Finding Annie

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I consider myself a dog person. I own four dogs. I sit for people with dogs. I collect photos of dogs. I. Love. Dogs. So, what am I doing with a cat? After a month with Annie, I’m still asking myself that question.

While Annie may be the newest member to our family, she is not the only cat I have. I have three other cats: Daisy, Mama Cat and Missy. They are outside cats. Mama Cat and her daughter, Missy, live in my front yard. Daisy, the other daughter of Mama Cat, lives in the back yard where there are lots of trees that have been great hunting grounds for her through the years. After my house cat of 19 years died a couple of years ago, I swore that I would never, ever have a house cat again. I dislike the litter boxes and the mess that cats can make with them, scattering the nasty stuff all over the room that it’s kept in. With Kitty-Witty being such an old house cat, and in declining health for the last two years of her life, there were messes that didn’t quite make it into the litter box, and there were those nasty hairballs that I would find when I least expected it, kind of like Easter eggs. I wasn’t prepared to accept any more cats into my life. Besides, I really love dogs. Why would I want another cat?

So, what happened, you may ask?

Here’s the rest of the story:

This past January, I arrived home after I had finished my dog sitting for the night. When I got out of my car, I heard this weird sound. I couldn’t tell what it was, or where it was coming from at first. But, being the animal person that I am, I wanted to find out what was going on before I went in the house for the night. First mistake: I should have ran into my house immediately. If it had been one minute, even 30 seconds more, I would have been in my house, ready to relax in my recliner, never even knowing there was a cat so close to my house other than my own cats. But, it didn’t happen that way.

So, I’m trying to tune my ear in as to the location of whatever was making that strange sound. I was thinking maybe it was a frog, or an angry bird trying to get settled for the night. Finally, I pinpointed the location and walked out the end of my driveway. Looking down the short road, I spotted a little cat (nothing new around here where I live). This little cat was making this gosh-awful sound/cry as it sat in the road. Hmm, I didn’t see it there when I just drove by. So, I called “Kitty, Kitty”. Second BIG mistake: NEVER, EVER call “Kitty-Kitty” unless it’s your own cat!

When the cat spotted me, I expected her to flee, or at least be wary of a human. Oh no! That didn’t happen. She looked at me and immediately came running, RUNNING I tell ya, right to me! She was meowing “Where have you been? I’ve been waiting for you for hours!” Funny, it wasn’t making that weird noise anymore. I thought surely if I reach down to pet her, she will run away from me, like almost all stray cats do. That was my third mistake: Never pet a purring cat, especially one you don’t know! When I reached down to pet her, right away she began this happy purr dance around my legs, butting my hand with her head, and I could almost swear she was smiling! Oh, this was happening way too fast, kind of like that proverbial runaway train!

Good Grief! It just so happens that I believe when something, or someone, is placed in my path and asks for help, or needs help, it is up to me to do something about it. Besides my New Year’s resolution this year was to try to be more helpful in anyway I could. Here was my first test.

Now, that she had immediately professed her undying love for me, I had no choice but to pick her up and carry her into my house. I mean, what else was I supposed to do?

Thinking she would surely freak out with all the dog smells in the house, she surprised me again. She was looking around at her new digs, all the while purring up a storm. I fed her and closed her up in the spare bathroom until morning when I could go to the store and buy “THE LITTER BOX” that I swore I would never do again. I’m such a wimp!

Since that night in January, Annie has become quite the little star in our house. She’s had her spay and shots taken care of, and with the help of some dear friends on a Book Talk thread I am on, she finally has a name, and TWO God-Parents!

I’m still looking for that sign that someone surely must have put up near my house; the sign that says “Do Drop Inn, the next stop is 150 miles away”!

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She Once Was Lost…..

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Her name is Sugar, and she is 1 part of a trio of dogs that I know. The other 2 are Mac and Bell. There’s nothing special about them; in fact, when I met their owner, she said they were just rescued Glennville mutts. They’re somewhat large dogs.

