Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stars are the streetlights of eternity

My mom's volunteer coordinator for Allina Hospice has this quote on her signature line:

"The stars are the streetlights of eternity." ~ Anonymous.

I love that quote. My mom named me Ahnung (Ah-NUNG) which means "star" in ojibway. She always tells me that I am her northstar. She also tells me as she goes through some health challenges how I am her best medicine. She tells me, I help guide her back to her true self and that she can just close her eyes and feel me there with her.

Everyone goes through rough times ..... when times get tough and you feel like you are all alone, just look up into the stars .... there are billions and billions of them up in the night skies. Every star is an angel and a spirit that will hold you up and carry you when you feel you can no longer stand. When I had to survive on my own for so many years up at the reservation, I had many angels protecting me ... and then I fell into the arms of my rescuer Karen of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue who then led me to my mom and Pet Haven. And now my work as a therapy dog volunteering with at-risk youth and in hospice has just begun .... 

Dr. Edward Creagan is a cancer doctor at Mayo Clinic and talks about the healing power of animals with his cancer patients ... it's a short 2 minute video and well worth it!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I survived the 5K9 Run!

A couple weeks ago I participated in my first ever 5K9 with mom (and it will also be my last one!) ... I would much rather just lounge on the patio or sleep on the couch than take long walks ... at least mom was really nice and she didn't make me run the 5K. We went on a leisurely Saturday morning stroll ... there was a photographer that was laying on the road towards the end of the 5K -- i think we were approaching mile 3. I was pretty exhausted by then but I have to say, I think I look pretty darn good in this photo for having walked almost 3 miles!! :) He snapped a couple photos of us and mom bought this one so that we could always remember the historic moment of my first, and last, 5K walk!

Mom was laughing at how I had to drink out of every water bowl at the water stops. They had 5 water bowls lined up for the pups ... I'd start with the first bowl then work my way down the line. What can I say, I like to sample all the bowls, plus I was hot and thirsty!

Today, though ... I'm going to do what I do and love best .... sleep and snore hard!! Have a great day everyone!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Personalized mosaic dog (or kitty) leash hooks

A few months ago my mom placed an order with my auntie Cindy (who makes these really, really cool mosaic dog leash hooks) ... i got to pick out my own color (of course, i picked orange!) and I also asked to add stars by my name ... after all, my name ahnung means star in ojibway :)

This past week mom and momma MT finally got around to cleaning out the back area and reorganizing so now we have our dog leash hooks hanging by the back door. Mister and Missy also got their personalized dog leash hook ... mom chose red for Mister and purple for Missy. Here are photos of them ...  and if you want to place your own special order all you have to do is contact my auntie Cindy at My auntie Cindy volunteers with Pet Haven and she is going to donate 20% (yes, that's right ... 20%!) of any order you place with her to Pet Haven. Just be sure to mention 'Pet Haven.'

Monday, June 21, 2010

Our tough life!

Mom is off to the office. Just thought i'd share with you what a typical day is for us when mom is working. I get to lounge on the couch. Most of the time Missy hangs out with me on the couch. And Mister boy ... well, Mister boy either sleeps on the dog bed or he claims the leather chair.

and here I am ....close up shot :)

and here's my sister Missy ... isn't she just pretty??? 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My boy Julius has a home visit tomorrow!!

My boy Julius had quite the day today ... mom picked him up early this morning to bring him to the Pet Haven adoption event. I hope my boy appreciates my mom doing that because she was gone all week in North Carolina for work and just got home last night .. then turns around and leaves early this morning to pick him up!! Yes, he's probably saying "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah ...."

Anyway, there's this really cool young couple that put an application for my boy. The best part of it all is that they heard about him because mom told auntie Danielle about Julius (auntie Danielle is a dog trainer and therapy dog teacher at Canine Coach and a good friend of mom ... we volunteer together at The Lab with at-risk youth) Mom talked to the "dad" while she was in North Carolina and really liked him. He had to work today so he couldn't come and meet Julius but his soon to be mom (paws crossed) came to the adoption event today to meet Julius ... and yes, she LOVED him ... who wouldn't??? so tomorrow mom is picking Julius up again from his foster's home to take him for the home visit ... and guess what, I get to go too!! Julius' new mom and dad want to meet me ... and of course, I want to see my boy again :) And auntie Danielle is also coming and she's going to bring my buddy Sharpie (who is one of auntie Danielle's pups ... we're best buds -- he taught me how to play tug!).

