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ahhh! need to update more!

Mar. 23rd, 2009 | 10:42 pm
mood: calm
music: white flag (acoustic) || dido
posted by: marleybanana in girlandcowdog

Lennon and I have been keeping busy, enjoying the lovely weather and playing lots of frisbee! 

Unfortunately, I was let go from my job last week, but, perhaps it was for the best.  Right now I'm looking for a job while doing some work around the house and making plans to start my own kennel.  My community could really use it, and I know what I'm doing, and I love it, so, it's a plan!

The only thing that's really getting me down right now is the huge task of cleaning and organizing things around the house to begin decluttering my life and beginning new.  Not to mention worrying about paying my bills and feeding Lennon.  But, I trust that everything will work itself out in time.

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top ten list!

Feb. 24th, 2009 | 12:37 am
mood: peaceful
music: pain in my heart || otis redding
posted by: marleybanana in girlandcowdog

The Ten Most Important things I carry with me as a dog owner!

1. My doggie tote!
         --Purchased from The Animal Rescue Site (www.theanimalrescuesite.com), it reads "Those who love me, love my dog".  It speaks the truth.

2. Poop sacks
         --As a responsible member of dogdom and a society that thinks itself civilized, I feel it's only right to pick up after my dog.  After all, I don't enjoy stepping in dog mess any more than the next person!

3. An extra lead
           --Whether something happens to the one I'm walking my own dog with, or I come across a dog in need, without a home, an extra lead always comes in handy.  I tend to carry a slip lead in my bag, so that if the dog in need of said lead is a bit anxious, I don't have to worry about being bitten while attaching a lead to a collar.

4. Training treats
           --Every dog responds to treats, and the soft, scent filled training treats are about as enticing as anything else you can find.  After all, my tote may be large, but I can't go around with a t-bone in my bag, can I?

5. A squeaky toy, ball, OR frisbee
            --Believe me, if I have enough room, I carry all of them with me.  However, most of the time, I don't want all three weighing me down.  but they are there in case we make a quick stop at the park, or in case I need something to calm my pup down. 

6. A rawhide or other chew device
            --If my pup's going to need something to do while I'm conducting business that doesn't involve her, this will come in great handy!

7. My veterinarian's phone number
             --Of course, because it's programmed into my BlackBerry, it's always with me, whether my pup is or not.  It always comes in handy, though, whether it's an emergency of your own pup or one you see on the street, never hesitate to call.  This also goes for the number of the local animal control!

8. My camera/a camera-phone
               --Because there is no shortage of cute puppy moments that deserve to be captured!

9. My PetsMart Pet Perks card
               --Who doesn't love stopping at the store for doggie toys, treats, or just to see who else is there?  This is a necessity in my life!

10. A photo of my pup
               --Whether an actual print or simply stored on my phone or camera, if something should happen, I want to be able to show people what my pup looks like so they can help me find her!  No one wants to go home dogless!

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Because I fail at life...

Feb. 8th, 2009 | 09:17 am
mood: cold
posted by: marleybanana in girlandcowdog

The expo was great!  Lennon was a bit overwhelmed at first, but once she finally calmed down and figured out that she'd get to see a lot of people that she loves and a lot of dogs (all kinds!), she had a good time, too.  I, in my infinite state of "Oh my god, so many dogs!  I can look at just one!", I actually forgot to ever get my camera out and take any pictures.  But, we had a good time, did a lot of advertising for the PetsHotel (even though we weren't getting paid for it), and got to see a lot of interesting stuff. 

I'd like it to be known that I almost came home with another pup last night.  If I didn't live with Mom, I can guarantee that Lennon would have a sister.  The booth next to our friends at the PetsHotel booth was Capital Humane Society's, and when we showed up, they had a little 3 month old adoptable heeler mix on display.  SO CUTE!  She was just the most adorable thing in the world.  Her ears were a bit floppy, not quite standing all the way to the tips, and she was liver ticked rather than blue or red.  My guess is that she was mixed with either a lab or a pointer.  Perhaps even an English Springer.  The thing that got me, though, is that, at 3 months old, she's almost as tall as Lennon (who will be two years old in April)!  But alas, because Mom does not want another dog in the house, we came home with only one. 

