Saturday, May 31, 2014

Product Review: Orijen Original Dog Treat

We're so late with our review for sort of obvious reasons. These arrived after Mabel passed away and I wanted to honor our commitment to the best dog food supply around, so Mabel's besties are helping out.
Chloe, Otto and Hank: What's this?? Foodables at the creek???

We were sent a package of Orijen Original Dog Treats which are labeled Biologically Appropriate Freeze Dried. They are made without any preservatives, fillers, or artificial flavors. Ingredients are: Cobb chicken liver, turkey liver, boneless Cobb chicken, boneless turkey, boneless flounder.

 Otto and Atilla  know they have to 'sit pretty' to get their Orijen sample!

I can honestly say Mabel's pack mates went absolutely NUTBALLS over this stuff!  They weren't this excited when Chloe's dad brought hot dog weenies!!!

Otto sez, "ME FIRST!!!"

The Rottrover took care of the handouts while I shot the pics. Within seconds, it was ON! Every dog there was patiently waiting for a sample... and then seconds of the Orijen Dog Treat!!

Sue the Ridgie loved them too!! See Otto waiting for another turn??

Choe the dobie in the back and patiently waiting!! That's Otto and Hank in front.

We got such a kick watching our little pack...they are all so patient and kind with one another. And for a group of such big dogs, they share well with each other!

Just look at all those cute faces!!!

And Susie scores another!!!

And lurking on the fringes (always!) is our little Bart. He was a loner dog for so many years, it can take him a bit to warm up to the pack.  But as soon as it dawned on him that food was involved, here he came! He is such a delicate eater but he loved the Orijen Dog Treat too!

I think Sue's tongue sums up the thoughts of the pack on this one!

The Orijen Original Dog Treat is on ON SALE right now on Mr. Chewy!!

Ingredients: provided no compensation for this review, only a bag of Orijen Original Dog Treats for the pack to eat or not.

However, upon Mabel Lou's passing, I was most surprised to open my front door and find these beauties on my front porch... From Chewy. I want to thank Andrew and all the folks at for their kindness to both Mabel and I. It is much appreciated!

Monday, May 26, 2014

All She Left Me Was a Pot of Gold

We interrupt these Memorial Posts to bring you a funeral. Mabel's hike and funeral was SO special yesterday. All of our Friday night pack was there. We haven't all been able to hike together like this in a few years...and it was just wonderful to see everyone together! We were so blessed to be part of this pack!

About the title above: I still don't believe I've had a real Mabel visitation. But I have had one very strange dream. In it, I was in a large building with all the people and dogs that were at Mabel's funeral. And in walked Mabel. I got so excited that I woke up in my dream and she was gone. And I said, "Awwww... all she left me was a pot of gold." I woke up for real, saying that phrase out loud.  I shouted out to her, "Little girl, if you left me a pot of gold, you better get back here and tell me where it is!"

But upon relaying the dream to the Rottrover, she pointed out that Mabel Lou left me the Creekerati. And as I started thinking about that, I realized that every single person and dog in my immediate circle of friends (save for my Bestie and Bart), I met because of Mabel.

Friends that come over when your fence has fallen down, when your pool is full of duck poop. Ones you can call in the middle of the night when your dog has been in a fight with a raccoon or ones who race to meet you at the vet when your dog is dying. People that cook you a meal or give you a hug or share their dogs with you. And canine friends that give kisses and cuddles when they know your heart is hurting.... She really did leave me a pot of gold and I am rich beyond belief, thanks to my girl.


The day Mabel passed, one of the first things I did was email Mr. Chewy to stop this month's shipment of review product. It was too late...they had been shipped. 
 Here we have Chloe, Otto, Sue, Atilla, and Hank.

So, Mabel's friends will be doing her review this month. I've never seen dogs go SO crazy for treats! The leftovers went home with the Rottrover and I gave some to Bart and Ruby who could not do such a strenuous hike, and they loved them too!

And Barticus is always on the fringes... Sue has SUCH crush on him! Please note, 'Tilla's dad dressed up for the funeral...LOL! I've never seen him so spiffy... as a pool man, his clothes are often full of chlorine holes. I was most honored!

I made Memorial Beads for all in attendance.

At first I was really upset that they didn't come out all pink like I wanted, but after just sitting with them for a while, I started to see our sky and river and the amazing sunsets we have. And I guess, they look the way Mabel Lou wanted them to look. All the friends got to pick theirs. 

I forgot to take individual shots of the most special beads I've ever made! OY! So these are some of the worst bead pics EVER... but in some ways, they mean the most!
From L-R, Top-Bottom: Atilla's Dad, Hank n Sue's Mom, Chloe's Dad, The Rottrover, Bart's Mom. I'll show you my own later...

