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Coming Home

Posted by: | December 12, 2011 | 6 Comments |

Many of you know we took the P.P. to Las Vegas last weekend to meet some new folks and pawty, after all, it is Las Vegas. We took in the “strip”, photo’s to follow, went down to the Pawn Shop that’s on TV and of course the Harley and the BMW motorcycle stores.

We had a ball at the pawty, loved going to Red rock Canyon, loved taking a ton of pictures and when the time came, loved coming home.

We left Las Vegas last Monday morning at 6AM and started home. Shelby seemed resigned to the fact that she would be all curled up in the front seat for a long time. It took us 11 hours to get home.  We stopped a little more often to get her out and let her run amok. But I still got that, Gees, aren’t we home yet look.

As we got about a 1/4 of a mile from home, she sprang up in her seat and her smile came back, her tail was waging, as much as it could in the front bucket seat, and she knew we were close to home. I parked the truck went around to her side to open the door, as soon as her feet hit the ground, she took off running towards the front door. SHE WAS HOME and her big sister and brother were on the other side of the door!!!! She looked like, “C’mon dude, get this stinkin door open!!!!”

I opened the door and she flew into the house, she missed her big sister and brother, she ran, hopped, slid, took a couple of headers as she tore through the house, spinning, TRIPAWD Twirling, kissing her sister, and she even kissed Charlie??? She hit her water bowl 2 or 3 times for a splash and dash, and then ran right over and hopped up on her couch!

She was home, her sister and brother were here, her water and food bowls were here, the servants were here, the P.P. was HOME!!! All was right with her world!

I have never seen her so happy and so fired up as she was when she burst through the front door!  

It made the whole trip worth it, just to see how happy she was to “come home.”

the chauffeur

under: Uncategorized

Happy Birthday to the P.P.

Posted by: | October 11, 2011 | 10 Comments |

Well…the P.P. is going to be 5 on October 15th.

She has been in our life since April 4th, 2009 and we have packed a ton of wonderful “stuff” in that time.

She has met hundreds of people and brought joy, smiles and a few tear filled memories to almost everyone of them.

On her birthday we usually take her to “her” favorite In and Out hamburger store. Being the selfish humans that Cindi and I are, we planned a trip to the Sierra’s for fall colors and will not be here to take the P.P. for her birthday “cheeseburger and fries”, so…hopefully, she will forgive us and put on a brave face and try to have a good time when we take her to In and Out on Friday, the 21st. 

We are so blessed to have Shelby in our lives and so fortunate to have met and made so many friends through TRIPAWDS.

Here’s an early Happy 5th Birthday to Shelby, our Petite Princess.

the chauffeur



under: Uncategorized

Shelby, thank you…

Posted by: | June 26, 2011 | 10 Comments |

Today we accompanied the Petite Princess on her rounds at the Hospital.

Shelby led us through our usual stops, admissions, the information desk, intensive and critical care waiting area’s, so we would be warmed up for a couple of people she would lead us to meet.

We knocked on this gentleman’s door and asked if he would like a visit with a dog?  He certainly would he says, so we roll in and Shelby turns on the charm. As we chatted, he said he was 94 years old and moved to Sonoma County to be near his son and his family. As he was talking with us, Cindi asked where he was from, he mentioned a country in Europe and said he immigrated to the US in 1947. We said, Wow, that was right after World War 2. He told us he was a Holocaust Survivor.

As the power of that statement sank in, he said he attended college in his new home, America, and went on to have a successful career. With a smile on his face he told us how great America is and how there no other place in the world like it. He told us he doesn’t want to remember his time before he came to America.

We talked about dogs and family and how much he enjoyed Golden Retrievers. If I live to be 94 I hope I have half of his vitality and spunk. We said our goodbye’s and Shelby gave him one of her autographed photo’s and we were on our way.

We met an older lady who told us the story about a dog and her father. Daisy was the dogs name and she would go with her father to his workshop everyday and take her place next to his work bench. He created a space on the shelf so Daisy could watch over everything he did during the day. She said her dad would talk to Daisy as he worked and Daisy gave his every word the attention it deserved.

When her father died, Daisy followed him 3 weeks later. With tears in her eye’s, she told me how they wrapped Daisy in her fathers work apron and buried her next to her father. She told me how much her dad loved that dog and she knows Daisy died of a broken heart. 

With everything that’s on the news about how our great country is stumbling, taking wrong turns, and she is not what she once was, I needed to be reminded of what a wonderful place we live in and how there really is no other place on earth that’s like it. I also treasure the ability that Shelby has that lets people remember wonderful times in their lives and how very special the relationship between a man and his dog can be. 

