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Current blog look inspired by and dedicated to Chance, Blaze, Fiona and Zappa who all kicked ass against cancer and liver disease.

Brut Quote

Brut Quote

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Show Us Your Treat Jar Day!

The Cybersibes are having their second annual, "SHOW US YOUR TREAT JAR DAY" to help spread the word about donating treats to your local shelter. 

We have a few of these jars around the house.  And no...not with all the goodies scattered around.  BOL!  How long do you think those would last scattered on the table like that??  :)

But these two "Cookie Jars" are extra special and drive the dogs wild!  Check them out...
Thank you Cybersibes!  And remember, when donating to your local shelter, don't forget the treats!!

(We have shown these before and had asked where we got these cute cookie jars.  For those who are wondering, we got them at Walmart about 8 years ago.  Not sure if they still make them or not.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Remember...

 I remember when Alex died, I was in a state of shock and relief for the first month.  When the tears hit, they didn't stop and will still surface.

The first morning he was gone, Brut (then 8 mos. old) was lying in Alex's spot in front of the sliding door.  And my heart stopped. 

I remember at roll call, almost calling out his name, every night.  To this day when rounding up the troops, Alex's name will still pop out. 

For months I would start to step over "Alex" and his spot. 

Every time I was out, I would rush home and think, "I hope Alex is OK," and then burst into tears.  

I can't tell you how many times I would be missing Alex and wished Brut was more like him. 

The silence and space was painful to get used to without Alex's booming voice and large presence. 

I remembering kneeling on his grave and burying my face in the dirt, sobbing that I didn't know how I was going to go on without him.  It was the closest I could get to him. 

And I remember Alex when I have been touched by others losses and grieve a little more for this wonderful, beautiful dog who graced my life in so many ways.

Always Alex....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

For Lilac

There are some dogs we meet that just capture and touch your heart. There was something about that feisty girl named Lilac, from Tales and Tails who did just that.  Her passing was hard news to hear. 

I don't know what it was about that old gal, but I fell in love with her.  I loved that stubborn "bite" Lilac had about her that I could relate so well with my own dogs.  But what I loved most was the relationship that Lilac had with her family.  Houndstooth gave such an loving and enrapturing description in her dialogue and post that captured Lilac's essence as well as the bond they had together.

One of the many blessing of this dog community is that we can't own every dog out there, but we are able to know so many so through our dogs blogs.  We not only witness these incredible relationships between human and canine but become a part of them.  When the Houndstooth family lost Lilac, so did we.

In honor of Lilac, I took my oldest dog Silver, out to the park and we got ice cream afterwards.  Instead of grabbing the cup to finish the rest, Silver had me hold the cup while she licked the bottom clean.  Another Lilac in the making.  :)

Thank goodness, Morgan has agreed to take over the "Timmy in the well" responsibilities.  Let's just hope she doesn't scare the bejeezes out of him, or that boy is screwed!

 I found this one last stem of my wildflowers that should be no where close to alive, in the only color that it could be.  And if you look closely, they even have tails.  :)
  Our hearts and paws go out to Lilac's family.  Thank you for sharing Lilac with all of us.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Did Anybody See the Light Show Last Night??

I looked up from playing with the Back Dogs and the sky was all ablaze in red, like clouds through a sunset except it was dark out.  OMG!!.  The Northern Lights were out!  I began taking in what I could see of the sky through the trees to witness the wispy beams of soft white lights, fading and pulsing as they seem to push through the night, but it was the blood red "clouds" of light that stole my breath away.

Thoughts of Alex immediately came to mind.  It was one of our favorite past times together when we lived at our other place further north from here and could witness the light show on a regular schedule.  I learned that the flare ups happen on a monthly basis and that the aurora borealis went through seven year cycles;  it would crescendo in intensity and reach a peak the first seven years then will descend for the next.