After we shot the Chewy pics, we went down to the main swimming hole and dropped a little of Mabel there.  (Her hidey hole and the waterfalls are dry, so I kept a bit of her for next spring!) Then, we crossed the river and hiked up stream in search of more water, dropping scoops of her in some of her favorite swimming spots. What was most hilarious (or creepy, depending on your take), was that all of the dogs either walked right through the spots she was placed or some of them drank the water as she was settling in! We were all laughing, because now, humans and dogs alike each have a little bit of Mabel Lou to carry on all our journeys.

Bart's Mom put this together...The bit you hear her humming at the beginning is Mabel's "Creek Song" that I sang to her every day when we were headed to the creek.  Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Her Life in Pictures: Six

By year 6, Mabel Lou and I were exploring more and more trails. This is the year we discovered our mountain ridge trail (That would be Alpine for the Creekerati who might be reading along.) and our ponds! The photo below was taken at sunset on Alpine's framed and in my living room.

I like to say my girl loved sunsets but truth be told...she was spying on the horses in the valley below!

Recently while hiking with friends, a story of Mabel and the horses came up. As some horses passed us, all the dogs were leashed and taken just off the trail. The horses continued down; the dogs continued up. After a bit, the dogs were unleashed and I knew immediately, it was a mistake to unleash Mabel. She took off!

Hank and Sue's mom peered over the edge of the trail and declared all was well as the horses were so far down in the valley. Then I pointed the little black dot on the trail was chasing the horses. No one could believe Miss Lou had traveled that far that fast! I could! I yelled that I was going home and you cannot believe how fast she tore up that mountain and back to us! A winding trail that must cover a vertical drop of hundreds of feet and she was back to us in under a minute! What a brat!

Mabel's critter prowess and destruction of my fences was well underway! I used to stand in the backyard and marvel at all her scratch marks on the fences. I would wonder if an archeologist unearthed these fences with all those clawed lines, they would certainly think I held some wild beast captive here.

Below, Mabel thinks the possum that is actually on the top of the fence is under the bench.

As she was so critter driven and would not return to me on the trails, this is also the year I resorted to using a shock collar on her.  It worked - most of the time!

Mabel's destruction was not limited to the fences...she started eating the deck this year! Always with a purpose!

Fences, deck, or my bedroom furniture...nothing was safe if it stood between Mabel Lou and a critter!
But she was so darn cute, it was hard to be upset for long. I resigned myself to being one of "those" people...whose house is perpetually a mess and whose car is full of sand.

My college bestie came that summer. Yet another person for Mabel to love: 

I NEVER got tummy time like that! 

We had our very first hike at the ponds the summer of 07... the river was dry and we were desperate!  Every photo I took on that first hike was blurry, partly due to the deep shade and partly due to happy dogs! Hank, Sue and Mabel Lou were ecstatic to have a place to swim!

One of the best highlights of this year was that I got to spend Christmas at home with my girl. It was a chilly winter and I have lots of pics of her by her fireplace. Maggie was always a little afraid of the fire, but not Mabel. She loved it! I really hate that our recent winters have been so warm. She didn't get a fire in her later years. Mabel would always forgo her bed in favor of being right in front of the fire.

Mabel was such a hoot opening her gifts. I simply adore that she would come and kiss me between gifts! I've gifted human children with far less gratitude. The sense of gratefulness was commonplace with Mabel. She never ate a meal that she didn't come and kiss me afterwards. She thanked me for her toys, for a game of catch and for our trips to the creek. I would love when I would be standing on shore, taking it all in...taking her in... and she could come to me and hook her paw behind my knee to draw me closer. I think she, like me, would be so happy and overwhelmed with the beauty of the places we hiked that she just needed a hug!

Mabel then proceeded to bury the first toy she got that day. I get such a kick out of her need to "save" things! I equally enjoyed irritating her to no end! Shortly after the storm of 05, she buried a nice toy across the raging river. It took me a few years to be able to cross the river, but as soon as I could, I went over there and dug it up... just to get her goat! In fact, I know where her last toy is buried at the creek and tonight, at her funeral, I may just go dig it up! Her irritation with me is expressed when she realizes I'm video taping her here! Just cracks me up!!! (Does anyone else take such pleasure in messing with their dog???)

This is her on they way to the toy burial:

So sorry this post has been so long. Today is Mabel's funeral. All of the people and dogs she loved will gather and spread her ashes in her favorite spots. If you can, say a little prayer for us around 6 PST. I know it will be hard to see all of her friends.

I will leave you with is shot of Mabel on her sixth birthday.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Her Life in Pictures: Five

I started blogging in this year... and Mabel managed to make her first mention in post number 3! It wasn't long before she was the main subject and chief muse of this blog. That gave Mabel Lou another reason to beg me to get off the computer as she's doing here:

I just love these very rare shots of her looking straight at the camera!

