Posts Tagged ‘pound pups’

It’s only 17 miles up the hill, but spring comes late at 5,200+ feet…

We met new friends at the top of the ridge:

Owen the Lab, taking a sun break with his ski buddies.

And a talkative Gray Jay …

It felt like we were on top of the world & could see forever …

It made Swirl smile …

… and Cooper wag his tail–can you tell?

For these pound pups, it was a great day to be alive!

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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)

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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.

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Hold the presses!

Cooper and Swirl’s best little buddy, Precious, tells us that:

it’s Aunt Marge’s 90th Birthday this week!

“Now, that’s headline news!” Super Coop declares. “Hey Precious, wake up sleepyhead … I guess somebody must’ve partied hardy at the Birthday Bash!”

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Perhaps it’s a case of a boy & his toys … Perhaps in a deprived puppyhood, there was never a snow shovel … whatever the reason, Cooper loves our snow shovel … The first snow of the New Year has arrived, and he is ecstatic as he greets his old friend!

And while we make good use of the shovel, Swirl is busy collecting snow balls as only her full, feathery coat can …

And our fine friends look on as the landscape is magically transformed …


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Cooper and Swirl’s friends, Patty & Tish, sent such wonderful New Year’s pix, we just had to share with Cooper’s wishes for you ….

May Your Cup Runneth Over


May the Love of Your Friends, Shelter You from the Cold


May You Avoid Boring Diets


And May You Have Oodles of FUN before Anyone Notices the Pillows are Missing !

Welcome 2011!!!

Cooper and Swirl

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… And all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring…

Not even…   Cooper!

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… which is an invitation for snow dogs (a.k.a. Cooper & Swirl) to play in the snow


… and roll in the snow


… and roll some more!


Because snow–like so many opportunities–won’t wait, if we hesitate ….

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We were so amazed by Wayne’s pix of his Rottweiler Merlin herding sheep, that we had to share his you tube video of Merlin in his first experience herding lambs. Wayne tells us that they’re a bit more ‘squirrelly’ than older sheep, but young Merlin handles them like a pro. Note the way he circled back to round-up a straggler!

Cooper says, “Good Boy! Really Good Boy!”

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We learn lots from our fellow dog lovers, and this week we’ve learned that Rottweilers are not just great family dogs–smart, hardy and loyal–but in Germany, where they originated, they were frequently used to herd livestock and even pull carts, laden heavily with goods bound for market.

We’re used to our herding super-star Australian Kelpies and Border Collies, but herding Rottweilers were news to us! But there’s no denying the focus and intent of that handsome Rottweiler above: our young pal, Merlin.

“Merlin looks like he’s smiling,” Super Coop adds.

Our friend Wayne, a tireless volunteer with the Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue and owner of Ivan the Incredible (see this extraordinary pooch here), told us he’s started taking his young Rottweiler, Merlin, to herding lessons. That’s Merlin, herding sheep in the snow! Just see how ‘hooked-on’ to the sheep he is! He looks like a natural! Wayne told us that there are records indicating that Rottweilers have been utilized for herding since Roman times. Amazing!

And this wonderful young dog couldn’t look more at home, than in the field watching over his flock. Good Dog, Merlin!

That isn’t all that Merlin has been up to, since we last saw him playing with that incredible Ivan… Last summer, Merlin & Wayne also completed the Seattle 5K Marathon–the first time dogs have been allowed to participate–guess that makes this young Rottweiler a charter member of an elite club!

Here’s Merlin by Seattle Center’s International Fountain, taking in all the sights and sounds. Happy Dog!

“And what an accomplished pup!” says Coop.

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“You’d better watch out,” Santa Coop continues, “You’d better not cry…

Better not pout, I’m telling you why….”

Precious is coming to town!

“Precious inspects every package that comes into our house,” Alice says. And when something arrives for her–she knows it… Maybe it’s the smell of the contents or the friend who packed it, but Precious checks everything out!” Good girl, Precious! Little Homeland Security Dog!

“Stay warm,” Cooper croons to his little friend, “Cuz, Baby it’s cold outside!”

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Recently, we had the great good fortune to meet Priscilla, who lives with her family on the East Coast. Happily, her family includes Jack, a 6-month-old, 55 lb. boxer puppy, and Gorda, who was a surprise: they thought they were rescuing a rat terrier (15-20 lbs) and instead, she really was a toy fox terrier, weighing in at 7 lbs. “She’s a mini-surprise!” says Cooper. Priscilla shared a beautiful portrait of her pups:

“Wow, you can use the words ‘clean’ and ‘white dog’ in the same sentence!” Cooper says. Since Cooper’s idea of cleaning up for dinner is shaking off the horse poop he’s been rolling in before he comes in to eat, you can imagine that our country bumpkins were pretty impressed by Priscilla’s beautifully groomed family… But she soon set us straight, and we haven’t stopped laughing since! In her own words:

Jack’s not all that white all that often… once again, the husband is to blame, and yes, i roll my eyes every day. Jack’s the great white boxer, he only looks clean here. he likes to roll in dirt, eat dirt and otherwise loves anything to do with dirt. he likes to eat mice. i have pulled two dead mice out of his mouth in his short 6 months of life, and i pulled a bird’s head out of his mouth last weekend–i wonder where the body went? lalalalaa, not thinking about that. so don’t think you have the market cornered on bumpkin!

and by the way, shortly after i took the picture, ostensibly to show my decorator girlfriend the new white flokati rug i bought, jack ate said rug.

also, we took jack to a puppy play group and THREE people came up to us to tell us about whitening dog shampoos. when complete strangers are recommending shampoo, you’ve got to know you have a dirty dog!

“My sides hurt from from laughing so much,” Super Coop says. But read on, to learn how changing their newly adopted dog’s name influenced her behavior… It’s doggone amazing!!!  Again, in Priscilla’s words:

gorda is the toy fox terror, i mean terrier. she only walks on her front feet in the snow!

she was a rescue. when we got her, we kept her original name, haley. she had gone thru a disastrous 2 weeks with a family who abused her, so we weren’t keeping that name (besides it was “prancer” and i could not see myself calling that out loud in public!). and the name the temp foster mother, a teenaged girl, gave her was the german word for pretty: shon (umlauts over the o), and i was so-so on that, so we went back to her breeder given name, haley.

haley proved to be a VERY difficult dog, extremely fearful and a big time peeer. if you looked at her, she peed. if you said her name, she peed. etc. it was a real trial. then, i read a book by jon katz about his very bad sheepdog, boris. boris was bad to the bone. his trainer suggested renaming the dog, as it appeared to her that the dog misbehaved even more when the author said the dog’s name. he changed the name, and overnight, he claimed, the dog changed for the better. bad associations with his former name?

what the heck, i sez to meself, let’s try it. and, after a family conference, it was done, she was officially gorda. har har, that’s the husband’s humor: gorda is spanish for fat little girl; gorda weighs 7 lbs.

ANYway, the next day, no one could believe it. she was way less fearful of the family, and actually showed confidence, and didn’t pee every time someone looked her way. everyone kept reality checking one another, but it was true, she was different. the neighbors came over and confirmed it, not knowing we’d changed her name.

go fig. what’s in a name, eh william shakespeare?

Fantastic concept! “And fantastic new friends!” adds Super Cooper.

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Have you ever seen those wonderful Bev Doolittle paintings of pinto ponies materializing out a wooded landscape? Appearing, then disappearing in the artistic style that has become her signature….

Well, I give you our camouflage artist: Mr Super Cooper …. Watch as he appears and disappears … tracking the wily chipmunks that live in our snowy little wood ….

Inside their cozy hobbit home, our friendly chipmunks chuckle at Camouflage Coop’s vain attempts to flush them out! ho ho! ha ha!

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Wishing a bountiful Thanksgiving to one & all!

And a special shout-out to Kalea, who will be helping her Grandma Vicki and Grandpa Mike (our former neighbors) decorate their Christmas tree on Friday. Kalea is a budding sports super-star, and her Grandma’s indispensable helper when it comes to festive decorating for every season & any reason! Kalea’s little brother Tommy will be on hand, too! We’re Thankful they’re our friends!

“Now, can we go and play in the snow?” says the Super Coop. Of course!


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Swirl says, “We sure do!”


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