September 30, 2014

White Dog quoted, "Thirty days hath September...wow! Where did all of those days go?" Some of the pups thought she was making an accusation.
Daisy on couch, Zsofia on floor next to couch, Taiko at center, Jupiter on the floor by the chair, and Skye on the chair.
"WE did not take them!" was their reply.

"So where DID they go?" WD wondered...as did I.

September 29, 2014

White Dog and the rest of the Army speculated on how much Zsofia now weighed. She and Steve went to the Vet's office for Round Three of her puppy shots, so they knew she would have to plant her wiggly body long enough for a measurement to be taken. On October 4 she turns three months old...White Dog weighed about 5lbs at that point.

No one had guessed that her weight had only increased by a pound-and-one half since her last visit. There is no arguing that she is longer and taller. When she stands on her back legs at the counter in the kitchen, her nose is level with the top surface...anti-counter surfing lessons have already begun. But she "only" weighs 16.5 lbs...all of us would have sworn she was 20lbs or more based on being jumped upon or run into.

"Don't worry too much," Cindy, Dr. Julia's Number One, told me when I spoke with her later in the day. "I saw those paws. Zsofia is NOT going to be petite!"  "Kind of gave up that notion," I told her as I revealed that we had just ordered a new "baby" crate since the 24x18x24" one that I foolishly thought would last for 6 months or so (it fits full grown Sachi, Bella and Puff, I reasoned) is already crowded. Not taking any chances we went for the 48x36x30" one this time. Now all we need to do is figure out how to rearrange the bedroom to fit our baby basket.

After a breakfast delayed by the early vet visit. Steve and YoYoMa harnessed Zsofia up for a power walk. The struggle to dress her was less and she understood after that they were going out the front door (she rushed to be leashed). Poor Sachi desperately wanted to join his best friend and was heartbroken when told his little legs and breathing issues would not allow him to keep up. He sat forlornly watching out of the window until they returned up the drive 1.5 miles later...then he met Zsofia at the door with a wrestling challenge growl and they were off across the living room rug.

Zsofia called a "Time Out!" to get a long drink of water and sank to her belly. Sachi tackled her and pinned her to the floor. He beamed at his conquest. Zso did not even struggle, she was fast asleep.


September 28, 2014

White Dog surveyed the landscape. I could sense her checking off items on her mental list...tents in place; check...tables neatly arranged; check...everyone smiling and ready; check. She made a quick circuit of the Park and came back to sit next to me on a perfect Autumn day. "All is good," she sighed. "Let the people and pups come!"

Every thing may have been perfect and our volunteers were full of enthusiasm and hope. Even the early morning storm clouds had departed to give our Event the advantage of New Mexico's amazing blue skies and gentle breezes. But attendance was, sadly, sparse.

We tried not to be disappointed and were very grateful for those who did turn out, participate and ask lots of great questions. White Dog made a point of regularly making the rounds to bolster the spirits of our volunteers and of enthusiastically greeting our guests with an elegant "Welcome" and bow.

I consoled the troops with the fact that we just have to keep going out and doing what we do; we ARE making a difference but it takes time and many repeats to deliver our message. Some speculated the Sunday football season kept folks away. Others thought that we needed to be cuter in our approach. We had plenty of time for analysis. The location was good for this park is usually full of families, and renaissance role players, and joggers and people out with their pups...but for some unknown reason yesterday you could look down its 1/4 mile length and not see a single creature stirring, just lush green grass under inviting blue skies. The Event was free and offered activities and prizes. We had distributed fliers, posted on the local dog sites, and socially networked...the pre-interest and response was great but...

We know that these things will happen and we cannot let them discourage us too much. As White Dog reminded ME after all the others had been encouraged and soothed and thanked, "It was a good plan, Momma, and was executed beautifully. All we can do is provide that and get the word out, we cannot kidnap people and bring them." She saw the thoughtful look in my eye. "No, really momma! They will come, but not hog-tied!"

Here are some photos of our My Dog & Me Diabetes Awareness Day...
For those who took the Know the Facts Quiz, here are the correct answers:
1. A dog suffering from untreated diabetes typically:
                __X_Drinks a lot, urinates often, eats a lot, and is generally lethargic.
2. TRUE. In humans and cats with Type 2 diabetes sometimes weight-loss and a high-protein, low-carb diet are all the treatment that is needed.
3.  During digestion for both humans and pets carbohydrates are converted to
4. 1 in 500 dogs may develop diabetes.
5. FALSE. Type 2 Diabetes among 10-19-year old humans has increased almost 75% in ten years. It has risen 25% which is still a HUGE jump!
6.  In the U.S., diabetes is NOT a leading cause of which condition in humans.
                ___Blindness                     ___Kidney disease          _X__Hearing loss
7. What is the expected lifespan of a treated diabetic dog? A treated diabetic dog can live a normal life.
8. The number of people in the United States with diabetes has doubled in the last 15 years.
9. FALSE. High glycemic foods are better because they lead to faster digestion. They are harder to process.
10. Which dog breed is on the list of being at high-risk for developing diabetes? Siberian Huskies
11. One out of three human adults have pre-diabetes
12. The typical canine diabetes patient is NOT
                __X_Male                              ___Middle aged               ___Overweight

And just because the number staggered me: In New Mexico the total medical and indirect societal cost of human diabetes is $1.83 billion. THIS is why we spent a Sunday at the Park trying to raise awareness!