Let me give you some background to better understand this story:

I met them for the first time back in March. Upon being greeted by the owner at the front door, 2 of the dogs (Mac and Bell) were somewhat excited to meet this new person who had come to their house. As I entered the front door, I quickly closed it behind me, not wanting them to get out. The other dog, I was told by the owner via our emails, was very timid. This dog, Sugar, was on a leash inside the home so she wouldn’t slip out of the door upon my arrival. When I meet dogs for the first time, I bring them a treat, like a Milkbone dog biscuit. Having been told that Sugar was very timid, I thought it was a good way to begin to “break the ice” with her. Mac and Bell happily took their biscuit, and proceeded to eat it immediately. But, Sugar was cowering behind her owner still tethered to the leash. As I reached out to her with biscuit in hand, she pulled even further behind her owner. The owner tried to “pull” her to me, and I could see how afraid of me she was, so I said just leave her be, it’s ok, don’t worry. I gave the biscuit to the owner to give to Sugar later after I left.

We all gathered in the living room, where the owner and I got a chance to get acquianted, and I got to visit with her dogs. All the time I was there, Sugar stayed behind a chair in the far corner, peering at me with her big brown eyes. I talked to Bell and Mac a little, but Sugar stayed put. I made it my mission to become Sugar’s friend, no matter how long it took.

My first official day to visit had finally arrived that next weekend. Off I went armed with large Milkbone dog biscuits and my folding chair. I was going to sit on the big porch for two reasons: First, I LOVE porches, and second, because the owner said the dogs had gotten out before. Mac was the one who climbed the 4-foot fence, and he would usually just go around the house and finally wind up lounging on the front porch. In fact, they had all gotten out before, I was told, and sometimes it would be a few days until they returned. She said the last time Sugar had gotten out, she came home 10 days later! One time Bell was missing for 2 weeks!! Well, besides fires, my biggest fear is my own dogs getting out and never finding them again. So, knowing this, I was prepared to keep them in sight the whole time they were out in their fenced-in yard.

Well, the big porch where I sit and keep an eye on them, has two doors. One opens to the kitchen on one end of the porch, and the other one opens to the hall where we usually go in and out. The first weekend, I had to keep BOTH doors open in order for Sugar to be able to go in and out. There was no way she was getting anywhere near me. In fact, if there had been 10 acres, Sugar would have been on the other side of it. Mac and Bell would go in and out of the door with me; not Sugar. She would go in at the other door. There was no way she was taking any chances getting anywhere near me. And, the biscuits? lol She could have cared less about the biscuits. Her job was to keep both of those big brown eyes on me at all times. I’m thinking, ok this may take longer than I had originally thought. Mac came right to me, and he was all about the biscuits. Bell came and would get her biscuit, then go over to another spot to eat it. Sugar? Well, it took her 3 days and 7, or 8, visits by me to even think about taking a biscuit from my outstretched hand.

Finally, she got to where she would walk quickly past me on the porch to get to the yard. Before this, she would always take the other set of steps by the other door and the far end of the porch. I was making progress at the pace of a sloth, but it was progress nonetheless.

And then, it happened! I was sitting near one set of steps holding 3 large, yummy, Milkbone biscuits; one for each of them. She was watching those biscuits, and me. I stayed real still having already given the other 2 dogs their biscuits. I was still holding Sugar’s biscuit in my outstretched hand. She kept coming until she was close enough to smell it. I was holding my breath, not moving a muscle, but inside I was insanely happy! At first, she just put her front teeth on it; just a little bit, then let go. I stayed steady willing her to take it. The next time she put her mouth on it, I felt her tug, just a tiny bit. When that happened, we both let go at the same moment, the biscuit clattered to the floor, and Sugar skittered across the porch. But, after that day, and ever since, we have gotten closer and closer, and now Sugar and I are solid friends! I can rub her all over, even her legs and her tummy. She comes to me and wants me to scratch her back, or she wants to stick her nose to my clothes and smell the different smells on me: My own dogs, my food smells, my house smells, whatever.

This past July (2011), I won’t ever forget it, I got an email from the owner early that morning saying her dogs got out, and if I go that way, would I please look for them and let them back in the house. (The owner had to get to work some 30 miles away).  I have to say I felt my heart drop to my stomach. My first thought was Sugar!! OMG, knowing how scared she is of Everything, and here she is out of the safety of her yard!?! Panic!! I got in my car immediately and went to their house. Bell was lounging in the front yard under a shade tree, and Mac came from around the house when I called for him. I took them in the house, and went back out to look for Sugar, feeling a rock in my stomach and tears in my eyes. I was in panic mode. There were movers at the house across the street. I asked them if they saw her, they had not. I called her, going all around the big old house, telling her that I had a biscuit for her. I called and called for her, feeling worse and worse inside. I slowly drove the nearby streets with my car windows down, looking and hoping I would see her. Nothing. I even got some DQ lunch and sat in my folding chair near an opening under their house, hoping she would be hiding there and come out when she smelled the food. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t stop the tears. I felt positively and totally helpless. No one to help me. I felt my heart breaking.

