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sammy and silly willy 3-25-12

 

So you want to help with Rescue but you don’t know how to start? You want to pick up every stray but you’ve ever seen, but never even been able to catch one. You jump out of a moving vehicle trying to get the dog in the middle of the street. You just know he is going to get hit by a car. Other cars are whizzing by, the dog is crouched shivering, but still scrambling to get across the street and away from all the wonderful do-gooders who have stopped their cars in the middle of traffic to chase the poor dog.

Or you want to adopt but you just don’t have the time to commit to 10 or 12 years to a pet right now but you would like to help.

You could offer to drive transport, which is wonderful, I do it all the time. You help dogs to safety, get them out of kill shelters, and sometimes take them to their new permanent homes! All fabulous stuff.

But what about fostering? A lot of people don’t even know what it is.

First  a dog is “pulled” from a kill shelter (this is taking the dog out of the shelter, which is done by a reputable puller, a licensed 501c,  and the dog is evaluated for adoption) They are given a battery of tests to look for friendliness, food aggression, interaction with people, being touched, being around other dogs, cats, kids, etc.

After that, the dogs are sent to rescues willing to help with the adoption, the healing, the socializing of these poor babies. There is much that goes on, vet bills, finding room at their shelters, or with others

Let me share with you a quote from a Rescue and what they do… a lot of rescues have the same credo, this happens to be ACT NOW RESCUE NEW ENGLAND

About Our Rescue Group…

What is rescue? Many people have varying ideas as to “what is rescue”.  We take in strays, owner turn ins and pull from “high kill” shelters.  As long  as there is a dog in need we will be there to save it. We are not breed specific, and we are not about highly adoptable healthy dogs. Many of our dogs are not without health issues or behavior issues that need to be resolved. We feel with our heart, not our mind which would tell us unhealthy dogs are expensive. Is cost an option? Who is to say any certain dog is not worth saving. What is a life worth? If you would ask, tammy, laurie, jan   What was the worth of their loving companion? PRICELESS! Rescue is expensive.   Even with vet discounts, the bills are astronomical.. Our group will never say a dog is not worth saving.The difference it makes to the family that adopts, will always be worth the expense. We will continue to rescue those in need . God bless to our adopters and supporters. The Act Now Rescue Team.

….. that’s where fostering comes in.

A lot of shelters have their own fosters that work with them all the time. Sometimes a dog is adopted right away and the foster only has that pet for a very short time. Sometimes it takes a lot longer, and the foster has to say how long they will commit to the dog….till another foster can take it? till the shelter has room? till they fall in love with the pet and decide to keep him??? That happens a lot!! LOL!!

I have overnighted dogs, (when a transport from far away is rolling there is usually a midpoint where they need the dogs to go to someone’s home and get out of the cars.) Rest, food, and a little companionship are a must to keep the stress levels down and to give the drivers a day time schedule. No one out driving these dogs in the middle of the night.

sad faced Leo the pup

sad faced Leo the pup

I have fallen in love overnight and wanted to keep them, but you can’t keep them all and usually you can’t take a dog off transport even if you want to adopt them, they go to the rescue and then if you have fallen in love, you contact them for adoption info.

Most of these rescues have very stringent rules for the safety of the dog. Home inspection, background checks, charging fees to adopt, etc. Unfortunately there are still many people that do wish harm to animals and no one wants to rescue a dog and then have it end up in harms way with a bad person.

But back to Fosters. They are so important because a rescuer can rescue and a rescue organization can help find a home, but in the interim, most rescues only have so much room and need people to home these dogs for a while as they look for permanent love connections… :)

These fosters are sometimes the first time a dog is loved, is touched, yes, dogs from puppy mills or that were born on the street no NO kindness or socialization. Most of them do, but they come from all walks of life. It is so rewarding to see them blossom when they are nurtured and see that food, petting, bathing, interaction are all there all the time. Its what makes them wonderful pets for the adopter, because of you the great kind caring foster.

So please look into it!! Please think of volunteering. Most of these dogs are no problem and just need a place to lay their head and are the most grateful animals because they need the kindness and appreciate it more than any other pet!

And actually, Right now… My very good friend Chella Melnuchuk is looking for a foster for a short term in Rochester NY. She is the rescuer of many dogs in the Bahamas. She is
The Voiceless Dogs of the Bahamas and feeds, waters, medicates and helps these dogs. She finds them homes mostly here in the states. So if you are in the Rochester area, please contact me and let me know and we will put you in contact with the receiving rescue up there. 'Beanie is like a human baby girl..'

thanks everyone and don’t forget to spay and neuter!!!!!

yawn 2

 

As one of the so called nutcases that treats their dogs like humans, and gives them emotions, I want to talk about something I read recently. It has to do with yawning. Yep, yawning, that thing we do that shows we are bored? Tired? Indifferent? I don’t know. But I do know, my dogs yawned too!! I used to think it was so cute. They both yawned but differently. When Boom yawned, it was with a tight mouth and a lick of the lips. When Bing did it, it was with a huge loose lipped breath and ended with a shake of his huge head!!! LOL.

So, it caught my eye, when I read an article about yawning. According to a  new study from Japan and results from the Dognition citizen-science project, dogs may be even more connected to humans than people have realized. (I have no idea who those people are, cause me… and anyone I’m friends with, know that our dogs are our children and we bond with them the same way!! So there could never be a study to tell me we are more connected than we already are LOL! We love them, feed them, snuggle with them and think they can tell us anything and understand everything we tell them. They say we are using anthropomorphism, giving dogs emotions they don’t have, but Iyawn 1 say they do have them and it’s being proved. More on that in my next blog.

But….Anyway, both studies show that dogs yawn contagiously, which is something humans do. It also stated that dogs that are bonded with people are more likely to yawn when their person does. Well, duh!! Just like my daughter… I mean my real daughter, not my dog daughter.

I remember a long time ago when I rescued one of my dogs, I had to hire a trainer. Bing was a street pup, surviving alone, knocking over and eating out of peoples garbage cans (they threw rocks at him) and growing up on the street (where I’m sure he was hurt by kids and maybe hit in traffic). When a rescuer finally caught him, (he kept jumping the fence into the guys yard and eating his dogs’ food then jumping back out). He had a collar growing into his neck and he acted like he was tough, and yet when I tried to walk him, traffic made him freeze, pee where he stood and violently shake till I could drag him from the noise. It was so sad. One of his worst things is you could see he wanted to bond with kids, he seemed to crave the attention, but if they made sudden moves, he freaked and snapped at them. Never really did any damage or harm, just scared the crap out of them and me! Freaked me out. And he never really lost that fear of kids till he was too old to remember his street life. He would be around them, rub on them love the attention then boom, snap and want them gone.

So he had issues! He ended up being the best sweetie ever, but back to the point. While we were working with him and the trainer, he would yawn a lot. And I mean all the time. The trainer would give him a command, he would look at him, yawn and not do it for quite a while. Then voila, he did it. The trainer said he was thinking. That when a dog is trying to figure things out, they would yawn. It sounded weird, but truth be told, he did it a lot. He would sit, look at me and yawn, then do what he was told.

So I’m thinking, is he so smart, he’s thinking or is he so dumb he doesn’t know what to do, or is he so bored he is just yawning cause he’s ready to fall asleep and doesn’t give a crap what I’m saying? It turns out for us, he really seemed to be thinking. It was like he was stalling for time while he thought. I really kinda forgot about all that cause I got so used to the fact that he yawned. Both my dogs yawned. I think all dogs yawn. But Bing did it a lot while we were together. It just made me laugh.

