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A message from Butters


I know Butters, I know. And I’m trying.

I’ve tried alerting the manager of the home.  I’ve tried visiting the home – under the guise of passing off some old toys for the pup.

I try telling the pup “Good Boy!” when I get home.

Today – I was playing outside with Butters – and the neighbors dog ran for his tennis ball that we had given him.  He wanted to play.

I couldn’t play with him.

And no one inside his ‘home’ will play with him.

So how long until he just ‘gives up’?

I noticed him outside earlier with the toys we’d given him, and am sharing here.

Before I played with Butters:



After playing with Butters, and the tennis ball retrieved in attempt to join in:


It gets cold here … freezing at night and to see this pup curled up into the tightest ball to stay warm.  He hears someone in the house close to the door and digs and scratches at the door wanting to be inside.

It breaks my heart.

If the ‘owners’ ever respond to the notices that they are not allowed to have this dog – I hope I can count on you to help me find him a forever home.



All about Butters – and a glimpse at past pets


I was raised to believe that they were family members.  And they always were.

My mum raised Guide Dogs for the Blind in England – we had pups come and go – always happy when they passed and went on to be of service to someone who would be their forever person.

I got used to saying goodbye – but not always for the right reasons.

My Zebra Finches?  Killed each other one night. My goldfish?  Always seemed to meet an ominous end – one time my mum confessed that she was the cause, having put the kettle on next to the bowl. I can laugh about this now.

My rabbit, Rafferty, a very large albino, had his head cut off by a neighbor.  We came home and I thought he was sunbathing. “No!” my mum said, “Don’t go outside.” She knew – I didn’t.  I found out very quickly he wasn’t sunbathing and nightmares ensued.

Fast forward.

Teen years in the USA – anything that showed up, stayed.  Was neutered/spayed and adopted out according to my mum’s strict rules.  She interviewed prospects, visited their homes and if they measured up, let the animal go with the caveat “If it doesn’t work out, you call ME first!”

lots of pets

My son’s first official pet was Mortimer. Morty. Me-mo. (You know how names evolve lol).  Long haired dachshund mix.  We rescued him from the Santa Cruz SPCA and what a bonkers dog he was.  Always running away – even from 3 1/2 acres of land to run on. Something about a gate or a wall just had him needing to explore it.

We brought him to the desert with us – and one fateful day he was being walked on leash around the block when another dog attacked him.  Morty ran home, leash dangling, with a broken leg and internal injuries too severe to fix.  He ran home. To me.  On a broken leg!

I called my mum, took him to the vet and came home per their suggestion.  And when I ordered the euthanasia, I wasn’t with him.  I’ll never forgive myself for that.

A cat adopted us next.  Peej.  PJ to be exact. He resembled my mum’s cat Plucky, so we went with Plucky Junior.

After I paid for an abscess to be mended and for him to be neutered, I advised his original owners he was mine.  He was the coolest cat!


Next came Cadence.  Cady.  Cady love. Black lab – from the pound.

peej and cady

She became very ill.  One day there was just a *thud* and when I checked on her, her eyes were bulging.

In the next few months, she lost the ability to walk unaided, I was carrying her outside to relieve herself. She was so young!  I put little baby socks on the toes she would drag, hoping she wouldn’t painfully scrape them.  And in a moment of unselfishness, realized, I was doing her no favors.

Can anyone reading this afford neurological surgery for their pet?  No, me either –  I took her by myself to the vet knowing I wasn’t bringing her back.

The euthanasia went wrong.

She refused to go with them ‘to the back’ to have her leg shaved.  I told them to do it with me.  They hesitated, but did so.

When the vet injected ‘the dose’ – my sweet, sweet Cady not so delicately convulsed.

I knew this was wrong!

I was sat on the floor, her head in my lap and I knew she wasn’t being ‘put to sleep’ – did they skip a step???

“Give her more! She’s still alive!” I told the vet.  She gave me the ‘you don’t know what I know’ look, but then looked panicked and injected more into my sweet pet.

I DID know.

It’s supposed to go like this: Sedate dog, overdose dog with sedation.

That did not happen, and also is something I will never forget nor forgive.

That was March 2010.


February 27th, 2011 – someone showed up in the yard.


As you can imagine, I was not ready for another dog.  This stray showed up and I threw it chicken.  I then gave ‘it’ cat food (all I had)

It looked like a boy and it looked intimidating.  I decided to go for it.  After feeding ‘it’ – I sat on the ground and threw a frisbee.  It rushed toward me, not the frisbee and I braced myself.

