Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘life’ Category

We’re lucky to live in a magical wood, filled with nooks and crannies where the forrest faeries live… Swirl gently explores (as is her nature), while brave Cooper boldly climbs over fallen trees and spongy spring moss…

Of course, it’s fun to play King of the Mountain!

Or hide under the giant fern that grows by the spring crocus…

Which brings us, Cooper, to a favorite spring poem:

“My idlest dreams go farthest, South to a land of fragrant springs

And rivers green beneath our boat-borne flutes and strings,

Back to a town of floating catkins mixed with golden dust

And crowds that fought to see the flowers.”

~  Li Lu  (937 – 978)

Read Full Post »

There’s a usurper in the neighborhood!

Something is just not right at the bird feeder.

Never fear, Cooper’s on the case…

If only he could get closer…

Perhaps if he ripped out the clematis his mom has worked so hard to grow along the porch railing… he might squeeze thru those rails…

No, wait! The little chipper sees him coming (surely?), and flees the scene…

 

There he goes… as Cooper ponders the glory of the chase that might have been, if only he could’ve squeezed thru those darn rails…

That’s okay… Job well done, Cooper! Good Dog!

What should we do next?

Read Full Post »

Some people just bring out the best in their dogs, and this surely could be said for the owners of Mishka & Moki. While the Alaskan Husky is renown for stamina & athleticism, their intelligence and devotion are beloved by their fortunate families. And who wouldn’t like a relative just like Mishka?

Look out Justine Bieber — Mishka has her own youtube channel & her song is climbing the charts!

If you need some smiles on a gray or snowy day, click here to meet Mishka and listen to her sing!

OR, enjoy this conversation with Mishka:

 

“Good Dog!”

Read Full Post »

“……..  is Great!”

 

Especially if you don’t mind playing frisbee in the drizzle & damp …

We recently trekked west to Lake Crescent on a grey, moody day when the clouds reached down to touch the water … and the atmospherics reminded us of the Twilight novels. “Only no vampires in the trees,” Cooper says, “just bald eagles looking for lake trout for lunch… good thing Swirl wasn’t with us ~ she’d make the perfect appetizer for those big boys!”

Heavy moss dripped from branches and formed a canopy over the road … torrents of rain fell…. “Hey, you’re making it sound spooky & it wasn’t!” says the fearless Frisbee King.

In time, the sun broke thru the clouds, and we played frisbee in the little meadow by the lake… with nary a vampire in sight… but plenty of puddles to jump!

Read Full Post »

Golden Glory

Pit Perfection

Doxie Devotion

Terrier Tenacity

Shepherd Strength

Delightful Diversion

Dogs RULE!

happy halloween, from Cooper and Swirl !!!!!!

(& thanks, Shari, for the pix)

Read Full Post »

Swirl knows it.

Ivan the Incredible knows it.

Certainly, little Precious knows it….

“It’s not for nothing that good dogs don’t wear watches. They’re on dog time, which seems the best time of all.” ~Joe Murray

Read Full Post »

We love the golden days of autumn in the Northwest, and look forward to carving pumpkins into smiling jack o’ lanterns. Of course, our canine fashionista, Swirl, is dressed for the task. Breezy afternoons that send colorful leaves to the ground are also perfect for playing frisbee. “Let’s use the blue frizz, not the yellow one, so we can find it in the leaves!” Cooper says.

As the maples in our magical wood are transformed by such glorious color, we’re reminded that our lives–like nature–are constantly transformed and changed. Or, as the Red Queen in Alice Through The Looking Glass said, “The only constant in life IS change!”

This weekend, our nephew Kevin is marrying his long-time girl, Renee. How wonderful! How romantic. They are a fabulous couple. “So, can we jump into the pile of leaves, now?” says Super Coop, only slightly impatient. Okay, first, let’s rake a nice, big pile…

“Hurry up—I’ll race you there!” Swirl says, dashing to play in the golden leaves.