But, now I read this article and I wonder how much of this is true? They say yawning is one of the more bizarre biological functions in humans and other animals. No one knows why we do it. Some say it increases oxygen. Others say it is linked to controlling brain temperature. Maybe it stretches the mouth and throat, or keeps us alert. Personally, when I yawn, I am anything but alert….so maybe that is what it’s for, you’re tired, bored, you yawn, ya get some oxygen, you can stick around a little longer and listen to the thing or person that was making you tired in the first place.

The strangest thing about yawning is that it’s contagious. Seeing or hearing someone yawn, or even reading about yawning often leads to an irresistible urge to yawn. And it’s not random. You’re more likely to yawn contagiously when someone you love yawns, than when a stranger yawns. But, really, think about it. If I see someone yawn, I don’t care who it is, I yawn!!

There is actually a test to see if your dog yawn contagiously? Try the test here.

Most people have this wonderful quality called empathy. Thank God. It is one of the best things a person can have and almost everyone does. We are acutely susceptible to the emotions of others. People are more likely to laugh when they see someone laughing, (which is a good thing for me as a comic, ya want that laughter to spread! That’s why an empty showroom is a total drag) seriously, that’s where the line “can ya run around the room and pretend you’re a crowd” came from. Working to a small crowd that isn’t laughing is a killer. Gee, not because I’m not funny!! Anyway, empathy, it’s what makes people cry if they see others sad or in distress. It’s why watching movies is so emotional, you relate and empathize. Empathizing encourages good behavior and prevents harmful acts. It is not something that is taught, it is present even in young kids and grows and strengthens throughout life. Very different from sympathizing, which is feeling sorrow or sorry for someone else. Empathy is a bonding and in fact, without empathy, you possibly have developmental problems.

So, back to it, according to the study, people have “contagious yawning”,  yawning after seeing someone else yawn. And it is positively correlated to empathy scores. An interesting question is whether animals are also capable of empathy. They say this is difficult to measure, since animals can’t tell us how they are feeling. But because contagious yawning is related to empathy scores in humans, there have been several researchers who have used contagious yawning as a measure of empathy, at least in a basic form, in animals.

Besides primates, only two species have been shown to yawn contagiously. One of them, perhaps not surprisingly, is the dog (the other is the Australian budgerigar).Whatever the hell that is. (I guess it’s time to google) When did google become a verb? It is, ya know!

Back on point….So in their original studies they got conflicting results as to whether or not dogs yawned contagiously. And when dogs did yawn contagiously, researchers questioned whether this was a sign of stress, rather than empathy.

Now when I think back on Bing yawning, I don’t know if maybe that whole “I’m thinking” thing was “I’m stressed now cause I’m not sure what you want me to do” Which makes the yawning while thinking after you are being taught a command you don’t know make sense! (Did that sentence even make sense?)

However, a new study from Teresa Romero and colleagues from the University of Tokyo found that not only do dogs yawn contagiously, but their yawning does NOT seem to be a sign of stress — and, like humans, they are more likely to yawn with someone they are emotionally bonded to. Now, that makes me feel better. I wasn’t stressing my dog, I was bonding with him!!!!

In that study, the researchers had 25 dogs watch the yawning of either their owner or a stranger. A heart-rate monitor measured the levels of stress in the dogs. Just over half of the dogs yawned contagiously (54 percent). Dogs yawned more frequently when their owner yawned, showing that the emotional connection between dogs and their owners produces a stronger response. There was no significant increase in heart rate in the dogs during the experiment, so the dogs’ yawning did not seem to be stress related.  Yay!!!!

So another group, Dognition, a website that helps you find the genius in your dog, did a study too. And of the 250 participants in the beta program, 20 percent of the dogs yawned. The difference between the two studies was likely due to a slightly different method of examining individual yawning (the Romero study recorded dogs 5 minutes after the human yawned, while participants in Dognition recorded 2 minutes after the owner yawned). Although, I don’t know about the dogs, but I yawn as soon as someone starts yawning in front of me.

Also, in Dognition, there was a link between the yawn test and a dog’s cunning scores, which measures how dogs use their owners’ attention to deceive them. Dogs that were skilled at reading their owner’s body language, and at using this information to their own advantage, were also more likely to yawn.

So now I know, Bing wasn’t stressed, he was trying to trick me!!!! Into what, I’m not sure but he was cunning!!! LOL.. Actually, I’m sure whatever he was trying to make me do….it involved food. My Dog Was a Pig!!! As am I!! Again, we so bonded! Me, my dog, and pasta!! Wow, I think I have the name of my next book!! Next book? I haven’t written the first one?

Till next time. Kisses, Hugs, and Yawns!!!!!

I'm dreaming of a black, brown, white christmas

I’m dreaming of a black, brown, white christmas

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!!! As we leave 2013 behind and head into 2014, please remember to keep your pets safe during the holidays. (Oh yeah, and you and your humans too!) But the pets can’t take care of themselves. So, Yes, we love them, yes we dress them up in costumes, yes, we sneak them food under the table…. But there’s lots  of stuff to get into and lots of sugar and chocolate and plants around that can be dangerous… plants they shouldn’t eat, food they shouldn’t have, things they shouldn’t get into.  So you want to watch them, help them, make sure they are in on the fun, but safe at all times. Here is a list from the ASPA with my personal seal of approval and my own little twist. And after all is said and done….make sure you stick their butts (or lips) under the mistletoe (where they can’t reach it)  and kiss those furfaces  all day long!

Of course you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, being good pet parents, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:

O Christmas Tree (or Chanukah Bush) Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.

Tinsel-less Town
Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.

No Feasting for the Furballs
By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.

Leave the Leftovers 
Not that me or my hubby can do that… but we have opposable thumbs and no will power. Luckily your dog can’t open the refrigerator so you have some control! Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won’t lead to costly medical bills. Of course some dogs, like my 2 were garbage cans and ate everything with us, they shared and never got sick. A lot of people used to believe table scraps were bad for pets, now some people only feed table food to their dogs. Know your dog, know what is good and bad for him, and also know which things are poisonous or will cause reactions, raisons, onions, chocolate, caffeine, artificial sweeteners etc. please just use your head.

 

Toy Joy
Looking to stuff your pet’s stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.

  • Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallow the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.
  • Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer—and tons of play sessions together.

Forget the Mistletoe & Holly
Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet. Many plants are toxic to pets, including chrysanthemums, clematis, coleus, daffodils, geranium, hibiscus, hostas, hyacinths, most ivies and lilies, peony, sweet William, tulips and vinca.

For a comprehensive list and photos of pet-safe garden plants, visit the Animal Poison Control Center at www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants.

That Holiday Glow
Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out! One of the dogs may try and use it to barbeque something delish he found in the garbage!

Wired Up 
Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth. Actually, not a bad plan to keep the human babies in line with some of these tips too!

House Rules
If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you’re busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session. This is my favorite thing to do, I am the one not paying attention to the humans but rolling on the floor with their pets and getting my Khristmas Kisses!

Put the Meds Away 
Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.

Careful with Cocktails
If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, and they better!! be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure. Or they may just don a lampshade and embarrass you with the latest dance…. Who let the dogs out… who who????

A Room of Their Own 
Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub. I’ve done this too….

New Year’s Noise
As you count down to the new year, again, cats and strings…..please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. If your pet is really scared of the noises, check into a thundershirt. They are great.

Keep an Eye on them!

This is the jolly happy season of giving and love and peace, but Please also remember to always check on where they are. Don’t leave them outside in the cold accidentally while you are partying. Don’t leave them alone for too long, and watch they don’t get out of the house while your guests are coming and going from your party. Doors held open, people not paying attention, pets can get loose, and end up lost, or on the streets. So just be aware.

