The Inseparables

Dogs have a way of lifting you up when you feel down.

It was at my husband’s lowest when we adopted Bella. It was at Pepper’s lowest when we adopted her.

Bella was not our first choice. Yes, she had short hair and was about the right size, but she wasn’t Rascal, our beloved Australian Shepherd mix of eight years. He loved us both, but he was definitely my husband’s dog. Sadly, we had to lay him to rest.

I didn’t want another dog. I was over it. Period. My heart can’t take kissing another pet goodbye. It hurts. It really, really hurts.

However, Buck didn’t share my feelings. Not at all. He cried and moped around making our house feel like a morgue. Day, after day. Night, after night till I couldn’t take it anymore.

Okay! Okay! We’ll get another dog!

But it wasn’t as easy as it was with Rascal that suddenly showed up at our neighbor’s house one day. Well, it didn’t happen exactly like that. Their little girl found a whole litter of abandoned pups and brought the most handsome one home with her. Soon, the novelty of owning a puppy wore off, and the little guy kept wandering over to our house.

With a little help, from us, that is, and four-year-old Jacob, our youngest grandchild. We all fell in love with Rascal, and to my surprise, he began sleeping on the front porch.

I felt sorry for him sleeping in the cold, so we bought him a bed and blanket. We didn’t want him to starve to death, so we bought him a food and water bowl, too. And of course, we didn’t want him to get bored, so we bought him some doggie toys.

Long story short, we asked the neighbors if we could keep him. We didn’t even have to beg and plead.

He’s family now and family members don’t live outside. We’re people. All of us. Two-legged, four-legged, fur or no fur; we all live together like one big happy family in the house.

For eight, short years, we loved him, and he loved us. Then, one heart-breaking day, he said goodbye.

Now, several weeks later, we’re looking in a cold, dingy cage, at a strange-looking dog, with long, skinny legs, shivering on top of a flimsy, raggedy blanket.

Nope! Not that one!

We keep on looking.

The noise and the smell of all those animals were overwhelming. But, we took our time looking in one cage after another, till we came right back to the first cage. The one with the strange little dog with long, skinny legs.

Hound mix, the sign said.

I don’t want a hound.

So, we made another trip around the dog pound. And another. We were about to leave but decided to take one more look at that strange-looking dog.

Taking a closer look at her slender body and long legs, it dawned on me. She’s a Greyhound mix!

We signed the adoption papers, had her spayed, and within a few days, she was living in our house.

Pepper was dying of starvation. She had been abandoned with fifteen other dogs. I didn’t want two dogs. Never had two dogs at one time and never wanted two dogs at one time.

But, when she put her tiny paws on my leg and jumped on my lap. Well, The rest is history.

Using Paint ShopPro ultimate 2019, I took the following pictures and turned them into art. Our dogs hate having their pictures taken, so we have to sneak up on them. Funny, funny girls.

Pepper, Our Little Manipulator

She wants what she wants and knows how to get it!

So, the other day I was sitting on the porch petting Bella. And as usual, Pepper kept trying to squeeze between us. When that didn’t work, she clamped down on Bella’s leg and tried pulling her away. That didn’t work, either. So, she got Bella’s favorite bone and dropped it in front of her. That worked like a charm. When Bella left her spot, Pepper scooted right in for me to love on her.

Dogs are more human sometimes than humans are!

My Two Dogs

The Big and the Little

A few weeks after our beloved Rascal passed, Buck and I visited our local animal shelter. I really didn’t want another dog, but Buck did. And I was willing to do just about anything to ease the pain of losing our beautiful Australian Shepard. Buck and Rascal were inseparable, and he couldn’t get over losing him. So, since it was his birthday . . . Well, there you go.

There were so many dogs to choose from, but none of them appealed to either of us except the little brown dog in a big gloomy cage, laying on a skimpy, raggedy blanket. But I couldn’t wrap my heart around the idea of adopting a hound mix. It’s true, I didn’t want another long-haired dog, but a hound? However, when I discovered she was a greyhound mix, I liked the idea a little better. So, I stood glued to her cage while Buck went to the front desk and filled out the adoption papers.

Her name was Claire, but we changed it to Bella Rae; it suits her quirky personality better. And quirky is an understatement.

Bella does everything on her terms and is extremely persistent at getting what she wants. She’ll shake her head and snort, and bark and howl and will not stop until she gets what she wants, or we tell her to go lay down.

