Officially babysitting

Starting on the first of February I officially put my pet-sitting on hold and started babysitting my two grandsons LJ and Declan.  What a wonderful decision this was!!!

LJ with his little brother Declan

LJ with his little brother Declan

It is so much fun doing crafts and activities with LJ!  Here are some of the fun things we’ve been doing…

Watering his "garden"

Watering his “garden”

LJ is so proud of his little flower garden.  He waters it every day.

My very own garden!

My very own garden!

He also LOVES to play with Play-Doh.  Now you might think these are carrots in the garden, but no.  They are pancakes with honey bottles and cinnamon shakers :-)

Pancakes for everyone!

Pancakes for everyone!

And he plays with his color wheel.

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We made caterpillars out of egg cartons,

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And every week we make LJ’s favorite.  Oatmeal muffins!!!

DSC01622He loves to read,

Sitting in a rocking chair that's been in the family for 4 generations

Sitting in a rocking chair that’s been in the family for 4 generations

Making shapes with popsicle sticks,

DSC01621and play with his puzzles.

DSC01628I also get to make him fun things to eat, like these banana palm trees!

DSC01556And he shares my Dr. Oz green drink with me.

LJ love his "green juice"

LJ love his “green juice”

It’s also such a joy to watch his little brother Declan grow and develop.  I can’t believe he’s already almost six months old!

Declan Playing in his Jungle gym

Declan Playing in his Jungle gym

LOVES his bouncy bouncy!

LOVES his bouncy bouncy!

Enjoying getting some fresh air on our walk

Enjoying getting some fresh air on our walk

Sitting in the high chair like a big boy

Sitting in the high chair like a big boy

I had one last pet-sitting engagement.  So for a week the other Grandma and Grandpa came up from Portland to watch the boys while I watched Brody & Calla.  We had a couple of nice sunny days when the pups could enjoy being outside.

Brody & Calla

Brody & Calla

What a beautiful place this is!

Spring run off glistening in the morning sun

Spring run off glistening in the morning sun

But most of the time the pups prefer to snuggle in their blankets on the couch.

Calla snuggled in her blankets

Calla snuggled in her blankets

Brody sleeping like a baby

Brody sleeping like a baby

LJ was in pre-school but I was able to bring Declan to stay with me for one afternoon.  It was nice to have him.  I had really started missing the little guy!

Visiting grandma

Visiting grandma

Calla was fascinated with him!

Calla's trying to figure out what this little fella is

Calla’s trying to figure out what this little fella is

So for the next year or so, I’ll be posting more about my grandsons and my life away from pet-sitting.  Of course I’ll be sure to include a few pet related posts as well.  I hope you’ll bear with this proud grandma, and enjoy these posts as much as I enjoy writing them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 15, 2014 at 7:58 pm Leave a comment

Xander The Blind Pug Warms Hearts As Therapy Dog

Xander

Xander

Xander, a blind pug who lives in Oregon, might just be the most inspirational dog you’ll meet. The one-year-old pug, who lost his eyes in an accident, has been raising spirits as a therapy dog.

Rodney Beedy, who adopted Xander in January 2013, said that he and the people at the Klamath Animal Shelter spotted the pug’s potential almost right away. “‘He’d make a really good therapy dog. Look at his temperament’, they told me,” Rodney told the Huffington Post.

Xander 02

Rodney, who owns seven other pugs, said that he wasn’t sure if he could handle another dog but after talking it over with his wife, Marcie, and showing her the dog it was an easy sell. “She just fell in love with him,” Rodney added.

One of the groups that Xander has been working with is Klamath Lake Cares, a group that helps children who have suffered abuse.

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“We’re bringing Xander in to let him comfort them before they start in on the investigation or a doctor sees them,” Rodney explains.

He also visits daycares and schools with the local chapter of the Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project.  Rodney explained to the Herald and News, a local paper in Klamath Falls.

Xander 04

And it seems that Xander isn’t just good with kids. Rodney recalls a recent visit to a retirement home where Xander sat with a woman who was recuperating. “He was laying on the bed and she was coughing. If you give a dog a kiss your whole face will be full of slobber. He just has this way of giving you a little kiss. Kinda like telling you that everything is going to be fine,” he said.

At home, Rodney points out that Xander is just like any of his other dogs. “He doesn’t act like a dog that has no sight. He runs around here and does different things just like a sighted dog. He goes in and out of the doggie door. He figured that one out in one night,” he explained.

By Ron Nurwisah

The Huffington Post Canada

Posted: 05/29/2013

February 16, 2014 at 10:14 am Leave a comment

Which Breed Was Top Dog in 2013?