Bottom Line!! Happy Holidays!!!!! Have Fun, Be Safe, Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

 

Giant eats pumpkin

Giant eats pumpkin

So it’s October …muhwwwwwaaaaaahhhhhahahahahah!!!!! And that means everything fall and wonderful! Halloweenie and Scary! The gorgeous changing of the leaves, kinda like changing of the guard but with flat colorful leaves instead of wooly stiff Englishman………, getting cooler and crisper out and wearing those cute fall clothes, and fabulous  hauntingly scary costumes, sinfully delicious chocolates and assorted candies, and pumpkin pie everything. Pumpkin pie ice cream, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin specialty candy, and pumpkin pie…pie! The real thing. Made from real pumpkins. I know pumpkin in a can is real pumpkin, but pies made fresh from actual pumpkins you carve are soooooo scrumptious. (And you can make pumpkin seeds!) Man we loved making those salty crunchy home cooked seeds. Of course as soon as you ate them, they were always over salted and would pucker our faces and we’d spit all of it out except the teeny seed inside. HA! Yes, a lot of work for a teeny treat. But doing it was the fun. And baking the pie…more work… but if you can bribe someone else in the family to do it…. Yum and easy LOL!!. The best part of the holiday for a family, carving the pumpkin, scooping out the seeds, making and eating those, and then, trowelling out a pumpkin for fresh pumpkin pie. That should be a family tradition. Great bonding moments for a family. Add the costumes, the trick or treating, the parties, the going through the bag of candy to see if it’s got good stuff or crap to give to the other kids,  just plain good times.  I love October… way better than November. Seriously, I am a vegetarian and haven’t eaten a turkey in 45 years so who really cares?? I do love having a family dinner but it could be pasta and it could be January for all I care, just love the family get together. But October…..Whooo Whooooo. Now I am a big believer in pumpkin pie and think it should be accessible all year long! It’s not only delicious, it’s good for you. It can be decadent and it can be diet food. Depends on how you play it. Think about the poor lowly pumpkin. You never see it, ya never hear about it, ya never think about it,  ya never grow it in your garden. It’s like the invisible vegetable until fall comes around.  No one is really shipping it in from another country so you can have fresh pumpkin in the summer or winter, oh no…and you can never find a can of it on the shelves after November.   You just wait till Halloween and Thanksgiving roll around and then you make as much pumpkin stuff as you can because once it’s gone, it’s gone. You can’t even find that flavor anymore. Not in the frozen yogurt shops, not in the coffee pods for your kuerig, not even a friggin candy bar! What is the deal? You can get a sweet potato any old time ya like, and you can get a squash or a zucchini to make for dinner all year round, you can get sweet potato fries everywhere, all the time which by the way, Thank God and  YUM times a zillion… MY FAVE!! But where the hell are the pumpkins?  Who is kidnapping and hiding the orange round relatives, the pumpkins? Nutritionally speaking, pound for pound this is one healthy food! Here are a few healthy facts!

  • It is one of the very low calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. The vegetable is one of the food items recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
  • Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E.
  • With 7384 mg per 100 g, it is one of the vegetables in the Cucurbitaceae family featuring highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 246% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help a body protects against lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • It is also an excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds such as α, ß carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin A inside the body.
  • Zea-xanthin is a natural anti-oxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions in the macula lutea in retina of the eyes. Thus, it helps protect from “age-related macular disease” (ARMD) in the elderly.
  • The fruit is a good source of B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.
  • It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
  • Pumpkin seeds indeed are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. In addition, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals and health-benefiting vitamins. For instance, 100 g of pumpkin seeds provide 559 calories, 30 g of protein, 110% RDA of iron, 4987 mg of niacin (31% RDA), selenium (17% of RDA), zinc (71%) etc., but no cholesterol. Further, the seeds are an excellent source of health promoting amino acid tryptophan.

Phew! Thank you Dr. but really, could I just bathe in the stuff? And the real pie? Made with sugar? And homemade sugary whip cream? I don’t need to eat it, just rub it my thighs, that’s where it’s going anyway!! But as I said, there are healthier versions. Almost as delish but let’s be honest…   Now it’s tasty for sure, but let’s put the credit where credit is due. The things that bring out the best in pumpkin are sugar, cinnamon, and the minor players nutmeg, cloves, ginger, mace, etc….. So does that make it now unhealthy?? Heck NO!! A little sugar won’t kill ya, it won’t help ya but it won’t hurt ya. And of course there are tons of healthy replacements now. And the spices are just as healthy as the pumpkin. It may surprise you but one teaspoon of ginger has similar antioxidant levels as one cup of spinach. Scientists are looking at what role compounds in ginger play for digestive issues (nausea and others) along with its role in reducing pain. Cinnamon can speed up your metabolism; as can other things like cayenne, crushed red pepper, paprika. And cinnamon is also rich in natural compounds called polyphenols. Research suggests that these compounds may act like insulin in our body to help regulate blood sugar levels.

Now everyone has their favorite recipe and that is all a matter of taste… I have my decadent one, and I have my low calorie eat all you want pumpkin desert that will be going in my cook book soon!! Yep, working on a cookbook and it will be delish! Well, not the actual book although maybe a compound so you can lick the pages. Hmmmmmmmm.

Anyway, back to where are the pumpkins???? So the point is, ya never see a pumpkin till October, then you see road side stands, pumpkin patches,  farmers markets, and grocery stores so overflowing with pumpkins they could take over the world!

where's the real pumpkin?

where’s the real pumpkin?

Carve them little arms and give them zappers and we would be toast! So of course we buy tons of them, the squirrels get happy and chow on them on our porches, the devil children steal them and throw them in the street, and mostly and sadly we just throw them out a few days after Halloween. But what about those gazillion pumpkins still sitting in the patch, or on the nursery plant stands or in the stores? What happens to them? Do they make more ice cream that we could eat throughout the winter? NOOO they do not, who would be so kind??? And it’s not like it would go bad, IT’S FROZEN PEOPLE!!  I’ll tell ya where it goes… The weekend after Halloween there are competitions all across America. Pumpkin throwing competitions. The largest I think is the Punkin Chunkin annual championship in Bridgeville, Del. It lasts 3 days and asttracts more than 20,000 vicious pumpkin killers! That’s right, you heard me. They launch leftover pumpkins from giant catapults, air cannons, and trebuchets that spew the gourds thousands of feet through the air. (Can you hear Mr. Bill??? Ohhhh Nooooooo) Back in 1986 some physics students from Salisbury University were having a pumpkin throwing contest. Four Delaware men heard about it and were inspired to start their own contest that soon went national.  The winner in ‘86 actually used a catapult and hurtled a pumpkin 126 feet. A sport was born, a horrible waste of my delicious pumpkin pie sport was born LOL… Actually, in 2008 a team (yes, they started ganging up on the poor defenseless pumpkins) these guys didn’t even have scary faces carved into them to use!!  Anyway, at the 2008 World Championship, yes people it’s become big time, a team actually set the world record flinging a pumpkin 4,483 feet. Holy Smasharoonie. I wonder who cleans up the mess. One can only hope all the animals around town, get their own version of pumpkin pie road kill for many weeks. There was even a Slingin Pumpkin festival here in Warren County, NJ. last week. Killing the pumpkins early… But Beer, Chili, Hayrides, tours and Pumkin throwing galore were the culmination of a weekend of fun.

So next time you want something pumpkin, something fun to do, a fall festival, look for a pumpkin chunkin event and…..and steal as many pumpkins as you can save!!! They’ll thank you and your tastebuds will thank me!!!  LOL!!  Happy Fall Everybody!! And have a Scary Merry Halloween!! Enjoy!!!!

muhwwwwwaaaaaahhhhhahahahahah!!!!!