September 27, 2014

White Dog was helping me group and assemble the things we will need to take with us tomorrow for the My Dog & Me Diabetes Awareness Sunday afternoon that Paws To People is sponsoring in the Park. "It is surprising momma," she said as we boxed and checked items off of my list, "how many people don't even know that dogs and cats can get diabetes." "Or that it is a rising epidemic, just like it is in people," Puff added as she read the literature sitting on the floor.

"I know," White Dog said excitedly. "Let's share the awareness with our blog community. They can play the Facts Game along with everyone who comes to the Park!" "Great idea!" Puff agreed. The rest of the White Dogs quickly concurred.

So here are the questions. All of those who correctly complete the game will go into a drawing to win a bag of Fat Cat or Fat Dog low-calorie pup or kitty food by Natural Balance and a copy of the excellent book, Zoobiquity...and maybe a healthy treat or two.  Test what you know!

September 26, 2014

White Dog had her clipboard and was making notes. "What are you doing," I asked as I leaned to peer over her shoulder. "Making some changes," she replied distractedly so I knew to let her finish before questioning further.

Finally she set the work aside and sighed contentedly. "I think that will work," she said. I raised an eyebrow.

"Well, you know that Sachi now that he and Zsofia are wrestling all of the time sometimes falls into his own puppy fits and forgets his manners. Dad told me the Little Man has made a game of walking on Taiko's heels during the bedtime walks and is nipping poor Taiko's flanks. It makes the walk annoying for our Tender Boy. Also, now that Zsofia is going out for power walks with Yo during the day there is no reason she should not be included in the bedtime walk routine. So I have just been working on the walk pairings and rearranging things," White Dog explained.

"And you have a final order?" I asked.

"One that I think will work pretty well," my Planner responded. "Puff  really only likes a short walk to the end of the drive these days; it is usually late and she just runs out of steam. So for now on, She gets to have her own time with Dad as they take a stroll to wish on the stars and then come in.

"Bella has always been very nice going on shorter walks with Puff but I think pairing her with Sachi will allow her to go farther and she will not tolerate her brother's bad behavior. Plus they are nearly the same size so they should be a good match. Both need more walking.

"Taiko will be a little challenged to stretch his legs instead of strolling like he did with Sachi, but I think if he night walks with Zsofia it will slow her down to a pre-bed pace. You tell me that both are matched well in their hearts, so this will be a good bonding time for them.

"And of course, YoYoMa and I will continue to end the evening and walk together. He and I use that time to bounce ideas off of each other and I do not want to give that up. Beside, he gets to do his fast and furious thing now with Zsofia earlier in the day."

"It seems like a well-thought out plan," I commended her. "I am certain dad will agree. we can start the new pairings tomorrow night. Now, it is late; let's go to bed."

At the word bed, the White Dog Army heard "final treats" and gathered around.


September 25, 2014

White Dog watched until she could no longer see them walking down the block. Today was the first day of Zsofia's distance walking, real world leash training with YoYoMa and Steve.

The entire White Dog Army supervised the fitting of the squirmy girl into Oso's harness, the blue one he had worn as a adult that our Baby wears at just short of three months of age. Zsofia watched as Yo calmly stepped into his and then sat waiting for it to be fastened; he moved aside and nodded that she should copy what he just had done. Zsofia danced over to Steve, sniffed the harness and then played "circle around the table" until he said "FINE!" and just sat down. When she came close again, he nabbed her. After five minutes of trying to bite the harness and twisting to buck it off, she sat next to YoYoMa and looked at him expectantly. Steve clipped leashes on each and led them out of the front door.

YoYoMa is our best walker. He is a powerwalker and serious...no wandering or lolly-gagging. When they are out together, he and Steve walk to cover distance, often as much as 5 miles. Yo is focused and all business. He was chosen to provide the training and exercise our growing pup needs because the WDA knew he would not be distracted by kiddie games or puppy charm or stopping to collect sticks.

The Darker White Dog took off like a shot straining and pulling at her leash then veering to bite at a bush or nose an interesting smell. Steve worked to keep her in line and in pace. Those of us watching out of the window chuckled. "I KNOW she won't be crazy like that when they get back," Taiko observed. "I've walked with Yo; she'll be lucky if she is keeping up at the end."

