2009 Blog  

Carol's Blog for 2008

 Be who you are and say what you feel...Because those that matter... don't mind...And those that mind... don't matter."

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the personal views of Carol and are not intended to reflect the views of the organization.


Reads from top to bottom
1/01/08:  I named Momma dog Sahara as in the desert.  She is improving by the hour.  Still shies when I come in the kennel, but not running away, just unsure.  I can pet her.  She actually left some food this morning.  She learned the doggie door from Wayha.  She likes it inside the shop with him and Annie.  I just hope Wayha doesn't teach her it's ok to pee on the floor as he does.  I'm stressing over the construction and remodel so the puppies are a nice deviation.  I need to bring 2 up at a time and get to know them.  On my plan today since Loren went to see a sci-fi movie.
1/04/08: One little 'white girl' has a happy home.  I know she got a wonderful human mommy.  Two more puppies will go to new homes on Saturday.  Both have been well checked out so know the puppies will be well cared for and loved.  Two other approved applicants but one puppy will need transport. Three adopters backed out.  Two because it's too hard to care for puppies in the cold. "It IS just too hard to have a puppy in freezing weather".  Geeze! One would be a cinch. I have 7 staying in the shop and boy does it stink. Wayha got neutered, teeth cleaned, etc.  Early stages of heartworm but should be fine with just monthly preventative to cure it. He is 6 to 8 years old, not 11.  That is good.  However he is limping really bad and screams in pain when I just touch his leg.  I didn't know they tied their legs during surgery.  They must have injured his shoulder. I am so worried about him.  Today will be busy as will get him in for x-rays...which they should pay for, not me.  Hate to put him under anesthesia again so soon.  I am just devastated.  He is such a sweet, loving, trusting boy and now he is scared of me touching him because he hurts so bad. 
   Taking Janice to West Plains today to pick up a bunch of pups and 2 dogs.  Her vehicle won't handle enough crates for them.  Timing is not good, but I promised.  Loren is sick and I don't want him walking the dogs in the cold or dealing with the puppies. 
   I really don't like this rollercoaster.  Construction has gone from one problem to another.  The approach to the garage will be too high for the car.  The undercarriage will rub.  It will most likely make the entry too low for the SUV also.  The floor tile is laid all wrong in the bedroom.  I trusted him.  I should never 'trust'.  I should stand over them.  Today it will all have to come out, probably ruining the sub floor as well as the hardibacker and tile.  $1200 just thrown away and no way in the world to fix or salvage anything.  He had not a clue how to lay marble.  I guess when you are content with something done wrong, you should do it yourself.  Atleast that way the mess is cheaper and you can blame yourself for inexperience and not stupidity for paying someone to do it wrong.  Loren says we will do carpet.  He just wants back in our own bed.  So do I. I miss the canine company at night.  I am ready for a nervous break down.  So is Loren.  People just don't take pride in what they do.  It's all about money and we are running out thanks to 'trust'..
1/04/08 Evening:   Well, it was quite an adventure.  I think Janice and I may share a room in the Psych ward soon!  Both of us have been going through remodeling.  Her's as a result of the Ellen show and mine just because I needed to eliminate the rest of the carpet in the house because of the dogs.  Anyway, having workers around not listening to a woman is about as tough as it gets.  They made us crazy yesterday.  I say this so you can understand just how stable (ok, maybe unstable) we are otherwise. 
    Janice got 13 puppies, one of the momma's and another soon to be momma dog from Kristina's Kritters.   Since my SUV is bigger, we took it to pick them up.  After what seemed like the longest drive ever to West Plains, we had a great lunch, eating way too much.  Timing was perfect as we had just gotten the vehicle warm for the dogs when they pulled up.  The Pyr momma-to-be was drooling and had thrown up from fear.  It broke our hearts that she was so scared.  After moving her, we got the momma Hound and 5 pups.  She had not been able to feed her pups and they had fallen through a floor when discovered and rescued. They have been bottle fed. A miracle they had survived.  One might not.  Then to the litter of 8 Husky pups, which to me looked nothing like husky's.  Of course, the severe case of mange may have had something to do with that.  I let Janice load them.  She has already personally experienced mange.  I'd rather leave that experience to her again.  About 5 miles down the road heading home, whimpering began.  Somebody had to "go" and we were in no situation to stop and let any out.  Time ran out about 6 minutes down the road......First it was the aroma of vomit followed shortly there after by poop compounded shortly there after by nose burning urine.  Did I mention West Plains is a 1 hour and 15 minute drive?  It is not easy to hold down a just eaten lunch under these conditions and on very curvy roads, too boot.  So there we went, trying to laugh as each new odor took over our senses.  You see, it was not just one dog adding to the fragrance, it was several.  Windows cracked down, driving slower then normal, heater on (it was very cold outside) and trying to only breath when necessary to avoid passing out, down the road we went.
    The best is yet to come!   Janice had stressed to the workers that the new puppy room had to be ready.  Surprise, surprise, it wasn't.  Janice sent our helper Douglas to buy some floor mats so she could put the puppies in the room.  Sold out.  Second choice, straw.  Separation wall was not in place.  Heat was not hooked up.  Water had been off and none of the animals had had water all day.  They were all barking, mooing, bellowing or baaing.  Got the hose and filled water buckets.  Lurch and Wade were confused.  Plum would not stop barking at the new dogs.  And with no heat or warm water in the puppy room, no baths for pee, pooh, and puke covered dogs and puppies.  And since Brian was injured badly, there is not much room in her tiny bathroom to use the tub.  I wish I could have stayed to help, but it was already past my dogs and puppies feeding time, it was getting dark and Loren has been sick.
   So if any of you still think we rescues do this for any reason other then the love of animals, then we invite you on the next road trip to pick up starved, flea infested, mange covered (not to mention puke, pee and pooh covered) dogs and pups.  PS, they even got petted and held for reassurance.  Clothes can wash when a heart is at stake.
1/05/08: An absolutely wonderful family came and adopted "Hunter", as they named him.  Another couple will come tomorrow and pick one.  Rest of the approved applicants changed their minds for various reasons.  Mostly dealing with a puppy in cold weather.  That's ok.  Better now then after they get it home.  Actually they are gaining such personalities, they are at the enjoyable individuality stage.  They do follow now when I open the gate or the door and call "puppy, puppy".  One is hesitant, but the others come right along.  I loved it yesterday when I brought them up for the people.  The one hung way back unsure about turning the corner.  The others were way ahead. All of a sudden they all turned around, raced back and got the hesitant one to come along.  It was absolutely amazing and heartwarming.  They are going to exceptional dogs...but then Pyrs always are.  Hopefully I can spend some time with Sahara (momma dog) this week.  She is still so skittish.  Her milk has still not dried up.  Need to take her in or atleast call the vet Monday about her.  She's on antibiotics.  She is eating really good and putting on weight nicely.  Wayha will get his first heartguard on the 10th.  Hope he handles it better then Keeton.  Always dread how sick it makes him for 2 to 3 days.  Annie seems to do better in the shop with Wayha and Sahara.  I know Sweetness is picking on her at Katey's command.  Sissy does not bother her, just lays across the doggie door so Annie is afraid to come in.  Not sure about Zelda.  A little jealous, but they were playing. 
     Got a different tile setter.  Lent us his tools to tear out the mess the other guy made.  He can start next Saturday.  It will be nice to get back into our bedroom.  Came to agreement on the rest of the 'overruns' on the construction.  He eats the cost.  If it were not for the addition of a dogs room in the new garage, I think I would have just called it quits.  I never anticipated this kind of stress.  Didn't have any of it with our old contractor.  What a difference maturity and broad skill sets make.
1/12/08:  Five puppies are adopted.  "Lucy" went today.  Amazingly, the man's parents are my neighbor!  Just 3 left.  There are 4 male Pyrs in desperate need but I can only commit to "Shaggy".  He is the daddy of half a litter we got well over a year ago.  Daddy to Duncan and Oz.  The man is dying as a result of Agent Orange and the VA just never helped him.  So terribly sad.  So he called me to take the 3 dogs.  I said I would.  The momma Pyr is wild and only knows goats.  Hopefully I already found a home for her with Winston's people, since Winston would rather just be a 'porch potato'.  If not, I have 2 other possibilities wanting a field dog.  I would not normally do it, but it is the only life she knows.  The other male, an ASD is not social.  Just not sure what I can do with him.  He was not a working dog.  But good old Shaggy broke my heart the day I met him.  Big old heavily matted Komondor tied on a chain to a tree.  Tail wagging and as friendly as can be.  Not a clue where I will put him, but he needs me and probably needs heartworm treatment and who knows what else.  I don't blame the owner.  He did the best he could.  His heart was in the right place.
   The garage is close to finished.  Just needs exterior siding and the interior finished.  Crossing my fingers this tile guy will not make a disaster and we can get back into our bedroom before the weekend.  I just want to cry every time I think of the $2000 that was just thrown away on the first guy and he had no conscience.  Grandma always said "what goes around, comes around".  Took me a long time to 'get it', but it is true.  I suspect I will hear some really bad things happen to him.  Anyway, if it goes badly this time (and I will be supervising every single tile this time), we'll just put in cheap carpet and change it every few years.  I'm tired of chaos!
1/17/08:  Last girl puppy will go to NJ on Monday.  I just don't understand why I have not had good applicants on the last 2 boys.  They are so adorable.  I'm half tempted to send Jeepers to the people who have Rayn.  He would be so perfect for them.  Oh well, maybe David will convince Joan by the next transport.  Got a wonderful update on Ocean aka Alpine.  He is perfect for them as I knew he would be for anyone.  Actually have been getting updates on quite a few lately.  See the adult list. and Pyr puppy list.  I need to be more diligent in getting the great emails and photos posted.  Annie is doing great.  She sure misses her mommy though.  Not sure when Sue will be back from her trip.  Bear is in deep depression.  With the tile guy using his and Katey's room during the day, they have been locked outside.  Plus they have not gotten into the house with me either.  But the bedroom is basically done!!! Furniture goes back in tomorrow morning.  Can't wait!  The dog room is next but it should only take a day, but still puts them in my shop for one night and Sahara and Wayha in the kennel and pups in Loren's shop all day.  Sahara is improving emotionally every day.  She still does not come close enough to be petted, but almost.  She sees Wayha practically lay in my lap and she is wanting that so much too, but just unsure.  She will be a really good dog someday.  Wish someone really patient and with lots of time for her, would adopt her.  She needs the special time I can't afford her.  Wayha really needs a special family also.  He is just such a fantastic goof ball.  And since I quit mopping up his "marking", he has quit peeing inside the shop.  I do worry the floors in there are hard for him.  He struggles with walking on the tile.  I need to get him to the house as soon as the new garage is enclosed and we get the fence up beside it.  Just don't want to traumatize Sahara with a 'move'.
1/21/08:  3:00 a.m. and just came in from giving the girl puppy a 'puke pill'.  When Loren took her in for her health certificate, she threw up on the way and again on the way back.  Vet is only 5 miles away!  I'm sending a stack of puppy pads along on transport as poor baby may keep it up most of the trip.  Hopefully she will outgrow it.  Cosmo, one of the pups that went to KC is having trouble walking.  They will take him to the vet today.  If it is serious, we will make arrangements to meet half way and I will bring him back.  I'm sure what ever it is, Janice will have a remedy if not a cure.  I sure feel bad, both for the pup and the people.  He seemed fine but with 8 running around, 4 white like he is, I may just not have noticed.  Going Wednesday to meet a lady picking up a Komondor pup for 'us'.  Janice will keep it until either I have room or it gets adopted.  Should not take long.  She is a cutie and only about 4 months old.  Annie went home Saturday.  She was sure happy to see her mommy.  She will be back on the 15th for a week as Sue's sister is dying of cancer and they are going to see her.  Annie has a playmate now and if it were not winter and so darn cold, I would offer to keep him also, but just no room for another male dog inside.  If Wayha should get adopted, I will offer.  I just don't see why Wayha has not had a single person interested in him.  He is such a great boy.  I may do a foster home poster for him.  He needs someone to give him special time. 
     Dog room is done.  They start on the kitchen in a few hours.  That puts us back in the spare bedroom for one night and Bear and Katey back in the shop.  The rest of the dogs will get the dog room.  Floor cannot be walked on for a day. 
1/23/08: One of the puppies (Cosmo) died yesterday.  He'd been at his new home over 2 weeks.  No way of knowing what, where or how he got a viral infection.  All the others are fine.  I've never had one that I adopted out die from anything until now. Quite a hard thing to deal with.  Got an email today about 15 Pyr/ASD pups in Ava, MO.  Several litters.  Just want to strangle people.  No one has any room.  If it weren't so darn cold they could stay outside.  That's surely where they are now, but I can't do that.  Mine have to have access to inside and warmth.  Guess I'll make some flyers to put up hoping for some foster homes.  Can use some of my past and present puppy pix.  With 15, some are bound to be close, especially the all white ones. How do I not go look, and if I go look, how do I not bring them home?
    Kitchen floor is done.  Just have to seal the tile.  Hopefully I won't make the mess I did on the marble in the bedroom. The house can get back to normal.  Bear and Katey can re-claim their room.  I can get back to shop time and get the rugs made for the bedroom.
1/26/08:  Another 'wee hours of the morning, I can't sleep' time.  Will be going to pick up J-Jae in 10 hours.  A cute Komondor pup from a MO. shelter.  She will probably be going to Janice's.  Actually I would like to keep her here, but Loren needs to cut back.  We won't be seeing the Pyr pups in Ava today.  They are busy so it will be Tuesday or when Janice can get away and come with. Need to get Shaggy soon.  He'll come here as he is my commitment.  Now I have Kasey, a 5 mo old GSD to make a decision on.  She is adorable from the photo.  But puppies chew and we can't handle any more destroyed furniture.  Bad enough convincing Sissy that the new sofa was not purchased for her lounging pleasure.  Keeton gave us a scare the past few days.  I ran out of one of his foods and mixed in some other.  Did not set well on his tummy.  Yesterday he finally ate after 2 days not eating, but still don't think his poop is normal. It will finally be reasonable weather for a few days (still freezing at night).  Weeton and Jeepers will be delighted to be out of the shop and into fresh air each day.  Actually they prefer the house.  They are becoming quite social.  Jeepers has an application.  Hope it works out.  He's always been special to me since he was so tiny and kind of 'run over' by the others.  
     Again I am stressing the remodel.  Common sense tells me we are headed for more 'unforeseen cost overruns'.  Problem is I have stressed all along that there will be drainage problems.  Since day one, before the dozer broke ground, I said we had to have a drain system in place.  No one listens.  Now the contractor says he did not include a footer in his bid for the "old garage to family room" conversion.  He says we don't need one.  Well, if you put wood to concrete and the concrete is lower then other concrete, that green board is not going to stop water from flowing in under the wall and under the flooring.  You gotta dig out and set a concrete barrier. I really think I hired an idiot.  I really think we will put the balance owed in escrow to hold until we have a few huge rainfalls and I can say "I'm right" and he can fix it at his expense.  His bid for a 12" x 12" x 16' soffit was $1000!  I can get it done for $300 tops.  I'm feeling it's 'gouge the owner' time and he has forgotten the 'wrath of Carol'.
1/27/08: Delivered J-Jae to Janice yesterday.  Thought it was a temporary thing but she wants to keep her (or to adopt out).  That's fine.  She is now Cheddar and she is an awesome dog.  Although a Golden-doodle, she is still a Zelda dog.  That special one in a million.  Went out today and took a bunch of pix.  Bombarded with the husky pups.  They are sure a lively bunch.  I'll stick with Pyrs.  I have applicants for both Weeton and Jeepers.  Will check them out tomorrow.  Hope I feel good about them.  These sweeties need to settle in their forever homes. Will get them in for neuter Tuesday if I can.  Got to figure out when I will get Shaggy and also Kasey, the tailless GSD pup.  Janice is taking the 12 pyr pups.  We'll go get them on Tuesday.  I just got to bring Sonny home.  He looks so sad every time I leave.
1/28/08 (barely).  It's 12:47 a.m. and just got back from walking Keeton.  So glad the weather is nice!  and that everyone else slept through our going and coming. He's still got a bit of diarrhea from changing his food the day I ran out.  How can I resist walking him when he is so sweet to come to the side of the bed and wake me up to tell me he has to 'go'.  No matter that there is over 2 acres for him to go out the doggie door and 'go'.  Sissy and Sweetness have the majority of the bed and have probably spread out even more in my absence. Need to go back to bed.  Taking the day 'off' and going to Branson for lunch today.
1/29/08:  Hopefully today will not see any surprises.  Just as we were leaving yesterday, the garage - soon to be family room, flooded.  Workers screwed up on a water line.  Ruined a few things and got a lot of stuff wet.  And the HVAC guy cut a main support beam when installing the duct work. Now onto the doggie side of life:  Gordon was out of minutes on his phone so I could not get directions to go get Shaggy.  Cathy didn't take his goat dog so need to figure something out for her (the dog).  Not a clue what to do with his ASD male.  Gordon is dying from Agent Orange exposure during Viet Nam.  I gave my word over a year ago that I'd take Shaggy.  Now I feel I need to help with all 3.  Plus I have Kasey coming.  Cheddar has had several applicants.  One sounds really good.  Since Janice took her, it will be Janice's adoption.  She is an awesome dog so I hope for the best.  I hope for the best for all of them.   Just wish someone great would notice Wayha.  He is just such a great boy and needs a 'full time' person.  Janice and I are picking up the 12 or 13 Pyr pups this morning.  They are going to her house. 
1/29/08 conclusion: Picked up the pups around 10 a.m.  Best as we could figure, there were 4 momma's and 2 or 3 daddies with 2 daddies in most of the litters.  Luckily we only had 12 to take.  Others were gone.  Seven are fluff balls.  The others may be much harder to place. Anyway, by the time we got to Janice's, the pups had puked in 2 of the crates.  Puked on each other, as well laid in it. Just a year ago I would have been puking myself from seeing it.  Amazing how we overcome when necessary. I did start with the 'clean ones'.  But let me back up.... Janice was given some wormer.  It was a 'wee bit' outdated.  Never mind by how much, but I was no Senior citizen when it expired!  She wanted ME to call the vet and ask if it was ok to use. I declined. We had a good laugh along with the vet's office, but they said it wouldn't hurt them.  Didn't know if it would do any good either.  Anyway, when we started unloading pups, she gave wormer and shots and trimmed nails while I held each.  Then as we finished each one, she held and I took pix.  By pup number 3 the wind had kicked into full force up on her hill, probably hitting gusts of 100 miles per hour.  I'm not exaggerating.  We had the side of her house as shelter, but not when it was time to go out to the SUV and get another pup.  Even with the partial protection of the house, things got difficult.  Some puppies were just not thrilled with having wormer put in their mouths.  I ended up wearing more then they consumed.  OK, now we get to the bigger pups who puked.  I tried to leave the worst to last.  Ok, picture this:  Fat old lady carrying 40 pound puppy covered in slime and puke, up against my chest with it's puke covered head resting under my chin.  Now repeat this picture 5 times.  Now it's not like the puke would brush off, because it was sticking to the very sticky wormer which already covered my arms, T-shirt and levis.  And of course, the bigger the puppies, the more they refused the wormer.  They would refuse to swallow, so the puke which covered the first layer of wormer was now sandwiched between a second layer of wormer. And my camera batteries went dead.  Only got half the pups.  A note to anyone who does not understand why I insist on updates when I adopt out:  Come along on the next rescue and you will see how much love goes into this 'job'.  If we didn't care, we would not be cuddling puke covered pups in our arms as if they were our children.
1/30/08: No rest for the wicked or the rescuer.  Jeepers and Weeton went in to be neutered at 8:00 a.m.  Was on the phone with one of the littermates adopters when a message was left on my other line.  It was Amanda, the vet, calling to say she could not neuter Jeepers but she could SPAY HER!  Immediately I called my adopter back to be sure she had a girl.  I won't go into the comedy that followed, but it was eventually determined that it was a girl.  I got the pups a month ago and I must have turned the same one over twice when I got them and thought I had 2 badger faced boys when I only had one and 3 girls.  Janice came over and we got the pictures sorted by name of the hound and husky pups. That was not easy!  Three of the huskies look just alike in photos. Charlie had a 'hair' appointment at 11:00.  That was a whole other story....poop stuck....  Anyway, it was volunteer appreciation lunch for the HS so Janice and I met there.  Big turn out.  Then I had to pick up Charlie.  She had to pick up the husky pups from being spayed and neutered the day before.  After bringing Charlie home, we went and got Jeepers and Weeton from their morning 'surgery'.  By now, it's feeding time and Sissy is not going to let me rest until her tummy is considered. Puppies stayed in and Bear took great care of them.  He woke me up twice to let me know they needed to go out.  Guess I slept through the puppies whimpering.   Bear is such a good foster daddy.
1/31/08: Snow!  Lots and lots of snow.  And of course this would be the day Jeepers and Weeton would learn to go out the doggie door and down the stairs.  Snow was so deep on the steps, it made them look less intimidating. See photos & more photos  
2/03/08:  Stress like today I can do without, but so far a happy new beginning for Jeepers.  I woke up at 1:30 something just nagging at me.  I checked on the pups and there was diarrhea all over the room.  It's a good thing they were closed in or I would not have known.  I cleaned and mopped and gave up on sleep.  The process repeated it's self several times. By dawn, there was blood and I was not sure which pup or both.  It was too late to call Jeepers adopters in the middle of the night as they were already in town.  I called the vet and took both pups in by 8:00 a.m. .....on a Sunday, of course.  It became obvious the problem was Jeepers.  I left a message for the adopters.  Nothing was determined.  Negative for Parvo.  No parasites.  Spay was intact and she was not running a fever. Got 2 prescriptions, to settle her tummy and an antibiotic. I was devastated.  All I could think of was keeping her until she got a clean bill of health and I'd pay the transport to send her in 2 weeks.  By noon the pills and eating some fresh boiled chicken and rice seemed to be helping.  After talking with the vet, they felt confident enough to take her home with them.  They called in the evening and she was making the trip quite well.  I'll continue to worry until what ever it is/was is all cleared up.  Weeton seems to be fine, however 4 of Janice's husky pups had similar symptoms.  They were all in the vet's office on Wednesday.  We think there must be a connection because these pups have no other connection with each other.  Just like a doctors office, the sick go and expose the non sick.
2/05/08: Just knew I was coming down with this flu that is being passed around.  I am feeling better so crossing my fingers.  Took Shaggy in for a bath and hair cut.  He was amazingly tolerant, even to the point of letting her pick ticks off his 'privates'. Poor Chipi sure missed him.  She cried a good part of the day.  I shook off one of the rugs and sat on it and just let her get braver.  She is ok through the fence, but when in the pen with her, she is frightened.  I need to get frontline on her but still haven't gotten it on Sahara either.  So sad when they are afraid.  Got an email this morning from Jeepers people. Vet gave her a clean bill of health.  They changed her name to Morgan.  It works. They are so happy with her.  I knew they would be.  I'll re-use the name Jeepers because it's different and I like it.  Brought Canoli (Janice's rescue) over to keep Weeton company.  He spends more time following Bear around then playing with Weeton.  He's a smart little guy.  Learned the doggie door and stairs within a few hours.  He does think he should be in the house though at night.  Hopefully he will get the idea that the dog's room IS part of the house and not cry tonight.  Long day.  Feed early (they won't complain) and to bed early.
2/07/08:  Still trying to fight off this flu.  I'm beginning to think the cough and sandy feeling in my throat is Sissy's fur.  I get feeling pretty good until we go to bed and Sissy joins us.  I may move the bench so she can't get on the bed and do a thorough cleaning.  Still have not hung drapes or anything that catches dust.  Heck, the bedroom set came from Mexico.  Maybe they imbedded something in the wood to emit 4 years after purchase......  OK, enough nonsense and too many 'who done it's on TV.  Gassville will be on the Ellen show today since it is a connection to Janice.  Not sure, but think they will be trying to get help for those displaced by the tornado.  Local info says there are dozens of dogs and cats displaced and running around confused.  Every facility is taking in as many as they can.  I've not been asked and just not sure where I'd put any.  Want to help but not sure how, especially since I feel so yucky.  Janice is very sick.  She has just taken on so much that she is worn out and made her susceptible big time.  Keeton did not eat at all yesterday.  It is not uncommon for him to skip breakfast, but he skipped dinner also.  Loren even took him for 3 walks yesterday in the freezing cold.  That usually works to stir his appetite.  I know he is old and sick, and I knew when we got him, we would not have him for long.  We have just grown to love him so much.  It will be as hard and unforgettable when we lose him as when we lost Frank.  Some, you get over the tears.  Some you just never do.