Okay, so we all love animals, we have read many stories about them, we have done things to our pets that we are sorry for or feel guilty for. ( And no I’m not talking about harming them, if you purposely abuse your pet, I shun you! I berate you! I can’t even go there right now) I don’t want to write about those horrors in this blog although they do exist and need addressing for sure.

Today, I am talking about the things we do that embarrass the animal… dress them up in doll clothes, make them dance with tutus on, walk in a circle with a hotdog on their nose… You know they know it’s embarrassing.

My poor little boom had weak back legs, so I got her a wheel cart. And even though it was for her own good, (and she ended up loving it because she could go for longer walks), she still was extremely ashamed whenever she had to use it.  In fact when she passed on, and my other guy, Bing,  got so old, I tried to get him to use it and I never saw a dog look like he wanted to scream “Are you f@#$ing kidding me? Get me out of this. I am so mortified!” booms wheels 2

 

 

Believe me if they could only talk! They try, they give us the look. You know the one….They speak volumes and I don’t care what anyone says, they have an innate sense of what is going on at all times.

You’ve seen these people that carry their dogs around in a bag, or push them in a baby stroller, Really?? Sorry, to me they are not just pets, they are like people, and who wants to be carried in a bag if they have the strength to run and jump and want to be free and playing and doing? (I know there are times when a puppy is too young to be on the ground in a public place, or a dog is injured) but I’m talking about a healthy happy, let me jump and run animal. Anyway, that is off point.

I’m just bringing it all up because I found the ultimate insult to injury of using an animal when they have no say so in it at all. I found this article and it came with pictures I gotta tell ya, it made me so mad, but when I realized the cat would be fine, it did make me laugh at the absurdity of it, the audacity of the person who did it, and that fact that the cat could not tell anyone, who did it, where they did it or why or for whom they did it. Please Read below before I continue…

 

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – A cat carrying a saw and a mobile  phone was “detained” as it entered a prison gate in northeast Brazil, Brazilian media reported on Saturday.A prison guard holds a cat that has objects wrapped around his body with tape at a prison in Arapiraca

(detained? Ouch, ease up Mr. Guard!!) Prison guards were surprised when they saw a white cat crossing the main gate of the prison, its body wrapped with tape. A closer look showed the feline also carried drills, an earphone, a memory card, batteries and a phone charger.Objects that were found wrapped around the body of a cat with tape is seen at a prison in Arapiraca

All 263 detainees in the prison of Arapiraca, a city of 215,000 people in the state of Alagoas, are considered suspect in the plot, which is being investigated by local police.

“It’s tough to find out who’s responsible for the action as the cat doesn’t speak,” a prison spokesperson told local paper Estado de S.Paulo.

The cat was taken to an animal disease center to receive medical care.

The incident took place on New Year’s day Jan 1, 2013 but was first reported by national media on Saturday.

The cat doesn’t speak? Really? Cause I’m sure if he did he would have made an appointment for his visitation rights. I mean everyone has a right to see their loved ones in prison.

Of course if he did speak, he would never have given up his partner in crime, I’m sure. Loved ones don’t rat….rat? did I see a rat? I can’t believe he was still on his way in and never veered from his goal!

I think he had Stockholm syndrome. So you can’t blame the cat, someone fed him, and fed him a line of bull…”Really, Bob needs these, he’s innocent, we have to help him, no one will get hurt, just purr and keep on walking, you can do it!”

And if he did speak, and how funny is it that they had to write…” the cat doesn’t speak” Do most cats speak? Did they think he was just faking it to cover up the crime? If he could speak, don’t ya think he might have said, “Get this crap off me! It’s heavy, it’s digging into me, and it is humiliating!”

And detained? Detained for questioning? Really? What did he have to say? Did he mime what was going on? And really, you only have 215,000 suspects? You better call CSI immediately!

So bottom line, don’t involve your pets or people in your prison escape. CRIME DOESN’T PAY! And your pets deserve better! At least give them a mask so no one sees their faces! Yikes, how embarrassing!  LOL… Go kiss your pets right now.

Dogs are better than vitamins or pills! The health benefits of pets! dog drTake 2 and call me in the morning….dogs, not pills….Well hey kids, I’m back. It’s been a tough couple of months what with my Bingy Boy crossing the rainbow bridge and other things going down, but I’m back having fun on the ships and feeling better about life again.

I am still so sad that I am dogless for the first time since I was a kid! I always get a rescue when I lose a dog. It saves a life and gives me back my life.

I have to tell you a funny but embarrassing story. My cousin sends me books to read thru kindle amazon and one of the books is The art of racing in the rain by Garth Stein. It has a pic of a golden retriever on the cover so I was IN!! As I started to read, it was about a dog, actually the story is told by the dog, and he is planning to help his owner put him down so the owner can get on with his life. Believe me, I am not giving anything away…. that is the first few pages and I was bawling like a baby on an airplane. Trying to bow my head so no one saw the tears, red nose, blowing it, pretending there was something in my eye,  it was awful!!! I can laugh now, but man I shut that book down so fast…….

Then I tried again a month later, on a plane again no less…..and better, but man I know the gal next to me thought I was having a nervous breakdown. You really shouldn’t read this book after losing an old dog, I swear I still can’t finish it, but I will, it was really really good, but I am just too emotional. Even in my normal state, if I see a sad commercial about a volkswagon, I’m broken down like a prisoner that just got the bad news he is going to the gallows.  You’d think it was my last days.

But anyway, right now is not a good time to get a new furface. I vacillate between what is the right thing to do and what is the thing I really want to do. I am gone so much working on the ships now, which is great, we need the money and I love my job, and my hubby works a lot, and the house is up for sale, brokers and people coming and going, and if we sell, a giant move and tons of change, and a new dog would be alone so much. Part of me says, he would be alone but in a very cool house with a yard and family (sometimes) rather than a shelter and possible “death” around the corner.

But then I think of him having no body around, getting used to this yard and then losing it and maybe being stuck in an apartment,  we are probably ending up in a much smaller place without a yard, although no matter where we go they will have to accept pets, no negotiation there! Hopefully it will be NYC and we will have central park for a yard and our own balcony or private space, and  more free time and someone to help with walks.

Having a dog completes me. Yep, I’m an empty lonely girl without my pooches around. Love my hubby to death, thank god for my good friends and audiences on the ships that let me talk through the pain and loneliness. The bonding is great, the camaraderie is awesome and it helps to talk about it out loud. But man I miss a furball in my face. I’m like a stalker. I go to friends’ houses and while they are talking to me, I’m on the floor wrestling with their dogs. Or I walk down the street and grab strangers’ dogs while they are walking them and fondle them like a scary creepy kidnapper! I’m surprised they don’t run screaming into the night from me.  Even at immigration when I travel, I grab the drug dogs and start hugging, I’m surprised I haven’t been arrested! But I’m starved for the smelly, wet delicious kisses and snuggles ya get from a dog. People just don’t do it for me, like a furball does…LOL!!!!

For those of you that have dogs, you know what I’m talking about. For those that don’t I will fill you in a little bit.

When you come home, they look at you like you’ve been gone for years. Jumping up and down “OMG how could you desert me, where have you been, thank god you came back, where did you go, are you staying? Did you bring food,  I thought I was gonna die, I miss you I miss you I miss you”….and that’s just if you go out to get the mail.

There is no greater love/dependence/bond than a dog and his best friend! And I am telling you it is a healing thing too.  Pets help lower blood pressure and lessen anxiety. They boost our immunity. They are matchmakers!!!

And people that are allergic? Here is some info from researcher James E. Gern, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

“The old thinking was that if your family had a pet, the children were more likely to become allergic to the pet. And if you came from an allergy-prone family, pets should be avoided.”

However, a growing number of studies have suggested that kids growing up in a home with “furred animals” — whether it’s a pet cat or dog, or on a farm and exposed to large animals — will have less risk of allergies or asthma.

In his recent study, Gern analyzed the blood of babies immediately after birth and one year later. He was looking for evidence of an allergic reaction, immunity changes, and for reactions to bacteria in the environment.

Continue reading below…

If a dog lived in the home, infants were less likely to show evidence of pet allergies — 19% vs. 33%. They also were less likely to have eczema, a common allergy skin condition that causes red patches and itching. In addition, they had higher levels of some immune system chemicals — a sign of stronger immune system activation.

“Dogs are dirty animals” we bathe them but they have that natural roll in the mud, bad skin, funky way….and this suggests that babies who have greater exposure to dirt and allergens have a stronger immune system,” Gern says.

I’ve always said that. On the ships they have sanitizer. They want ya to wash your hands a gazillion times a day. That’s good for ship life, too many people touching your food, touching each other, coming on board in a “closed” enviornment with colds so they should use sanitizer.

But when we were kids, there was no sanitizer!! We made mud pies, frosted them with worms, baked them in the driveway and ate them… and I licked up the antifreeze, that’s what made them sweet and delicious! Got a cold, get a cootie shot for gods sake! LOL….

Dogs are also date magnets. People that walk their dogs know how many people come up and go “awwww he’s so cute, can I pet him”…. And may the games begin.

Older people and sick people benefit from dogs as do hospitalized patients. My friend has a service dog, She went through training to become a hospital dog and visits hospitals and nursing homes. “Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home,” says Lynette Hart, PhD, associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. People in their beds just petting that dog, or having it lay next to them with it’s furry little head on their lap love it and say they have a new lease on life.

So personally, if you’re feeling blue, if you feel lonely, if you need a friend, if you have the time and want to give love and get love….rescue a pet. They need you!! You need them. There are magnets on cars that say it all….. Who saved Who?   And There is a poem in the rescue world…author unknown…

I Have Done Something

I looked at all the caged animals in the shelter…the cast-offs of human society.

I saw in their eyes love and hope, fear and dread, sadness, and betrayal. And I was angry.

“God,” I said, “this is terrible! Why don’t you do something?”

God was silent for a moment, and then He spoke softly, “I have done something,” he replied. “I created you.”

– Author Unknown

“Saving the life of one animal may not change the world, but the world will surely change for that one animal”

 

bing and boom chilling

I promise to get back to the real funny on the next blog, and I’ll try not to be too maudlin, but it is with heavy heart again that I bid adieu to my other furry friend Badabing (the black lab/newfie). As you know, we helped Badaboom (the long haired brown shepherd behind him) over the rainbow bridge a year ago and Badabing has been a lonely boy ever since. But he still had us, and we had him and that was fantabulous. If only I would have smelled his butt for him, I could have made him happier, but a girl has to draw the line somewhere!

The only thing kinda positive for him after his sister left us was a little change of heart in his social life. As I’ve already told you, SHE-DEVIL Boom, was not the friendliest dog to other dogs. In fact, if you were a dog, unless she really knew you, she hated you! And unfortunately, she passed that onto Badabing who tried to be like his sister. So when ever she went into a tirade over a dog at the dog park, or a dog walking down the street, on her street no less, the nerve of that dog!!! Badabing would follow suit and go nuts with her. She was a tyrant even when she was in her wheelchair, dragging me down the street barking “I’ll kill you, get back here ya mixed mutt!”

So out of character for him, though. He used to be a lover. Well, this last year, he was older, he was slower, and he became the lover he used to be. He walked up to every dog he saw! He smelled them, he licked them, he played with them, he did whatever he could to interact. Of course the last few months he couldn’t chase them or play with them, it was more, “I’ll just sit here and “Be” and you can play with me”. Oops, that didn’t sound good….erase, erase, erase.

He was getting along pretty good after she passed. He still dragged his fat butt up the stairs so he could eat dinner with us in front of the set. Man he loved his pasta! He was just like the tramp in Lady and the Tramp. He would suck that pasta as I dangled it in the air…. till he was down to my fingers…well, at least not my lips, although I would kiss him on the lips always! Loved that boy. These kids were definitely Italian, they didn’t just beg, they would stare at the food and say…”You gonna eat that?” Uh, no, not after you drooled over all it, ya big gavone! “Then put a little cheese and a meat ball on it and pass it down!”

YUM!!

YUM!!

Anyway, as I’ve said, he was very old and quite the survivor and has been hanging in there for quite some time. His back legs were very weak, his kidneys were failing but he never showed signs of breaking down (except for the weak back legs) till the very very end. He still came up the stairs when he had the strength but slept downstairs when he didn’t. I would go work on the ships and call home everyday checking on him, and my wonderful bestest friend Steve would come and take care of him, check on him, feed him, do whatever he could to help my hubby while I was gone.

We built him a ramp. We built him a step. We raised his food on a pedestal. He had his own feather bed inside and more soft beds outside.

He would be so happy whenever I came back from the road. But his walks got short and then they were no more. Just play time in the yard. (Tug of War with an old guy is him laying, and me pretending to pull! ) It’s like a gal lying to her man… ooooh, you’re so strong, ooooh I can hardly tug back, oh it’s slipping out of my hands….LOL.

So that last week, my hubby said he really didn’t want to eat the whole week I was gone, but seemed to pep up when I got home. And of course I cooked for him and hand fed him and he ate a little. All you dog peeps know how that goes, they do whatever they can to please you, they’re so stoic these furballs. But he was a little sick the last night when we got home from a family birthday, threw up just a little, but had a hard time getting up to go do it outside. I heard him in the middle of the night, so I helped him outside (he had the dog door and ramp but was pretty weak) and when I woke up early in the morning he was still out there. He stayed in usual spot by the grill and it was a beautiful cool morning, he could not get up any longer and looked at me with such a sad and almost embarrassed look as he tried to get up to pee and I let him know it was ok to do it where he lay. (He weighed 120 lbs and I couldn’t lift that dead weight quick enough) I swear if he could talk he would have said, “You don’t pee in your bed, why the hell should I pee in mine? Move me!!!) I helped him, then cleaned him up and moved his bed outside and got him on it and that is where he passed. In my arms. I gave him an acupressure session and held him and massaged him and with a little difficulty breathing, he still passed on peacefully by 9 a.m.

I had to leave for a ship 2 days later. I was a wreck. I knew Bing would want me too. The show must go on… that is our creedo. But I was god awful for the next two cruises. Thank God for the comics that I worked with that helped keep my mind busy so I didn’t weep like a maniac every minute of the day. Wonderful comics both, Jorge Solano, and John Di Crosta.

OK, I’m done now. It’s actually been a few weeks but I couldn’t get myself to write the blog till now.

Wishing you and your pets many happy healthy days and easy journeys if that is their destiny.

RIP my Bingy Boy, now you can play with your friends Boom, and Kenny, and Whiz and so many others…. Have fun my sweet boy.

nap time

nap time

Breakfast is Served

Breakfast is Served

Just because a dog will eat anything, doesn’t mean it should. Of course YOU try telling that pup that the juicy smelly gym shoe he just devoured or the expensive fluffy feather pillow she just killed because she was protecting YOU from it, isn’t good for them. Or for you…. But what do you say? I’ve tried those and I know they don’t taste good? I’ve shredded many an old sweater and those strings just get caught in your teeth? Well, helping your dog to know the difference between the toys that are his and the toys that are yours is not the point of this particular blog, although it could be the next one.