A pup like ‘attack’ of epic proportions ensued.  Such love and play from this stray.

I was determined to find its owner.

After discovering it was a ‘she’ I posted flyers, and put her on local TV.  She knew ‘Sit’ and was potty trained.

After no one came forward, I worked toward finding her a forever family.  I knew I couldn’t afford a dog.  Not just the food – but I’m an advocate for being financially able to care in all aspects for a pet!  Shots, Check Ups, Accidents etc. etc.


Yeah, we ended up keeping her.

Not long after, Peej was next to pass.  Money may not buy happiness, but it sure as hell would have saved Peej.  He became ill and was in a lot of pain – I held him as the euthanasia went right.

So fast forward again to last night.

Butters sleeps with me.  Actually, she hogs the bed.  I don’t care.  Pets are family. I’m fine with the inches I have of my California King bed.

She trembled … I held her.

She drooled – I wiped her mouth.

I KNOW I can’t afford a vet – so I prayed (yes, the agnostic prayed) that she was just going into heat (another thing, I have a friend who has donated 1/2 of her spaying cost, and she STILL isn’t spayed – the amount of times I kick myself and berate myself for that – but see!  You must be able to AFFORD a pet before you take one on! I only kept Butters because the alternative was the pound. The pound was a death sentence.)

Today, my son was home and I asked my work if they minded me leaving early.

I did not want her taking a turn for the worse alone, and knew Nic was leaving soon.

No, they did not mind.  (I love them for that.)

Here’s Butters enjoying a ‘puddle’ when the desert met the rain.

imageI didn’t care how dirty she got, I had a towel. LOL!

imageHere’s Butters being a dork with Nic – I love that she fits in by being a dork.

me & buttersHere’s me copping a selfie with Butters, and Butters not being amused.

The point is – she has become such an important and vital part of our family!

Here she was after I got home early today ….


The sagging tail on her one venture to the window (I think after we got some residual California rain and something CRASHED outside)

And this ….


Before and after … Her body is hurting, she’s limp and sad.

But I’m home and loving her.

Butters, you weren’t invited, but I’m so glad you became a part of our family.


Musings from the Laundromat: Baby in the corner and Butters in the bath

Eek!  Totally out of my comfort zone.  I have been relegated to a free-standing table, not my usual one that is snuggled up close to a line of washers.

I feel like a deer standing in the middle of a meadow – no tree cover!  Here is where I sit.


It’s official, baby is IN the corner.

(Do you know, I’ve never watched that entire movie? I’ve also never seen all of Top Gun nor any of the Matrix movies.)

I wanted to photograph some sheep on the Indian reservation for you today – I stopped by the area and asked which field they were in – but I guess they’re gone.

Then I pulled into the parking lot here and only 1 car!  I was surprised to find a lot of people inside though.  Is there a secret parking lot I’m not privy to??  Or were they all dropped off?  Hmmm …

Here’s newspaper man.


In MY spot. (lol)

Then I spied Santa folding his little washcloth.  Or maybe it’s Rudolph’s – who knows..


Anyway, lots to do when I get home.

It’s Butters bath day today.  Oh how I wish I could somehow capture that whole experience for you in photos/video.  It starts with me giving off nonchalant ‘bath vibes’ that she picks up on immediately.

We proceed to play “C’mon!” and “Ok! I give up” for 5 minutes as I try to catch her.  Then when I finally do, (and usually it’s in a part of the house the furthest FROM the damn tub) I scoop her up (Like a bag of unevenly packaged potatoes) and carry 70 pounds of manatee (very ungracefully) to the bathroom.


The actual bath is adorable.  She rests her ginormous lips on the side of the tub,  knowing mom isn’t going to get any water in her eyes or ears and looks up  at me with gratitude.

By the time it’s “All done!”  she’s sort of sad we are.

I clean her little ears out and rub her as dry as I can while she wiggles and tries to bite the towel.

After hopping out of the tub she’s happy.  I wish she would remember that ‘happy’ and associate it with the word ‘bath’ – it would make things a LOT easier.

I mean, if someone said to me “Cake time!” I’d sure as hell remember how delightful cake was.  I’d be following that person directly to the cake.

So why does my intelligent dog – who knows the words ‘hot dog’ ‘cookie’ and ‘outside’ very well – not put the word ‘bath’ together with the experience of being scrubbed and petted and clean and happy?!  Canine mystery.


Time to fold – so I wish you a happy Sunday and may all your bath times be good ones!