Sure enough when the trio came back up the driveway YoYoMa was setting the lead pace and Little Miss Zsofia was huffing to keep stride. Even Steve was a bit sweaty when they came through the door.

They had completed a one-mile circuit.

Both dogs rushed for the water bowl and Yo graciously let the young one drink her fill before stepping up to quench his thirst. Before Steve had even returned from the kitchen with his own glass of cold water, Zsofia had crawled under the sofa and was nearly asleep.

"Kids," Yo muttered as he circled and curled up on the hearth, not even winded. Zsofia took a two-hour nap (to the great happiness of her oldest siblings and Sachi, her non-stop wrestling partner).


September 24, 2014

White Dog and The White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday

White Dog and every member of the Army, earthbound and celestial, have sworn to fight the c monsters that have taken too many too soon. It especially pains us when this evil disease attacks children, those barely yet able to ride bikes, chase butterflies, build snowmen, know the wonders of our world.

 Seems of late that many we know, brave Warriors each, have been ripped from us unfairly. The WDA believes that one of the most wonderful days we will know is the day the monster is put to rest, vanquished, and that no two- or four-legged ever need fight the battle within themselves again.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, a time to honor and remember children and families affected by these rare diseases, and help rally support to give kids with cancer better outcomes by supporting ground-breaking research. Amazing singers, Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper mash up two of their hits to raise money for the fight against pediatric cancer. This is the music video for "Truly Brave". The WDA salutes their efforts to raise awareness and funding. If you wish to donate go here: https://www.crowdrise.com/hoda

The White Dog Army knows the power of our community when we unite in the Power of the Paw. We ask as the month draws to a close that our fellow bloggers join us paws, and hands, to ask the Universe to bless those doing research with insight and to shower those Warriors on the front lines, the children, with strength and hope and miracles….a Wonderful World, one life saved at a time.


September 23, 2014

White Dog pawed the phone away from my ear so that she could hear, too. It was Cindy, Dr. Julia's Number One. The pathology report from Puff's tumor was back and all was clear. The tumor was benign and the margins removed had been clear all around. While there are never any guarantees, the growth was not likely to reappear elsewhere in her mouth nor trigger any other abnormalities. Puff would not need to see the good doctor until her semi-annual wellness exam.

White Dog did not even wait for me to end the call before running off to tell Puff and the rest of the White Dog Army the good news. The song was deafening but made me happy as the Army crowded around our matriarch to congratulate her.

Puff just smiled and wagged. SHE had known that once the tumor and bad teeth were removed all was good but to see everyone else filled with that same confidence and joy due to the report's confirmation made Puff's day.

September 22, 2014

White Dog sat watching the action. "The darker shade of white seems to have a bit of talent. Who says Sibes don't fetch?"


September 21, 2014

White Dog met me at the door and whispered, "There's been a bit of a change while you and dad were in Santa Fe. Don't get mad. I said it was all right. One of the planets has come to live with us."

I sat down on the bench with WD as I heard the rest of the White Dogs inside greeting Steve and sharing the news with him. "You made the right decision," I told her. "It was the same one dad and I made."

Candace, now that she has a job and is daily growing in confidence as she builds a life, has been following a couple of organizations with whom she plans to volunteer. She has already met the folks at the Nuclear Energy and History Museum and is helping with their fundraising efforts. Next she would like to give some time to the City Shelter for she loves animals and holds a special place in her heart for the "uglies" and seniors that never seem to be shown or adopted.

Her resolve was stirred this past week when she went to the Eastside Shelter to get licenses for Skye and Daisy. She saw while there a featured pup and out of curiosity has been tracking her on the City's adoption page.

While checking on Saturday night, she scrolled past a photo of a tiny very frightened looking little girl with a bit of a weight problem, big ears, and cloudy eyes. JW, as she was named, lost her senior owner and the family turned her in because she was unwanted. JW is 12, blind in one eye, has a scarred functioning eye, and is about 3lbs over the 6lbs she should weigh. "I might go by the shelter just to see her and spend a little time with her; I bet she gets no attention," was Saturday's conversation.

I know those words. I no longer even try to fool myself by saying them. Before we left on Sunday morning, Steve and I said to her. "Six more pounds will not even be noticed. Follow your heart."

We got a call while we were out. Candace. She was at the shelter. JW had been there a month with no interest. When she asked about the tiny girl they tried to talk her out even considering adoption. "She is really old," they told her. "And partially blind. If you insist on adopting her, you will have to sign a medical waiver which you don't need to do if you get a younger dog. Do you want to see some of those?"

You all know the end of this story...
Meet Skye and Daisy's new sister, Jupiter, exhausted from the excitement of the day. Sleeping like only a shelter dog does on its first night of freedom.