Shelby, thanks again for taking the time to teach me life lessons

under: Conversations with Shelby

A simple 4 X 6 picture

Posted by: | February 6, 2011 | 6 Comments |

Charlie, the worlds most handsome Cocker Spaniel, and I were at his twice monthly gig at the Healdsburg Library yesterday morning chatting with the mother of one of Charlies regular readers. She thanked us for “giving up” our Saturday morning and I told her thank you for supporting the public library and for letting Charlie hang out with her son for a little while. She looked on while Charlie, her son and I went over to couch and read “The Cat in the Hat knows a lot about that.” 

We carry 4 X 6 “autographed” pictures of Charlie with us and when the children finish reading to him, if they are a new reader, we always ask if they would like one of Charlie’s autographed pictures to use as bookmark, or if they are a returning reader, we have Skoo Be Doo, Thomas the Train or Barbie stickers? 

When he finished reading to Charlie, I asked which sticker he wanted? He kinda hemmed and hawed and asked for a Thomas the Train sticker and as he walked over to meet his mom, I could see that he wasn’t very happy. His mom came over and asked if they could have another picture of Charlie? She said he had taken Charlies picture to school for a show and tell type thing and when the teacher heard the story of how he came in 2 Saturdays a month just to practice his reading, she asked if she could post Charlie’s picture on a bulletin board at the front of the classroom?  He was so happy and a bit embarrassed, but he told the teacher, sure. 

The teacher used that 4 x 6 picture to reward a young man’s efforts to better himself and to let the other students know the program was available every Saturday of the month for no charge at a public library, but, Charlie was only there the first and third Saturday!

We are so happy we found the right job for Charlie, and it’s good to be reminded that sometimes it’s the small things you share that can create a “moment” for someone.. We thought having the 4 X 6 pictures was kinda cool and a novel way for the kids to remember Charlie. We had no idea what it would do for this one young man and hopefully his classmates.


under: My family

The power of “dog”

Posted by: | December 19, 2010 | 9 Comments |

Cindi and I escorted the Petite Princess to Memorial Hospital yesterday afternoon. We had one very special patiant to see before our visit would end.

We always start our visits by seeing the ladies in the admissions offices. They told us the hospital was pretty full so there will a lot of folks that could use a visit. We met and made 2 new friends before moving on to the second floor waiting rooms.  

In the critical care waiting room we met a mom who was waiting for her son to come out of surgery, Shelby lept up on the couch and laid down next to the mom and helped pass the time. After about 10 minutes Shelby jumped back into to her wagon and we made our way to the other side of the hospital.

We had been advised that a young woman around 20 years old had been struck by a car and had a brain injury. They let us know that she had responded well to other dogs that had come to visit her. This young lady who we’ll call “Amy”, was the main reason for our visit today.

When you do any kind of pet assited therapy one of the key factors to a successful visit is to monitor your dogs stress level. Before we visited Amy we wanted Shelby to be warmed up and ready to go. Cindi and I talked about the best way to approach the visit. We decided if at all possible we would get a chair so we could sit right next to Amy’s bed and I could sit Shelby on my lap so her head and front leg would be on the bed while I’d support her weight.  If we couldn’t do that, I would need to hold Shelby while we visited Amy. Holding Shelby while we visit is the last thing I wanted to do. Even thought she is is the Petite Princess, after a few minutes she doesn’t feel very petite!

As we walked up to Amy’s room, we saw an empty chair and the side of her bed was open, we had total access for a comfortable visit. We walked in and were greeted by Amy’s mom, aunt and sister. Shelby and I sat down next to the bed, I introduced myself and Shelby to Amy and as soon as Shelby got settled next to Amy, she reached out and started to stroke Shelby’s head.  The camera phone’s came out and everyone started taking pictures! I was watching Amy’s eyes and continued to talk with her while Cindi was chatting with the mom, aunt and sister.

We had been told that Amy responded well to dogs that had visited her before, but I was still blown away by how quickly and deliberatly Amy had reached out for Shelby. We visited with Amy for about 5 minutes or so when she fell back to sleep. Her mom apologized because she couldn’t stay awake longer. I assured her the best I could that we were happy to be able to visit her no matter how long or brief the visit was.

“Amy” is being moved to another hospital on Monday where we are not cleared to visit. Amy’s mom was adament about wanting the dog visits to continue. We told her when they get to the new hospital to tell them she wanted dog visits and the hospital would do everything they could to make it happen.

