a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

It’s been 1 year since I adopted Smokey. He has 2 different birthdays (Feb and April) on his old vet records so we don’t know when his actual birthday is or his age (2 different years). So this means I am using his adoption date as his birthday and I decided on his age (6) :)

On January 27th 2014, my ex and I went to look at 4 dogs, all available through NorSled (where we adopted Shadow.) I brought them with me so we could see how Shadow interacted with the dogs. He was going to have to be friends with him (or her) so best to have him help interview too!

Smokey was the first dog we met as he was in the Woodland area and the rest were in the bay area. So we met him on the way down. When I walked in and met him and hung out with him for a short time, I instantly loved him. He was not black & white, like all of the others I was going to see that day and he was not as fluffy as Angelus and Storm or Shadow and we had no idea of his mix beyond husky and/or malamute mix. But he was the sweetest guy ever. I left there to go look at the others to make sure I wasn’t just taking the 1st dog I met since losing Stormy in August but I knew I loved him.

Met 3 other fantastic dogs who were all gorgeous, lovable, sweet and needed homes but Smokey stayed in my mind. So after all day of driving and meeting dogs and foster moms and dads (and frankly I think Shadow was getting stressed thinking he was being dropped off somewhere!), we decided to stop and eat for the 1st time that day. Buffalo Wild Wings. Mmmmm.

I sat there thinking how would I feel if I drove home and didn’t get Smokey – and I felt immediately sad. So we called the foster mom and told her we were coming back to see him again – this time letting Shadow have more time with him. We took Smokey and Shadow for a walk along with the foster mom – who I think was sad to lose Smokey (she was originally going to keep him but that didn’t work out for non-Smokey reasons).

That was it – I decided then to do it. Signed all of the paperwork, wrote a check and loaded him in the car. Had Shadow in the backseat and Smokey in the back back. I think Shadow was starting to wonder what the heck. But he did get along best with Smokey as well. I think he was most happy I didn’t get the girl husky as she was half his size but kept kicking his butt as female huskies are likely to do!

First night in his new home!

First night in his new home!

Got home around 11pm. Smokey was pretty stressed – obviously. New house after stranger took him away from his mom of 11 months. We woke up 3 or 4 times during the night. I was worried he had to go potty, but I think he just wanted to walk back to his old house.

It took a few days for him to calm down a little and settle into a routine but I’m good at routines :) Angelus and Storm trained me. He still gets stressed when his routine changes. But he has settled into a pretty darn calm and happy guy :) And honestly, he has been a dream. How anyone could have not wanted to keep him (and hurt and abandon him) is beyond me. He had gone through several homes and all this proves to me is that people generally suck and most probably have no business being responsible for a pet rock. But I’m a wee bit cynical.

After losing Angelus and then Storm, I was pretty sad for a time there. Now, I am happy literally every day. And I hope he feels the same way. I’m pretty sure he does. :)

His 1st snow! 1/30/14

His 1st snow! 1/30/14

1st beach visit at Mavericks! 2/14

1st beach visit at Mavericks! 2/14

Full of smiles :)

Full of smiles :)

Snow fun with Shadow 1/15

Snow fun with Shadow 1/15

Happy Birthday Smokey Dokey :)

His daily adventures can be followed at http://packdog.com/smokeydokey

And anyone can donate to NorSled. These people work endlessly to find northern breeds homes from bad (and sometimes VERY bad) situations and need every penny: http://www.norsled.org/how-to-help/

One year ago, 8/2/13, I lost my buddy Stormy. Stormn. Stormn Norman. Hoth Stormtrooper.

I still miss him every day. I still think about him every day. He was my little guy with the biggest heart. He could be a little punk, but loved people. And loved attention. And loved his momma. And people loved him. He brought joy to a lot more than just me. And I know that.

But I do still miss him (and his brother) every single day. And some days are sad. But I cannot help but smile every time I look at his little face :)

Storm

Storm

Monster in cute puppy clothing...the day Angelus picked him :)

Monster in cute puppy clothing…the day Angelus picked him :)

Storm and Angelus on bed

Smokey decided on a different route this morning than the last few days. As we are walking I hear coyotes going bonkers again. And we are obviously heading in their direction as it is getting louder. A thought pops into my head about the little husky girl who lives close to there. And is allowed to run free (grr.)