Day after day, I went over there, or drove around looking for Sugar. At night I would cry myself to sleep. I prayed for her safety and her return. Knowing how scared she was of everything, I just knew she would get hit by a car and lie somewhere hurting. They live one block away from a 4-lane highway in our small town. Every street, every house, I willed her to appear so I could take her home. I had even put a dog leash in my car, just in case I found her somewhere (she wears a collar, no tags).  I posted on Facebook and asked others to pass it on in the hopes someone, somewhere would see her and call me. Her owner and I agreed to leave the front gate open while the other dogs were inside, in case she came home she could get in the yard. There was also their food and water on the porch. Her owner was distraught as well, saying she had dreams about Sugar when she was even able to sleep. That first Saturday after Sugar went missing was very sad. Bell and Mac even looked sad and lost. Mac came out of the house and he would cry and whine. Their tails didn’t wag. It’s like our spirits had been crushed. Days went by, and no sign of Sugar. I knew I had to take the next step and put up missing dog signs through town and in the local newspaper. Somehow, I dreaded doing this the most. I felt it meant that we would never see her again; that this was the last straw. But, I still had a glimmer of hope for her.

Luckily, I love to take pictures of dogs. I like to email them to their owners, and keep them in my own collection. I had a good picture of Sugar. Since I know the owner of the local newspaper in the next town, I asked him would he please print out 10 large posters with her picture on them. He did, at no charge to me. (Thank you, Russ). I wrote the necessary information, put colorful duct tape borders around the poster, bought a heavy duty stapler and staples, (which I had the owner help me load since I knew nothing about that kind of stapler), and went through town searching for places I knew would get the most views. I also put her in the Lost pet section of the local newspaper. Since we hadn’t seen any sign of her, I did my very best to remain hopeful that she was somewhere safe. I also kept sending prayers up for her safety and her return. Out of the 10 posters I put up around town, 3 of them had been taken down after one week. It had been 27 days since Sugar had gone missing. I didn’t cry so much anymore, but the ache was always there, especially when I visited them.

On that particular weekend, I was visiting them again. Bell, Mac and me. We were a sad bunch, but somehow getting through the days without Sugar. That Saturday was no different, with the exception of one thing. One person called me about a missing dog that afternoon. She was the only call I got the whole time Sugar was missing. (Apparently, Sugar was staying hid during the hot summer days). But, this woman called saying she was looking at a dog walking down the highway where her and her girls where. She didn’t know if it was THE dog, but thought she’d call just in case I wanted to drive out and see for myself. So, I got in my car and drove about 15 miles out in the country to see this dog. I wasn’t going to pass on ANY lead I got! Of course, it wasn’t Sugar. It was a male dog and he was eating something the woman said he had pulled out of a ditch. Poor thing. Obviously, he was hungry. His ribs were showing. Since I couldn’t take him home with me, (I didn’t need another dog), I remembered that I had a brand new bag of cat food in the back seat of my car. So, before I left, I figured at least I could give him some food for the night. I poured out a big pile of cat food which he was happily eating when I left. I went home for the final time that night wondering where Sugar was, and if we’d ever see her again. I guess I believe in karma, what goes around, comes around; one good turn deserves another, especially after what happened the next day.

