Monday, May 31, 2010

Julius - "Son of Ahnung"

So the other day when mom went to pick up my brother Mister from Rescue Buddy Boarding she met Julius who just arrived from Red Lake Rosie's Rescue. Julius was one of Pet Haven's newest intake into their foster program.

Julius, like me, was rescued by Karen Good (my hero!). They were having a big spay/neuter clinic so that more puppies and kittens aren't being born! Karen told my mom that Julius came from the same area up at the reservation that I did ... a place called Redby. He has scabs and scars all over his body and they removed over 200 wood ticks from his body. They said he was so sweet when the volunteer was removing the ticks. When my auntie Laura took him to Bloomington Veterinary Hospital to get checked out even the vet there said Julius looked like me! [For those that don't know, when I first was rescued and arrived into Pet Haven's program I spent about 6 weeks at Bloomington Vet because I had heartworm ... the vets, vet techs and staff just loved me up when I was there, and of course, mom came to visit me every day and took me on outings].

Somehow, Julius got the nickname "son of Ahnung" :) I love it. He has the same markings as me with white paws and a white tip on his tail and little freckles on his nose. He's not as chunky and solid as me, but that's okay :) Mom says he also has the same temperament and my calm spirit :) One of the vet techs at Bloomington Vet is interested in adopting Julius ... in fact, it's one of the techs who took good care of me while I was healing from heartworm. I guess there's no way to confirm that he's my son, but if mom were a gambler she would bet on it, and so would I!!

Yesterday, she went to visit him at auntie Laura's (aka Rescue Buddy Boarding) and she took lots of photos of him and Chica (another gorgeous dog who is up for adoption through Pet Haven. Chica originally came from People for Pets in Spencer, Iowa where my siblings Missy and Mister came from). She made a cool video from all the photos she took. I hope I get to meet "my son" soon :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Video!!

For some bizarre reason mom couldn't sleep last night ... so she got up really, really early. Of course, I just came downstairs with her and went right back to sleep. She decided to make a new video of me with a bunch of my photos .... of course, i'm okay with that!! :)

Hey ... I also hear that mom met this really cool dog yesterday. His name is Julius and he came from up north at Red Lake reservation (where i'm from). He was also rescued by Karen (my hero!) of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue. I hear Julius came from the same area where I originally came from ... Redby. And guess what, mom says that Julius looks like me and acts like me, and she has fallen in love with this boy. He has been nicknamed "Son of Ahnung!" Mom says he would make a great therapy dog too! She says she's going over to auntie Laura's house today to take photos of him ... yeah, right!! When she comes home i'm going to check her pockets to make sure she isn't sneaking him in .... she's threatening my brother Mister that she's going to trade him in for Julius. I've assured my brother Mister that she's all talk!! She loves Mister, crazy as he is ... i'm sure you'll be hearing more about the Son of Ahnung :)

Meanwhile, check out my new video:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Give your Dog a Treat Day!

Today I proclaim it to be "Give Your Dog (or Cat) a Treat Day!"

Yesterday it was hug your dog (or cat) ... today, as we begin the Memorial Day weekend (and yes, I know there are going to be lots of parties and barbecues going on!) ... So, if all you Humans get to eat yummy food, then I think I, along with all my furry friends, deserve to get a least one special, scrumptuous, yummy treat!!

Oh, and if you need a taster for your party just give me a call! I am more than happy to help you out, and I won't even charge you. I love ALL kinds of food!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Give your Dog a Hug Day

Today I proclaim it "Give your dog a hug day." 

It will not only help your pup .... but it will help you too.  

Mom says that I am her best medicine. Hugs and slobbery kisses to you all today!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Dog's Ten Commandments

1.  My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years.  Any permanent separation from you will be very painful for me.  Remember this before you adopt me.
2.  Do not break my spirit with harsh treatment.  Your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.  Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3.  Place your trust in me -- it’s crucial to my well-being.  Remember that I was bred for activity, both mental and physical and I enjoy playing games, taking walks and an occasional good run.
4.  Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment.  You have your work, your friends, your entertainment.  I have only you and I like being with you.
5.  Talk to me.  Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand the tone of your voice when you are speaking to me, especially when you use friendly tones.
6.  Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.  I am normally a social animal, however I need to make positive associations at a young age to feel confident and well adjusted around other dogs and humans.
7.  Before you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush bones but I choose not to bite you.
8.  Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something may be bothering me.  Perhaps I’ve been out in the sun too long or I'm not getting the right food.  I may need medical attention or my heart may just be getting old.  But keep in mind I respond very well to praise.
9.  Take care of me when I get old.  You, too, will grow old.  I only want to love and to please you, so treat me kindly.
10.  And most of all . . .  Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch it” or “Let it happen in my absence.”  Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, I love you.

