Thursday, March 26, 2009

DOT Post

Wow, I just realized it's thursday. Not much new with MaggieMae and me. Just going along with life. She's not too co-operative for pics either. I made an appointment to get her groomed but it's not till next tuesday. After that I may have some updated pics to post of her. If she will co-operate. Not sure how much of a trim she will get yet.

A man installed a new electonically read water meter today for the town at my house, and he said she looks just like his sister's labradoodle. So remains to be seen exactly what is in her genes.

So that is my DOT post for this week. Nothing exciting. Sorry folks.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I am blessed

I am very blessed to have a several good friends. One of them decided to buy me some flowers yesterday, and presented them to me at a ladies dinner at my church. She has been there for me in the past couple years after the biggest loss of my life. I thank God for her and for the close friendship we have.

Today I was reminded how much God loves all His children. I was listening to a program on the radio and one of the bible verses that the man mentioned was Jeremiah 29:11. "For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. " Also was mentioned Romans 8:28. "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Both scriptures touched me so deeply today. I wasn't even feeling in need of anything, but He does know what we need before we do!

I have so much to be thankful for: close and loving family and friends, a great church family and yes, even a dog to keep me company. :-)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

DOT Post

Last week my youngest daughter had asked me if I was going to cook the traditional corned beef for St. Patrick's Day. Well, being it's only MaggieMae and myself, I hadn't planned on it, but I did decide to do the corned beef/cabbage boiled dinner. So I took it to my daughter's house fully cooked (the older daughter does not care for corned beef or cooked cabbage!) and also took MaggieMae along for the first time to meet my one grand-dog ( I have 4 others), Sara, a German Shorthaired Pointer.... very sweet natured dog. They seemed to get along fine. Can't say they played much. I think MaggieMae tried to get the upper hand on Sara's turf by barking at Sara. I did reprimand her and told her to be nice. She settled down pretty good. I think I could take this dog almost anywhere (which is a good thing for therapy use). About the time I was getting ready to come home, MaggieMae went to the door as if to say, "Ok, that was fun for awhile, can we go home now?" She was very good for the couple hours we were there. And the grandkids enjoyed her visit too.

The corned beef dinner also turned out very good. And the bonus was there was enough left over for seconds for both families.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Walkin' The Dog"

I came home from work today feeling a bit tired. (Actually felt tired on waking this morning.) Decided to lie down on the couch for a short bit and rest. The next thing I knew I had a 50 lb. dog laying on me. I told her she was too heavy for that and it was not going to work! So she got down. Then I decided to call my sister and after getting the phone I sat down in the recliner to chat with her. After hanging up Miss MaggieMae decided it was time for attention, so she climbed into my lap... all 50 lbs. of her. I let her stay for a bit of quality petting time, until she heard a neighbor dog walking by and barking "hello" to other dogs from the kennel walking also. So Maggie being the inquistive dog that she is got on her "perch" (the trunk) in the front window to see who was saying what out there. When she saw them walking..... she turned to look at me as if to say....."See, it's a great day for a walk, sunshine and all my friends are out! I want to go too!"

Needless to say she won out. We went for our walk and she got to greet the other walking dogs. I must say that a beautiful day like today is such a blessing for a tired body to get out and get fresh air and hear the birds singing also. Geese flying back. Robins a-plenty are back. Redwing blackbirds singing their songs. I love it. I thank God for the companion I have that makes me get out and get the exercise I need! Praise be to Him!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dogs On Thursday Post

Harness vs. collar.
Who'd have thought? I had always had the impression that walking a dog with a choker collar would yield more control. In some instances, I suppose it does. But I was having difficulties walking MaggieMae with a collar as she would be so excited she would constantly pull untll we were returning from our walk, when she was calmer. The other morning I ran into a woman who has a kennel near me who told me she had a large size harness that would most likely fit MaggieMae and if I liked it, I could have it for her. So I walked MaggieMae over to the kennel that night (and she was a perfect lady inside the kennel even meeting a very handsome Golden Retriever!) and my friend fitted the harness to her.
The harness goes around the front of her chest, and has a quick release loop that goes over her back and around her chest behind her legs. I walked her for about 20 to 30 minutes with it on, and she did wonderfully! She was so calm and didn't pull at all. I'd say MaggieMae likes the harness better too! I could hardly believe it! It has the attach loop at the front so it can be used from either side (I prefer her right side, her to my left). And this is so much easier on my arm (and my arthritic right knee)! Keeping her walking by my side is a breeze now, and as I want to use her for therapy eventually, this is so totally awesome! Another blessing from a friend and a wonderful God who knows all our needs, even before we ask!