I can not tell you how many times Alex and I would sit for hours just for a hint of the Northern Lights that somehow let me know everything was alright.  For the most part we would witness beams of white to greenish beams that would pulse and dance with their own rhythm while fading in and out.  It was such a calming and surreal experience, almost hypnotizing.  There were other times like tonight when the white lights would be like wispy ghost disappearing and reappearing in a heart beat that would catch your breath.  But the most beautiful night, that I will never forget is when the ENTIRE sky was blazing with these beams, pulses, and swirls that were lit with every color of the rainbow.  It was an awe striking phenomenon to experience.  The beautiful picture has never left my mind.

So tonight's extraordinary experience was a one of kind for me.  It was the first time I've seen them since we moved and I have missed these mysterious and wondrous shows that have brought such a sense of peace for me.  In fact, I'd been sicker than a dog (pun intended) after the stresses of the last couple of weeks had caught up with me.  I was just starting to feel better when I decided to go out with the dogs for a few minutes and I was blessed with the night sky set on fire and the show of a lifetime that I let me know once again, everything was alright!             

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Memories-Sneaky Silver

 Tell me, do you really see anything here but sweet innocence?

Silver was a sneaky little puppy and it was easy to be fooled because hiding under that Black Lab exterior was a devious Husky just prowling about.

We had brought home a pizza and like a couple of idiots had become so engrossed in a movie that we didn't notice that our sweet, innocent puppy, who'd been with us for two weeks, had wander out of sight.  Well, my husband got up for another slice and to our amazement and horror there was Silver--ON TOP of the table, with her face in the pizza box chowing down!

Not only had she snuck up and was standing on the table, but Silver was helping herself to our supreme pizza without anyone noticing!  We couldn't believe it!  We had never seen a puppy on the table before!  Didn't even know she could!  We were in complete shock!

Even though it wasn't quite as funny at the time, if I'd had any idea I'd be blogging about eight years later, I would have gotten a picture!  I still giggle over that little black face buried in the pizza box  as I stood there with my mouth gaping open!    

Thankfully she never got sick or had any repercussions from trying to wolf down the pizza she so politely helped herself too and as we would come to find, would be our first of many adventures that tested the strength of Silver's iron-clad stomach with a Husky mind.  

 They'll never find me here!

Ahhh....the days of owning your first HUSKY/ Black Lab puppy.     

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nothing like a good walk...

I don't know...

what it is about digging in the dirt,

But it sure makes me feel funny afterwards!

Thanks to Life with Dogs, The Two Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I have been haunted.  To post or not.  Words that are finite and meaningless.  Twisted and torn.  Pulling together and blowing apart.  So contrite and limited.  Broken in places I can not understand.  Can not fathom to comprehend.

Unsettled.  Stretch and constricted in the same breath.  I can not wrap it into a neat little box.

I can not imagine how you must feel.

My heart dog is still here.

And it explains nothing.  And everything.

For you and Drive...there will never be words... 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

School Play vs. Broadway

Waggy Tail Schools Proudly Presents:
Starring:  Chance and Blaze

The Front Dog's playtime is like two little kids who just conjured up an act minutes before their parents came home and ad lib the entire show.  Their fun, playful energy radiates through every leap and bound.  They will perform without an audience, but are ever so grateful when there is one and  welcome the chance of an active participate.  Blaze will watch out of the corner eye to catch if I'm watching, "Look mom, did you see that?"  With a smile on her face as she twist and tumbles with acrobatic style and joy that brings a smile to my face.  There are no rules or boundaries to their homemade production, just pure abandon fun.  Just a couple of kids with the pure simple beauty of enjoying every minute improvising their entire way through while getting a complete kick out of entertaining me.

 Broadway Theater Proudly Presents:
Leading Cast Members:  (l to r) Brut, Fiona, Zappa and Silver

Then as we shuffle to the Back Dog's playtime, we see that the Broadway rehearsal is underway again.  I am the stage hand to four actors and actresses who also serve as the directors.  While I fuss with the necessary nuances of their demands, practice is already getting out of control.