Catching up:  It's been a busy past few days.  (2/07 afternoon): Keeton had diarrhea so bad that it literally exploded out of him.  Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought I would ever be cleaning up like this after anyone.  Me with such a 'weak stomach' that just mention it and I gag.  Such a mess on him, I called the groomers to get him cleaned up.  On the way, he 'exploded' all over the back seat of the car.  Windows down and hanging our heads out to keep from suffocating.  while he was in being cleaned up, I was scraping it off the back seat cleaning it up best I could with cheap paper towels from the dollar store close by.  Used a lot of Fabreeze too. Directly from the groomers, we took him to the vet.  He exploded there too. Amanda wanted him to spend the night. I sure did miss him.  (2/08) Shaggy went in for neuter.  I picked them both up in the afternoon.  Shaggy likes to drive so it took both of us to get him.  He is such a clown. He started coughing really bad after getting home.  Janice said they stick a tube down their throat for surgery and it probably irritated it.  He sounds so bad.  He and I could have a 'who has the worst cough' contest.  Keeton did better but after coming home but still some problems.  I had cooked up a bunch of chicken and rice for him.  He finally ate and wanted more.  He'll get 3 meals a day instead of 2 until his stomach settles. Then I may never get him back onto kibble! (2/09) Was in a total brain dead state.  Janice's flu is winding down and mine is just revving up.  I went to let Weeton in and Katey slipped past.  Zelda was outside.  Katey ran outside.  Zelda made it in. Katey far enough behind that I got the doggie door in place.  Bear runs into the computer room, right past Keeton and Charlie and hides behind my computer chair where he spent the next few hours.  He'd really show his teeth if Zelda came into the room, but he didn't come out of hiding and she got the message and retreated.  Just for safety's sake, I put Charlie in the bedroom.  He has a hard time seeing and hearing and he would just put himself in harms way.  I was not going to press my luck by letting Miss Katey the Instigator in too.  Later I put Bear back on his side and took Zelda, Keeton and Weeton for a walk.  That was an experience since Weeton had never had a collar on nor walked on a leash.  I figured being with the big guys would be a good way to start.  After all, Katey taught him to scratch on the glass door when he wants in!  For the most part, by the time we got back and then down to the shop, he was doing pretty well.  I let him walk himself, dragging the leash.  When it would hang up on a bush he would just sit and not fight it.  I thought that was great progress for first time.  I left him at the shop with Wayha and Sahara (his mom).  She was delighted to see him.  It appeared bringing her puppy back to her restored some of her confidence about people.  She got considerably closer to Loren then she ever has when he was holding Weeton.  I left Weeton there all night.
2/10/08:  If it aches, it belongs to me!  Dogs barked all night...No take that back.  They barked 80% of the time.  The other 20% they howled!  Maybe Chipi has some coyote or wolf in her rather then GSD with those ears...and those lungs!  And of course the others could not be outdone.  I bet the neighbors were just delighted with the 'call of the wild' right in their neighborhood.  Don't think I got more then 20 minutes sleep between hour long serenades.  Loren served me breakfast in bed and fed the dogs.  I finally had to drag myself up and here at the computer is as far as I've gotten.  Didn't bother to get dressed.  Still in my robe which is pretty much the plan for the day.  I have very little voice and it got so strained from a dozen phone calls about dogs yesterday, that I'm not answering today.  Loren will take messages.  It's his Birthday Tuesday and we planned to go to Lamberts for lunch so I got to concentrate on getting better.  It's so pretty outside, too.  Wasting all the pretty weather.
2/13/08: Yesterday was Loren's birthday but weather messed up our plans.  Today was pretty cold also.  Trying for tomorrow.  Wayha will soon be going to his new home.  Nice college senior and her roommate and 3 kitties.  Also am hoping things will work out with a family for Shaggy.  Had quite a few applications for him, but this one feels 'right'.  He is just so perfect for anyone, that finding the perfect person for him was the challenge.  Let Bear and Katey over Monday.  Everything went smooth.  Let them over yesterday and poor Zelda got caught in the middle.  Bear has fear aggression.  Zelda got too close, Katey started a fight.  Anyway, will give them a day to cool and try again.  Annie comes tomorrow for a week.
2/16/08: Went out to Janice's and got pix of Dollop and her newest dog.  It's a St. Bernard/ Pyr mix.  Absolutely gorgeous and huge for just a puppy. Went to the vet and got kennel cough shots for Wayha, Weeton and Sahara.  Sahara will be a trip!  Still can't even touch her. Also got some more antibiotic for Shaggy and now Chipi is coughing.  Will dose them both for the next week.  Stopped at an estate sale a block from the house and ran into Susan.  She may have a home for Sundae, the cat. I don't mind it if it would just stop antagonizing the dogs. They are just ruining the glass and wood on the door and windows.  Sure can't tell I spent all day yesterday cleaning floors and windows.
2/17/08:  It rained all night.  I love the rain.....because the dogs stay inside and don't bark!  We were totally surrounded last night.  Sissy was keeping our feet warm.  Sweetness was keeping the middle of the bed warm.  Charlie was protecting Loren's side of the bed.  Zelda was protecting mine.  Keeton was protecting the TV and Annie was in charge of the doorway.  Can't get much cozier then that.  This week will be busy. Tuesday Chipi gets spayed and Wayha goes to his new home.  Then a week from Monday Chipi goes to her new home.  Hopefully in a few more weeks Shaggy will be going to his.  Going to post Sahara and Weeton as a 'package' on petfinder.  Sahara will be so lost with no one.
2/19/08- a.m.: A busy day today.  Wayha went to the groomers at 8:00 a.m.  Sahara is missing him and singing a lonesome song. Since Chipi was gone all night and will be until this afternoon, Shaggy was really depressed so I brought him up.  He was afraid to come in because 5 noses were in his face but I finally got him in.  They are getting acquainted and doing fine.  I don't know if Shaggy was too nervous to 'mark' or just won't do it inside.  He is not much for doing it outside either.  Aside from Bear trying to come through the glass, Shaggy seems to be unfazed by his new environment.  Keeton wanted to play.  They are the same height, but Keeton is almost twice his size. 
2/19/08- p.m.:  Chipi was still groggy when I got her from the vet.  She laid her head on my lap for the ride home and then went right to sleep in the dog house.  She was about 2 weeks pregnant.  I feel terrible guilt for not letting her have them, but not blame for her being pregnant. I'm not cut out for this!  The reaction of Wayha's new mommy was great when she saw him.  Don't think she quite realized what a big boy she was getting, but she was delighted.  I'm sure he outweighed her and if up on hind legs, I'm sure he would have been taller then her too.  He took right to her and her friend as I knew he would.  He is such a great dog.  I am so happy for him.  She emailed that he did fine on the trip home and settled right in without 'marking'. 
2/22/08:  Totally unfair!  I just got over being sick, had a few good days and back at it again.  Many of the people I've talked to have experienced the same.  First, sore throat, cough, ache all over.  Second go round is lack of normal digestion, to put it politely.  Poor dogs just look confused.  Shaggy however was determined to make me smile.  He saw Sweetness on the bed and was running to all sides trying to figure to how to get up.  When she got off using the bench, he caught right on and next thing was showering me with kisses.  I feel so sorry for Annie.  Glad Sue will be back for her in 2 more days.  She is always so unhappy here.  Not sure if it is Zelda or Sweetness that scares her.  Actually I think it is Katey telling Sweetness to block Annie's way into the house.  I go traipsing out in the freezing cold about 10 p.m. and leash her and drag her in.  There is just something about doorways that scare her.  Once in, she settles down to sleep. I won't be traipsing in that direction tonight so hopefully can get her in before dark.  Chipi has regained her appetite and is feeling better, however she is now a house dog.  Doubt goats will interest her with all the human loving and attention she has gotten since Tuesday.  Email is not getting through to the adopter so not sure where we are with Monday as a pick up date or even if it is still a go.  She is just not the same dog she was last Monday.  If I am better tomorrow I have to go give Weeton and Sahara some attention.  She had digressed since Wayha left.  This is just hard.  I get so emotionally involved with every dog.  They are not just dogs, they are my fur family....forever.
2/25/08:  I am so tired of being sick!  Took some OTC pills to settle my stomach and I have swollen up like a balloon.  Can't get into even my fattest of fat pants.  Destined for sweats until I go back to normal.  Loren said I have used up my allotment of bathroom time for the rest of the year.  New counter tops are being installed today.  Geeze, I hope they are right. (dream on). Hope I feel better by Wednesday so I can put the tile over the back splash as it is going to look really dumb until it's done.  I feel like the rest of the remodel will never be finished.  It's not that problems are magnified when I am not feeling good.  It's that I can  be a bitch and, if need be, can later blame my honest actions on being sick :-)  Annie went home.  I always feel so bad for her when she is here.  She is so unhappy.  Yesterday I spent half an hour on the floor with Weeton.  Hoping that Sahara would come to me.  She came, sniffed, and then retreated to carefully watch me from about 6 feet away.  Back to bed...... 
2/27/08:  Feeling better.  Finally!  Well, physically, anyway.  Click for today's blog.
2/29/08:  Took Chipi to get her stitches out.  She was not to sure of the SUV, but did pretty good since I set in the back with her. While we were gone Shaggy got out of the back yard and went to the barn.  At least he didn't run off.  And atleast how ever he got out, Zelda and Sissy did not follow.  Guess I'll have to re-connect the hot wire.  It's been off for over a year.  Or he could have climbed on a bench that is out there and somehow climbed over the back and over the fence.  I'll move that tomorrow also.   Stopped out at Janice's.  Her life is falling apart and I feel helpless to do anything for her.  I know how it is to get your hopes up (Ellen show and the barn and a chance to do so much more for the animals) and then it just feels like everything that can go wrong does.  There's an old saying "Don't look a gift horse in he mouth."  I think what it means is don't go analyzing what someone is giving you. (looking at teeth can tell age and health).  I think who ever made that one up is dead (and) wrong.  Water lines that froze, electric bills literally through the roof, a new washer that won't work and animals getting sick that should not. Plus more and more people expecting her to take sick or handicapped dogs.   It's 10:30 p.m. and I was asleep once.  Someone stopped up on the road and sat there for quite some time and all the dogs went ballistic.  We have lousy cell service around here and a lot of people can get a signal right at the corner of our property so they park and talk for 20 - 30 minutes at all hours and the dogs go crazy.  I'd like to shoot their cell phone out of their ear.  Really don't know how they hear as loud as the dogs bark.  Atleast there is only one Friday and one Saturday night each week!  Now the car is gone but Bear is barking at his echo.  Yes, we have an area on the other hill that echo's back at them so the barking never stops unless I entice him in and close the doggie door.
3/03/08:  I brought Custard home for Janice.  He had been neutered and had a seizure.  Stayed at the vets for 4 days.  Poor little guy stunk really bad so I gave him a warm bath and he seizured while I had him all soaped up.  Had to rinse him.  Once he was dry and 'normal' he was so playful and funny to watch.  Took him down to be with Weeton and they had a great time.   I have a lot of blankets on the shop floor and Custard would run full out and hit the blanked and slide (ride) across the floor on one.  When it reached the wall and would not slide, he was smart enough to start tugging on it. At least it gave the impression he knew to pull is away from the wall for the next 'ride'.  I've been up and down to the shop because it is cold and I locked them all in.  Custard does not understand the doggie door yet (only been a few hours) and don't want him to go out and not be able to come in.  It's 10:30 p.m. and just got back from walking Keeton, so guess I will make a trip down to the shop and hope I can get Sahara back in after I let her out to potty.  Then hope I can go back to sleep..
3/06/08: Wasted the morning on "missing contractor" issues, but later spent quality time with Sahara and Weeton.  Sahara actually let me clip some mats from behind her ears.  She will be such a great dog once she learns to trust.  I know there is just the right home out there for her, but I wish it would come sooner then later.  I don't want her attached to me as Chipi has become to Loren.  Transition to a new home is too hard on them. I'm struggling with a placement choice right now.  Great people but unsure which, if any of the dogs I have (or Janice has), will be a good match.   I don't know if it is just me becoming fanatical or if matching is getting harder.  I take this all so seriously.  It's easier with puppies because they adapt more easily.  Weeton will be going to Michigan.  I have no anxieties on this one.  I know he will be perfect for them and they for him.  I'll miss the little guy.  He is so affectionate and looks so much like Monkey (aka Niko) even though their personalities were/are entirely different.  Most of the time I worry too much about the 'what if's'.  Two male dogs together, for example.  I've hurt someone's feelings because I wouldn't let them have a male dog because they already have one and I worry so about the common issues that livestock guardian breeds have with sharing space with another dog of their same gender. I know there are many exceptions but.....  I guess having a houseful and spending a lot of  time 'on top of it' effects my willingness to take a chance where others are concerned.  I know there are a lot of people who can and would do it, but if I had known more when getting into this, I would not have made the "adopt to keep" choices I made.  Just one day without fence fighting would be such a blessing.  One day where they could all be in the same room with me without a fight.  One night where I could get more then an hours sleep at a time without being woke up by barking because the 'enemy' came through the doggie door, or the moon was full or that darn echo on the hill would not let Bear or Sissy have the last bark.  3:00 a.m.  on 3/07/08.  A blanket of white snow, wet dogs have been dried. Keeton is staring at me for a walk.  Breaking my heart to turn him down (20 degrees and a foot of wet snow and still very dark out).  Sorry buddy, I'll just clean up after you.  I know you are embarrassed and sad about the accidents.....If they ever finish the work we can put the fence back, get rid of the ramp and you can go easily into the back yard.  For now, I'm just sorry. Going to try to get some more sleep.  If lucky, I might actually have a little space for my legs and blankets to cover my shoulders.   I would not trade a single one of them.... unless it was in their best interest.
3/10/08:  Well, it's 4:30 a.m. and I would be in bed except Sissy left me no room.  I leave and she takes over the pillows.  I walked Keeton an hour ago.  I really didn't think he would still 'be with us' as he has had some rough days lately.  He walked like he was feeling a little better.  He does like the boiled chicken meals when his tummy is upset, which it is most of the time any more.  Yesterday had it's ups and downs.  On the up side, Sahara spent most of the day in the house.  She is really getting good on leash so thought I'd bring her up.  I put Zelda in with Shaggy first because she would have done her dominate dance and scared Sahara.  Sahara never would come to me, but atleast she did not run away (much).  When it came time to put her back in the shop, she refused.  She really wanted to stay at the house.  We settled for putting her with Shaggy.  Zelda was still in there, so they met on mutual ground and did fine.  Left Sahara with him all night (still is night), but Zelda came back up at dinner time.  Chipi had the whole shop to herself last night.  No 'howl fest' at 4:00 a.m.!!!   Chipi, leader of the choir, must have figured out the doggie door going 'in' but not out!  The longer Chipi is without a forever home, he tougher it will be on her.  Loren is her goat and she is his guardian and we can both see this is not a good situation but at a loss to solve it.  There is no way she would get along with either Zelda, Katey or Bear.  And living in the shop is not ideal.....well, better then most dogs have it, but not for the dogs I care for.
3/14/08:  Not only do I take Keeton for a walk at all hours of the day and night, now the cat has decided to join us.  If it is not right at the door when we go out, Keeton is looking for it.  Last night (actually 12:30 a.m.) Keeton needed a walk.  Luckily the rain was just a sprinkle.  I usually let him lead.  He walked to the road, stood there in indecision, then he peed and walked back to the house.  I take off my robe and head back to bed...but there he stands sending those ESP messages into my brain.  Back on with the shoes and robe, flashlight back in my pocket, and off we go again.  I should have known.  This time the cat was at the door ready to join us.  This was a long walk and I finally had to turn him around.  Cat never missed a step, following about 3 feet behind.  Keeton nuzzled it and gave it a 'good night' sniff and we went in the house.  (Cat stays outside on the deck in a dog house.  If it came in, it could become a midnight snack for some of the others).  Had a hard time getting Sahara to come into the livingroom to eat breakfast this morning.  Ended up setting her food outside.  She confuses me.  One minute she is frightened and the next she is 3 feet from me sound asleep in the computer room as I type this.  I think Bear may be 'sending signals'  which make her nervous passing through the kitchen.  Zelda growled at her this morning because she walked too close to Zelda's food.  As if Zelda really cares about food.  Everybody is curled up asleep for their morning nap.  Guess I better go work on my kitchen walls.  Will paint them myself since the 'painter' wants 3X what I think it should cost. 
3/19/08:  Sahara is making great progress.  She sleeps in the bedroom.  Comes almost to me.  Rarely moves away when I approach.  Still cowers a little, but for the most part is getting comfortable.  She has really taken a kinship to Keeton and 'checks' on him.  She wants to join us for our walks, but still unsure of leaving the yard.  This rain has not helped.  Took Bear to the shop with me as had to get Shaggy and Chipi out of the kennel. It's pretty muddy.  The rain made a little stream which ran through the middle so although it is covered, it was still a mess.  I knew we should of graveled it. Anyway, poor Bear.  He is so lonesome being all alone.  I try to make Sweetness and Sissy spend time with him, but they are uncomfortable.  His fear aggression is so bad and I just can't 'fix' it alone.  It takes 2 and Loren is afraid of him most of the time.  Anyone would be!  I love him, though, so I keep plugging away.  I feel so inadequate to understand what to do.  My secret... I have no reading comprehension.  My brain has never processed instructions I read.  I have to be shown.  I've got the books that are recommended, but it's just words and I can't put them together into action.  I struggled all through school and one of my grandchildren has the same problem. People just don't understand.  Anyway,  Sissy and Sweetness 'spread out' when I got up to walk Keeton, so going back to bed is impossible.  I did get a good sleep, though.  Good for me.  One thing about rain, the dogs don't bark.  Zelda has come in here to the computer room and curled up next to me.  I think she is feeling a little 'replaced' with all the attention Sahara is getting.    It's going to be a busy day.  Dogs will have to be shuffled because the painter is coming to paint the kitchen.  The electrician is coming to finish off the wiring that the other guys started.  And my new bathroom vanity will be here. (won't get plumbed till Monday)  Everyone is going to be here at 9:00!  Then Loren is bailing on me...... He has a dentist appointment.  I'm not sure who is getting the worse end of the deal.  Guess I'll curl up on the floor with Zelda and give her some loves.
3/20/08:  Sahara is inseparable from me.  Not good.  Chipi is that way with Loren.  Neither dog has even known human companionship before.  All I can do is hope the right family comes along for each and soon.  Other then history and this bond they have developed, they are as different as can be.  I'm frustrated!  I feel like I have already adopted to the greatest people in the USA and there are no perfect situations left that are just right for these 3 (Shaggy, too) dogs.  Guess I'll go take Shaggy for a walk.  Then Bear.  He is so lonesome, too. 
3/21/08:  Took the day off and went to Springfield.  Had lunch at Lambert's. Found the fabric for my bedspread and drapes. Dogs survived without us, but we sure got a warm greeting when we got home.
3/22/08:  Sahara went for a walk...a real walk!  It did not start out without incident, though.  I had Sissy with, figuring that might help give her confidence.  Sahara jumped into the flower bed and knocked over a light.  Got her untangled and we made a few steps forward after taking a lot of steps back.  Got her to the end of the walkway, which always freaks her out.  She panicked, back into the flowerbed, through the little fence section and into the rose bushes.  I had to turn loose and she ran back to the house.  So we started again.  This time I kept her on a real short lead and practically between my legs.  Back into the flower bed and this time she wrapped around the cat's favorite resting place.......the ceramic azalea pot.  Crash.  Poor cat will have to find a new place to sun herself.  But I hung on and we kept going.  I absolutely hate resorting to force but have learned that with Sahara sometimes it is necessary.  Once we were half way down the road she settled in and was watching Sissy sniff all the smells along the way.  We went about half a mile and by the half way point, she was doing absolutely great!  She would still get a little tangled around me, but for the most part, she just did what ever Sissy did and it was great.  However, as soon as we were back in the driveway, she about drug me to the front door.  At least I don't have to worry about her running off!    Earlier I had patched the drywall in the "someday to be" family room.  Finally got some momentum going.  Then we went to town to get buckram for the drapes. I got offered a part time job.   It was at the interior design shop where I went for the buckram.   I might take it. Would give me something different to do, socialization with ladies my age, some extra money and maybe a chance to sell some of my rugs.  Bear stayed in the shop with me while I worked on my drapes. I made a lot of progress and am really hyped.  The contractor even showed up.  Another promise of "a full crew will be here Monday to finish up".  Yes, and pigs can fly. 
3/23/08:  4:30 a.m.  Just got back from walking Keeton.  Looks like a storm is moving in.  Sky was cloudless when we left the house, but covered in grey storm clouds by the time we got back.  Now you have to take into perspective our 'walk'.  Picture this:  I'm in sweats with a flashlight.  Keeton is a 110 pound white ball of fur affectionately known as 'snail'.  I open the door after leashing him.  He peeks out.  Contemplates for about one full minute.  Takes a few steps forward and sniffs the air.  A few more steps forward and he checks out the sky and terrain. A few more steps and he has finally cleared the door so I can close it before Zelda gets out.  Sahara just watches then runs to the window, pushing the drapes apart with her nose.  We have walked the 30 feet of the walkway, all the time Keeton looking for cat.  This has taken about 3 minutes.  Cat shows up and we are ready to roll!  Keeton waters the plastic covering the sand pile needed for the bricks (as if they will ever get laid).  So no worry that it will not evaporate before they even notice. Sahara and Zelda have went out into the yard to walk the fence line with us. With momentum going again, we stop at the end of the driveway where he waters the previously set brick pillar.  Cat remains about 10 feet behind us, stopping when we do.  We turn onto the road and Keeton has to check out the ditch and the smells on the other side.  The leash is not long enough at 10', so I am in the ditch too.  With his nasal passages temporarily satisfied, we move on up the hill.  The distance from our driveway to the cross road is about a hundred yards.  The length of a football field.  If this were to be a football game and all the players were par with Keeton, all you football fans would spend your life watching just one game.... all year long.  Anyway, there are always sniffing detours and 'the other side of the road looks better'.  We get to the top of the hill and he quickly makes a left or right decision (honest).  Reason being because he knows I will turn him around if he 'stalls'.  The cat remains 10 feet behind, never missing a beat or a pause.  Finally about  30 feet around the corner I try to turn him around.  He stalls.  I pull.  He steps a few steps and stalls again.  After numerous tries, he finally gets out of 'park' and we head back down the hill to the house.  He knows he is running out of time so he takes to the side of the road to do his business.  Then we are on a downhill roll. We pick up speed and he actually trots.  We have moved from 'snail' gear to 'tortes' gear.  We arrive home and are welcomed by Sahara and Zelda.  It is now 4:30.  We left the house at 3:50 and covered about 250 yards in record time (40 minutes).  In the mean time, Sissy and Sweetness have re-arranged themselves on the bed.  In other words, spread out.  If I am lucky, I might be able to curl up in a little ball and fit in what ever space they may have not been able to cover.  I might even get a little sleep before the sun comes up and they want fed. 
3/24/08:  Sahara got her stitches out.  She just has a hard time getting past the walkway.  Not sue if it is because it has a short brick ledge on both sides.  Maybe she feels confined, yet she will jump right in the car and curl up on the back seat. Anyway, when we got back in to go home, I rushed her.  Poor thing.  I had a mess to clean up and I felt so bad for her.  She was trying to tell me, but I just figured she was scared to get into the car since we were in a strange place.  I spent the day in the shop working on my drapes.  Bear came along and although he would have preferred a long walk, he was happy to have my attention.  Shaggy and Chipi went to his spot in the yard where Chipi met Zelda and Sissy.  Zelda was a poop.  She scared Chipi.  I will have to try again only stay in the yard so Zelda won't be a bully.  Nothing and no one bothers Shaggy.  His attitude is just 'love me because I love you'.  He is just such a great dog.  I just wish I'd get an applicant that would have the perfect situation for him.  I hate to settle for less then perfect.  Loren has been really sick today.  Sore throat and just ache all over. 
3/25/08: Loren is still sick, but improved.  Hopefully it was just a 24 hour thing.  Almost finished one pair of drapes.  May fake it for the window behind the bed as no way to get to them to keep the dust and dog hair off.  Bed got a tad too close to the wall and it weighs about 500 pounds (for real) so not much chance of pulling it out a bit.  The bedspread will be a 'day only' thing.  The old one will go on at night as it washes nicely.  What compromises we make for our dogs!  Bear spent the afternoon in the shop with me.  I'll try Chipi in his place again tomorrow, just not sure where I will put Bear.  Just shuffle dogs as usual.  Sahara started limping yesterday and it is worse today.  At first I thought it was her foot, but now am sure it is her hip.  If it is not better in a few days we will have it x-rayed.  I'm sure she just fell or some how stepped wrong.  It's not so bad that she doesn't walk and she did run with the others in the yard so I'm not real panicked over it.  I'm really getting attached to her and she is no trouble at all but I just don't need another 'keeper'.  She needs to be special with someone else who can give her more attention then shared with 6 others plus rescues.
3/26/08:  4:30 a.m.  Sissy never came in last night so when I woke up, I got worried.  She is fine.  Weather is great and her and Zelda were outside asleep.  Sissy is not doing well.  Too fat and too arthritic.  My fault.  I let her get that way.  Been trying to walk her every day and she loves it, but if I don't keep it short, she really hurts later.  I can't trust her judgment on how far to go.   Now that I know she is safe (and has probably taken over the bed) I will try to get another 2 hours sleep (if I can find a spot on the bed).
4/03/08: It has been a busy week as you can tell if you check out the adoption page.  Tuesday Loren and I went to Beebe for Velvet and I made my contractor pick up Kiona and Kamali in Paragould when he had to pick up brick in Jonesboro. Today I'm getting a German Shepherd from animal control.  Haven't given him a name yet.  Velvet is still a bit unsure, but I am spending a lot of time in the shop with her.  She feels more secure outside in the kennel and is terrified of the leash so today I pushed her through the doggie door.  She kept coming back out before I could get around to put the slide in to keep her in.  To succeed, I ended up crawling through the doggie door behind her.  If you are going to make a mental picture of this, please do so from the inside of the shop and not from the kennel side!  Definitely diet time!
4/04/08:  I got this today and although it has nothing to do with dogs, it has alot to do with our society.  Thunder was really loud last night.  Laid down in the shop with Velvet for quite awhile until it let up.  The puppies didn't seem phased.  They were out barking in between downpours.  They are fun to watch.  We were going to stop rescuing but there is such a need.  However with the economy, I just don't know what we will do.  Vet has went from $68 (with my discount) to spay an adult up to $110.  A puppy went from $60 to $75.  So anyway, if you are interested in more info, go here.  Anyway, sadly, the adoption fee for a puppy will go to $225 to defray a little of the loss on an adult dog, which will now be $200.