Gone to the dogs

I told you she could write – here’s my mum with her post. 🙂 Enjoy.

By Penny Hoskins

My sunrise friends and I are 0’dark 30 people. We’re up and out with our pups while most of you more sane (?) folk are still snoring away and dreaming of running free. Come On People! Get up, there are butts to sniff.

We’re a motley crew and just about all the pups have “issues”. Insanity, twisted humor and sarcasm runs rampant at this early hour. Nothing like laughter to start your day though. Mostly there’s a lot of pointing of fingers and laughing. Thin skinned people need not apply.

And the pups ~ We’ll start with Minnie. Minnie is a little Terrier (terror) mix who runs maniacally up and down the run barking threateningly at anyone who happens to walk, run or jog by. You should see her run up the fence, and I mean literally run UP the fence. Is she bigger than a bread box? Not much but this is the image that her potential victims see from their side of the fence.


If she likes you she’s a genuine sweetheart, but if she doesn’t well…..

Buffy is Minnie’s housemate. There’s really not a lot one can say about Buffy, she’s the geriatric of the pack. Doesn’t move much, Poke, poke, oh good she was just sleeping. If she so much as stands up her person will say “Careful Buff, pace yourself.” She does like to eat though, perks right up if there are treats around.

Katy, ahh Katy Love, a beautiful little Sheltie who has panic attacks every time someone sneezes. You feel that sneeze coming on, oh no, not now Katy’s here. So you try to hold it in, but somewhere from deep in the recess of your memory that thought that someone planted suddenly pops up, the one about holding in a sneeze creates pressure that backs up and you collapse and die from an aneurysm. Sorry Katy Love, can’t risk that so here it comes, and there she goes, twisting in tight little circles and barking fanatically. Apparently a microwave beeping has exactly the same effect.

Then there’s Roxy, “Psycho Dog”. A really, really weird dog who must have been dropped on her head when just a tiny pup. Roxy is a Lab/Pit/Screwball mix who is obsessed with water bowls. She collects them and brings one with here everyday in her human’s “slobbermobile”. Ignoring everyone and everything she immediately starts to play nose hockey with it. She’d do this all day if she could. She’ll put it in the paddling pool to wash it and chase it around then come out and wipe her dirty wet face on Minnie and Buffy’s person’s pants. Good dog Roxy. We thought about getting the other dogs to play this game so we could have our own Puppy Hockey Bowl (pun intended) but the others didn’t want to know, Minnie couldn’t decide, she’s still on the fence. Besides Roxy doesn’t like to share her bowl with anyone.

Ever met an Italian Shih Tzu? Meet Pecos, of Chinese ancestry, a Mexican name and an Italian personality. Pecos can’t speak without waving his little hands around. Well, I guess in his case it’s little paws. He has a lot to say as well, he joins in any conversation and with each bark his front end comes off the ground, his paws lift up as if to give emphasis to what he is saying. Need to get a word in? Just hold his little feet and he can’t speak, let go and off he goes again. Hold feet, quiet, let go, speak, hold, let go, hold let go, it’s really quite funny. He can also fly, oh yes he can, I heard you doubt that. Just ask that pigeon, oh I forgot, you can’t ask the pigeon because Pecos ate it, well a bit of it. Pigeon was taking flight when Pecos leaped up and grabbed that pigeon right out of the air. He’s a multi-talented dog.

Then there’s Meesha. Meesha is a Cocker Spaniel/Australian Shepherd, a cocky aussie. She’s a very discriminating dog, she discriminates freely against all newcomers. Sniff my butt, I’ll bite your face off. She’s a rabbit chaser, chief lizard hunter, and the only dog I know who will choke up a hairball because she’s constantly washing her kitty siblings. At the dog run when she’s not lying on the bench with legs dangling, or trying for round two with her arch enemy, a small pug who is also itching for round two, she will grab hold of her leash drop to the ground, tuck her front legs under her, stretch her rear legs out and insist on being dragged across the grass. A sled dog gone wrong. She also spends a lot of time with her head stuck up a drainage pipe. Butt in the air, she’ll whine and growl into it, which then echoes back at her, convincing her even more that there is something in there. One of the sunrise people put a stuffed toy in the pipe as a joke. Meesha grabbed it, ran off and buried her “kill”. she’s madly in love with Pecos’s human, who tells her everyday how pretty she is. Good grief, now we have a preening alpha.

We’re looking for a canine psychiatrist who might be willing to give us a bulk deal. They could all lie on the couch, which they’re all good at, and talk about their puppy-hoods.