- Canine author unknown.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hold On

I've decided that this morning i'm going to let my mom be a guest writer on my blog:

Every morning I write. I have a desk that looks out to our backyard. It's not really a desk ... it used to be in my partner's kitchen in her old home ... a tall, light oak colored table that I transformed into my writing desk. I sit on a stool every morning looking out the window into our backyard. Years ago when we still had our precious Shadow (i'm guessing he was some kind of a lab/terrier mix ... a rescue from the streets of Owasso, Oklahoma many years ago -- starving, malnourished, ribs protruding and a major scab over his right ear where his body was healing over a gun shot wound -- a bullet that skimmed his ear, shattered and till the day he died left pieces of lead in his skull) ... sweet Shadow. Shadow used to sneak under the table and place his paws up on the window sill. While I would write he would look out into the back yard. A curiosity and fascination for the squirrels. Something he has passed on to our sweet Mister.

Shadow was a survivor. He was a love bug. He was street smart. And he was an escape artist. We lost our sweet boy to intestinal cancer on July 2, 2007. I was blessed to have 3 weeks with him to say goodbye and build more beautiful memories. We had 3 weeks of doggie hospice. He got to do whatever he wanted to do in those 3 weeks. We went to the parks with Missy ...  he went swimming in the lakes. We ran errands together. And in those 3 weeks I slept downstairs on the couch with him, held him in my arms and let him out every hour or two as he struggled to hang on despite cancer cells spreading in his body. He had good moments and not so good moments. I prayed for him to let me know when it was time to let him go. I let him know that as much as I wanted  him to stay with me, more than anything I did not want him to suffer and I wanted to do what was right for him.

In the early morning of July 2, 2007 he let me know. He burrowed himself in a shallow hole he dug up by the ashes of Splat (my first dog ... my sweet black cocker spaniel), Shen (whom we lost in September, 2006 to spleen cancer - Shen was Shadow's best friend), Cece and Scooter (my partner's dog and cat) ... and a stone that represented a memorial for our beloved animals. It's as if I could hear him say, "It's time."

This morning, i picked up a stone i have on my writing desk, where a native american blessing is engraved. And I found myself hearing Shadow ... I share it with all of you who have lost a loved one .... it's been almost 3 years since Shadow crossed the bridge. I miss you Shadow. I miss Splat, and I miss Shen. Some day we will meet again. For now, I imagine you frolicking up in heaven ... I know you were there welcoming Zappa, and most recently Lacy ... thanks for continuing to bless us with your presence and sprinkling us with your spirit ...

Hold On
To what is good
even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe
even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do
even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life
even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand
even when I have gone away from you.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sheep, Solar energy and Software ...

So what do Dorper sheep, solar energy and software have in common? SAS!! and What is SAS, it's the software company my mom works for which is ranked the #1 company to work for by Fortune magazine! I've been trying to get her to quit her job so she can just focus on me ... yes ME, Nung Nung, animal assisted education/therapy and lounging on the couch with me, but she won't ... She actually really likes her job and says it's truly the best company. She gets to travel around the country teaching workshops in universities across the country ....

[Oh, if you want to read more about why SAS is the best company to work for check out the Fortune 100 article]
She tells me that they recently had a contest to name the new solar sheep. Her company built a solar farm on 5 of the 300 acres where the company headquarters is in Cary, North Carolina. Their newer buildings are all powered by solar energy! How cool is that???

The solar farm has Dorper sheep, which is a smaller breed of sheep that are perfect for walking beneath the solar panels to munch on the grass and help with landscaping. Over easter four baby lambs were born ... they reached out to the employees to name the sheep and the votes came in .. their names are Buttercup, Sassy, Miss Fleece and Lily!