The next day was Sunday. I went at my usual time to let Mac and Bell out, give them fresh water, food, and their morning biscuit. They ran right past me AND the biscuits, straight to the front gate and were busily smelling it. I thought maybe a cat had walked that way (they have a thing for cats)! But, today it was different somehow, they wouldn’t even leave the gate to get their biscuit when I called them (usually, they’re standing at the door when I come out with their treats). After I called them about 3 times, Bell finally turned from the gate to get hers, and Mac soon followed. While I happened to be inside the house getting the water bowl filled, something was happening outside. When I came out of the house with their water, it was strangely quiet, no dogs to be seen….at first. I thought OMG, not again!! I just knew that Mac had climbed over the fence again, and I immediately went into panic mode! I start yelling, “MAC! MAC!!  Get back here!!” There is a place on their fence line that is slightly bent, and that’s where Mac likes to escape when he can. (He tried it the very first time I was there by myself.) So, I knew where to go. Bell was still in the yard, but was over at the place where Mac had gone. I knew where I had to go. So, I go flying through the big old house, through the kitchen, opening one of the 2 doors, and through the screen door I saw her!!  Sugar had come home!!  And, Mac was with her! It’s a small fenced place with a small storage building. I was so shocked to see her standing there looking up at me. I thought, ok this is my one chance, don’t blow it, be calm. I didn’t want to scare her in my excitement. Well, I didn’t have to worry about that because when I propped open the door and walked slowly down the steps saying her name over and over, she ran right up the steps, and right in the door with Mac following right behind her! With tears in my eyes again, and this time for pure happiness, I went to the front and let Bell inside. Here we were again, all 3 doggies and me. I immediately left a voice mail on the owner’s cell and called a close neighbor to let her know that Sugar was back. Sugar really didn’t look too bad, a little thinner, and still a little shook up, a few ticks and some small sores, but here she was standing right in front of me! What a happy day!! She didn’t want me to touch her, and wouldn’t let me get close to her, but that was ok with me. She was home, and our friendship would continue once she settled down again. I was content to just sit there and look at the 3 of them, together again.

I thanked God for keeping Sugar safe and showing her the way back home. Our prayers had been answered! The first thing I did after I finally left them, was to go around town and take down the remaining 7 posters. I was smiling all the way home. This was truly the BEST day! I really felt that by helping out that dog from the day before, that Sugar came back to us. What goes around, comes around!

It’s Not Unusual

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Ahh, it’s May here in south Georgia. That means it’s already summer, and all it comes with: Heat, humidity, gnats, etc. It’s not unusual to be outdoors enjoying all that summer in the southeast has to offer: Smelling the one or two annual flowers that consistently and determinedly pop up, admiring the many songbirds that grace our tree branches, playing with our dogs, outdoor grilling.

Ok, I have to explain a couple of things before this blog progresses further…

  1. Jake, my Lab, has done the landscaping for me. I used to do it. I loved it when the spring came every year and I could get outside to do some therapy yard care: You know, planting those cutesy flowers and little odds-and-ends plants that I would buy. That all came to an abrupt end when I brought Jake home. Since then, I’ve lost my Gladiolas, my Lantana, my 4ft. Bearded Grandfather tree, my Gerber Daisies, a couple of potted plants, and several other various flowers/plants. The only thing still growing in my yard since Jake, is one Oak tree, one Pecan tree, one Flowering Pear tree, one Cypress tree, and a few unidentified scraggly trees towards the far corner of the yard. That’s it. The only flowers that remain are the Daffodils, and some kind of broad-leaf stuff that multiplies and has orange flowers. ~sigh~
  2. The last thing I want to explain is the “playing with dogs” part. Out of our four dogs, Jake is the only one who “plays”. He has a couple of games that he likes: Fetch, or retrieve, Tug-of-War, and Take Things from “mama” and either hide it, or run with it. Twinkie, my long-haired Chihuahua, knows only one game. It’s the Roll Over and Rub My Tummy game. Obviously, she has to have another willing player, and that is “Ant Al”, a.k.a. Allison, my daughter. (Don’t ask me where her title came from, it just is.)

So, now that the explanations are done with, I can finish my story. Where were we…oh,yes! Outdoor grilling. As I said, it’s not unusual to grill  outdoors when the weather warms up. Nothing better than grilled homemade hamburgers. Usually, Allison gets the grill ready and grills the food while I’m going in and out preparing the rest of the meal, getting items for her, etc.Yesterday, however, I thought I would do the grilling since she had not yet arrived here.

After I had mixed the hamburger and ingredients together, formed them into patties ready for the grill, I covered them and popped them back into the fridge until I was ready for them. Next, I got all the items I would need to bring with me outside in order to grill: The charcoal, the lighter, the metal spatula, the fireplace bucket and shovel, (to clean out the ashes from the last grilling), the grill scrub-pad, and the one hot pad that I have especially for taking the hot grill rack, or grid, off the burning coals in order to hold it while I scrub off any remaining debris before I put the hamburgers on. It’s not unusual to have these things outdoors when you grill.

It’s also not unusual that the dogs were all outside when I began this task. As they watched me, I lined everything up on the porch and the porch railing that I would be using. I scooped up the ashes from the previous grilling, and put them in the bucket to be thrown out later. I dumped the appropriate amount of charcoal in the grill, stacked it all up in a pyramid-like fashion, lit it and replaced the grilling rack so it would burn off any previous debris, bugs, etc. and turn it to ash to be scraped off with the grill pad.

