Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween (Scrappy-Style)

Happy Halloween from the Scrapster!

or the Nutty Professor?

or perhaps The Graduate?

Master's Pedigree in Entertainment and Human Nature Studies
Graduated Suma Cum Laude

Friday, October 28, 2011

Howling Pom

Ok...the title is a little misleading.  Halloween made the Scrapster think of Howling, which made her think of the Pomeranian she met "heard" on an airplane last July.  We never actually met.  Not officially, but our Humans did (but NOT til after ) I was in my bag and she was in hers!  I caught a glimpse of her through the netting as we departed the plane and she looked beautiful and sophisticated...much like this pretty Pom 

image courtesy of

It was an early morning flightIt was my first time flying, but I wasn't nervous at all.  My people almost ALWAYS take me with whenever they can, so I am just HAPPY when the bag comes out of the closet!  It is my safe haven, my nest, my home away from home.  If it is "left out" for some strange reason, I might just decide to sneak IN the bag and squeeze in a nap or chew on my always along for the ride in the bag Nylabone (bacon is my new favorite!) 

To me, this morning wasn't all that different.  New Sights to see., yes.  New Smells, of course!   We breezed through security and I waited patiently in my bag at the gate until it was time for us to board.
I never make a peep when I am in my bag!  I would not want to RISK not being able to go with, so I  am always really well behaved.  I was offered a drink of water through the zipper.  Mom always thinks of everything!  My favorite stuffed (squeaky) toy is with me and gives me a place to rest my chin.

Back to the story...we boarded and took our seat, with me in the bag at Mom's feet.  There was ALOT happening around me and I watched intently trying to take it all in.  Then it started.  At first, it was a tiny short little whine.  I wasn't even sure I really heard anything.  Then there it was again.  A whine...definitely, distinctly dog and getting a little longer and louder.  Heads were turning.  Where is that coming from?  Just across the aisle, the Pom's Mom apologizes.  "Sorry Everyone!"   

And then comes the howling.  Ever  louder.  Ever consistent.  Ever annoying!  Clearly, Pom wanted OUT of that bag and probably out of that plane!  My ears were all perked up.  WHAT is wrong out there?  What is this HOWLING all about?  JUST Imagine an hour and a half of outright HOWLING.  More apologies from Pom's mom.  "I am SO sorry.  I wish I could make her stop! " (mom scolds Pom)

If there was something I could have done for that Pom, believe me, I would have because we would have all benefited.  Poor Howling Pom. 

Finally, the wheels of that plane touched down!  (Relief for everyone, but not YET Pom)

As we taxied in, the howls kept coming.  More apologies.  After arriving at the gate, the people started to gather their bags and coats and as they stood and waited to leave....Pom's Mom spotted me in my bag hanging off Mom's shoulder  and said..."Do YOU have a dog in there?"   "Yes, a Yorkie"
Pom's Mom said, "Wow, your dog must like traveling!"  and Mom said, "Well, she just likes her bag because she knows she gets to go with!"  "Oh!", says Pom's Mom..."This is my dog's first time in a bag!"

Me, the Scrapster, wanted to scream "Really? I couldn't have guessed!"  It wasn't really Pom's fault.  It was her Mom who needed the training.

Dogs are creatures of habit.  If you want us to be good, then give us the tools to BE good.  It really isn't that complicated.  Give us the time we need to learn and if you are patient and you are consistent, we will return the favor with mostly pleasing behavior and good manners. 

New things and new experiences JUST need proper introductions.  A new bag, especially if we've never been confined to one EVER, is going to make us HOWL

Then everyone around us will think it's HOWLoween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Who Knew

Who knew there was a whole 'nother world OUT there?  A SOCIAL world with new friends just waiting and even eager to to tag along and get to know you...a world where you could just be yourself and not be afraid to write about who are are and what you actually think about every moment of every day (even if you ARE a dog)?  Who knew?

I never knew... and I have to tell you that this whole new world that I've discovered has been amazing and overwhelming at the same time. 