We had a total of 8 visits yesterday. Everyone of those visits was magical. The patients and their families enjoyed Shelby and we enjoyed spending a few minutes with them. We saw a family we had met 4 months ago,  their dad would be going home this Wednesday. Almost everyone we visited would be able to spend Christmas at home.  

Shelby put in a 2 hour day and brought a lot of joy to folks. We met and made new friends and it’s always so nice when you hear the nurses and doctors say, Oh boy, Shelby’s here!  We also passed out an autographed picture of the Petite Princess that John, Maximutt’s dad, had taken. Without fail, that new photo brought a smile or chuckle to everyone when they saw the new picture!

We have said it before and we’ll say it again, we firmly believe in the “Power of Dog.”

under: Conversations with Shelby

Good friends

Posted by: | November 27, 2010 | 4 Comments |

I got to spend some time with 5 of my best friends yesterday.

We haven’t been able to go to the last two Nor Cal Tripawd Parties and I have missed Cemil, Tani, Obie, Mary and Karen a whole bunch. So yesterday we hopped in the truck and the chauffeur drove me to Karen’s house in Livermore. It felt so good to see my friends again!

 As soon as we pulled up Karen and the pugs came out to great us! I was so happy to see Tani and Obie. Last time I saw Obie his eye was giving him some trouble, but he looks great now. He is really fitting in his new home and he and Tani get along just great and you can tell he really likes his new family! By the way…Tani and Obie have the best stocked toy box I have ever seen! (On the way to the truck, I mentioned to the chauffeur that they had a ton more toys than I have!)

No sooner had we walked into the house, Mary and Cemil arrived. Cemil is such a gentle giant! and sweet as the day is long!  Mary said Cemil’s 22 month ampuversary is coming up really soon!  Cemil was in such a great mood yesterday, he had a big ‘ol smile on his face and as always, a perfect gentledog!

The maid, chauffeur, Karen and Mary sat down at the table and had lunch, a long lunch. They were catching up on how everyone has been and we told Karen that we would be thinking good thoughts for her on December 2ND. She is going to have othoscotpic, othrospoptic, othraspredic, otho..something or the other type of surgery on her shoulder and we felt if she knew we were pulling for her, the surgery would go just fine. Mary told us about the new chicken coop she’s building in her back yard. The chauffeur said it sounded nicer than the house he and the maid first house. 

Tani and Obie let me play with their toys and they showed me how to use their doggie door to get to the backyard. That was very cool! Cemil couldn’t fit through the doggy door so they let him into the back yard through the people door. Karen has a neat back yard.  

The visit ended way to soon. It took them 20 minutes to clean up and put away all the toys I had been playing with. Mary told us a quicker way to get home but I didn’t stay awake long enough to find out. That’s the chauffeurs job.

The Nor Cal crew is going to have a pawty tomorrow but I can’t go because dad and I are going to visit the folks at the VA Hospital.

I learned a life-lesson yesterday, make it a point to see your friends as often as you can and make sure they know you care about them. Days pass very quickly and you don’t want to lose touch with friends that add so much to your life.  And to everypawdy going to the pawty tomorrow, we’ll be with you in spirit.  

Your friend, Shelby, the P.P.

under: Conversations with Shelby

Hi, it’s Gracee, the inside the house alpha feline female and today it’s all about me!!!! Since I was adopted on Halloween, they gave me the middle  name of  “Boo,” pawents can be soooooo weird sometimes!

Today is my adoptaversary, dad thinks it’s 13 years, mom says it seems longer??? I don’t know whether that last crack is a good thing or not! Anyway, back to me…today I’ll enjoy a breakfast of Iam’s Senior Kibbles and some fish flakes. Then I’ll make sure I antagonize Shelby as much as I can and take a few swipes at Charlie when he waddles by. Then it’s nap time in the middle of the bed as mom tries to change the sheets. She’ll wait till I wake up. Then I think I’ll wander outside and take another nap on the wall in the back yard. Sunshine feels good. You know, the sun came out today because it’s my adoptaversary.

Dad grilled a couple of steaks this afternoon and I perched myself next to mom as she ate hers. She’s an easy hit, I got 2 pieces! It’s getting dark and dad usually builds a fire. I had them move my sheepskin lined bed in front of the fire place, no fire tonight? We’ll see about that!

Shelby and her chauffeur were at the VA Hospital this morning so mom slipped Penny and new smoked beef bone. Please see the attached photo, I took over possession of that thing in no time flat!

We’ll, no fire tonight, so I’ll head to the master bedroom and call it a day. As Winnie the Pooh says, T.T.F.N.

under: My family

We were invited to Monroe Elementary School in Santa Rosa last Thursday evening for “Family Literacy Night.”