By that time, Allison had arrived. Keeping my eye on the fire in the grill, Allison and I were talking back and forth in the house. A typical day exchanging pleasantries, happy to have her here. By now, Twinkie knew Allison had arrived and was outside at the door jumping up and down, spinning around and around, barking and panting wanting to get in the house to see Ant Al, and get her belly rub. This was easier done with the other dogs staying outside. So, I let Twinkie in, and she made a bee line straight to Ant Al, spinning around, running in between and around her feet, laughing, and finally falling to the floor belly up for her tummy rub. I have never seen such an obsessed and possessed little dog! She LOVES her Ant Al.

While all this was going on indoors, I went back outside to finish getting the grill ready. All I had to do was scrape off the grilling rack, and we would be ready to grill some hamburgers. I grabbed the scrubber, and….no hot pad. I knew I had brought the hot pad outside with all the other items. I had placed it on the porch railing so the dogs would not mess with it. Where was that darn thing? All of a sudden, I look to the yard and there it was, my hot pad, in Jake’s mouth, and he was not ready to give it up! “JAKE!” Off he went, trotting around the yard with MY hot pad in his mouth. You gotta understand, I have a total of 3 hot pads, 2 for the kitchen, and 1 for grilling. One! ~sigh~ Here we go, me telling Jake to give me that, and Jake trotting/running around the yard with it flapping in his mouth. All of a sudden, Jake had HIS game going…Keep Away From Mommy!  Meanwhile, the coals are ready for those yummy hamburgers, and Allison and I are both hungry. Yelling “Jake, give me that!”, obviously doesn’t work, it just makes the game more fun for Jake. He knows I can’t run, so he doesn’t have to try very hard either. As I’m standing there, with my hands on my hips, and my You’re-in-Trouble face on, Jake does what Jake does…he runs right past me, just out of reach, with the hot pad flopping and looking right at me as if to say, “Nanny-nanny Boo-boo, You can’t catch me!” UGH! I try to entice him with a game of “Throw the Bone”, but he’s not having it. Don’t tell me dogs are dumb. Not my bunch! They know exactly what they are doing, and right then, Jake was loving every minute of it. He had his own game going on.

Knowing that I wasn’t going to get my hot pad from Jake, I called for Allison to come outside and try to get it for me. Usually, she can talk him into giving things back when I can’t. So, with her coming outside, I went in and got my camera to get a mug shot of the guilty one. After playing around with Allison, still holding onto the hot pad, he finally stopped. Allison, with her mesmerizing eyes, held Jake’s attention like he was hypnotized, and grabbed the hot pad. Well, that broke his attention, and because she wasn’t fast enough, Jake grabbed the other end of the hot pad. Now, it was a tug-of-war, another favorite game of his. But, Allison had a firm grip, and the better end of my poor  hot pad. In the end, she won, and I was finally able to get the hot grilling rack off the coals to scrub it, and continue on with our grilling.

It’s not unusual around our house; it’s always “expect the unexpected”. Jake’s a sneaky one, and we love him dearly. Thinking about getting your own Lab? Boy, have I got some stories for you!

Every Dog Deserves a Forever Home

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I had just gotten home the other evening, and there he was; whimpering, scared, unsure of what to do. It was a puppy at the end of my driveway. I immediately decided I had to do something. Thinking he would surely run away, I began to softly call to him, encouraging him to come to me. To my surprise, he started walking to my car smelling it, wondering if he should risk all. I kept talking to him, and it didn’t take much. He came right to me. I’m thinking, “Now what?” I have 4 dogs of my own and a few yard cats that keep expecting the bowl to be filled, I surely didn’t want to take on another dog. But, knowing he was put in my way, I had to do something for him.

So, I picked him up and realized the first order of business was a major cleaning. Boy, did he stink! He was caked with dirt and who knows what else. He was a mess. We went straight to the bathroom where I gave him a long, warm, soapy bath with the Rapid Bath System for dogs. (I love the Rapid Bath System!) When he was finally free of the dirt and stinky smell, I dried him off and got a good look at my orphaned pup. What a cutie, as you can see from his picture.

As I’ve had to do before with strays, or adopted puppies, I once again turned my garden tub into a temporary nursery. I put a tiny crate with soft towels in the tub, along with a pee pad. But, before I put him away for the night, I fed him and gave him water. Knowing he had not been taken care of, I didn’t want him around my own dogs for fear he may be carrying the Parvo virus, which can be deadly for dogs. Also, most newborn puppies and kittens usually have some kind of intestinal worms. So, I had to be very careful. He certainly didn’t appear sick, but I didn’t want to take any chances.

I knew that first night was going to be a long one, and I was right. He whimpered off and on throughout the night leaving me with very little sleep. Even my sweet Maggie had to sleep in the “dogs” room in her own bed. She always sleeps with me, but I knew that wouldn’t work with the puppy in the adjoining bathroom. Needless to say, I was up and down all night caring for the little guy, making sure his place was kept clean, dry, and he got his water and food breaks. Come morning, I knew I had to start the long task of trying to find him a forever home.

Allison and I both posted on our Face Book pages, and I even emailed a dog rescue person we knew who lives in Soperton, GA. I also went to the Reidsville Vet Clinic and posted a printed out picture of him with contact information. I was determined to find him a home. (At one time, I owned 7 dogs, and I always said that I could not do that again. For me, it was just too many, even though I loved them all.) During that day, I went in my bathroom to be with the puppy for a little while, cleaning his area, feeding him, and playing with him (I’d bought him a rope toy from ALCO that day). I felt bad for him having to spend his time in my garden tub, but really I had no other choice. I was not going to put him back in the situation he had come from!

No luck the first day…no takers.

The second night we slept much better. He had become familiar with his “home”, and he only woke me up once. Again, I got up cleaned his area, fed and watered him, and then, propping on the tub, I played with him for about 5 minutes. He was so tired he went to his sleeping place and lay down. Happily, I quickly went back to my sleeping place.

The second morning, I printed out 2 more pictures of him. My first stop was the Animal Hospital here in Glennville. Boy, were they busy! They must have had 20 crates (that I saw) with a cat in each. I don’t know what happened to get that many cats at one time. It reminded me of those animal hoarding shows on Animal Planet. I felt sorry for them, but I can only pray they found homes for them. Seeing as they had their hands full, I just posted the puppy’s picture and a couple of my business cards on their bulletin board, and left.

My next stop was Dr. Deal’s, here in Glennville. There were no patients when I went in, only the employee staff. I asked them where their bulletin board was, and if I could post the picture. One of them took the picture and said it depended on what kind of dog it was, and I’m thinking, “Why would that matter?” But, I didn’t say anything. After they had decided the puppy might have some Lab in him, one of the women who works there said, “I think I know someone who might want him.” My heart kinda skipped a beat, both wanting to find it a home AND wanting to MAKE SURE it had the ‘right kind of home’. So, she called this older gentleman she knew. She told me that his 9-year-old Lab had died last September, and he actually cried about it. (I knew right then, this was the kind of person that this puppy needed.) We agreed to meet in an hour, me with the puppy, at Dr. Deal’s office.

All kind of thoughts were running around in my head: “I really don’t need/want another dog; Am I making the right decision; Would the dog be loved; Oh, I really don’t want/need another dog” …..over and over in my head!  UGH

Anyway, I packed the puppy up in the little crate I had, with a towel (for comfort), I also packed him a bag of food and a small bag of Milk Bone dog biscuits, plus his rope toy that I had bought and a PetsMart tennis ball for when he was a little bigger. I whispered to him that I hoped he had a good long life, and that I would miss him. Off we went.

I got there just a few minutes before the man did. I made sure the woman knew that the puppy had not had his shots, or had not been wormed. I also had asked her about what kind of life this puppy could expect to have. She reassured me, she knew the man very well, the puppy would not be chained, and although he would live outside,  it would be out in the country, in the farm fresh air, the older man’s “tinker” shop, and a few other animals like chickens, cats, etc. It sounded perfect for the older gentleman AND the little puppy. They both needed each other, and I would be part of that. It warmed my heart.

When I saw the man, and he saw the puppy, I knew the right decision had been made. He immediately took the puppy and held him in his arms. After talking with the man for a few minutes, it was time to leave.  I thanked the woman again for helping make this possible, and walked out with the man and the puppy. They had parked right beside my car. We said our final good-byes to each other, and as I was getting in my car, I heard the older man say, “Alright puppy, let’s go home.”

With the feel-good warmth in my heart and tears in my eyes, I drove home. I somehow knew those two needed each other, and that little puppy would have his forever home. Good luck little fella!