Read Full Post »

It’s in the fine print of the contract when we bring these earnest, joyfilled creatures into our lives: that in all probability, one day they’ll take their leave of this Good Earth, while we remain behind to juggle memories, an empty food bowl, a broken heart… We live with that fine print, because life with dogs is just so darn good, we cannot imagine it without their glorious company.

Nevertheless, we shed tears recently when Kelso, one of Cooper’s Cocker Cousins in the Lone Star State, lost his battle with the serious health challenges that had plagued him for months. He’d downright amazed his vet by holding the symptoms at bay for so long. His happy-go-lucky attitude and his fabulous mom, Andrea, an editor for the AQHA Journal magazine (and your basic backyard genius with critters) were a big part of his ability to live many more happy days than anyone could have reasonably hoped for. Of course, his Cocker brother, Domino, cheered him on, too.

We’ll always remember the doggone joy and exuberance he personified, and the fun Cooper had interviewing him for this blog (click here to read the whole Speak! interview here). Here’s a bit of Kelso’s Wisdom: “Perfect happiness is love, whether that’s being cuddled up with my person, or eating a bacon cheeseburger. Or True Love: cuddling while eating bacon cheeseburgers!”

We laughed hearing about the tactics he used to ‘liberate’ socks from his mom–a true Sock Ninja! After he passed, a friend told Andrea that Saint Peter had best watch his socks… We had to smile.

We loved meeting him, and thank Andrea for sharing her boy.

We’ll never forget Kelso–the very Special K.

Read Full Post »

Beaming from ear to ear, it seems this natty gentleman is quite proud of his handsome dog and his spiffy new wheels… A notation on the photo reads: Reese, Mt. Baker Park, Seattle, January 18, 1929. A celebratory moment captured in time forever  ….

Read Full Post »

Maud and Foxie were the best of friends. Is there anything so generous and steadfast as the heart of a dog? I think not.

Read Full Post »

Yesterday, we left our chatty harlequin look-a-likes, curling up on the couch with what appeared to be a squeaky duck! We’ll pick up the fun where we left off….

Cooper: Now let’s see, Domino, the last I remember is watching you curl up with a duck (zzzzzz……) followed by some very sweet dreams. Is that duck somethin’ magical, or what?

Domino: It’s my most treasured possession. I am a bird dog (FYI — appreciate your heritage, little Coopster!), and of all my toys I treasure my squeaky bird most, followed closely by my squeaky ball.

Cooper: I’m rather partial to green squeaky balls myself, Domino. That squeak just gets my joy going! Yesterday, you were about to share a favorite story from your therapy dog files. Please do!

Domino: My favorite lady was Miss Ann. Not everyone loves dogs as much as they should, so when you’re doing your therapy dog work, you always have to be careful meeting new people until your handler says it’s OK. But when we first met Miss Ann, I walked in, took one sniff and just knew she loved me, so I jumped right up into her lap! Mom was horrified. But I KNEW! Miss Ann had to explain to Mom what I already understood — that she’d raised Cockers her whole life and loved them the most of anything. I’d lay in her lap for hours and we’d watch TV as she petted me, because she knew all the best spots. Mom says she still doesn’t understand how I knew all that so fast. But I told her, I’m a professional!

Cooper: That’s awesome, Dom! Think of all the joy you brought Miss Ann… I’d sure like to earn my therapy dog stripes! I’d also like to do agility. And I’ve heard you called the Agility King—How’d you get that royal nickname?

Domino: Agility is great. I like doing the jumps – it makes your ears and your skirt (kilt for us guys) fly up like Superman! However, I think running real fast is silly – I like to take my time and just jog between the obstacles. Those dogs that go hell-bent around the course are just asking for a sprain! So, I guess the name is from being king of the course, don’t you think?

Cooper: Yes! You & I have a terrifical resemblance, don’t you think? Are you sure we’re not long-lost brothers, separated at birth?

