Where I live, spring is in the air, but with a little nip of winter. I’m not sure what to think as the temperature and weather change from day to day.
I was really excited to have a mother robin nesting in the eaves of our second-floor balcony.
But sadly, her first nest hit the ground and now Mom uses it for decoration.
That didn’t stop a persistent bird from building another nest. I hope to hear the happy sound of peeping baby robins soon.
Now for new things.
Mom found these funny-sounding buttons at a thrift store.
She’s watched other animals using them on Facebook, similar to these but with more choices. I guess she thought I needed to learn how to talk. I do my job quietly, but sometimes I moo like a cow when I really want her attention.
I think Mom’s idea is to train me on more human words, but for now I like the sound of this button the best because it gets me the most treats.
Since moving, I haven’t had many dog interactions; Lola was a recent exception.
Find Lola’s story here (part 1) and here (part 2).
Our trip to California was full of family and friends and one huge piece of business: My recertification with Dogs4Diabetics.
Every year I get an annual vet visit, update shots and get a health clearance. Mom fills out a questionnaire and we go to D4D to meet with Carrie, the lead trainer. She gives Mom advice as they talk about my behavior. I perform obedience skills in public in order to pass for another year.
There were many familiar smells and my nose was overloaded from sniffing. I loved catching up with old furry friends, especially my girlfriend Wolfie.
Traveling is always an adventure for me, especially flying. I don’t require a seat but curl up under the seat in front of Christy like a carry-on item.
I don’t mind because I’ve been trained to do it this way. Sometimes a whole row of seats is available, and we both get to stretch out.
Airports are getting better at having relief stations for service dogs. My favorite is at the Orange County John Wayne International airport.
It takes you outside, but you are still within a secure area. When we exit the plane, I know where we are and hurry Christy along to what I think is the perfect place for humans to take their companions.
I can run and play and take care of personal business.
There was a cool relief room in Houston:
However, Christy was disappointed because Nashville Airport had one area, but we would have to go through TSA again. (Christy told you how she feels about that in this month’s newsletter.)
She was happy I didn’t get a big breakfast that morning so we could make it to our next stop. It takes some planning and I feel hungrier than normal.
Speaking of hunger, can I just mention how jet lag affects my schedule?
Lola had a sad story, but for now she was happy to be in a warm home, out of the rain and off the street, away from the cars racing dangerously past her.
Unfortunately, my 15 year-old rescue dogs (pictured below) were extremely stressed by her attempts to play and herd them – an instinct found in the kind of dog Lola is.
Aiden, my diabetic alert service dog, just ignored her as a nuisance. Here he is, doing his best to pretend she doesn’t exist:
When it comes to animals, I love them all, especially dogs. My dream home would be to have hundreds of acres where I could adopt and care for as many dogs as possible and, of course, adopt them to the right homes. There is such a place:
Though my home is big, we don’t have a large yard and it was unfair to keep Lola inside. She learned some skills but needed a better fit for her fur-ever home. We had Lola spayed and vaccinated to make her more adoptable. I asked for prayers and put my request in to God.
While talking about Lola at the chiropractor, a woman with a dog rescue connection overheard me and gave me a contact name. The rescue that took her in vets its prospective adopters rigidly. It all happened within 24 hours – than can only be God answering our prayers! The rescue told us she would be on their website with a different name (Amora) but would most likely be adopted this weekend.
As I hugged Lola and said goodbye, the tears would not stop. She had captured my heart. I’m glad I had her for the time I did. I needed her as much as she needed me.
My New Year’s resolution is fulfilled. Lola will be fit with the perfect home for the rest of her life.
If you are like the majority of people who make resolutions every New Year, you have already broken at least one of them. This year I have a resolution I want to keep: to find a home for a furry friend.
I was driving home in the rain on a very busy-yet-rural Tennessee road. She was running on the side, ready to dart in front of me. It looked like a rescue video.
Her tail was tucked between her legs, and she was soaking wet and scared. I tossed bits of jerky until she was close enough to slip on a leash. A nearby neighbor filled me in on the dog’s history.
Her name is Lola, and her owner didn’t want her because she belonged to his girlfriend who had just passed away. Lola is approximately a year old, loves to play and is housetrained. I have been able to teach her some of the obedience skills Aiden knows.
My 15-year-old rescue dogs want nothing to do with her. Aiden tolerates her. She is an adorable, Australian shepherd mix, but not a good fit for my fur-family.
If I were in California, there would be dozens of rescue agencies to take her and people wanting to adopt her. But animals are treated differently here – left outside, not fixed and often, running around the neighborhood, making more furry creatures. Rescue agencies are overflowing.
Back to my resolution.
Lola has an appointment to get spayed and vaccinated and after that, hopefully she will find her forever home. But I will have much to say about who gets her.
I really enjoyed my Christmas season, exploring new places and meeting new friends and people everywhere I went with Christy.
My nose has been working overtime, smelling the scents of the season. Everywhere we have gone, I’ve met Santa Claus. The first place was at the mall.
Santa is a very nice man that I sniffed very closely and found to smell like cologne and candy canes.
Christy and I explored downtown Morristown and its variety of specialty shops and local businesses. Outside one of the shops, I met Santa again.
He smelled different from when I met him in the mall. His face was younger looking, and his beard smelled of synthetic fibers and aftershave.
Mom and I walked across the street to a bookstore. In the window I found the real reason for Christmas.
It is no wonder the Santas I met smelled differently. They were actors, portraying a mythical man. But as I sat in front of the bookstore window’s display, Mom gave me a treat and said, “This is why we celebrate Christmas.”
As a service dog, I go everywhere. I’m having a blast exploring Tennessee. Recently we were invited to go to an amusement park called Dollywood.
It was a cold November night, but worth an adventure. I could hear happy-sounding music as we walked around. Dolly has a sweet voice and I’m certain she loves dogs, especially the official service kind.
Christmas decorations and beautiful lights were everywhere.
We rode on a real coal-driven train around the park at night to see some amazing light displays. I didn’t like the loud train whistle, but Mom made sure I was comfortable by giving me lots of treats.
We walked around a lot and Mom had just gotten a new insulin pump that day so her numbers were all over as she adjusted to new settings. I’m always on the job and alerted five times in less than five hours!
It’s a good thing she had lots of treats for me, but she ran out of sugar supplies for herself. Thankfully, Dad bought her some of Dollywood’s famous cinnamon bread with an extra tub of frosting.
We spent the evening enjoying the park with friends from our new church. Thanks, Kathy and Carter Trigg, for treating us to a special evening.