First of all, and most importantly, the frustrating part has been that I can't seem to get any time on the computer to get my thoughts transcribed into posts.  Someone else is always hogging the keyboard.  They are always saying they have work to do, homework to finish, important news articles and stories to read. 

Another thing that this NEW world has brought is the pressure to  always look good and be photogenic.  They are always taking photos of me NOW and calling on me to perk my ears up just right or look up at them "just so"  when they are pointing that silly camera at me!  Frankly, it's getting a little out of hand!   Who knew they were going to get this crazy?  (well, you didn't really think that I could do EVERYTHING here on my own, did you?)

Who knew I was going to have to learn a whole new language called Twitter and even start a facebook page of my own ?  Who knew I would have to chase after other bloggers and do LOTS of research and "following" and commenting to JUST figure this all out and learn about the process? Who knew it was going to consume me?  

You might have (if you've been there!)  Who ever knew SHOULD have WARNED me!

Yep.  Some would say  HAVE SAID I've jumped off the deep end!  Last night I actually attended (well, mostly I sat idly by) my first TwitterParty.  Yep.  I said TwitterParty.  Didn't even know there WAS such a thing two months ago.  HAD NO IDEA or inkling what Twitter even was!  I have become SO worldly that it amazes even ME! 

Who knew THOUGH that in the process of GROWING and changing and learning that surprising (even astonishing) things would happen along the way?  New found strangers would become friends and might actually follow me to simply read my thoughts (and adventures) and share in JUST a little part of my everyday life!  Who knew? 

Who knew that OUT there would be another follower somewhere who SUDDENLY and SHOCKINGLY just lost a beautiful Yorkshire Terrier DOG just like me?....and that TONIGHT, in memory of that NEW found friend (whom I have never known or met) I would light a candle (simultaneously in a whole different time zone and part of the world) and put my paws together in prayer. 

Who knew?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Top Ten

Here it is...the Scrapster's Top Ten

1. (New) SQUEAKY toys  (this has to go at the TOP because I go (alittle) CRAZY when I first get one.  I have been known to get OVERLY possessive!  I refuse to put them down for ANYTHING (at first) and insist on taking them to bed !   (to keep a close watch)  

2.  Hot Laundry, fresh out of the dryer for me to Lay in!  ....It's my HOT TUB!  This started many years ago when I was just a puppy (who could fit in your pocket I often hitched a ride in the laundry basket!  The kids would push me across the carpet and make motor sounds with their voices!  (oh!  Thinking about this right now actually makes me sad....they are so grown up!)

3.  FISHing...with my bare paws all day long, chest deep in the river!  I never give up and I pride myself on my success in this category.  Where we live, the water is cold and clear, so you can see the fish coming up stream!  Occasionally the minnows like to taunt and tease me, but the fun is definitely in the chase!   (can you see the little fishy in the photo below?)

4.  Hiking- everywhere there are trails, trees and logs and preferably way high up a mountain! I fancy being the leader of the pack.  (unless there happens to be a bigger dog along who out steps me)   At times when my people sense I need a break, they let me ride in the Pet-a-Roo carrier.    Remarkably, it is quite a view from up there and allows me just the time I need to catch my breath, rest my paws and cool off those hot "pads"!

5.  Boating...with my life jacket on, of course.  Safety first...mostly it's so my people can quickly DUNK me (when I'm panting) , grabbing me by the handles!   The fun is in the shaking on everyone,  bathing in the sweet sunshine, feeling the wind in the ears, and watching my people water ski and wake board...the highlight for me is getting to jump up on the back of the boat and greet them as they climb up the ladder!  I know they are coming back JUST to see me!

6.  Begging.  Not always productive, but still FUN and always worth the effort.  I can't have people food (see Toxic Hike post), but I tend to forget that important fact when enticing AROMAS are entering my nostrils.   I DO thoroughly enjoy begging for affection though!   It pays off nearly ALL the time. One can never get enough full belly rubs or back massages.  I often think that it's my job to just get you to LOVE me!

7.  Alerting (some would call it barking ) I still say I am just WARNING my people of strangers outside including other dogs and their people, deer, birds, squirrels, and especially CATS.  (apologies) Skateboarders, Motorcycles and Bicyclists beware!  Those helmets are frightening!

8.  Sleeping on my back with my legs all up in the air!  (sorry if it's a little Marilyn Monroeish)
Shhhh.  I also tend to get cold and so I often sneak under the covers in the middle of the night!  
             (note my NEW Squeaky Toy that I took to bed with me last night!)

9.  BUGs.  I like to watch them, catch them, chase them, eventually even eat them.  Spiders fascinate me. 

10. Morning.   I live to wake up happy, refreshed and (I have said this before) LEAP out of bed every day simply because Life is good.  A new day means repeating some of these top tens and maybe, just maybe discovering a NEW one!

So there you favorite things...Now....for you (humans)...just go back through the Scrapster's list and think about what would make your TOP Ten!    Toys?....I know you have them.   Laundry?   (ok then YOUR Hot Tub!)  Fishing?  Hiking?  Boating?  Barking. (seems like people really ENJOY that)  Begging for Affection. (definitely on the list)  Sleeping. (in)   Bugs (it seems you catch the wrong kind though and then tend to go back to the sleeping) and Morning.!?..Do you LOVE morning?  Well, may not appreciate every morning...but most mornings you people do your best to wake up ready and willing to just go with it.  Life begins anew.  Thankfully

THANKS to Life with Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume    

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tug Of War

Here's the Scrappy Truth.  I admit it.... I am spoiled (rotten).   Yep.  (I bet you are surprised!) There is a toy box in the family room JUST for MY toys....Here are a few of my besties lined out on the couch....

Kermit and Monkey.  Rope.  Duckie. Steak. Kitty (who has been with me from the very beginning

FETCHing of ALL these toys is one of my favorite pastimes....but the game I   LIVE to play every single day is TUG of  WAR. 

This is the lesson, though, you can learn from the Scrapster today.  Too much tugging can be BAD.  I pulled SO hard playing Tug of War that I took the head right off (kanga) Roo.  At first I was in shock and then just moments later came the anger and frustration.  I couldn't believe Roo could lose his head.!   I looked at Roo.  I looked at Mom.  Then back at the headless Roo.  All Mom could say was "Oh, Oh!" .  I didn't dare pick up Roo without his Head!  Are you kidding me?  Fix it!  Put his HEAD back on, Mom!   This is terrible!

So, Mom picked up the two pieces and held them together and for a minute.... I jumped for joy believing at first that she had successfully attached Roo's head....but no....sadly, she was just "holding" them together.  This was really tragic and no one else seemed to grasp the seriousness of the moment.  How could THIS have happened to my friend ROO?   SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING!

Tug of War.  It's a whole lot of fun when it goes well.  NOT so fun when one loses their head!

You People seem to have your own versions of the game and from what I've seen, you often play Tug of War in your every day life...struggling with things like what to cook, what to eat,  what to do, what to buy, how to get it all done, how to make time to get all done, how to make yourself and everyone else happy, how to say the right thing, how to know what the best thing to do to me you are playing an almost endless game of  TUG of War every minute of every day. 

I hope you learn from my Roo!   Be careful not to get SO carried away with the pulling and the tugging that you end up sad and surprised when the game goes a wry , one of you loses your head, and you eventually find yourself looking around at everyone else exasperated saying "Fix it!"       Do something!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Toxic Hike

A little over two years ago on a hike in the woods with my people , I (the Scrapster) snuck in a little bite of something without even chewing and without any others who were with me ever noticing. It was so enticing, so attractive to me for some strange reason. I HAD to taste it.  It was a beautiful morning.  The sun was out and wildflowers were in full bloom.  I had the best time.  I ran and chased my Black Lab friend Kootenai in and out of the trees, under the bushes, over the logs.  We were in the woods the usual amount of time, about an hour or so. 

When we got back in the car, I didn't feel so well.  Whatever it was that I had tasted just wasn't sitting well in my stomach.  I became very ill very fast.  And it wasn't pretty.  The sickness just kept progressing. 

By the time I arrived home, I wasn't able to keep anything in...Mom was starting to worry.  She took me out to the deck and there, things just went from bad to worse.  She told the kids it didn't look like I was going to make it.  Something was VERY wrong.  Mom called the vet and told him we were on our way. 

By the time we arrived there, I was weak and lethargic.  Dad was called from work.  The vet asked a lot of questions.  He asked that the technicians hurry the lab work and everyone around me seemed quite concerned with my condition.  Dr. Scott sent Mom home to find the remains of what came out of my stomach since no one saw me eat anything.  The vet needed answers and he hoped there might be some clue in the garbage at home. 

As Dr. Scott was a poisonous, toxic mushroom...tiny in size and swallowed whole.  I never even tasted it and it almost did me in.  I was put on IV, stayed the night and everyone hoped for the best.  It was touch and go all night, but somehow I pulled through. 

Want to know more about mushrooms that can be toxic?  Follow this link

Dr. Scott was worried about damage to my kidneys and body from the trauma.  Tests would reveal any damage later.   In time, the kidneys seemed to be doing their job...but over time, the food just wouldn't stay down.  More tests revealed Pancreatitis

 (FIND out more about it here

 Very painful  stomach aches and now a whole new diet, no more scraps or bites from the table, no more greenies (my favorite), just very little  protein.  Special Presciption Dog Food  every day of the rest of my life (luckily I LIKE it)... with little tiny bites of bread added in every now and again.  (I used to be able to have little bites of turkey, but lately that has EVEN been bothering me.)  Mom waited awhile to give me any just to test it out. 

Last night I had a little turkey (oh, did it TASTE good), but unfortunately today I am paying dearly.  MOM Feels really bad~ A bout of Pancreatitis and a day of suffering for me! When this happens, I lose my appetite and my stomach churns and churns.  I lay on Mom's lap, sometimes even her head just to get her full attention.  In about 24 to 36 hours, I will be able to eat again.  Meanwhile, Mom gives me water in an eyedropper.  I will be okay, but this means no more turkey ever!  Pretty sure of that.

So..this brings me to the result of that toxic hike.  After that fateful day, Mom went internet shopping for (pet) Health Insurance. Yep. It was a very expensive mushroom.  And I never even tasted it!

Sadly, the Pancreatitis is now a "pre-existing" condition, so any visits to Dr. Scott for that are not covered. 

These words- Health Insurance, Pre-existing conditions...those are a bit controversial right now in the human world.  I guess it IS a bit complicated.  Too bad, though, that the world out there can't get it all figured out.   Emergencies happen.  People (and animals) need Dr.'s who are skilled, knowledgeable, and compassionate like Dr. Scott.  I am fortunate to have a family with the means to pay for visits, proper vaccinations, lab work and x-rays....I am quite certain I wouldn't be blogging today without that priviledge.  I am ONE lucky dog:)   I know out there in the world are many NOT so lucky OTHERS.  Let's put our People and Pet THOUGHTS together to ensure ALL of us get the proper CARE we deserve and need:)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

To Do Lists-Dog's vs. People's

Confession Time. Scrappy admits she had NO idea what she was getting into! This blogging thing started out as...well...a crazy Scrappy moment. It was actually a human uncle who told a joke one night at dinner. Something about locking your wife and dog in the garage for an hour and finally opening the door to find out who TRULY loves you and is happier to see you...WAGGING TAIL, Jumping for Joy...(you get the picture) Anyway...that is how the first post was born. Dogs can teach us a lot about forgiveness (and apparently a whole lot of other things) Humans like to think they have the upper hand, but in the end, we dogs know how to cause PEOPLE to PAWS and re-evaluate.

People make EVERYTHING too complicated. Learn to simplify and pare down.
Scrappy believes it should start with To Do Lists. 