Monday, March 9, 2009

In memory of my friend, M.

This morning news came. A good friend of mine of over 30 years lost her battle with cancer. She had been my maid of honor. She'd lost her husband to cancer just last Aug. and never had time to grieve fully over him before finding out she had it also. I don't believe she really had the will to fight to survive, when she lost her best friend/husband. It is difficult to lose someone so close (a spouse, a parent, a child). All we can do when it happens is to ask God to give us enough grace to get through each day, one day at a time.

It was just a few short days ago I was told my friend would not have much longer. Until MaggieMae came into my life I'd built a wall about myself. I thought I was just looking at life realistically. I didn't think I felt much when I should have felt more. But one thing Maggie has done for me is to open my heart to letting down that wall. I thank God for her as now I can grieve properly again. It amazes me how perfect God's timing is.

Grieving for loved ones (people or pets) is a part of living, as strange as that may sound. It is grieving that enables us to heal. If we cannot greive we are not allowing God to work the healing in us. It is a process and takes time, but it is definitely how God made our bodies to work. And we know He understands what we go through, as He also grieved when He gave His Son for us. However there is hope for those who know Him. I can't say for sure my friend knew Him. I think it's possible, but only God knew her heart. I certainly hope so and that I will see her again one day. My purpose is to keep my heart open to God. Not to be bitter at the losses in my life, but to keep hope in His mercy for myself and to pray for my loved ones that they will also have that hope in Him.

For those reading this, I pray that you also may know the grace of God and keep Him in your hearts.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Smart Girl

It seems MaggieMae is a very smart girl. Her previous owner had shown me some of her tricks the night we met. One I had forgotten and then recently I learned she has another talent. When we met I saw her drop to the floor at the command, "bang" (for a treat of course). We continually practice this one at least once a day. Then I was reminded (besides the usual commands) that Maggie is very polite, and will say "thank you" in woofs for her treats if she is asked to. And that she has done for me now. The new one is I was told that she sings. Well, I'm not much of a singer , and to get her going I will have to practice myself. But hopefully MaggieMae will sing for me soon also. She is one bright girl, and when we get into therapy these will be very useful tools I am sure!

In the meantime, my oldest grand daughter spent the night here last night and her and MaggieMae had an absolutely grand time playing with a toy lovingly donated by my niece (and encourager) Tina. It was a sight to see. Grand daughter laughing and MaggieMae tail wagging! And the rain finally let up so we got a short walk in at dusk. It is good to see this dog so good with kids. What a blessing she is to me. Thank you to MaggieMae's previous owner for doing such a wonderful job training her. You also have a gift from God, and I know He will bless you for following His direction for your life.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Watcher

It's is amazing what we will do for our pets. Because MaggieMae's previous home had a spot where she could sit and look outside and to save my window sills, I had help moving a trunk to the living room window, as I said, so she had a spot to look out. She seemed a little reluctant to get on it, so I put a blanket over it for her. She occasionally uses it now. She is going to be a good watch dog also as she does bark when she hears a car door or other noises. But a firm "Shhhh!" will usually quiet her.

Her vet records came today, so soon she will be totally legal here. Went shopping for her and others today, and got a good solid retractible leash (which will be much easier on my hands!) and a large microfiber towel for when it comes around to bathtime. Those things are the best thing since sliced bread, they absorb so much water. I found out about microfiber towels from a good friend who gifted me with a couple. Now I'm doing the same. My daughter inquired if they made them in bathsize. Guess I'll send her to Petsmart!! Although she might have to wait a bit, I think I got the last one on the shelf.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Getting to know MaggieMae

Getting to know MaggieMae has been interesting. She's dragged me out for a walk everyday this week. Even Monday when it was so cold! How could I resist those beautiful brown eyes of hers (when I can see them under her long hair)? She stands at the door with that look, like "Come on, it will be fun!" She is doing well walking by my side once we get going. I do let her sniff when we get to a grassy area. Today she met two of my neighbors down the street and one of them has a dog she met. They hit it off fine.

