Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More Help Needed!

The Beads of Courage program is stalled at 13th! We MUST make it to 10th place or better before the end of this month.

So I'm doing another give away on this blog. If you voted on the other post, I'll throw your name in the hat again!


You MUST tell me how many days you voted and provide links if you reposted!!!

OR...You can text your vote Text* 100217 to Pepsi (73774)

Here's what you are playing for:

This heart was made as a prototype for one of my Memorial Glass Beads. It is very special to me as the final bead was to contain the ashes of a dear canine friend. You can see the final version containing Allie's ashes HERE.

And, 2nd place will be a $20 gift certificate to either Holly's Folly Glass Beads / Sweet Stampen Rubber Stamps or Modern Rubber Stamps  - Winner's choice.

This giveaway is not endorsed by Beads of Courage or Pepsi!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


This is a charity that every beadmaker I know is involved with!  It's a wonderful charity that allows a child with a serious illness to tell their story with beads. Beads of Courage has applied for a $25,000  grant from Pepsi. Pepsi is giving away over a million every month and allowing the public to decide who gets the money!

Since voting began on the 1st, we've been steadily moving up. But only the top 10 charities in the $25K category can win. And now, we've not only stalled, we've moved back a step! So...I'm imploring ALL my friends to PLEASE VOTE! If you are on Facebook, you don't even have to give them your email.

And did I mention??? You can VOTE ONCE A DAY????  For you pet lovers, there's some amazing pet charities in the running for funds. I myself am a sucker for vets (veterans) and pets!  But please vote for Beads of Courage! Watch the movie... it will make you cry!

And... for those of you voting this weekend, I'm having a give away on my bead blog. If you vote, please note the rank number in the comments of the bead blog and I will enter you in my give away!

Da fine print: Neither Pepsi Co nor Beads of Courage endorses or supports this even in any way shape or form. This is my way of getting help for a fantastic cause!

Monday, July 19, 2010

More Grossness

I was headed to the pool for my nightly swim when I almost stepped on this!

Two dead birds in less than a week! And the weird thing was, I heard on the radio the day before that we are supposed to notify... somebody... about dead birds. I hope they consider this proper notification!

Friday, July 16, 2010

All About the People

Oskar is asking all the dogs to write about their people this weekend. Click on Oskar's logo to participate or read more about doggie bloggers.  So here's our "tail" straight from the dog's paws:

This blog is officially my mom's ... but clearly, I am the star.

My mom hates having her picture taken. She literally hides from the camera but this is her Facebook profile picture:

This is one of her favorite photos of the two of us:
O.K. so she likes being all mysterious but those two pictures should tell you a lot. She laughs a lot...usually at me or herself and ... she loves ME!

I don't know a lot about my mom before I came along but I do know that she came from far away from here. She used to put me in a box and take me there...it's probably called Lucyana or something like that but I call it Granny's and Bailey's. My Granny and my cousin Bailey live just 10 houses apart. There's good eatin' at Granny's and I run off all the extra calories chasing Bailey. I don't get to go there with mom any more because the airlines charge too much money for that box. Mom wishes they would just let us sit together. But it's O.K. because I hated that stupid box and my Granny comes here every so often to cook for me.

My mom is home every day working on her computer, torching her glass beads or we go to the shop where she makes her rubber stamps. Mom also teaches classes at the local colleges - mostly on cookie decorating or beading. I can't go with her there but I supervise all the packing and unpacking that she has to do for that.

Mom says she used to have to leave home every day for work. She's done that a few times since I came here and I hated it. Mostly we are together all the time but she tells me that when she had my older sis, Maggie May, she was gone a lot and it would make her cry and she prayed and prayed to be a "work at home dog mommy." The last year of Maggie's life, Mom got her wish. But, now, she tells me she doesn't have enough work and that she needs to go back to working away from home. I know she worries a lot so I try to get her out to the creek as much as I can. That makes both of us really happy.

A few years after I got here, Mom had to have surgery on her feet and she was in a wheelchair for a long time. She gained some weight and that's why she's so funny about having her picture taken. But she told me I could put up this video of us that my auntie took on New Year's Day.

