Sunday, February 27, 2011

Linus in the Snow

Linus is a unique dog, with a unique set of needs. It became fairly clear recently that he just wasn't fitting into the pack (you know, my largely sedentary, largely Chihuahua group of dogs). My business partner and friend, Ben Hopkin (@actingnodrama) was moving out to Idaho with his dog-loving (but dog-lacking) family and more than enough space for Linus to play with his imaginary friend. Plus, Ben's 11-year-old had bonded with Linus and kept looking at me with his big, please-can-I-have-your-dog-nice-lady eyes. It was a match made in heaven. So, today's guest blog comes from Ben, because as much as I know Linus is happy, I miss the little fluff-ball.

I was worried when we moved to Idaho. I was worried for a lot of reasons (I was moving to a place that has winters where the temperatures dip to -20 F commonly after living in L.A. for 1o years), but one of the bigger ones was how our new dog, Linus, recently adopted from Dr. McCray, would fare in his new home.

I needn't have worried.

Linus took to Idaho like a fish takes to water. He loved the bigger back yard. He loved the new neighborhood. He loved the dogs he met (well, all of the light-colored ones, anyway... a story for another blog entry).

But it wasn't winter yet.

Linus is a small dog. Linus is an L.A. dog. Linus had never experienced snow or the cold temperatures that accompany that snow. Linus was in for one heck of a shock.

Once again, I needn't have worried.

I have never seen a dog romp in snow like Linus does. He barks once when he wants to go outside. I figured that once it was winter, he'd only do that when he was desperate to go potty. Not so. He goes outside now more than he ever did in the more moderate temperatures. I'm beginning to worry about what he's doing to our heating bills, the door gets opened so often.

One other, unanticipated problem. Linus is a white fluffy dog. Snow is a white, fluffy substance. See the problem?

I have now nearly panicked about a dozen times, because I couldn't see the dog anywhere. Every time he's been busy flouncing around in the snow, completely camouflaged.

But you know what? I wouldn't trade those heart-stopping moments for the world. Because there's no greater sight than watching our puppy playing with his imaginary friend out in the pristine white blanket covering our lawn.

Now that you've had a Linus update, it's time to let you know about my controversial thriller,
30 Pieces of Silver, that's today's Bestseller for a Day ( Today only, you can get my novel for $.99, enter to win a Kindle, and help out indie authors everywhere. You can get a copy of my book here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Orlin knows what he is doing!

As most of you know I had a hard year with losing a group of 3 pets I had for over 15 years.

Strangely it was Orlin who I still feel the most connected to. Perhaps because in life he was always such a good boy that I even though we didn't interact nearly as much as say Lance and I (worshiping him as I was commanded to) or Molly and I (mainly yelling at her to stop being bad), I knew I could always count on him.

And even after he has passed to the other side, he is still my bestest boy.

If you read a few weeks ago, s crappy little Chihuahua entered my life (via Orlin I am sure). He is everything I needed. Bright, funny, silly, goofy and a lovey-dovey kind of boy.

Then after Molly went, I thought I wanted a Border Collie. I haven't had one since childhood and I thought, you know, I am only going to have so many more dogs in my lifetime, I want a Border Collie this time.

But none seemed right. The ones that seemed like the best fit were up in a rescue in Tahoe, a good 10 hour drive from me. Was I really going to drive to Tahoe to look at a dog without any guarantee they would be a fit for my pack?

The other concern was that Orlin had done such a good job bringing me Jasper (Jaspy-J is his rap name) but now it was Molly's turn to bring her replacement.

Um... #yikes Given our 'interesting' (read difficult) relationship I was a little worried what she would send me. Did I really want to risk a fourth dog when my pack was so perfect right now.

Our only hope was that in heaven she was the same dog as she was down here and she was too busy being bad to find her own replacement so she asked Orlin to do it for her (again, just like in life - he was her go-to guy).

So once again I was sitting under the stars contemplating driving up to Tahoe to look at a Border Collie rescue, and I asked Orlin.

Babe, can you do me one more favor? Could you tell me what am I supposed to do?

I put that out into the heavens then went to bed. Fully expect to make arrangement for the long drive.

But when I woke up in the morning there was an email (I am NOT making this up, folks, this is how my life works): "Sheltie pup in desperate need of rescue. If he doesn't find a home in the next 12 hours he is going to a high kill shelter."

I just smiled and thanked Orlin. It wasn't a Border Collie - heck it wasn't even a Sheltie. It turned out to be a mini-Aussie, but I knew what I had to do.

So to make a long story short, Wyatt is now our fourth family member. Does he have a ton of problems? Of course. He was neglected and abused.

But he's right where he is supposed to be.

At home with me.

Thank you, Orlin. You will never be forgotten.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love Bugs

Every Valentine's Day I am reminded of two little puppies that I met very early in my career (I don't want to age myself but it was before CDs had been invented #ouch).

I was just a kennel assistant back then and sure I loved all animals but growing up on a ranch I had a special affinity to working dogs, in particular Border Collies.

So you can imagine how upset I was when two little Border Collie puppies came in with parvo.

Back then parvo was a very serious disease with a super high mortality rate. We always did everything we could but back then we just didn't have the knowledge/resources to save most of them.

But here came these two pups, so sick, but so in love with one another.

Per standard protocol we separated them into two different cages. They were side by side. But that was not enough. Somehow they moved the barrier and were found snuggled together.

Ok, we tried putting them in two different banks of cages. Somehow one of them broke out and was found laying up against the bars with the other laying on the bars from her side.

Now remember I was just a kennel assistant, but I cared for a lot of patients and had great instincts so I told the vet that I thought we should keep them together.

He had never heard of such a thing, and neither had I, I just had the gut feeling they needed one another.

So with not a lot else we could do, we decided to keep them together. It took several days, but hour by hour they got stronger.

And they survived! It was the first set of pups we had that were that sick that fully recovered.

The owners, who came in every day to visit decided to call the pair "Love" and "Bug."

Those two pups went on to live happy, long lives.

After those two though, we realized the importance of managing body heat and the simple comfort of having another animal with them.

For the really sick little babies, my own Border Collie "Sox" would curl up with those sick puppies and let them know someone in the world loved them very much. I can't tell you what that did for our survival rates.

Even after so many advances have been made and how much better our survival rates are, there is still that occasional pup that gets so very sick. Thank goodness I had an Aussie girl who would love to curl up in their cage and nurse them back to health.

So on this Valentine's Day, do not ever underestimate the power of Love (or Bug) :-)

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Ok, so my new Chihuahua's real name is Jasper, however for some reason he has decided he is a rapper (and not a very good one), hence the rap name "Jaspy-J"

He is one of those Chihuahuas that think he is so very cool. Kind of like the "Malibu's Most Wanted" for Chihuahuas.

But really at his core, he is just a dork.

His squeaky toy scares him half the time.

Don't move too fast at night or you will spook him.

He is afraid of strangers... even if he has met them a dozen times before.

Yet for all his eccentricities (he likes playing with the cats than he does with dogs), he is exactly what I needed.

After the difficult year I have had, having the goofiest, bounce like Tigger, still needs Mommy when the wind howls kind of puppy has been like a suave for my soul.

I worried no one could ever replace Orlin, and no one can, but that Orlin. He knew exactly what his Mommy needed. A dork.

So now I have 3 Chihuahaus.

1 that is expert at mind control (all 2 pounds of him)
1 that thinks everyone is a serial killer
and 1 that thinks his album is going to drop sometime this year. #oy