Why You DON’T Want an Italian Greyhound

I copied this wonderfully informative post from Sandpipers blog named Impish Iggys.  I absolutely ADORE Italian Greyhounds, which is why I love pet sitting them.  But I understand that they are not for everyone.  I remember the day my daughter went to rescue one of the little guys from a man who’s daughter left the dog behind.  He didn’t want him but didn’t know what to do with him because he said “I can’t imagine anyone wanting this strange dog!”  Well Mister, no they’re not for everyone, but for the people who love and understand them, we can’t imagine life without them!  Thank you Sandpiper for sharing this wonderful information!

People sometimes tell me that Italian Greyhounds are their favorite dogs and they want to get one someday. However, some of these same people also reveal to me that my Iggy Dante is the first they’ve ever seen in real life, which makes me wonder if they really know what they’d be getting into. There are a lot of wonderful things about IGs, and they make great pets for certain people. But there are also a lot of difficulties to overcome with this breed, as with any dog, and if a person goes into buying or adopting one of these dogs without knowing the good, the bad, and the ugly, chances are it won’t end well for the dog.

Sites like Tumblr probably don’t help matters much, as you often just see enticing snapshots of people’s lives (including mine). What you don’t see are the number of times that cute puppy pooped on the floor, how he’s kept you up all night barking in his crate, or how his dental care will cost half your college tuition. So that’s the purpose of me making this post, as a grain of salt to all the cute pictures I post of my beloved Iggy.

Italian Greyhounds are great, but they are not for everyone.

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Housetraining them is always difficult, sometimes impossible.

Do you have a problem with occasionally cleaning up small piles of poop off the floor of your house for the next fifteen years? If so, then the IG is not the dog for you. Housetraining IGs is not a matter of time like it is with many dogs. They never “grow out of” going in the house. To keep accidents at the minimum you have to be strict about your housetraining regimen from day one until that cold, distant day when Max finally passes over the Rainbow Bridge. Potty-training Italian Greyhounds is an ordeal that is never over. I cannot stress this enough. This is the number one reason IGs are surrendered to shelters and rescues, so apparently a lot of people underestimated just how difficult this can be to live with.

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You should get at least two of them.

When I first asked my vet about getting an IG, his very first piece of advice was: “Get two.” Unfortunately, I didn’t have the money to afford two new puppies at the same time, so I threw caution to the wind and brought only one home. I can now say I totally understand why he gave me that initial advice. While it’s not impossible to have a single Iggy that lives a happy life, these dogs are extremely social and physically affectionate, and if you as their owner cannot give them the attention and cuddle time they need, they will not thrive. Though IGs particularly love forming piles of cuddles with others of their own breed (the more, the merrier), just having another dog period will help lighten the load on you to give them constant attention. They really cannot handle being ignored for very long, let alone being alone period, and if you can’t give them enough attention yourself, you need to get another IG. I myself have applied to adopt a second IG for both Dante and I to love.

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They tend to be attention whores.

Look at the picture above. That little body wedged between me and my fiance is an example of what happens when somebody else becomes the center of affection when Dante is around. Basically, he always needs to be the center of attention. When you are home, you will be the center of your IG’s world, and they will be glued to your hip about 98% of the time (the other 2% they are sneaking off trying to take a crap under the dining room table). If you want a pet which is sometimes snuggly, sometimes aloof, get a cat. Iggies always want to be near you, and often on top of you, regardless of what you are doing. Dante also has a habit of standing on my lap, totally obstructing my view while I’m at my desk on the computer. To him, obstruction equals affection.

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You will spend more on their clothes than yours.

This may or may not be true, depending on who you are and how much you like to shop. It’s true for me, at least, and the bottom line is Iggies cannot survive without warm clothes in cooler environments. For Dante, when the temperature drops below 70 degrees, he starts shivering and I have to throw a light jacket on him. Iggies in very cold, snowy environments like Alaska, Canada, or Scandinavian countries will require extra pricey and usually custom-made full-body suits, complete with water repellent booties. Does the idea of walking around a dressed up pooch embarrass you? Then IGs are definitely not the dog for you! (The flipside of this is that most IGs really seem to enjoy dressing up, unlike many dogs.)