And there is nothing graceful or lady-like about Bella. Nope! She’s a brute. She stomps on our feet. She jumps all over our guests. She knocks down children and nearly licks the skin off their faces. When I put her in her crate, they let her back out again. Drives me nuts! And when she wants to lay down, she pitches a hissy fit until she’s covered from head to tail.

Bella and I butt heads. She thinks she’s the queen of the castle, but that day will never come. And since I’m the one sitting on the throne, she loves Buck the best and even sleeps with him, hogging more than half the bed.

Bella has a built-in alarm system, prompting her to awaken Buck when he stops breathing or has one of his recurring nightmares due to sleep apnea and PTSD. Although she is not service dog trained, she senses when something is out of wack and tries to fix it.

One day, during a family gathering at our house, Bella barked and kept pushing our granddaughter away from the baby carrier. At first, we were all alarmed because we’d never seen this side of Bella before. Then, we realized she was protecting our great-grand baby from her own mother!

When we first brought Bella home from the shelter, she was so skinny that she actually looked like a greyhound. Now that she’s lost her girlish figure, we can’t figure out what mix-breed she is. One thing for sure, she is definitely a hound mix, just like the label on her cage read at the animal shelter.

Then there’s Pepper. What a sight she was when we first saw her. She was abandoned with fifteen other dogs and starving to death. Nearly every bone was protruding beneath her delicate skin. My heart screamed, take her home! But I didn’t want two dogs. Never had two dogs at one time, and didn’t want two dogs at one time. Bella was more than enough dog for me.

So, we drove home without her. She had her mom and her two brothers, a few cats, and a bunch of other dogs to hang with. She’ll be fine, I reassured my heart. Besides, the neighbors are kinda, sorta looking after them.

The next day, I called animal control to find out that they were already working on it. I told the man I was talking to about the little black female and how I didn’t think she would survive the week. He assured me that she was fine and if I wanted her, to go get her.

She was so happy to see me again that I wished I had rescued her the day before. I could have saved her from one more night of misery. Buck was all for it, so I have no one to blame but myself. But, we’re here now, and she’ll never go hungry again or spend another night out in the freezing cold.

It was love at first sight when the two dogs met; just like I thought it would be. Bella acted as if Pepper was a live toy for her to play with, pawing and chasing her around the house. But, Pepper had the upper hand, or should I say upper paw, on Bella because she was tiny and used to having to defend herself against bigger dogs. So, when she had enough of Bella’s rough-necking, she’d run under the sofa in the living room, stick out her leg, and swat at Bella when she ran by.

Weighing in at only eight pounds, and other than a slight case of mange on both ears, the vet gave her a clean bill of health. However, she continued eating bugs in the yard for months after we captured her. It’s a shame what careless, irresponsible people put their animals through.

Pepper is the sweetest dog ever. Her long, slender body and floppy ears suggested to the vet that she is a Dachshund Labrador mix. Where Bella is highly excitable, Pepper is calm and patient. However, she is full of energy and jumps sky-high when she gets excited, and still, after three years, she’s a chewer. The other day, I was looking for my other shoe and there it was in the middle of Buck’s bed, soaking wet. I found it before she chewed it to death.

Thank goodness, Pepper doesn’t jump on the kitchen counters and table anymore. But, she and Bella will drag a loaf of bread off the counter and devour it in a matter of minutes before I go in the kitchen and discover the empty, shredded bag on the floor.

Bella and Pepper are our fur babies. They fill each day with love and slobbery kisses. They make us laugh. They make us happy. They fill the void and sadness we felt when we lost Rascal. I’m thankful for our two dogs.

Bella and Pepper; especially Bella, doesn’t like having their picture taken. Bella has such a beautiful face with big, soulful eyes that are difficult to capture. But, here’s a few that we had to sneak and snap quickly.

A Little Birdie Told Me . . .

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Matthew 6:26, 27

Hear the birds chirping? See them fluttering from the trees? Can you Sense their happiness and peace of mind?

Birds don’t worry about stuff like coronavirus or running out of toilet paper. They don’t fret over empty shelves at Walmart or starving to death. And they certainly don’t get their feathers ruffled over clutter on the back porch.