Bigger Breeds Are Here To Stay! Large Dogs Dominate Most Popular List

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

New York, NY – Labrador Retriever lovers have spoken! The American Kennel Club (AKC®) announced today that the intelligent, family friendly breed has taken the #1 spot on the most popular list for the 23rd consecutive year, the longest reign at the top in AKC history.

“Owning bigger breeds – an economic indicator of sorts – have been on the rise during the past five years,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson.  “As the economy has improved, people are turning back to the big dogs they love, which cost more to feed and care for than the smaller breeds that saw a rise in popularity in 2007 and 2008.”

French bulldog

French bulldog

In addition to the Lab holding strong to its top spot, the French Bulldog has seen a sharp rise in popularity over the past decade, with a 323% increase in registrations since 2003. The affectionate, easy to care for Frenchie rose three spots this year to number 11, its highest position since the breed was recognized by the AKC in 1898. French Bulldogs are known to be loveable lap warmers and are easily adaptable to city or suburban living due to their easily groomed coats and minimal exercise requirements.

2013 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.

1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd
3. Golden Retriever
4. Beagle
5. Bulldog
6. Yorkshire Terrier
7. Boxer
8. Poodle
9. Rottweiler
10. Dachshund

AKC News (Friday, January 31, 2014)

February 6, 2014 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

Puppy Potty Training

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Bringing home a new puppy is undoubtedly an exciting time in life. They are cute, silly, cuddly, and loads of fun– until you have to clean up an accident.

Fortunately, puppies are quick learners and can be potty-trained within a matter of days with the help of a consistent schedule and an open-minded owner!

Housetraining a puppy takes a bit of patience and puppies need to be taught the correct and incorrect places to eliminate. By following these steps, you’ll be on the right track to a fully potty-trained puppy.

Potty training your puppy

Step 1: Go out frequently

Puppies have small bladders and should be given regular, frequent opportunities to go outside for a potty break. As they grow older, they will be able to hold it for longer periods of time, but new puppies should be taken out about every two hours. Keep watch on your puppy just in case he begins to pace or is seemingly sniffing around for a spot to “go” so that you can hurry him outside.

Take your puppy outside to a preferred spot and tell him to “go potty.” It may take some time, but as soon as he goes (even if it’s just a little) be sure to praise!

Tip: Take your puppy out immediately after he wakes up, after each time he eats/drinks, and after play sessions.

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Step 2: Reward for a job well done

By praising your puppy every time he successfully goes potty outside, you are positively reinforcing desired behavior which means he is more likely to continue going potty in the correct place. Give verbal praise or a treat immediately after your puppy has finished his ‘business’.

Tip: Wait until your puppy has finished eliminating before offering praise. If you praise your puppy while he is going, it may cause a distraction and prevent him from finishing.

Potty training 03

Step 3: Get into a routine

By introducing your puppy to a regular eating, sleeping, potty schedule, he will quickly learn to expect certain activities at certain times of the day. Your puppy should be receiving meals 3-4 times per day, so make sure that these occur at the same time every day, followed by a potty break after each meal.

Putting your puppy on a consistent schedule will help him learn more quickly, and he may even alert you when it’s time to go out.

January 27, 2014 at 11:20 pm Leave a comment

New Years Eve 2013

I have been spending the last several New Years Eve’s in Portland, Oregon pet sitting two adorable Italian Greyhounds, Luna and Reilly.

Cuddling with Luna and Reilly

Cuddling with Luna and Reilly

I love these two little ones so much and enjoy each and every minute I spend with them.  Luna has had a bit of a decline this year and is now blind and deaf.  Along with her having prosthetics on her two front legs, you might think she would be having such a hard time.  But not Luna!  She has managed to learn how to navigate around the house and yard, and she even still enjoys playing with her treat toys with Reilly.

Luna and Reilly playing with their treat toys

Luna and Reilly playing with their treat toys

This year my sister Kathy came down from Washington state to spend a few days with me and the pups.  She immediately bonded with Reilly and they were pretty much inseparable during her stay.

Reilly with his new friend Kathy

Reilly with his new friend Kathy

Reilly is just the sweetest little boy.  He loves to cuddle with me, but he also loves to cuddle with and groom Luna.  Is this the sweetest picture ever?

Reilly comforting Luna

Reilly comforting Luna

On New Years Eve Kathy and I went out to see the Christmas lights on Peacock Lane.  This is a tradition for Kathy and I.  We’ve gone out to look at lights for many years.  Some years with the kids, then with the grandkids, some years just the two of us.  We even went out one year in our PJ’s!  Peacock Lane is an entire block with every house adorned with lights and decorations for Christmas.  It was really beautiful!