4/06/08- 10:00 a.m.:  Yesterday Velvet got under the step from the kennel into the shop.  I had to dismantle it to get her out because I didn't want to drag her and it was a very tight fit.   Usually she hides behind the dog house and just shakes, but then will roll over for a belly rub.  So my project for this morning was to get Velvet up to the house.   I took Bear to the shop in hopes they would be ok together.  Bear ignored her and she just shook.  That half failing, I closed Bear off from her and leashed her up.  Then sat on the ground just within arms reach.  She loves those ear scratches so kept creeping closer to me.  I kept scooting back.  (Glad we put gravel down or I'd have been scooting my bottom in mud).  She darted once she was clear of the dog house, but I moved with her as long as it was not into another hiding place.  I just kept talking soothingly to her and telling her what a wonderful girl she is.  And lots of ear scratching.  Once she stopped shaking, I just bent over her and placed one foot in front of the other.  Eventually the back legs had to catch up. Telling her how proud I was of her with every step.  We did this a good part of the way to the house (about the length of a football field).  The other part, she actually 'cruised' on her own.  I had to maneuver around trees, but I let her take the lead as long as it was in the direction of the house.  When it was not, I just stopped, hugged her and turned her in the right direction.  Once we reached the driveway and that horrid brick lined walkway (Sahara is afraid of it too), we were back at me bending over her and placing one foot in front of the other.  Actually the whole process only took about 15 minutes.  I guess after the trial and errors with Chipi, and then learning more with socializing Sahara, I think I have it down pretty good!  So here I am, Charlie, Sweetness and Velvet right close by and Keeton in the doorway.  Everyone else is locked out.  Enough accomplishment with Velvet for one day.   3:30p.m.:  The wonder of citronella collars.  Bear and Zelda are in the dog room together. 
4/07/08: Busy morning.  Jerry Lee was bleeding so off to the vet.  Sure he tore his stitches out scraping through the doggie door and running off through the bushes last night. (He knocked the gate open after I put him and Velvet down.  They both went for a hike.  Scared me.  Scared they'd get shot.)  Then when we got back home Loren looked at the brick work that was started yesterday.  It looks like a drunk put it up.  Some lines are 1/4" and some 1/2".  Some protrude out 1/4" farther then the ones next to it. Ninety one bricks wasted!  Did our "Velvet" walk to the house. This body may walk bent over, but not that far.  Anyway, she hid in her corner until I went outside and then she went into the back yard to play.  I'm not even going to try to put her in the shop tonight.  I think she will be fine.  Just not sure what to do with Jerry Lee.  That big old 'victrola' collar bangs into everything and we surely won't get any sleep.  Kiona and Kamali get spayed tomorrow. 
4/09/08- 9:30 a.m.: Was a busy day yesterday. Kiona and Kamali got spayed. Jerry Lee stayed at the vet. Will be a busy day today. Velvet is getting a bath.  I will pick them all up shortly.  (3 trips).  Will also be picking up the car.  It needed some major repair but a whole lot cheaper then a new one, especially since it is the 'dog' car.  Hopefully the puppies will handle the car ride better then crated in the SUV.  On the way to the vet (5 miles) they pooped, peed and puked.  Hopefully holding them on my lap, this will not happen.....this will not happen ......this will not happen .......!  I've been having some success with Velvet.  I hope this bath at the groomers does not set her back too much.   Last night it rained and Zelda would not let her in.  I closed Zelda in the other room and sat on the floor for well over 2 hours trying to coax Velvet through the door in out of the rain.  She would come up for a little pet, and then run outside.  Each trip, she would stay longer and leave less hurriedly.  She finally settled in her safe spot under the table.  I went in and tried to sleep on the sofa so Zelda would not tear the door down.  Finally around 4:00 I went back to bed and hoped for the best.  Velvet was still in her safe spot and Zelda was in the bedroom with us.  Then I had to get Velvet outside to potty.  That was not easy.  Then I had to get her back in to go to the groomers.  That was even harder.  All this shuffling started at 6:15 and we did make it to the groomers only 5 minutes late at 7:50.  I'd call that a successful morning so far.  Dogs were confused because we left without feeding them first.
4/11/08 - barely:   Midnight and miracles do happen.  Last night Zelda slept in the shop with Jerry Lee because she was terrifying Velvet.  She would not let her in the house and it was a terrible storm all day.   I had been making it clear to Zelda for 2 days that this was unacceptable behavior.  Well, I don't care what all the experts say, dogs do understand when punishment is in the abstract.  After one night in the shop, Zelda has now accepted Velvet.  Before we went to bed, Velvet was heading to the house when I brought Zelda up and turned her loose.  She ran into the back yard and I am ready to yell at her, when she goes right past Velvet without stopping to harass her.   Sahara follows right along and Velvet is obviously stunned to be passed by.  Unsure what to do, she turns and follows them.  It being a beautiful night with no rain in the forecast, I decided not to interfere.  At some point, Sissy got off the bed and went outside.  When she came back, she barked for Sweetness to move over so she could get back on the bed (I wish she would not do that!)  I got up to quiet Bear and see Zelda leading the 'White Dog Parade'.  Velvet was in the rear but kept right on following.  Zelda made no attempt to run her off and they all came inside!!!  No one can convince me that Zelda's banishment to the shop last night was something she did not understand.  Now if I could just figure out how to get Bear over his fear aggression, life with the dogs would be perfect. 
   Construction:  Things went well for one day!  But yesterday they were back to the usual mess.  Rain came in under the new wall just like I predicted.  This was once I wish I had been wrong.  I told the contractor over and over he had to cut in a footing, but no, he said all it needed was a silicone seal.  Concrete is porous.  Chip board is porous.  Even green board is porous.  I checked with my neighbor who is a retired contractor who built the hospital, college and some of the school buildings around here before he retired some years ago.  I was right.  He stopped by and looked at it and offered a 'fix'.  Said it should rightfully be torn out and a footing cut in, but there was a cheaper fix. Cut the concrete and insert a copper barrier into the cut and run it a few inches up the wall. That is of course after they replace the exterior wood that soaked up water like a sponge.  Guess the windows won't be going in today!
    Well, Bear won't shut up.  Guess I'll get on my shoes and go traipse up the hill and bark collar him.  Then go back to bed and hope for some sleep before the others take over.
4/17/08- 3:30 a.m.: Where does the time go?  Velvet has a home.  Wonderful lady.  Sahara went in for knee surgery yesterday.  I will pick her up in the morning.  Tommy was returned Monday full of mats and ticks.  He growls at Jerry Lee, so not sure if I can bring him into the house.  Hate leaving him alone in the shop/kennel. Loren has been spending time with him, but he cries at night. I feel so bad for him. Feel bad for Jerry Lee too.   He had an adopter, but they backed out.  I liked them too. I got a puppy brought to me Tuesday.  Brooks is an adorable little Pyr boy.  Janice thought she had an adopter waiting in the wings, but didn't work out so he will be here.  Kiona and Kamali get their stitches out today and Kiona gets a bath tomorrow in preparation for her new home Saturday.  I am so overwhelmed with dogs and there are so many I wish I could help.  Two female Pyrs in a small mud bog kennel in Searcy.  Rarely fed.  Never cleaned.  But no one has a place to put them.  Two more female Pyrs in the Rogers animal control.  I just got the email.   I adopted out 3 females over there. Will call my Rogers adopters in the morning and be sure they are not one of theirs.  I just feel so frustrated I can't do more.  I keep re-playing all those sayings that are suppose to keep you sane and focused but it all comes back to 'dogs are suffering and dying without knowing love'.   Dying is ok, especially if they know love.  Suffering is never ok. The thought of the 2 in Searcy are just tearing me apart.  Going and getting them would make me crazy until some of the ones here got adopted.  But they just don't have the time to wait.  Guess I will try to get a little more sleep before the sun comes up.  I never mind the midnight walks with Keeton (followed by the cat), but am thankful when it is nice weather and I don't come in drenched.  Tonight was beautiful and after doing his potty thing, he rolled in the grass and didn't want to get up!  I love that old guy so much.  Just wish I could go back to sleep when our walk is over.
4/18/08:  Sahara did pretty good when I got her home yesterday.  She wasted no time running to the front door.  She was home! Because the fence is down during the day (construction), I walked her on leash in the back yard.  She does great on leash in the back yard!   She has been in and out most of the night.  It is so nice outside and the dogs love this weather.  Jerry Lee is my second 'side kick'.  It's 6:00 a.m. and he's right beside me.  Everyone else is still asleep.  Keeton slept through the night.  Wish Bear and Tommy had too!  I did wake up to quite a surprise.  Kiona had somehow managed to come through the fence and she was on this side sleeping on the deck.  (house and yard are divided because Bear can't get along with adult dogs, just puppies).  Anyway, I have no clue how the little stinker did it.  When she saw I was looking at her, she moved down into the yard by Sahara.  Kiona knew she was not where she was suppose to be.  She is a very smart puppy. Too smart.  Glad she is going to live with a very intelligent new mommy because it will take some smarts to outsmart Kiona.  Sissy spent most of the night outside.  Sweetness was in her glory being able to stretch out on our bed.  Of course, Loren and I still had the same amount of room.  Only Sweetness benefited.  It will be a busy day.  Meant to get Kiona, Kamali and Jerry Lee in yesterday to get their stitches out.  Time just slipped away.  So this morning, Jerry Lee and Kiona go to the groomers and then to the vet when done.  Sure hope they will both stay in the back seat and not want to help drive (right!)  I'll take Kamali in while the other 2 are getting pretty.  Brooks is quite a puppy.  Loren really likes him.  His personality is so different from the girls.  He is a month younger, but still just different.  Can't quite put words to it, but maybe mischievous fits.  Grabs my pants legs (and my butt on several occasions), and hangs on for dear life.  Think their was a similar thing in a commercial on TV or maybe Animal Planet but think it was a little dog.  Brooks is not 'little' at 30 pounds and only 3 months old. 
     Construction is still nerve wracking.  Brick layer put a broken brick right in front where it just jumps out when you look.  Don't know even if the brick guys are going to come back to finish. (they don't know I spotted the broken brick). Made the siding person tear off the siding and re-set it as had the overlaps running toward the front and it looked terrible.  Contractor didn't allow for some tree roots in the garage approach so another tree had to come down.  I swear I am going to deduct a 'babysitting fee' from the balance. The contractor has been here a total of 10 hours in 4 months and most visits were because I threatened.  I'll be surprised if it's done before July.  We are talking building a garage, for crying out loud!
4/19/08:  A busy day.  Yesterday Chipi went home with a lady to see if she will be a sheep guardian.  Loren cried.  I felt so bad that I said we would go get her.  A few minutes later, the lady called and Chipi had got away from her and run off.  We drove the 25 miles to her place.  By the time we got there, Chipi had been brought back.  It worked out well because we were able to see where she would be and meet the rest of the family.  We felt much better after going out there.  I left the decision up to Loren and he said I was comfortable leaving her.  This is just a trial so will see how it goes. If she will not guard the sheep, then we will go get her.  She will have human attention so it is not like she is just dumped in a field.  And they do take good care of their dogs.  Pens were very clean and water was fresh, etc.  The Pyr that was "playing too rough" with the sheep was still well cared for and loved, even though he was more then just a failure at his intended purpose. I put Tommy in with Shaggy.  I was not sure, but took the chance.  They did their little dominate dance and I think it was a 'draw'.  They are getting along great!  What a relief.  Shaggy still thinks he should have choice of food bowls so I just stay there while they eat and head him off if he gets sidetracked.  Needless to say, they are both eating better then before.  Kiona went to her new home today.   Absolutely delightful lady.  Kiona took right to her.  She is going to name her Grace.  Brooks wanted to go too.  He is such a delight.  Another "Monkey" personality.  I'm going to have to spend more time with Kamali.  She is insecure.   She is very smart, just scared of new things.
4/25/08:  I just can't figure out where the days go.  Just don't know how Friday got here so fast.  Brought Chipi back the day after she left.  She just was not going to be happy there.  No hard feelings.  I did take pix of the 2 dogs she wants to find homes for so hopefully I can atleast get her Pyr a home.  He is a good looking dog but plays too rough with the sheep. Chipi is back in the kennel with Shaggy. Tommy is still in there too, and all has gone just great.  Sahara seems to be doing well.  Leg looks awful with all the stitches, but she is pretty good not to mess with it.  Kamali is a Houdini.  We worked on securing every little place and she would still end up on the other side of the fence.  I think we finally got it Kamali proof yesterday.  She looks a little bewildered and kind of sad too.  She was really proud of herself. She is getting so sweet.  Brooks is a terror!  He may look 100% Pyr, but he sure acts lab.  My groomer came to the house today.  Keeton just struggles so hard to get up and getting him into the car would have been so stressful and hard so I asked if she would come here and trim him down where he would not be so hot.  These people are so nice.  She only asked for $25!  Drove all the way here, brought all her clippers, etc and had to sit on the hard floor (I offered her a blanked to sit on) for 2 hours trimming on him. He got stressed, but I could tell when I walked him tonight (in the rain!) that he did feel better with less hair weighting him down.  I also have been noticing he has a blister like on his gums.  I really dread taking him to the vet, but a house call from them will sure not be any $25.  Guess I will call Monday and set up an appointment.  He's not been eating much so it might hurt to chew.
     Guess I will fire the contractor if he ever shows up.  Can't call and fire him because his cell phone has been disconnected. He pawned his tools a few days ago 'to pay his guys'.  Not my problem!  He got arrested for drugs a few weeks ago. Family room wall leaks like a sieve.  Told him from day one how it had to be done.  Would not listen.  Has torn it out twice.  This time it's just there torn out and not put back.  Loren and I are having a total melt down over this.  And no one wants to come in & fix someone else's mess.  Just don't know what we're going to do.
4/26/08:  I've been trying real hard to have a positive blog but the 'plague' continues.  It started with Janice.  Everything that could go wrong for her, went wrong.  Then I 'caught it', but I skimmed by with just a mild case.  Now it has struck Sherry, our rescue friend.  No good deed goes unpunished!  Sherry took literally dozens of puppies from a "Humane Society" shelter to keep them from bring euthanized, started finding them homes and now they are dying of parvo.  A couple of weeks ago I got Tommy back, which was ok, but I was not prepared.  Well, now Winston who was adopted out over a year has bit the granddaughter really bad on the head, according to the message on my machine.  No one can take a dog that bites children, especially one that is about 140 pounds.   She didn't leave her phone number for me to call her back and it would take hours to go through all the adoption agreements to find it. 
    And the contractor finally showed up and I let him have it.  My language would have done a gang banger proud!  I was putting in insulation and then put up sheetrock where they had to tear it out twice because of leaks which I told him from day one he was doing it wrong and it would leak.  He just stood there and watched me.  Watched me put in the insulation.  Watched me cut the sheetrock. Watched me nail it into place.  Watched me sweep the floor.  This is what HE had been paid to do.  If I kill someone, I should definitely get off on 'temporary insanity'.
4/27/08:  What am I going to do with these dogs?  Shaggy, Tommy, Kamali and Brooks are so adoptable and such great dogs.  Breaking my heart that they are not getting homes.   Sure, I've had applications from wonderful people, but just not been able to feel like the situation was right for the particular dog/puppy.  Half the applications for Shaggy have come from people living in an apartment or big city with small yard.  Kamali gets very car sick if not held on ones lap.  Her applicants would need her commercially transported.  I won't put her through that.  Tommy is just being overlooked, as is Brooks.  Both are really great, very much 'people' dogs.  All 4 have such great and individual personalities.  Chipi and Sahara will probably stay.  The bond they have with us is so strong. Especially with Chipi.  I am the first human that ever showed her kindness and she is my protector and shadow. They all need so much more attention and with this many dogs, everyone is being deprived except for Keeton.  All Keeton asks is to go for a walk to go potty (at all hours).  Otherwise he is content to sleep and occasionally let out a single "Woof".  Anyway, I understand 'burn out' and 'melt down'.  Been there, done that and don't want to go there again.  But I just can't let the dogs go to just any good people.  It's got to be right for the dog or why bother to put my heart and sole and my entire social security check into rescuing any. Otherwise I would be just like the people who take dogs to the Wal-Mart parking lot.       
    My daughter did not indicate fear about the surgery to me, but she did to my mother.  Not the surgery it's self, but the fact that she could go blind.  She's been deaf from birth.  I cannot imagine being blind also. I am so terrified for her.  We have always been emotionally strong women but this has punched us in the stomach and hit us over the head, bringing us to our knees.  I've looked it up on the internet hoping to feel better, but it only made it worse.  Even a recent article from the Mayo Clinic went into pages of scary detail without any encouragement other then to say "give temporary relief".  It also said "80% to 90% have it come back within a few years."  This is a supposedly simple sinus surgery and she will go home the same day, but complete rest for 3 weeks. It's just that the area they work in is so close to the optics.  I have the offer of a ride to be with her, but no way home and Loren can't handle a dozen dogs for a week or more.  Just my turn for some miracles.
4/28/08:  3:30 a.m. and I'm up! Zelda has decided she is guard of the bedroom door.  Her growling at all the others woke me up.  Sweetness was the only one in the bedroom. All the others were wanting in but Zelda was laying in the doorway and even growled at Keeton.  Moved and scolded her so she went outside and barked.  Then howled and got everybody stirred up.  Don't know what is going on with her.  Noticed the door thing a few times and corrected it, but there is more that I am just beginning to see. She is just about 3 years old, so that may be it.  She reached adulthood.  Anyway, once I got her moved, they all came rushing in and settled in their usual places.  The bedroom gets cold without those 6 'furnaces' in the room, but pretty warm when they are.   The contractor showed up yesterday just long enough to stand around and watch me do his job.  I'm serious.  I put in wall insulation, then drywall and then taped and mudded.  He even watched me sweep.  Never offered to do anything.  Needless to say, I let him have it again.  He was "coming back with the siding guy".  But of course he never showed up.  Never does so why would it be any different. I ended up moving several hundred brick from one place to another to get them out of the way.  I ache all over. Still have several hundred pieces to pick up.  Most just ignorant waste.  Waste makes me crazy.  Waste is money gone, but they don't care because THEY didn't pay for the brick. The kid that WAS working for the contractor showed up for tools.  They have not been paid in 2 weeks.  Good, hard working young man with a good skill set so told him to show up today and work for me and he would get paid.  He's going to let the siding guy know so he will show up too.  Concrete is what is going to kill us.  Not enough money left owed under the contract to cover what's left to be done.  I'm hoping the other lady who was ripped off will go with me to a lawyer and we will see if criminal charges can be filed.  Sheriff said maybe, but need a lawyer to verify before they can do anything.  Hope we can find all the others.  We know there is several more.  He does not have anything to take, but he needs to be stopped before he cheats others. 
5/01/08: Happy Birthday to me.  And what do I get?  A puppy coming back!  It's ok.  Nice lady, just allergies in the family.  So sad for both Kiona and the lady.  Now if I can just find the phone number for another lady that called several days after I had approved Kiona's adoption.  She was really interested.   Finding her number in all this mess on my desk will be hard plus without an application, I don't even know if it would be an appropriate situation for Kiona.   I got brave yesterday.  I put Chipi and Bear together on Bears turf.  I had gotten desperate a few days ago for space and had put them together on neutral territory and it went well....  well, Bear hid under the table and Chipi peed on the floor because she had not learned the doggie door.   But they didn't fight!  I think Bear is just getting real lonesome for 'adult' companionship.  Took Chipi some getting use to to accept the puppies.  Wait till there are 4!  Oh, did I forget to mention I may be getting another 3 month old Pyr?  PLEASE SOMEONE pray to the adoption gods....send good people my way......  More then anything, Shaggy needs a good home. So many applications, but just not the right situation for him.  And several really great sounding people (great situations) but they don't follow through.  Shaggy is not interested in eating.  He just wants attention.  I try to dog shuffle everyday, but without the garage being finished, I lose one yard several days a week, thus meaning some dogs have to stay in the kennel or the shop.  Oh well.  Someday.
5/02/08:  Nasty weather in the morning, but turned out to be great by 10:00.  Chipi, Shaggy and Tommy were delighted to come up and play.  Sweetness has taken a dislike for Chipi and gets really nasty through the fence.  Just don't know why.  We had a 'puppy escape'.  Kamali, Kiona and Brooks all showed up in the livingroom.  One of those "if it were a mouse, it would have bit you" hunts for the escape route.  I'm looking all over under the porch where we patched many times and it was secure. Checked the gates, started walking the fence line and about tripped over a huge tree.  Now this was a very obvious tree that had been upright earlier in the day.  Morning storm must have toppled it.  Took the fence with it.  Made a temporary fix and it seems to be working.  Several others look dead so Loren will cut them off at the top of the fence line as they have fence attached.  We probably need to get some tree people out here for some others that seem to be threatening the house.  Dog walks were quite an adventure.  Deer are thick right now.  Several ran across the road just 20 feet in front of me, Zelda and Keeton.  Keeton could have cared less.  Zelda was hilarious.  First she circled and hid behind me.  Then she was curious and watched them run off into the woods.  She'd go to the end of the leash and then run back and hide behind me.  She did this about 5 times.  Keeton just stands there wondering what all the fuss is about.  I don't think he even saw them.  Walked Sissy and Sweetness.  No deer, but Sweetness has really not had many walks. (shame on me).  She circles me continually.  One of these days if she bolts, I'm liable to either be strangled (lifting leash over my head to unwind) or topple over from the leash around my legs.  I get dizzy 'unwinding'.   Contractor and 'crew' showed up and did some work.  Wanting money, of course.  I feel bad for his people, but it's not our problem.   The waste was huge!  Loren built some really nice benches out the lumber that was throw away.
5/03/08:  The deer!  I will be glad when we can re-set the fence so the deer can eat in peace at all hours of the night.  Be sound asleep and they all sense the presence of the 'intruders'.  Zelda is always first out the door.  It sounds like a herd of elephants, jumping off the bed, running through the bedroom and out the back door. Even Keeton stands up and goes "Woof" in his baritone bark, so low it reverberates.  Then 20 seconds later, another "Woof".  Then he lays back down and goes to sleep with a confidence that we are protected!   Just start to get back to sleep and they re-ascend.  This time sounding like a slow moving herd of elephants. They rally for the best spot and all is peaceful until the next herd cut through the property.  Last night we even had a siren.  I never hear it, but Chipi does and the wolf howl breaks the quiet.  Then Shaggy and Tommy chime in (but not near as melodious as Chipi).  Then Bear and the 3 puppies join the trio.  Zelda is next, then Sahara, Sissy and Sweetness complete the choir.  Keeton does not bother to stand up, he just raises his head and does his "Woof" several times and goes back to sleep.  Charlie is almost deaf and blind, so the world just goes on while he sleeps.  What is so weird about this choir is that they sort of join in by groups but they end exactly at the same moment!!  It is like turning off a radio.  Click, all is silent again. And I've given up and am blogging at 4:00 a.m.
5/06/08:  Getting 'on the road' reports from the Luanne, whom I did the courtesy listing for and her 9 pups.  Check it out. Hope to someday meet her.  A 'rescuer in the making'!!  Hopefully Brooks and Kiona will have homes soon. Kamali is such a sweety, but no one seems interested in her.  She is the most laid back and easiest of the 3.  Shaggy decided to pick on Tommy so Tommy spends all day at the house now and at night in the shop.  Feel bad for him, but just not enough courage to leave him loose in the house at night.  I'm sure he has outgrown the mischief stage he had when he was here 6 months ago, but with new furniture since then, just reluctant to chance it when we are not awake to keep an eye on him.  Shaggy is getting so lonesome for attention.  Breaks my heart, but there is only so much time to go around with 14 dogs.  Shaggy needs more time then I can give.  Keeton did much better this time after his Heartguard.   With his heart in so infested, it usually does him in for several days.  Only effected him for a few hours this time.  Of course, the great weather has helped.  He just loves to lay out in the front yard on the grass.  Oh, yesterday evening as Loren and I were sitting on the bench keeping him company while he enjoyed his grassy roll, he heard a deer.  I had left the leash lay on the ground as he normally moves like a snail.  Well, he jumped to his feet and took off.  Can't say it was any lightening speed like the other dogs, but I did have to literally run to catch up and get my foot on the leash.  It made us feel so good that something sparked some puppy in him, besides his grass rolls.  Sahara goes in to the vet tomorrow.  Her leg does NOT look good.  I should have insisted on getting in last week when I first started to notice a problem.  Darn.  Admittedly, it was impossible to follow the instructions to the letter because you can't 'only allow exercise on leash' when she is terrified of the leash and won't go potty or to keep her confined.  I worked too hard for 4 months just to make the progress I've made with her socialization to blow it all.  I did the best I could, but sadly I feel it has not been good enough. 
5/07/08:  Finally a good nights sleep.  Going to paint the garage shortly.  All the dogs are up in the yard.  Seems Shaggy has decided to be nice to Tommy again.   Can't think too good today.  Worried about my daughters surgery.  I'll stay close to the phone this afternoon.  Two hour time difference so don't expect to hear anything this morning.
5/08/08:  I guess my daughter is doing fine.  Phone calls to everyone last night had no results.  Talked to my son-in-law this morning and he said she is doing pretty good.  Only one sinus was affected.  She is still on pain meds and bed rest so not feeling too badly.  The important thing is I guess her sight was not affected.
5/11/08:  Have a really nice lady considering Shaggy.  I'm encouraged.  Had so many applications, but none have seemed just right (or they faded away).  He is so ready for his move to a forever home.  I just want to be sure it's the right one and I hope this is it.  Raining yesterday afternoon and all night.  Before going to bed last night, I remembered leaving Tommy's gate open so Loren ran down in the pouring rain to check.  I had locked it after all, but it was good I had remembered wrong.  Tommy was in the middle of my work table scared to death from the storm.  Normally a dog would hide under something.  Maybe he was anticipating a flood!  Loren brought him to the house and he has stayed on the floor at the foot of the bed all night right beside Sahara. I won't know until morning if the new drapes I have been working on survived.  Also hope the wind didn't knock the door open and blow rain in on them.  Feel bad for Chipi and Shaggy but they have good shelter.  Will be better when the garage is done.  Sahara has really done a number on that leg in the past few days.  I just don't know how to make her leave it alone. She would totally freak with the collar.  I put lavender oil on it, but need to do it several times a day, I guess.  It is really worrying me.  Kiona, Kamali and Brooks are getting so big!  Thought I had people for both Brooks and for Kiona but they faded away.   3:30 a.m. and I thought I did a pretty good job of sneaking out of bed.  Guess they missed me as they just all came barging through the bi-fold doors that separate the kitchen and bedroom from the rest of the house.  I now have 6 dogs telling me I need to go back to bed and keep them safe from this naughty old storm.  Keeton is the only one left 'protecting' the bedroom in anticipation of my return.  Guess you could say all the rest were the 'search party'.
5/12/08 barely:   Hopefully I will quit sneezing so I can go back to bed.  Dang allergies.  The yard got finished up and all those weeds trimmed down, I guess.  This is the worst.  Had itchy eyes and swollen glands for several days.  Now the sneezing.  Generic prescriptions just don't cut it.  Will get the 'real thing' in the morning, if the Dr. will call it in. 
     Rain on Saturday night left a lot of new mud which Tommy and Kiona have delighted in.  Both are diggers and up to their bellies in black mud.  Did find out Kiona walks good on leash.  Moved the dogs all around for the yard work to get done and when I put the pups back, Kiona took off.  Rattled some food in a bowl and she came running.  Leashed her since the food was not hers and we were not in her 'feeding space'  She just marched like a trooper and did not pull or fight it.  When the pups were in the shop, one of them stole the dust mop and drug it through the doggie door and tried to make it fit into the dog house.  Handle was considerably too long but they did a good job trying.  I love watching them.  They are so creative.  Anything can be a toy. Kamali is just so good.  Typical laid back Pyr.  She joins in, but is not the instigator.  After dinner they always go up on the hill and play.  Sometimes Bear joins them.  He is too strict, but for the most part I let him 'do his job' as canine foster daddy.  We could all take lessons from him when it comes to raising children.  He scolds, they stop what they are doing and cower, then he eases up and they come for kisses and he nuzzles them with love.  So simple and so effective.  Think he is one reason I have such great and learned pups to offer. 
     Sneezing has stopped.  Now the nose is running.  Guess I'll have the tissue box accompany me back to bed.  If I don't go soon, the dogs will miss me and come barging in to find me.
     6:15 p.m.  Why do people lie?  They absolutely did not want a puppy.  She said "he" did not want a dog they needed to housetrain that would be going on the carpet and furniture.  Well, "he" just called and said his friends dog had puppies and that "he" was getting her one of them.  Why didn't he just say they'd changed their mind.  I am so sick of people lying.  Atleast  it's better then changing their mind afterwards.  The right person will come along for Shaggy.  It just seems to be taking so long.  And the sad part is, he is such a great dog. 
5/13/08- 2:00 a.m.  They poured the step yesterday so the dogs can't use the yard until it sets up.  Shuffled dogs but impossible to lose half the yard with 13 dogs.  Puppies have barked all night being displaced. I just closed 'the big guys' inside and let the puppies back into their space.  Fed them and they are going to sleep, finally.  Only now Saggy is barking because he is alone.  Chipi is in the shop with Bear because Bear now hates the puppies.  Guess they reached "that age".  Could not believe how he attacked them!  I had to pull him off Brooks and then Kiona. Sissy kept things stirred up because I moved the bench so she could not get on the bed.  She barked right beside the bed until I got up for the bark collar when she then ran outside and barked more. This is typical of her. If she does no 'get her way' she is going to make everyone miserable.  Then Keeton decided he needed a walk.  It was useless.  He just wanted to smell stuff.  Allergies are killing me.  Gave up on the generic Allegra and took some Benadryl which had zonked me.  So now it's worn off  and since I did get 4 hours sleep, I will have a hard time going back to sleep.  Really should not take any more meds.  I am miserable and just need Shaggy and the puppies gone (since Bear is family and the 'difficult child').  I'm also scared that the contractor is going to do something bad.  The bills we paid exceeded the agreed amount on the contract, so instead of him getting money (which he thought he was) he owes us $600+.  Only he doesn't know that for certain yet.  He is crazy and he was arrested for drugs about a month ago.  Will see about a restraining order in the morning.  This is one time I am glad Loren is a top marksman. I am scared for the dogs safety, especially Zelda and Sahara.  They would have loved to invite him as dinner.  Guess I'll risk another Benadryl or generic Allegra and try o go back to sleep since all the dogs seem to have settled in, finally.  Dogs just want consistency.  Mine insist on it or I pay the price.
5/17/08- 4:30 p.m. Just got back from walking Keeton and Sissy and then Bear and Chipi.  It's hot out!!!   Keeton did his usual 'roll in the grass'.  I have got to have Loren come along with the camera next time.  He looks like such a puppy all upside down and a big grin on his face.  It's his main pleasure in life.  I'm just glad when I can get him close to the bench so I can sit while he enjoys himself and then takes a short nap.  The dog belonging to the neighbors that I have trouble with was loose and on my property.  They were out chasing it.  I was VERY polite and it came right up to me.  I told them it just needed a playmate and these dogs would not hurt it.  I might as well have been a ghost, but better then the usual nastiness.   I'm starting to utilize our adjoining property that we cleared for a 'dog park'.  It's still pretty rough walking, but maybe I can talk Loren into running the tractor rake over it.  Also needs some brush cleaned up and one dead tree is about to kill a good tree. Also need to trim out the trees along the creek.  That is Keeton's favorite place; to walk down the middle of the creek.  Just too thick with branches for anyone to walk upright, though.  Anyway, that is the path I took with Bear and Chipi.  They were fascinated with all the new smells.  Shaggy had his first ice cream experience.  I was making myself a milk shake and handed him a spoon full.  He dropped it and then proceeded to lick it across the floor.  If I had know that would be his reaction, I would have put it in a bowl.  Oh well, I now have a slime line across the kitchen.  Sahara has spread out on the floor beside me and is sound asleep.  She is feeling a bit crowded with Shaggy and Tommy staying in the house too, so I try real hard to be sure she does not get pushed aside.  Same for Zelda.  Neither one is pushy for attention, so if I do not stay aware of it, they will be neglected.
     2:00 a.m.:  Allergies woke me up rather then Keeton.  He has been sleeping through the night and rarely an accident lately.  Wish I could sleep through the night.  Taking Benadryl at 6 and then Allegra in the middle of the night.  This night has been exceptionally bad.  Shaggy now sleeps under the bed!  I don't see how he does it or why, but he sure struggles to get out.  May have to block it somehow as the bed literally weighs half a ton so can't lift it off him if he gets stuck.  All the dogs love the new step off the garage.  It is about 3' off the ground and it has become their 'perch'.  Sahara is sleeping there tonight.  I miss her not in the room, but it is so nice outside, I don't blame her for enjoying it. Zelda and Tommy are also enjoying the outside weather. Keeton is laying through the doorway, so stepping over is a feat in itself.  I've moved the bench that Sissy and Sweetness use to get on the bed.  They are confused but I think their fur is adding to my allergies.  But considering how bad they are tonight/this morning, maybe not.   But having room to move and not roasting between them is nice.  Charlie is in his usual place on the AC vent which is not turned on. Got to spend more time with the 'other half'.  Bear is depressed and Chipi gets so excited when she sees us through the glass door.  Just wish everyone could get along, but not going to happen.   More then anything, I wish I could find wonderful homes for Shaggy, Tommy and the 3 pups.  Shaggy and Tommy because they are such awesome dogs.  And the puppies because they need to have some permanency soon.  Breaks my heart I don't have enough time for each one every day.  Don't know if I am just getting too picky or the people really aren't a 'match' for the dog they want.
5/20/08 at least for the moment:   Another sleepless night, but not because Kiona is barking.  She is quiet for a change.  Feeding at 7:00, 3:00 and 9:00 may be the secret.  Sleep on a full tummy.  Bear 'sent out the call' and everyone ran out to secure the property.  Didn't really matter as I just could not get to sleep.  Yesterday was upsetting.  A hurt still lingers.  But this afternoon I had a lovely surprise.  There was a package in the mail.  It is a lovely book from someone I do not believe I know.  It came as a gift to Ozark Dogs.  To have someone I am unfamiliar with take the time and money to send me something as gratitude for my rescue efforts really touched my heart.  And how I needed that boost.  I have just felt so helpless.  Shaggy and Tommy are such great dogs.  I am just not getting anyone to fill out an application who can provide Shaggy with the time and space he deserves.  And not a single person has shown an interest in Tommy.  Sharing us with 8 other adult dogs is just unfair to them.  Having 13 dogs is just not fair to any of them, mine or the ones needing forever homes.  And then when I have to pass on others in desperate need, it hurts.  The space is here, but time and energy just can't keep up.  Recent donations have been a god send.
   Well, it has passed into Wednesday.  What ever had them all riled up has been chased off and the doggie door has clicked it's 8th click (Keeton and Charlie sleep through it all).  Puppies are still quiet so I best try to get to sleep before Kiona decides she is 'on duty'.
5/22/08:  2:00 a.m. and just got back walking Keeton.  He's not gotten a 'middle of the night' walk for 2 nights.  Allergies were so bad, just going outside would set my eyes to itching.  Got the 'real deal' Allegra rather then generic thinking it would help.  Does not seem to.  Benadryl does, but it is probably because it puts me to sleep and I don't know I am suffering! Loren and I spent most of the day yesterday painting the new family room.  I've never used 'dark' colors on walls before.  It's working!   The tile helper stop by.  Brought his son to see the dogs I have for adoption.  I thought for sure he was going to adopt one.  Then he says he just got a Pyr/Aussie last week for the boy.  He knew I had all these when he was here 2 months ago.  Darn!  Tommy really liked him last time.  The helper on the deck really likes Tommy too, but I guess his living situation is not such to be ok for a dog.  Tommy sure likes him too.  Such a shame as Tommy is so awesome.  Kamali is most likely going to NY.  If I can make the time to get her comfortable with travel.  We made a mini trip around the neighborhood yesterday and she was ok as long as she was in my lap.  We will try a 'back seat' trip today.  Then if that goes well, a crate in the back seat.  That I am worried will not go well.  She would have such a wonderful home in NY if I can just be sure she will not have a nervous breakdown getting there.  Tried the 3 pups with Bear again yesterday; briefly.  I guess Brooks is too old for Bear to be around.  I had a terrible time pulling Bear off him.  Poor guy.  He does need 'discipline', but this is beyond.  Guess I do need to get him neutered next week.  He is 4 months old.  The cat probably needs a trip to the vet too.  Two other cats are hanging around.  Just kills me to pay $88 to spay a cat that just 'adopted us'.  I do like the cat.  Well, I am getting quite use to her and most importantly, she is Keeton's friend, so we accept her. All is quiet...... guess I will go back to bed since my eyes are watering so bad the screen is a blur...... Guess I jinxed it....the bark choir just started. 
5/24/08:  9:00 a.m. and all's right with the 'family'.  No one barked last night until about 2:00 a.m.!  Actually got about 4 hours of continuous sleep!  Keeton could not decide what to do at 2:00 a.m.  He just kept staring at me.  I got my shoes on and got the leash and flashlight but he would not go out the door.  Stood there with it open for about 5 minutes.  Then he turned around and headed back for the bedroom.  As soon as I got back in bed, he was standing there staring at me again.  After a number of failed attempts at a walk, I turned on the house AC.  I must be 'receiving' his messages.  He went in the bedroom and stood over the vent.  But he just kept staring at me.  I got really worried.  "Is he telling me this is his last night?"  I put my pillow on the floor and sat petting him.  He finally laid down with his head in my hand.  I snuggled down beside him until he was snoring and then carefully snuck back to bed.  Definitely need to trim down his coat some more today.  Weather is getting so humid.  
     The deck extension is almost complete.  Bear and Chipi were delighted to get out of the kennel and back to the house.  Puppies were pretty happy to get back into the big kennel, too.  Of course, Bear & Zelda and Sweetness & Chipi had to do their fence fighting greeting.  Brooks has a tummy ache.  No one else does and his fecal was negative for everything.  They all eat the same food.  All in the same kennel.  His eyes are not 'sparkly' like they usually are.  Made an appointment for Thursday to have him neutered.  Will do a pre surgery blood panel. This little guy is settling down.  What bothers me is not knowing if it is maturity or illness that is making him less hyper.  He's about 4 1/2 months old, still a few puppy teeth, and weighs a whopping 45 pounds!!! 
     Going to paint more walls today.  My tile came in 2 weeks early, but don't know if my tile setter can move me up on the schedule.  Want the painting done first as I am not the neatest person when it comes to a paint brush or roller.  It is so quiet, it is almost scary!  Tornado season and it just 'feels' like it.
5/25/08:  2:00 a.m.  Ever been out walking a dog at 2:00 a.m. under a cloud covered sky and your flash light dies?  At least we were within sight of the porch lights.  Keeton was not done walking, but I was.  Always hate when I have to make him do something he does not want to do, like return home or stay on the roadway.  Or not roll in the grass.  He is just sticking to me like glue.  And standing here staring at me. Either wanting me to pet him or go back to bed.  Bed sounds good.  OK, Keeton, you win on this one!  7:00 p.m.  Looks like a storm heading in.  Maybe no one will bark tonight.  Sky is almost black.  Keeton won't get his walk.  Sorry buddy.  He did get a hair cut today.  I spent an hour on him and it does not even look like a I did anything.  He was patient, but I could tell he was tired so maybe will go at it again tomorrow.  It has been so humid today and still is. Had the AC on and still hot. Everybody got to stay in one side or the other today. We painted the bottom half the family room.  Top half tomorrow.  (Old world sailing ship border breaking up the 2 colors.)  Had a free lunch at Chili's.  The waitress could not get anything right.  We were there over an hour.  Loren was finished eating for 15 minutes before they got mine right and out to me. Ice tea, extra lemon = ice tea, no lemon.  Dr. Pepper = Diet Pepsi.  Plain well done hamburger = Hamburger with everything. Sent it back.  They scraped off the mustard and brought it back!!!  Not only that, it was mooing. I sent it back. Twenty minutes later, I still did not have my hamburger.  When it did come, the fries were cold.  We deserved 'free' and got it. Dogs are fed (Bear got the remainder of my hamburger only he inhaled it so probably didn't even know what he got)..  I'm going to bed!
5/27/08:  My mom says I never mention Zelda when I talk to her.  Made me realize that it is the same we tend to do with our perfect child.  They are so perfect that they never draw our attention.  So here goes.  Seems like Zelda has been a part of our life forever, but I'd guess about 2 years.  She is 99% perfect.  The 1% is her antagonizing Bear.  He started it, but neither will let it go, thus the house and yard became divided a long time ago.  Other then her animosity for him, you would never know she was around.  She quietly guards outside at night.  Rarely barks and then only when it is really important.  She guards our bedroom door during the day by sleeping in front of it. (Does tend to be a problem when nature calls).  When she comes for attention, it is never pushy.  She gets excited for a walk, but is good to take her turn.  She will jump up on her hind legs and just barely touch me with her front paws.  It is like a feather, because there is no weight placed on me.  It is uncertain how she accomplishes this.  Her coat is gorgeous and she is patient for brushing and nail trims.  When she goes to the groomer, she comes out looking like a champion in a dog beauty contest.  For the most part, though, she is self cleaning.  She walks perfect on leash.  I doubt she ever had training.  It just seemed to come naturally.  She will stay by my side whether it is the snail pace of Keeton, the excited trot of  Sweetness or the "I can't decide what to smell next" sporadic pace of Sissy. Zelda is boss, but in a kind way.  No one seems to resent her (Bear excluded).  Zelda is everything anyone would want in a dog, including she does not shed!  She is my perfect girl and I am so glad we decided to keep her rather then adopt her out.  She is the one who changes my anguish and anger into a smile.
5/30/08:  It's been a busy 24 hours.  Janice is in the hospital so I have been taking care of her dogs as well as mine.  Lee, another friend, will help over the weekend.  She knows the livestock and neither Nancy (Janice's sister) nor I do.  Lee will take home the 2 youngest dogs.  I have already brought Sonny home along with Forest and a little guy with a cast on his leg.  A neighbor is looking after the little guy part time.  Forest has an attitude, so I couldn't leave her with all the dog shuffling I had to do.  Now I am exhausted from fence mending.  She tares out of the kennel repeatedly.  She just comes to the house and wants in.  That would not be a problem except Zelda and Sahara have already let her know she is not welcome and she, in return, has let them know she will not stand for rejection.  Leaving the stereo and AC on in the shop have helped.  Other then muddying up the shop, she has not made a mess.   She is a sweet dog.  Just very confused.  First she lived here when I rescued the litter at 8 weeks old. Then she went to live forever at Janice's.  When she became unhappy with so many other dogs to compete with for attention, she was adopted to a lovely lady.  Then the lady gets cancer and dies, so Forest is back at Janice's and then back here where it all started about 2 years ago.  She has a new mommy waiting for her, but she is a teacher and wanted to wait until school is out so she can devote 100% to Forest's adjustment.  It might be best if that move is rushed since she is in such upheaval right now anyway. Forest made the trip out to Janice's to feed this morning.  I was going to try leaving her there, but it was obvious from the minute she got out of the car, it was not going to happen.  Poor thing really looked confused when I put her back in the car and a half hour later we headed back to my house.  I could just see the sad, confused look in her eyes.  Sonny is doing great.  I am not sure if he remembers living here as it has been over a year and a half.  Just doesn't seem possible, but he is 3 and he was only 18 months old when he went to Janice's.
5/31/08:  Yesterday was psychologically intense.  Sometimes we are sure about something, only to be totally baffled by the result.  More 'dog shuffling' took place.  End result:  Sonny and Forest are back at Janice's.  The little guy remains here and Baffle has been added.   So here are the 'details':  Sonny enjoyed his first night here.  It was like a party.  He slept half on the bed part of the night.  On the floor right close the other part.  There was no verbal communication among the dogs, but the ESP was obviously flowing.  Everyone got along great, but I could see Sahara was feeling displaced. The others stayed out of the bedroom aside from Keeton and Charlie who were 'out of the ESP loop, or really didn't care.  They were unaffected by his presence.  Since the plan was for Sonny to be here, at least for awhile, we took him in and got him bathed.  When we brought him home, he did not want to get out of the car.  He had the most puzzled look on his face.  The 'visit' was over.  He wanted to go 'home'.  It was a very hard 'good bye' as I have missed him and wanted him back for so long.  Too long.  Too much time has passed and my home has changed and some of the occupants have changed.  For Sonny, it was a great visit, but it was time to return to what he has grown to know.  Sure, he would have 'come around', but for now, there is really no imperative reason to do it.  Forest went back because she kept going through the fence.  She let the pups out when she was with them, so moved her to the shop kennel.  Swimming pool, AC, stereo, ice water, outside yard.  Any dog would envy the environment, but she needed people.  She knew we were at the house, and she would escape and come to the front door.  Zelda is pretty picky who she tolerates and Forest was not on the list.  Poor Forest got her muzzle all scraped up from going through the chain link kennel several times.  It was only going to get worse.  Since Lee was taking the other 2 small pups home, I figured I could put Forest back at Janice's in the kennel she came out of.... only Baffle had to be moved.  Thus, she came home with me.  I knew Kiona would pester her and be bossy so I put Kiona and Brooks in the shop kennel and Baffle and the pup in with Kamali.  Kamali is such a sweety, I knew that would go well.  It's almost 4:00 a.m. and my day actually starts in 2 hours, so best I try to get back to sleep.  Bear seems to have quieted down.  I hear someone, but not sure who.  So far away, it is probably a neighbors dog or one of mine 'sleep talking'.
6/02/08:  Exhausted!  We all are.  Nancy and Sherry have worked their fingers to the bone.  I've pretty much just did the dog stuff.  My day started with a huge rain fall at about 5:30 a.m.  Thunder scared the pups, so I let them all out of their kennels and ran them to the shop and put them inside.  They had plenty of outside shelter, but I am just a softie.  I didn't want them scared.  While I was trying to puppy proof the place, they remained one step ahead of me.   I didn't know these puppies were so ....ah.... smart? ..... determined? ........ ingenious? ........ athletic? ........ quick of brain and foot?  What ever, they managed to go places and do things I never could have imagined.... and all in a matter of a few minutes.  By the time I had puppy proofed the place, the rain let up and they got to go back to the kennel.  Tomorrow I will have to tackle the mess that is left behind.  Today I was too busy.  Got home from Janice's about 11:30.   Keeton didn't make it to the door in time, so had that to clean up.  Little puppy wanted out and I thought it was because Keeton had just went out the door.  Wrong.  Then had puppy pooh to clean up.  Stained the area rug so out came the steam cleaner (as soon as he 'finished' outside).  Stopped to help Loren with lunch and gulped down a chicken frijeta (spell check can't spell it either).  Finished steam cleaning one rug and figured I might as well do them all. Sweetness has been 'protesting' lately for some reason known only to her so the other one was pretty spotted too.  I did forget the one in the computer room, but it will just have to be next time.  Forty five minutes and feeding time begins here, then back to Janice's for her dogs evening meal.  Most are easy, but the 8 who normally occupy inside the house are a real challenge when they know more of the routine then I do and I don't get the bowls in just the exact right place for each one.  It would get easier if I were not getting more tired.
6/05/08: 2:00 a.m. Janice is much better so didn't have to go out there last night. It was good because I have come down with a sore throat.  Lee had one the day before but I was not close to her.  Got it anyway.  Loren was really sick, too, but with more food poisoning symptoms.   Just exhaustion making us susceptible, I guess.  Been a crazy few days.  Same lady coming to look at Tommy was adopting Forest.  Just some confusion since Janice was sick and some missed communication.  They will both get baths Friday morning and I guess which ever one feels right to her will be very lucky to become a part of her family.  Can't sleep. Almost too quiet.  The puppies have not made a peep.  I can see the little guy "Thumper" as Loren named him, so know he is fine.  But trees are in the way to see the other 3.  This is just highly unusual not to hear Kiona.  Maybe the bark collar from Monday night taught her not to bark at night.  The puppies have been in the house for 2 days and nights.  Just re-shuffling since Kamali  is leaving for NY on Monday.  She is so smart and so funny.  I make ice in margarine and yogurt containers and put in their water in the ice chests.  It would stay really cold for everyone if Kamali would not go 'bobbing' for the giant cubes and carry them off to lick on.  How she can fit her jaw around something so big is a mystery.  I watch in disbelief as her head goes all the way under water and comes up with this huge ice.  She is so proud of herself, I don't have the heart to put it back.  Sometimes they melt all over the floor and other times she will tote one outside on the deck.   Leash training is coming along.  Hopefully by Sunday, she will be a pro.  Right now she will still stop and pull back sometimes but it getting better each day.  Forgot to get her a Lupin combo collar at the vets.  Will have to do that.  Only collar I trust not to either slip off or strangle them.  Need to get her travel ID tag too.  I just hope Loren and I kick these symptoms by Sunday.  Leaving at 4:00 a.m. Monday morning for the all day trip to Little Rock is tough enough without being less them healthy.  I just don't want him to go alone even though he is willing. 
6/06/08:  My throat is sore.  Started Wednesday, but not real bad.  I just got too tired and my resistance to anything going around was nil. Sahara and Tommy (and Charlie, of course) were the only ones who were good last night.   The wind howled all night and the dogs barked at it and anything else that blew by.  Got Bear in and 'collared' about 1:00. He sits on the deck only 15 feet away for his "woof, woof, woof, squeak".   Never a question who is making that bark. I finally 'passed out' from exhaustion about 2:00 a.m.  The barking accelerated briefly at 5:00 when the newspaper came, as is always the case.  So much for sleep.  Loren retreated to the spare bedroom early.  It's quieter in there.  He is getting sicker, not better.  He agreed to go to the doctor today, but that was last night when he was at his worst.  I won't let him back out.  We have got to be ok by Sunday.  Kamali has got to get on the transport Monday and I have no alternate to get her there.  It's 6:00 a.m.  No milk in the house (my 'beverage' of choice).  No energy to get dressed yet.  Dogs have to be at the groomers by 8:00.  Have to pick up Forest from Janice's to take her in.  Tommy and Kamali are getting beautiful too.  Someone local called last night about Chipi.  They want to come meet her, but no application.  They will come Sunday, but she will not go home with them until I check references, make a home visit and then only if I think it is Chipi's best interest.  The one coming to meet Tommy (and Forest) is great, but Tommy fits with us so well.  This will be one of those hard ones to let go.  I laid on the floor in the living room for awhile last night so I could be near him. (He retreated when all the others went to barking).  He came over and curled right up to me and went to sleep.  He did not even ask for petting.  Just wanted the closeness.  If she chooses him, I will really miss him, but I know he will be happy and be so very special to them.  These departures get harder.  They seem to 'know'.  But then maybe it will be Forest that she chooses.  What is meant to be, will be. They all deserve to be special and not have to share attention with 6, 10, 14 or more other dogs.  I still miss Monkey, too.  He was my bed partner but he has been Caroline's for quite a few months now and I am glad for him.  Knowing they are loved and safe and special to their people is consoling.