Jesus knows what a bunch of worrywarts we humans are. That’s why He tells us to look at the birds of the air and observe how lighthearted and carefree they are. They don’t work for anything. They don’t store up anything. Yet, God takes care of them. (Matthew 6:26)

God reminded me of that again this morning as I sat fretting amongst the clutter on my back porch and wondering what the heck I’m going to do with it. How quickly I forget that God is in control of every little detail of my pitiful life. Nothing happens to me that He doesn’t know and care about. I don’t have to pace the floor biting my nails to the quick. I don’t have to beg and plead. I just have to trust Him.

Yep! That’s what a little birdie told me this beautiful sunny morning while sitting on my cluttered back porch.

I captured a few pictures while sitting with hubby and our two girls on the back porch. Pepper doesn’t mind posing for a snapshot. Bella, on the other hand, refuses to cooperate!

 

Kites and Balloons . . . Oh to Be a Kid Again

Click on any picture to enlarge or begin slideshow
Free for your own personal use

In case you’re wondering what on earth you can do with my creations, you can use them to make cards, bookmarks, pictures to hang on the wall, scrapbook embellishments, share with your friends . . . the sky’s the limit. Most of all, have fun!

For you digital artists, my kites and balloons all have a transparent background.

KITES

BALLOONS

My Two Wannabe Queens of the House

Smiling, I watched as Pepper ate peacefully from her food bowl this morning, remembering how she had to fight for every morsel a few years ago. She was abandoned with 15 other dogs when we rescued her. She was so starved that for weeks after bringing her home, she ate bugs in the yard when we let her out. I didn’t think she’d ever get meat on her bones.

Bella was skin and bones, too when we rescued her from the dog pound. And she was skittish and cowered in the back of her cage afraid of her new surroundings. We didn’t shut the door during the day so she could go in and out as she pleased till she felt safe with us. Now, the only time she goes in the cage is when we go off or she’s in time out or she thinks Buck and I are fussing when we banter back and forth. As soon as we raise our voices, she gets up, hangs her head and creeps into her cage. It’s funny and sad at the same time. It makes me wonder what happened to her before we rescued her.

Sharing our home with two queens isn’t always easy, especially for me. Buck grew up in a house with four sisters his mother and his grandmother so he knows how the female world works. Me, on the other hand, grew up with four brothers. My sister was practically grown by the time I came along. So, I know how the male kingdom works.

I know they’re animals, but having owned only male dogs throughout our married life, these two queens are definitely different, especially Bella. She and I are both alike: strong-willed, sassy, and difficult to get along with. So, it’s a never-ending battle as we compete for the throne. So far, I’m still the one wearing the crown.

I love my girls and I’m so glad we rescued them and are able to provide a safe haven for them. I fuss and fume when Bella drags a loaf of bread off the table and eats half of it before she’s caught and when Pepper chews the corners of my throw pillows and still pees and poops on the floor. But, they are sweet and truly fill our house with joy.

Click on any picture to enlarge or begin slideshow

From Photos to Digital Art: My Favorite Things

As many of you know, my husband and I have been giving our house a major face lift since last March, 2019. Yep! Been taking up carpet, putting down vinyl plank flooring, painting walls and furniture, stripping and refinishing old furniture and creating mess after mess. The only thing keeping me sane is creating art.

I enjoy taking photos of my favorite things around the house and turning them into art.

The program that I use is PaintShop pro 2019.

 

My Four-legged Migraines

I love my dogs.

I really do.

But . . .

They dig holes in the yard, chew my pillows, pencils and pens and everything in between. They pee and poop on the floor. Run around the house like a couple of chimpanzees, and now this! A whole loaf of bread gone!

Just like that!

I’m going to the dog pound, lock myself in a cage, and pray some nice family will come along and adopt me!

We never owned two dogs at one time before. We never owned females before, either.

Double trouble!

Bella, our greyhound mix was finally potty trained after six months. We’ve had Pepper, our dachshund lab mix for nearly two years and she still squats whenever and wherever she pleases. Our carpet is a roadmap of pee stains throughout the entire house.

Pepper’s a little scavenger, too, jumping on the kitchen counters and dining room table looking for something to get into. I think Bella puts her up to it, though.

One day, Pepper dragged a jalapeno pepper under the dining room table. Needless to say, it was still intact.

Just yesterday, she snatched a slice of bread off the counter. Luckily there was one slice left to complete my grilled cheese sandwich.

Little brat!