Brut:  Where is my lighting??  It needs to be focused on me!!
Me:  Yes, yes...
Fiona:  And then I'll zip over here and turn around this corner...hey, are you paying attention to me?  (exit stage left) Make up, where's my makeup??

(Brut mounts Silver)

Silver:  Really Brut?  How many times do we have to "go over" that part??  I have a headache!
Me:  Zappa! Zappa!  You missed your cue...
Zappa:  (SNAP) Did you see that?  I caught three bugs right in a row!  THREE!! It's a new record!!  I gotta go for four!!
Brut:  Don't pay no attention to that off beat kid of mine...Hey, stage hand focus!  You do want all of the light shining on me, right??  (rubbing against my leg) I am the star of the show, you know!!

Fiona zooms through batting her freshly painted lashes and eyes.

Fiona:  Dream on, DAD, it is my angelic beauty that will steal the show...(play bows to Brut)
Brut:  Not if I can help it!
(Fiona zips and zags just out of Brut's reach)
Brut:  No way princess!!  (runs and jumps on me)  I am still your STAR, aren't I??
Me: Yes, yes of course Brut...
Fiona:  Wait a minute, I thought I was the STAR??
Me:  You both are.

(Brut and Fiona look at each other and in a huff turn and walk in opposite directions.)

Silver:  I remember when this used to be all MY show!  (gives me sad, pouting eyes and slowly ambles away)
Zappa: FOUR!!  I got four!  (looks around) Are we done??
Me:  (SIGH)

Then in that strange theatrical way when the Sun, Earth and stars line up, the lights dim, the curtain rises, and the Back Dogs put on the best show of their lives.  All four of them in sync, in motion, with an awe inspiring grace that sets the stage on fire.  The heavens bow,  while the trees wave a majestic standing ovation as this magical production comes alive and this humble stagehand witnesses the beautiful gifts that we have all come to know as the Back Dogs.

Don't blink.  Rehearsal starts again tomorrow!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

10 Bowls of Kibble for ONE Comment

Blog the Change

Jen from My Brown Newfies is doing something that I think can't be beat, feeding homeless animals.  
All it takes is one comment for 10 bowls of food!! 


Jen has a goal of 100 comments,

Let's help her meet and beat that goal!!

and Leave a Comment there.
(You must leave comment at My Brown Newfies to count)
And give 10 homeless animals a bowl of food!

To learn more and be a part of Blog the Change 4 Animals click HERE.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Mother Knows

Before I could realize it, Silver was beside me.  Nudging in closer and then the hidden tears fell that I didn't know were there.  All the pain and frustration.  She absorbed every drop.

How does she always know?

Thursday, October 13, 2011


We have winners for Brut's Birthday Bash Give Away.
Brut had to learn a new trick to pick the winners.  Sorry, no video.  :( 
The four winners of the Terra Paws Freeze Dried Treats.   

I have sent emails to all of you on how to receive your goodies.

Thanks to everyone who participated.
You made our first give away a success!

BTW, if you didn't win, you can still try out Terra Paws Treats


You can save 30% on any order from their website.  

Just enter this promo code:  OCT30 at checkout through the month of October and save!

A special thanks to Terra Paws for offering this give away and giving us the opportunity to participate. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Three days without a computer and the doc says it is OK, we just need to get a few things for it and it should be running like a champ again.  So we will wait on pics and video for a while until all is rendered.

I don't completely depend on a computer for my life, but it is funny how you feel like your whole life is in that box when you lose it.  When there was a possibility of losing some of pictures and video,  it was scary to face the thought of losing such great memories, so I just hugged Chance a little tighter when I went to bed to be reminded that the dogs were here.  Right here.  And I would always have them regardless if I lost every single photo I had.

