Archive for November, 2011

Kids and Dogs: How Kids Should and Should Not Interact with Dogs part 1

This is a three part series on the interaction between kids and dogs.  It is taken from Dr. Sophia Yin’s  animal behavior website.  Many thanks to her for sharing this important information.

When a child is bitten by a four-legged family member, it can turn the household upside-down. Owners feel puzzled and confused. “They sleep together all the time,” they might say, or, “He’s always been really good. He even lets Timmy sit on him.” In a majority of cases, the bite seems out of the blue. The humans can’t fathom why their once-trusted companion would bite an innocent child. But anyone who reads “dog” or can see life from the pet’s point of view would most likely say, “I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.”

The fact is, a quick perusal of YouTube or a thorough investigation of a bite reveals that often the bite occurs because humans, especially children, are extremely rude. Parents may view their kid’s behaviors as cute and assume that because their dog is tolerating the behavior now, he will have an endless fuse and always put up with it, rather than eventually exploding. In other words, parents expect dogs to behave like saints, even when they are pestered to the point that would try the average human’s patience and cause her to blow up!

For instance, I recall one tragic case where an infant was left at home with the babysitter and the family pitbull. The infant was allowed to incessantly crawl after the dog, tailing the dog as if she was an armed criminal. He followed her from corner to corner as she kept trying to get away from the baby, but the dog had no escape. While the parents were able to take a “vacation” from their child by hiring a babysitter and leaving the house, the dog was left at home to fend for herself. Ordinarily, a person being pestered this way with no way to escape would eventually turn and yell and possibly even resort to violence. A dog might do the same—turn and bark, snarl, or growl. But when all of these early signs are ignored, escalation to a bite can be the next step. Unfortunately, a bite by any large dog at her wits end can cause serious damage to a child, and in this case it resulted in death.

More often than not, cases where the dog bites a young child are tragic—often more so for the dog. The dog may be relinquished to a shelter, where he has a low probability of safe adoption. Or he may be euthanized after a quarantine period. The worst part of the story is that these bites could often have easily been prevented just by understanding the types of actions that drive a dog to feel bullied or pestered so much that he feels he has to bite.

To find more great tips, posters and information, go to

Next post Part 2

November 29, 2011 at 12:08 pm Leave a comment

Make holiday celebrations safe and enjoyable for your pets

Happy holidays from the
Humane Society of the United States

Rich table scraps can cause illness in your pets. Instead, give them pet-healthy treats, like these peanut-butter biscuits from your local pet store

WASHINGTON — The Humane Society of the United States is reminding people that as we celebrate Thanksgiving and the upcoming winter holidays — delighting in the hustle and bustle of whether to travel or to stay home, what to cook, and who to sit next to at the table — we can’t forget to make equally important plans for our canine and feline friends. Festive food and beverages, along with the commotion of large gatherings may pose hazards for our furry family members.

“Thanksgiving is a special time of year for many families, but it can also be hectic, so it’s important for people to plan for their pets,” said Adam Goldfarb, director of pet care issues for The Humane Society of the United States. “Whether your family is traveling or staying home, you can keep your pet safe and happy by thinking about their well-being ahead of time.”

With a few simple precautions, our pets can share this special time with us safely. The Humane Society of the United States offers these tips to keep our four-legged family members healthy and happy:

Is your pet partying with you at home?

Provide your pet with a quiet, out-of-the-way room during holiday parties. Though some pets may enjoy socializing opportunities, the excitement of a party may overwhelm others.

Avoid the urge to give your pets table scraps, especially bones. Bones easily splinter and can cause serious health problems, even death.

Is your pet traveling with you?

If you are planning to take your pet with you when visiting friends and relatives during the holidays, be sure to contact them in advance to find out if your pet is welcome. Because of the excitement during the holidays, it might be best to board your pet or hire a reputable pet sitter instead.

When traveling with your pet, attach tags with contact information for your mobile phone, as well as a phone number for where you are staying.

If you are leaving your pet at home with a pet sitter, be sure to ask for references, plus written proof that he or she has commercial liability insurance.

If you are leaving your pet at a boarding kennel, visit the kennel ahead of time to make sure that it’s clean, comfortable, and safe for your pet.

Humans are not the only ones who will be thankful at Thanksgiving. Shelter pets would be thankful for a new home and family to share their lives with this coming holiday season. Visit to search for a pet, find local shelters and learn more about the adoption process.

For more information on traveling with your pet, please visit: and searching “travel tips.”

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty. On the web at Follow us on Twitter @HSUS and see our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “HumaneTV” app.

November 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm Leave a comment

Meet the ASPCA’s 2011 Humane Heroes

Seven outstanding animals and people—including a badly burned cat who refused to abandon her kittens and a six-year-old boy who raised more than $28,000 for his local animal shelter—were honored at this year’s ASPCA Humane Awards Luncheon.