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Getting them to do their business outside in inclement weather is like pulling teeth.

Is it snowing, hailing, raining, sleeting, windy, or just plain cold? Good luck getting your Iggy to go to the bathroom outside! Iggies are famous for standing miserably shaking outside for as long as you let them, then eliminating immediately as soon as you bring them back inside. It’s basically a battle of wills, and unless you’re consistent about making your dog eliminate outside before going indoors, you will lose.

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Speaking of pulling teeth, be prepared to brush theirs daily and spend thousands on dental cleanings or their pearly whites will completely rot away.

The image above is of Lily, an Italian Greyhound rescued from a puppy mill and the inspiration for the founding of the National Mill Dog Rescue. The reason her face looks as it does is due to years of neglect of dental hygiene, leading to her teeth and ultimately jaws rotting off. While this is an extreme case, Lily serves as an example for responsible IG owners of the importance of good dental care for the breed. If you’re not committed to taking care of your dog’s teeth both with frequent brushing and veterinary care, you really shouldn’t be getting an IG of all dogs.

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They love jumping off high places, which often leads to broken legs, costing you thousands to fix.

This Iggy is an example of bad ownership: Rosa was found abandoned with both her front legs broken, totally unable to walk. Her owner likely abandoned her because they didn’t have the resources to pay for her legs to be fixed, which can cost thousands of dollars for a single broken leg! To make matters worse, most IGs are not aware of the relative fragility of their tiny legs, and enjoy launching from the highest perches they can find if you let them. Before adopting an IG, you must consider whether you have a financial safety net in case of a broken leg, as well as commit to responsible supervision of your pup to prevent such a scenario from occurring. Buying a dog from a reputable breeder also lessens this risk, as some bloodlines and poorly bred dogs have a greater chance of leg breaks. Investing in pet insurance is also a good idea with this breed, though you must research carefully to avoid any breed-specific coverage loopholes.

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Every operation requiring anesthesia will be much more expensive and risky than with other dogs.

This is true of most sighthound breeds, including IGs. This can result in unexpected expenses accumulating more quickly, as well as increasing the chance of the horrible possibility of losing your dog during even a minor surgery such as a spay/neuter. Though they may not be as costly as say a bulldog or a pug, Iggies are not cheap to maintain in terms of veterinary costs. If you’re looking to save on vet fees, a mixed breed will be your best bet.

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Most will need daily exercise or they will drive you insane.

There is a myth floating around that Iggies are generally couch potatoes. This is absolutely not true. Iggies are built to run and need to be able to exercise daily or else they can become destructive. Ideally, this exercise will include at least 20 minutes to an hour of running free in a fenced-in area. However, Iggies also enjoy walks, hikes, and running alongside their owners. Indoor playtime only is just not going to cut it with this breed. IGs can  be snuggly couch potatoes after exerting all their stored energy, but their default mode is hyper go, go, go!

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Dominance-, fear-, or punishment-based training will not work on them.

This isn’t really a con to some people; however, for others, it really shakes up their dog behavior paradigm. Iggies are very intelligent, however, it requires a lot of patience, respect, and rewards to train them. Every IG enthusiast I’ve ever talked to has emphasized this with me: be gentle with your IG. Treat him like a friend. When my fiance and I first started hanging out, he would try to intimidate Dante into doing what he wanted. He was baffled when Dante would listen to me, who used clicker training and positive reinforcement, but not to him, even though his method seemed to work with other dogs. These dogs will really test your patience, that’s for sure!

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They cannot be trusted off-leash in unfenced areas.

This is a rule for all sighthound breeds. Unless you are a trained professional, letting your IG off lead in an unfenced area is unsafe. A lot of sighthounds will simply pursue anything that looks like promising game, leaving you in the dust. What seems to be more common with Iggies is fear-based bolting, where something spooks the dog into running away as fast as she can. Either way, the end result is a lost dog that is very difficult to catch, much to the dismay of well-intentioned people everywhere who will try to recover your dog for you.

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They can be very fearful if not socialized well at a young age.