Domino: Now that you mention it, hmmm… If we’re brothers, may I be the dashing and debonair one?

Cooper: You are already, my brother! Domino–one last question–what do you know for sure? I mean… do you have a motto?

Domino: The greatest thing we can do to be happy is to make other’s lives better!

Fab fotos courtesy Domino’s very cool Mom, Andrea Caudill

Read Full Post »

Cooper had such a doggone good time when he interviewed Kelso, aka Special K, he could hardly wait to talk with Kelso’s big bro, Domino. Those 2 lucky dogs have such an active life with their Mum, Andrea (she’s an authentic dog whisperer!), that it took a while to catch the devastatingly handsome Domino with a spare moment. Let’s just say, that when Coop & Dom got started, they didn’t want the fun to end!

Cooper: Jeepers, creepers, Domino, where’d you get those peepers?

Domino: They came free with my tuxedo suit! Many folks think they’re my best feature… but not those neighborhood kids who came to visit one day. They saw my eyes and ran away screaming!

Cooper: Ha! Wish I’d seen that! What’s your story, you handsome creature?

Domino: Well, as pound pups, we don’t like to talk about our “before” lives. Suffice to say I was a young buck out on the streets starving, dirty and cold, and ended up finding the loop of an animal control officer’s catch pole. A few hours later, shivering in a chilly, loud cage, I looked up and saw…. my new Mom! She said I looked like a starved cow with my bones and spotted coat, but adopted me anyways.

Cooper: You lucky dog! What do you love best about your forever home?

Domino: When I first moved in, I liked the mirrors and door springs. They were so fascinating! Now, I like Mom; warm, comfy beds; my toys; and regular meals. In that order.

Cooper: Tell me about your very important job, Dom…

Domino: I’m a licensed therapy dog, and let me tell you, it is truly a calling – 24-7 and no vacations! My main job is to keep Mom’s blood pressure at a healthy level. I jump in her lap and roll around and act silly until she laughs, then I push my head under her hand until she pets me and de-stresses. This is exacting work – many dogs try this as amateurs – but I’m a trained professional! I encourage her to exercise – upper body workouts (throwing my toys) and cardio (taking me for walks). I also like to take Mom to visit our local senior home. Every Saturday when she goes to pick up her keys and my leash, I do my happy dance. I love going and seeing all my peeps!

Cooper: I’d sure like a therapy dog gig — any advice?

Domino: First, no biters allowed, little Coopster! When you master that you, too, can study hard and join this honorable profession… It’s SO rewarding! When folks see me, they holler “DOMINO!” Of course, they’ll holler your name, and that’s when you need to start doing a happy dance! When your owner lets go of the leash, run to them–that makes them feel happy. Then you sit down (still do the happy dance if you can), and smile at them. Then let them pet you.

Cooper: Gee, I think I do that naturally!

Domino: But the real trick, Coop, is to work the crowd so no one feels left out. Make sure everyone has a ‘hello’ and a pet! And take note: Many of them have treats, and they’ll give you lots of treats if you do a few tricks.

Cooper: This is so much fun, Domino, could we continue this interview tomorrow?

Domino: Sure–I have loads more good stories to tell… like the one bout Miss Ann! That’ll give me time to snooze with my favorite duck pillow… there’s room for you on the couch, too, Super Coop! zzzz……

Read Full Post »

Cooper is fascinated by the legendary Denini, the horse-herding cat. You see, the fluffy marmalade feline rules his barn and all the creatures therein with his velvet paw. It is one peaceable kingdom.

Cooper: Honored to meet you, Mr Denini! What’s your secret to creating sucha bit o’ heaven?

Denini: Respect, my little black-eyed Sweet Pea. I give respect to all creatures great & small, and it just comes right back in return. Try it sometime!

Cooper: Even those massive big horses? Wow! How’d you keep them in line?