There were 5 reading dog teams set up and ready to go. There were 2 Golden’s, a yellow Lab, a white Maltese and 2 Chihuahua’s. Dad told the lady with the 2 Chihuahua’s that we had cats bigger than her dogs. Sometimes he embarrasses me. So we had all sizes and types of dogs. At 5:30 the doors opened and a lot of families came in. We had to be on our best behavior because the schools principal and a reading specialist were there and they were really watching us because they had never had reading dogs teams in their school before. Mom warned dad to be on his best behavior or he might end up in the principals office again!  I guess when dad was going to school he was in the principals office so much that they were on a first name basis! 

Mom was one of the 3 people signing up the kids that wanted to read to us. We had 50 kids sign up to read to the dogs! How cool was that! The reading dog teams were really busy for the 1 hour that we were there. The kids enjoyed it so much that some of them signed up for a second turn to read to us!  

The reading specialist sent a note to us saying that our reading dog teams were a huge hit! They commented on how nice we all were and how nobody growled at each other. I think I heard dad growl a couple of time, but that didn’t count. She also said, they now want reading dog teams in their school!

I’m proud of the group of dogs and their handlers that I get to work with. We always have a good time and hopefully we are helping the kids read better. When you can read, you can go anywhere and be anybody you want.

under: Conversations with Shelby

Happy Birthday to…ME!!!!!!!

Posted by: | October 17, 2010 | 11 Comments |

October 15th is my birthday.

Mom and dad got up Friday, the 15th, got ready and went to work, nothing, nobody said anything about my birthday. They came home, fixed dinner, took Charlie to the laundry cause he had to work Saturday. It’s his regular gig at the Healdsburg Library. No one said anything about my birthday.

So, I decided I would mope around until someone, anyone, said something about my birthday. Heavy sighs, the over the shoulder, poor, poor pitiful me looks. I tried everything. We went to bed Friday evening and nothing was said about my birthday.

Saturday morning came and as they were getting ready to take Charlie to his reading dog gig, dad said, “I think it’s pretty close to someones birthday!” I was so happy someone finally said something about my birthday that I gave him a big hug and a couple of Tripawd Twirls and guess what! They left me at home with Penny! It’s the day after my birthday, they leave me at home and take Charlie somewhere!

 Fine, see if I care! I’ll show them. I’ll ignore them when they get home, I’ll show them! About 2 hours later they came home and told Charlie how very proud they were of him and what a good boy he had been, and here Charlie, here’s a sprecial treat just for you!

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw dad reach over and grab my red harness and leash, and announce, “we’re taking the birthday girl to In and Out Burger!”  I started twirling and dancing and heading for the front door!  Dad opened the door to the truck and I lept onto the seat and waited what seemed like forever for them to start the engine and get this show on the road!!

We pulled into the parking lot next door to the In and Out Burger store and as soon as dad stopped the truck. I ran as fast as my 3 legs and the chauffeur could go! We found a table outside and I sat with dad while mom went inside and ordered my special birthday dinner! A lady nearby asked if she could give me a french fry? Dad told her we’re celebrating my birthday, so you bet, she can have a fry!  Mom came out and told me they had made a special hamburger for my special day! No bun, just burger!

We sat there and ate burgers and fries for what seemed like hours! People would come over and pet me and tell my what a good girl and how pretty I was, all while I was eating my special burger and fries with mom and dad!

What a day! What a burger! Wow, I had a great 4th birthday! I wish my friends who have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge,  Caira Sue, Maximutt, Maggie and Cherry, could have been there. I had a fry for each of you. Cemil, Tani and Obie, I had a fry for you. To my Tripawd friends I’ve never met, I had fries for you too!

Burgers, fries, memories of friends passed and celebrating my friends still here, with my mom and dad, I’m the worlds luckiest Princess!

under: Conversations with Shelby

We arrived at the capital building and as we were saying hi to some of our new friends, Andrea from Homeward Bound came over and asked us to follow her because she wanted to put Shelby on live TV!  

30 seconds later the reporter walked over to us and BAM we are on LIVE TV!!!!!!!

Shelby did great, I…duh…fumbled and stammered and said something. Isn’t it amazing how you mind goes blank when the pressure is on. I had my Golden Retreiver missing a front leg TRIPAWDS shirt on but you gotta look quick cause they zipped by me and went right to the “”STAR””

Here’s the link to the TV spot and a photo of the entire group.    you’ll need to click on “Golden Retreiver Photo Shoot”

under: Conversations with Shelby

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