My mom was trying to help my auntie shoot a photo of Twinkie crossing a log in the stream. Only, we had a flood and there were no logs. Finally we found a small tree and every time Mom went to place it across the stream, I would steal it. I made my mom laugh soooo hard! We never did get to take a picture of Twinkie because I kept stealing that tree!

My mom says she loves to see me smile and that's why she takes me out to the creek every day. She is always making treats for me and she takes me out for cream when she meets friends at Starbucks or Coffee Bean. And she buys me an ice cream when it's hot. And she always cuddles with me on the sofa and sleeps with me.

I had a lot of other homes in my first four months. People would take me home and take me back to jail the very next day. I was sad. Then my Mom came and got me and I think I hit the doggie jackpot.

Search Amazon.com for rescue dogs

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Uh, That's B A R TEEEE

More evidence of my dork-hood (or aging!):

Hiking Buddy (a/k/a Hank & Sue's Mom): "Wow, Bart is so pretty!"

Me: "Yes, she was Miss Los Angeles."

HB: "The dog??"

Me: "Oh. I thought you said Barb."

Such a Long Time

Mabel Lou and I are loving having regular hiking buddies again and we are both really enjoying getting to know Bart better. He's quite the character.

At least twice a week, he manages to jump into our car instead of getting in his mom's car! And since it's only two blocks out of the way to take him home, we oblige him for the three minute drive home. But it's sort of funny that we are often following his mom! We pull into their driveway and she opens the door and he's sooo happy to see her, like it's been years!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just Too Gross!

O.K. BE WARNED:  The photo that follows  at the bottom of this post is gross!

Some days, I am a total dipwad! I SWEAR I have proof of my near genius I.Q. but... there are times I think I must not have a brain at all.  

The other morning at the creek, the bestie and Bart were sleeping in. The BFF has a cold. So Mabel and I were lolly gagging along, grateful for the slower pace. Mabel dove into dirty creek, chasing the ground squirrels while I wandered down to the mulberry tree to see if there was any late season fruit to savor.  The branches are low hung and it's much darker under there and I was aware of a "slow moving" rabbit in front of me.

He has a awfully tall tail for a bunny. Hmmm. I've never seen a black and white bunny out here. Well, actually that looks like a cat... POLE CAT! CRAP!

I took off running back toward the trail head hoping to grab Mabel on the way.  I did and was quite relieved I didn't have to spend the day shampooing a stinking dog.

Cut to yesterday morning.  The BFF and I are standing just under the same mulberry tree. Mabel is downstream, exploring. Bart is right across the creek from us in some tall grass and I happened to notice, standing beside Bart about four feet downstream, was said skunk! No one even saw it but me!

I yelled, "SKUNK!" and took off followed by Barb and Bart and Mabel. Whew, another gross disaster diverted!

But the icky stuff doesn't stop at the car door. No... look what I found on my back porch rug:
Ewww. At first, I thought it had fallen out of it's nest... but there are no feathers so it makes me think a critter of some sort stole the egg.

O.K. That's THREE gross encounters in ONE weekend. I'm done, right?

Friday, July 09, 2010

It's a Crappy Day

I've periodically mentioned that July is often a rough month for me. I don't mean for it to be...it just is. You see 35 years ago this very afternoon, my father died. I was 11.  It is a earth shattering event for a child. And in some ways, I still feel like that raw little girl, missing her daddy.

There are years I'm not even aware of it until I find myself full of despair for no apparent reason. And then I notice the calendar. There are years where it feels like the world is out to get me. And then I notice the calendar.

I'm not into this nation's whole cult of celebrity, but last year when Michael Jackson died, I was so annoyed by the 24 / 7 news coverage it got here in LA LA land. I mean, he's a singer; Not some head of state. He didn't cure cancer or anything important. But then, when his 11 year old daughter spoke at his funeral, there I was, sobbing my heart out.