Denini: Those buxom babes are really marshmallow-soft inside, and sensitive. You know, they feel a tiny fly on their sides, and swish it away with their tail. Brute force is for brutes—I just make what I want them to do (the right thing!) easy, and everything else (the wrong thing!) hard; and those big ol’ mares make the right choice every time! Use your mind, Little Grasshopper, and you’ll never have to use your claws.

Cooper: Hmmmm…. I noticed you didn’t run when I offered to chase you. What’s up with that?

Denini: I’ve evolved beyond the fright-flight response, silly—it’s so ancient history! When I flop down and smile, it’s pretty much impossible for you to maintain that big, bad attitude. Now, isn’t it? Meow.

Cooper: When you put it that way, I can’t disagree! Is it true, that you taught the great herding Kelpie, Banner, everything she knows?
Denini: Let’s just say, we shared notes. Many days, we herded horses, then rested in the tall cool grass together. Remember little Coopster, never claim all the credit, ’cause you’re always standing on the tall shoulders of those who went before!
Cooper: Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Nini Beani! I’ll remember our time together forever.

Read Full Post »

And properly trained, man can be dog’s best friend…  ~ Cory Ford

Read Full Post »

In 2006, our friend Vicki decided the timing was perfect to open her heart and her home to a 4-legged senior citizen. A savvy dog-lover involved in rescue, she knew that when elderly dogs are surrendered to shelters, they’re often the least likely to be adopted, even tho they have a wealth to offer. So, she sought a vintage pooch. “You rock, girlfriend!” Cooper exclaims.

When Vicki skedaddled to PAWS in Lynnwood, Washington, a dazzling, blond bombshell of Golden Retriever/Spaniel heritage batted her long eyelashes in our friend’s direction. Imagine Mae West of the canine persuasion… Vicki was a goner. Scooty’s gentle spirit was impossible to resist. The pooch played a little hard-to-get, but her heart just couldn’t deny it: They were made for each other. “I knew it!” says the Coopster. “We’re on our way to a doggone happy ending!”

There was one issue, however, that this new family unit had to settle on the ride home. Scooty, 11, had never met a doggie treat she didn’t like–no, love. “Her claims of starvation must’ve persuaded her previous owner,” Vicki says. The evidence was indisputable: Scooty had a body mass index that would qualify her for a canine Biggest Loser production… Time for a diet! “Brussel sprouts are about to become your best friends,” Scooty was told, in no uncertain terms. (“Mom, please don’t get any ideas,” Coop says.)

Scooty’s fitness routine included long walks and weekly swims at a local dog-friendly spa. Nice dog-paddle! And even tho her blond coat shed golden tumbleweeds all over the house, Vicki didn’t mind. Her Scooty was a treasure–an Angel in Fur! Amiable and affectionate but never clingy (hear that Swirl?), she’d spend lazy days watching the world go by from the porch—that is, when she wasn’t digging a comfy, cool pothole in the garden, to nest in on toasty-warm days. She even liked Rico the cat.

In 2 years, Scooty went from 68 pounds to a svelte 43, and regained lost stamina. Vicki also adopted another senior pooch, Ernie, a jaunty little Beagle mix. On Halloween, Scooty dressed as an angel (of course!) and that scallawag Ernie swaggered in a pirate costume, for trick-or-treating at a local nursing home. Senior-2-senior outreach: Oh, the fun they had! It was grand.

Years passed, quickly–as they do when you are having the best of times. Life was good and full and everything it should be with such special pups. Then, when Scooty was just weeks away from her 15th birthday, she took leave of this good earth, to become a real Angel. “I wouldn’t trade those 4 years with Scooty for a whole lifetime with another dog,” Vicki says. “She was a friend who made me a better person.”
Cooper says, “A wag of the tail to senior dogs and to Vicki, a remarkable lady who appreciates the rare joy they have to offer.”
Very Special photos courtesy Vicki Holt. Thanks!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »