Monday, March 28, 2011


We had a rainy weekend, but when Samba and I went outside at 2 AM this morning we had a big surprise. The yard was covered with snow.
We didn't say anything and by the time everyone else got up this morning, the snow was gone from the grass, but there were still traces of it on the deck.
As you can see, there were some happy dogs this morning when they discovered the white stuff.
It doesn't take much to make these guys happy.
Now, let's get back to spring.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Samba Is Hungry

All my dogs are lean. Dr B and I think it's healthier for them to stay lean. It puts less strain on their joints and keeps them in generally good health. Samba, though, feels that she's not being fed enough. Because she's on pretty high doses of Prednisone for her MMM,  she is constantly hungry.

Last month we started her on a special diet high in Omega 3 oils and low in Omega 6 oils.  Since then she's been truly convinced that she's  being starved.
She has started eating bird seed obligingly thrown on the floor by our two messy birds and I've caught her munching on my houseplants. When outside she tries to supplement her diet with anything she can find, including sticks.

She's finally gotten her message across. Because her special diet allows fewer treats, she's been losing weight. Today I decided to make some changes. She's getting an extra meal, we'll call it lunch, that the other dogs don't get. She's also getting some special goodies on her dinner.
 Besides getting a large helping of green beans on her kibble, she enjoying some added Omega 3 in the form of sardines, which we refer to as "stinky fish". The only problem is it leads to " stinky breath".
Her treats consist of baby carrots, apple slices and sweet potato chunks. Yesterday I went to the library and found a doggy treat cookbook with some low cal treats made from sweet potato and pumpkin as well as apple and banana, so her diet should start improving.

We also solved our yogurt problem that I ranted about a few weeks ago. We tried Dannon low fat vanilla yogurt and everyone decided it was yummy, even Tsar. So now we purchase large containers of the stuff and because it's low fat, Samba can enjoy it too.
So, by adding an extra meal and finding some low cal toppings, I'm hoping that Samba will stop getting that empty feeling and not feel she's being punished.

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's A Lovely Day Today

It's a lovely day today
So whatever you've got to do
You've got a lovely day to do it in, that's true

And I hope whatever you've got to do
Is something that can be done by two
For I'd really like to stay

It's a lovely day today
And whatever you've got to do
I'd be so happy to be doing it with you
But if you've got something that must be done
And it can only be done by one
There is nothing more to say
Except it's a lovely day for saying
It's a lovely day

Lyrics by Irving Berlin

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It Looks Like Spring

Suddenly, overnight, some of the trees have flowered. It actually is starting to looks like spring around here. Morgan and Sky are discussing it.
 The nosy pooches want to take a look outside the yard and see what the neighborhood looks like, too.
They heard some kids chattering up the block from us and had to hurry over to the fence to take a look.
 We're all enjoying the warm, sunny days and spending lots of time outside.
 Norma Jean and I are doing our homework outside, too. We're taking loose leash walks in the woods and practicing sit, down and stay in the yard and the driveway.
 Yesterday was her first day in class. She was a little distracted by the other dogs, there were a couple of barkers in the group and the class went on a little too long. She started out well and did everything she was told, but after about 30 minutes, she tuned out and just wanted to watch the other dogs.

One funny thing did happen at the end of class. We handed in our name badge and were starting toward the door when we passed a large mirror on the wall. It's there so you can watch your dog when you leave it in a stay. Norma Jean hadn't noticed it before, but we walked toward it on the way out. Suddenly she stopped in her tracks and started wagging her tail and got  very excited. My thought is that she thought it was Noah coming to join her. They look very much alike.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Annual Meeting

Thursday evening it was time for the annual dinner meeting of The Springfield Dog Training Club. I've been a member for nine years now, since Samba and I took our first class.
A few years ago, as a fund raiser, the club sold bricks. We bought one and had Bentley's name put on it, since he was our first PWD and is the reason I'm so involved with the breed.
Inside we checked out the agility board.....
and the obedience  and rally board.
Then we looked at the title board. This lists the titles earned by club members and it's listed by breed.
Look at this! The first ever Portuguese Water Dog to earn a title for the club is non other than Fudge. The pictures are generic ones supplied by the AKC, but Fudge and I have our name at the top of the PWD list and with any luck, we'll add a few more Legacy dogs to the list
Then it was time for dinner, but Rob was busy making friends with this little girl. She's a long haired Chihuahua and was feeling a little overwhelmed. When Rob picked her up, she snuggled into his arms and went to sleep.
Then after dinner, it was my turn. This is a Papillon pup who wasn't a bit sleepy. She was in licking mode and as we passed her from table to table, she happily kissed us and chewed on ears and fingers.
We had to leave before the meeting was over because Samba can't wait more than two or three hours to go out. We arrived home and found no accidents. So it was a good night.

Friday, March 18, 2011


This is a big day for us. It's our blogaversary. Three years ago today, on March 18, 2008, we did our first ever blog post. It was titled 'Starting Point' and I don't think anyone but Rob read it. There were no pictures because I didn't know how to add pictures.
I had never planned to write a blog, but our friend Dr Nicki kept urging me to start one. I kept stalling, but every time I went into the clinic, she'd ask when I was going to start. Finally, one day she handed me a piece of paper and said "Here's the title of your blog and your first topic." I think I still waited a couple days, then late one evening I started.

I though I might have enough to say for a week of blog posts, but here I am three years later and today is also our 600th post. I can't believe I've been this chatty and what's even crazier is that I now actually have readers. That first year Rob and Dr Nicki were almost the only ones who read my blog. Then I joined Dogs on Thursday and met a lot of people with similar interests, dogs, knitting, reading, etc. Suddenly I was communicating with others and actually made some friends.

I enjoy blogging. It serves as my journal with pictures and it lets me stay in touch with some really super people who I've come to care about. I know their husband's names and all about their dogs and cats and I share their joys and their sorrows. It's a special little community.
We've had lots of fun joining swaps and giveaways and contests. We've stayed on top of events that we might have otherwise missed out on. We were overwhelmed at Christmas with the cards and messages that out pooches received. Thank you to all of you who read our blog and leave comments and send emails. We think the world of you and we're so glad we met all of you.
 Believe it or not, I have more to say and these dogs like all the attention they get from "their blog", so I guess we'll keep posting. We hope you keep coming back for more.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

See What We Found

First of all, Happy St Patrick's Day to all our friends. A couple of the girls are sporting green collars, but were moving too fast for a groggy Mom to snap their pictures. Since they're Portuguese, they don't get all dressed up today, but here's one important green item I'll be wearing.
This is the school treat bag. It works well, because it leaves my hands free and it has a two way zipper, so I can easily get at the treats with either hand. Norma Jean is learning that when this bag appears, good things happen. So far she's doing well with her lessons. Name response has never been a problem for her and she knows sit. We're working on getting into heel position and walking on a loose leash.
Morgan has arthritis in her hips and back legs and in the morning she feels a little too stiff to tackle all the steps to the back yard. Instead Rob takes the others into the yard and Morgan and I wander around in the front yard, fewer steps.
See what we found today.

With all these suddenly popping up, Spring must finally be here, even if it did snow on Monday.
Yes, most of our finds are weeds, but as I've said before, if not for weeds, we'd have no lawn at all. Besides who decides that some flowers are worthwhile and others are just weeds? We like flowers of all types. Have a wonderful almost Spring day and don't drink too much green beer.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nine Years Ago Today

It's hard for me to believe, but today is Samba's ninth birthday. It really does seem like yesterday that we drove to Kansas City to meet her plane. A happy little eight week old pup came charging out of the carrier and she has never slowed down.
In her first year we did obedience class and a dog show. Class was OK, but she wasn't crazy about the show ring. Even though she was Best of Breed, she made it clear she didn't want to do that anymore, so we didn't.
We really bonded right from that first long car ride home and she became the most loyal dog I've ever had. She's ready for anything as long as we can do it together.

When she was three we added a future mate to the household. His name was Fudge and the household has never been the same.

Fudge turned out to be a pretty good buddy.

He also provided us with a litter of crazy pups, though Samba and I did all the work.

Around seven she visited the lake and discovered that she's a true water dog. We had to drag her out of the water.
Last year was rough as we fought first MMM, then facial paralysis, then thyroid disease, but we got thru it together.

So join us all today as we celebrate Samba's ninth birthday. Tell your human that we said it was OK to have an extra treat.

Happy Birthday Samba, you're my special girl.