I had so many things I wanted to say to that girl...things I know from experience. The first ten years, the anniversary date will place an ache in your soul so vast, you think nothing will fill it. Year 11 will be hard when you realized you've lived as long without him as you had with him. Year 12 will be even harder because you've lived longer without him than the days you had him in your life. By year 15, you won't see his face in your dreams any longer. You will stare at his picture and wonder what is wrong with you that you can't visualize him without help. By year 25, it starts to hurt a little less... just a little. By year 30, the date doesn't loom as large but can still hit you like a ton of bricks when you least expect it. And that's just all the crap that a date on the calendar carries.

There are all the coulda woulda shouldas that come up. The milestones he's missing. Would he like your boyfriend / husband? Would he approve of your choices / work? Would he be proud of you? You feel his absence as much as you ever felt his presence. Your graduations. Your wedding.

And then when his siblings start dying and you start to imagine what age he "should've" died. How old would he be? Would he still be strong? Would he still love you? Would he still know you?

It's a lot for a little girl to bear.

The other thing I would tell her is that she will wake up the next day. And she will get out of bed and do...something. And she will feel better. She will realize that life goes on. Because it must.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Ya'll Stay Cool Now!

Mabel Lou here. I keep hearing on the t.v. that it is REALLY hot. I'm not sure where they are talking about because summer seems to have forgotten us here in Cali! It was a chilly 56 when we woke up this morning. We even turned on our electric blanket last night!

Mom says not to worry that summer will find us soon enough. In the meantime, I hope all my friends who have that ridiculous heat are finding a way to stay cool. This is my favorite way to cool off:

Monday, July 05, 2010

Bart's Story

Month's ago I wrote about my BFF's part time dog. My bestie's name is Barb and she and her hubby run a golf business. She's lucky enough to work from home. Thus we thought that's why Bart hung out at her house so much... he needed company. It turns out, he just needed her.

Several weeks ago on a Friday afternoon, Bart's owner came over with a leash and told Barb to say her goodbyes. Bart was going to live on a "farm" in San Luis Obisbo - about a 3 1/2 hour drive from here. He told her that Bart was aggressive toward other dogs - which we had heard before - and since he wouldn't stay home, he had to go.

Barb was tearful and upset. She talked it over with her husband and they both regretted not being given the opportunity to make Bart theirs. I, her eternally pessimistic best friend, told her to check the pound. "That's what they tell children. I KNOW he lied to you! They put owner surrender dogs down awfully fast. Check the websites everyday!"

I made a quick check on Saturday, got distracted and never checked in again. On Monday, Barbie was still missing her boy. I had cooked a lot that day and she came over for an early supper. Talk turned to Bart. I could have kicked myself for not checking the websites again. She said it was OK...she had checked every day.
Bart on the sofa.

"But it's Monday. They are closed on Monday and they catch up on paperwork  that day."

We ran to my computer and lickety split, there he WAS!!! IN JAIL!!!! And the pound was closed!!! Barb got up early Tuesday, stopped at the pet store for a leash and was there when they opened. She gave them his "number" from the website and told them she was there to adopt him.

They asked her, "Do you want to meet him first?" She laughed and told them the story.

Then they asked her if she wanted to change his name. LOL! "Uh - no. Bart's his name."

When he saw her, he dashed into her arms. He was so happy. He jumped right into her car... he loved to run errands with her when he stayed at her house.

She put up a makeshift fence to keep him in the yard and told his former owner, a welder, he had to build her a gate. And he agreed. They have gone to visit his former owner and when Barb gets ready to leave, so does Bart. He is all hers now!

Every morning, bright and early, they join Mabel and I for a hike. Would you care to guess the number of times Bart has gotten "aggressive" with other dogs on the trails??? ZERO! He's a sweetheart!

It turns out his "aggression" was lack of exercise. Barb also takes him for a run in the evenings and a quick walk before bedtime.

I took Mabel there for a visit and in typical Mabel fashion, she found his bowl and started eating his food! I was in the guest house talking to my godson when I heard her chewing! I went racing around to their kitchen to find Bart generously offering Mabel the food. He was not threatened by her eating his food at all!

