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Archive for My family

I miss my big sister!

Posted by: | July 13, 2015 | 2 Comments |

It can’t be a year already. Shelby’s big sister and the Worlds Most Beautiful Border Collie crossed the bridge on June 13, at 3:04 PM.

Penny was the most amazing dog I have ever met. She came to us as a scared, timid 1 year old from a local shelter. She was a Border Collie with the color of a tri-colored Collie. She was beautiful and regal. No matter where we went people would always tell us how beautiful she was. When she came to live with us we were told, she’ll need a job or she’ll get into trouble. Poor Penny didn’t know that a big part of her job was going to be taking care of me and getting me out of my comfort zone. My, how she could run, she was wicked fast. Penny learned how to chase a tennis ball. She would run after it, find it, point it out to me and then trot back to where I was…without the ball. She’d look at me like, you want me to bring you the ball? Perhaps a lab or golden might do that, you see, I’m a Border Collie and this Border Collie don’t fetch!

I tried doing agility with Penny, she was great I was doing the best I could. One evening in front of the whole class I was running beside her, tripped and fell face first in the horse training arena. She looked at me like, you are so embarrasing me, get up, maybe no one saw you! One other time as we were running next to corrals wall when a horse stuck her head over the fence. Penny stopped dead in her tracks and stared. Tilted her head back and forth a couple of time and looked at me like, that’s the biggest dog I’ve ever seen!

She was always on “duty.” Watching where we all were, is everyone here, is everyone OK? If Cindi and I weren’t in the same room, she would spend time with Cindi, then check on me, then Cindi, oh yeah, better check the back yard. Whenever I was in the back yard, she was with me. I sometimes get into trouble doing Honey Do’s and she was there to supervise. Since she left, the back yard is kind of a hard place to go.

Cindi and Penny would go on power walks, I power stroll, so they would get really far out and Penny would turn, spot me and come racing back to check on me and then back to Cindi. She didn’t need no leash on her walks, she would pick a route and we would follow. She was always watching, checking everywhere and everything just making sure all was good.

I only heard her growl at someone twice. Once was when my ex-boss, came up on her a bit quicker than Penny thought prudent. The other time, she and I were sitting on tailgate of the truck while Cindi was inside getting us some ice cream. 2 fella’s started walking towards us and Penny stood up and gave them boys the Border Collie eye and growled big time. I told them Penny’s not too socialable and for them to just move on.

She was a wonderful big sister to Shelby. Quiet, all observing, a Border Collie nip or Stare would let Shelby know, don’t do that…don’t even think of doing that. I only saw Penny make a “suggestion” once and it was like, girl, I told you once, don’t be doing that! And Shelby didn’t do it.

I miss the eye to eye contact, I miss having a dog smarter than I am, I miss her supervising me and I miss taking her to visit the the folks at the retirement home. They loved Penny, she wasn’t all over them or pushy, she was very much a regal, beautiful girl and they knew she was special. I really miss My Baby Girl!

That’s what I called Penny, my baby girl. When she came to live with us all she wanted was a walk, some love and a family to take care of. The day she left us was the most difficult day I’ve ever been through. She graced us with her presence for almost 15 years and now, just like that, she’s gone. We knew it was time for her to leave and we tried the best we could to make her as comfortable as she could be. We all were sitting on the floor, I had Penny’s head in my lap, Cindi was petting her. She knew we loved her and we told her again as she left.

It’s been a year now. I think of her and smile and sometimes laugh, then tear up. John, Bernie and Linda’s dad, took a photo of her a couple of months before she died. It’s a straight on closeup of her face, they sent us a copy printed on canvas. It’s perfect, it’s her and I love it. I thank John and Diane everytime we see them. It means so much to us, so,so much.

She was and still is, My Baby Girl and she is greatly missed.


under: My family

Happy birthday Charlie!!!

Posted by: | April 1, 2014 | 5 Comments |

My big brother, Charlie, the worlds most handsome Cocker Spaniel, turns 12 years old today!

I told the maid and chauffeur it would permissible to take him to get a cheeseburger and fries.

Charlie is a “reading buddy” at the Healdsburg public library. He takes the first Saturday of the month, 11AM till noon shift. Children who want to practice their out loud reading or if they are to young to read, show him pictures or turn the pages and make up their own stories. I’m really proud of him because the librarians say Charlie is their favorite!