6/12/08:  Kamali arrived safely at her new home in NY on Tuesday night.  Rough going getting there.  Sherry came through for me and was able to take Kamali with her bunch going on transport.  Kamali threw up and pooped and that was just on the way to transport.  Poor baby probably was a nervous wreck the whole time.  But she seems to be settling in and her new mommy and daddy love her.  Kiona and Brooks are really coming along great.  We are working on manners!  They must sit before I feed them.  Taking Kiona longer to sit before I enter the kennel and Brooks longer to sit once I'm inside.  But considering we've only been at it a week, and the way they both love food, it's good progress.  Noticed Chipi has a large balding spot on her chest.  No redness or skin irritation.  Assume it is mange, but where it came from beats me!  She has not been anywhere and the dogs she has been around are fine.  Unless I brought it in on my clothes but even that seems pretty far fetched.  Left a message for Janice as need her diagnosis and treatment.  Don't want to start her on Ivermectine if I am wrong.  She's blowing coat as bad as Sissy, but this is not part of that.  It's just plain bald.  Keeton gets so silly sometimes.  If we leave for a walk and the cat does not appear, he heads for the shop looking for her.  She has never been in the shop, so I don't know what his thinking is.  Anyway, after we have searched the building, we have to go back in through another door and search again.  He is such a nut.  Once kitty joins us we can get 'serious'.  When the walk is almost over, Keeton heads for the middle of the front yard and his special 'roll in the grass' place.  When he rolls upside down, he looks like a huge puppy.  I've figured out that I might as well leave him while I go get a soda because his 'rest and roll' will not end quickly.  Loren has been joining me and we sit with him until he decides to get up.  Sometimes it's 5 minutes and sometimes 20 minutes.  It would probably be longer, but I draw the line at 20 minutes....because it takes another 5 just to get him up and moving again.  It's his happy time, so I don't mind.  And on the personal side, doctor finally called tonight.  Loren has to have his gall bladder removed.  Surgeon is suppose to call tomorrow with the time and date.  Not sure what they plan to do about the kidney stones.  Gall stones are so bad it is urgent on them.   This will be a tough few weeks while he recovers.  Sure wish the puppies would get adopted.  That would really help.
6/18/08:  I slept!!!!  So tired I hadn't even heard the barking.  Loren goes in tomorrow for surgery.  Home on Friday.  I just hope I can keep the puppies quiet for him.  They just want at the house with the rest of the guys, but when I am busy, I can't watch them to be sure they don't get into trouble.  Outside with the others is fine, but unfair to the big guys not to have house access all day.  They will still get to be together most of the day, just not as much as normal.  They really are learning easily, but one has to be diligent.  Been working hard to save a Pyr in Beebe Animal Control. A dozen or more people have worked really hard and several came up with places for him to go.  There is more to rescue then just taking in a dog and finding it a home.  Working together with other rescues is so important.  We all have the same goal and it is so much more obtainable when we work together.  Getting away for the morning.  Loren is acting like it's his 'last lunch', so going to Branson to our favorite place.  Since he talked to the surgeon yesterday, his outlook has perked up.  He use to be always the optimist, but that has faded. 
6/19/08:  Keeton definitely has a human lurking inside.  I have been looking everywhere for a piece of fabric.  Everywhere, of course, but where it was.  Keeton loves to explore the shop.  Maybe he is still looking for little Bear, or maybe he just likes to see what we have been up to.  Yesterday he went in and walked straight to a chair and just stood there.  The chair had a pile of levis I needed to patch...and under them was the fabric I had searched everywhere for!  As soon as I picked it up, detective work done.  He was ready to go for his walk.  Ok, I know it sounds totally ridiculous, but it happened.  Why or how, who knows.  Today he is now resting in the shop.  That was as far as our noon walk took him. He didn't want to come back to the house.  Not sure why.  Got to grab a bite to eat and then go back to the hospital and hold Loren's hand.  He should be able to come home tomorrow.
6/23/08:  Keeton decided on a walk at midnight.  Not unusual.  It was so dark as the moon had not come up yet but the sky was full of stars.  The lightening bugs were thick.  One landed on Keeton's ear and got tangled in his fur.  It was so cool to see him glowing!  I left the bug outside when we got back to the house.  It began to thunder around 3:00 a.m.  It must have woken Keeton up too, because he decided it was time for another walk.  By the time I gathered up the leash and flashlight, it was raining.  It least it was only a light drizzle, but enough that we both needed drying off by the time we got back.  The fire flies were still dancing in the trees but none joined us on this trip.  Gave Keeton a knuckle bone but he broke it into several pieces first bite.  Maybe Wal-Mart gets 'seconds' so will pick one up at the pet store tomorrow.  The ones my neighbor gave me held together.  At least one did.  I gave them to the puppies to keep them occupied so Kiona would not bark but this morning one was absolutely no where to be found.  Hiding places in the kennel are limited, so I guess either she ate it, or a 'visitor' jumped the fence and made off with it.   Bear and Chipi spent the afternoon down in the shop with me.  They really felt important.  I didn't give them any knuckle bones.  Bear would tear my hand off and Chipi's head off if he was not ready to give it up. 
6/24/08: BREAKTHROUGH:  Sahara went for a walk yesterday!!!!!  A real 'on the leash' walk.  She has been watching me take everyone else, 2 at a time for months, but when I reach out for her, she has always cowered and moved away.  She actually stood there waiting.  Still a little unsure about getting through the door, after several attempts, she made it.  Once outside, she just kept walking.  After a few minutes she relaxed and began sniffing and taking in all the new sights and smells.  It was great to see her confident with something new.  The deck guy was out fixing the ramp for Keeton today.  It was too steep and he has a real passion for dogs so did it for the cost of materials.  I also had him put up a railing so Keeton would no fall off.  It will be nice not to worry when I need to 'switch sides' for the dogs so Bear and Chipi get attention too.  I was always afraid Keeton would get hurt.   I took him for a long walk this morning.  He wanted to go to the shop for his knuckle bone.  Darn if we didn't walk through the door and the poop fell out!  I tried to get him turned around and that only made matters worse.  Not only did I have floor to clean up, I had the door jam to clean.  And I had to toss the big rug I've had on the porch for eons.  Oh well, better then constipation!
6/28/08:  I hope this is the end of a long day.... but probably not.   It rained most of the day so Tommy got confused at breakfast.  Normally he eats on the deck right outside the door.  He likes the privacy.  He had to eat in the kitchen because of the storm.  The routine for all of them gets totally messed up when it rains.  Each dog remains by their bowl until all have finished and then I open the door and they all have to go out.  If it's too hot, they only have to stay out a few minutes.  I just want to keep the routine or they would all be begging for my breakfast.  And I like a little peace now and then.  Rain was just pelting down and the thunder was so loud, they got to stay in.  Stepping over 7 dogs while trying to make breakfast is not easy.  Sissy guards the fridge.  Sahara guards the pantry.  Zelda guards the dish washer.  Tommy guards the stove. Sweetness guards the cabinet and recipe drawer.   Keeton just spreads out in a path way around the cooking island and Charlie takes up his position under the bar stools in anticipation of dropped crumbs.  That is, if we can get anything cooked.  Bear and Chipi watch longingly through the sliding glass door from the other part of the house.  Just wish there was not such a hate relationship between Bear and Zelda and between Chipi and Sahara.  Be so nice to be one big happy family.  Anyway, off the subject.  Chipi normally eats right outside the other door and Bear inside.  Bear was not happy about Chipi being within eye sight of his food.  She retreated into the rain until he was finished.  He is such a grump and has the size and teeth to back it up.  So life goes on.  I rescued him and he's mine for life so we deal with it.  Brooks and Kiona were confused too.  Normally they come up to the house right after they eat breakfast, stay and play all day and then go back to the kennel for dinner and the night.  They are mud puppies... well, Kiona is, anyway.  Brooks is good to stay clean but Kiona 'explores' every puddle and mud hole.  I didn't really want the mess all over the house and I didn't want Kiona to be alone, so they didn't get to come up.  I always feel so guilty.  I took Keeton to the shop with me and worked on my bedroom rug.  About a third done....well, maybe only a fourth.  Depends on how far my creativity takes me with it.  Keeton really like to be down there because he gets the knuckle bone.  OK, fast forward to evening.  Keeton had 4 walks at 1 hour intervals.  One was 'productive'.  He is just too smart.  He has learned that I do not ignore a 'raised tail'.  He only lifts it when he about to 'go'.  I don't question it.  I grab the leash and we are out the door.  Then he just stands there taking in the sights and sounds of the front porch.  He's waiting for kitty.  I call kitty and we are off as soon as she arrives.  He heads straight for the shop!  He has become an immovable object when he sets his mind to something.  It's his way or no way.  Sometime our 'stand off' lasts 5 minutes or more.  Sometimes we compromise. He knows from the tone of my voice that many times his choice is not an option.  That's when we compromise.  I don't think I have 'won' in a very long time!  Anyway, we ended up in the shop, he with his knuckle bone (which I switched because one got to small.  He pouted.)  I left him there, came up and took a bath and then went back to the shop to get him.  We 'toured' all the rooms of the shop, going in one door and out another until we had covered it all.  Then we scouted the perimeter...twice.  Now it's dark and I'm done!  I know he knew my patience was wearing thin, so reluctantly, he agreed to follow me to the house.  A glass of milk and I'm off to bed..... until midnight when he decides he has to really 'go'......or already did and wants to let me know to 'watch my step'.  What ever will I do when he is no longer with us........I love you Keeton.
6/30/08:  Brooks is going to FL to his new home on the 10th and Tommy will most likely be moving to Memphis.  I will sure miss them both.  Especially Tommy.  Some are just so hard to let go, but they need to be more special then just one of a dozen or so.  I always have those fears I'm making the wrong decisions.  Only Kiona remains.  Not sure where I will put her until she gets adopted.  Hopefully Bear will accept her again.  Actually it was Brooks he took issue with because Brooks is a male.  Think he will be fine with Kiona and Chipi just growls and leaves.  She will adjust.  Finding the right home for Chipi are slim.  Same with Sahara.   No matter what, it's never going to be one big happy family as long as Bear and Zelda are both here. Since neither is going anywhere, we manage.  Keeton has made his priority going to the shop to chew the knuckle bones.  He hardly has any teeth, but amazingly he has managed to demolish several.  I am going to have to find something VERY large and very tough or he is liable to splinter a piece off and hurt his insides.  Hope he hasn't already.  I never would have guessed he could chew them down to nothing so fast.  Sahara has not gone for a walk again.  She watches, but then backs away when I offer.  It will come again.  Think the rain killed our momentum.  It's 5:30 a.m. and my day began at midnight.... running straight from yesterday non-stop......non-stop barking.  As soon as I gave up trying to sleep, they got quiet.  Usually they fall asleep at 4:00 a.m. but think there were deer passing through this morning about 4:45 so that brief chance to sleep was doused. Maybe I can sneak in an hour and a half.  Gonna try.
July 4: Brooks and Tommy's adopters both canceled.  With Brooks it was just a brief email.  "Emergency in the family."  With Tommy, it was a difference of choice.  He wanted Kiona.  They still may come up and meet them both but it is not going to happen today as scheduled.  Kiona had applications, both good people, but just not the right family dynamics for a harmonious relationship. Brooks would have worked but they both needed a female (already had several males of other breeds).
the day on my hands and knees cleaning the livingroom floor. Dogs did not understand being outside all day.  If they could use their paws cleaning as easily as they use them getting things filthy, my life would be much simpler.  Anyway, got half the room done.  Now I wish it was polished so I could move the sofa into place.   Luckily we are rural and most of the families in the area are retired so not much in the way of fireworks.  Of course they would of had to be setting them off in competition with the thunder which was very loud and window shaking.  Dogs always congregate where ever we are anyway, so guess no one is really afraid of loud bangs and rumbles.  Just realized how things had changed since my last post
7/5/08:  Dogs spent another day outside, with the exception of Keeton and Charlie.  Old guys have privileges.  I decided to seal the floor with a high gloss sealer. MISTAKE!  I spent an hour putting it on, only to have it look horrid.  I spent another 6 trying to get it off.  About half done.  Will order the buffer/polisher machine first thing Monday.  Was going to order it several weeks ago and then Loren had to have surgery so just didn't do it. Sure wish I had gotten it.  Having an extra room of furniture crammed in several other rooms is making me crazy. Dogs loved the open space last night.  Something about being banned from the room for 2 days made it extra interesting.  The door faux painter came and started on the doors.  He had put me off for 3 weeks.  When he called to cancel this morning, I said NO.  Told him he was coming!  Just a young kid and way underbid it.  If he does a nice job, we intend to pay him what some others quoted.  Don't want to tell him, though, just incase it's a mess and we have to have it re-done....such an optimist :-) 
7/8/08:  9:00 a.m. and I'm already worn out.  Looks like a nice day.  Nice breeze.  To hit 89 today, but humid.  Hopefully I won't have to 'switch' dogs for a little while.  Just wish they'd get along.  Yesterday Kiona found the 'escape' hole under the deck and Bear welcomed her with open jaws.  He would not hurt her, but she thought she was being swallowed by a vicious shark.  The water chest got dumped to break him loose of her.  Day before that I put Sweetness, Chipi and Tommy together.  It had been working, but for some reason it didn't Sunday.  Sweetness ended up with a mouth full of hair.  Chipi retreated as far under the deck as she could get.  She is not one to be dominate.....unless she has a secure fence between her and the other gal.  Then she bares teeth and acts tough.  Anyway it took 2 ice chests of water to get Sweetness to turn loose.  Sweetness got banned to the kennel for several hours.  Bear was already in the shop.  Well, so much for the excitement of the past 2 days.  Sounds like the fence fighting is in full swing.  Guess it's time to dog shuffle after all.  Puppies turn to come in for their special time.
7/13/08:  This is not pretty.  I try to avoid these types of commentary, but I'm tired and I guess I just want those non-rescuers who happen to venture here to get a glimpse of rescue reality by a perfectionist.  First I want to say, it does not have to be this hard, but my grandma taught me, "if you are going to do something, do it to the very best of your ability and do it with compassion".  So sticking dogs outside or in a kennel, giving them 5 minutes of attention when I feed, water and poop scoop is just not going to happen here.  Neither is having a beautiful home and having it dirty.  That is not going to happen here either. A typical summer morning when we had a storm last night.... Cleaning.... picture running through the house, ripping open a king size goose down pillow and the ceiling fans are on high speed.  That pretty accurately describes "blowing coat" by 8 of the 11 dogs (the cockapoo and 2 pups don't shed yet).  Now picture 44 feet running down the muddy creek bed and racing through the house.  The dilemma.  The plumes of fur clean up best with a vacuum, but my vacuums (yes, I have 'back-ups') don't like water or mud.  My mop does not handle soggy fur.  Neither does the drain.  The steam cleaner does not handle soggy fur either.  Cleaning aside...Guilt...  I ran out of energy so Zelda and Tommy did not get the walk they were promised this morning.  I was gone most of the day yesterday so the puppies only got to come up to the house for a few hours.  I got upset at Keeton at 2:00 a.m. because he could not make up his mind which way we were going to walk.  At least I had the umbrella as it was raining in torrents, lightening and thunder crashing all around. (as I walked I thought "wonder if anyone has been electrocuted by lightening hitting an umbrella"?) Finally the cat joined us and we ended up in the shop.  Cat came inside too, and then promptly vanished from sight.  It was obvious Keeton was not leaving without cat and I was not camping out on the floor of the shop with him for the rest of the night.  It was a standoff. He in the doorway and I in the rain.  He not willing to budge either way.  I not willing to leave him standing there.  He went in, I unleashed him, turned on the AC, freshened his water and set down a little food and proceeded to leave.  He heads to the door.  I'm out, he's half through the doorway.  I squeeze back in (leaving the umbrella on it's side in the rain).  Turn off the AC and get the leash. He proceeds back into the room.  He will not budge.  On with the AC, off with the leash and the process repeats itself 4 or 5 times.  Of course, cat is still hiding out somewhere.  I know exactly what Keeton wants, but I just can't give it to him.  I finally just start tugging on him so we can get back to the house.  I absolutely hate doing that but by now it was almost 3:30 a.m. and still pouring rain, etc. And Frustration.... The real kicker is, the walk was because he was telling me he had to go poop. He didn't even go!   The 'presents' were there for the picking up in the morning.  So right now it is noon.  I've got half the floors clean and half to go. Bear and Chipi are under my feet.  Charlie is closed in the bedroom with a chew bone.  The pups, Zelda, Sweetness, Tommy and Sahara are on the back part of the house. Keeton and Sissy are in the shop. Keeton didn't know I let cat out at 5:00 a.m. so he had to go look for her.  So I am back at it, vacuuming up hair then mopping up mud.  Oh and in the mean time, puppies knocked over the water and flooded the dog room 5 minutes after I finished mopping it.......
There are no instructions for these situations, other then "Don't get into them".  Well, who would know when one starts on this adventure of saving animals........  Somebody PLEASE adopt the puppies!
7/16/08:  Took yesterday off and went to Branson for lunch.  They got even last night by barking.  Today we tried out our new floor buffer.  A big commercial thing that when I tried it, it practically threw me to the floor.  Loren did most of what got done, but I kept making attempts at it and finally, at least, learned to turn loose when it got away from me.  It has a 'dead man's switch' so when you release the handle grip, it shuts off the motor.  Dogs had to stay outside, which did not make them overly happy but they are making up for it this evening.  You'd of thought it was a 'rescue party' when I opened the doggie door.  They flew through the house, wrestling with each other and then got over zealous and got on the sofa.  That put an end to the excitement because they had to continue it in the kitchen.   No "I'm higher then you" game in there.  Keeton finally got it through my head what he wants.  He has really been trying to make me understand and I think I may have got it.  7:00 a.m. morning walk. Then to the shop for breakfast. Stay there sleeping until noon, another walk for potty then to the house.  Another walk at 3 and down to the shop where a 'snack' awaits.  Sleeps until about 5:00.  After everyone else is fed, another walk for him to potty and then up to the house for his dinner.   Now if I can just remember this tomorrow...unless he changes the routine.......  Who ever said people are master over dogs never met Keeton.
7/19/08:  Took Brooks into the vet yesterday.  He was counter surfing Monday and I heard a 'thud' but nothing had been knocked over.  He began limping.  I figured it would go away.  It got worse.  He has OCD and the jumping around probably triggered severe pain.  Vet said he will probably need surgery.  Janice said it has a good chance of healing itself  (depending, of course, on the severity.  She will get more x-ray details from the vet).  Looking it up on Google, at least I now understand what it is.  A separation of the tissue from the bones.  His is in the shoulders.  He is to have 'complete rest' for 6 to 8 weeks.  So poor guy is in the shop alone.  Kiona just plays too hard.  He's got a 30X30 room with AC, stereo, and ceiling fans, toys and chew bones he does not have the share, and a 10X20 outside kennel with shade and a pool.  But he's alone.  Keeton loves the shop so when he wakes up from his morning nap, I will take him down there.  He likes Brooks and Brooks will be happy for the company.  Kiona stayed with Bear and Chipi in the dog room.  Don't know what time she ended up in our bedroom but Sahara was not happy and neither was Keeton.  Anyway, at 4:00 am I'm taking her to the kennel and feeding her (only sure way to get her there).  I see where she got through.  I found some fencing that will work but I have to crawl up under the deck to attach it.  Crawling on the ground into a 16" high space is not at all pleasant.  I hate to leave her alone in the kennel, so I will do it.  
7/20/08:  12:55 a.m.  Tried Kiona on this side because Bear was being mean to her.  By 10:30 p.m. that was not working so put a bark collar on Bear and put Kiona back over there.  Sahara kept barking every 10 minutes, so I finally collared her too.  Never did that before, but was just so tired.  Well, since Sahara wouldn't bark, and no one else seemed to care or felt they would 'be next', Kiona managed to get over here again.  Guess crawling under the deck yesterday to patch the escape route was a waste.  First indication we had 'company' was a paw in my face.  Kiona is so tall she can stretch half way on the bed.  Atleast she has not figured how to get on it.  Anyway, I got up and found I am now shoeless.  They normally would have been on the night stand, but since I had put her on the other side, it didn't matter.....or so I thought.  Actually I do have tennis shoes, but I like the slip ons in summer.  Can't find the style anymore as have been looking for a year.  Bought up every pair that fit me every time Wal-mart had them.  Really liked these shoes.....those shoes.  Anyway, decided I better put Kiona in the kennel before she found something else to annihilate.  She always follows food.  Keeton decided he needed a walk.  Trying to get her to the kennel and have Keeton keep up the pace was impossible so I just draped the leash over Keeton's back and hoped he wouldn't find a spurt of energy.  Got Kiona settled in and Keeton caught up with us.  We stopped off at the shop and said 'hi' to Brooks.  I had been to tired to clean the one poop pile last night in Brooks kennel.  Well, now there were 3 and they smelled in this humidity.  This is the first time I was ever glad for a full moon.  I cleaned up the piles by the light of the moon.  Have to walk them about 200 yards to toss them on our other property.  Keeton is not ready to leave but he is telling me something.  Food.  I feed him and Brooks.  This midnight snack stuff is crazy, but if Keeton is hungry, I always oblige because he just does not eat much.  Feeding him without a little for Brooks would not have worked.  Cleaned and filled the water chests and added ice.  Or is it ice chests and added water?  Anyway, it's their drinking 'bowls'.   Now Keeton is ready for more walk.  Again, lucky for the full moon because I had not brought a flash light.  Now it gets weird.  We have a jillion crickets so that is all I hear around my house at night.  Walking down the road I hear a very deep 'growl'.  At first I thought it might be the neighbors dog, but as we walked well past their house, I knew it was not.  I thought maybe it was a motorcycle far off in the distance, but it just kept stopping and starting.  It sounded both like a 'big cat' (like BIG, not domestic)  sometimes and others, it sounded like a motorcycle 'taking off in one gear over and over.  Our walk lasted a good 10 to 15 minutes and the sound only faded when we got back near the house and it was drowned out by the crickets.  Cat didn't seemed phased and neither did Keeton, so I guess someone most likely was working on a motorcycle way off in the distance, but it sure was strange....especially at midnight. Guess I will go try to get some sleep.  I'll take the collar off Sahara.  I feel guilty.  She was just doing her job.  I know as soon as the light goes off, Kiona will start barking......  wise prediction...... there she goes!
7/23/08:  Things do not look good for Brooks.  Sending x-rays off the University Veterinary School for additional opinion but not holding out much hope.  I will not deal well with this.  Is it adversity that makes some dogs so extra precious?  I want to be down in numbers, BUT NOT THIS WAY.
7/25/08:  Brooks was feeling better this morning.  I put him on Deramaxx.  The DGP was just not doing enough for the pain.  At this point I am not concerned with "more damage" as it is not that kind of a situation.  I'm concerned with making him comfortable and happy.  He attacked the dust mop while I was cleaning.  We had a little fun tug of war and then I let him drag it around the house until he got bored.  Tug was more fun then drag.   Right now he has a chew bone and is laying on the AC vent.  Charlie is likewise on another vent.  Keeton and Annie are in the shop.  Everyone else is outside.  Hopefully it will not get too hot today.  I don't know why I worry so much.  They have 3 acres, a forest of trees for shade, and 2 ice chests full of fresh ice water. 
7/29/08:   When I woke up at 2:30 a.m., I was going to have to jump over Tommy...only it wasn't Tommy.  He was in the kitchen.  So I figured it must be Sahara.  Wrong again.  She was in the doorway.  Keeton must have tried to wake me up and failed because he was the one with his head under the bed and a full body block keeping me from reaching the floor.  It's hard to distinguish the difference in semi darkness.  Once I finally figured out how to get my feet on the floor and not on top of a tail or legs, I stuck my head under the bed to be sure Keeton was breathing.  Then I could not go back to sleep worrying that he would wake up and bump his head.  I am not cut out for this much drama.  I got back up, laid on the floor with each dog for about 5 minutes each and gave each some good tummy rubs.  In the mean time, Keeton had quietly turned himself and was safely and unceremoniously out from under the bed, snoring peacefully.  Now, getting back into bed was impossible without waking up Loren by climbing over him, after navigating around Charlie and Sweetness, so here I am at 4:30 a.m.  Bear and Kiona quit barking an hour ago so I actually could go back to sleep, just not back to bed.  Annie goes home tomorrow.  She sure misses her mommy.  She has stayed in the shop.  Keeton keeps her company, by choice.  He has such compassion.  I walk him before breakfast (6:45).  Feed everybody up here and clean and fill water chests (7:00).  Feed the puppies (7:45).  Walk Annie and give her some attention (8:00).  (She always has food available). Bring up Brooks and Kiona (8:30). Poop scoop the puppy pen and empty and clean water chests (8:45).  Spend time with Brooks. Take Keeton to the shop (10:00).   Put Charlie in the bedroom with his chewy.  Spend more time with Brooks. Walk Keeton and Annie (1:00)  Take Brooks and Kiona back to the kennel for lunch (1:30) Bring Bear and Chipi into the house and let the rest stay on  Bear's side until 4 pm. Rest!   No dogs allowed.  Start the doggie dinner process (5:00).  I do manage to squeeze in some vacuuming, mopping, dusting and email.  Well, it's still dark, 4:45 am and maybe I will try to get back in bed for an hour. I'm tired just thinking about the daily routine.
8/01/08:  It's not even 10:00 a.m. and I'm ready for another shower.  Got Zelda and Sissy off to the groomers.  Tommy and Sweetness go next.  Sahara will go for a visit, just through the door to meet them.  She is not near ready for the 'grooming experience' from strangers.  She's not even ready for strangers.  When I started this entry a few minutes ago, it was interrupted by a call.  One of the dogs adopted out a year ago bit a child and has now started killing the lambs.
