goofiness and even for the weirdness but mostly for the FUN OF IT!!!!

Feels good, fun does.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Felice Festa della Donna a voi!!!

I received a chat on FB this morning from one of Meagan's friends in Italy who I met during my trip last year (yes, blogs and pics forthcoming one day *sigh*). Deejay is Italian and his chat was sent to wish me "Buon 8 marzo a voi" which translates to "Good 8 March to you." So very sweet that he remembered meeting me but "Good 8 March to you?"

Pardon my "duh-ness." Um. Yea. I had to go to my trusty-dusty Wikipedia.

It is International Women's Day today or, in Italy, The Festival of Women! This day is celebrated throughout the world . . . though not in the U.S. I find this interesting considering that several historical U.S. events projected this festival from a medieval tradition to a contemporary observance. Guess we have Valentine's Day, which is really commemorating a massacre -- what? And Mother's Day. I'm a mom. It's a tough job. We deserve to be honored for it. However, in the U.S., it seems, that is certainly enough woman celebrating. Is it time for kick-off yet?

There are relatively few sites (go figure) I found regarding this event. Modern festivals are held across many European countries and it is recognized worldwide as a day. The ancient festivals were dedicated to women and the new season/year -- spring -- and occurred around the end of February, beginning of March. The celebration's modern theme found its place on March 8 due to several historical events, primarily the New York textile factory fire of 1911 that killed 146 garment workers (most of whom were female Italian and Jewish immigrants). These women were locked in their building (with fabrics and GAS lamps) each day by management to assure their labors were completed. This event, resulting in the deaths of so many, prompted the formation of the first female union in the United States and was a catalyst in organized work place safety reform. The "Festival of Women" morphed into "International Women's Day" during this era.

Just another factoid: The Mimosa flower figures prominently in this celebration from it's ancient roots (HA! A pun!). It is the flower most often given to women on this day by the men in their lives. I think an Americanized version would certainly include the Mimosa!

Read more about the "Festival of Women" and "International Women's Day" here, here and here.

Soooooo . . .

. . . next year I will invite my fabulous and beautiful bosom (HA! Another pun!) buddies over for a celebration on March 8 to honor ourselves as women, complete with Mimosa's and Mimosa's!

Screw Valentine's Day!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


. . . after two, 12 plus hours, days drive through five states of snow! FIVE STATES!!! No black top to be seen for over six hundred miles across I-94, then down I-29 and the Kansas Turnpike.

My thoughts?

"Yo. Dudes. The road is still there under all that white. Seriously. It's there. NOW. MOVE. YOUR. COLLECTIVE. ASSES. I want to get home before summer."

Their thoughts? (as I imagine them to be)

"Texas plates. Um. Yea."

It's really, really good to be home. H-Town baaayyyy-bbbbeeee!!!


Thursday, February 5, 2009


Well, it happened over two weeks ago and is one of the reasons I can't manage a decent coordination of thoughts much less type them into something lucid and possibly entertaining . . .

Another one bit the dust. Clerk. That is. She left in the middle of the night. No sign of her the morning after but for a handwritten note with some BS story in it. Hmm.

A week later, through the seismic grapevine, it came to be known she just "didn't have enough 'her' time." Hmm.

Make no mistake, this is not an easy job. You're away from home a lot. It's a huge responsibility to admin a 100 man crew, multi-million dollar projects and all the accounting that entails. You get paid well for it.

Point? You get paid to work 12 hours a day -- not to have "me" time for 8 of those hours.


Subsequent thought: Why is it people expect to get paid very well and have to do absolutely nothing for it? It is a source of endless amazement to me . . .

I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.

However, not my company at the moment // more later on that one. The only thing I have been able to write is a blistering draft of an email that no one in their right mind would ever send to their "superiors" (scoffs) about the direction they are taking the company and their methodology that spells B-A-N-K-R-U-P-T-C-Y . . . can't go there today, can't go there today, can't go there today . . .

Except to throw out that I may head to Angola for some International experience and to get away from it all . . .

Thinking . . .

Thinking . . .

Thinking . . .