One of the many decorated homes on Peacock Lane

One of the many decorated homes on Peacock Lane

Then we went out to dinner at a local family restaurant.  The waiter was a nice young man looking forward to finishing his shift and going out with his friends.  When we were ready to leave, Kathy decided to leave him a $50 tip!  She put the tip on the table and we left.  From the parking lot we were able to see him pick up the tip and all excitedly show it to the hostess.  What a fun, unexpected treat for him.  That’s my sister for you.  You just never know when she is going to do something crazy and wonderful!

A couple of days later we took a drive to Stevenson, WA and to the Scamania Lodge for lunch.  A friend of ours had told us about it so we decided to take advantage of being in the area.

DSC01414What an absolutely beautiful place!  We sat in the lobby and enjoyed the fireplace and mountain atmosphere.

Kathy enjoying the beautiful lobby

Kathy enjoying the beautiful lobby

What a warm and comforting fireplace for a cold winters day!

What a warm and comforting fireplace for a cold winters day!

We had a delicious lunch while enjoying the beautiful view of the mountains and the Columbia Gorge.

Lunch at Scamania Lodge

Lunch at Scamania Lodge

Next we crossed the Bridge of the Gods back into Cascade Locks.

DSC01430Kathy had read the book ‘Wild’, the story of Cheryl Strayeds’ journey of walking the Pacific Crest Trail and was really touched by it.   She was thrilled that we were right at the trailhead so she had to get a picture next to the trailhead sign.

Kathy by the Pacific Trail trailhead

Kathy by the Pacific Crest Trail trailhead

A movie is being made of her incredible story and it was actually being filmed here in November.  Reese Witherspoon is playing Cheryl in the movie.

Reese Witherspoon playing Cheryl Strayed in the movie 'Wild'

Reese Witherspoon playing Cheryl Strayed in the movie ‘Wild’

Cheryl ended her hike at the Bridge of the Gods, walked down to the East Wind Drive-In to get an ice cream cone and reflect on her journey.

DSC01439

So of course Kathy wanted to experience having one of the huge, delicious chocolate and vanilla ice cream swirl cones to finalize her bonding with this amazing story.  Well, needless to say, she didn’t get quite the serene experience that Cheryl did.  As soon as Kathy was handed the huge cone, it ended up on her lap!

Swirl cone disaster

Swirl cone disaster

She rescued the cone and dumped it in a cup.  As we drove away in laughter she ate her cone with a spoon and decided this was probably as close as she would ever get to experiencing the life of Cheryl Strayed.

January 15, 2014 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

Rainbow bridge

pet memorial 8

I’m sad to say that one of my special pets that I have had the pleasure of taking care of during my wonderful job of pet sitting has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Alex Christmas 2013

Alex getting ready for Christmas 2013

Little Alex was a sweet little girl and had the fortune of living with some awesome, loving people.  A couple of years ago Alex became almost entirely blind from an illness but she forged on and was able to adapt and live very comfortably.  It was amazing.

Beautiful little Alex

Beautiful little Alex

Alex had a wonderful life and just recently, at the ripe old age of 17, it was time to make the difficult decision to let her go.  I will miss you Alex.  Rest in peace my friend.

January 11, 2014 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

Home for Christmas

This year I went home for Christmas.  By home I mean Wenatchee, Washington where I was born and raised, raised my children, worked most of my life, and where most of my friends and family live.  I rented out my home several years ago, so now when I come home I stay with my sister Kathy.  She is my best friend in the whole wide world.  She’s crazy, funny, and has a heart the size of Texas!

My crazy, wonderful sister Kathy and me

My crazy, wonderful sister Kathy and me

I arrived in Wenatchee a week before Christmas and immediately started the holiday festivities by meeting with my former co-workers from Stemilt Growers for drinks and a chance to catch up at one of our favorite local restaurant & bar’s, Bob’s Classic.

Christmas 004

The next afternoon my sisters and I met a couple of our other friends for lunch.  I try to make a point of seeing as many of my friends as I can when I’m in town because I miss them and their friendship means so much to me.  We always have a great time talking and laughing with these crazy women!

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Having lunch with my sisters Kathy & Bonnie and our good friends Pat and Barb

On Saturday the girls and I went to a local theater to watch a play.  It was fun to do something different.  I love the theater and don’t seem to go very often.  A big “Thank you” to my gal pals for agreeing to go with me!