Another thing emphasized to me by my vet, breeder, and other IG enthusiasts I consulted was “Socialize early, socialize a lot.” Iggies are not like some dogs which are naturally inclined to trust and like all humans. Iggies can be anxious and high-strung, including being timid of people and fearful of new situations. I can recall a time when a client brought her IG into the vet where I work, and the adult dog did not stop shaking or whimpering the whole time, even though her owner never left and the owner’s other IG was there too! You will need to work hard to expose your IG to many situations and people to avoid them becoming trembling nervous wrecks who retreat when a new person comes into their home.

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You will constantly hear the question: “Is that a Whippet?”

No, and it’s a not a “Georgia deer,” either!

Here is the link to Impish Iggys

http://tmblr.co/ZDmnlr11PQN81

 

January 28, 2016 at 6:20 pm Leave a comment

Litter Box Mess? Here’s a solution!

Kätzchen mit Toilettenrolle - cat toilet paper

If you know anything about cats, you know that they tend to be very clean and neat animals. They seem to always be  grooming themselves and when using their litter box they make sure that they cover up their waste. Occasionally you will find a fickle feline that isn’t so neat. And it can be VERY frustrating to deal with a cat that has bad toilet habits.

Some cats stand to urinate, thus missing the box altogether.

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Others seem like they’re trying to dig to China and fling their litter all over the place.

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Recently I was living with a roommate who had an adorable cat but she came with a frustrating problem. She couldn’t seem to hit the litter box. Her owner tried everything (we thought). She changed the size and shape of the box. She put potty pads all around the box to catch the urine that didn’t make it into the box. She even put plastic up on the walls around the box. There was still always a smelly mess to clean up.

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I am now pet sitting for a cat who has the same problem as my roommates kitty, and her owner came up with this wonderful solution. So simple, yet so effective! She definitely was thinking outside the box, the conventional litter box that is.

She bought a large tote and cut a hole in the side for the cat to enter.  She filled the bottom with kitty litter and walah!  A clean and efficient litter box! Your cat can dig to her heart’s content and it will not fly all over the place, and if she pee’s standing up, it will still stay confined to the box. You can leave the lid on if your cat prefers privacy, or leave it off.

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Remember, as messy as some of our furry friends are, they still like to have things nice and clean. So to help them with this, here are some other things to remember to keep your cat happy while going potty.

Scoop the litter box at least once a day

Scoop the litter box at least once a day

  • Use clumping litter – except for kittens younger than 6 – 7 weeks of age.Use unscented litter.
  • Keep the litter deep enough.
  • Use large litter boxes. The bigger they are, the less likely your cat will step on her feces.
  • The more cats you have, the more litter boxes you need. Have enough litter boxes available.
  • Have litter boxes placed in a quiet area.
One happy kitty!

One happy kitty!

November 18, 2015 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

Luna

Sweet little Luna in 2009

Sweet little Luna in 2009

It’s time to officially say good-bye to my precious little Luna. Occasionally someone comes into your life and you know is has been a real blessing to have been a part of their life.  Luna was one of those pups.  From the minute I met her she stole my heart.

Waiting for me to carry her up the stairs, in 2009

Waiting for me to carry her up the stairs, in 2009

Luna had been struck with a crippling condition when she was quite young and thanks to her wonderful “mom & dad” she was fitted with prosthetics so she could lead a full and functional life. I will always remember her little tap, tap, tap as she walked through the room.  It was adorable.

With Luna and Reilly in 2011

With Luna and Reilly in 2011

 

Such a pretty girl, in 2012

Such a pretty girl, in 2012

Over the years of watching over her and her brother Reilly, I loved her more and more. She was a gentle soul, never getting upset about anything.  She was so patient while I put on her “shoes” as I  called them.  When it was time to have her afternoon snack, she would go to the pantry door and wait patiently for me to give her her dream bone.  Then off she would go to her bed to enjoy her snack.  Luna loved sleeping right next to me in bed.  She would snuggle up tucked under my arm and snooze away.

Reilly & Luna playing games, in 2013

Reilly & Luna playing games, in 2013

 

My favorite picture of Luna and Reilly, in 2013

My favorite picture of Luna and Reilly, in 2013

Her brother Reilly was always close by, watching over her. He loved cleaning her ears and Luna would just lay back, enjoying the bath.  They loved playing with their toys and “hide a treat” games together, or just basking in the sun.