Bart is learning to come but does not seem "treat trainable." Still, he does something that amazes us every day. Today, the dogs took off on a ground squirrel hunt. Barbie and I sat down on two boulders midstream and waited. Mabel returned and rolled around in the water. We called to Bart and waited. We called again. Nothing. We got up to go and realized, he was quietly waiting right behind us!
Mabel and Bart, Big Tujunga River on the 4th of July.

The saddest part was, while waiting to pick him up at the pound, Barb learned that owner surrender dogs can be put down here in Los Angeles within THREE HOURS. We feel so lucky that someone at the pound decided to list him on that website. I love having another dog in our extended pack and my bestie is so happy to give her boy a full time forever home!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Name Game - How Mabel Became Mabel

Frankie posted a great idea for the 4th of July and, as always, I'm a little late to the blog party! All the pups are telling how they got their names.

 I have to back up a few dogs to get to Mabel's name.  I was never one of those people who thought naming all your "kids" with the same initials was cute. I find it annoying... I mean there are 25 other perfectly good letters in the alphabet. Use them! But I seem to be stuck on the letter M in so many ways!

I always wanted two rottweilers and to name them Milly and Max. Their names came to me in a dream. I've never had a Max. After I got to know more about the breed... well, I just favor the girls.

I went to Rottie Rescue to get my girl. The rescue lady is one the most aggravating humans I've ever met. She asks MILLIONS of questions. What I didn't realize is...whatever dog she brings you, that's YOUR dog. Her questions allow her to match you with the characteristics of the dogs she has.

She brought out a dog named Missy. Missy was untrained and had been in rescue almost a year. I did NOT like her. I asked to see another dog...Medusa was brought out. She was highly trained in both German and English. Walked nicely on a leash and was a really sweet girl. She was bigger than I was comfortable with but I had lived around rotties and adored them and figured it would all be fine. I also learned that Milly had lived with an infant and that she ran away. Despite her owners being contacted repeatedly, they failed to show up and claim her. I decided that the name Medusa was abusive and her name should change. Since Milly started with an M, I figured it would be easy to learn and that the name change would signal "forever home."

Milly died 2 1/2 months later very tragically ... I thought I had published that story here but I haven't. I was heartsick. I waited about five weeks and called rottie rescue again.

Maggie May
I was shocked that Missy had not been placed. Well, she had but they returned her claiming she "beat up" their male rott. In reality, the woman couldn't handle two. I learned that the rescue lady had kept Missy for so long because she was one of her very favorites...Imagine that! The rescue has 60 rotts at any given time and Missy was her favorite! I couldn't imagine why! She was a cry baby and not trained.  But I kept thinking about how long she'd been waiting for a forever home and even though I was so unsure, I knew this lady was not going to place Missy with just anyone. She was looking for someone who had experience with rotts and that was me.

While I had Milly, a guy friend from college had moved and asked me for decorating help. While spending the day helping him shop for everything from comforters to curtains, I stumbled across a NICE doggie bed on sale. It was cedar lined and had a nice furry top. I had seen them for $80 and up and this one was only $25. I paid for it, put it in the car and rejoined my friend. We made countless trips to my car that day with all the things my friend purchased. Finally on the way to the car for the last time, I noticed through the window that there was something on that bed. It had been embroidered with the name "Maggie." That's why it was on sale!

Still it was a good bed... but you know... Milly could READ!  So I turned the name to the wall and tossed the bed in the attic when Milly died. But now I had a Missy who's name did not fit her at all... So I got that bed out of the attic and turned the name out and let the girl curl up on it. And Maggie stuck.
Maggie, waiting for Trick or Treaters

Since I'm a Rod Stewart fan, naturally, May became her middle name. If you can stand a tearjerker, Maggie's story and how she saved my life is here.  She was always supposed to be my dog... and I would not be here without her. I only had Mags for six years before cancer took her and suddenly, for the first time ( and ONLY! I swear!!!), I thought a puppy would be the right way to go.

