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It certainly has seemed like the longest winter on record… so we welcome the first day of Spring with a celebratory chat between Cooper and his favorite little Jack Russell Terrier in all of the the Lone Star State, Bella.

She’s got a big family to look after: Randi (one of the best darn equine photographers we know!), her husband Greg, daughter Abbi and their 4-legged family: Alex, Miss Texas, Uncle Fluffy, Swirl (yes, there’s another Swirl! meow) Baby and Smokey. With so many to look after, Bella doesn’t have a moment to dally, “Hey Coop — y’all ready to chat?”

Cooper: Bella, you were sure a little cutie pa-tu-tie! Should we all call you Bella, or do you have a nickname you prefer?

Bella: Now don’t tell, Coop, but at first I thought Miss Naughtiness was my name… I look innocent, so I can get away with murder! But now that I don’t bite ankles quite so often (have you tried them, Coop, quite tasty!), I prefer to be called Bella.

Cooper: I, too, am trying to resist the urge to nibble on shapely ankles, Bella… So, what do you chew on instead?

Bella: Uncle Fluffy. That sweet cat is my fav chew toy. Nothing compares! Tho once in a while, Miss Texas will tell me to take it easy on the cats…

Cooper: Miss Texas? Who’s that?

Bella: Miss Texas is our watch dog supreme, but she has a warm and fuzzy side, especially when she calls me LLC: little, loud & clueless… isn’t that sweet?

Cooper: Hmmmm…. Miss Texas could be right!

Bella: What? … I have another favorite toy, Coop–my green rope! Do you play tug-o-war? Come and ¬†play–I’ll share! Alex is always too busy to play…

Cooper: Now, who’s Alex? Such a big cast of characters!

Bella: At 11-years-old, Alex is our elder statesman. He speaks with an Australian accent, and definitely is the ‘smart one.’ Alex trained me to jump up into the back of the truck. Isn’t that cool?

Cooper: That patch over his eye is quite dashing, don’t you think?

Bella: Sure is, Super Coop! Got to run–spring & Uncle Fluffy are calling me!

Coop: Nice talkin,’ my pint-sized Texas friend with the 10-gallon personality!

Nearly a dozen years ago, we met Cindy Rackley as part of a big story for Horse & Rider magazine on ‘animal communicators,’ and discovered that Cindy was trained in many alternative healing therapies for both people and pets, such as reiki and homeopathy. For years, she’s also been deeply involved with the Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in California.

So, it came as little surprise that her son, Cody Rackley, would be the co-founder–with Jill Anderson–of something as grand as Shadow’s Fund and the Sheltering Oak Sanctuary, a rescue organization devoted to senior dogs and other canines whose sad fate leads them to crowded shelters with a slim chance of adoption.

Shadow’s Fund is named for that smiling senior citizen pictured in this post, who was abandoned by his owners after he’d given them 15 years of devoted service.

No way!” Cooper says. But wait–this has a happy ending, little Coop…

Cody and Jill brought Shadow into their family, and he brought them the mellow companionship and understanding heart that senior dogs just seem to acquire over the years. Here’s a link to their tribute to Shadow–and as our friend Priscilla would say, we double-dog-dare you to watch it without a getting a little ‘sand’ in your eye…

And so Cooper and Swirl would like to thank Cody and Jill for their determination and steadfast devotion to all critters who are down on their luck, thru absolutely no fault of their own. We support you, 100%!

“A wag-of-the-tail to Cody and Jill, and Shadow’s Fund!” says the Coopster.

Recently, our friends at 2 Brown Dawgs bestowed upon us a special honor, when they shared their Stylish Blogger Award with us at CooperAndSwirl…. “Hey, Thanks!” sez Super Coop.

We have just two things to say:

“Happy Birthday Thunder!” says Swirl. “He’s 1 (very handsome) Brown Dog.”

And we’re honored to be a part of a very talented blogging scene, that constantly involves, informs and incites loads of laughter and fun. We can help create a more dog-passionate Universe, by putting one paw in front of the other …

So, Thanks!

“Does this mean we get treats?” asks Cooper.

Sure, and it means we get to pass the honor on, which we are delighted to do, very soon…..

 

 

 

When we last saw Little Gorda, she was doing handstands in the snow! Actually, we also saw her in video on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, doing that amazing walk on her front feet across the snow … But now, this precocious, TV star terrier is about as weary of winter as the rest of the country… Is Spring coming, Gorda?

Here, Gorda, sister (in spirit) to our fav bad boy Boxer, Jack (who loves pillows) is doing reception duties for her owner & our great friend Priscilla and her husband, and waiting and watching… for Spring.

“Can you see it coming, Gorda?” asks Cooper wistfully… “It must be just around the corner.”

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?

Some days, a little white dog just disappears into the white universe …

Thank goodness for spots.

 

 

Snow days are fun, but we hope that Spring comes soon!

Jack, casually, “What pillow?”

 

Cooper, “Jack, you know, the pillow with the white cover? …. “

Jack, “Yea? Whattabout it?”

… a special thanks to Priscilla for sharing this de-light-ful photo of our favorite bad bad Boxer boy!