Saturday, December 26, 2009

Almost came home with a new dog on Christmas

She appeared in our daughter's back yard. At first, I saw a flash of brown and white, then I focused and saw her...a pitt bull/boxer mix. About 3 years old. Brown and white. Very clean. She obviously was somebody's pet, but all she had on her (NO TAGS!) was a gray harness. NO ID! Nothing. Not a phone number written on her harness. GOSH, DARN! WHY are people so stupid? She was a well-mannered little girl. She responded to "shake" and "sit" and was very people-oriented. So, our daughter put her in her back yard as we didn't wish to let her out and have her get hit by a car. The turkey was roasting, the prime rib was on the BBQ, and Walgreens was open, so hubby and I rushed out to buy dog food and a few toys, including a rawhide bone. She daintily chewed on the bone and wolfed down the dog food. Then, she took a nap on their back porch. Jennifer and James put up signs all around their complex and later Jennifer and I took her for a walk. Nobody seemed to know where she belonged. Then our son and family walked in and he said, "That's the same dog I gave some water to about a month ago!" NO WAY! He lives over 3 miles away, in a completely different housing development! But, he swore she was the same dog! How could that be? Turns out, YES, she was the same dog! Her actual owner lives in his development, but somebody 3 doors down from our daughter was "housesitting" with her. He left her alone in the house, to go visit family up in Yucca Valley, and "Shelby", the escape artist, clawed her way out of the front screen window! And, roamed our daughter's street for a day! Jennifer fortunately had put an ad on Craigslist and he found it and called her and the dogsitter and dog were reunited this morning with a warning to PLEASE WRITE A PHONE NUMBER ON HER COLLAR! Shelby is a very sweet dog and I would hate to see her out loose, again, wandering all over the desert!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pets~Ripley~Sunday Stills Challenge 120609

I found these pics on hubby's laptop (since my computer crashed last week). Here's Ripley as a puppy, sacked out on our couch. She just moved right in and made herself at home! Right now she's asleep on the floor, next to me. She's proven to be an intelligent, curious, and loyal little dog. She's mostly black lab. When I took her in for her yearly shots over Thanksgiving, she was very friendly to all the people, but she growled at EVERY dog in the waiting room! GO AWAY FROM MY MOM!!! Silly girl! Sunday Stills Challenge for December 6, 2009. Snow storm on the way, arriving tomorrow.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rommel and Loki ~BFF? Camera Critters 112809

Our white male (neutered) cat, Loki, has shaped every dog we've had. Let's see...that would be our second German shepherd, Maverick, our son's dog, Atticus (the Weimeraner), our current German shepherd, Rommel, and now even Ripley. I always know when he is out back because Ripley jumps against the sliding glass door in an attempt to run outside and sniff his $%TT!~ He has been very patient with her, especially when she was a puppy. I remember when she was smaller than him and would follow him around the house. I never saw him swat her, which, I think, accounts for her enthusiasm towards him! Anyway, here are Rommel and Loki sort of relaxing together, but, as you can see, Loki had his own expression for the whole experience!!! Camera Critters for Saturday, November 28, 2009.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

There's a PREDATOR in the neighborhood!!!

Yes, there is! And, he chases away the doves that I feed. He is a hawk. I'm guessing a Cooper's Hawk. One day, he landed on my bird bath out in the back yard. I noticed that there wasn't a dove in the yard. Then, I heard a furious flapping of wings another morning. ALL the doves disappeared in an instant. Yup. It was HIM/HER??? Now, I noticed that the birdseed isn't always gone every day. And, this morning, I heard the frantic beating of wings and ALL the doves took off. Yup. It was the hawk again...sigh...I believe he/she has taken up residence in our neighborhood and "dining" on our local birds. I know my neighbors also feed the doves and pigeons, so it has an ample supply. I did see Loki, our big white cat, run up the mesquite tree after him/her this morning. GOOD KITTY! Of course, I don't have to worry about Loki! He weighs 16 pounds! But, I do worry about little Daisy, who only weighs 5 pounds. Does anyone know... can a hawk carry a 5 pound cat? Should I be worried about Daisy disappearing???