Scrappy- Do List  
  1. Eat
  2. Sleep
  3. Play
  4. Give Hugs & Kisses
  5. Snooze
  6. Snack
  7. Nap
  8. Play, Walk, Run
  9. Eat
  10. Sleep
People's To Do List

  1. Eat
  2. Work
  3. Clean
  4. Work
  5. Shop
  6. Work
  7. Cook
  8. Work
  9. Do Laundry
  10. Work
  11. Do more Work
Where is the snoozing, the relaxation, the play, the FUN in THAT list?   Why do you think I am at your feet with my "oh, oh, my paw hurts" look again?

  Why do you think I bring ALL my toys to at a time.... ALL day long?
                                                             (after a wee bit of snoozing)

  It is so SIMPLE.  Just STOP with the WORK already and the CLEANING and the SHOPPING and the COOKING and the LAUNDRY and JUST give me your UNDIVIDED attention.  NOW. 

.............................and let's just CHASE each other.  And RUN wild and FREE.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Friends in Heaven

Grief is hard work ! Just plain exhausting.  A year ago, I (the Scrapster) lost my best friend, mentor and sister Shadow, the best Black Lab in the world!  Hard to believe she has been gone a whole year!  Missing her is  practically a daily occurance. 

 Sometimes, I forget she is gone and I still check out the log bed downstairs or look out in the kennel where she always loved to just lay in the sun.  (That's where she is, I just know it.  But, no...I still haven't been able to find her. 
 I miss snoozing with her on her great big soft bed.  I love the way she gently opened her mouth , pretending to chow down on my tiny little head while growling REALLY loudly in play...Hiking with her was the absolute best, because she knew where all the exciting places were to explore and led me on some of the greatest adventures of my life.  Chasing Squirrels, Chipmunks...treeing Grouse.  Going on walks with her was always memorable...delightful... I can still smell her sometimes.  That helps, but the sadness is often overwhelming and even at times unbearable.  I  wonder where she is and what she is doing out there, wherever she is.  I worry that she may be hungry or thirsty ...perhaps lonely and needing a friend to just lay with her!  I regret that I never got to say a proper goodbye...I wish I could thank her for all she taught me, the time she spent chasing after me, the love that she showed me.  I just can't forget her!  ...Sometimes from far-a-way, my mind plays TRICKS on me because I think I see her walk by outside with a stranger or at the dog park, but it is never my Shadow.  My one true Shadow. 

I know my family grieves for her too.  People seem to grieve in their own individual way for friends they have lost, friends who have gone to far away Heaven and that's okay.  It must work for them.  Some like to talk about their lost friend and tell stories over and over about all the special  memories they have had together, some just cry (alot)  People surrounding those who have recently LOST a friend never know quite how to act or what exactly they should say (or not say)    Mostly, many feel it's better to just avoid the subject, talk about other things...they seem to be hoping to take their mind off that lost friend, but in reality,...It never works.  The truth is that their grief and sadness consumes their every waking moment, especially at first.  Missing a friend just hurts.  Time helps soften that pain, but missing a friend can leave a huge hole in your heart, change the way one looks the world, change a person completely.  Sometimes for the better (It can make them more compassionate), but sometimes it takes a long while for them to come around.  People who have lost someone often remember them in special ways with memorials, letting balloons go, hanging a Christmas stocking, planting trees, shrubs or flowers in their honor... or simply buying gifts for complete strangers who remind them of the person they have lost.  Sadly, grief can sometimes leave a person angry and bitter.  They might not want to get out of bed, they might never want to give up the belongings of the one they've lost...they may not want to wash the clothes or bedding that they slept in.  These are all normal human feelings and ways that people seem to cope.  Some just need MORE time.  Never push.  Never question.  Just be there and Listen.  Say you are sorry!  Remember their loved one's birth and death date.  Send them a card and let them know you care.   In time, they will be okay.  Never the same, but okay.  And one day (there is no real time frame) they will smile and laugh again, although they might feel a little guilty at first.   Their steps will be slow and small at first, but the healing is in the walking.  One foot in front of the other.  Just moving forward...the hole in their heart still there, yes...but hope is now filling in all around it.  Their lost loved one now watches over them from above and Someday, not in the too distant future, they shall meet up with their long lost SHADOW again at the gate.