Christmas 001

And later that day my daughter and her family arrived from Lynnwood to spend Christmas with us.  It’s their baby boys first Christmas and their toddlers first Christmas that he kind of understands the concept of Santa.  What a fun age!

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My niece Christi is getting married next summer so on Sunday she had planned a “Try on your wedding/bridesmaid dress” party.  One of her friends’ mother owns a bridal shop in town and was so generous to allow us to the private party at her shop Bella Sera.

Christmas 003

The girls had so much fun trying on several beautiful and fun dresses.  And what girl doesn’t love to try on a wedding gown?  It was like a kids dress up party for 30 to 40 year olds!  Then we all got a peek at Christi’s wedding gown.  Beautiful!  We Grandmas sat and enjoyed mimosas and hors d’oeuvres while watching the girls have their fun!

Watching the style show

Watching the style show

A toast to the bride-to-be

A toast to the bride-to-be

Christi's beautiful wedding gown

One of the beautiful wedding gowns Christi tried on

On Monday it was time for my grandson LJ to make cookies to leave for Santa on Christmas eve.  Oh my!  Did he ever have a super fun time!  He’s quite the chef and LOVES to help Grandma in the kitchen.  He always says “I’m the best helper ever!”.  Yes LJ, you certainly are!

LJ rolling out the cookie dough

LJ rolling out the cookie dough

All cut out and ready for the oven

All cut out and ready for the oven

Are they ready yet?

Are they ready yet?

Decorating them 'just right'!

Decorating them ‘just right’!

The cookies & milk for Santa, and of course carrots for the reindeer

The cookies & milk for Santa, and of course carrots for the reindeer that LJ left out on Christmas eve.

On Christmas Eve my niece Christi and her fiancé Brent hosted a party.  We gathered for snacks, conversation & a fun gift exchange.

Our host Christi in the middle

Our host Christi is the one in grey in the middle with my sister (Christi’s mom) on the right

The guys waiting for the gift exchange to begin

The guys waiting for the gift exchange to begin

Friends enjoying the evening

Friends enjoying the evening

Fun times!  Fun gifts!

Fun times! Fun gifts!

My great-grandson & grandson showing me their gifts

My great-grandson & grandson showing me their gifts

Christmas morning finally arrived and LJ saw what Santa brought him.  LOTS of cars from his favorite movie!

Oh my!  Look what Santa brought LJ!

Oh my! Look what Santa brought LJ!

Daddy, LJ & Jackson opening gifts

Daddy, LJ & Jackson opening gifts

Ava watching the action all snuggled up and cozy

Ava watching the action all snuggled up and cozy

Mommy and Declan enjoying the morning

My gorgeous daughter Heather and baby Declan enjoying the morning

And me in my PJ's

And me in my PJ’s watching the fun

Next we were off to my sons home for a delicious breakfast and another gift exchange.  As soon as we got out of the car we were met by my grandson Christian and my great-grandson Mason horsing around.

Hurry Mason, that crazy Santa is going to get you!

Hurry Mason, that crazy Santa is going to get you!

My son Ben, daughter Heather, and the babies

My son Ben, daughter Heather, and the babies

My beautiful daughter-in-law Wendy with her adorable grandson Braxton

My beautiful daughter-in-law Wendy with her adorable grandson Braxton

Someone once said “It’s all about the babies, isn’t it?”  Well yes, it’s all about the babies <3!

Are they adorable or what?

Are they adorable or what?

Christian is off to work before I got a chance to take the family photo.

Christian is off to work before I got a chance to take the family photo.  Love that boy!

Our family photo.  Me with my children, spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  A room full of love!

Our family photo. Me with my children & their spouses, my grandchildren and great grandchildren. A room full of love!

The last of our Christmas activities was to go to my cousin Bruce’s house for Christmas dinner.

Bruce's son Dustin with his lovely wife Christina and their children Ava & Oliver

Bruce’s son Dustin with his lovely wife Christina and their children Ava & Oliver

Bruce giving the blessing before dinner

Bruce giving the blessing before dinner

I have so much to be thankful for this Christmas.  Bruce was severely burned during the summer and has recovered extremely well.  He still has a lot of mending to do, but with his positive attitude and help from his loving wife, friends and family I know he will heal completely.  I love my cousin so much and am so thankful that he was spared in that terrible accident.

My amazing cousin Bruce with his darling wife Grace

My amazing cousin Bruce with his darling wife Grace

It was a fantabulous week at home!  And one that I will cherish.

Merry Christmas to one and all!  I hope you had as wonderful a Christmas as I did!

January 7, 2014 at 7:31 pm Leave a comment

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