Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and Halloween

Our thoughts are with all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  We were on the western edge of the storm track as it traveled up the east coast.  No major damage, although an hour east of us, lots of damage.  Our power was out for a while but over half of the pack didn't know since three are blind and one is deaf.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tasty Tuesday!

Even though Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on us, or maybe because of that, time to do some more baking!  (Note to the pack...I said baking, bakin' not bacon as we've talked about before).

Since I had some time while waiting for the bread to rise, I decided to make some treats.  There was no recipe for these, they were just thrown together based on previous recipes.  

I used whole wheat four, unsweetened applesauce, rolled oats and the ever popular peanut butter.  These treats crisped up nicely and tasted yummy.  That yummy review was provided by both the four leggers and two legger. Really though, just about anything is good if there is peanut butter in/on it!

Here are some of the reviewers:

deaf Azule, blind Hiker and blind Brook

Azule looks a bit frantic at the chance of getting a treat or so I thought.

It must just be the camera angle that shows the white at the top of their eyes.  Does give them a bit of a wild look though, doesn't it?

Hiker, calm as always.

Not to worry, everyone got a couple of treats!  That's the thing about a pack, it's almost impossible to give something to just one.  If they can't hear the treats, they see them, if they can't see them, they hear them, if they can't see them or hear them, those noses never, ever fail them, especially when there is peanut butter!

We're happy to be a part of Sugar's blog hop! 

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Monday, October 29, 2012


I'd like to share with you a fall photo from last year.  This little guy, I called him Cedar, lived with us for only three weeks.  He was brain damaged and got progressively worse, to the point of constant spinning. It was a heart-breaking decision, but euthanizing him was the most humane thing to do.  A sad reality that not all rescues end happily.

The grass is almost completely covered in leaves which makes for some nice background, which got me thinking of Cedar and the above photo, so I decided to share.
Yesterday, we told you about the wonderful, warm and sunshiny day we had.  Since it was so nice, we spent the afternoon in the yard (some of that time in a lawn chair in the sunshine, with a book!)  

Bill was very happy to hang out in the sunshine, as always!


Some of the leaves are the typical fall colors, while others are green with some yellow.

blind Brook and blind Breeze

You can see in the above picture that Breeze is much bigger than Brook, even though Brook is two years old and Breeze is six months old.  It's interesting that when Forest was six months old, Brook and him were exactly the same size.  Breeze who weighs 41 pounds, has been bigger than Forest for about a month now.

deaf Azule

Late afternoon sunshine....

blind Brook and deaf Azule
Bill and Azule

The day after these photos were taken, the weather changed back to a typical cold, rainy fall day and now we are starting to feel the effects of Hurricane Sandy.  Lots of rain and high winds.  Be safe if you are in the east!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


A couple of days ago, we had weather that was more like August than October.  Bright sunshine, blue sky and a temperature of 26 C/78 F.  It was one of those days that, when it happens in late October and you don't have to go to work (I didn't!) you just have to make the most of it.  So we did.

I took Bill, blind Hiker and blind puppy Breeze out for a wander in the wilderness in the morning.  Since neither Bill or Hiker are much for interactive play with others and Breeze has a typical high puppy energy level, they were chosen to go. (yes, there is thought involved!)

Bill, Breeze and Hiker   

It is still somewhat surprising how good blind Breeze is off leash.  She is only about six months old but stays really close and responds well to a whistle.



Here is a short video of Hiker and Breeze, taken while we were out on the trail.  As you watch, keep in mind that both of these dogs romping in the tall grass are completely blind.

As you can see, a great time was had by all, as usual!  Then it was home to sit in a lawn chair, enjoy the hot sunshine then try and get some ambition together to rake leaves.  We'll tell you about that tomorrow!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

#BTC4A - Rescues are best!

As a proud human to a pack of seven rescues, some with special needs, we are excited about the opportunity to help raise some funds for rescue!

The suggestion was to blog about what rescue means to me.  Sounds simple enough but rescue means SO much, especially considering our pack, the various fosters we have had, the different personalities and physical disabilities which makes each of them unique.

What rescue means to me...
Rescue is realizing how much of a difference you can make.  


Rescue can be challenging, sometimes heartbreaking, but it is very rewarding. 

Rescue is making a difference for that animal that may never have known the love and companionship of a human or another animal. 