Mabel Lou
I had sworn off dogs. I was going to live on my own for a few years. That lasted exactly five weeks! I went to the pound hoping for a pup and found this rottie mix who favored tennis balls to me. She had been adopted so many times, she was on sale for $8, microchip and hysterectomy included! And her name was Midnight. Really??? What are people thinking when they name rottweilers???
 Mabel with her cousin, Huggy

I was determined not to go with another M. But I took this little brat home and she pooped in my car on the way and then I couldn't get her a bath because I didn't have proof of rabies vaccines.  So I had to drive 20 miles with her covered in poo! Not the best way to start. And then she chewed everything in site: remotes, the spines of books (a form of glue sniffing??), her beds.  Oy, she was exhausting and I hated her! But I also knew that the cute was wearing off and since many people returned her within 24 hours of adoption, I knew her future would be deadly without me.

That first weekend with her, I kept thinking, "I don't want to be near her." I really disliked her that much!

I was a fan of the British pop invasion in the 80's and loved all those English bands: Duran Duran, Culture Club, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Paul Young and Wham! When Wham! went to China, naturally they filmed everything. In the video, singer Andrew Ridgeley was out shopping in China and laughed out loud when he read a clothing label. "It says 'Mabel in China'! Mabel in China? Well, I'm not going anywhere near 'er!"

That popped into my head as I kept thinking about the pup and by the end of the weekend, Mabel was christened.

I always make up a name song... some repetitive little ditty that I sing to my pups to help them remember their names. And as I was making up Mabel's song...trying to convince myself I could love this bad dog, I kept saying "I love you" and needed a word to rhyme with you. Lou / you. I quickly noticed that when I sang "Mabel Lou / I love you," her tail would wag.  On  Tuesday when I had to return her vet papers to the pound, it became official. I had yet another M in my pack.

Mabel Pumping Iron

Finally got some pics of the girl and her workout!

Mabel eyes her auntie's weights every day.  She's also onto the fact that her auntie brings cookies - for Bart to learn to come. Every time we say "Bart, COME!" -- Here comes Mabel Lou, looking for a handout!

The other day, her auntie said to her, "Of course you're going to come to me! You know I have cookies and toys!" Toys being the 3 lbs weights.

Mabel will carry them around and even run with them!

"OK Auntie, I'm done now!"

Friday, July 02, 2010

She Must Be Training for Something

This is a rather odd post, coming on the heels of my post about Mabel aging.

There's some big news in the canine extended family that I haven't shared because it's a lengthy story but the short version is the BFF has a dog now. Her part time dog Bart is now her full time dog. And after years of not allowing Mabel and Bart to interact (because we were told Bart hated other dogs), we introduced them at the creek. It was such a non-event!



Wanna hike?


And just like that, Mabel and Bart are hiking buddies. Bart is wonderful for the most part on the trails. He loves to wander but surprises us by sneaking off and coming out on the trail in front of us. So the BFF and I have been hiking daily, something I've tried to get her to do for years. I used to hike with her old dog but she claimed she hated being on the rocks and having to look where she walks. 

Bart seems to have changed all that. The BFF really loves being by the stream. She's still slipping and walking into things but she's getting so accustomed to it, she decided to bring weights to carry. It seems I hike at a slower pace and she darn near runs! 

So this morning, we are hiking along and she's carrying three pound weights in each hand. I saw Mabel look at them and didn't think much of it. As we rounded the levee, it was evident that some kids had been partying in the creek yesterday: beer cans and glass bottles everywhere!  I always have to pick that stuff up... it drives me nuts. Plus the kids will break the bottles on the levee and then the pups are tracking in broken glass. 

Since Mabel and Bart both take a dip in the creek when we get to this part, the BFF dropped her weights and helped me tidy up, knowing we had to pass by on the way out and could take the trash with us. The dogs finished swimming and were frolicking around us so the BFF went to pick up her weights...and one was missing! 

Miss Mabel was running around with it in her mouth! What else should I expect from a pup who plays tug of war with TREES??? 

 Photos copyrighted Holly Dare and Isabelle Thompson.