Some days I want to ship the pair of them to another planet, but my nagging conscience won’t let me . . . Who would take care of them? Who would play with them? Who would whisper silly stuff in their floppy ears? Who would tuck them in every night and tell them a bedtime story? Who would love them? Feed them? Rush them to the doctor when they get sick?

Besides, I’d be jealous that someone else was getting all their slobbery kisses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Art: Pocket Full of Happy


Sometimes our own little world is not very happy.
Bad stuff happens. Pets die. Friends disappoint us. Parents get old and sick and spend their remaining months or years in a nursing home.
Having battled depression most of my life, I like being around happy people and creating happy stuff. I hope my creations put a smile on your face. 

Free for your own personal use
Click on any picture to enlarge or begin slideshow

Three Baby Skunks and a Birthday Party

I smelled it as soon as I walked through the front door. That one-of-a-kind-forget-me-not smell. That worse than the worse ever smell that fumigates your car, nearly chokes you to death and lingers for miles and miles down the road. So, yeah. I knew there was a skunk in the house.

Like a bloodhound, I searched for the culprit. And there, sitting on the couch giggling like two mischievous imps, were my brothers playing with, not one but three, bushy-tailed baby skunks.

I like wild animals; even wanted a raccoon once. But never a skunk! But they were so cute. So, after much whining and pleading, my parents said we could keep them for a little while in a box outside.

Oh, the plans that we made for our baby critters. We’d name them and care for them and show them to our friends. We’d be the envy of the neighborhood. The talk of the town. The kids with the baby skunks.

The next day, however, the charm of owning a skunk soon wore off. So I decided to give mine to my best friend, Florence, who was older and more experienced at caring for animals. After all, she took in every stray dog in the neighborhood. And besides, it was her birthday.

But, for some odd reason, Florence wasn’t as thrilled about receiving the cute little guy as I was giving it to her. And her mother was even less thrilled. I could tell by the way the house shook, and the windows rattled when she yelled, “Get that thing out of my house!”

Mrs. Morgenstern served four years in the Waves, had tattoos on both of her muscular arms, and was as intimidating as a Grizzly Bear. Not even the Godfather would have had the guts to question her authority.

“I just wanted to give it to Florence for her birthday,” I whimpered. “Besides, he doesn’t have a stink bag yet.”

“GET THAT THING OUT OF MY HOUSE!”

She must have scared the little guy, cause on the way home, he bit me.

Then he bit me again.

And again.

This time, he wasn’t fooling. I jerked my hand away and, landing safely on all fours, he raised his bushy tail and fired!

Suddenly, like a mud-wallowing pig, I was saturated from head to toe with an indescribable, eye-watering, breathtaking stench of awful that I never want to smell up close again!

A normal kid would have left it there.

But I wasn’t a normal kid.

Covering my mouth and nose with one hand and grabbing the back of the skunk’s neck with the other, I ran home. No, I flew home!

Confused and nearly blinded by the ghastly fumes, I staggered into the kitchen, where my dad sat eating a bowl of cereal.

He was a Clint Eastwood kinda guy; fearless, quiet and reserved. Even now, standing before him, feeling like an idiot smelling worse than a cesspool with a baby skunk dangling from my hand, he never flinched. Barely batted an eye. Motionless as a corpse. And as if he needed the slightest explanation, I whimpered, “He sprayed me, daddy.”

Calmly, he took a bite of cereal and said, “You need to take it outside.”

Mom stripped me down and nearly threw me into the tub of hot, soapy water, where I scrubbed and sniffed till my skin was blood-red, and my nose was burning. But like a tick on a dog, the stink had latched on and was there to stay for who knows how long.

That evening, I went to Florence’s birthday party.

Everyone kept their distance but was nice enough not to tell me I stunk like a skunk.

I was back in Mrs. Morgenstern’s graces and never took another skunk to her house again.

My brothers and I set the skunks free.

And if someone ever tells you, baby skunks don’t have a stink bag. . . don’t believe it!

Digital Photo Painting

Using Paint Shop Pro 2019, I turn ordinary photos into works of art. I also create picture tubes, bookmarks, Facebook Covers, cards, tags, and more. I don't sell my art, therefore, all my creations are free for your own personal use.

No Facilities

Random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and dreams

THE POETIC SAGE

This site is dedicated to my amazing writing skills.

Straight from the Heart

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~ Psalm 147:3

hometogo232

A place of Love and Security

%d bloggers like this: