Animal Shelters and Animal Rescue Groups Are Not For Wimps

"three exracing greyhounds running"

Animal shelters and animal rescue groups have been working together for a long time to move dogs and cats into pet homes. One rescue group, Nuts For Mutts, a relative newcomer to animal rescue in Rochester, NY, was holding an adoption event at PetSaver on Monroe Avenue yesterday. Theirs was a small event: three people with three dogs tucked behind a table at the back of the store. If you believe that any dog weighing less than 15 pounds isn't "really a dog," (my husband and every other lover … [Read more...]

Working Breeds Have an Inner Time Clock … Until it Runs Out

"female American Staffordshire terrier pit bull terrier"

Once Gracie settled into our weekday schedule, it didn't take her long to figure out when Alex would be walking in the door after a grueling day at work. Most days, he follows a 10AM - 7PM schedule. One day out of the week he works from 7AM - 4PM. She gets it right regardless of which day of the week it is, relying on an inner time clock of expectation that a gambler could cash in on. She's like every working breed dog we've had over the years: her inner time clock kicks in and she just … [Read more...]

Knowing your dog could die at any time

"white female whippet laying in grassy back yard in the sun"

When your vet tells you that your dog could die at any time, that her heart could just stop breathing and, you live with that knowledge for almost three months, part of you knows that it can happen. At. Any. Time.  And, so you do what you've always done in the past when one of your dogs is dying from something: cancer or kidney failure usually. Whatever the illness is, you watch for any kind of change in that dog's physical behavior - because even a subtle change like a slight stumble going down … [Read more...]

When All The World Was Whippets

"white female whippet laying in grassy back yard in the sun"

When all the world was whippets                                                                                              When all the world was whippets, everything I ever wanted was there in the depths of their dark eyes.  Liquid pools of quiet acceptance, grave awareness and, a wink. They were whippets after all. Silly whippersnappers. Alert. Easy; such easy keepers. Leash walking always a graceful waltz. Envious neighbors. Didn't I know it? Felix: my silly … [Read more...]

Donald Trump Is Really A Cat That Lives With Me!

"black cat laying on table top jpg"

Donald Trump is alive and well, living in my house disguised as a domestic short hair, black cat with a crooked tail and a bad ass attitude. Which is why our Am Staff (aka pit bull terrier mixed breed), Gracie, has yet to have free roaming rights inside despite the fact that we adopted her last April.  Just so you know, we're well versed in multi-pet households. We've had dogs and cats living happily under one roof for 20 plus years. We are really good at mingling critters. This go round … [Read more...]

This September morning

"September morning looking out a window at the house across the street"

This September morning is cool and grey with not too much going on in the neighborhood. No school buses, no dog walkers, only the occasional car. This view,  looking out on Galusha Street (except for the blue of an August sky), hasn't changed all that much from when my grandparents were alive and living here. Thirty plus years ago, that house was a dark green color and the Stieffenhofers, Joe and Marion, didn't live there. They moved into the neighborhood in the early 70's, raised two daughters … [Read more...]

Walking Other People’s Dogs

Happy Dog Tails

Walking other people's dogs happens when you least expect it.  Your neighbor's plans fall apart and, at the last minute, she needs someone to take care of the family dog. "Just for three days," she explains. And there you are. And here he is: Just one really happy pup. Wanna feed me? Go for a walk? Wanna hang out? Be my friend? How about that walk now? Gotta toy for me? I see that leash. Let's get busy - get out there - go meet my friends. Go make new friends! Isn't it just a lovely … [Read more...]

Taking Care of Other People’s Dogs: Could You Be a Pet Nanny?

Happy Dog Tails

Taking care of other people's dogs: I watched a dear friend of mine reinvent herself as a pet nanny and end up with so much referral business that she never lacked for clients, spending anywhere from a weekend to two weeks as the live-in Mary Poppins Dog Whisperer. One weekend, she camped out in a cute, Cap Cod style house within walking distance of a pristine lake. Two weeks later, she was face-booking about the million dollar, sprawling designer home where she'd be staying for two weeks, … [Read more...]

A Perfect Summer Day: Lake Ontario at Webster Park!

"Lake Ontario, Webster Park, Webster, NY

Saturday's road trip: Webster Park, a straight shot north on Rt 250, hang a left where it 't's into Lake Road, another left onto a short (paved) incline that leads into a generous parking lot that literally bumps into Lake Ontario with nothing between you and the horizon except fresh water as far as your eyes can see. It was a perfect summer day! There was a stiff wind blowing up white caps, pulling up choppy waves that slapped against the concrete barrier wall. After a week of my … [Read more...]

Anaphylactic Shock in Dogs is Scary.

Anaphylactic shock strikes fast and deadly if you don't react immediately, even if you don't know what you're looking at as you run out of your back door because your son yelled that you needed to come outside now because Gracie, his Pit Bull Terrier mixed breed dog, couldn't get up. Two days ago,  in the back yard,, after a joyous romp with Tessa (our Min Pin mixed breed dog), after which Gracie trailed behind my son as he walked around the yard, she threw up twice before falling over on her … [Read more...]