It was still a good time, and we got to talk to some of our friends from the kennel I worked at when I first got Len, and got to see plenty of cool dogs (it was put on by Domesti-pups, an organization that works with therapy dogs).  Hopefully the girls from the hotel will be able to tell me how many people and dogs were there!

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Feb. 7th, 2009 | 10:26 am
mood: excited
music: you are the best thing || ray lamontagne
posted by: marleybanana in girlandcowdog

Today is the "I love my dog expo"!  Len and I are incredibly excited, although I think all she really knows is that we're going somewhere where there's puppies.  I'm taking my camera, so I'll be sure to post lots of pictures when I get back.  Hopefully we'll find some fun stuff there, and I'm really hoping that we can maybe find a flyball team/club, and perhaps get Len involved in that...and, you know, get to her not be afraid of the flyball machine!  She's such a scaredy cat!  Er, dog...

Anyway, we're off in less than an hour and I'm so excited that I almost can't breathe!  Okay, so that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I am really excited!

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why we need to save shelter animals...

Feb. 5th, 2009 | 04:27 pm
mood: crushed
posted by: marleybanana in girlandcowdog

i was reading stupidpetowners today, and came across an entry that talked about gassing shelter animals.  it linked to a site called helpsaveone.org, and, on said site, there is a video titled "the truth about gassing dogs".  i'd read the comments, all the warnings not to watch the video, and yet, i did.  i still don't know why.  i was compelled, let's put it that way.  now, hours later, i don't think i'll ever get those sights or sounds out of my head.  it was...graphic.  that's the only word i can think of to describe it.  it didn't show any dogs getting torn apart, but...the looks on their faces when they were trying so hard to escape the "box".  and then...well, i won't tell you about the second round of gassing they did.  but it was horrific.  the whole thing.  and it's known that there are still communities that practice euthanasia this way - mine is one of them.  and they advertise it as being humane, but...anyone who's heard those screams knows otherwise. 

this, is the reason, first and foremost, that, when someone you know says they're thinking about getting a dog, you should suggest they look into adoption before they start looking for newly bred pups.

along the same vein, since mom got home, i've been wanting to ask her something.  well, i've been thinking about it since just after i watched the video.  when i was 7 or 8 years old, my first dog, shadow, had to be put down on the threat that, if my mom didn't take care of it, my uncle would.  and let's just say that he didn't plan to take him any further than the cornfield with a shotgun.  of course, this was because shadow had had some behavioral problems after my parents' divorce and our subsequent move.  at the time, mom told me (as any good parent would tell their child) that she'd found a great new home for him and that he was truly happy with his new family.  a few years later, i asked if that was the truth.  when i was four, shadow had been my soulmate, my bff, and my brother...now, at the age of ten, i felt i had a right to know what really happened.  she informed me that she'd had to put him down.  for years, that was the reason that she didn't want to get another dog.  anyway, i've been wanting to ask her if shadow was injected or gassed.  on one hand, i'm not sure i want to know, but on the other, having seen what i did today, i feel that i deserve to know.  it's one more step in the process of eradicating this practice...at least in my community if not in thousands of others throughout the country.  now, if only i could find the right time to ask and the right words to use...

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the saddest sound you'll ever hear.

Jan. 29th, 2009 | 12:52 am
mood: discontent
music: dogs || damien rice
posted by: marleybanana in girlandcowdog

It's nearly 1am, and I just took Len outside to go potty. It's dreadfully cold, and somewhere west of the house, I could hear a dog baying and howling to wake the dead. It sounded awful. If it weren't such an unreasonable hour, or I knew where this dog is, I'd call the police. And give them hell about this dog and then ask if they've done anything about these dogs.   When Lennon and I went past yesterday, pitiful little terrier mix was still in his ramshackle little house.  The other two we haven't seen since Tuesday morning.