Weekends Are For the Dogs!

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Yep, it’s that time again. You’re ready to head out for the weekend, but you can’t take your dog. What to do?

Contact me.

In my world,weekends are all about the dogs. I will go to your home, or they can come to mine. Either way, they are guaranteed to have fun! I’m not just feeding and watering your family pet, we’re playing fetch, learning how to sit, eating treats, going for walks, or just getting brushed, a back rub, or  lots of hugs. Maybe your dog isn’t into all that. Maybe your dog is very timid. In that case, we find our comfort spaces and just sit…..and wait…..and talk in a soothing voice, (my second language is Dog)…..and wait…..and maybe tomorrow we do it all over again, but I have all the patience in the world when it comes to a dog. Especially a timid, or scared, dog. Eventually, I’ll win them over, on their own terms, of course. But, that’s ok with me, as long as they are comfortable, then I am happy; I’ve done my job. There is nothing more rewarding, or important, to me than winning your dog’s trust.

When you return, you’ll have your fun memories, and I will be able to tell you that your dog/s and I had a wonderful time, too.

Yes, weekends are for the dogs, and you won’t have to worry about yours while I am there with them.

Eye to Eye

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The last time I went on vacation, was back in November 2010. I flew to W. Sacramento, CA to see Michelle and Kayla. I was gone for 16 days. Although, I was concerned about missing my dogs, it was wonderful to see my daughter and granddaughter again! They, too, have 4 dogs, so I was not without my daily dose of canine affection. Lucky for me, I live with Allison, (also my daughter), so I did not have to worry about my dogs’ care.

While I was in California, Michelle introduced me to the world of Geocaching. For those of you who live in the dark ages as I usually do, it is a world-wide treasure hunt. The only thing you need to get started is a GPS, http://www.geocaching.com, and the will to go most anywhere, at anytime, to try to find the sometimes elusive treasures, which can range anywhere from a plastic ring to a really cool Geo-coin! Usually, when you find the treasure, you sign/date a log, take a treasure, if you want one, and leave a treasure to replace the one you took. It’s pure family, outdoor entertainment. With the help of Michelle, I found a geocache as tiny as your pinkie fingertip, and one as large as an ammo container. What fun! When you’re done for the day, you go back home and log your “finds of the day” on the website. (Since that time, I have hidden 3 of my own around Glennville).

Oh, what a fun time we had. I had brought Kayla some fun crafts for us to do while I was there, we watched movies together, we ate “good” (I started my diet), we shopped, we talked, I played with all the doggies, I even taught them a new game which Michelle and her friend now call the Easter Egg Hunt!  The game goes like this:  While the dogs stay in the house looking outside, Michelle and her friend are outside hiding the “Easter eggs” (little dog treats, like biscuits). Then, they let the dogs out to find the “Easter eggs”.  Michelle told me since, that the dogs LOVE that game!  lol  (They have other games that they play with their dogs on a regular basis.)

Why, I even called my doggies on the phone. (Yes, I really do that.) It was great. But, 16 days in CA is a bit long for me. I was missing my dogs, and was ready to head back home. Although leaving is always sad for me, by the time I got on the plane, I was looking forward to my own dogs and my own bed!

Allison picked me up at the Jacksonville airport. It was a 2-hour drive from there. Boy, was I ready! I could already imagine all the doggie kisses I would get when I got there. I sure missed my Maggie, LadyBug, Jake & Twinkie. (Don’t worry, I missed Allison, too)

By the time I got in the door, and Allison let them out of their beds, they were all over me, jumping, barking and smelling all the wonderful smells!  It was crazy wild! lol Allison let them go outside to potty, and they all went except for Maggie, my sweet Maggie. I picked her up, and I have never had a dog do this, Maggie looked me right in my eyes and just stared at me like she couldn’t believe I was really there. Here we are, staring into each others’ eyes for several seconds. I couldn’t believe it. In the animal world, dogs will not look directly into another animal’s eyes, because it is a sign of aggression. But, I’m not just another animal to Maggie. I am her “mommy”, and I had been gone a long, long time. Maggie is used to me being here…..always. It was heartbreaking to watch her watching me ever so intently, knowing I had caused this.

Since that time, Maggie has become my very own personal dog-magnet. She follows me everywhere I go in the house, (yes, even in there), she sits behind me in my computer chair, with me scooting up further and further until we both have to get up and start all over again. She sleeps with me, and outside, we search for squirrels, birds & bugs together. We communicate so well, I just tell everybody that my second language is Dog.