Mom says her company has child daycare centers at their headquarters in North Carolina. I think they need a doggie daycare ... maybe when they get a doggie daycare then we can all move to Cary, North Carolina. Actually, i'll even move before they get a doggie daycare because I'm happy to hang out with Buttercup, Sassy, Miss Fleece and Lily and all the other dorper sheep. Mom will vouch for it ... but she knows I love to graze and munch on the grass in the backyard. I also eat anything that falls off of the tree!

I guess i'll get off mom's case .... she's got a great job and it also pays for all the yummy food and treats that I get!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Invited to speak at a graduate level social work class!

Mom had to travel this past week for work ... she's always traveling (which i don't like!! ... but she says she has to work so she can feed me so who am i to argue ... i want my food.

Ahnung + Food = Happy Nung Nung!)

Okay, i digress ... so mom was invited to speak at a graduate level social work class at the University of St. Thomas this morning! They wanted both of us to come and talk about animal assisted education and the work we are doing volunteering at The Lab working with special ed kids ... mom had to talk about group dynamics, facilitating groups, blah, blah, blah, blah :) Don't get me wrong ... it's all good. But me?? I just go where i'm needed ... AND best of all, when I go to "work" and give these presentations or help mom facilitate groups, I get lots and lots of love.

The students this morning were so great! I told them I wanted to blog about it and post their photo up on my blog ... they were cool with it. Actually, i think they were more than cool with it ... they're smiling in the photo right??? And before I left I got lots of love from them. They gave me compliments and said I was pretty.... awwww .... A couple of the students kept saying I had such great markings .... i think one of them even wanted to kidnap me!! Maybe mom can make some extra money by starting a business: Rent a Nung Nung!

Well ... i'm so glad I got to visit with them this morning. They will all make great social workers one day. And hopefully a few of them will consider animal assisted therapy/education in their work ... according to mom, the work we do is pretty magical. For me, it's magical because I get lots of yummy treats :)

Happy Saturday everyone! Nap time for me :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Dog's Last Will

In September 2006 mom lost her beloved collie shepherd mix Shen to spleen cancer. It came on suddenly and it hit her really hard. She tells me how she came to know Shen ... a scraggly 9 month old puppy, a rescue dog who was up for adoption through a rescue in St. Louis, Missouri. Mom happened to stop by a Petco in St. Louis one Sunday afternoon and there was this funny looking dog. No one wanted her. Well, until mom came along. She stopped by a health food store on her way back to her apartment ... Wild Oats. She opened up an eastern medicine veterinary book, and the page opened up to "Shen". She decided to name her new pup Shen ... which means spirit. What a great name.

Shen lived with mom till she was 12 years old. Mom tried desperately to save Shen, but in the end, after surgery and two blood tranfusions, realized it was time to let her go. She held Shen's paw as her spirit crossed over. I tell my mom that we will all go there some day. It's okay. Our time will come and it's a beautiful place.

Shen led mom to Pet Haven and to the work she is doing in animal welfare. Thanks Shen ... you did good!! :) And because of Shen ... mom adopted Missy, then Mister, then Henry ... and finally me!!

Mom doesn't want to think about the time when it will be my turn to go. She tells me that i'm going to live a long, long, long, long time. I smile. I tell her though, that when it's my time to go, there will be another beautiful star out there that will need her, and for whom I will want to have the hundreds of dog beds that mom has purchased for me!! :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Celebrating Lacy's Life ...

There's this really special dog, Lacy ... a 9 year old rottie mix, that was in Pet Haven's foster program for a long time. She spent time in quite a few foster homes and even at a couple of our doggie daycare partners, Pampered Pooch and Downtown Dogs ... every place she went she won the hearts of her fosters. We couldn't quite understand why no one was adopting this sweet girl ...

She was in Pet Haven's foster program at the time that I went into Pet Haven's foster program. I got adopted on January 3, 2009 ... well Lacy told me that she was waiting around for her special family, Jackie and Jerry! Smart girl ... well, Lacy was adopted by Jackie and Jerry on March 29, 2009 and had the best 13 months with them.

She got sick in February .... and this past Friday her mom and dad were right by her side as she went on to doggie heaven ... okay, it's doggie and human heaven. Lacy was one cool dog and she touched the hearts of so many people, even my mom. So this morning my mom made a movie to celebrate sweet Lacy's life.

Click on the link below to watch her tribute to Lacy.

Celebrating Lacy's life

And auntie Jackie and uncle Jerry ... thank you for loving Lacy and giving her the best home!