Review: Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

The older I get, the more disinterested I become in classics, despite having grown up with them. They feel too long-winded, old-fashioned, and dull. Or as if they were childhood things which I’d been forced to enjoy. Nothing could be farther from my experience but, nowadays, it still takes the right book to remind me of how pleasurable and rich the experience of reading a classic can be. When my husband recently pointed out that Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck features a poodle, I pushed past my prejudice and fell in love with a good book. When Steinbeck was … Continue reading Review: Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

Dogs of My Childhood

As I enter into my sixth year of blogging about pets, I thought it appropriate to rerun some of my articles about past pets. I’ve already introduced you to my first cat. Throughout the rest of February, I’ll introduce you to other pets that I’ve owned. In doing so, I’ll also tell you how each has changed my life. I grew up with Samoyed. According to the American Kennel Club, this is an ancient working breed developed by the Samoyede people of Siberia. They used the dogs for herding reindeer, hunting and hauling sledges as well as guard work. The … Continue reading Dogs of My Childhood

The Cat Who Turned Me into a Cat-Lover!

Now that I’ve been blogging for Lincoln Animal Ambassadors for almost a year, I thought it time to introduce some of my pets. Over the next few weeks, I’ll introduce you to some of the cats, guinea pigs, and dogs that I’ve owned. In doing so, I’ll also tell you how they’ve changed my life. Then in August I’ll get back to informing you about animal issues. Continue reading The Cat Who Turned Me into a Cat-Lover!

A Christmas Miracle

The tiger tabby screamed for help. She was lost, scared, and desperate. Snow had fallen the day before, and today gray clouds again hung heavy in the air. The cat drooled as she huddled in pain. Fortunately, a kind lady was walking through the parking lot at that moment. Nicole took one look at Harley’s sad eyes and immediately wrapped her into her arms. “Harley was so happy when I put her in my car out of the cold,” Nicole said, “that she cuddled with me the whole ride home.” Despite it being almost Christmas, Nicole began a search for … Continue reading A Christmas Miracle

Guest Post: Unsinkable Molly Cat by Chris Neukirch

A photo of an eighteen-year-old cat was shared at a recent Lincoln Animal Ambassadors board meeting. The cat belonged to Chris Neukirch, who had donated money to LAA in honor of her cat’s eighteenth birthday. I sensed a good story and, immediately, I emailed Chris to ask if she’d tell me about Molly. Thanks, Chris, for the following story…. A large litter of 11 kittens was born on February 29, 2000, in a cold barn in Polk County, Wisconsin. The farmer decided to give the kittens a better life and, once they were old enough, gave them to a local vet … Continue reading Guest Post: Unsinkable Molly Cat by Chris Neukirch

Guest Post: To Buddy, The Best Golden Shepherd Ever!

Buddy was my “first” dog, ever. I was 22-years-old and never had a dog; sad, I know. I grew up in a household that only wanted cats (no offense to cats). I knew nothing about dogs, how they act, what that woof meant, etc. My husband and his family had a dog, Thor, for almost 14 years. I knew Thor for about a year and half, until he passed away in 2005. The family decided to not get another dog right away, which is understandable; you can’t “replace” a pet. At the end of 2006 the family, mainly my mother-in-law … Continue reading Guest Post: To Buddy, The Best Golden Shepherd Ever!

Stumbling Through Pet Loss

Grief. Anyone who has lost a loved one, whether animal or human, is familiar with the emotion. And yet grief is not predictable. In my life I have lost five dogs, three guinea pigs, and one cat. Sometimes my grief led to guilt, other times to intense loneliness, and sometimes it even led to inspiration. My earliest experience with pet loss came in primary school. My dad and I lived in a basement apartment with Puff, our aging Samoyed. Puff struggled often with urinary issues. And stairs. As such, life was not good for Puff. The heartbreaking decision was made … Continue reading Stumbling Through Pet Loss

Junai, A Diabetic Alert Dog

It was just another evening. Sierra Richmond and Junai, her almost three-year-old Husky-Pitbull-German Shepherd Dog mix, were at home enjoying snuggles and television. Junai started to bump her arm and shoulder, signaling to her that something was wrong. For Sierra, who is diabetic, this nudging was a sign that her blood sugar could be rising or falling to unsafe levels. Sierra felt fine, but she ran a test on her blood sugar just to be sure. The test came back normal, and so, Sierra planned to simply test again in ten minutes. But Junai wasn’t happy with the delay. He … Continue reading Junai, A Diabetic Alert Dog

Tommy’s Good Samaritan Family

Thirteen years ago, a one-year-old Siamese mix needed a Good Samaritan. He found one with the Dickinson family. Trishia’s husband, Gerry, was outside braving the sweltering heat and painting a garage for an elderly woman when a malnourished cat approached. Head swollen from ear mites, the cat tried to walk up to Gerry. Too weak, he wobbled and then collapsed. Immediately, Gerry brought him back to their air-conditioned home, and got some water and food into him. Then Trishia and Gerry contacted Animal Control and even went door to door in the neighborhood in search of his owner. When no … Continue reading Tommy’s Good Samaritan Family

Bonded by a Cancer Diagnosis

Jacki knew something was wrong with her dog. Vipere wasn’t acting right. He also had that look that dog owners sadly know all too well. Immediately, Jacki took Vipere to the vet. Blood work was done and Jacki was told to wait for results. In the meantime, Vipere got worse, and the two returned to the vet. X-rays showed that Vipere might have a blockage in the abdominal area, because the lymph nodes there were very swollen. Emergency surgery was scheduled. Instead of a blockage, the vet discovered that Vipere had lymphoma. Only two weeks prior, in October of 2009, Jacki … Continue reading Bonded by a Cancer Diagnosis

Ode to Old Dogs

This week will mark the end of LAA Pet Talk’s series on senior pets. For the past month, we’ve featured guest posts from Hindy Pearson (host of Caring for a Senior Dog) about caring for older dogs, while I’ve covered cats and guinea pigs. For this final week, it’s my turn to write about dogs, who have blessed my life too. I’ll offer some information about our adopted silky terrier’s experience with Cushing’s Disease, and I’ll share other people’s tributes to their own seniors. Back in December of 2012, when I became interested in volunteering with local animal groups, my … Continue reading Ode to Old Dogs

Bonded Together by CKD

In December of 2013, three things happened. One, I lost my cherished cat of eight years to Chronic Kidney Disease. Two, I posted the news at a forum called TanyaCKD Loss. And third, I received a sympathy email from a woman whose own cat had been diagnosed with stage 4 CKD two years prior. Out of those three events developed a friendship between two cat owners, brought together by our shared experience with one of the most top deadly diseases for felines. Continue reading Bonded Together by CKD