Laying in the warm sun, in 2013

Laying in the warm sun, in 2013

Last year the family moved to a new home. They had only been there a few short months when Luna lost her sight.  But in true Luna fashion, she learned to navigate her new surroundings and got along just fine.

Snuggling up with the little ones, in 2014

Snuggling up with the little ones, in 2014

 

Reilly watching over Luna, in 2014

Reilly watching over Luna, in 2014

This last June I came to stay with Luna and Reilly and found Luna to be failing. She had lost a lot of weight, was pretty weak and wasn’t eating very well.  I knew we were going to lose her soon.  But she rallied and when I returned the first of this month, she was doing SO much better.  She was eating, exploring around the yard, and snuggling up to me just like always.  I was so happy to be able to spend those last days with that sweet girl.

My sweet Luna in June, 2015

My sweet Luna in June, 2015

Then just a week and a half later I got the call that she was gone. It breaks my heart that I will never hear that tap tap tap on the floor again.  Never see her sweet face again.  Never snuggle up to her again.  But her memory will live in my heart forever.

The last picture I took of my little girl, in October 2015

The last picture I took of my little girl, in October 2015

October 24, 2015 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

Dog Watches Guard Over Its Trapped ‘Best Friend’ for a Week After They Got Lost, Rescuers Say

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Tillie the dog is being hailed as a hero for watching over his canine best friend, Phoebe, for a whole week after the two strayed from home and Phoebe fell into a cistern, according to the dogs’ rescuer and owner.

The two dogs escaped from their home in Vashon, Washington, when the front door was left ajar on Sept. 7, their owner B.J. Duft told ABC News, saying that he was hosting a company party that day and there was a lot of moving around.

“Tillie would never leave even if the gate was left open, but she’s best friends with Phoebe, and so when Phoebe follows her little Basset Hound nose, Tillie always goes with her to make sure she’s OK,” Duft said. “They’re best pals — inseparable.”

The “dynamic duo” had been lost for a week when Amy Carey of nonprofit pet rescue Vashon Island Pet Protectors got a helpful call this past Monday, she said.

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“A community member said he saw a dog for the past few days coming up to his property, come up near him but not all the way, and then go back down a trail to a ravine behind the house,” Carey told ABC News. “It turned out the dog was Tillie trying to get help for Phoebe, who had gotten stuck.”

Carey said she immediately went out to the area to investigate and was relieved to discover Phoebe stuck in a cistern down the ravine — and most amazing of all — Tillie standing just above the cistern watching guard over Phoebe.

“It was very clear what Tillie had done,” Carey said. “She had not left her friend’s side except for going up to the man’s house when he was there to try and get help for Phoebe.”

Carey said she quickly called Duft to tell him she found the dogs, and Duft said there were “a lot of tears and hugs” when they reunited.

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“I was thrilled,” he said. “I was absolutely not surprised to learn that Tillie had stood by her side the whole time. She’s a very caring, loving and nurturing dog and the two of them are best friends.”

The dogs were starving and exhausted but otherwise in good health, according to Carey and Duft.

When the gang was all together back home, they celebrated with a “hamburger dinner,” Duft said.

“Within an hour of getting home, Tillie already wanted to play with her favorite toy — the tennis ball — so we did just that,” Duft said. “The two also hung out on the couch and got some well-needed sleep.”

The owner added that he already has a “GPS dog collar ordered and on its way” and that he “never wants to lose them again.”

By AVIANNE TAN September 18, 2015 1:55 AM Good Morning America

Photos by Joe Curiel

Cistern destroyed where Basset Hound was trapped for a week

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Elizabeth Wiley, of KING 5 News reported that the owners of the property destroyed the cistern with a jackhammer on Thursday.  The cistern had been on the property for about 90 years and was partially filled in to keep kids from getting stuck.  “But it was obviously still too deep for a Basset Hound’s short legs,” Curiel said.