The annual awards ceremony recognizes heroic animals and individuals who have made a significant impact on the lives of animals during the past year. This year’s event was held on Thursday, November 17, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.

A San Diego, California-based Golden Retriever named Ricochet was selected as Dog of the Year for her work as a “surfice” dog for disabled surfers. She rides the waves with adults and kids alike and has helped raise $125,000 for more than 150 human and animal causes.

Ricochet, 2011 dog of the year

Cat of the Year honors went to Mittens, who was trapped in a milk crate and set on fire by two Baltimore teenagers in 2009. Mittens managed to escape the crate, extinguish the fire and return to nurse her newborn kittens. Her plight eventually helped inspire the pursuit of stricter animal cruelty laws in the state of Maryland.

Among the human attendees at this year’s Humane Awards was Donna Foley, a longtime ASPCA supporter and cat-mom from St. Louis, Missouri. Donna is the winner of our Facebook-based sweepstakes, We “Like” You, Too! She was randomly selected to win our grand prize and received a trip to New York City, tickets to the Luncheon and a $10,000 grant to award to the animal shelter of her choice.

Visit to read about all seven outstanding Humane Award winners. Congratulations to all!

November 21, 2011 at 10:05 pm Leave a comment

60th Birthday – Willapalooza Day 3

Heather & Joe came to the hotel to pick us up on our third and last day of my birthday celebration and away we went!  Our first stop was at the original Starbucks on Pike Street for a yummy cup of coffee.

Coffee time!

Next we made our way down along Pike Place Market to get a picture with Rachel the pig.  I’ve seen the pig standing at the market for years but just recently realized that she’s actually a piggy bank and collects between $6000 and $9000 in just about every kind of currency in the world.  The money goes to the Market Fund and is used for social services such as senior and preschool programs and feeding the hungry.

Susie's riding Rachel

Then of course we had to add our contribution to the Gum Wall in Post Alley.  This was voted one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions in 2009.  You can see how much Bonnie’s enjoying this one!

It's not THAT bad Bonnie!

L J is in charge of the gum

Our next stop was at Kerry Park.  This little park has the most beautiful view of the city!

Space Needle shot through sculpture in park

Kathy and L J are getting tired of Willapalooza!

I can't get out any more I'm too tired!

Will this party EVER end?

And the day wouldn’t have been complete without going to visit the Fremont Troll!

Fremont Troll

Our last stop on this wonderful adventure was to the Space Needle for lunch.  It was such a beautiful day so the view was fantastic!

Beautiful view from the Space Needle

A toast to the perfect ending of a perfect day!

November 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm 1 comment

60th Birthday – Willapalooza, the prequel

Unfortunately my friend Karen who flew in from Colorado had to take an early flight home on day 3 of our Willapalooza.  She had flown in a week earlier so we got to spend lots of time visiting and having some fun while she was here.

After picking her up from the airport we drove to Ellensburg and had lunch at a cute little café called The Yellow Church Café.  It had actually been a church and still had the stained glass windows and everything.  The food was delicious with all fresh ingredients.  Karen’s son had suggested we eat there.  I had never heard of it so I was glad for the suggestion.

The Yellow Church Cafe

We then walked down the street to check out a novelty of the town.  Karen kept asking what this place was supposed to be and I said “It’s art!”.  She just couldn’t agree with me but I loved it.

A work of "Art" in Ellensburg

Once we got to Wenatchee we got a chance to visit all my wonderful and crazy relatives.  Since my cousin Bruce and his wife Grace couldn’t be at my birthday party, they asked us to their house for an evening of good food and conversation and a private little birthday celebration.  Thank you so much you two, I love you so much!

Bruce, Grace & Karen

I tried to share some of the things I love about our little town of Wenatchee.  We went to the Rocky Reach dam where I showed Karen how we get our inexpensive clean power.  We walked through the museum so she could see what a big part the Indians played in our history and why all the towns around here have Indian names.

We also toured Stemilt Growers packing plant where I had worked for many years.  We watched how the fruit comes in from the orchard and eventually ends up in a box ready to be shipped to the stores.  Did you know that Stemilt is a Native American name for “Foothills”?  Then of course we had to stop by the Bountiful Fruit store to get some of that “world famous fruit”!

Stemilt packing line

We went to the Riverside Playhouse and watched the old classic play “Wait Until Dark”.  I hadn’t been to the theater for a long time.  I love plays so I’m going to make a note to myself to be sure and go more often when I’m in town.

