Friday, June 24, 2016

Old is Gold - The Mr. Mo Project and Senior Dog Rescue

As you may well know, D'Art came into our lives one month prior to his 9th birthday. Today he's 12 and I can't imagine our family without him. As far as I'm concerned, he's always been my boy and always will. Where love is concerned, time matters not!

Unfortunately, not everyone has this same opinion. Shortly after adopting him someone said to me "don't get too attached, he'll die soon" and I couldn't believe my ears! Three years on now, I wouldn't change it for the world. Really, I should thank that person, as their erroneous advice has fueled me to advocate for senior dogs.

That is why I am straying from my usual area of discussion to share The Mr. Mo Project with you. I am writing this by my own initiative; this is not a sponsored post, simply my desire to help get the word out about the importance of senior dog rescue.

Founded in memory of their sweet senior, Moses, this rescue takes it to the next level. Senior dogs that most people would walk right past in the shelter are welcomed with open arms, have their healthcare needs addressed and are permanently fostered by families where they live out the rest of their lives in comfort and happiness. What's more, The Mr. Mo Project recognizes that senior dogs often require extra healthcare and they cover the healthcare costs of each dog they rescue for the rest of their lives. That way, their foster families can focus 100% on love without the strain of expensive healthcare bills. If you're going to do it, do it right. In my opinion, the Mr. Mo Project does just that.

This image is property of The Mr. Mo Project
This image is property of The Mr. Mo Project

Another reason why this rescue hits home with me is that it is run by a husband and wife team, a similar age to my husband and I, who work full-time jobs and care for a family of 7 dogs on top of it all! Despite not having met, I'm sure I would like Chris and Mariesa Hughes. They are my kind of people and epitomize what you can do with a 24 hour day if you're fueled by passion and kindness. That said, as far as I know they don' t have a secret money tree growing in their backyard. They rely on a community of caring people, all across the globe, to donate if and when they can. Anyone can join in and help. They make it easy, with fundraisers like Dave's Dollar Days where you mail in a dollar in memory of another treasured, senior boy. 

What's more, if you're a sucker for a little online shopping, you can buy supplies and goodies for the project dogs. That way they directly benefit from your donation in a manner of your choosing. For example, want to send Winston (who uses a doggie wheelchair) some dog food or a new belly band? Check out his Amazon wishlist.

This photo is property of The Mr. Mo Project.
Fundraising efforts are announced on their Facebook page, so I encourage you to check them out at Gremlin The Therapy Dog Facebook Page. Additionally, you can see what some of the current Mr. Mo dogs are up to on The Mr. Mo Project Facebook Page.

And, if that weren't enough, you can find some cute "Life in the Doghouse" YouTube videos of Chris, Mariesa and their gang of pups. Yappy is one of my favorites! It always lifts my spirits and it includes the distinguished Mr. Mo!

What more can I say! I'm a sucker for the gray muzzle and foggy eyes that age often brings. I have my sweetheart D'Art to thank for that. He's a shining example of how wonderful a senior dog's presence in our lives can be. I'm not alone in this, everyone who meets D'Art loves him to pieces because he is such a friendly, happy-go-lucky guy! Adopting a senior dog has been nothing but a gift to our family. They have so much love to give and deserve to be loved in return. If you're looking to support a rescue group, I urge you to consider senior dog rescue and organizations like The Mr. Mo Project! Old really is gold!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Bath Time

We have a special guest visiting in a few days, so bath time is in order.

Teddy is good at pretending that baths are miserable.

So is D'Art, but they don't actually hate it as much as his expression suggests.

Nevertheless, they are always happiest when it is over and it's time to run around and play!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Cherry Picking Time

We have a few different fruit trees, one of which is a sour cherry. Sour cherries are edible, but they are best baked into pies or boiled down to a syrup. Sugar is their friend. This year we plan to juice all of our harvest and make syrup for Italian sodas, cocktail mixers and ice cream toppers. With cherry picking time upon us again, the whole process becomes a family affair. So far we've picked 24 lbs, but the tree is still laden with fruit which is happily shared with the local robins and Steller's jays. Hopefully we get around to harvesting some more before they spoil.

The trick is to pick them when they are bright red, but before they split and rot. One night of rainfall and the cherries fill with moisture and pop, so harvest is somewhat weather dependent. We have two orchard ladders; one which is 16 feet tall. Being up that high sometimes makes my stomach lurch a bit. As long as I don't look down, I'm good.

The poodles play an important role by keeping the humans company as they hang out on the grass below the ladders. They supervise things, and as we all know every good operation needs a supervisor or two! 

When we come down from the ladders to dump the contents of our apron pockets into a bag, we're greeted with happy tail wags before heading back up again to be supervised once more.

Rotten cherries are dropped down to the grass below. Later on the clean-up crew moves in to get things back in order. 

Red, juicy cherries are much appreciated by the hens and they are happy to contribute to the process of cherry picking.

And of course, the hens need supervising too! Otherwise those feather-brained fowl just don't stay on task!

All in all, cherry picking is a fun event for all involved!

Do you have any good recipes for sour cherries? If so, I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Positive Training Blog Hop - Trust

I work from home; my office mates are my poodles and this suits me nicely. They don't talk much and I get a lot done in the course of a work day. Seeing as they have no deadlines to meet or projects to scope out, they can come and go as they please. On nice days they get to head outside for a while and if the bugs aren't bad I will leave the door open for them to come back in when they are ready. This, however, requires a certain level of trust. My property, although not near a road, is mostly unfenced. The poodles know the boundaries and we've worked on establishing them with positive training. Initially, to keep them in the immediate lawn, they stayed on leash with me. Once we graduated from that, I carried treats with me outside to keep them close and reward them for being so. They had earned my trust to be by themselves.

I still check on them now and then and offer praise for good behavior. Most times I can see them from my office window. 

Sometimes Teddy takes a nap right below the window so that he can hear me, but still enjoy the sensations of being outside. More often than not they want back in after a short period of time. Sometimes, if the door is left open, I will emerge from my office to find they've taken over all the good seats in the house.

If I leave it long enough they come to check on me. Before you know it I turn around, and there they are! I guess they care about me just as much as I do them!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Dive In!

I know there is a ball in here somewhere....
Dive in!
Got it! Another ball rescued from the pool!
Time to go back in for more!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Nature Walk

I've had a bad cold for the last few days, so our normal walking routine has been set aside until I can breathe properly again. Meanwhile, Teddy and I go on a short nature walk to share with you some our favorite spots around home.

Our first stop is the orchard. These apple trees are only 3 years old, so they are relatively small and don't produce much yet.  

The orchard is looking a bit overgrown, but I do love the self-seeded foxgloves that grow at random.

Next stop is the old-growth nurse log. It's raining at this point and we are literally in a cloud, so that explains why the forest looks so foggy. Teddy poses nicely on the nurse log to help show its size.

Last we hike up the fern slope, heading back to the house. Yes, there is a poodle in this picture!

On the way back I notice that the dogwood is in flower right now and looks particularly lush!

There is so much more to show you, but that will have to wait for another time. I'm worn out! Time to towel off and make a cup of tea!