 

September 19, 2015 at 3:58 pm Leave a comment

3D printed legs help disabled dog run for the first time

 

Luna wearing prosthetics made by Derrick Campana at Animal Ortho Care

Luna wearing prosthetics made by Derrick Campana at Animal Ortho Care

 

I’m posting this story because one, I want to spread the word about this amazing man who makes these wonderful prosthetics for animals and two, because I pet sit for a sweet little dog named Luna who has been wearing prosthetics made by this man for several years that has enabled her to have a fulfilling and wonderful life because of them.  The company is called Animal Ortho Care and is located at 3200A Lafayette Center Dr., Chantilly, Virginia 20151.  Phone number is (703) 474-6204.

Derby with his new prosthetics

Derby with his new prosthetics

By now, the heartwarming video of Derby the dog running for the first time in his life thanks to 3D-printed prosthetic legs has officially gone viral. But Derby, a rescue dog who was born with disabled and deformed front legs, isn’t the only one excited about his fancy new limbs. While 3D printers have been used to make replacement limbs for humans, Derby is the first animal to be successfully outfitted with 3D-printed prosthetics. His ability to run marks a huge step forward for the small but remarkable field of animal prosthetics.

Derrick Campana – Certified Orthotist/Prosthetist, President with pet ‘Gabe’

Derrick Campana – Certified Orthotist/Prosthetist, President with pet ‘Gabe’

Derrick Campana — who helped create Derby’s new legs with designers at the 3D printing company 3D Systems — has been a trailblazer in that field for the past decade.

A certified orthotist, specializing in the creation and use of corrective braces and artificial limbs, Campana had worked only with human patients until about 10 years ago. But when a veterinarian brought a dog in need of a prosthesis to the facility where Campana was working, he discovered he could apply the same technology that he’d mastered on people to help animals. He also soon learned there was a market for animal prosthetics and orthotics that hadn’t really been tapped. So Campana founded Animal Ortho Care in Chantilly, Va., one of the first companies to make orthotics and prosthetics specifically for animals. Today, Campana told Yahoo News, Animal Ortho Care is one of five such companies in the world, seeing between 200 and 300 animal patients each month.  

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A few months ago, Derby became one of those patients. Tara Anderson, an employee at the South Carolina-based 3D Systems, had been fostering the disabled dog, and after a failed attempt to help him walk with a cart, she enlisted a couple of her colleagues to help make Derby some prosthetic legs. Accessing 3D printing technology was no problem, but none of them were experts in prosthetics. That’s where Campana came in.

“We were really interested in the case because we always wanted to incorporate 3D printing into our business,” he said. Though 3D printing technology has been available for a while, he explained, some of the materials and tools that work for making human prosthetics aren’t totally compatible with animals. For example, the technology used to easily scan a person’s leg is not as accurate when scanning a leg covered in fur. For Derby, Campana said he molded a fiberglass cast and scanned that into the 3D printing system.

“In the future, hopefully we can just scan the leg directly,” he said.

While 3D printing technology is bound to see furry-friendly advancements in its future, creating the perfect prosthetic is only half the battle when the patient is an animal.

“We can make a perfectly well-fitted device, but from there it takes the whole team — the veterinarian, physical therapist, the owners — to teach the dog how to use it,” Campana said.

Not every dog is a good candidate for a prosthetic. Some have been holding up their injured or missing leg for so long that retraining them to step down is very difficult.

 

Derby running with his prosthetics

Derby running with his prosthetics

“Derby was a hard case, but he was a good candidate because he really wanted to use his legs,” Campana said, explaining that even though he didn’t have paws, Derby still attempted to use his small forearms to get around, despite not getting very far.

“When any patient comes in here using his stump, bringing it down, that really increases the chances of success,” he said.

Campana said he’s already been in talks with 3D Systems about further collaborations. As for Derby, Campana hasn’t seen the dog since he started using his prosthetic legs, but, like nearly 3 million others, he has seen Derby’s video.

“He’s running great,” Campana said. “We’re really excited.”

 Story written By Caitlin Dickson December 18, 2014 6:23 PM Yahoo News

June 28, 2015 at 9:20 pm Leave a comment

In ‘Paddington’ style, Richardson rescue finds abandoned puppy with ‘Please Help Me’ note attached

Rainbow wears the shirt that read “Please Help Me”

Rainbow wears the shirt that read “Please Help Me”

It was like a scene out of the movie Paddington.