8/02/08:  Well, 30 some hours of interruptions later......And 2 not very good news emails later.....  Not only are people going crazy, so are our animals.  Another dog has major aggression issues and a third ate the cat after having it as a friend for 2 years!  So what is going on?  Luckily these are good people and dedicated to "forever".  And Janice is getting several dogs back for various reasons.  Her's are good dogs and not biters.  One has severe separation anxiety and has destroyed the house and the other just plays too rough with the old resident dog.  Not heard back on Brooks x-ray review.  Guess I really don't need to deal with that decision right now.  Chipi is most likely going to a new home soon.  She will be greatly missed, but as long as she is happy, we will be happy for her.  They will come next week and bring their dog to meet her and will see how it goes.  My only concern is they live in a part of the country that has an animal control that is notorious for not checking microchips nor even bothering to call when there is ID on a stray.  I'm just over-protective, but my heart and life goes into each one.  I am just so tired.
8/08/08:  Keeton has been with us 1 year!!   It has been a busy week.  Sissy, Zelda, Tommy, Sweetness, Charlie, Brooks and Bear all went to the groomers (Special thanks to one of my adopters for giving me gift certificates). This was a new experience for Sweetness, Brooks and Bear.  Bear did great.  I was afraid he might take someone's hand or arm off, but he showed no aggression what so every.  Yeah, Bear!!  And he looks gorgeous, as they all do.  Hopefully there will be a little less hair floating around here for awhile.  I am getting very excited for Chipi.  I know she is going to love her new family and canine buddy.  Tommy will miss her.  He's had a crush on her for a long time.  She is the only one who will keep up with his playing.  The others run out of energy before he does.  I don't think Bear will care.... but gaining Kiona  as a room mate is not going to be high on his list of happy happenings.  The weather is fantastic today.  I wish it would hold like this.  It cooled off into the 80's and a nice breeze is blowing.  I wish I was out on the lake with Loren.  Maybe if the dog population gets manageable, I will be able to start going with him again.  It's been several years!  I use to go with him every morning.  He'd fish and I'd either fish or swim depending on water temp.  Time to shuffle dogs.  Everybody needs their 'people' time.  Loren will be in soon and we'll fix 'brunch'.  Then maybe we'll go for a motorcycle ride.
8/11/08:  It's pretty bad when the topic of the day is 'successful Keeton walks'.  Some people discuss news stories, personal projects or plans for the day.  Our conversations revolve around Keeton poop and lunch plans..... Geeze, those 2 subjects should not share a sentence.  Anyway, anything else depresses me and makes me feel so hopeless.  Kiona is improving in manners the more attention she gets.  I have been trying to give her as much interaction as possible.  She sure needs someone of her own to really reach her potential.  She is just so darn smart.  If I forget to chain the gate latch, she has it opened and is back up at the house within minutes.  Hope to hear something on Brooks x-rays today.  It's been weeks.  He is still limping but seems to be decreasing.  Put bark collars on Sahara and Zelda yesterday.  Fence fighting is accelerating.  It sure made for a peaceful afternoon.  Chipi will be so happy not having dogs bark and snarl at her in her new home.  I just wish Tommy would get so lucky.  He is just such an awesome dog.  Either Zelda or Sahara will lay in the bedroom doorway and growl at any who want in.  I get up and make them move, but sometimes they re-position themselves and I don't notice (I actually sleep sometimes).  Anyway, I always let everyone come in, but Tommy is getting where he will leave and go lay in the livingroom to avoid confrontation.  Last night I laid on the floor with him for a long time.  He is just so darn sweet.  Another setback in the world of rescue:  Wayha has severe arthritis and his 'mommy' will be having knee surgery and will not be able to help him stand up.  I'll be talking to their vet.  I'll bring him back if there is hope he can live without excessive pain.  The whole situation is so hard on them because they love him so much.  I can completely relate because of Keeton.  Life is so depressing.  Being able to hug a dog and have it look at me with so much "I love you" in it's eyes makes life not only bearable but rewarding.
8/14/08:  Keeton is such a nut.  He waits until we are in bed and the TV goes off to ask for his last walk of the night (until the middle of the night walk).  Flash light in hand, we walk to the end of the driveway to turn on the timer on the yard lights.  Then he decides he wants to go down hill instead of up (our usual night time direction).  Then he cuts across the front yard in a reverse direction then normal.  He found a goodie but by the time I realized he had something in his mouth, it was too late.  I tried to pry it out (hard to do holding a flash light and trying to see what I am after) but what ever it was, it was hard and he had clamped down.  I was afraid if 'it' cracked under his jaw pressure, my fingers would crack also. He swallowed what ever it was.  Then he crashed down on the grass.  OK, my first thought was he was dying from what ever he ate.  Then because he was breathing, reason set in and I thought, 'what ever it was could not be that fast acting'.  He just wanted to roll in the grass.  It's dark out!!  Well, he didn't want to get up.  Then I notice that there are no stars.  Just big black clouds.  Yep, it starts to rain.  Keeton is not going to notice with all that hair for protection.  At least it was just a light drizzle..... a good 10 minutes of light drizzle.  He finally got up.  We come back in the house.  He forgot to potty.  Guess what?  He is here nudging my arm to 'go' again.  Do dogs get dementia?   OK, Keeton, I'm signing off.  Lets go!
8/17/08:  I knew I would not sleep.  It's a full moon, but the dogs have not hardly barked. The sky is clear and no thunder to keep me awake. It's the thoughts of yesterday. It's 2:30 a.m. and I can't stop thinking about yesterdays events.  I met 2 dog people.  The first was at the vet.  I took Chipi in to be chipped as she was going to her new home.  A lady came in with 3 big dogs.  They were in for a nail trim.  Their nails were not even in need, but she wanted to be diligent in their care.  There are not a lot of us that all the girls at the vets office know our name without asking.  I am one of them and she is another. Anyway, she was delightful and so were the dogs.  They were happy, confident, and just radiated her love for them. They figured everyone in the vet's office was there just waiting to pet them.  Bodies wagging and a sparkle in their eyes.  I thought to myself, I wish she wanted one of mine.  And then about 7 hours later I met a very sad dog.  It only took a minute, literally, to understand why.  My first thought was it was insecure in a strange environment, but then he hit it.  And hit it again.  And again.  I thought I was imagining things.  It took me about 15 minutes to get a handle on what I continued to witness.  I told him Chipi was not going home with them.  I would never adopt one of my dogs to someone who would hit a dog.  Needless to say, he left in a huff.  So here it is, the middle of the night, and I keep wondering if he is blaming the dog and his wife and taking his anger out on them.  After all, he is the kind of person that would never think anything was HIS fault.  It's so hard to 'let go and let God' when I know that poor dog has spent it's life living in fear and pain.  If he had said "here he is if you think you could do better" I would have taken it.  I just wanted so badly to hug the dog and let it know I cared. 

The thing that scares me most was my enthusiasm about Chipi having a wonderful home.  All the conversations, all the emails, all the positive things I came to believe.  Now I wonder how many other times I have been wrong.  Even one time would be too many.  Just sending one dog into harms way, into abuse, neglect, fear, is too many.  Most people would say 'but look at all the wonderful homes you found' , but for me, that just is not good enough.  May God watch over you, Mountie.

8/18/08:  Yesterday got much better once it actually began.  I finally fell asleep and next thing I knew it was 8:00!  The dogs had been very patient.  Actually I think they had just given up on ever getting breakfast.  Once I got the morning dog routine under control, I cleaned.  Then I brought Kiona and Brooks up.  I kept them inside with me.  Not much choice since Kiona kept jumping over the gate and coming around to the front door.  I brushed, played ball and cuddled them.  Worked a little on manners with Kiona.  She is so smart, but very independent and stubborn.  Took some cute pictures of them also.  At least about a dozen out of 50 came out good.  Got most of them up.  Afternoon I put them out and we went to the movies.  Saw Mamma Mia.  Women between 45 and 70 will love it!  Others may enjoy it too, but it takes us 'mature' citizens back to our teen years and a silliness that none of us had, but all wished we would have.  If you like silliness and Abba, you must see it.  It is a movie that is best watched in a theater though, where the audience gets involved and not at home (unless you invite in a bunch of red hat ladies)   When we got home, Kiona was waiting for us at the door.  She is now also getting out of the kennel.  Some of the fencing is only 5' high  and she is going over it.  Don't think she can do the 6' panels yet.  We took the electrical reducer box from the main yard and wired up the 5' area of the kennel.  WARNING.... DO NOT TEST THE HOT WIRE WITH YOUR NOSE.  It hurts!!!  I think Kiona figured that out too as she was still in the kennel this morning when I got up.  Guess we now have a common bond.. zapped noses.
8/20/08:  Rained last night which meant the dogs were quiet.  Getting 2 nights sleep in a row is unheard of for me.  I did take a 3:30 a.m. walk in the rain with Keeton then can not go back to sleep.  I am struggling with my confidence.  I love these dogs and I am getting so afraid of making a mistake.  They trust me.  They love me.  I am just so afraid of letting them down.  I want each of them in a home that can make them feel special.  Not competing for attention with a house full of other dogs.  They need that special person who will love them just as much, if not more then I do.   I had a great talk with Kamali's mommy yesterday.  Always makes me feel so good when I get such positive updates.  Sometimes I just know it's right.  Just seems like there are less and less of those as time  (and the economy) slips away.  Probably taking Tommy to meet some people tomorrow.  Have mixed feelings.  Guess we will know when we get there.  It's not the people, but the neighbors have horses and the fencing is only barb wire.  He chased horses and that is why he came back here.  Tommy is just such a wonderful dog that he deserves to be special.  I know he is perfectly happy sharing me and being with the other dogs.  This is for him, not for me.  Kind of like with Zelda, just too hard to let go, but I can't keep them all.  Crazy thing is Tommy is the most perfect dog here.  Zelda a close second.  Sun is up... almost.  Light out anyway.  Still going to rain some more which means mud.
8/21/08:  Tommy sure seemed to settle into his new home.  He took right to the people.  He didn't even get up to say goodbye to me when I went over to kiss him goodbye.  Made me both happy and a little sad.  I really do miss him.  He is up there in my very special top10 list.  After leaving, we searched for Olive Garden to eat.  Wasted an hour as were on the wrong off ramp.  By the time we found it, an hour had gone by and the parking lot was completely full.  Gave up and headed for home.  Made a mistake of settling for Pizza hut in Eureka Springs.  Warning... don't bother.  It was bad!  Everybody was glad to see us when we got home.  Everybody got a walk except Sahara.  She may have wanted one, but she is always reluctant for the leash and to leave the driveway.  Just too tired to coax.  Sat on the floor for 20 minutes brushing her out.  She really seemed to enjoy it.  Probably the attention more then the actual activity.  She is getting to be the most beautiful girl.  Of all the Pyrs, she has the softest coat I have ever felt.  It is like bunny fur only a whole lot of it. 
8/22/08:  At 2:30 a.m. Keeton had to walk.  He is getting stranger on his walks.  He stood in the doorway and would not go out.  OK, so maybe he didn't want to go.  Backed him up and closed the door.  He just stands there, and stands there.  Re-leash him and we try again.  We make it out the driveway.  He wants to cut across the grass.  It is a standoff.  Guess who gives in?  Ever try to move a very old, 120 pound immovable object in a way it does not want to go.  Sort of like rolling a boulder up hill.  You eventually have to admit defeat.  OK, I figure he wants to go to the shop and visit Annie.  No, next thing I know he is rolling in the grass.  Caught me completely off guard and once down, it's his call when we leave.  By now ALL the dogs are barking.  I'm out there yelling "It's me, hush.  No bark" over and over.  I finally leave him laying in the grass and run back up to the house to calm them all down before they wake up the neighborhood, as if they hadn't already.  Keeton finally gets up when I get back.  I try to steer him for a walk because he has not gone poop.  To no avail.  He heads for the house....and poops right on the porch in front of the door!  If I intended to pick up poop, I would have just stayed in bed!   He doesn't do it on purpose.  It just falls out and he's never quite sure when it will happen.  Gotta love him.  I may be there someday and someone may be cleaning up mine.
8/24/08:  It was such a pretty day yesterday.  I felt really bad I did not get out to animal control to help with the pet fair, but just could not seem to get out the door.  One thing after another.  Loose dogs, phone calls.  Next thing I knew it was 11:30.  Then the phone rang again.  My son called.  Mom hit a guy on a motorcycle.  She is 84 years old, but it was not really her fault.  She was already making a left turn when he flew out of a gas station right in her path.  Given he had the right of way, she got sited for failure to yield.  Felt sorry for her.  He ended up with a broken leg.  He called and apologized for not looking and pulling out in front of her.  Thought that was pretty admirable.  Next thing I knew it was 1:00 and Loren was pulling in form shooting.  (He cowboy competition shoots).  Went to Colton's for a late lunch and they did not have a window seat (I can't see in dark places) so left and ended up at Arby's.  Didn't get much of anything accomplished other then a lot of dog walking.  Today I got the fountain parts brought up the hill.  Geeze I hate gnats.  In my nose and eyes and ears.  Walking across the grass this time of year is not at the top of my enjoyable things to do list.  Sweetness busted through the door and let everybody in the house.  She does that if I don't keep a stick in the sliding door.  wouldn't have been so bad but Keeton had pooped and I hadn't seen it.  Kind of got scattered, but at least it was hard.  Oh the joys of doggie motherhood.  Keeton, Charlie, Sissy and Brooks are inside now.   It will not kill the others to be outside a few hours.  Kiona makes me crazy and if she is in, she gets into trouble.  If she is outside alone, she jumps the fence and comes to the front door.  Bear and Chipi were in this side all day yesterday.  Try to keep life balanced so they all have their special time.  Kiona just demands individual attention and 10 times more of it then the others.  Try to let Annie up too, but aside from Keeton, she don't like anyone and the feeling is mutual.  Poor Annie.  Sue will be back to pick her up Tuesday.  Annie will be delighted.  She hates it here, but sure beats a kennel.  Going to try to work on the bedroom rug this afternoon.  I'd like to get it done for Loren before much longer.  Probably a week to go if I stick with it 4 hours a day.  That is all I can squeeze in and all my fingers and back can handle anyway.  I get depressed knowing as soon as it is down, Charlie will lick a hole in it, Sweetness will pee on it and Zelda will dig scratch marks in it trying to 'fluff' it.  Can't 'fluff' carpet..  Sahara just curls up on the floor and blocks the doorway.  Got to have a pass word to enter or exit and 'move' is not it.  That's just the way it is around here.
8/27/08:  Chipi is a sailor!!  We have been talking about taking her on the boat to see if she can become Loren's fishing buddy.  Finally found the time to do it.  She was a little nervous going to a new place.  A little nervous walking on the ramps over the water to get to the boat.  We had to 'help' her on as she could see the water between the dock and the boat.  It was only about a 6" space but she was unsure.  We took our time and finally just helped her on board.  Loren took his time starting the engine and backing out of the slip.  I sat on the floor and snuggled her.  She really was not very nervous.  Just a little.  Pretty soon we were full speed.  She faced the back but was enjoying the wind on her neck.  We cruised around for a few minutes and then went back and bought her a life jacket.  She was a little unsure, but she let Chuck (the dock owner) put it on her.  After hanging around chatting awhile, I took her over to the bank and tried to coax her into the water.  I went out as far as my shorts would allow, but she just was not ready to get her feet wet.  I'll take my swim suit tomorrow and see if I can get her into the water a little.  After we have practiced a dozen times, I think she will be ready to go with just Loren and I won't need to be along.  We will need to see what happens if he catches a fish so that may take a few times because it's a huge lake and they move around.  Walked dogs before I fed them and Bear cried!  Everyone had a 'moment' but him so walked him and Chipi when we were done with the others.  Will find something special for him tomorrow.  I had to put Brooks and Kiona in the kennel earlier then usual (can't trust Kiona at the house when we are not home).  When we got home from the lake it was dinner time so too late to bring them back up. I put an ice chest full of ice cubes in their dry pool.   I do this often.  I watch from the window.  Brooks gets in the pool and lays down in the middle of the ice and starts chomping away.  Kiona challenges him and the games begin.  They end up both rolling in the pool in the ice.  Chomping away.  Chasing each other around the kennel with melting ice dripping out of their mouths.  This goes on until the last cube has melted, which is usually about 45 minutes.  I love seeing them have so much fun.  Brooks almost forgets his pain.
9/3/08:  Some of you that have kept up with my blog may remember when we were ready to move because Georgia, one of our rescues, got shot by someone in the neighborhood. She ultimately died next morning in my arms.  The kid we suspected harassed me repeatedly, tried to run over me with his truck and yelled profanities at me on numerous occasions.  Well, I don't have to worry about him anymore.  His picture was on the front page of the newspaper this morning. He is in jail on $1 million bond for attempted murder.  He did a drive by shooting and shot the guy twice.  The guy is going to live.  They found a .22 as well as other guns.  I guess I had good reason to be concerned for mine and my other dogs safety.  A "drive by" in Mountain Home, Arkansas, population 11,000!  Good grief!  My yard sale starts tomorrow and I am exhausted getting ready.  Everything is inside the shop so the rain will only make less people come, but atleast I won't have to cancel or cover stuff up.  Fri and Sat are suppose to be nice weather.  Know I won't make the $2000 I need for Brooks surgery, but will be thrilled if I even make a few hundred.  There is enough stuff to make more then the $2K, but people just don't have money.  Keeton is laying at my feet looking forlorn.  He does not understand that I can not turn off the rain.  He wants a walk, but not in the rain.  Goofus walked in the rain yesterday and then rolled in the grass.  The expression on his face was shock!  He got wet!  I never have seen him get up so fast.  Sahara let me shed her out last night.  Got a ways to go, but she looks 20 pounds lighter.  I was on the floor with her and she laid between my legs, rested her head on my thigh and just looked up at me with the most loving expression.  Even Loren commented he had not seen her with that much love in her eyes before.
9/04/08:  It's raining.  Dogs are not barking.  So why am I awake at 12:30 a.m.?  Because I just finished mopping the floor and steam cleaning the rugs.  Keeton has an aversion to rain.  He 'held it' as long as he could and I am sure he tried to wake me up to stop the rain and take him out.  Don't really know what woke me up. But once up, walking in a "stream" barefoot is not real pleasant at 11:00 p.m.  I chased Loren off into the spare bedroom and started with the mop.  I know poor Keeton had stored it up a good part of the afternoon.  It has rained buckets, wind really bad and totally unpleasant to be outside.  He was having none of it.  The stream started beside my bed, went across the bedroom floor and both area rugs, into the kitchen, across the area rug I just put down 2 days ago, through the rest of the kitchen, into the livingroom, across the floor and 3 area rugs. The final destination, front door. There was not a location unaffected.  And of course, of all times for the steam cleaner to get Alzheimer's.  It would not discharge water.  I had to spray down the stream with the carpet cleaner in a spray bottle and then get another spray bottle with hot water and spray on top of that.   Steam cleaner did suck it up.  Even without ANY wall to wall carpet, my steam cleaners have a one year plus one day life expectancy.  Never die within the warranty period.  Guess I'll try to go back to bed.  Keeton is sound asleep.  All the others are crowded in here by me.  They will all follow when I go back in the bedroom.  Sweetness, however, will be torn because Loren will not be there.    Just 6 hours and the yard sale starts.  Five hours and the alarm will go off so I can get up, feed the 'kids' and get signs out.  (rained too much to put them out last night)........  I hear Keeton up.... umbrella and get my shoes on time.......But he won't go outside........I just know it.
9/04/08 follow up:  First day of the sale was terrible.  Took in $9 over the cost of the ad.  It rained a lot which didn't help.  I'm just emotionally exhausted.  Brooks spent the day in the shop.  Sometimes in with me and the people and other times in the office.  Discovered a hot spot.  Know it was not there 3 days ago as brushed him really good and would have noticed.  Had medicine left over from Wayha so treatment is started. Just really don't need another thing to go wrong for the sweet little ..uh.. big guy.  Someone sent an urgent on 2 adorable baby Pyr puppies.  Tearing me up to say no but if I get in any deeper right now, I won't be doing any dog (or Loren) any good.  I know the signs and I've got them all.  Had a really weird call in the evening.  Asked for Loren and then said he was looking for a woman and had the wrong number. I figured it was one of the men looking at the motorcycle that I had written down Loren's name and out number.  Later I called him back and asked if he was at a yard sale and thought it was my name.  He said no.  He had the wrong number and then went on to say there was a man after a woman and he wanted to warn her. That the guy was a con artist and he was going to steal her money or worse.  I just cut the conversation short at that point.  This was just too creepy.  Too many coincidences.  And the guy sounded really strange.
9/05/08: Sale went much better today.  I think we took in about $300 and am pretty sure tomorrow will be equal or better.  Women are sending husbands and men sending wives.  Brooks was inside about half the time.  He was a big hit and donations were about $25 in his jar.  One older lady bought a corset.  We had a lot of fun putting her into it.  She was amazed at both the comfort and her new hourglass figure.  She is going to a dress up renaissance dinner next weekend.  It's 7 p.m. and I'm ready to crash.  Keeton won't be able to make it through the night, so know I will be up in 5 or 6 hours.  I feel like if I can hold on one more week then I can just unwind.
9/07/08:  Sale all totaled including donation jar, took in $463 after the cost of the ad was deducted.  With the outside donations, we are a little over 1/4 of the way for what is needed for Brooks.  Going to list some stuff on the 'Trading Post' (a radio call in) that is a free service.  I had not thought about it.  Newspaper also has a limited free single item listings for cheap stuff so will give that a shot.  And try again next Saturday with another yard sale.  So much stuff to pack up, I am not in a hurry to do it.  The sale was exhausting and somewhat disappointing, but met a number of new neighbors I had not met before.  It was fun introducing other neighbors to each other also.  Most of us are retired so we don't really get out for a lot of socialization.  I had a great time with one lady.  Her husband and my husband cowboy shoot.  I had not met her before.  She bought a corset to wear to one of their upcoming events.  Putting her in it and cinching her up and watching everyone's expressions was priceless.  A man from a local business was also watching.  He joined right in the fun.  It was so great to really laugh for a change.  Kiona leaves for her new home in Florida on Thursday.  I'm so happy for her.  Brooks is getting to where he does not want to play because of the pain.  She does not understand and he growls at her.  I feel so sorry for both of them.  Going to meet Nancy from SOS in Bentonville and bring a dog back here to it's new family.  I sure hope they are delighted when they meet her as I don't have a place to put her if they change their mind.  She's an old dog who is use to other dogs so all should go well.  I do have a back up, but the back up really says she is way too big for what he wants.  If the first fails, I will still go over to the second.  Maybe if he sees her, he won't be able to resist.
9/08/08:  Why is it always 1 step forward and 2 steps back.  That is what I feel like today.  Kiona had to get her health certificate to go to her new home on Thursday.  She had a fever so they did a blood panel and a bunch of other stuff.  So much for the yard sale proceeds going for Brooks.  Wiped out over half of the actual sales.  I just want to sit and cry.  Have to look on the positive side.  She is getting a good home and know she is healthy and they did issue the certificate so she can go on transport.   We are just done.  I can't take in any more dogs. I'm done with rescue. Got to find Brooks a home.  Hopefully we can still get enough for his surgery in the next 3 weeks.  Sahara and Chipi will probably just be here forever.  Keeton has had a few bad days again lately.  He got stuck in the doggie door.  Could not lift his hind legs up enough to step through.  Luckily I was right there.  This is just all too hard on my emotions.  Selling the Christmas ornaments at the sale was painful.  I remember Franks first Christmas here.  He thought the tree was his 'spot'.  Had to re-wrap a bunch of presents and the lower tinsel dripped pretty good too.  Seems like December will be here in no time and it will be the 2nd anniversary of Franks death and the first anniversary of Georgia's death (and the 11th anniversary of Loren's first wife's death.  Christmas is just not a happy time and it will be here all to soon.  Keeton is ready for his evening walk.
9/12/08:  Keeton is feeling better.  I really had a good laugh on our walk this evening.  He just 'drops' and rolls in the grass when we cut across the yard.  Cat always mimics him.  Well, while he was rolling, the cat grabbed the end of the leash and began playing with it.  Since there was 'light tugging' Keeton thought it was me wanting him to get up.  He got up and the cat was literally 'in tow', hanging on tightly to the leash while Keeton drug it across the yard.  When the cat would lose hold, Keeton would stop and cat would 'attack it' again and off they'd go.  I don't know what these 2 would do without each other.  It is definitely a mutual love and respect. I only put up signs for my 'follow up' yard sale and made $160.   Should have made five times that, but was practically giving stuff away.  Made myself sick to my stomach at some of the prices I agreed to.  One lady paid $90 for new craft stuff I had paid over $500 for a few years ago and just never used.  Oh well, I made her happy and I might have stored the stuff forever.  Of course it was less then a sandwich bag full so didn't exactly take up room. (over 500 intricate metal buckles and clasps).  Going to have the sale until noon tomorrow then go over and pick up a crib mattress for Keeton to sleep on.  It was on freecycle.  I've helped the lady place several dogs in the past and will help her place a purebred Sheltie.  Gorgeous dog, but scared of it's own shadow.  I contacted a TN Sheltie rescue and they may take it.  It really should have Sheltie experienced people finding it a home, especially since she has given it away 3 times and people have all brought it back.   Brooks chased a squirrel yesterday.  Not good.  He came back really limping.  Gave him an evening pain pill (prescription is just one in the morning).  Figured it had been 15 hours so he should be fine with the extra dose.  He is walking better today but still worse then before.  Aside from the first 'hello' in the morning, Kiona is calming down.  Having to wait 2 more weeks to leave for her new home is giving me time to work more with her.  She is sweet, just so 'people' attached and gets SO excited when she sees the leash and knows it's "her time".   She would never be happy as one of a 'pack'.
9/18/08:  I just don't know where the days go!  Took a break yesterday and went to Branson for lunch.  Need an escape every now and then.  Phone has been busy today.  Things are looking up for Brooks thanks to one of my adopters.  A special lady who is going the extra mile to help raise money for his surgery.  When I get so 'down', always at least one of my adopters comes forward to cheer me up. (usually several) They have no idea how much I appreciate it.  My daughter called today.  They had 2 miniature horses that my granddaughter just does not have time for.  At first I was cringing.  They listed them on Craig's list for free.  Over 60 people in the first few hours responded.  Thank goodness, they did a lot of interviewing and found the perfect home for them just a short distance away.  My daughter has already been over there twice to deliver blankets and misc. that they had for them. She said they have a huge barn, 40 acre pasture and a wonderful home with someone who really knows these animals.  In just a week, had them relaxed and eagerly learning to pull a cart, etc.  Makes me proud she made a wise choice.  Been giving Kiona and Brooks super amounts of attention lately.  Kiona really needed it.  She had a great time playing fetch.  I swear she is a lab in Pyr clothing.  Never had such a rambunctious Pyr before.  She is going to have a great time in her new home.  Have a call into the vet school on Brooks.  Hope they get back to me soon.  I want to understand everything and right now I am confused.  All the dogs have been so great lately.  A full moon and hardly any barking.  I have actually got several consecutive hours of sleep for 2 nights in a row.  The previous night they were good, but I kept waking up 'in anticipation' :-).  Got a crib mattress off Freecycle and Sissy loves it.  Got it for Keeton, but he was not interested.  Sissy needs it almost as bad with her arthritis so it worked out well.  Sweetness thinks she should have on too, so guess I will be looking for another. Two will be the limit, though as still need to maintain some walking room.
9/21/08:  Keeton gets stranger by the day.  He is so expressive, I just wonder what is going on in his head.  Not sure if it is indecision, confusion or dementia.  The last few days he has wanted us both to take him on his walks.  One is not good enough if we are both home.  He will just stand on the porch until he sees the other of us, then he will start to move.  Use to be just waiting for the cat.  Now he needs a parade.  Loren got lucky on one trip yesterday.  Since Loren had cleared the weeds from the adjoining property (where I got the bad case of poison ivy) I figured it was ok to let Keeton lead me through the land as long as we stayed in the clearing.  It's now 11 p.m. and the itching continues to spread.  I had long pants on. Clothes are in the hamper. I took a bath.  I can't win.  I was asleep and didn't notice too much, but Bear......  Woof woof squeak....... once or twice every 20 minutes.  He must think if he waits long enough between outbursts, I won't notice.  It's hell to love so much the 2 dogs that wear me out.  Keeton is right beside my side of the bed.  Considering there is only 40" of space between the bed and the wall,  it is quite an adventure to get past the big ball of fur.  Atleast I can see all the white ones in the semi darkness.  On occasion, I trip over sweetness but she has learned to keep out of the path to the bathroom and door.  Chipi is such a good girl.  She never barks at night....but if she hears a siren (usually the storm alter or spillway alert) which the human ear does not hear from this distance, she howls.  Then everyone joins in.  I need to record it and download it for all to experience.  Would make a great sound effect for a grave robber/Dracula movie.  Nine dogs all howling out of tune.  (Charlie is almost deaf so he sleeps through it.) Absolutely no harmony but sounds to wake the dead.....and me.  It's almost tomorrow.  Bear has been quiet.  He is just waiting for me to return to bed.  He's saving his energy until he can do some 'good'.  Maybe I will just fool 'em all and hide in the spare bedroom.
9/22/08:  I'm sitting here crying for a dog I never met and do not even know it's name.  I got a call yesterday that a 3 year old Pyr had to have a place to go by 3:00 or he would be euthanized.  I made some calls to no avail.  I can't make this my problem.  I left a very clear message that I had tried but was sorry.  I just got a call from the vet's office and they had been told I would take him.  He's still alive.  So now I ended up playing God.  It's just not fair.  I am letting a dog die.  It does not matter that I did not create the problem.  It does not matter that I only had several hours to solve it for someone else and failed.  It DOES matter that he is one more of 6 million (6,000,000) dogs that will die this year.  He is one I could have saved, but at what cost?  And I am not talking dollars.  I'm talking emotions.  I just can't do this anymore.  It hurts too much.
9/24/08:  An amazing thing happened.  A silver lining on this cloud I am under right now.  Brooks and Kiona had gotten out of the yard the past few days.  Since Kiona had went over the gate several times in the past, I just assumed that was her MO.  Of course, I did wonder how Brooks could have done that with his bad shoulders.  Well, they were not going over the gate.  They were merely stepping over the downed fence way at the top end of the property.  It's wooded, so was not noticed until I was out looking for stray Nyla bones.  A rather large tree had fallen and literally flattened the fence to the ground.  The amazing thing, my dogs never left!!!!  They could have so easily just stepped over like the pups.  They truly are mature guardians and know they belong here.  Such a warm feeling in the midst of all the 'storms'.
9/26/08: Kiona arrived safely at her new home.  We spent the day getting the new dog area set up.  We had put in a doggie door into the new garage so on days when we are gone and it starts to rain, they will have a place to go.  We sectioned off an 8' x 10' section with 2x4's and wire so it feels open yet keeps them from getting on the car or into stuff that might hurt them.  Sissy thinks we set it up just for her.  I felt bad when I could not coax her out and into the house.  She finally wanted in about 11:00 p.m.  We took out the doggie door in the sliding glass door so now it is getting the dogs use to 'either in or out' at bed time.  It did not go well!  It will get better.  Anyway, this will allow Brooks to stay up at the house, have shelter, but not be in the house when we are not around to watch him.  It also took some major work to secure the fence.  Even after getting the tree cut up and moved and the fence back up, he still got out.  No idea how, but sure is not doing his shoulders any favor.  We cut out all the growth that had got on the hot wire and repaired all the broken areas (the deer are constantly breaking it) then re-connected the electrical reducer.  Brooks definitely discovered it.  He did not get out after it was connected.  A little sting is better then being run over or shot.  He will start to appreciate the changes since he will be with everybody all the time now.  I still have not decided what to do about his surgery.  If he does not have a home to go to, I just don't feel right getting donations.  It would be like taking donations for one of my own dogs, which he may end up being.  All but $25 of the money I've raised has been from selling my stuff or money that was coming my way anyway. But we are still a long ways from being able to handle $2000.   I really don't look forward to having 9 dogs until 'death do us part' (or even 8 or 7) but I love them all.  There is no such thing as a dog not worthy of saving..... if we could just save more......
9/28/08:  Brooks is such a sweet dog.  I was going to say puppy, but at 8 months and almost 80 pounds, he hardly seems a puppy.  He is still spending the night in the kennel.  He needs the rest.   I need the rest!  The new 'no doggie door' routine is still quite complicated.  Now they bark at all hours so I can either let them in or let them out. We may put the darn thing back in.  They all had such a great time yesterday.  Weird how just moving a fence 20 feet and opening up a new 'inside' space changes their routine and makes them act goofy  (photos)After the play time, Sweetness decided she wanted over with Bear and Chipi.  VERY weird!!  A little 'testing the temperament ' but then they got along fine.  Sweetness did try to be bossy to Chipi at first, but Bear let her know it was not appropriate behavior for HIS side of the fence.
9/29/08:  Nothing to do with dogs.   Birthday time begins.  My son Randy and his son James'  birthday is today. Randy's youngest daughter Jenniffer's birthday is Oct. 2 and his eldest daughter Amber's is Oct. 6 which is also my daughter Sandra's birthday.  2000 miles away.  It use to be a great week.  Now it's just....... Our financial person called last night.  I now have a different view of the 'bailout'.  Why can't the candidates just be straight forward and tell how the lack of a bailout would effect us all.  Peoples retirement and 401K's would go the way of Enron.  I'm tired.    4:00 p.m. passage of the bail out failed.  We personally just lost a huge amount of our retirement because it failed.  Maybe Brooks won't be getting the surgery after all. Such a catch 22.   I'm so tired.
10/05/08:  Plans are set to go to Columbia with Brooks.   Will just go see and make a decision based on their prognosis.  I've been laid up with my hip for 2 days.  Now the pain has moved throughout my leg.  That's a new one.   The hip has been a problem since I was blown out of a car 60 years ago.  It 'locks up' and down I go.   Loren said he will take Brooks if I am not ok, but actually the drive and sitting around a motel is easier then dealing with 9 dogs (Annie will be here next week).  Keeton is still not doing well.  Up until a week ago he would 'flop' onto the grass and roll and have a great time.  Now he lays down very slowly and needs help getting up.  He's not rolling around either. I've been cooking chicken for him.  He's not eating the kibble and not finishing the chicken either.  He's been sleeping right beside where ever we are.  Bear is in the shop again tonight.  He will not stop barking.  He starts at 9:00 p.m. and goes right through until 4 or 4:30 a.m.  Usually I can't hear him when he is down there, but I can tonight.  And of course, Brooks has to relay any messages up to the house, and Sahara and Zelda have to respond.  It's almost midnight.  At least I got a nap today, since there was not much else I could do.  Guess I'll go trudge down to the kennel and put the bark collar on Brooks.  Bear is immune to it anymore.  Dread the pain of getting back in bed. 
10/06/08:  11: p.m. walk. At least I got Keeton to turn around and home before it began to rain.  Leg is killing me.  Can't sleep anyway.  Everybody abandoned the bedroom and is in here with me, except Keeton.  The nicest man stopped by today.  He had stopped here about a year ago.  Can't remember why.  He remembered I had dogs and wanted some advise.  He uses a vet I detest, but anyway, I was able to steer him in the right direction thanks to all I learned from Janice these past 3 years.  He must have stayed 2 hours, but the conversation was nice. I enjoyed it.  Got a surprise donation for Brooks in the mail today.  Half way there.  I am so touched by some people.  Having friends, even those I've never met in person, is so emotionally rewarding. I worked on finding a motel.  A lot of choices up there but not knowing the area, I am not sure which one.  Janice thinks I should take Zelda with for protection but I don't know if the "dog friendly" attitude would extend if I showed up with two 80 pound fur balls.  Besides you can't leave them in the room unattended and I would need to eat while there.  Guess I could do 'drive thru'.  Oh well, I think showing up with 2 is a bit much.  I will be bored out of my mind for 3 days. Maybe I can connect with one of the rescues and help for those days.
10/10/08:  Getting ready for the big adventure.  To most people, a 'straight shot' from here to there would be a cinch.  To a directionally challenged person like myself, it could be traumatic!  I have trouble remembering which way I came from after pulling into a gas station.  Rule: Never cross the road and always pull into a pump in the direction I want to leave in.  We have an older GPS system, but it confuses me even worse when it does not have a newer road in the system and yells at me "off route, turn left" and if I turned left, I'd be in a field.  Bought a wire crate and borrowing one from Janice.  The thought of trying to hold Brooks leash in one hand while trying to break down this monster crate with the other, then toting both into the motel just didn't make me feel very confident.  If Brooks had not started chewing a few days ago (he chewed a big hole in Sissy's bed), I would not have worried about a crate in the room.  I just don't want to be buying the motel a new mattress, chair and pillows.  So I will leave the one crate in the SUV for riding and the other folded up until I get to the room.  I think I can handle that.  I am concerned about dog food.  The instructions say NOT to bring any to the school, all things will be provided.  I just don't want them giving him crappy Science Diet and I am sure that is what they feed.  It's total garbage.  I'm taking a bag of his.  I may not win the battle, but I intend to get someone in charge to read their food label and understand that dogs are not meant to have wheat, corn, soy, gluten and no creature on earth, other then buzzards, should have meat 'by-products'.  He does not need an upset tummy to go along with the long ride home.  Keeton is doing better.  We had a bad few days.  I laid on the floor with him last night for awhile. He was so asleep it worried me.  Guess it was the first good sleep he's had in a few days so, like me, made up for the lose.  Annie comes Monday.  Loren will have his hands full.  She will just have to stay in Brooks's kennel.  She likes outside better then inside anyway.  We reduced the size of the outside run off the shop to 10x10 in order to use the panels to allow access to the new dog room in the garage.  She will have a 40 x 40 with a carport shelter and 2 dog houses and lots of trees, so she will be fine.  She doesn't like anybody but Keeton, so she won't be particularly lonesome and she will get her 2 walks a day.  Sahara is the one who is going to have trouble.  She is my Velcro dog.  She is going to pace all night looking for me.
10/12/08- 2:00 a.m.:  Was asleep but Bear had to get Brooks barking.  All is quiet now, but hard to go back to sleep.  Got everything loaded yesterday and ready to head out in about 7 hours so will get more sleep before then. I re-worked the doggie door that goes in the sliding door and we got it put back in.  Loren could sleep through a tornado.  I wake up at the sound of a pant or paw taps.  With the door back in, at least Loren will not be waking up to their barking to get out or a mess in the morning (other then Keeton's usual).  And when I get back, I won't be getting up other then to tell bear to be quiet.  OK, so that's not true.....  I'll be up calming Brooks while he has to sleep in the crate the first few weeks.  UGH!   Is there a light at the end of this tunnel?  I emailed rescues in Columbia as I will have nothing to do Tuesday and Wednesday.  Want to do something other then sit at the motel.  If I just go out driving around, I will get lost and panic.  Both one rescue and the shelter are only open Thursday thru Sunday so that sucks.  The other rescue has no facility, and the notice on the site says 'allow several days for a response'.  That sucks too.  It's not like I waited until the last minute.  I did email both over a week ago and got no response that time.  Oh well, I'll have my books and music to keep me company.  Wish I could have afforded the Holiday Inn with the indoor pool.
Notes from Columbia, MO.: 10/12:  Arrived at the motel in just 5 hours. Brooks was great. The trip went smooth.  We stopped twice for a potty break and a drink.  Both times he complied and was rewarded with a treat.  He was so good to go back up the ramp and into the crate. We had to 'upgrade' the room for tonight because his crate would not fit.  Talk about small space!  But it was reasonably clean and quiet.  I set up the spare crate, which was a size smaller and almost too small.  I felt bad because he hardly had room to stand or stretch. It was only intended for a short period of time anyway. I shared my chicken sandwich with Brooks.  He thoroughly enjoyed it.  10/13 pre appointment:  I find it amazing how just a dozen hours with an animal can take such a hold on me.  We got to know each other so well without all the other dogs.  I had to let Brooks out to potty several times during the night.  I'm use to needing a flash light so had one with.  Hardly necessary in the 'city'.  I had just fallen back asleep when Loren gave the wake up call.  Brooks could have breakfast as long as it was before 8:00 a.m.  I fed him at 6:30 just for a cushion.  I walked him a lot and eventually he pooped.  We still had 3 hours to kill before we left for his appointment.  I read aloud to him and he fell sound asleep.  Reading aloud to a dog!  But what a bond it created.  10/13 Post appointment:  I didn't think this was going to be so hard.  I just got back from leaving Brooks at the school...... (continued) Brooks was not being friendly to one of the dogs near us.  Don't know why as it was being sweet.  I arrived 45 minutes early and they took us in 40 minutes late so made for a long wait.  Several of the people had dogs with cancer.  I felt really sorry for them, people and dogs.  I'm thinking "at least Brooks is curable" so I'm doing fine.  Tony Demarco was the soon to be vet that did intake for Brooks.  Tony graduates in May.  The surgeon, John Punke, was nice also.  Anyway, I was fine until they asked me a question "If something should go wrong, do you want us to resuscitate?"  And then they went on to say the levels of resuscitation. All of a sudden my world was spinning.  For some reason, it just had not occurred to me he could die from this.  All these months I have been battling to get him pain free and thus avoid euthanasia.  I make the decision to spend a fortune and I am knocked off my feet.  10/14:  The waiting is so hard.  Tony called at 10:00 and Brooks was just going under anesthesia for the MRI.  (it was complementary because they just got the machine and were excited to start advancing their capabilities).  That would take about 2 hours and then into surgery.  He would call back when done, about mid afternoon.  Watched 2 HBO movies.  Nothing really to do since all the rescues and shelters are only open on Thurs. thru Sunday. Did venture across town to find a grocery store.  The restaurant food had not agreed with me so made some deli sandwiches.  I think this was the Tiffany of grocery stores.  Sliced turkey luncheon meat started at $8.99 a pound!  That was the cheapest thing in the deli for meat.  Cost me $11 and change for 6 oz of meat, a bag of hoagie buns and a small bag of chips.  I had brought milk and soda with from home.  I had looked for an Arby's or Quiznos or other agreeable fast food, but only found a dozen Taco Bell's.  Later:  It is 3:30 and I am a nervous wreck. I called Tony at 4:00 and he was just fixing to call me.  Everything went fine and Brooks can go home in the morning. 
10/17/08:  Brooks is doing good.  He is still limping alot but considering the amount of joint mice and other stuff they removed, it is to be expected for awhile.  He is already doing better today.  He tried to chase the cat on his first walk this morning.  I wasn't expecting it, so almost jerked me off my feet.  I'm going to look up dog cookie recipes and make some today.  He has about polished off the bag I bought for the trip.  Finding cookies without wheat flour was hard and expensive so maybe I can find a recipe.  If not, I'll attempt my own concoction.  I need the treats to get him to go back in his crate.  He only has to be in it if I am not with him.  Otherwise he is sleeping (or wants petted) where ever I am; kitchen, computer room, livingroom.  He really is a good sport about the confinement, especially being a puppy.
10/18/08:  Got to do something to get some sleep.  Last night I closed Annie in my part of the shop and Bear in the 'office'.   There are 2 rooms and 3 doors between Bear and Annie.  About an hour after putting Bear down there (11pm) I hear him barking. (he has a very unique 'woof. woof, woof, squeak'). Now I know he can't bark that loud.  I get my sweats on and go traipsing down and here in the kennel off my shop room is a strange dog.  I am still fuzzy brained from lack of sleep and it is relatively dark, but I know this is not Annie looking at me.  It took my brain about a minute to realize I was looking at Bear!  Since Annie and he wanted to kill each other just a few hours earlier, my heart jumps straight into my throat..... but I had not heard any growling.  Had Annie somehow gotten out?  I open the door to my room and there she is laying on the blanket.  A little wide eyed but in one piece.  Bear had eaten her food.  She must have let him.  My first inclination was to leave them be, but I knew I would never get back to sleep worrying the 'what if's'.  Took Annie to the kennel.  A trip half way up the hill.  Back down to close Bear into my shop room. (he barks to loud to stay outside). Back up to the house for a bark collar for Annie.  Back to the kennel to put it on her (which was a total waste because it did not phase her).  Back down to Bear to freshen the water and get Annie's food bowl and more food.  Dropped off Annie's food and had to clean and refill the water the water chests.  By this time everybody was wide awake.  Decided I might as well take Brooks for a walk so I could sleep a little later in the morning.  Totally unsuccessful.  It was cold and he just would not pee.  He just wanted to find the cat and chase it.  I like to never got him back into the crate.  I made fish flavored dog cookies yesterday.  Enthusiasm was minimal but he finally went in after one.  Hello 1:30 am!  Aside from a few Sahara outbursts (I do wish she would not 'warn' right next to the bed), I did sneak in some sleep.  Annie's barking is low and just above a whisper so not near as annoying as Bears squeak, Sahara's deep throaty long outbursts or Keeton's very slow bellowing fog horn "wruuufff'.  Up at 4:30 walking Brooks.  Finally multiple success. Took the collar off Annie.  Brought Bear back to the house.  Crashed from total exhaustion until 6!  I think I have a solution.  I'm going to use Janice's big heavy crate inside the shop lined up with the doggie door into the small kennel area.  We'll need to attach it to the wall somehow so it can't be pushed away.  Brooks can spend most of his time down there.  Fresh air outside and a place to potty, warmth inside to sleep, yet not enough room to really exert himself.  Bear can still spend the night in the shop.  We will just have to figure a block for the one door.  Annie will be going home tomorrow or the next day so one less bark and 4 less walks and an hour less attention allotment.  It's 10 a.m. and I have not even begun to get the things done that need done.  Fountains need drained and cleaned.  They are full of leaves.  Floors need mopped really bad.  Being gone 4 days and then 2 days 'recovery' has left the house a mess.  Most important right now though, is giving Bear and Chipi their special time.  They are so happy to be in here with me.  It has been almost a week since they had real attention. (Loren is a bit afraid of Bear and Bear knows it).  Bear found the new Nyla bone I got Brooks for the trip.  He is making sure it will no longer look new.  Chipi is waiting for some petting...  OK, Chipi, I am ready to give you some loving........
10/20/08:  It is warming up a bit and that is good.  Brooks is fed up with the crate at night.  It was a major battle last night.  Lots of cookies and ice (he loves ice cubes) put way in the back so he would go in, but he would stretch as far as he could while keeping his hind end firmly planted outside the crate.  Tonight he can stay in the kennel that he is use to.  He just won't have anybody to keep him company.  He is really enjoying his day time house visits.  I keep him by me and away from the others.  He just wants so badly to play.  He even tries to get Keeton to play.  I think Keeton feels sorry for him.  Charlie just gets annoyed and hides under a chair.  It's not even been a week and it is so hard.  Brooks just does not understand.  Poor guy.  I made pumpkin cookies yesterday for the dogs.  They turned out ok.  At least the dogs seem happy.  I need to do some more experimenting as they are too soft.  It is obvious the dogs prefer hard and crispy. 
10/21/08:  Life with the dogs is settling into place with the cooler nights and bark collars.  Bear got 'collared' about midnight.  Brooks took over bark 'duty'.  Brooks got collared about 12:20.  Sahara took over, but she is good to come in and go to sleep when I assure her that all is fine.  We don't need the 'all night warning system'.  Sissy is the difficult one.  When she sets her mind to it, she will go on all night and there is no bribery in the world that will bring her near.  By waiting so late to hush the others, she has been asleep and not noticed.  Zelda is so perfect.  She guards all night without making a sound.  She is like a stealth bomber if something ventures into her space.  I would not recognize her bark if I heard it, it is so rare.  With morning, Brooks is making up for last night.  H is down in the kennel alone and unhappy.  Time to decide which ones get to spend the morning with me and then which ones will spend the afternoon and where Brooks will fit into all of it, since he will want to play.
10/23/08:  The mood has been right so I put Chipi in with 'the girls' today.  Her and Zelda drew a little blood, but once I calmed Zelda it seemed to go ok.  We watched out the window for about 20 minutes until Chipi got the courage to venture off the deck and into the yard where Zelda had went off to lay under her favorite tree.  Sahara was willing to make friends, but a bit uncertain.  Zelda dictates so it was a cautious butt smelling, nose sniffing, eye contact and finally ear licking.  Sahara even came back for Chipi when Chipi did not follow her the first time.  I wanted to put Bear in the yard with just Zelda but Loren said we had enough excitement for one day.  I am trying to figure out a way to keep Brooks at the house at night as it is getting cold.  I don't want to crate him again and do not trust him enough to let him wander unwatched even in just the kitchen.  He will chew something up.  Bear will get totally defensive of the bedroom so even if they all get along, can't have Bear in a pack at night.  Thought I had this all figured out.  Just may have to put Bear in the shop at night.  He always looks so sad when left down there.  Not even the stereo on and a night light help.  If he was just not so darn unpredictable and fearful.  He is so sensitive.  Went and voted today.  Has been long lines since early voting started Monday.  Thought it would have been calmed down by now.  If it had just been for president, I don't think we would have bothered, (tired of voting for the "lesser of 2 evils") but a couple of local races were of major concern for us.   There were also several initiatives we had strong feelings about.   Sadly the animal cruelty issue didn't get on the ballot.  Well it's almost tomorrow and the barking stopped about 20 minutes ago.  Maybe they are done for the night....Ha!
10/28/08:  Shaggy is back.  Janice was checking petfinder and saw him in a shelter.  Needless to say, I am outraged!  A simple phone call, but no, she had to dump him in a kill shelter.  There is a doggie God looking out for these guys.  Chipi did not remember him and was a bit testy.  Brooks did fine with him.  Shaggy likes everybody.  It is going to freeze again tonight, so Bear and Chipi are in the shop and Shaggy, Brooks, Zelda, Sahara and Sweetness are on Bears side with the dog room.  Just Sis, Keeton and Charlie will be sharing our part of the house tonight.  If the barking is bad (Sahara is quite the watch dog), we will retreat to the spare bedroom.  Brooks slept next to our bad last night.  He was so good.  For a puppy, he is exceptional.  I just need less dogs.... Why does the count keep going up instead of down?
10/31/08:  They have been so good at night!  Hardly any barking and it hasn't even been raining!  Of course the barkers got 'collared' one night and now I just set the collars on the counter for them to see.  It definitely has an impact. Had a little 'adjustment' issues with Brooks picking on Shaggy the second day, but one night in the kennel alone solved that.  The jealousy factor is rearing it's ugly head, but I try to balance the attention.  Zelda has not been feeling good.  Have her on Doxy.  If things are not looking better by Monday, I will have to take her in to the vet.  Know it will be $200 just for 'tests'.  It was $228 for Kiona and it was just a 'bug' passing by.  Zelda has been unlike her self for several weeks.  I know the ticks have been horrid.  They do their damage before the frontline kills them, so I have been trying to keep close watch and a lot of brushing on everybody.  I figured ehrlichiosis but she should be responding by now.  Could be depression, too.  Too many dogs decreases the amount of attention.  Tonight she was in for awhile and then went out (think Sahara would not let her in).  She was sleeping in the room in the garage so I took out fresh water, treats and the grooming brush.  Set out there on the floor for about half an hour and brushed and loved on her.  She was so happy.  I hated to come in, but still don't totally trust Brooks not to chew on the rugs.
11/03/08:  Quiet!  Several nights in a row and hardly a bark..... well, compared to normal, hardly a bark.  I think I am actually getting caught up on my sleep.  May take a few years if I tally hours, but I don't need a Rip Van Winkle scenario.  Yesterday Keeton took me for a walk.  Loren has been doing it most of the time lately as Keeton has not asked for any 'middle of the nighters''.   I made a little page of reminders that Keeton has re-instilled in me.   I need to slow down and with Keeton, we rarely get out of first gear.  Holding the leash is like holding my grandpas hand.  So much wisdom and love without uttering a word.  I dread the day we will someday say good bye.  I love each dog with so much compassion, but Keeton will stay in my heart the longest.  Zelda seem to be perking up.  I am so relieved.  Shaggy is so easy.  I had forgotten what a great guy he was.  When he hears Loren wake up, he puts his paws on the bed and stretches for a pet.  That is the cue for Sweetness, Sahara and Brooks to come to my side and demand attention.  Hard to pet 3 dogs all at once.  We spent the weekend adjusting fences.  Moved some kennel panels across the area between the fence and garage.  Now if we are going to be gone for several hours, I can keep the bulk of the dogs out in the yard with the garage for shelter and still leave the doggie door open for Charlie and Keeton to come in and out to potty.  A lot of hard work, but worth it.  Tried to clean up leaves yesterday.  The neighbors Border Collie has been visiting lately.  I tell her 'Go home and go to bed' which is what Sue said to do, but she ignores me.  She is a sweety, though.  I started up the leaf blower and she went wild..... chasing leaves.  It was hysterical to watch her.  She would get a mouth full and then drop them and collect more.  It was great until some started flying in the rose bed.  I had to quit because she was bleeding on a her paws and tongue in just moments.  I felt terrible.  I cleaned her up and just set with her until the bleeding stopped.  I could tell she wanted to play more as she kept walking over to the leaf blower as if to say 'more, please'.   Sue got my message that afternoon and came got her.  I knew from past experience taking her home was useless.  By the time I'd pull back in the driveway, she would be sitting on the front step.  Anyway, Sue said turning on the leaf blower is how they find her when she wanders past her boundary.  She hears it and comes running.  I told Sue when we are ready to blow leaves again, I will call ahead and she can put her in the house.
11/04/08: Well, so much for the quiet.  Of course they are all quiet now that it is 8:00 a.m. and they are ready for their 'after breakfast' nap.  We have been experiencing Autumn in all it's glory.... finally.  This is the first year that the colors have really been vivid.  OK, to dogs.   About 4:00 am I hear this strange noise.  It is a scratching sound, but not on glass or wood.  Then a thump and a series of thumps.  The patter of paws barreling around the kitchen.  More thump.  More scratch.  Brooks is ready for morning and he has located the missing tennis ball under the plastic vertical blinds.  He is doing leaps over a sea of white dogs, tossing the tennis ball and then chasing it.  It gets stuck under the blinds and he digs it out.  Luckily it did not get stuck under Sahara or she'd of taken his head off!  Lucky too it didn't land on her.  She loves playing with "the child", but after patrolling most of the night, sleep was a priority.  Then Keeton decided to get up.  He insisted on a walk.  Not realizing it had cooled off from the night before, I slipped into some shorts with my nightshirt and my shoes.  Thirty five minutes later we had finally returned to the house, having toured the shop, the front yard, a little up the road and a little down the road.  It was not 'successful'.  I did get back to sleep and Keeton got his 'regular' walk with Loren at 6:30.  He can be so manipulative! 
11/06/08:  Out walking Keeton tonight at 9:30 pm.  Saw one of the longest traveling shooting stars I have ever seen.  First thing that came to mind " I wish they'd shut up".    The sight was breathtaking.  BTW, my wish was not granted.  The moon is almost full and the sky is clear so it will be several nights before there is hope of any real sleep.  It's not just mine, but dogs for miles 'relaying the message'.  Brooks has been so good.  He is amazing for a puppy.  I hope someone worthy wants him soon.  It is just too many dogs and we just don't know what we can do.  Basic care is costing us over a third of our income. We've cut every cost we can and still maintain some existence.  With our income cut almost in half and dog food and vet prices increasing by 20% to 30%  ..... No one in the media is addressing what an impact the economy is having on our dog population.
11/11/08: Brooks is limping worse then ever.  I'm so discouraged.  Don't know if it is arthritis in that shoulder and cold weather is aggravating it, or if pieces of cartilage have fallen off again.  Guess we will have to fork over several hundred more for new x-rays.  If pieces have broken off again, well everything we did and spent was for nothing.  I'm heartsick.  He is such a good boy for a puppy.  He did however cost us another $145 last night.  I keep the meds in a closed cabinet on the counter.  It is one of those corner units with the roll down door.  I know it was closed tight because he had just gotten into it a few hours earlier looking for treats.  I was not sure it was closed tight that time, so I made sure it was this time.  He was in and I was out of the kitchen no more then 15 minutes when I just had this 'feeling'.  He had gotten the cabinet door up and helped himself to a whole bag of Charlie's chew bones and a whole bottle of Tributol (sp) for Charlie's lungs.  The prescription was almost full.... $145 worth.  Don't know how many he ate or even if any at all.  The chewed up bottle was out in the rain, as were a few 'white dots' of dissolved pills.  I made him throw up.  That's how I know he ate the whole bag of chews.  Loren went and got more pills and after Brooks quit puking, I brought him back into the house and fixed him chicken and rice for dinner.  He needed something easy on his tummy.  I do believe lesson learned.  He did not counter surf all night!  He has also been extremely obedient today.
11/12/08:  Got x-rays on Brooks.  He is doing fine, just too active.  I was so worried, but feel better. We borrowed a few more kennel panels from Janice and gated the garage area so he can be outside or in the garage but not racing around the yard with the other dogs as he likes to do.  Hopefully in a week, he will be limping less and more on his way to full recovery.  I am just not good at being 'tough'.  Those big sad eyes really get to me. 
11/13/08: WOW!  I slept straight through from 9:00 to 4:30 a.m.  That is the most sleep in one stretch I have had since being a teenager..... and that was a very long time ago!  The dogs were so quiet.  I think putting up the extra kennel panels so Brooks could feel close yet not exert himself gave the others a sense of insecurity.  They don't like change and always look at me questioningly.  Right now Brooks is asleep right beside me.  Everyone is locked in rather then out.  That is also a change for them.  Morning in cleaning time and I like to clean the whole floor, not just the un-occupied spaces.  Anyway, no one is complaining.  The floor can wait until this afternoon.  Brooks most likely has a forever home awaiting him.  I just want to feel confident that he is not going to be a medical financial burden on anyone else.  With a week of dedication and tough love (which is very hard for me), we should see marked improvement.  Keeton is doing good lately.  Eating well and acting silly sometimes.  He still has a hard time making decisions on which way he wants to go on his walk.  Sometimes he just stands for several minutes.  I guess he is teaching us patience for when we may have to deal with dementia.  Heck, half the time we already forget what we were looking for or what we were doing.  Shaggy will be going the Friday after Thanksgiving.  We will sure miss him.  If he were not going to Lucretia, we'd just keep him.  Some dogs are just absolutely no trouble and total loves and he is one of those.  Zelda is another.  Guess it is the Komondor/Pyr mix.  I still think about Gretel, the one I could not save, tied to a log in Rockford, Il.  Been several years.  I do not know her status but if she is alive, I would drive there and get her in a heartbeat if they would let me have her.  Some you just love without ever meeting.
11/19/08:  4:30 a.m.   They have been so good.  With the exception of one night, they have hardly barked.  So why am I up so early?  Brooks went missing.  I heard some moving around and needed to clean up after Keeton.  Counted bodies and came up one short.  If it's Zelda, I never worry.  Outside until her 'shift' in over, is normal.  But it was Brooks.  Never know when a tree will fall on the fence, so I bundled up and went out with a flash light.  I tromped the 3 acres following the fence line for breaks.  Zelda and Sahara followed.  Nothing.  Finally spotted him in the fartherest (isn't that a word?) corner.  I guess he was just enjoying the brisk climate and the beautiful starlit sky.  By the time I got back to the house,  Keeton wanted a walk.  Was not going to happen.  I needed to thaw out.  Did get him into the back yard to pee, then he wanted to roam.  Had to get him turned around and back into the house.  He falls sometimes and has a hard time getting up.  I never leave him outside alone for more then a few minutes.  The terrain is not level and he could roll down a hill.  So now after an hour and a half of tending to the kids, I'm wide awake.  Guess I will go back to bed and get warm.  I'm sure Sissy and Sweetness have kept my space warm....now if I can just get them to move over and give it back!
11/23/08:  Twenty minutes of adventure... enough to last through the all of next year.  I had just done the doggie shuffle and moved Bear and Chipi back to the dog's room and let the 'white dogs' back in the house.   As I was picking up water chests to fill, all H broke loose.  Bear was climbing the walls and curtains and knocking into the crates.  Chipi ran panic stricken outside.  Somehow a bird had flown into the room.  Fair game for Bear.  Sure he had no real idea what had invaded his territory, but it had no business there and he was going to see to it that it was removed.  One way or another.  It flew behind a crate and Bear was nosing the crate across the room.  I'm hanging on to his collar for dear life, trying to get him out the door and the doggie door slat in.  Not going to happen.  I yelled for HELP, not realizing Loren had left to walk Keeton. Of course, all the commotion by Bear was making the others go ballistic on the other side of the sliding glass door.  Poor bird was in a panic, flying into all the windows.  I had the door wide open, but no, the bird didn't 'get it'.  I chased the white dogs out and locked them out, ran Bear back into the house, prayed Loren would NOT get back with Keeton and walk into a frenzied Bear.  Bear was happy to be away from the invader and trotted of into the livingroom.  (A lot of help he would be if it were a real threat to ME!)  Anyway, after several minutes of gentle coaxing with the broom handle, it finally escaped through the door.  Put Bear back and by the time Loren got back (Keeton walks really slow) everything was back to normal....except my heart and energy level.  
11/24/08:  I have decided the relationship between Brooks and Shaggy is child like.  One minute Brooks is growling and trying to take the alpha roll and five minutes later they are wrestling on the floor and running through the house having a great play time.  I know the growling is not a happy 'let's play' growl. It is a territorial thing, me being the 'territory'.  It is quite sad to realize that without me around, everybody would get along fine.  Even Bear.  They just all feel like they need to be my protector.  Wish I knew what to do to change or avoid that.  I give as equal attention as possible.  At night, it becomes Sahara's responsibility to guard the bedroom.  No one passes into the room without her bark and growl warning.  I do wish she would not bark, though.  It just echoes through the house and is so deep and loud!  Zelda takes care of the yard at night, but has been coming in more.  I'm glad about that.  She rarely barks. I'm glad about that too.  She is requesting more time with me.  Asking to be brushed or petted.  Becoming more part of the family then working dog.    Shaggy's trip to his new home has been delayed.  Not sure of the timetable now.  He is such a mild, get along with everybody, guy.  Brooks is really getting good about 'stay'.  He is very smart.  Smarter then I first thought when he was with Kamali and Kiona.  Now that he is growing up, his maturity and readiness to please have become apparent.  Guess they kind of ran over him and now he is on equal ground.   
11/28/08: Finally got the video camera to work.  It hates me, but 4 tapes and 4 recharged batteries later, I think I am conquering it.  Hope within a week I can get a snippet up. I wish I could figure out what it is that the dogs hear between 4 and 5 in the morning.  I want to get the recorder out and see if I can catch the dog's response some morning.  After all, it is something unique.  Chipi has got to have wolf in her.  The howl is very wolf like.  I'm not sure which dog 'squeals' almost like a howling whisper. Not sure if to express that the noise hurts or just joining in.  Charlie is pretty much deaf now so don't imagine it is him.   Keeton even does his distinct drawn out, low baritone 'wooof' at 3 second intervals.  Best way to describe it would be 9 tone deaf kindergarteners handed each a violin, a drum, a flute, cymbals, trumpet, bassoon, washboard and spoon, a harmonica and a squeaky toy, then told to 'play' for 7 seconds.  The only thing they get right is they end exactly at the same moment, like someone turned off the sound.  Dead quiet. 
12/03/08:  Had a great conversation with Kamali's mom this morning.  She had a bird in her house too and Kamali was going ballistic!  What is it with these birds?   We get them in the shop a lot but they come through big doors, not the normal size opening.  We have moved up on the cat's scale of fondness.  She use to bring us lizards. The other day it was a headless chipmunk.  She makes the dogs crazy so I asked my neighbor if she wanted her.  Not heard back.  Dogs are tearing up the window sills and the front doors.  Cat just sits there with a "ha ha, you can't get me' attitude.  Loren said he does not think Keeton will care if she's gone.  He hasn't been paying her much attention lately.   Last few nights I have been putting Bear in the shop.  Been able to actually sleep!  I feel so guilty doing it, but he barks incessantly.  I know it's his 'job' to ward off intruders, but he gets everybody going.  Sahara and Sissy bark before they go outside.  Since Sissy is on the bed with us and she really does not intend to get down, we sure can't sleep through the noise.  Sahara just starts inside and continues on outside, non stop.  The rest have all run out but chiming in.  We don't get the choir or kindergarten band every time.  Those are usually reserved for 4 or 5 a.m.  Last night Bear caught on and when he saw the leash, he went straight to his crate and hid.  I had to 'remind' him again about 9:00 p.m.  Finally gave up at 10:30 and took him down to the shop.  It was so peaceful until the band went off at 5:00. 
12/04/08:  Took Keeton in for a bath today.  I was as nervous as a mom leaving her 5 year old off at kindergarten the first day.  He is just so old and feeble that I just wanted to stay there the whole time.  Anyway, the Keeton adventure began at 5:30 a.m.  The band  went off about then.  I got up to quiet everybody down and figured I'd bring Bear up from the shop since I was wide awake from the noise.  It was cold!   Got back and Keeton was up.  Since the floor was clean ( no poop), decided to walk him.  Because there is never much time between getting up and it dropping out, I didn't grab a coat.  Just went in my sweats.  At least I had socks on with my shoes.  I should have grabbed gloves and a parka.  Normally that early, he just walks to the end of the driveway and turns around and wants to go back to the house.  Not this morning.  He just kept walking and walking and walking.  Finally I was so numb I turned him around.  It was so dark, I didn't know if he had went or not.  (sometimes he stops to go, other times it just falls out as he walks).  Anyway, I was feeling good emotionally (although frost bite had set in physically) because Keeton was obviously having one of his good days.  Loren took him for a 'successful' walk after breakfast.  We had to lift him into the car, all 125 pounds.  I had taken the plastic cover off the back seat several weeks ago and forgot to put it back.  His nerves got the best of him so some seat scrubbing had to be done when we got there.  He did not want to go inside.  I never force him.  Good thing because he had to go more.  While turning around, he tripped off the curb and fell down.  I just wanted to cry.  I was almost ready to say, "never mind, he can just stay dirty."  but I figured we'd gotten this far so better go ahead with it.  Besides he was a worse mess then when he go in the car.   He was all prettied up 2 1/2 hours later.  He was very ready to go home.  Carlita said they just moved him from the tub to the table so he didn't have to do steps.  He laid down while they were trying to blow dry him and brush him out.  They got down on the floor with him and when they were done with one side, they just rolled him over and did the other.  He looks way better then I had hoped for.   He is now sound asleep in the livingroom.  I made everybody else stay outside so he could recover without all the 'investigating' they do when one comes home smelling different.  P.S. 2 hours later:  Keeton wanted out so reluctantly, I let him, hoping he would go potty in the yard like everybody else.  He dug through a pile of leaves until he got to mud (it's rained here for several nights) and, yep.... you guessed it .... he rolled!
12/06/08:  I was so proud of Bear last night.  It's taking a lot of work and attention, but he is coming in when I tell him and only having to be reminded a few times not to bark.  He does not like being  banished  to the shop for the night, so he was ignoring me night before last.  Barked all night.  Before bed time, I sat down with him and had a long discussion.  I don't care what people think or say, dogs DO understand what people tell them.  (To bad we humans don't work hard enough to return the favor).  Anyway, I let him bark until we were ready to go to sleep, I called him in, rewarded him with a treat and he went in his crate.  Barked again once and I got up and reminded him.  He was good the rest of the night.  Of course all day yesterday he was in the house with us.  That always helps in respect for night time behavior.  Does not help with the "I am King" behavior, but offensive behavior towards the others is improving.  When Bear is quiet, they are all quiet.  When Bear barks, they all want to join in.  A few nights ago, I kept Chipi in the house at night with all the others.  Bear was in the shop.  Interestingly, Chipi and Zelda are afraid of each other!   Chipi shakes and Zelda runs and hides!  Eventually it will work out.  I just need Brooks and Shaggy to go to their new homes so I can begin the Bear movement, and get all 8 (that are here forever) together without fights.  I know it's a dream, but I can wish!  Something strange is going on.  It's like 'pick on Sweetness' time.  Don't know what she does but seemingly for no reason one of them will turn on her and pin her down.  Not a fight, because she is totally submissive unless ordered by Zelda to do something bad. I feel sorry for her.  Wish I could figure it out.  Of course she is my poop eater and can really let em' rip night and day.  Don't think it has anything to do with that, though, since dogs seem drawn to things that stink. Will be taking Sissy in for a thyroid test Monday.  She just keeps gaining weight and I am feeding her only 3 1/2 cups of kibble a day. No treats or people food.  Just supplements and green beans.  She weighs 125 pounds and should be about 90.  She can hardly walk her arthritis is so painful.  She is almost 8 years old, so approaching seriorhood for an ASD.
12/08/08:  OK, I failed!  Night before last, Bear barked all night and refused to come off the hill.  Last night I finally, at 1:00 a.m., had to traipse out and take him to the shop.  Everybody barked last night, all night.  Bark collars attached only helped for a few minutes and then the temptation was too great.  It was overcast, but the full moon kept peeking out.  Seems we just had a full moon a week ago.  What is it with the darn thing?  I was hoping for rain.  They are quiet when it rains.  I can live with mud easier then no sleep.  Might rain today.  I don't need daytime rain.  
12/11/08:  I feel privileged!  Early this morning I went down to the shop and let Bear out to pee.  When I came back up, I checked my e-mail.  I hear tap, tap, tap on the door in the kitchen.  Zelda was wanting me.  Once I came into the kitchen, she was happy.  Gave me a kiss when I reached down to pet her (first Zelda kiss ever) and then went and laid next to the bed.  She missed me! 
12/12/08:  Dogs went ballistic about 1:30 a.m.  I can always tell if the barking is because of an animal in the yard or other dogs around or just barking to bark.  This was important.  Luckily I always close the gate to the upper yard that backs up to the main road.  Someone was driving real slow, turning around, driving back again and again.  I called 911.  Being a nice small community, it's ok.  I asked if they had an officer in my vicinity looking for someone because there was a car going back and forth.  There had been a helicopter over head just an hour before so I thought they could be looking for someone dangerous.  Apparently not a cop car as one showed up a few minutes later.  Of course my 'drive by' person had gone.  I witnessed 8 passes by and know there were more before I got up to look.  There really is no where to turn around without great inconvenience so something was up.  Guess I'll never know.  My dog killer is still in jail and probably will be for 30 years so know it wasn't him.  (unless he escaped last night).  Before I let the dogs up there, I walked the area by the road just to be sure nothing had been thrown over the fence.  It was really cold out! All is safe.  They are happy.  Evening:  Keeton actually went poop outside all on his own.  Didn't make it off the deck, but hey, I'm pleased.  I don't think he knew it since he doesn't usually know.  Is the last night here for Brooks.  I am sure he will settle right in with Michelle and his new canine sister Maddie.  He's grown up here so it is a bitter sweet parting.  I'm really happy for him.  I wish I could be happy for Chipi to find a great home.  She is just in limbo here.  Bear picks on her sometimes and so do Sahara and Zelda.  She has no 'place' she can be comfortable except semi alone with us.  She needs a slow moving retired man that she can protect, sit next to and be loved on.
12/13/08:  Brooks is laying right beside me.  Michelle should be here in a few hours to get him.  It is cold and windy so I hope all goes well both directions.  All the dogs are asleep as well they should be after barking most of the night.  Took Bear down at about 1:30.  The others wanted to get in the upper yard so I just let them go.  It was warmer last night then today.  I finally got to sleep about 4:00 and up at 7:15.  They were certainly wanting in.  Think they had spent the night in the garage keeping warm and eventually quiet.  Changing routine is always upsetting but I just got to sleep some.   If the weather stays cold and overcast, they might be quiet tonight.  Last night the moon was full when we went to bed and still full when we got up.  It was like it was stuck in one spot spinning on a long tether as the earth spun.  I thought I had left the outside lights on, it was so bright.  No sun today.  Just grey clouds and lots of wind.  Going to make some homemade chicken soup for lunch to warm up..
12/21/08: My how times slips away!  Since Brooks has gone to his new home, I have been working real hard on getting everybody together.  Can't make the transition complete until Shaggy finds a home but at least the dogs are being prepared.  When I put Sahara over on Bears side to play with Chipi, Bear hides in his crate.  If Bear is in the house and Sahara comes to close, he goes into warning mode.  I guess either he wants to protect his place with us or feels we are his security.  When Zelda and Sahara have spent several hours apart, it is a re-acquaintance all over.  If Zelda is in the house first, she is 'top dog'.  If Sahara is in first, she is top dog.  Shaggy just goes with the flow.  He is so good.  Same goes when Chipi is in the mix.  Zelda is afraid of Chipi and goes off into the yard or into the garage.  Sahara and Chipi do the intro dance every time they com together, yet they love laying together.  Shaggy and Zelda make every morning complete.  Some times I stay in bed extra long because they are having such a great time running in and out and wrestling.  If I get up the play stops in anticipation for breakfast.  It is interesting to try to figure out the dynamics that goes on with each situation.  Annie is coming tomorrow for a month.  Two weeks earlier then usual.  UGH!  She has an attitude and if I put her in the mix, she gets beat up so she has to stay in the shop.  I hate that.  Feel so sorry for her.  She dos come up a few hours a day, but most of them have to go out when she is in.  Not worth trying to make it work because she is just not hear that much and I'd be starting over every time.  Keeton enjoys her company.  I might try her with Bear.  They were accidentally in the shop together one day last time and there was no blood!  Sure would make the month easier.
12/25/08:  Christmas was a non-holiday.  We did have a little Christmas miracle.  Annie spent the day with everybody but Bear.  I tried to get her with Bear yesterday but just not going to happen.  Gave 'the girls' a good lecture about being nice to company then turned her into the yard.  No blood!  Not even much of a growl out of anybody.  Last time there was blood.  She's in the shop for the night, but I think our days are going to go well.  This will make the month go by so much easier.
12/27/08: Did the doggie shuffle last night so I could get some sleep. I can only go without for several days or I get really grumpy.  It was possible because it has been crazy warm for 2 days.  Last night it stayed around 60.  It was warmer outside then inside.  Had dogs in 5 different places and it worked.  I could barely hear the 'barkers'.  Poured down rain at 4:30 a.m. so hard it woke me up.  Then I worried that Sahara would not take shelter in the garage so got up, got soaked, only to find all 3 sound asleep in the garage.  That is, asleep until my presence woke them up.  Feeling guilty, I let them in the house.  We were all soaked in just the 10 yard long trip from the garage to the house.  Dried everybody off and convinced Shaggy it was NOT time to play.  He is such a goof ball.  I went back to sleep and next thing I knew it was 7:45!   Poor Bear had been closed in the shop since about 10:00 p.m.  I ran down in my night shirt to bring him up.  Bet his poor bladder was about to burst.   Still warm but thunder showers are coming this way.  Think I have everybody with shelter available as long as Sahara lets Annie in the dog room.   Wind is really whipping.  Sure glad we had the 2 'threatening' trees removed a few months ago. 
12/30/08:  It's been a long day.  Took a few hours 'off' and went to see "Marley & Me".  They could have made the ending happy.  Anyway, made us come home and be grateful we have a pack to welcome us.  Have applications to go over for Shaggy.  Tommy is most likely coming back.  My confidence in picking people is wavering.  I know I'm atleast 85% right, but even 1% not working out is more then I can bear. It is just so hard on these sweet souls. The economy has just sabotaged good adoptions.    Tommy is just going to be so depressed.  He took to the man so quickly.  He just knew it was where he was meant to be.  This will be his third rejection and he is just 2 years old.  I sure hope they will all get along.  10 dogs in the house all together is an awful lot when they are all 70 to 115 pounds.  Shaggy and Tommy don't know each other so crossing my fingers.  Both should do fine if Zelda does not decide to play alpha and start directing.  Annie has settled in completely.  Still a little skittish through doorways, but has taken over Shaggy's bed...which was Sissy's bed first anyway.  Shaggy doe not seem to mind.  I do need to find several more crib mattresses though.  They all really like laying on them.  I'll just stack them in the day and spread them out at night.  Sis has already settled in her spot on our bed.  Guess I'll join her before Sweetness takes her place and I have to become a contortionist to find space for me.
12/31/08:  Kept hoping for an email saying they would work it out with Tommy.  But maybe no news is good news as have not heard when they are bringing him back either.  I am sure he is just needing more attention; that he is feeling lonely and being a typical Pyr, expanding his territory.  This is why I stress that people understand the breed.  Pyrs are not Labs.  Pyrs are independent thinkers.  Loyal but following commands is not necessarily high on their list since that is not what they were bred to do.  Well, the great weather went away.  Temps dropped again.  My roses are totally confused.  Dogs did more barking from inside the house last night then venturing out.  What a bunch of woosies. 

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