Well, there you have it, you have now met just a very few of the early morning canine characters and some of their amazing quirky personalities. Normal? Maybe not. But who wants normal. Loyal, loving, entertaining definitely. Weird they all are, but weird and happy, very happy.

From stare to pounce and church mousin’


I am tired.

I am tired and actually wondered if there is a nice family with a farm somewhere, with miles of soft fenced in grass for Butters to run and pounce in – and wi-fi so my son will visit her.

9pm is ‘official’ bedtime in our house.  Meaning, the Goodnight sleep tights are said – hugs are had and we hit our rooms.

Usually about 9:30 or 10 is when I switch off the tv or call it a night and let my Nook rest.

Then it begins.

From approximately 10-11 I’m scratching, tossing, turning and peeking at the clock.  No, for the record – no bed bugs – it’s dry out here in the desert and with the heater on in the house I have an itchy epidermis that presents  only at night – I need some of those little baby mittens:

noscratchmittensYeah, those will do nicely.  I’d save the polka dots for the weekend – put some zazz in my Z’s.

Anyway – last night the dog was actually sleeping … good sign. 

Midnight.  I hear a noise in the kitchen.  Someone trying to be quiet in the kitchen.  Hmmm … process of elimination.

1) Only two other breathing things live here other than me

2) Butters is not capable of being quiet would not be the kitchen


I’ve coined the phrase ‘Church mousing’.  Don’t ask me why – considering the church mouse is supposed to be quiet.  But, it works around here.  I’ll hear him usually scrounging around and call out ‘I hear you church mousin’ around out there!’  To which a laugh and response of ‘Good night mom’ is followed by him taking his foraged items back to his room.

But midnight?  Midnight snack yeah – but he had school today for crying out loud.

I spend another 15 minutes trying to get comfy. 

1am – another noise from the kitchen. 

Really?  Jeez!!!!!!!  I’m too tired to get up and call him out on it, too tired to call out and frankly, a little concerned that if I respond in any way vocally or physically, my arse is not going to be able to fall back to sleep.

More tossing and turning.

2am – Butters has now evolved from her perfected ‘stare’ and thump of tail to a new move.  The front leg pounce – landing right on the 1/2 foot of mattress space between me and the edge of the bed.

Wonderful.  Sort of like this guy, but with her hind legs on the floor.


OKAY!  Up I get.  Let her out … stumble back to my room, the front door is open but I’m used to this routine by now, she’ll come back in a few minutes, plop down on the floor, or the bed and up I get again to go back to close and lock the door.

Half an hour later – pounce. 


Up I get – let her out – wait – in she comes.  Get up, shut and lock door.

God only knows how much later  – pounce (and a thump thump).

This time I’m glaring at her, quickly realize I’ve got my eyes open far too wide and walk with my eyes completely closed to the door.  (that old trick of if I don’t open my eyes, I won’t wake all the way up) Let her out and back to bed. 

I decide then and there that the door will remain open.  I weigh the pros and cons of a serial killer just waltzing in.

1) I’ll be too tired to really feel much pain

2) Maybe he can let the flipping dog out next

Pounce. Thump, thump.  I almost don’t get up.  I almost don’t.  Then I remember she had an upset stomach just this weekend and oh hell no am I going to wake up and step in something.

Up I get.

Now – the door is still open – not WIDE open, but at least 3 inches cracked open.  Even I could nose a door completely open with 3 inches to work with!!!  She’s screwing with me now.

Out she goes again.

My mind is mush – my body begging for some REM.  Back to bed I go, but it’s too late.

I startle at 5:55 am – after a brief slip into unconsciousness and give up.  The alarm is set to go off at 6.

You can imagine the mood I’m in. 

BUT!  I had already planned to cook Nic a hot breakfast.  Eggs and maple sausages.  Because, and I quote “I love it at Tylers house, his mom makes maple sausages and pancakes”

I think I responded at the time with a “Pffft” but of course it stuck in my mind.

I make the damn food.

Take it in to my child.

Grab my coffee and check Facebook.


My son’s last post “5 hours ago”.  It’s now 6.  Which means, he didn’t just wake up and need a drink or a snack.  His arse was on his ipad.

I head to my room – brush my teeth, come back out and there – on the counter – is a plate with one egg and 4 1/2 out of 5 sausages. 


“Why didn’t you eat your breakfast?” 

“I’ve never liked sausages … you know that.”


Anyone have a farm with a fenced in expanse of soft grass? Never mind the dog and the boy – I want to come sleep on it.