After I hooked the computer up, I just sat for a minute, taking in the power of this awesome system of the Internet and what I missed the most out for those few days was all of you.  Being part of your great friendships and your furry companions with the notion you will always be there.  It was the first serious problem we've had with our computer and I missed all of you.  It is easy to take a day off and take a break, but it is a lot harder when is taken from you.  White Dog Army referred to it as a lifeline and I never realized the reality of that statement, until it was gone.

So before I start getting all mushy, I just want to thank each and everyone of you for being part of our life.  You have taken dog crazy to a new dimension and we are glad we are not alone.  :)

So, please forgive me while I try to catch up!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Brut!

First, the bad news, our computer is at the V-E-T and things aren't looking so good.  There is a chance it won't be coming home with us.  :(  We will do our best to post and visit as we can. 

Today is the last day for the Brut Birthday Bash Give Away and we will post the winners as soon as possible. So make sure you enter HERE.  

With that said, we could not let the Birthday Boy's big day go by without laying it on him.

I have been finding myself in a bit of a sentimental mood as Brut’s fifth birthday has been approaching. As we lay next to each other while he tore apart one of favorite forbidden toys, just because, I began to realize this was the dog that changed everything I thought I knew about dogs. It is because of him that I had to channel my creativity and explore my out of the box thinking. Brut is the one who challenged me like no other dog could and let me question those traditional ways of thinking. It was Brut who bent me to the brink and then would pull me back through. He was the only one who could grab my attention and burrow into those deep walls that I held myself a prisoner in. He was the only one who could to break this heart open and build it anew from the ground up.

Five years of blood, sweat, and tears of a raw love that has transformed everything I ever knew about the true meaning of love, that I can not even begin to put into words…

Who would have thought that this little guy would change my whole life?

Happy Birthday Brut.

Thank you for being exactly who you are!

Love, Mom and Dad

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dog Names-Self Fulfilled Prophecy??

 Don't let the name or the persona fool you,
inside I'm all mush!

A behaviorist that we took Brut to once claimed that by naming our dog with such a macho, dominant name we had embarked him on a self-fulfilled prophecy and hence the reason we were sitting in her office.

While there is a part of me that can see her point, (don't we all act a little different around a dog named "Killer?"),  my husband named our little puppy, Brut after his favorite aftershave, having no idea about Brut's dominant and aggressive temperament.

 Don't I look real tough playing with this stuffie doll??

While Brut has fully lived up to his name and then some, is it because we gave Brut the "rights" to his name that set the course of his destiny?  Or did we find a name that by chance happen to fit the dog he already was?

Personally, I think it is the second one.   I don't think that Brut's name made him the dog he is, but his name encompasses all that Brut is.    

What do you think of this theory?  Can a dog be "created" out of a name alone??  Do you believe your dog has grown into his/her name?  Do you act or respond differently to dogs with cute or dominant names?  Do you think there is a stigma behind a dog's name?
Sweet Potato and Beef
Wouldn't your dogs love these Terra Paws Freeze Dried Treats?
 Sign up HERE to win a bag!! 
Just leave a comment with your flavor choice and an email address and THAT'S IT!!

(Sorry, US Residents only)

 Hurry, you have until midnight, Oct. 11, 2011
*****     *****      *****     *****     *****     *****      *****      *****      *****

Friday, October 7, 2011

Our Secret Dog Language

 We all know the basic command words, sit, stay, down, etc., but do you have any of your own words, phrases or signals that you've developed just for your dog?  Something you won't find in any training book, but is part of your every day lingo?

Here are a few of ours:

"ALL GONE"-  Waving both hands with palm facing dog, like a double hand good-bye.
I started this when Brut was young to tone down that crazed food monster in him.  Any time there are treats or food that are being given to dogs, when it is gone we use this phrase along with the hand signal to stop resource guarding.  Works great!