As I turn from the street to head onto the trails I see the lady who lives a couple streets away with 2 of her 3 dogs leaving and walking back towards her street. The lady who has the little husky girl. But the husky is not with her. So I instantly thought “ohmygosh – my earlier thought!” about the coyotes. But NO WAY could this woman just leave her little dog up there?? I must have just missed seeing her?!?!

This husky is small. I’ve actually never seen such a small husky but she is feisty. She is literally about 1/3 the size of Shadow. But what she lacks in physical size, she makes up for in sass. She doesn’t ever back down from any dog and walks up to everyone. And basically is Queen of her street. She used to love Angelus (who didn’t?) but she gives a little grief to Shadow and Smokey. She likes them – tail wagging, follows us – but she treats them a bit differently than she did Angelus. More like she asserts her Queenliness to them.

Anyway, she is tough. But still – she is small and 1 dog. I could hear at least 2 coyotes. And there was no way I could just walk away thinking that all day. So up we went into the forest – getting closer to the coyote yipping. Smokey was excited actually. New forest to smell is always a good time :) He was on leash and frankly I was not too worried about him and I but I was really hoping I didn’t find any coyote den or a hurt dog.

Then I saw 1 of the coyotes who kept howling and yipping as he saw me approaching. I walked kind of closer but around and that scared the other coyote who was closer to us but hidden. He/she shot up out of the bushes towards the the other coyote. Then I saw a white butt and tail tear out of the bush and down the hill. And the 2 coyotes took off up the hill.

I tried to follow the white butt and tail but no way we could catch up (Smokey said he could have easily caught up if he was off-leash!) So we got out of the forest and headed towards the house where the husky lived. And there she was – sitting right in front of her driveway – in the street as usual (again…grrr.) She had dirt all over her head and paws.

I have no absolute proof that was her up there. But all circumstantial evidence points to it. It also points to the fact that her mom left her up there to deal with the coyotes on her own. Something that I cannot even fathom. But I hope I helped anyway. Perhaps it wasn’t her at all. Or perhaps the husky does this all the time and is fully capable of taking care of herself and I wrecked her fun time. But leaving your dog alone in the forest with 2 (or more) coyotes is disgusting. I want to go back over there with a bat and knock sense into that stupid woman. Sigh.

Smokey had a good time though :)

…when if you wear short sleeves, it will be windy. And freezing in the shade. But if you wear long sleeves, it will be warm and downright blazing hot as soon as the sun peaks over the trees.

When if you wear winter hiking/exercise pants, you will cook yourself. But if you wear regular hiking/exercise pants, you will end up being dragged through bushes with only pointy stick branches to scratch you on your way through being dragged by a husky or 2 hunting wabbits.

And if you wear hiking or snow boots, you will be hot and definitely not as comfy had you worn trail running/hiking shoes. But if you wear those, you are guaranteeing the snow piles and mud that don’t seem to dry up until June and are sought out by fluffy snow dogs.

If you take a jacket or hoodie, you will zip and unzip it at least 5 times each depending on the shade/sun/wind ratio and will still be hot and cold on the same hike. But if you don’t take a jacket or hoodie, you are basically guaranteeing a spring snow shower or wind storm on your hike.

If you don’t wear a beanie and gloves, it will be below freezing temps in the shade and your fingers will actually lose all feeling. But if you do wear them, as soon as you hit the sun you will feel like the sun is actually cooking your brain. So always take them and then you won’t need them. But this means you need the jacket with big enough pockets to stuff them in along with the poo bags, treats and phone.

When you hiked in feet of snow on Friday and Saturday, was out on a hike the following Wednesday and Thursday in capris and a tank top and you were sweating. And are now looking at a forecast of possible snow on Tuesday.

Ah springtime in the mountains…

That seems very fitting. Angelus loved the snow. Even more than he loved chicken. And that was a lot :)

…I lost one of my best friends. He taught me that every day should be fun. That every day should have smiles. Rain, hail, snow (obviously) or shine. And if it doesn’t, you are doing it wrong.

One of my twitter friends, who I finally got to meet at Comic Con last year with his wife, made this video for me. And for Angelus. I put off watching it because I knew I would be a wreck. And while I’m bawling like a baby, I can’t believe how sweet and truly awesome, it is.

I still miss you buddy. Every day.

Handsome snow guy :)

Handsome snow guy :)

Been a weird day. Made some good (great actually) trades. Had fun in the snow with Shadow. But I felt weird too. Didn’t know why really. Then just received an email from our real estate agent that the our counter offer was accepted and the bay area house is now is escrow.