But instead of a talking bear at London’s Paddington Station, it happened in the middle of a busy Richardson street Wednesday morning. A volunteer with Richardson-based Take Me Home Pet Rescue discovered a malnourished 3-month-old terrier mix puppy.

The dog wore a shirt with a note pinned to it. The note read “Please Help Me”, similar to Paddington’s “Please look after this bear. Thank you.”

Rainbow 4

The note also identified the female puppy as Rainbow.

Rainbow 2

Elise Bissell, Take Me Home Pet Rescue’s director, said many shelters and rescue groups are full at the moment. So the nonprofit posted information on its Facebook page looking for someone to foster the dog.

Bissell approached another volunteer, Lisa Faulkner-Dunne, who runs a public-relations business.

“It’s interesting how this occurred, and because it’s so unusual, we asked ‘Hey, what do you think?’ ”

Faulkner-Dunne, who said she helps the nonprofit with marketing in addition to “cleaning up puppy poop” sent out a news release describing the Paddington-esque way the puppy was found.

“Someone could have just turned her loose,” Faulkner-Dunne said. “But they loved her in some way or they wouldn’t have tried to do it this way.

“It’s kind of an odd thing.”

The volunteer who found Rainbow is caring for Rainbow now. Fosters keep dogs at their home until they are adopted with rescue groups providing food and vet visits in addition to spaying or neutering the animals to prepare them for adoption.

“Hopefully, someone will submit a foster application that will have to be approved,” Bissell said. “We need someone who is home some because the dog is an energeic puppy.”

To foster Rainbow, contact Take Me Home Pet Rescue at (972) 238-7988, email info@takemehomepetrescue.com or visit takemehomepetrescue.com to download a foster application.

Pets Insiders blog written by Tommy Cummings on The Dallas Morning News website. Published on May 27, 2015

 

May 28, 2015 at 4:53 pm Leave a comment

I am the richest person in the world!

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As I sit here looking out the window at the wood duck taking her early morning dip in the pond, the finches grabbing their breakfast from the bird feeder and singing their cheery songs, the antics of the chipmunks and squirrels, all the while the pups snuggled on their blankets taking a snooze I realize what a wonderfully rich life I have.

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I start reflecting on the choices I’ve made in my life.  When I was 15 years old I worked at a little café named the Jolly Boy.  The owner was my mentor and he taught me so much during the time I worked for him.  He always talked about when he retired him and his wife were going to buy a motor home and travel all over the United States.  Just months after he retired his wife had a stroke and they never got to follow his dream of seeing the country.  That always stuck with me.  I just couldn’t imagine waiting my entire life to do what I really wanted to do and then not being able to do it.

Our latest family gathering at my sisters house on Easter

Our latest family gathering at my sister’s house on Easter

I decided that making a huge amount of money was not going to be my motivation in life.  Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a hard worker.  I believe that you do the absolute best job that you can to earn a living, pay your bills, and feed your family.  But spending time with my children and family, traveling, and enjoying life were always my priority and I did just that.  Throughout my life my family went camping, went on vacations, and had many, many family gatherings as we still do.

Working and making new friends in Alaska

Working and making new friends in Alaska

Ten years ago my children were raised and gone from home.  I had a wonderful job but felt that time was ticking away and I needed more time to do the things I enjoyed doing.  So I quit my job, rented out my house and went to Alaska and started my new life of travel and adventure.  I met new friends and had great adventures while I worked there.

Karen and Taty, a couple of girls I met in Alaska who became friends for life

Karen and Taty, a couple of girls I met in Alaska who became friends for life

After working in Alaska for several seasons my path eventually led me to pet sitting.  This was the perfect fit for me.  I absolutely love animals and I get to spend every day loving and caring for them while having the freedom to travel when I want to.

Watching Maddie & Zoey in Maryland

Watching Maddie & Zoey in Maryland

Wally, a cat with a huge presonality

Wally, a cat with a huge personality

I also figured out how to travel inexpensively.  This meant traveling all over Alaska sleeping in a VW van, spending New Year’s Eve in Times Square while staying in a hostel in Harlem, backpacking throughout Panama and Mexico, taking a three-month road trip around the entire United States and parts of Canada in my little 8-year-old Toyota Corolla as well as many, many other trips I have taken on a shoestring throughout the years.  Here are some of the many places I’ve visited over the years.