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Just LOOK at him~Humpppffffff! There he is, lounging in one of the chairs in the front yard... not a care in the world! I HATE this cat and slobber over him every chance I get, BUT...he likes to swat me with his claws and even though he is over 13 years old, he's pretty fast for an old guy! Mom (for some UNKNOWN reason) adores him. I'd like to chase him up a tree, but he's too FAT!!! Go figure.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gigondas and sunset~SkyWatch Friday 100209

Gigondas is a big, red thoroughbred mare that I rescued from a slaughter-bound feedlot in WA state in 2006. I rescued her the same time I rescued my Beauty. They came down together from WA state. Immediately upon her arrival, Beauty picked me as her human, while Gigondas picked my husband. That was okay with me. Gigondas needed A human, any human, to bond with. She and hubby have now formed a very special bond. He goes out and talks to her, walks her, and spends hours brushing her, until her eyes close! He took this photo of her on September 11, 2009, when she was in the arena, at sunset. SkyWatch Friday for October 2, 2009. Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Recent events

It was a long, hot summer. I don't remember a lot of it. One of my beloved horses, Beauty, died overnight and I found her dead in her corral the next morning. There was no trauma to her body and it doesn't appear she suffered. We THINK she got cast in her corral, tried to get up, and hit her head on the metal pipe railing. We believe she died instantly. This was a devastating blow to me as Beauty was trained by my cousin and I was anticipating riding her again this summer. I went into a deep depression for 6 weeks after her death, struggling to understand WHY this happened and why it happened to such a wonderful and loving animal. I rescued Beauty from a slaughter-bound feedlot up in Washington state, along with our thoroughbred, Gigondas, and had both horses brought down to Southern California. I had Beauty for 3 years before her tragic death. She was only 5 years old. Some days I could barely function. My husband took me to Flagstaff and I just went through the motions of taking photos. I was conflicted. When I was at home, I wanted to be up at the ranch with our other 4 horses. When I was there, it was actually easier to do my chores for the rest of the herd. It was actually calming to be around them. I didn't do much with them or their training and it wasn't until late August that my cousin FINALLY held me, let me cry for Beauty, and told me I needed to move on. She started training my quarter horse gelding, Sunni, and she has now ridden him.

Why am I writing this on Ripley's blog? I really don't know. I just wanted to get it out. I need some closure for Beauty and I need to think of our other animals that need me: our 5 horses (we got a new one...Quad), our 3 dogs and our cats. I'm now feeding birds in our back yard and a juvenile scrub jay visits our feeders every day. He has grown and is now quite large and I can hear him at our neighbors! Life goes on...while I deeply miss Beauty, I do have a new horse to take care of (Quad) and he needs a lot of food and reassurance. He came to us foot sore and he colicked last weekend (we nearly lost him), but he has now recovered and is demanding to be fed! I've posted some photos of Beauty (the chestnut) and Quad (the gray gelding). Quad ran in 6 races, never won, had 2 seconds and 2 thirds, and was retired from racing at age 4. He ended up at TB Friends, a horse rescue in Sacramento, and, with the loss of Beauty, Joe sent him to me. He is an absolute joy, a very sweet and calm horse...he is only 5 years old. Such is the life of a thoroughbred. He was lucky to end up with Joe. Most thoroughbreds that don't win races end up on slaughter feedlots, like Beauty and Gigondas. If you want to read Joe's daily blog about the horses he rescues, please visit:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"d' is for Daisy! ABC Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Daisy is our little orange and white tabby. We got her in 1998 and she had just been spayed. Hubby and I had gone to Petsmart to buy dog food and he was "coochie-cooing" with her in one of the cages where the adoptable cats were held. Of course, we adopted her on the spot! She has turned into an absolutely RUTHLESS killer! She kills mice, rats bigger than her, birds (yes...even baby hummingbirds!), lizards, and 3 baby rabbits (rolling eyes!). She is an absolutely efficient killing machine! But...just look at that innocent face! I have found her pile of "dead things" out in the garage and I periodically have to clean it out! It's interesting to watch her with our kitten, Abby, who thinks SHE is in charge. Nope! She and Daisy went nose to nose the other night and Daisy came out on top. She has always been real sensitive with her back and she can't stand too much human contact, but we've had her 11 years now. One summer she disappeared and by the 3rd day, I went around the neighborhood looking for her and putting up posters (she IS microchipped). Turns out, a neighbor 2 blocks away had her in their house! I marched up to the door and demanded that they return her. They said they wouldn't. I said, "She's MICROCHIPPED. Let's just see WHO she belongs to!" I got her back! Like one of our former cats, she spends a lot of her afternoons on our garage roof, in the shade of our palo verde. "D" is for Daisy. ABC Wednesday, August 12, 2009.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

horse ball went to the dogs~Camera Critters 080809

I bought a horse ball for my horses' enjoyment. While they played with it for several days, it suddenly disappeared. Gone! Poof! I never saw it again. Then, the ranch owner casually mentioned, "I think the dogs next door ran off with your horse ball." WHAT? My $17.00 horse ball? Ohhhhhh....I was mad! So, I bought another one, but the horses wouldn't play with it, so I took it home for MY dogs. They played with it...sorry for the poor quality of the pics, but they were moving so darn fast! Anyway, here they are playing with the new horse ball! Ripley and friends! Camera Critters for 080809.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rommel update!

