Friday, March 28, 2014

Feel-Good Friday

Today's Feel-Good Friday story has been showing up in my Facebook news feed quite a bit over the past few days. I really wanted to pass it along here because it's about a greyhound, and we just featured a beautiful greyhound, Irie, last week. This greyhound is named Clobberhead, which might be one of the greatest dog names I've ever heard. 

 Anyway, after Clobberhead was let go from his Florida track and his racing career, he was adopted by Erin Cramer and her daughter a few months ago in Indiana.  Not too long ago Erin was home sick when Clobber began acting really strange, pushing his head up against a wall and crying. She tried to take him outside but he immediately pulled to go back in. When they went back inside Clobberhead led her to the laundry room, where unbeknownst to her the water heater had sprung a leak and was emitting natural gas! Not only that, but when the plumber got there he said it was sparking! That's terrifying. It's likely that Clobberhead not only saved Erin's life, but the lives of the people in the surrounding houses. Just when we think our pets couldn't mean more to us than they do, one of them goes and does something amazing like this. Click the picture below for a brief video of Clobberhead in action and a more in-depth version of the story.

Now, Clobberhead's story is heartwarming, but Norman is just pure entertainment. This dog is literally riding a bike.  I can't ride a bike, but Norman can.  Click the picture.

Can you even imagine if you were just driving along and saw that?  

With the Feel-Good vibes I shared with you today, could you do a favor for me in return? A former colleague of mine has a 7 year old son who is currently in a medically induced coma in the hopes it will help him recover from a serious head injury he sustained last week during a terrible freak accident playing.  Could you spare some thoughts, prayers, and love for Mikey and his family as they battle through this incredibly difficult time?  A Facebook page has been started to show some love and support. 

And here they are, your gratuitous pictures of Wiley and Jenny. 

In this picture, not only has Wiley stolen my scarf in an attempt to get me to play with his ball, but he also has crusty white spots on his face from the yogurt container he took off the counter before it got washed out for the recycling bin.  He's incorrigible.

Speaking of Feeling-Good, I'm not going to lie. Having the two of them cuddle on me, for however brief a time it lasted, made me feel really good!

Next week I'll share part two of Feline Friday: The Poetry of Cats, picking up where last week's post left off.  Can you stand the suspense?

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Snickelfritz

Snickelfritz as a puppy

Those of you who make the rounds on Instagram and Facebook may know that on Thursday people often post pictures with the hashtag #tbt, which stands for Throwback Thursday. It's a good excuse to dip deep into the archives and share some pictures from a long time ago, at least when done right.  Well on Tuesday I shared the story of Roscoe P Coltrain, and if you didn't check him out it's definitely worth your time to do so. However, while looking at pictures of Roscoe as a puppy, I was reminded of my dear sweet Snickelfritz, about whom I have written before here on the blog.

Snickelfritz all grown up (and out)

 My whole childhood, I kid you not, all I wanted was puppies. I wanted my first dog, already 5 years old when I was born, to have a litter of puppies. Well, when I was five and Heidi was 10, my parents had to have an emergency hysterectomy done for Heidi, who had never been spayed. Don't judge too harshly, it was 1980. Spaying wasn't as common back then. Anyway, I didn't know what that meant, and so for the next five years I wasted every penny anyone gave me within the vicinity of a wishing well (or fountain) wishing that Heidi would have puppies.


 Every time I passed the fountain at the mall, I begged for a penny, then threw it in attached to the dream of having a litter of puppies in my very own house to care for. Well readers, not to be melodramatic but that single gesture, repeated over and over again, kind of symbolizes how most of my major wishes panned out in life. Wasted wish after wasted wish, I never knew there was no chance of it coming true.  When Heidi went over the Rainbow Bridge in 1985, my parents set in motion to at least help me get part of my wish, and they took me to the SPCA and let me pick the puppy I wanted. 

And that's when Snickelfritz became my forever friend, and actually the only puppy I've ever had. When you always rescue the hard-to-adopt dogs, puppies are rare. 

I don't know if you'll see the same resemblance I do between the two. 

This is Roscoe.

This is Snickelfritz.

  I have no idea if Fritz and Roscoe would have shared a single strand of breed DNA.
That's sometimes the beauty of mutts. They keep us guessing. 

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Roscoe P Coltrain

I met today's rescue dog via Instagram, and his name is a doozy: Roscoe P. Coltrain. If that name doesn't ring any bells then you'll have to dig deeply all the way back to the 80s, when The Dukes of Hazzard were popular entertaining rednecks long before Honey-Boo-Boo and Duck Dynasty came along. 

 Roscoe has been with his family now for 13 years, but he still gets around pretty well. 

He came to live with them when Tina's daughter was working at Starbucks and a woman came in with puppies who were headed for the pound. 

They already had a dog, a Springer Spaniel named Sarah, and were looking for some company for her. Roscoe was an adorable puppy, part Corgi and part Chow!  

Look at him!

Over the years Roscoe has had various fur siblings. He was particularly close to Matty, who was adopted from the SPCA at age five with a heart murmur that required constant meds.  

Matty and Roscoe grew close, but then one day Matty lost his sight. The vet examined him and his pupils did not react to light. Matty adjusted by walking close to the wall at home and leaning on Roscoe when they were outside. 

 Oddly enough, or miraculously enough, Matty actually recovered some of his sight in a few months.

Eventully Matty got to the point where he developed other health problems, like Cushings, and it was just too much for him. At age 11 he decided to cross the Rainbow Bridge, and Roscoe has missed his sweet buddy, who loved everyone. 

