Friday, June 30, 2017

Can you guess my secret?

I've got a secret. Something's changed here at The Writer's Dog. Something exciting, a little bit different, a little scary, and I can't wait to tell you. But first, I thought we'd play a little game.
Can you guess my secret?

1. We're opening a retirement home for senior golden retrievers.
2.  I'm under contract for a series of exciting books about dogs.
3. My first book, Dieting with my Dog, is being made into a movie.
4. We rescued a family of cats, so I'll be blogging about cats too.
5. Ernest earned his TDI to become a therapy dog.
6. The blog is undergoing a fantastic new redesign.
7. We're moving to the country.
8. We got a new puppy.

Leave your guess in the comments.
Only one answer is right. What do you think it is? One winner will be drawn from everyone who guesses the right answer. Winner will receive this Life is Good sticker.

(Please provide an email address so I'll have a way to contact you if you win.)
**Sorry, those who already know the answer please don't tell and spoil the game! Thanks!
Have fun guessing!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Cover Dogs- Kelly and Ike Forever

Have you seen Guidepost's new All Creatures magazine? If you love--or ever have been loved by--a dog, cat or other special creature, you'll want to read this magazine. And this month, I'm especially honored that my dogs Kelly and Ike are featured on the cover (July/August issue).

Here's how it happened. A little more than 3 months ago we were preparing to say goodbye to Kelly. She was 16 years old, and had been suffering from CCD (Canine Cognitive Disorder) for quite some time. I'd written a story for All Creatures about how our 10 year old golden retriever, Ike, became her therapy dog and helped her navigate through this illness. Even more touching was that Kelly had always been the bossy one, but Ike never held it against her. He gently guided her when all her senses and cognitive functions failed.

A wonderful magazine photographer came and took photos of Kelly and Ike together. Then, 5 days later, Ike unexpectedly passed away. He had hemangiosarcoma. A mass on his spleen ruptured. Without Ike, Kelly was lost and only a week later, we lost her too.

The story in the magazine, however, is not about their passing, but instead about how I dealt with Kelly's illness and about two dogs who loved and needed each other. It really was quite beautiful to see them together. I'll never forget them. I miss them.

It's not all sad though. A month ago we adopted 8 1/2 year old Ernest and he proudly shows off the magazine cover!

I'm very happy that Kelly and Ike's story is included in the magazine. For those who get the magazine, I hope you'll enjoy it.  (You'll also find my monthly column in each issue with pet care tips.) If you're interested, here's information on where you can subscribe to All Creatures.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Old Gold in my Life- 3 Before and After

I never intended to adopt senior dogs. Never planned to have my heart broken over and over again. But then again, I wasn't prepared for the amazing joys either. I never sought out senior dogs. But they keep finding me.

First there was Brooks. He was 11 yrs old when we adopted him. Someone had apparently dumped the old guy and left him to survive on his own.
This was sad Brooks before we rescued him:

Brooks Before
This was Brooks a few months later, after a little love:

Brooks After

I thought I could never love a dog, or be loved by a dog, the way it was with Brooks. Then came Ike. Here's goofy Ike in the rescue group's photo:

Ike Before
  Here's Ike after we got him, and he became a certified therapy dog. He was so loving.

Ike After
 Recently my husband and I decided to rescue a younger dog. But a month ago Ernest found us. He's 8 1/2 years old. Here he is the day we adopted him. He was scared.

Ernest Before

And here he is one month later. He's happy, relaxed, full of energy and nonstop love.

Ernest After

Why do I love senior goldens? They fit my lifestyle. They're pretty mellow most of the time. And mostly, there is a gentle wisdom about senior dogs. They've learned about life, sometimes the hard way, and they understand what they need. Mostly, my senior goldens have just wanted to be loved. 

Other dogs may come into our life. But we'll always have a place for senior dogs. My husband told me recently that when he retires, he'd like to open a retirement home for senior goldens. I can't think of a better way to spend our golden years.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Meet Ernest!

We have HAPPY NEWS!!--a new friend has joined our family. Meet Ernest!

Just over 2 months ago, we lost our sweet spaniel-mix Kelly (who was 16) and our loyal golden retriever Ike (who was 10). We still miss them every day, but to us a home just isn't a home without a dog. So we began our search for a new friend to love. After losing several senior dogs in a short time, we weren't exactly looking for another old-timer. But....

Our rescue group was on the lookout for just the right dog for us. They are amazing at making great matches. And they found an 8 1/2 year old golden retriever who was being surrendered and needed a forever home. He'd been kept mostly in a cage at his old home, and was a lonely boy. He was filthy, his fur felt like wire bristles, and we pulled five ticks off of him the day he arrived. He had tons of energy, wanted to be touched and patted every waking moment, barked for attention.
And we're so glad he's ours!

After two weeks he's settled into our routine, feels secure that we're not leaving him, and just loves being loved! With a bath and good nutrition, his fur is almost all soft. And he's just the most wonderful dog! I hope he lives a long and healthy life, and we're looking forward to however much time we're blessed to have with him.

I've never had nicknames for my dogs before but I also call Ernest: Ernie, Lil Bear, and Buddy Boy. Welcome to the family sweet Ernest!