Rommel is still with us. He kinda perked up a couple of days later and I took him in to our vet for some blood work. Actually, now he seems to be back to normal, which for him is thin (he's lost about 10 pounds), but he still plays with Ripley and chases the cats. Go figure. While he looks HORRIBLE, I took him up and visited the horses and he had an absolute blast! He loves them~ (big sigh...)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Not good news~Rommel

Our German Shepherd has canine lupus. He has deteriorated since last spring. His collar is now so loose is just dangles on him. His hair is almost completely gone underneath his body. He is drinking a LOT of water, but now he has lost his bladder control. It's time to make that final call to the vet.
Rommel has been a WONDERFUL dog and companion. He has NEVER growled at anyone. He barks and protects our property, but he has never been agressive. He, too, is a gentle soul, like my horse Beauty. Why do the good always die young? He is only 6 years old. I'm going to have to call the vet today. It just isn't fair to him when he is in this position. He knows he isn't supposed to pee on the carpets or in the house, but he can't help it. His kidneys are failing.

I wanted to post some pics of him when he was younger to remember him.

WE LOVE YOU, Rommel.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ghost-like clouds~SkyWatch Friday 071709

These ghostly clouds were over the Waputki ruins in Arizona as we got there late one afternoon. SkyWatch Friday for July 17, 2009.
Aren't they unusual?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Taking a break from blogging

I am taking a blogging break while I mourn the loss of my chestnut mare, Beauty, who died suddenly and tragically on June 25, 2009. I found her dead in her corral the next morning. As far as we can tell, she got cast in her corral and wasn't able to get up. What a waste of a beautiful, caring, and loving creature. Beauty was only 5 years old and the ONLY horse of mine that I have ridden so far. My cousin helped with her training and Valerie is just as devastated as I am. It is never easy to lose a faithful pet and Beauty was my faithful and loyal companion. She picked ME as her human and always whinnied to greet me when I arrived at the ranch. There are no more whinnies from the other horses now. They just ignore me. I miss her sunny and warm personality, her goofy attitude, and the white patches of hair on her butt.

I LOVE YOU and MISS YOU, Beauty! She was a feedlot rescue and at least she was given a good, loving home and was spared the horror of slaughter. Please, if you can, give to the horse rescue of your choice so that more horses like Beauty will be spared from slaughter. Thank you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We're home, finally!

Hubby and I took a short vacation to Northern California last week. We drove up Highway 395 through Ridgecrest, stopped at the BLM corrals there and fed the mustangs! What a bunch of goofballs! They must get fed carrots a LOT because they sure knew what carrots were! Then, up to Yosemite, over the Tioga Pass. Have you ever drive up that pass? Phew! WHAT a climb! We spent 2 nights in Merced, CA and spent the next 2 days in Yosemite, then drove BACK through Yosemite and DOWN the Tioga Pass. I know, I know...we MUST be nuts! We saw 2 bears there during our trip. Then, on to South Lake Tahoe. That driving day was another stormy day. Apparently they'd had snow just 2 weeks prior to our trip last week! It was cloudy the whole time, but we got some beautiful photos! From Lake Tahoe, we took some side trips, down to Genoa, Silver City, Virginia City, Reno, and Markleyville. Then, yesterday we drove back down 395 and stayed in Lone Pine. We took the road to the Mt. Whitney portal in the afternoon and the next morning, we arose at 5:00 a.m. to get some morning photos. Then, back home through Ridgecrest, stopping to feed the mustangs AGAIN, and home! Right now, I have Ripley asleep ON MY FEET so that I don't go anywhere EVER again!!! Here are some pics of our trip...enjoy!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ripley has a new trick!

Ripley has a new trick. I was wondering why the cat food was disappearing so quickly. I mean, I have 3 cats that I feed outdoors, on top of a table. BUT...their cat food was disappearing much too quickly. So, one afternoon, I heard scratch, scratch, scratch, crunch, crunch, crunch and YUP! Caught in the act was Ripley! She was up on the table, eating the cat food! Yikes! I don't have any photos yet, but I'll lurk around and try to get some. Silly dog!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ripley update~~May 25, 2009

Ripley is doing just fine. Our newest addition, the kitten, Abby, is also growing and settling in! She now sleeps with me at night. She burrows down in the sheets and sometimes wakes me in the morning by licking my face! This morning she was down by my feet, beneath the sheets! Here is Ripley out by the newest crop of sunflowers. She is leaving them alone, thanks to me constantly yelling "GET OUTTA THERE!" It seems to be working!