In addition to our in the furs friend, Baby, at the creek, we had an occasional hiking buddy named Cocoa. Here's Mabel showing off her ball chasing abilities as Cocoa watched.

And that summer we met our dear friends Sue and Hank...the Rhodesians that live up the street from us. Oh what a trio they made: 

I took a production job that year and Mabel did not like it and tried her best to look all cutified in the mornings so that maybe I would stay home:

But I managed to get her out for some creek time most every day:

It was around this time that this photo style started appearing:

Mabel needed a daily baptism in the creek. I finally realized she did this EVERY single day. The only exceptions were the rare extremely cold or extremely windy days. No hike was ever complete until she did this.

My business had it's most successful year ever. I had money in the bank for once and just loved being at home with my baby. I bought my first torch and started making glass beads. I was just happy to be with my girl! She had grown up and settled down and I was finally in love with her. Hard to believe now that I honestly thought she would be one of "those dogs" that would simply pass through my life and that I would not love her. Her puppy years were hell and I did not like her at all during that time... but that was long behind us.

Here she is, ready to go to the post office and on to the creek.
Having a little money meant my first grown up vacay by myself! I had never gone on a trip without friends or to visit family. It remains my only one! I went to the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee for a week of glass classes. My mom came out for an extended stay to babysit. Here she is spoiling her granddog:

And for my weird story. The day I came home from the vet's without Mabel, ^^ that photo was on my computer wallpaper. Here's the weird part. I didn't put it there! I change my wall paper when I buy a computer and I always pick the stock beachy pic that comes with the Microcrap software...that's it. I never do it again. I don't know how this pic got there. I didn't even know what file the photo was from for over a week... VERY Odd!

Later that year, I found out I had been feeding Mabel contaminated food. We caught it in time...but it was a very scary period! Here she is after her blood tests:

It took us a few weeks to get all her health issues worked out. Her meds made her groggy and unhappy.

But soon, she was back on the trails with her two besties, Hank and Sue:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Her Life in Pictures: Four

Looking over Mabel Lou's fourth year makes me a little sad. There are no other dogs in most of the photos and I know that must be the year our beloved friend Sarah Jean died.  But my feet were healing and I was loving our creek as much as Mabel was. It made her so happy and I loved seeing her happy.

Whenever people would ask me what kind of mix she was, I was now telling them: Rottweiler, lab, greyhound, billy goat (because of the running up and down and up and down along rock levies), and part pig... because if there was a mud hole, Mabel loved to be in it!

I would later add bed hog and heart stealer to her pedigree. It all just seemed to fit.

But we both seemed to be thriving on the exploration of our creek. The flood the year before had changed so much of the land and the river flowed for 3 years after that storm and just spoiled us! We covered so much of it...just the two of us.

Mabel was such a people dog... she just adored everyone.  It's one of the most sad qualities of every rotten I've ever known. They have this big bad reputation and seriously, most them think the entire world wants to pet them and they seem shocked to realize it just not that way! Luckily, not everyone sees a rott as a big mean dog, but as the big ole baby in a dog suit they really are!

I still remember taking a series of photos (below) of her that summer. I was just shocked at seeing what a big strong girl she had become! Suddenly, she was no longer my puppy Lou.

This is about the time that Mabel started to truly develop her prowess as a great lizard hunter (in her own mind!).  The storm had washed some office putting green down the river and Mabel would toy with one side of it and keep her eyes on the opposite side looking for lizards. I thought this was ingenious until I saw a lizard zoom right between her legs without her noticing. She was still watching the other side of the green golf mat! LOL!

She never stopped loving the chase though... we hunted lizards together the day before she died. She never lost her love of play. I'm so happy that in the week before her death, she chased sticks, her pal Otto, a tennis ball and played with her toys. Her Baby Lou still sleeps with me. I don't have the heart to move her.

Mabel's takeover of every single thing in the house was most certainly complete by this point. My Her bed:

My Her sofa:
And we did make our very first creek friends this year. Baby was an ancient mixed breed who put up with Mabel. Uncle Bill and Ivy were her parents and we loved them too! Mabel is making sure Baby is not trying to steal her tennie ball here.
Mabel was always a fool about "tennie balls".... preferably ones found at the creek instead of new ones. The labradork really came out when the girl had a ball!

It was a beautiful year of apologizing for the creek being MIA. Just lots of water and me and the girl out of the trails. I felt like I was forever on her six.

Update on me: I've been working like a maniac... very happy to be earning funds to pay off Mabel's surgery and cremation. And that ear infection from sinus has finally made it into my sinuses. I've been so sick. I'm really behind on blog reading but will be visiting again soon... School will be out in a few weeks and I'll have no income after that... Thanks for understanding! Still missing my baby girl SO MUCH!