I feel sorry for dogs that are stuck outside this time of year.  If we lived someplace where the temperature never dips below fifty, and the sun shines 300 days out of the year, it might be different.  But even my snow loving, cold weather cowdog doesn't want to stay outside long when it's this cold.  Unless, of course, we're on a walk, and she's got too much to explore.  Then again, once she knows we're getting close to home, she starts pulling for all she's worth to get home and crash on the couch :)  I only hope that, one day, all dogs will be house dogs.  I know they all enjoy it.

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Pups in need.

Jan. 15th, 2009 | 06:15 pm
mood: cold
music: sula || jeremy fisher
posted by: marleybanana in girlandcowdog

It's freezing outside.  And, at least for right now, in my house.  I'm sitting here with fingerless gloves on, wool socks, a heavy sweatshirt, the warmest pj pants I could find, and the heat cranked up on my chair massage cushion.  And all I can think about is the dog across the street who lives in an outdoor kennel with only a feeble dog house for shelter.  I hear her barking every now and again when I take Len outside to go potty.  It's even too cold for me to take Len for a walk in town, and I'm using the 30 foot lead from just inside the door to let her out.  It's that cold...and I love cold weather!  It frustrates me that people think it's okay to leave their pets (be they dogs, cats, horses, cattle, whatever) out in freezing temperatures.  Yes, they have more ability to deal with the elements than a human does, but that doesn't mean they don't need adeuqate shelter and warmth.  At least the farm animals my family has out in the country are let in each evening.  And, in the winter, the barn door that leads to the outdoor pen is left open so the horses can get inside whenever they need. 

Gah, people who treat their pets with such disregard are really sickening.

And, it's so cold that I think I shall go huddle underneath my Snuggie and watch some NCIS.  And maybe make some hot cocoa. 

P.S. found a new site today!  Check out www.shopmimigreen.com!

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by any other name...

Jan. 2nd, 2009 | 12:51 am
mood: loved
music: love || sugarland
posted by: marleybanana in girlandcowdog

I had thought long and hard before I got my pup about what I wanted to name her.  Several things had gone through my mind, and, through my work with dogs, several had already been ruled out.  There are plenty of Bailey's, Marley's, Annie's, and Pepper's in the world.  Heaven forbid I add to this.  The confusion at a kennel is plenty already.  (Though, to be fair, I do really like the name Marley -- hence the username, so this fact is disappointing to me)  I had thought that, had I gotten a male dog (which, I'd like to make it known that I went to the breeder specifically looking for a female -- of course, if not given a choice, I'd be glad to have a little boy!), I would have named him Kane.  Or Apollo.  I know...there are plenty of Apollo's in the world, but a really great dog I once knew went by that name, and it would most definitely be in honor of him. 

The last dog I'd had was named Sassy...not by my choice.  I, in my aged wisdom (at age 8), had wanted badly to name her Sadie.  Mom had decided on Sassy.  This angered me to no end.  I loved the movie Homeward Bound, and as far as I was concerned, Sassy was a cat's name.  I still believe that.  So, this new pup was my dog.  Specifically, any naming was going to be by me.  And me only.  I had thought about Starbuck, being a huge fan of the most recent Battlestar Galactica series, but looking at this scared little pup in my lap, that didn't seem to fit her.  Lennon had been a name I'd been saving.  I had really wanted a Min Pin at one point, and planned on getting a little girl and naming her Lennon.  But the minute I suggested it on the drive home (with 'Lovely Rita' playing in the background), I knew it was right. 

People still ask if she's named for John.  It's been a running joke for a while for me to comment back saying that no, of course I'm a Communist.  A friend of mine has even called her Vlad as a nickname.  She is, of course, named for John.  The first time I took her to our vet, he thought her name was Lemon.  It's not been the last time I've heard it, either.  I'm not a fan of naming pets after food.  

That first night we had her, she got her first bath, and, while she was wrapped in a towel and shaking, I held her in my arms at the computer and rocked her to sleep to 'Blackbird', which has forever been cemented as our favorite Beatles song.  I even have some lyrics from the song tattooed on my ankle.  