"BE NICE"-I started using this with Silver when she was a puppy for bite inhibition.  I would keep my hand still and say the phrase and she would let up on her bite pressure.  I've used it with all the dogs when they were puppies and it also works when the dogs get a little crazy with the Boxer the cat.  Though not always as well.  :)

"1, 2, 3"-This is an interesting one.  Brut was driving me crazy one day on a walk when every time he  stopped to sniff something it seemed like I was waiting for all eternity for him to move on.  I was getting so frustrated with him, I started counting to three and on "three," he started walking.  I was so surprised, I kept using it throughout the walk and it worked.

Now the funny thing about this is that I was walking Silver separately as she was quite pregnant at the time and while I've never really had a problem with Silver taking too long, she responded the same way.  And that's not even the best part, when I started walking Fiona and Zappa, without any training before hand, they too also started moving on the count of three.  Chance and Blaze picked up on it just as easy when they came back to live with us.  Pretty cool, huh?  Wonder if those pups were listening from the inside??  bol!

So tell me, what are some of the words, phrases or hand signals that is part of your secret dog language??


If you haven't already, make sure you sign up to win a bag of Terra Paws Freeze Dried Treats for Brut's Birthday Bash Give Away HERE!

Sign up ends on Brut's Birthday at midnight, Oct. 11, 2011.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Taking a few steps back

As some of you may know, I am learning about sled dog pulling.  I don’t compete, it is only for fun.  It is something different for the dogs and myself and we are both learning as we go.

When I started teaching Chance how to pull, he didn’t like the harness.  He would let me put it on and would run great, but he never got used to it.  He has a severe anxiety to foreign things on his body.  It took me almost a year to be able to brush him.  I sort of rushed through the whole getting-used-to harness-thing as I thought he would get used to it eventually, because he was always fine once he started running. I don't know what I was thinking, but to my dismay, I have found his anxiety has gotten worse after the last time I put his harness on him.  So I had to take a huge step back and try to break down this fear to the beginning.

I walked outside with a harness in hand, Chance immediately backed away.  I dropped it on the ground, crouched down by it and he came only so close.  I picked it up again.  He hesitantly came to me. I hung them on the fence while standing by them.  Chance was still on guard.  The harnesses were too much for him.  So I got rid of the harness and came back out with a leash that I’d made a loop through.  He stuck his head through the loop for a treat, while I put the loop over his head and hung it around his neck for a couple of seconds then removed it.  I tried this a couple more times, the tension in his body was still too stiff.  I had to go back even a step further.  I held the loop in front of him, while he stuck his nose through and he grabbed the treat.  WHEW, success!  His whole body heaved in relief that said, Now I can handle that!  His eyes crinkle with happiness, as I'd finally found that safe spot.  Putting his nose through the loop was all he needed and it was a relief for me as well.  Now I knew where to start and could take my time working through his levels of fear.

I may or may not be able to get a harness on Chance.  I don’t know.  We may or may not sled this winter, we might just practice sled training without actually getting on the sled, or we may do nothing related to the fact.    Whatever we do, I want the dogs to enjoy it, worry free.  The dogs mental and emotional well being means a whole lot more than learning any dog sport.  I ended up getting way ahead of myself when I started doing this sledding thing and I too, am ready to just take a backseat if necessary.  Whether we are riding the snow or just enjoying a walk through it, I want to make this winter a special time.  Any time spent together is too precious to not enjoy to the fullest. 

There's still time to sign up HERE

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


The Thundering Herd lost one of their own this past weekend.  We will forever be saddened that the Red Team won't be the same after losing their teammate, Kodiak.

The Thundering Herd was the first dog blog I came across, when we were exploring the notion of doing a dog blog and they stuck.  There was something about those 6 Huskies that we could relate to.  :)  They have a special place in our hearts and have become like family.

And while we are still in shock over Kodiak's death, we can't imagine what the hu-dad must be going through.  In an instant, life changes.

All of our dogs are paired with a strong female, male bond.  Sometimes when they are separated for any length of time, it is as if they hold their breath waiting for the other to return.  We are sending special paw prayers for Kodiak's girlfriend, Kiska who also shared a deep bond.

Our hearts go out to the hu-dad and the Thundering Herd.  We are thinking of you.

Run Free Kodiak...

If you missed it, check HERE to sign up for Brut's Birthday Bash Give Away

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Brut's Birthday Bash Give Away!!

In honor of Brut's upcoming 5th Birthday, we've teamed up with Terra Paws in celebration of the 24 Paws of Love's first give away!  From now until midnight of Brut's birthday on Oct. 11, 2011 you can sign up to win one bag of Terra Paws Freeze Dried Treats!  

For those you who haven't tried these tasty treats you can check out our review of them HERE.  Or you can check out Terra Paws HERE at their website and click on freeze dried pet treats. 
Here's all you have to do:  
Leave a comment with your choice of Terra Paws flavor along your email address so that I may contact the winners.

And that's it!
(Sorry, only US residents eligible.)

Brut will pick 4 winners from all entries at random and winners will be notified by email.
So pick out your dog's favorite flavor and sign up to win!

Beef Liver
Beef and Chicken Liver
Sweet Potato
Sweet Potato and Beef Liver
Sweet Potato and Chicken
Sweet Potato and Chicken Liver

As an extra bonus, Terra Paws has also thrown in a special promo just for our readers.  
If you order from their website, enter promo code: OCT30 at the check out, you'll receive 30% off any order for the month of October!

How great is that??


Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Memories-Boxer

Three weeks after burying Sparky, I did my habitual check of the pet section of the classifieds.  Free kittens.  My heart was pounding and I began to shake a little. The house seemed so empty without my favorite cat and it couldn't hurt just to call...he had two kittens, one of them was a black and white male.  Just what I had always wanted.  The guy tried to give a further description but I was shaking so bad, I didn't a word of what he said, except to get directions.  After I hung up, I remember feeling the guilt of betrayal.  What the heck was I doing?  How could I even think of another cat when Sparky was still so fresh on my mind?

Something kept pressing me forward.  When I saw the little kitten, I was memorized.  I was in a total state of shock.  This little wild guy was the cat I'd always dreamed of having.  Solid black, with white paws, belly and face.  He was so precious.  He looked like Sparky, but he was all his own.  I couldn't believe any of this was happening.  He was like a dream come true.

We headed into town to pick up some extra's for this little bundle of joy, when while I was holding him, he pooped in my lap.  While a natural reaction, I began sobbing, as my husband pulled over.  Maybe this isn't such a good idea. I said through my tears.  I took his accident as a sign that this was all wrong.   The enormity of taking this little guy home became suddenly overwhelming.  I didn't know if I was ready for caring for this kitten, when I was still so heavily grieving my heart cat.  How could this feel so right and so wrong all at the same time?  But a little voice inside of me kept saying, he was the one for me.

We called him Boxer for his white paws and his boxing action.  Boxer was born outside, wasn't litter trained or weaned and was like a wild tom cat.  He was one of those crazy kittens that climbed up the screens, curtains and anything else he could reach.  He was the first cat I didn't have de-clawed and he was just plain wild.  He didn't like to held, never sat on my lap and seem to never tire of tearing all around the house or playing with toys for hours upon end.  He had no problem livening our household right up.

An amazing thing happened as I watched this little bundle of wild abandon, little pieces of my heart began to heal.  Since Sparky was over year old when I got him, watching Boxer was like watching Sparky as a kitten.  Sometimes I would be laughing out loud and other times I was in tears as I grieved and rejoiced in Boxer's spunk and personality.  Nothing like the mellow mood of Sparky, yet so many times, I saw that Sparky look in Boxer's eyes.

Did Boxer replace Sparky?  Never.  But he gave me something to hold on to so I didn't fall through that gaping hole in my heart and gave me just what I needed to heal and love again.   

            And now I can't sit down without Boxer plopping on my lap.