After the adoption event today Julius got picked up by a Pet Haven volunteer Lisa who just loves, loves, loves my boy too!! He was quite the star today and very much in demand ...

Well ... i'll be with my boy tomorrow at the home visit. We just need to make sure that he gets along with the resident cat at his new home (which I am pretty sure will not be an issue). If it's anything like when I first came to live with mom, then it will be just fine :) Julius is like me ... being rez (i.e, reservation dogs) dogs, we've been through so much and have survived out in the wild for a while -- we've also been around all kinds of critters so nothing really phases us. I heard that Julius did great with a woman in a wheel chair at the adoption event today and also with the young kids ... he's definitely my son and will make a great therapy dog!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I love my siblings!

In honor of my incredible family, I wanted to post photos of my siblings!!

Here's a photo of Missy and Mister (when he was a puppy) napping with their friend, big bird ...

Mister .... cute little puppy! Look at that scrawny little tail .. what happened to it?? :)

Mister and Henry, napping ...

and here are stoic poses by Missy and Mister ... I love them all!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My first ... and make that my LAST ... 5K!!

So yesterday, I got to be a part of Pet Haven's The Fast and the Furballs team and participated in the Dog Days 5K9 run/walk. Don't get me wrong ... it was a great event with over 300 doggies of all sizes, breeds, colors ... best of all, I also got to see Julius (aka 'son of Ahnung'). He got teamed up with a Pet Haven volunteer and ran the entire 5K! I hear you ... don't think I don't hear you saying "why can't I run a 5K!" Excuse me friends ... i'm almost 6 years old and i have a bad back knee AND I am just not built for running, or even walking long distances for that matter!! Julius, however, did great ... the Pet Haven volunteer said he was a perfect running buddy.

I started off strong but then I got tired pretty quickly. The photo on the left is of me before race started. Scroll down and you'll see a photo of me after the race. By mile 2 I was saying words to my mom that I can't repeat. What I want to know is why they didn't have a rescue wagon waiting for me. Last year my bro Mister got to participate in the run/walk. I told mom that if she decides to do this again next year, that she should take Mister again. She's a little nervous running with my crazy brother because he tripped her last summer when they were out running and she took a pretty nasty fall ... after a year she still has a scar on her face from that fall.

Okay, so my momma MT says i'm no spring chicken ... well, she's right!! But at least I finished the 5K in less than an hour. We crossed the finish line just a few minutes before it hit one hour AND we were not the LAST ones to cross.

So here are photos of me and Julius after the 5K. As you can see, i'm exhausted and Julius looks like he just had a warm up and is ready to run another 5 miles. Maybe he'll get lucky and there will be a runner out there that is looking for a running buddy and will want to adopt by sweet boy.

When I got home after the 5K9 yesterday, guess what I did??? Yes, you are right ... I threw my body down on the floor and crashed for the rest of the day. Mom tells me that I was snoring loudly. It's a good thing she didn't wake me up. She only woke me up for dinner ... then right after dinner it was back to bed!

Today ... it's Sunday, and I am doing NOTHING!! I don't care what mom has in mind for me but I am going to just hang out in the backyard and do NOTHING!! Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

10 Reasons by you should adopt Julius, aka 'Son of Ahnung'

If you've been following my blog, and maybe even my mom's blog you'll know about Julius, a rescued dog from up at the Red Lake reservation ... the same place from where I was rescued.... and YES, I believe he is my son, and NO, I can't prove it but mom thinks so and so do many, many other people. He has my same markings and temperament .... and if you saw our first meeting, you would just know too :)

Anyway, my sweet boy is up for adoption through Pet Haven. Mom has fallen head over heels in love with him, and so have I. Of course, I would LOVE for Julius to come live with us by mom tells me our house is kinda full ... I guess 3 big dogs and a cat in a small city house is a lot ... oh well, I'll just demand visitation rights.