This one is about the stuff they eat. And again, I’m not talking about the expensive antique throw rug to the expensive new prada heels, but the food you feed them… or don’t.

In my long life of owning dogs the food issues have been so different with so many schools of thought. We were always told different things by different people. There was the way your parents did it, there was the attitude of the area you live in, north, south, backwoods, city. “He’s just a dog”, “He’s my baby and nothing is good enough for him”. There is the newer thinking of holistic eating and vet care.

When I was a kid, we were poor. The dog got table scraps. If there were any, you shared with him (and what kid wasn’t willing to give up his brusslesprouts or spinach) not so much the meat, (although I was, which was why it was so easy for me to become a vegetarian over 40 years ago, but that’s another story). And the lucky dog got our bones. Rib bones, chicken bones, what ever bone we were done gnawing on, they got. And man did they love it. We eventually were told by a vet that chicken bones would splinter and would puncture something and possibly kill him, so that finally stopped. Lucky for Boots, cause he devoured those bones till he was already a teenager and luckily never had an issue.

I remember him, my first dog ever, Boots, I was a baby and he lived to the ripe old age of 19. My buddy from the time I could remember until I had to help him cross over the rainbow bridge when I was already out of high school. He was a terrier X and small and thin and wiry and protected the kids with all his heart.

My mom told us stories of her and my aunts putting all the kids on the porch in their buggies and playpens, the parents would sit and have their coffee, but if they had to go in or answer a phone or whatever, Boots was at the head of the stairs and no one, and I mean no one was getting on that porch without losing a leg.

Sometimes at night when she would put me in my crib to sleep, he would sneak in sometime during the middle of the night and she would find him sleeping at the foot of the crib by my feet, ever the lover and protector! He slept in all my beds, till his last days. As has every dog I’ve ever owned. Don’t get me started on the right or wrong of that…. yet again another blog.

I have wonderful stories about him as I grew up and that will be in that blog, but this one is about his food. I guess as we got older and there was a little more money in the family, my parents starting buying some dog food too. I really remember Ken-l Ration. I think that was the name of it and of course Alpo. The staples of canned dog food back then. It looked like rotten spam, and smelled like…well, rotten spam. Which I wouldn’t eat ever so I couldn’t tell ya what the heck Spam or rotten Spam tasted like. But the dog food came out of the can whole, (you opened both ends then pushed it out) and it was God Awful looking. Or you spooned some out of the can, and then put a lid on the can to keep the rest of the rotten spam-like crap fresh. Actually that came later, first you just wrapped the can, which never stayed closed. Then some genius made plastic dog food can covers. Wow, no more left overs in the fridge smelling like dog food. YUM!

Well, as we grew up, the doggie powers that be said don’t feed table food to dogs, they would get stomach aches, diarrhea, vomit, get spoiled and not eat their own food, etc. etc. and they said, give them the same thing all the time because change would also upset their tummies. Really? How often can you eat rotten-spam-smelling globulous stuff over and over and over?

Oh and way back when, to be honest, never heard of the whole poisonous onions, raisons, grapes food things. Maybe many a sensitive pooch died of unknown causes back then and it was really because of a food allergy or something they they ate. What did we know! But to be really honest, my dog ate everything. If the meat loaf had onions, he had onions, if the pie had raisons, so did he. I guess we were just lucky.

Even these days, when I still had my two huge Italian dogs, Badabing and Badaboom, (Boom is gone and sadly Bing is very old) but my huge Italian kids would beg for anything we had. Well actually they didn’t beg, they would sit in front of us, point to oour plates and say “Youse gonna eat that?”… and of course we would hand it over! Hey, who needs to get whacked over over a piece of linguine.

Our dogs were always healthy, happy, and willing to eat just about anything we gave them. Seriously, what dog doesn’t want your food? Bing is a huge 120 lb dog and still going at 14. Very old for a large breed dog. So thankfully we did something right and he had some strong garbage can genes. Some were pickier than others. But we just never believed in the one kind of food and only feeding dog food. So I guess we were kinda ahead of our time in that way. Lucky Dog!

And seriously, if you gave your kid the same food every day, even a healthy meal with chicken, a potato, some peas, and an apple, you would say, yep, I am a good mom and my child has a healthy nutritious meal (and you would be so right) but….give that same meal to him or her 3 times a day every day for years, and I think they would get bored, not be so thrilled to eat it, and probably would have some nutritional deficiencies to boot.

Now, thankfully for the dogs, there is a whole new holistic approach to the feeding of our pets. (And we already know all this for our kids, but they’re pickier than the dogs) My daughter lived on macaroni and cheese for 2 years one time and still is alive to tell the tale! So maybe I’m wrong, and have no idea what I’m talking about. Wouldn’t be the first time.

Some experts recommend changing the diets at least every three months. (for the dogs, not the kids) Some say to just add something new and healthy to the food they are eating when ever you want to give them a treat. If they eat a manufactured commercial food of high quality that works for them, just add some fresh chicken, turkey, eggs or something that would make their food new and give them the variety they might be craving.

Many vets now tell you that a diversified diet also can help expose him to new foods and possibly help your dog not develop food allergies. Some brands are actually made to rotate so you can stick to high quality products for optimal nutrition and still give them variety. But if you are changing food, like kibble to give them a change, do it gradually, because truly many dogs do get upset stomachs if the change is that abrupt and they are used to eating the same thing all the time. Usually mix a small amount of the new into the old, about 25% new into 75% old and then over a few day gradually blend more of the new until it’s all new. Then do the same with the next change in a few months. And if you have a dog that does have food issues, you may want to ask your vet before you do any changes at all.

So many dogs do have allergies and sensitivities now. (Maybe cause they are so purely bred? I don’t know. Our dogs were 57 heinz varieties, no hint of their background) Hey kid, who was your dad? They had iron clad stomachs cause they lived out of garbage cans before we got them! And I am soooo not kidding. Bing was a street survivor.

Luckily, now there is food without grains, without chicken, without flavor… kidding, there is supposedly a flavor explosion waiting for them…again, should I taste it? If they say this cat food taste just like tuna.. or sparrow… how would I know if they were lying??!

I know you have to pick one and see what works for your pet. And I know some of the foods now are extremely expensive, but thats because they are made of such high quality natural foods, real ingredients, no rendered parts, hand selected cuts of meat, garden vegetables, fresh fruit and tangy yogurt. OMG, just realized, if I ever run out of food, I can certainly just dive into the dog food till I get another pay check. They’re eating better than me!

And some of us nuts, actually cook food for our dogs. This can be a good or a bad thing. The federally regulated commercially prepared foods today (be they frozen, canned, or dry) are supposed to have quality assurance programs that make sure the “nutritional profile” and “bio-availablity” of a food is perfect. These make sure that the dog absorbs what he needs with attention to essential nutrients, amino acids, antioxidants and such. They are supposed to be well balanced and complete.

Not like the meals I make for myself. Hmmm, fresh fruit, good, cheese, good, dairy, good, graham (a form of wheat) good… thus strawberry cheesecake a perfectly good and healthy choice for dinner. And speaking of Healthy Choice… I love that Ice Cream! How much Healthy Choice can you eat before it is no longer a healthy choice?

Anyway, so yes, the dog food you make at home could possibly be incomplete and not as healthy for them. You have to be really creative, careful, and aware to make your own food and not cause deficiencies.