Brook, Breeze and Azule

Rescue is teaching the abused that a human touch will now be soft and gentle, never again hard and hurtful.

Rescue is giving a chance to an animal that may have never known the feel of a comfortable and safe place to lay.


Rescue is having a full tummy and never being hungry again.


Rescue is education.  Educating people we know and people we meet, to let them know about rescued dogs and how dogs labelled as special needs or seniors need and deserve love too.

Rescue is showing the unwanted and unloved that they are wanted and loved.


Rescue is unconditional love.

Rescue is saving lives and changing those lives forever.  

Breeze and Chance

Rescue is making a difference, one life at a time. 


Rescue is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tasty Tuesday!

On very rare occasions, there is a special something added to the kibbles.  We tend to go with little human food for the dogs unless it's vegetables or fruit.  This morning, they got a treat of the last of the roasted sweet potatoes.  

Yes, only one or two little chunks each!

That's Brook's blue slow feed bowl.  She eats as if it's a race or maybe that it's going to vanish in the next thirty seconds.  In fairness though, that is her personality - very intense.  The bowl does help slow her down and also has eliminated her tendency to get bloated and gassy after eating.  Breeze, our fast growing blind puppy is the opposite, she takes forever to finish her kibbles.  

Everyone is really good about not bothering each other while eating.  Almost every new or foster dog has tried to get at blind Hiker's kibbles.  That is the only time ever that Hiker's happy-go-lucky personality vanishes.  She quickly lets them know that her kibbles are off limits.  All it has ever taken is one warning.

Azule found something tasty in the recycle box.  Even though it was rinsed, she thought it was still yummy.

Yum - French Vanilla flavor!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Azule is deaf.

Deciding to adopt Azule was a decision that was not made quickly.  Adding a deaf dog to a pack that had two blind dogs (Breeze, who is blind, was adopted just a few months ago) was a big decision.  Knowing about blind dogs and being comfortable with them made adding a deaf dog seem that much more of a challenge.  

After reading lots of articles, training tips and just thinking about how to live with a deaf dog, contact was made with the Humane Society in West Virginia where Azule was.  (She was listed on Petfinder as special needs)  Then, it was off to meet her after a long drive and a night in a hotel.

Being good dogs in the hotel.

You may notice that Callie is not in this photo.  Due to her bossy/dominant attitude she went to a boarding facility where they said she was an amazing, wonderful and well-behaved dog!  It's less stressful for everyone since we were in close quarters for a couple of days with little play time.

Since Azule was a stray, nothing was known about her background, not even the fact that she was deaf.  The staff discovered she was deaf when she didn't react to all the dogs barking in the morning.  Actually, they thought she was dead.  Fortunately she was fine, she just had her back to the kennel door, but what a scary moment that must have been!  

At the shelter, Azule quickly became a staff favourite, especially with "Aunt M" who spoiled her.  I did promise that when Azule moved to our home she would continue to be spoiled as all the pack is!

Azule is an absolute sweetheart of a dog who loves to cuddle and rest her head on whoever is closest, human or animal.  There are not many times that her lack of hearing is obvious.  She is very attentive to her surroundings and will watch the other dogs for clues, especially out in the yard.  If they are responding to a whistle to come in, she will look at them, then to the door and receive a hand signal to come in.

Out in the wilderness, Azule uses two leads for about 40 feet of leash.  This allows her the freedom to wander and run along with the others who are often off leash.  All the dogs are allowed off leash in safe areas since their recall is fantastic and done throughout the hike.  As she does at home, Azule pays close attention, watching for hand signals and also watching the other dogs.

Azule is just a normal dog.  She does all the silly things that any dog will do.  She gets into things that she shouldn't, she doesn't always do what she is told (that's some Cattle Dog attitude there!)  By looking away, Azule cannot "hear" what she is being told.  A touch on her shoulder gets her to look and often there is a look of, "Who, me? What?"  

A few weeks ago we went camping (Shenandoah National Park) and this was what Azule got up to.

At home, Azule has never shown any interest in the table, the counter, nothing like that.  Why at the campsite?  Who knows!  When given a hand signal to get down (a finger pointed at her then where she was to go) she very casually jumped down as if to say, "No big deal.  I was done anyways."

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rain, pupcakes and stairs.

Saturday was a yucky fall day.  Cool and rainy.  What to do with a pack?  Hmmm...a good time to make Blueberry's pupcakes! Here's the recipe Blueberry posted.

We decided to make mini pupcakes, using the mini muffin pan.  Yes, the pack could and certainly would eat bigger pupcakes but if they're small, they can have two.  Maybe three.

As always, Brook was underfoot.  She really isn't as food obsessed as she seems.  Bill is more of a foodie, Brook just doesn't want to miss anything.  I think that being blind and partly deaf, she thinks that if she is underfoot there is less chance of missing something.
Since the oven was on, I decided to roast a squash (to make soup) and then got a bit creative and put some of the roasted and mashed squash on the pupcakes.  I came close to losing a finger while handing those out!

After a few pupcakes and some squash, time to relax.

A rare sight, only one dog on the sofa!

After a nap, play time.

Breeze and Forest playing bitey-face 

Once again, we tried to get Breeze to go up the stairs.  She is getting more confident and trying.

Brook and Azule were there for support.

Come on up Breeze, you can do it!

Forest waited patiently at the top of the stairs.

Are you coming up or not?

In these photos, you can see that there is a small area rug at the bottom of the stairs.  That is there so that there is a texture difference to indicate the bottom of the stairs.  There is one at the top also.  (and yes, we are renovating and painting!)

No luck this time with the stairs, but we will try again.  Breeze is getting her back legs up on the second and sometimes the third stair, so she is figuring it out.  Perhaps she is enjoying the cuddle/carry time and doesn't want to learn the stairs!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

You going to share?

This is what I see every morning when I am making breakfast.

Hey...what are you making?   Do I smell peanut butter?

To be sure that I don't get away on her, Brook always places her foot on mine. That's Hiker and Azule waiting patiently.

Cracker and peanut butter is coming!
Every morning after their kibbles, the pack all get a little peanut butter and unsalted soda cracker snack.  It's not much considering that three soda crackers are broken up into pieces to share amongst seven dogs but they all patiently wait for it!  

In the above photos you can see how Brook's eyes are silvery due to the detached retinas and as mentioned previously, Hiker just looks like her eyes are closed.  Those noses work very well though and they know when it's peanut butter time!

Dirty dogs.

The other day (Monday's "Let Me In!") I mentioned that it's been raining and how dirty the door is.  That got me thinking about how much the pack loves dirt.  Digging in it, rolling it and just laying in it.

Here are some dirty dogs!


Here is a video to show how Breeze got so dirty!

Rocky (foster pup)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I said baking.

Whenever groceries are brought into the house all the dogs want to check out the bags and see if there is anything that's for them.  Usually there is some commentary on the items such as, "this is a bag of carrots for the fridge" or "watch out, these have to go in the cupboard".  

Well, when I came to the bag of flour I purchased to make bread (cinnamon raisin because I refuse to pay $4.99 a loaf!) I recall saying something like, "I bought some flour to do some baking."  Now, I likely said it more along the lines of bakin'.  To their canine brains, they didn't hear baking or even bakin', they heard bacon.

Not realizing this, I left the bag of flour in the grocery bag along with a couple of canned items and went outside with Callie.  When we came in about 20 minutes later, this is what I saw on the floor.

No doubt they were looking for the bacon!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Let me in!

The past couple of days we've had rain.  Just enough to make it muddy and as a result, the outside of the door looks like this:

All that mess is from one little dog.  Brook.  (That's Hiker in the picture.  Brook wanted no part of it)  For some reason, only Brook will request to come in.  She has gotten quite dramatic about it lately, her thing now is to throw herself against the door and let loose with a high pitched screaming bark. I always think that if there is ever an Academy Award for "Most Dramatic Dog In A Leading Role", Brook would win.

There is no reason for Brook to be screaming and throwing herself against the door.  There are no black bears, no grizzly bears, no mountain lions, nothing is after her, the porch is enclosed and therefore she is out of any bad weather.  She just wants in and she wants in NOW.  All the others just stand there.  If outside without Brook, nobody makes a sound to come in.  They'll lay on the floor of the enclosed porch and wait quietly.  I left Breeze out by herself a few days ago and when I went to let her in about 20 minutes later, she was sound asleep on the floor beside the door.

Typically what happens is that Brook comes in, checks things out and then wants back out thirty seconds later.   She is quieter about going out, just a whine while sitting in front of the door.  There are days that I feel like I let her in and out constantly.

After seeing this, I am so relieved to know that there are others!