Earlier this week I had been sitting in my recliner (not reclining, mind you) and talking on the phone and all of a sudden I had a 50 pound lap dog! My standard poodle had been a lapdog also, but he was all limbs and only 40 pounds. So this was quite a difference as she is quite solid! So far she's only done it twice... in 4 days! But I did oblige her yesterday. She loves looking out the windows, so when my older daughter and her hubby and my grand-daughter came by to meet miss MaggieMae, I enlisted the adults help in putting a trunk I have in front of the living room window, so during the day when the curtains are open, she can get up and see what's happening in the outside world. I wait for the day she sees the dog walkers from the kennel near me going down the street. I'll probably get that look again, "Come on, lets go join them! Pant, pant, come on!"

She has made herself at home in my king size bed every night too, and stays till morning. Sometimes she does change positions. This morning I woke to find her butt near my head! I am so thankful she does not seem to be gassy!! Right now she is laying near me and barking furiously at something in her sleep. Oh for just a peek into a dog's dream!!

Once again I thank my wonderful God that he has brought me such a loving companion.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dog Tired

Maggie Mae found a new use for my treadmill!

Divine Appointment

In the last 5 years I have had losses of animals and someone close to me. The most recent was my cat of 19 and 1/2 years. ( My standard poodle of 12 years died in 2005.)I was determined I was done with pets. I could not stand the heartbreak of another loss. I just thought I would enjoy everyone else's pets. (And my wonderful grandkids and grandpets.) My niece Tina had been encouraging me to get another dog for sometime now. I remember telling her that God would have to just about literally bring one to my doorstep if that was what He wanted for me. (Well, Maggie Mae came from a city practically in my back yard from where I'd grown up.)

Talking to my sister one day (and this had to be God as He always seems to prompt me to call her when He has something for her to tell me, which I think is so neat), and she told me I needed to find a purpose for my life and I needed a new pet (dog) for a companion. That day I did think about what she'd said and before going to sleep that night, I did ask God to show me just what His purpose for my life was now. I'd asked this before but at that time had not gotten an answer. The very next day I was listening to the Animal Planet Channel while doing something on my computer and I heard the words "therapy dogs" which immediately caught my attention! I thought, after listening to what they were saying, "this is something I could do and would enjoy". For the next several days everytime I turned around it seemed I was hearing something on therapy dogs! So I began an online search for a dog that needed rescuing. I'd had several dogs through the years, and had always gotten a puppy from someone who'd bred them. All were purebreds although some did not have papers, which was not important to me (including two standard poodles, two great danes, one bluetick coonhound and one afghan hound... but not all at the same time!). Anway, the next week I went to a bible study at a friend's church and one lady started talking about working with kids with low self esteem with nature and animals! Goodnight! God was talking to me again! And this woman said she could help get me started in classes for working with my dog for therapy. I replied that would be great, but I needed to get a dog first!
I continued my search online for a rescued dog, putting in a few applications for adoptions. Then my niece found an online ad for a great dog to go free to a great home. The family loved her but needed to give her up for personal reasons. She responded for me, as it was in her local area. Well, long story short, I made the trip to see the dog and I was definitely smitten with her personality. So she came home with me. She is a great personality for a therapy dog. Very loving, cuddly and generally all around a pleasure to be around. Her coat is soft and anyone who pets her will get a nice fuzzy feeling for it. It will take time for us to totally bond before we start the classes. Right now we are just getting to know each other, and when the time is right for the classes and to proceed to go to work, God will let me know, I have no doubt. God is so amazing because the very first person this precious Maggie Mae has been therapy for is me! I am opening my heart to loving again and looking beyond myself and my grief. I will post more adventures we have (and some things I am already discovering about Maggie Mae and myself) in the future.