I use chicken, brown rice, fresh vegetables, pumpkin, apples, yams, and eggs. My guy is very old now and basically has kidney problems so I have to keep the protein down cause his kidneys can’t handle it. A kidney diet has to be lower in phosphorous, salt, and higher in fish oil. So if you are going to go the trouble of making their food, talk to your vet or an animal nutritionist first so you help them, not hurt them. And I have to tell you, it is satisfying on the one hand to know exactly what they are getting, but very time consuming and quite an effort to keep up.

But with that all said, all my dogs have eaten from the table, from my plate, taken food right out of my mouth. (Oh, I never said they were well trained) If they had opposable thumbs, they’d open the fridge and help themselves. Maybe I could teach them to serve me… wow, what a concept! LOL!!

So bottom line, high quality commercial food, home made food, mixing it up and giving them variety and healthy treats, oh yeah, lots of treats, that’s the ticket. Luckily, my dogs have lived wholesome healthy long lives and I stand by that. (They’ve had illnesses, they’ve gotten sick and vet bills have soared. It happens. But if you feed them right, it is one more way to try and keep them healthy.

So excuse me, but I have to go now, Bing is waiting for his pizza and I have to pick it up, there’s no delivery from our shop. And yes, I am teaching him to drive. They’re doing it in Australia. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

me and my wonderful sister-in-laws

me and my wonderful sister-in-laws

So I wake up in the morning and I am still exhausted from the pain. I can’t even get up off the couch i am getting so tired and weak. I just sit around all morning getting more and more tired and not farting or pooping but still eating mind you.

My hubby left for work (I made him go, he didn’t want to leave me cause I had sent my sister-in-law home) and I figured if i kept feeling like this i would call the doctor. So i finally grab the phone and head for the bed, i figured i would go back to sleep for a little nap and then call the doctor if i didn’t feel better when i got up, but i barely made it to bed, wanted to call her right then but passed out phone in hand.

Thank God, my hubby decided to come back home and check on me, talk about instincts. He doesn’t work close to home and i never called him, but luckily he shows up, he is looking for me, calling my name throughout the house and i can’t even answer. He can’t find me and comes up to the bedroom where i can barely talk to him. He kinda freaks out (for a not freaking out type of guy) luckily he is a doer and a god send in an emergency)
He is asking me if i talked to the doctor and i told him i meant to but passed out before I could call. So he calls the doctor and she says take her to emergency immediately. He starts to help me off the bed and the doorbell rings and it’s a neighbor with a plant, how sweet, how nice, what timing. a potted plant for the potted plant. We’re making a sitcom here…..!

So he runs back upstairs, says our neighbor is here, she’ll help us, let’s get you to the car. I pick my head up and I whispered in a croak to my husband, give me a washcloth, I need to freshen up first. Like the emergency room crew that was going to stick things in every orifice and take anything they could out of any oriface, would give a damn if I made sure my armpits smelled lemony fresh.

God knows I think I am wonder woman, and want to be a clean Wonder Woman, but when someone finds you on the floor face down ass up and you can’t talk, it’s time to go to the hospital, ya think?

So, as I’m taking my sponge bath….oh yeah, I always win…..I’m trying to wash up, in comes my husband with our neighbor and i basically had fallen off the toilet and was laying on the bathroom floor, washcloth in hand. My poor neighbor says “are you ok?” that’s like……”aside from all this, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?” My hubby calls the family, fills them in, picks me up, schleps me to the car, and everyone is on the way to meet us at the hospital.

So we get to the hospital, now remember what i said, this place is closing and has so few people i think its the same person switching uniforms and pretending to be a nurse, a doctor and the janitor.

They take me right into emergency and hook me up to an IV. Unfortunately, the nurse (janitor?) can’t find a vein. She is prodding and poking me like a pin cushion, and finally sticks it in a teeny weeny vein on my hand below my pinky finger. (any orifice…hmmmm?) Look at your hand and picture it! And she misses and it is burning like a hot poker under my skin, and swelling up so my hand looks like I just went 10 rounds and lost the fight and I’m screaming (I don’t scream, trust me) And she says I’m just being a baby.

In walks my sister in law, hears the howling, and thank god she says “she never complains, take that out now!” God I love a bossy take charge sister-in-law!! And she did, and admitted it was “leaking” and put it somewhere else. I would have liked to put it somewhere else on her! Believe me I love and respect the people in the medical field. We have the best doctors and nurses ever in this country, unfortunately… I’m sure this gal was really the janitor.

So while all this is going on, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law who are both certified acupressurists and awesome in their field. http://www.therapeuticacupressure.com/home/ Check it out!! My mother-in-law is the guru of this!!! anyway, they are double teaming me and giving me the session of my life. And right before their eyes, (the people in the emergency room…janitors?) are watching my blood pressure go back to normal, my numbers all get better, and the life comes back into me. The IV is finally flowing so I am getting some fluids and then the drink of dreck!

Then they made me drink that disgusting liquid chalk so they could look for blockages or intestinal knots, worst smoothie ever!!! Can you at least put some flavoring in so i can get it down and not throw it up? How bout making it cold? it’s freaking warm! YUK!!!!!

Long story short, after being readmitted and a battery of tests, they saw the white stuff never went down any lovey paths but was sitting somewhere waiting further instructions. My small intestines were not working (which i guess meant neither were the large ones… everybody’s on strike) Really? Now we have a union problem? So I was in pain every night, because every bit of food I ate, and every drop of water I drank, was sitting in my stomach but couldn’t move, had nowhere to go….. here i was thinking it was just gas but it was like having a blockage. So without absorbing any of the water, i became totally dehydrated and that’s why i passed out at home. And probably why the janitor couldn’t find a vein. Or she was just a crummy janitor.

I had been getting much love and help (and acupressure sessions) from my wonderful family here (I am sure the sessions kept me from the horrible tube they wanted to shove up my nose and down my stomach to release the pressure, and feed me with, by the way, been looking pregnant the whole time.) Oh yeah, I was reeeaal pretty. But the doctor was so impressed with the accupressue results and how much better i did after the sessions and with the liquids in me, she said we will hold off and see how you are in the morning. So another session from the IGM gurus and a good night’s sleep and voila! i almost felt human again.

So they let me go home to see what would happen. They put me on a liquid diet to see if it would rehabilitate on its own so they didn’t have to go in and do exploratory surgery to get the gears going. I woke up in the morning…..AND lo and behold…. 7 farts and 5 hershey squirts later and I’m doing laundry and making lunch… Life is good again…..Unbelievable what a good accupressure session and some fluid will do!

Finally had a good day and night for the first time. Ate some instant oatmeal and a little pasta and all was well. (Had eggs the first day home and it did me in. I was a mess. Found out the protein/fat foods which are eggs, dairy, and meat (which i don’t eat anyway) are the hardest to digest when there are problems….who knew, I thought an egg was mushy…..they said eat mushy foods. I got better quick then and my colongave a sigh of relief for the break….actually if it would friggin’ sigh a little more, I wouldn’t have all this bloating and pressure.

So the good news was, I lost weight so it was all worth it. It was small portions of carbos, like a little pasta, potatoes, oatmeal, ya da ya da goes down smoooooth and actually comes out smoother…LOL…..oh no, I won’t go there. But my doctor said that means the inards are a’workin’ and I could start little by little adding stuff. I was just kinda scared to eat anything that would bring back the excruciating pain!!! But I had turned a corner and was so thrilled to be cancer free and on my way to recovery.

By the way, while all this was going on, the funny thing was I had a swollen neck and was freaking out about it. I was figuring that the cancer spread to my thyroid and I’m doomed while they’re waiting for me to fart. So I call her back up and tell her about ny neck and she says, I hate to break it to you, but you’ve always had a swollen neck and we were all afraid to say something cause you can be a little testy! LOL. And as it turned out, it was actually just a swollen glad and I am totally cancer free, but you know once you’ve had cancer a frigging hangnail looks like it could be cancerous!

So again, kudos to you wonderful brave people fighting the good fight and keep your energy, your sense of humor and your positive spirits going strong! This was not intended to offend anyone but to make light of my own experience and help others laugh at theirs.

So I leave you with this…..

I’m uterusless, but not useless….and quite content.

But I sure won’t be birthin’ no babies (thank you Gone with the Wind)

I will be opening the new sloan kettering comedy club in Biloxi, and then on to the “We don’t need no sticking ovaries” tour…..

Sheila Kay…at your cervix…..

Good night and try the veal…or possibly a kosher meal, hospital food sucks

I’ll be here all week….hopefully longer……:)

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So I am writing this from the islands, I am on a ship, so I will post a pic of one of the fabulous places I go to when I need free wifi, this is Evita’s little Italian Restaurant in Jamaica. They put a jamaican spin on italian food, it was wonderful and I thank God and my lucky stars that I am alive and able to travel and work in such gorgeous places. Right now I’m in a burger king in the grand caymen islands but you can walk outside your door and see that! HA!

So, OK, we were talking about my cancer experience and we were at the HMO part…..You know what HMO really stands for? I’m jewish so it means, How Much? OY! But it really comes from the phrase , “HEY MOE .” See, when Moe of the Three Stooges, was playing a doctor….Paging Dr Howard, Dr Fine, Dr. Howard. He discovered that a patient would forget the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough in the eye. Works every time. So poke me!

I wanted to use my own doctor that found the cancer, but she was out of network. (yes I said she in case you hadn’t noticed before! Thank you very much) If someone’s pulling out my frigging organs, I want them to have played a tune with those same organs….

Now with an HMO, you can choose the doctor you want. But it’s a little difficult. Kinda like choosing the ass you want. If you don’t want the one god gave ya, ya gotta pay for a different one. no backsies.
So, like I said, I wanted to use my doctor, but the HMO of course wants you to use their doctors. Their doctors basically fall into two categories. Drs. who are no longer accepting new patients, and doctors who are accepting new patients, but don’t participate in the friggin’ HMO. And then, I found a doctor who is still in the HMO and it’s a woman, and accepting new patients and has an office just 134 miles away, which is the closest one with all the things I wanted, and as I discovered when I got there, a diploma from a third world country I’ve never even heard of. But, she did say she could perform the hysterectomy right in her office as an out patient and considering that all I’d be paying is a $20 co-payment, I was thinking of giving it a shot. But, then I started thinking of the thing that might go wrong and who wants to wake up and find out they took out way too many things and maybe put things you don’t want back in? Like a sponge. At least I could clean up after I eat. LOL! So I decided I would stay with my doctor and pay the out of network percentage…which is why I’m working here today, writing this blog and which is why you need to buy 742 dvds from my website. Thanks very much www.sheilakay.com

OK, back to the mri, yes, they found it, it’s small, it’s contained, let’s go get it right now. But the decision was to take everything out, ya just never know when that one pesky vicious cancer cell sneaks into the pond, swims upstream and decides to bake in the sands of my ovaries.

So now, I’m in the hospital, the handsome male nurse says, while hooking up the IV…“You’re just gonna feel a little prick…..” really, how sad for you, and no thanks I’m married. Then I don’t remember a thing, but I woke up and doc says my surgery went well, ya da ya da It’s all good….Can you really ya da ya da cancer surgery? Seinfeld would be so proud.

I’m appropriately dressed in a gown that fits like my mothers moo moos, all I need are the worn furry slippers and some knee hi roll up nylons and I’m her……of course I’m waiting for coffee and cake, cause I really am her. I wake up, I fall asleep, I’m awake, I’m asleep, I’m awake, I mumble stupid stuff, I drool, I’m asleep….Then I’m out (sleep/coma) then I’m up… cake? Then I’m out…. I stay overnight.

Next morning, I’m up but not real alert, but I’m eating. A gals gotta eat and they brought breakfast. I’m only eating a bite here, a bite there, but I have no idea, they’re not supposed to give me any solid food until I pee, take a poop, pass some gas all the stuff ya gotta do or ya can’t go home…..And none of that’s happening. But I’m eating, and I want to get out. Not one for sitting around in hospitals. Heck, I’ve been been here a whole day, SEND MY BUTT HOME.

So they have you get up and walk right away now. No laying around. I’m schleping down the hall in this gorgeous outfit, but I’m not pooping, not in the hall, not in the toilet. And just when they said, ok, we’ll send you home with laxatives, I am suddenly in excruciating pain……I am doubled over and can’t even crawl back into bed.

Now they tell me it’s probably gas and the fact that I haven’t gone to the bathroom in a couple of days…..And the problem is, they don’t really want to give me pain meds cause I’m backed up, and pain meds constipate ya, but I’m in so much pain and I don’t give a $#!t that I can’t take a $#!t!!!! what a catch 22 I’m in.

Now I’m pretty stoic with a high pain tolerance, but this was really bad. So my doc talks me into staying one more night, and since I can’t even stand up, let alone walk, I say, ok. Yeah, I’m a good sport, and not an idiot!

Next day, I’m feeling a little better, walking, of course like a 112 year old woman….but I’m walking, I’m talking, I’m dragging the friggin pole with the bags, and I talk them into letting me go home, cause I don’t want to pay the co pay for the Sheraton Palace Hospital which is understaffed and feels like a morgue it’s so empty and silent.

So home I go. (Now before I forget, let me again remind you that I am at a hospital that is closing down due to financial problems and is being run by a skeletal crew of dr’s and nurses. and I am one of the last patients to be seen) I don’t mean seen alive, I mean treated. There are only 2 other patients even on my floor, the staff is limited but it is where my doc worked and it’s her last days here too. She loved this place, fought to help keep it open, and I had every confidence in being there. But, you need to know this to appreciate the rest of this story.

So home I go. My two sister-in-laws were extremely helpful, one is a nurse with more letters after her name than the doctor, and she brought 5 different kinds of laxatives for me, she bought every laxative known to man, and some not. Then every dried fruit and herb and tea with “laxative” qualities. . I was afraid I would end up with a nuclear launch that would blast me thru the ceiling if I didn’t get a seat belt to hold me to the toilet. But NOoooooo, none of those worked. The other one came to help me in the house and stay with me and to give me an accupresure session. Our family is full of fabulous accupressure practitioners. But after a day I sent her home cause I didn’t want her sitting and watching me do nothing but waiting for the wind.

I was so great when I came home, mainly you are just so happy to be alive and in your own house you forget everything else. But by the days end, I was a bitch, the gas pain and the inability to do the doody deed, turned me into Godzilla. It was a very bad night, and I was so mean to the hubby, jeez, I wanted to stab him in the eye with a bottle of senekot….and the doc said don’t take the pain pills it will put you back to square one with the constipation, you’ve squeaked out a teeny bit of gas so your colon is starting to work…….hang in there, take the laxatives, the gas pills, some ibuprofen, drink water, yada yada… and that’s when I started wishing everyone dead. Then I did pass a little gas But, the gas had no steam, had to hold my butt open to fart. It was like a tropical breeze trying to push in a castle door, a bolted heavy door…. If you never had gas then you don’t get it. But who hasn’t had gas? I wanted to hear….”Lets get ready to rumble”… and the sound of explosions in my ears…. But not a squeak did I get, nor a poop did I do. Finally I passed out for the night.

So let me leave you here and next week you can wake up with me and finish the fun journey….. Thank and hang in there, whoo whoo, just like the perils of Pauline!