And then on Friday night, my daughter Heather, son-in-law Joe and their son LJ from Lynnwood, along with my nephew Brad and his family from Cheney had arrived so my sister and the rest of us all met my son and his family at the Eastmont high school football field to watch my grandson Christian play.  It was their Homecoming game so there was lots of entertainment, even fireworks!  And oh yeah, our team won!  Way to go Christian!!!

My handsome grandson Christian

Next post – Willapalooza day 3

November 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

60th Birthday – Willapalooza Day 2

Day two of Willapalooza started with Kathy, Bonnie, Susie, Karen, Heather, Joe, L J and I meeting at Kathys for a light breakfast before starting our next adventure.  We got into our three cars and headed out towards Stevens pass.  No one except
Heather, Joe and I knew what the plans were.  I needed to fill Heather and Joe in because they would be a big part in helping me out.  Our first stop was to introduce Karen to Harry, in Mt. Index.

Karen meets Harry

Next stop was at the Old School BBQ just outside of Monroe for lunch.  If you’ve ever driven past the two old school busses by the Reptile Zoo, you may not have realized what a fun place it is to stop in for a quick meal.  They have fantastic food and the
owners are amazing, they were so nice and accommodating.  And it’s just a kick ordering at one school and eating in the other.  Like I said, my theme was “recapturing your youth” so if I found anything out of the ordinary, that’s where we went!

After a delicious lunch we headed to Lynnwood and made a stop at Heather & Joes for a little rest.  Then we drove to Lynnwood Bowl and Skate to go roller skating.  That’s right, a bunch of 60 year olds strapping on the old skates again!  I figured it had been around 45 years since my last time skating but surprisingly it went pretty good!

After our skating session we checked into our hotel where Heather & Joe came to pick us up in their 7 passenger SUV and we headed to a little neighborhood auto shop turned bar called Auto Battery for drinks and dinner.  Po Dog, a hot dog stand next door delivers hot dogs to the bar.  What “kid” doesn’t love hot dogs and shuffleboard?  You even get a trophy as a way for them to keep track of your order!

Po Dog is famous for its large and unique choices of hot dogs including the Dub-T dog topped with creamy cheese and crushed potato chips, the wasabi egg roll dog, a dog wrapped in wonton paper, deep-fried and served with homemade wasabi and the Mac & Cheese dog smothered in homemade macaroni & cheese.  There are tons more including the basics like the Texas dog and Chicago dog.  They even come in vegetarian which was perfect for Heather, my vegetarian daughter and to complete the dinner they have deep-fried pickles.  Fun or what?

After dinner Heather & Joe dropped us off at a fun cinema-bar located in Belltown called the Big Picture.  It’s such a fun place where there’s a full bar, champagne and popcorn served in a “silver” champagne bucket.  I love this place because it’s a bit retro as compared to the more modern cinema-bars that have become so popular.  We went a little early and had a drink and chatted in one of their comfortable little parlor-like private rooms before going into see the movie.

After the show we all piled into a town car that took us back to our hotel where we fell into bed after a full day of playing!

Next post – Willapalooza, the prequal

November 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment

Willapalooza! Day 1

This October I turned 60. This is quite a milestone in a person’s life and I had been feeling kind of funky about the thought of it.  As much as I don’t feel old (other than that darn arthritis that keeps reminding me of my age) I kept thinking that as much as I hate to admit it, my youth is gone.   But instead of dreading it, I decided to embrace it and just have fun.  So I planned a three-day birthday extravaganza with a theme of “recapturing your youth”!  My son-in-law Joe called it Willapalooza which I loved so we were off to a great start!

My sisters Kathy, Bonnie, Susie and Me


Beautiful quilt from LaWanda


Emily with my great-grandson Mason

The first day of Willapalooza started at my sister Kathys house with a good old-fashioned birthday party.  Lots of family and friends came, some I haven’t seen for quite some time.  My friend Karen from Colorado even came to join me in the celebration.  The funniest part of this picture is that Karen doesn’t even drink, he he!

Karen with my daughter in law Wendy

LaWanda, Me & Barb

My grandson Christian

The weather was beautiful, the conversation was great and the food and drinks kept coming!

Enjoying the beautiful weather

Catching up with old friends

My daughter Heather & son Ben

We got lots of good pictures of lots of good friends, and even took advantage of most of the family being here and got a family photo.

Barb with niece Christi


Brent, Pete & Brian

Family photo

As soon as the party ended a few of us girls headed up to a friend’s place for a bonfire party!  I haven’t been to one of these for a long time!  The fire was huge.  There was no fear of getting cold here J.  The evening ended with fireworks.  How cool is that?

Huge bonfire!

Hanging out by the fire

Reminder - don't drink and drive when you go to the bonfire!

Big crowd


Next, Willapalooza day 2!



November 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm Leave a comment