1. He's so darn cute
2. He's playful with personality, yet mellow
3. He walks well on a leash - does NOT pull or drag you on walks, like some dogs!!
4. He has a calm, wise, loving spirit (it's hard to put this into words ..  you just have to meet my boy!)
5. He's a Red Lake reservation dog and they are the coolest (okay, so i'm biased because i'm a rez dog too!)
6. He would make a GREAT therapy dog! He's a natural ....
7. After Julius becomes a therapy dog, we could volunteer together and become the Mama and Son therapy dog team ... and together, we can heal wounded spirits.
8. He gets along with everyone!!
9. Like me ... he's low maintenance. Mom often forgets i'm even around :)
10. He will touch and heal your soul in a way you could never even imagine!

Okay, I said 10 reasons but here's one more: You are saving a life and adopting a rescued dog. Mom tells me that in the end I really rescued her :)

On the right is a photo of my boy sleeping at auntie Laura's house. Now, how can you not just fall in love with him???

When I first got to meet the "son of Ahnung"it was right before I brought him over to his foster home. He's a pretty lucky boy ... he gets to hang out in a foster home with a mellow chocolate lab (Grizzly) and Alan, the pug AND a swimming pool! Boy, sure wish I had a swimming pool. You should've seen us prancing around the swimming pool ...

Mom took a bunch of photos from our first meeting and when we took my boy over to his foster home. She made a short video of it .... check it out!

And if you're interested in learning more about Julius or meeting him you should email And you should put in your email that you want to learn more about Julius, aka 'Son of Ahnung'!! He's my boy and i'm very protective of him!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

All in a day's work!

I'm sometimes asked .... "what's it like to be a therapy dog??" Well .... here's a typical work day for me ... only difference here is that this was my first time in hospice to visit my new friend "I" (now that mom and I are official Allina hospice volunteers!). All my other work days were to go to school and give presentations with mom and work with at-risk youth ... yesterday, was a special day ... mom was also having a rough day and when we go to "work" not only do I LOVE it because of all the cool people I get to meet, but because it also makes mom feel so much better :)

My day begins with lots of loving by Uncle Keith of Pampered Pooch Playground where I go to get my spa treatment. As a therapy dog I MUST look and smell my best! I love Uncle Keith (he owns this fancy joint in St. Louis Park!). He gives me lots of attention, treats, belly rubs and lets me be a greeter (his dog and my friend, Roxy, a bernese mountain dog is taking her therapy dog test on Friday! After she passes she's going to work with me at the schools ... YAY!!)

Here I am getting a bath!!

then I get to visit my new friend "I" in hospice, who has this friend "B" who hung out with us too! They were both so cool and gave me lots of pets. It took me a long time to make my way to I's room because everyone wanted us to stop. Sorry mom, they wanted to see me not you! :) All I heard was "Can your dog say hi to us? What's your dog's name? What kind of dog is she?" and on and on and on ... oh, we also got to ride in an elevator (so fun!). I also so saw more wheelchairs than i've ever seen before!

And then, this one staff person at hospice (handsome, cool dude!) ... fell to his knees when he first met me! He hugged on me and gave me lots of attention and asked my mom if he could take me home. Sorry  Uncle Andy ... "I'm spoken for" but "yes, I'll tell mom that we have to come visit 'I' and 'B' on the days that you are working!"

[Thanks Uncle Andy for letting me post our photo! ... hope to see you next week!]

And then it's time to crash at home with Missy and Mister!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Be a voice for the voiceless

A year and a half ago my life was horrible ... I was wandering around, suffering, starving and having litter after litter. If not for Karen Good of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue I would still be up at the reservation, suffering. Then thanks to Pet Haven and my mom my life took a turn. And now I sleep on the couch, or wherever I want to sleep :) I no longer have to scrounge for food, although i still like to eat berries and seeds that fall off of trees and twigs (mom keeps telling me not to though!).

The photo on the left was taken by a Pet Haven volunteer and professional photographer Lisa Jaster of LMJ Originals. She recently went up to the Red Lake reservation to assist with a spay/neuter clinic and took such incredible photos .... stayed tuned ... mom says that you'll be hearing more about the collaborative efforts with local groups in the Twin Cities working on behalf of abandoned, abused and neglected animals!! Woo hoo!! :)

Here are a couple quotes that I just love ... and hugs to all of you who are already doing so much for those of us who need for you to be a voice for those of us who have no voice!!

"Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." - Nelson Mandela