I swam with dolfins in Jamaica

I swam with dolphins in Jamaica

I swam with Manatees in Florida

I swam with Manatees in Florida

I took an eco tour in Laguna San Icnacio and had a close encounter with a huge but beaurtiful mama and baby grey whale

I took an eco tour in Laguna San Ignacio and had a close encounter with a huge but beautiful mama and baby grey whale

I saw Mt. Rushmore

I saw Mt. Rushmore

And Mt. McKinley

And Mt. McKinley

I've seen moose in Alaska

I’ve seen moose in Alaska

And buffalo in South Dakota

And buffalo in South Dakota

I've share lobster with my sister Kathy in Maine

I’ve shared lobster with my sister Kathy in Maine

And fried sardines in the Algarve, Portugal

And fried sardines with my friend Donna in the Algarve, Portugal

I've seen the Eifel Tower

I’ve seen the Eifel Tower

And the Teotihuacan pyramids in Mexico

And the Teotihuacan pyramids in Mexico with my cousin Bruce

I've had martinis in frozen glasses at Chena Hot Springs with Kathy and Susie

I’ve had martinis in frozen glasses at Chena Hot Springs with Kathy and Susie

Mimosas at Café Lalo in New York to celebrate my daughter and her fiences engagement

Mimosas at Café Lalo in New York City to celebrate my daughter and her fiancés engagement

Sangrias in Lisbon, Portugal with Donna

Sangrias in Lisbon, Portugal with Donna

And green beer in Florida with my friends Karen and Eunice

And green beer in Florida with Karen and Eunice

I've seen black bear in Alaska

I’ve seen black bear in Alaska

And Alligators in Florida

And Alligators in Florida

I've seen world famous productions

I’ve seen world-famous performances

And not so world famous but just as thrilling performances by my grandson LJ

And not so world-famous but just as thrilling performances by my grandson LJ

I have toured DC

I have toured DC

And went kayaking and hiking in Hawaii

And went kayaking and hiking in Hawaii with my friend Susie

I visited the Kuna Indians with their "moon children" on the San Blas Islands of Panama

And I visited the Kuna Indians with their “moon children” on the San Blas Islands of Panama

I've seen the Northern Lights in Alaska

I’ve seen the Northern Lights in Alaska

And Illuminations fireworks at Disney World

And IllumiNations fireworks at Disney World

I've backpacked through Mexico and Panama

I’ve backpacked through Mexico and Panama

And walked along the beaches of Zihuatenejo

And walked along the beaches of Zihuatenejo

Just recently I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a year taking care of my two youngest grandsons.  Being a part of their lives in such an intimate way was such a gift and since I don’t live as a traditional Grandma does, I was able to form a bond with them that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.  I will cherish that time with them for the rest of my life.

Happy grandma with LJ and Declan

Happy grandma with LJ and Declan

Kids just wanna have fun

Kids just wanna have fun

Brrr!

Brrr!

My bested boy!

My bestest boy!

Such sweet brothers

Such sweet brothers

I have now returned to pet sitting.  I am so blessed that I get to stay in so many different locations like the home where I’m staying right now, meeting wonderful people who have become an extension of my family and caring for all the different dogs and cats that I have fallen head over heels in love with.  Here are just a few that I get to spend my time with.

Brody and Calla

Brody and Calla

Reilly and Luna

Reilly and Luna

Poppy and Spanky

Poppy and Spanky

Maggie and Gus

Maggie and Gus

Whether venturing out on my own

Whether venturing out on my own

Or traveling with a group of friends...

Or traveling with a group of friends…

Whether having a personal adventure with one of my grandchildren

Whether having a personal adventure with one of my grandchildren

Or a huge party with my wild and crazy friends and family...

Or a huge party with my wild and crazy friends and family…

Or just cuddling up with a sweet pup that I'm pet sitting

Or just cuddling up with a sweet pup that I’m pet sitting

I know I'm the richest woman in the world!

I have enjoyed every step of my life so far!

And I look forward to where the next 10 years are going to take me.

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So as I look out at the pond again and down at the sweet sleeping pups I think about how I, someone who in this society is considered poor, am the richest person in the world!

May 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm 1 comment

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