I’m glad Charlie is my big brother, he showed me how to get into trouble, like the time he convinced me to steal a steak off the kitchen counter. I got into trouble, he got the steak. He also taught me how to take a dump on the front lawn, specially right after it was mowed! Sometimes, he sneaks out and goes on an adventure! One time the maid and chauffeur found him like 4 blocks away! without a leash! But one time, the dog catcher got him…he did time in the local jail. The chauffeur had to bail him out, it was like $130.00. Some girl dogs like him because he’s a wild child.

Let’s all wish Charlie a Happy Birthday!!!!!


under: My family

AKC Title

Posted by: | December 9, 2012 | 2 Comments |

The letter came Thursday, the AKC has awarded Charlie, the world’s most handsome Cocker Spaniel, his Therapy Dog title!

He earned it by visiting the Healdsburg Public Library at least 50 times. Charlie is a “Reading Buddy” and children practice their “out loud” reading and Charlie listens. If a child doesn’t read yet they can show Charlie pictures in a book or tell him what color the pictures or illustrations are. Also, Charlie can listen in 3 languages, English, Spanish or Japanese. He’s working on his french.

Sometimes the kids might want help with a word or if they don’t know what it means, that’s when Charlie let’s me know it’s OK to help. It is amazing to see how much some of the kids reading and comprehension has improved

He has helped dozens of kids learn how to read and, as we know, reading opens the world. Charlie will be 11 years old in April and I don’t see him slowing down. The kids love him and staff at the library tell us he’s their favorite.

I’m awfully proud of my big brother, he’s pretty cool…sometimes.

under: My family

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.


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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.

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Charlie, my brother, and the worlds most handsome Cocker Spaniel, finally did it. He passed his test at Paws for Healing in Napa and is now a certified social/therapy dog!

 Charlie really found his calling in the reading dog program. So in addition to visiting the Santa Rosa Main Public Library through the Sonoma Humane Society, he will make 2 monthly visits to the Healdsburg Public Library. He will have his own photo bookmark that he can give to the kids after they read to him. The reading dog program is called, “Paws for Reading.”

He just got a bath today, he was so gross they had to run him through the soak cycle twice! He startes his visits next month but tomorrow he goes with mom to Kenwood, they love him out there.

I’m pretty proud of my brother, it’s really nice that he has something he can do on his own. He gets to hang out with just mom or dad, whichever one takes him to the library. Then they always go out for burger at In and Out.  

So I guess he really is all that… and a bucket of chicken!

Shelby, the P.P.

under: My family

My brother Charlie is turning 8 years old on April 1st. It is also his 6TH adoptaversary. Yup, he’s been here since 2004.

The hired help is all excited about Charlie having a birthday, said something about taking him to In and Out on Saturday for a cheeseburger and french fries.

He’s pretty cute and he never messes with me and he does like little kids and he doesn’t look a day over 5 and he taught me how to catch popcorn when the chauffeur tosses it my way…

OK, FINE, I hope he has fun on Saturday and I just have one more thing to say…


under: My family

Today was Charlie and dads first day at the Reading Dog Program!

He and dad have been gettting ready for this day for quite a while. I had to laugh, they took Chuckie, that’s Charlies nick name, to the doggie laundry last night for a rinse and fluff. Charlie can get a little, Odiferous, as they say. When he came home from the rinse and fluff, he looked like a little bear, hair all poofed out and and smelled really good. Let me tell you, that was really nice for a change!

OK, here’s what Charlie told me they did. They went to library in the middle of downtown Santa Rosa and parked across the street from the library. Dad said the walk would do them both good, heck, it was only 1 block, give me a break! So they walk down the alley to get to the back door, me, the Petite Princess would never enter through a back door, but Charlie could have cared less! They meet the security guard and as he and dad are shaking hands, Charlie does a #2, right there in front of librarian and the security guy, he has no manners, but Charlie could have cared less! So dad cleans it up and the the security guy says. you can throw that away in my office. I know my dad and he was probably laughing inside and saying, you’ll be sorry if I do that! So, he throws the bag in the trash, across the parking lot and heads for the back door.

Wednesday evening mom and dad went to Costco and picked up a big ol picture of Charlie just like the one above, it was bigger than the 11 x 14 photo that Maximutt’s dad sent me of me.  So mom goes to Kinko’s and get’s this “billboard” size picture laminated so no one messes up Charlies picture. Mom takes the picture to the library on Friday and they put a sign on it, “Come and read to Charlie this Saturday morning from 11 to 12.”