Now Roscoe pals around with Timmy the cat, named after Tim Lincecum, pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. 

I have to share a little fact about the Giants, since Roscoe's family apparently are fans. Ryan Vogelsong, an all-star pitcher for San Francisco who was instrumental in helping them win the 2012 World Series, played baseball at Kutztown University, where my husband coaches! Ryan left before Hubs got there, but has stayed very close with the head coach, and so my husband has been fortunate enough to meet him a few times. The baseball team also benefits tremendously from Ryan's generosity each year.

Anywayyyyy. . .  getting back to Roscoe, not only does he get to hang out with Timmy, but he also gets many trips to the San Francisco beaches and all around the major sites.

 When Hubs and I visited San Francisco we never got to see much of anything that wasn't shrouded in fog, including the Golden Gate Bridge. I can see by Roscoe's picture below that fog around the bridge is pretty standard. 

Tina has decided to celebrate Roscoe's life by writing a book for her 5 grandkids that talks about all the experiences Roscoe has had throughout his long and happy life. 

Roscoe is checking himself out.

Even though he lost some friends along the way, he's had it really good with his furever family. 

Thanks so much to Tina for opening her home to so many animals, and for sharing her story with us.  

You can follow Roscoe on Instagram @roscoe_p_coltrain. I just have to end by sharing this picture of Roscoe.

I love it because it reminds me of one of my absolute favorite "memes" out there on the World Wide Web, as seen below.

I laugh every time I see it!  Corgis are really adorable dogs aren't they?

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Feline Friday: Jennyanydots and the Poetry of Cats

Here it is readers! The post you didn't know you've been wanting and you didn't ask for! Cats and poetry. Poetry and cats.  I need to talk about my Jenny a little bit. I feel like I've never really given her the proper treatment here.

I've discussed the trepidation we felt at bringing her in. 

  Neither of us considered ourselves "cat people," and both of us suffer from allergies. Not to mention Wiley is about as neurotic a dog as canine-ly possible.  I was just going to take her and her kittens right to the shelter, but those plans fell through, as explained here.

 Eventually, once the kittens began really venturing away from mom, and I saw a hawk circling overhead,  I decided I would just bring them in until the kittens were old enough to be separated from mom, and then I would try to find homes for all three.

During the two weeks I was feeding them outside I just called Jenny "Mama Cat." 

I knew giving her a name would be a bad idea. Once I brought her inside, I started trying out some names. I'm sure at this point a part of me knew I was going to be keeping her but I was still in denial. Now, I'm not going to tell you the other names I tried out. They're good names and I want to save them for any future cats, but don't tell Wiley.

One day when I came downstairs after having spent some time with her and the kittens in the guest room, Hubs said to me, "So, how many of them are we keeping?"  I guess that's when we knew the jig was up.

By then I had had plenty of time to observe Jenny, and none of the names I was considering fit her. All of them were related to literature or pop culture, yet none of them matched her personality. I started reviewing my favorite female characters once again, thinking maybe there was something I missed. This time I broke it down by authors. And that's when I remembered TS Eliot. He's among my favorite all-time poets, but all too often I'm mired down in his earlier work, steeped in hopelessness and disillusionment. I forgot that later in life he wanted to write something he could actually read with his grandchildren, and that's when he wrote this:

It was in this silly and wonderful book that I found "The Old Gumbie Cat," and that is when I knew Jenny finally had a name. Her full name is Jennyanydots. Check it out.

The Old Gumbie Cat
TS Eliot

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
Her coat is of the tabby kind, with tiger stripes and leopard spots.

All day she sits upon the stair


 or on the steps

 or on the mat;

She sits and sits 

and sits and sits–

and that’s what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day’s hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat’s work is but hardly begun.
And when all the family’s in bed and asleep,
She tucks up her skirts to the basement to creep.
She is deeply concerned with the ways of the mice

Their behaviour’s not good and their manners not nice;
So when she has got them lined up on the matting,

She teaches them music, crocheting and tatting.

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
Her equal would be hard to find, she likes the warm and sunny spots.
All day she sits beside the hearth or on the bed

or on my hat:

She sits and sits

 and sits and sits–

and that’s what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day’s hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat’s work is but hardly begun.

As she finds that the mice will not ever keep quiet,
She is sure it is due to irregular diet;

And believing that nothing is done without trying,
She sets right to work with her baking and frying.
She makes them a mouse–cake of bread and dried peas,
And a beautiful fry of lean bacon and cheese.

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
The curtain-cord she likes to wind, and tie it into sailor-knots.

She sits upon the window-sill, or anything that’s smooth and flat:

She sits and sits 

and sits and sits–

and that’s what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day’s hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat’s work is but hardly begun.

She thinks that the cockroaches just need employment
To prevent them from idle and wanton destroyment.

So she’s formed, from that lot of disorderly louts,

A troop of well-disciplined helpful boy-scouts,
With a purpose in life and a good deed to do
And she’s even created a Beetles’ Tattoo.

So for Old Gumbie Cats let us now give three cheers
On whom well-ordered households depend, it appears.

Well, readers. . .  what do you think? She's definitely a "Jenny" amirite?  

Now, would you believe I have even more to say about cats and poetry? Well I do, and you'd better check in next Friday to see what I'm talking about. I'll have some other cats to share that people have sent me pictures of, and some surprises as well. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Jenny better. If you have a cat you'd like to share with the blog for Feline Friday, email me at  Thanks!

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