Of course, in reality, I know that whatever her name, I could never replace this little girl.  She's brilliant, loving, and just about the best thing that's ever happened to me.  Yes, she's spoiled, and gets gifts more often than I do, but what she does for me in return is worth so much more.  I only hope that she stays with me for as long as possible.  And that she realizes how much she means to me. 

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She loves to run...

Dec. 3rd, 2008 | 03:30 am
posted by: marleybanana in girlandcowdog

Lennon and I took another trip out to my grandparents' farm today.  She loves running through the field, and I'm glad that it wears her out.  Unfortunately, it's always hard leaving the main yard because of my cousin's dog, Jake, who would really love to come along, but because my cousin and his family have refused to neuter him, he stays chained up in the yard.  He whines and brays every time Len and I leave.  Of course, I don't carry anything with me that would give me the ability to walk him with us.  I did, however, stop to say hi to him this morning.  When I checked his water, it was frozen across the top to the point that he couldn't break the surface himself.  I made sure to break it enough for him to get to some water before I left.  I wish they'd either neuter him or get rid of him.  He's spent the majority of his seven years at the farm tied to a post near his doghouse, because if they let him roam, he heads for town and gets picked up by the police. 

I'm doing my Christmas shopping for Lennon next week.  I think - no, know - that I'm more excited about it than she is.  Helps that I have my 30% off coupon, too.  I plan on loading up :D  Of course, this also means that I have to find her stocking from last year.  Which has mysteriously disappeared.

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Our story.

Nov. 30th, 2008 | 03:00 am
mood: cold
music: merry christmas, baby || otis redding
posted by: marleybanana in girlandcowdog

So, the real reason I started this journal/community?  Because I wanted to have a place where I could write exclusively about my dog and the dogs I work with.  My personal journal doesn't exactly allow me the...space...so, here I am, starting an entirely different blog so I can write about dogs.  Well, my dog, mostly...

I suppose I should use this as an introductory post. 

I've always been a dog person.  I don't specifically remember getting our first dog, Shadow, a black Cocker spaniel mix, but I remember that he was considered a part of the family.  I do remember Sassy, our German shepherd/Labrador mix.  She was a farm dog.  Smart as a whip and loyal to the end.  She passed away from anti-freeze poisoning when I was fifteen.  She was only seven (in human years).  Our whole family always had dogs.  Some were indoor dogs, a part of the family, and others were outdoor dogs, used for hunting, herding, protection.  I don't ever remember a time when I didn't like dogs.  Nor a time when I didn't ooh and aah at the sight of one. 

So, it wasn't surprising that, after I got my first job working with animals, in a Denver animal hospital, that I never wanted to look back.  When I moved back to Nebraska, finding such a job was difficult, but eventually, I found a kennel in Lincoln looking for kennel workers.  I was ecstatic when they hired me.

It was while I was working there that I met my first blue heelers.  And it was then that I met Wrex, an eight-week old heeler pup with ears to die for and the sweetest face.  I was in love.  And wanted one of my own.  It was after his second stay with us at the kennel that I officially convinced my mother (who was nice enough to house me rent-free) that I could be completely responsible for a dog.  And that, because the kennel allowed employees to bring their dogs to work, free of charge, that said dog would only be home when I was.  She recommended I look online at local paper classifieds for what I wanted.  I'd already told her that I thought a heeler was the dog for me.

The first advertiser I called was advertising red and blue heeler puppies for $50 a pup.  The woman on the other end of my cell phone informed me that they'd sold all the pups.  I cried.  It had been the only ad I'd found in the first set of classifieds I'd perused.  That's when Mom suggested that I look at another local paper.  This time I found an ad for blue heeler puppies for $150 a pup.  The gentleman who answered said they still had four left.  Two males, two females. 

We picked up Lennon that afternoon.  She was little, fuzzy, shy, and the cutest thing I'd ever seen.  When we got her home, she planted her little feet in grass for the first time.  She was wary of us at first, but it didn't take long for her to get over that.  She went to work with me the next day and spent most of the day in her crate in her outside run.  It was June and the weather was mild. 

Today, she's just over a year and a half old, and my life tends to revolve around her.  She's got a smile bigger than any I've ever seen, and she's a total Mama's girl. 

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