So they enter the library through the BACK DOOR and make their way to the children’s part of the library, and there are people waiting for them, there was a waiting list of kids that came to read to ‘ol whats his name! So dad puts Charlies official “Humane Society of Sonoma County” neckerchief on him and they go to work.

The first little girl was 5 years old, she couldn’t read, but she wanted to tell Charlie about all the different animals that was in her book. She was a bit timid at first and Dad told her Charlie is her new friend and not to worry. She told them a dog bit her about 2 months ago on her head pretty close to her ear. Dad said we were very sorry to hear that but it’s really important to remember not all dogs are like that. Dad told her to always ask before petting a dog she didn’t know and she said she would from now on. As they finished their time with her, dad gives her an autographed picture of Charlie and a very special book marker from the library.

Dad said they got to work with 8 different kids this morning, one little boy was 7 and he was a lot smarter than dad or Charlie, than a boy about 12 came over and he was having a hard time with some of the words, so Charlie helped him out a little bit. A mom with 2 little girls came over and the older daughter, 6, read 2 books to Charlie and the younger girl read a little of 1 book to him.

Charlie loves to watch what’s going on in the world, he sits at our front door for hours and watches stuff. When they first came into the small area in the childrens library dad figured if he placed the kids between Charlie and the big window to the street, they would think that he was looking and listening to them read,  IT WORKED!!!  The 6 year old told the librarian that Charlie sat and listened to everything they read to him!!!

Dad said their hour went really quickly and as they were leaving, the librarian just gooshed over Charlie, Charlie did this and Charlie did that and how they can’t wait for Charlie to come back! Then another library lady came over and did the same thing! She actually sat down and KISSED HIM, right on the head!!!! 

Well,  dad is very proud of Charlie, he told mom that this is something that Charlie can do and he does it very well. Dad said he didn’t know exactly what to expect, but it was really very cool and he can’t wait to go again. 

I can’t believe that lady really kissed Charlie on the head…I’m pretty proud of my big brother, he really is a good guy, but I still can’t believe that lady kissed him on the head…

under: My family

Mom and Dad took Penny, the worlds most beautiful Border Collie, and my favorite big sister, out to lunch for her eleventh birthday! The sun was shining and it was so nice outside.

Penny says they went to Sebastopol, that’s a funky, but a very cool town, not to far from here and had a Foster Freeze hamburger and some french fries. I know that’s true cause when she got home she had berger and fry breath.

Penny has really helped me to become a better dog and I make sure I do everything exactly as my big sister does! Although I can’t and not quite sure I want to piddle the same way she does… That might be more information than you need…

I wish my big sister many more birthdays for a long, long time!

P.S. She’s laying on her favorite chair, she is sooo coool!

under: My family

Dad’s going to the Sonoma County Humane Society for a class that teaches him and Charlie, the worlds most handsome Cocker Spaniel, how to help kids learn how to read a little bit better.

Since it’s all about the kid, I’ll pass thank you, but Charlie, he likes kids and dad and mom think this will be something he can do. I mean how hard can it be, Charlie, dad and the kid sit or lie or whatever is most comfortable for the all concerned, and the kid reads his book or lesson to Charlie. Because Charlie will patiently sit or lie, knowing Charlie, it will all be lying down, and listen the kid read, that way they don’t get all nervous like when they have to read in front of the class.  

Here’s the funny part, hopefully dad will be able to help if the kid doesn’t recognize the word or has a bit of a problem with it. Dad says he went to collage in Texas so hopefully the words won’t have more than 4 or 5 letters in them! One more thing, they are gonna take dad’s thumb print because he’ll be working with kids and do some kind of check on him. Dad said he hoped the wanted posters in Texas have all come down and everyone has forgot all those crazy collage shenanigans, I’m sure everything will come out OK. If not, mom will have to “save his bacon” once again.

The session’s with the kids takes place in the local public library so that should be a little more relaxed than a school type setting. Dad says this is something new we haven’t tried before…I really hope it works for Charlie, he’s a pretty cool big brother. Maybe I can fill in for Charlie some days if he doesn’t want to go…Penny doesn’t really like kids. So Charlie will carry the torch on this one.

Wish Chuckie, that’s Charlie’s nickname, and dad luck, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Signed, Shelby, the wet, mud stained, but oh so happy, Petite Princess.

under: My family

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