Funny./.same lady who made the very first offer that we rejected. We pulled it off the market in December for 3 weeks, painted it, put it back on last week and had 3 offers. OK. Same house….whatever. But then the lady who made the very first offer ended up making the best final offer.

I am happy. Cash money. Cash money is great. And I hate the bay area so good riddance.

But I got sad too. It was the first house my ex and I bought after being married for a year. The house we lived in for years and raised the huskies in. It will be always be Angelus’ yard – we hung out in that yard on his very first day and he always loved it. Always laid with his head in the fence, looking like the Prisoner of Zenda, as he surveyed what was going on. Even on his very last day.

And Stormy will always sleeping in the downstairs hallway and complain when I tell him it’s sleepytime. And on the upstairs deck…even in the foggy mist.

I won’t miss the house. Or the area. The view was great though. And the memories will be forever.

Took Shadow out in the fresh snow this AM. He was FIRED UP!! Run, run, run, stop, eat snow, run, run :) Hiked uphill as it continued to snow on us and I took a gazillion cute pics of him having fun.

Then I got a weird feeling. Looked around, didn’t see anyone or anything but just felt weird. Ran to catch up to Shadow and BAM – slipped on some ice and down I went. Darn it. I know better. Luckily experience has taught me to twist a little so didn’t land on my tailbone and my arm took most of it. Shadow immediately ran up to make sure I was OK (or see if any of the cookies fell out of my pocket…) and I put his leash on.

Not 30 seconds after his leash was on we see 2 coyotes. Whew. Shadow would have taken off to play with them for sure! Score 1 for listening to gut feeling!! If only I could apply that more to my trading account.

Started heading back down the hill and get allllllmost home and decide to cute pic of Shadow. My phone?! Not in pocket?! Oh….good…I bet it’s right where I fell and IT fell out of my pocket instead of any cookies! Shadow failed to mention that…

Let’s go back buddy. He looked at me like “what?? back uphill??” We charged back up the hill quickly as I was imagining my phone being buried in the still falling snow and falling victim to the dreaded water damage. Found it! And it worked and seemed perfectly fine. Whew.

Back down the hill we went and Shadow got more crazy running time. I let him off leash again as we got closer to the house and away from where the coyotes were. Got home and he didn’t even run straight to the kitchen for breakfast! Fed him and he went right to the deck door and looked at me with pleading eyes “let me back in the snow LadyMom.” OK…and he fell right asleep as he was being snowed on.

Successful snow morning mission!

http://instagram.com/a99kitten

When I was at San Diego Comic-Con this July, I was on the look out for some new, interesting Chewbacca art. He’s actually not the easiest character to portray correctly. I was never able to find anything that I loved (well…Chewbacca wise I mean.) On the last day I made it over to the Chuck Jones Gallery….as evidenced by this purchase: http://a99kitten.com/?p=10450

While there, I also bought another piece. It caught my eye as soon as I walked in but I had been so involved in my purchase of Bad Girls that it took me a while to get over to it. It was not Chewbacca, and I typically don’t collect Leia art, but this piece definitely caught my eye:

FullLeia

It is a good sized piece – 36″ x 24″ on canvas. It’s an artist proof (#3 of 10) and extremely cool in real life :) I’m typically not into the modern or art deco look honestly, but the colors of this just grabbed me. I love the various silvers and greys with white and black (I think another reason I will always have a husky.) My color scheme at home is all browns. Deep, rich browns in various tones. So she doesn’t really fit in but it’ll work. I have a HUGE bus stop poster of Jango Fett framed from Attack of the Clones (all blues and silvers) so they will work together. As I was discussing this piece with the gallery rep, I asked if the artist had done any Chewbacca art. He said not that he was aware of but he could contact the artist. I had actually JUST missed him that day. Darn! And it turned out he left the gallery and went over to the Acme Archives booth inside SDCC. Doh!

Anyway, turns out that no, he had not any done Chewbacca art but that he always wanted to if it was the right feel. Chewie is hard because a lot of artists portray him too cartoony or goofy. I like the fierce Chewie. So we discussed him doing a commission just for me! He would have to get OK by LucasFilm once he did the piece but I was pretty excited!

On a conference call to discuss ideas for the piece, the artist (Mike) asked why I loved Chewbacca so much. That’s easy – because he was Han’s best friend. And protector. Who was big and strong and scared most people but he was a marshmallow inside…to his people. Just like Angelus and Storm were for me. Angelus even sounded like Chewbacca when he talked. And Chewie’s sounds were inspired by George Lucas’ malamute Indiana (who looks a lot like Angelus) so it was a perfect mix. Plus we live in Tahoe and the snow and I always called it Hoth when I’d take the buds out in the snow.