I have been wondering how I will ever be able to go on vacation again without somehow taking Maggie with me. I know I cannot bear to leave her like that again. We would both suffer separation anxiety. I just won’t think about it right now.

For those of you who stumbled on my blog and were wondering…did I mention that I LOVE dogs?

(Photo taken by Allison)

Woof-Woof! (Good Morning!)

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Hello,

I would like to introduce myself and Mel’s Pet Sitting Service. My name is Melanye Narcarti, and I live in Glennville. Recently, I have begun what I should have begun a long time ago, and that is my own pet sitting service. Pets, and animals in general, are a big part of my life. Besides big, hairy spiders, cockroaches and other exoskeleton-type critters, I love all animals. I have even gone to meet baby goats! But, dogs are my first love. If you know me at all, then you know how much I love dogs.

In the past, I have owned as many as 7 dogs, 5 cats and 2 parakeets. Currently, I have 4 dogs: Jake, LadyBug, Maggie and Twinkie; 4 cats that I claim: Orange-kitty, Missy, Mama-Cat and Daisy, (the rest are Allison’s); and my 2 parakeets: Kiwi and Blueberry.

I began this pet sitting service because I know how difficult it is to leave your best friend behind when you have to go out of town, or when you just need to get away, and there’s no one out there who accepts pets, i.e. cruise ships, most hotels, or even some family members, etc. So what do you do with your pets? For a lot of people, there are only a couple of options: Board them in a cold, sterile kennel with limited attention, or hire a pet sitting service, usually at their home, or sometimes yours. We have been through this, and have done both. Having had this experience, I will ALWAYS opt for someone to care for my pets at my home. Usually, Allison, or I, know the person very well and we know that person is trustworthy, responsible, dependable, and will take good care of our pets.

But, sometimes, you just don’t know anyone who fits these qualifications, or maybe you’re new to the area. That’s where I come in:

I would LOVE the opportunity to meet you and your family pets. When I meet a potential client, not only am I meeting the client, usually I am meeting members of their immediate family(sometimes a spouse, or children), and most importantly their family pets. When I meet a pet for the first time, I always ask what their name is and if they’re friendly. Then, I let the pet check me out first, and then finally I can greet the pet. (I’ve watched The Dog Whisperer, too!)

I have been a member of the ASPCA, The Humane Society of the United States, I enjoy watching Animal Planet, including Puppy Bowl, and I have read many fiction, and non-fiction, dog books! Ok, I’ve even read some cat books, too.  I am an advocate for adopting and rescuing pets. I believe everyone needs a second chance. In fact, all my animals were either adopted, or rescued, except one. I have lots respect for responsible owners of pets, because I know how much goes into caring for them. My pets are considered to be my “family.” You can be confident in knowing that your pets will be treated with the utmost kindness, care and love that anyone could possibly offer.

My sitting fees are:

Within Glennville city limits:

  • $10.00 per pet, at your home with fenced-in yard, includes 3 visits, mail pick-up, lights on/off and plant watering, if necessary. Any extra visits are $5.00 each visit. For $5.00 more per day, I will walk small dogs, and I will walk large dogs, only if they are well-behaved.

~OR~

  • $12.00 per pet. Up to 3 pets, plus any bird (all from the same family), kept at my home. I have a fenced-in yard. Your pets will have their own room with window, temperature controlled, and constant care. You provide their sleeping beds, or crates, food, toys, etc. You transport your pets to and from my home.

Outside of Glennville city limits:

  • $12.00 per pet. Up to 3 pets, plus any bird (all from the same family), kept at my home. I have a fenced-in yard. Your pets will have their own room with window, temperature controlled, and constant care. You provide their sleeping beds, or crates, food, toys, etc. You transport your pets to and from my home.

~OR~

  • $20.00 – per day if I travel 10 miles outside of Glennville, 3 visits. Any extra visits are $5.00 per visit. If I have to walk your dog, it will be $5.00 extra per day.

NOTE: All pets that I keep at my home will need to be free of fleas and/or ticks. They will also need to be up-to-date on their vaccinations. I will ask for your vet’s name. Since I own animals, I do not want to compromise their health, as I’m sure you can understand.

You may contact me at: lilypie99@yahoo.com

You can also find me on FaceBook: Melanye Narcarti

I will respond to your request within 24 hours.

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon!

(Photo taken by Allison)