Mike loved the story and it turns out he and his wife are big dog lovers. So he appreciated my love of my buds. And how it translated to my love of all things Chewbacca. So I sent him a bunch of pics of the buds as well as my favorites of Chewie so he could get a sense of how I liked them. He obviously would be keeping it in his own style (art deco-ey, modern. See his site linked below) but incorporating the Chewie, Angelus and Storm in the snow.

The finished work arrived (yes, LucasFilm signed off on it!) and I just got it back from the framers. I. Love. It. He captured the expressions of Angelus and Storm perfectly. Like….perfectly. Plus having an original piece of art commissioned just for me is pretty darn nifty. The fact that it incorporates my beloved friends who are no longer with me along with one of my favorite fictional characters brings together 2 things that I have spent a lot of time in my life enjoying.

I look at this all the time and smile. The buds brought me smiles every day while they were with me, so it’s only natural they keep doing it.

Pic

Mike Kungl: http://www.mkungl.com/2/index.php There are **easily** a handful that I would love to hang in my house.

I received the below email today from the rescue organization where we adopted Shadow. They typically do not send out donation requests other than quarterly newsletters with the info on the back page. They are not an alarmist organization that asks for money every other day or sends out horrible “this dog will die if you don’t adopt now” notices like so many you see on Facebook or twitter. And I appreciate that because I know always they need the money and I know there are too many dogs in shelters.

But if you can spare even $5.00, it can add up to help Boscoe, who is still a baby who clearly had a horrible home but can be fixed up and find a good home from early on.

I didn’t include the pics of the injury because yuck. But am including Boscoe’s little face :)

Boscoe at vet

Boscoe at vet

I hate when people ask for donations so I don’t this easily. But this guy needs our help. We might not be able to help every dog, but we can help this one.


http://www.norsled.org/how-to-help/

Hi friends – I want to let you know about a wonderful three-month-old Siberian puppy I pulled Friday at the Delano, CA, Shelter (central valley/middle of nowhere!). Shelter folks picked him up in a woman’s yard in town where he had laid down to rest, with a horrible gash on the inside of his right rear leg (photo attached) and with the femur on his other back leg out of socket! With no possibilities in store for him except the shelter, I took the 4 hour drive to Delano, and pulled Boscoe. By 4 pm I was at Fourpaws in Dublin and Dr. Tripi was looking at Boscoe (see attached photos)

Sweet Baby Boscoe is at Tripi’s for myriad issues. Chris worked very hard to pop the bone back in place; no go, which leads us to believe he has been limping around in this condition for a week, maybe 10 days or more. Apparently a car hit him. Tripi performed surgery yesterday, cutting the head of the femur and reinserting into the hip. The open wound on his other leg is awful – Tripi successfully sewed it back together, at the same time neutering him. So far the stitches in the wound are holding. And he is “surprisingly ambulatory” considering his injury. He has a little eye infection too, fleas and ticks for days, major tape worm. Yuck. So of course we treated for these parasites too. Bless his heart, this baby has been worked very hard in his short life time. just the sweetest puppy, probably no more than 3 months old, even too young for a rabies shot to take.

This surgery and related necessary vetting are pricey (especially considering our tipsy finances), but when I saw his photo on a rescue listserve, I knew Norsled had to help him. The good thing is he is so young he will bounce back, after proper containment during recuperation. Thank you to everyone for thoughts, concern and offers to help and contribute. Boscoe needs your help now urgently.

If you want to donate, just go to www.norsled.org, click on paypal and we will most appreciate it. You can also send checks payable to Norsled to address below. Please cross post any place you can think of. We need to raise money for this baby’s medical work. Thank you for caring for the huskies. Boscoe sends a woo woo to all of you.

Gail de Rita, Rescue/Adoption Coordinator
Northern CA Sled Dog Rescue (Norsled)
PO Box 30877, walnut Creek CA 94598 – phone 510 676 2215

“Without an Alaskan Malamute to guide me through the bleak landscapes of the soul, I would wander forever without finding my voice.” Susan Conant

Whoever said “money can’t buy happiness” never paid an adoption fee.
Save animals three times a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner.
What have you done today to make the world a better place?
Torturing one animal is cruelty; torturing many is science.