Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Dog’

God And Dog

Today Greg found this wonderful video by Wendy Francisco.  This darling song has also been made into a children’s book by the same title, “God and Dog”.  You can purchase it on Amazon by clicking here.

If you have and love dogs like I do – then this is for you today.  Watch it and smile 🙂

 

God Bless

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What’s The Deal?

Yesterday we visited a couple of animal shelters on the east side of Seattle.  They are impressively run – have informed and knowledgeable staff on hand.  The website is up to date and colorful.  Many animals pictured in need of fostering or adoption.  Because we too want to do our part – “save a life” and all that, we first turned to those places when thinking about a companion dog for our year old Bichon Frise puppy.

The choice to get a dog in the first place is a hard one.  We took our time.  We researched and researched.  We were appalled at the price of puppies.  Even more shocked at the price of adoption from a shelter!  We decided on a Bichon Frise puppy from a breeder some 150 miles from our home – got to meet both parents on site – was happy with the breeder who LOVES these dogs and owns 3 adult dogs herself.  The temperament fit with our lifestyle.  And we knew what we were getting and could train her to be used to music students coming and going out of our house.

Choosing to get a 2nd dog is even worse than deciding on the first one.  When visiting the shelters it became apparent to us that not just any dog was going to fit the bill for us.  We found a few cute little dogs – but upon further inspection, there was something about them that we knew would be an issue.  One poor little thing was what Greg called “street smart” or “kennel smart” and had all her defensive’s on HIGH ALERT.  Who can blame her?  It’s a “dog eat dog” (no pun intended) world out there – calling for growling and barking at all the other cell mates.  Most of them did this incessantly – something we are not used to.

I’ve searched on-line like Ebay Classified for pets (this is where we found Daisy) and Craig’s List in our area.  There are MANY dogs and puppies on there.  Problem?  Most want an obscene amount of money.  It doesn’t surprise me when they are purebred, even though we did NOT spend very much on our pure bred (and she has papers too) because our breeder believed that even people who don’t have much money should have the awesome opportunity to own a Bichon.  I have really appreciated that.  Especially now.  But what really surprises me are those that sell mixed breed puppies for $400 and up!  Good grief.

The adoption fee at animal shelters for a small dog or mixed breed is MORE than what we paid for our pure bred puppy over a year ago!  We just can’t justify it.  It seems to me that we would have more people adopting animals if people could AFFORD it.  I mentioned this to one of the workers who was helping us at the shelter.  I don’t think she appreciated it.  They should interview families and care more about the care and love that these dogs will receive than recovering their “fees” for boarding these dogs.

The bottom line is this:  We would like a companion puppy for our Bichon Frise.  Even though my husband and I work from home and have plenty of time with her – I think she might appreciate another dog to wrestle and play with.  I think it must get lonely for her.  We were told that a male small dog would be the best playmate for our female.  Also a consideration would be a similar temperament dog – like another Bichon, a miniature poodle or a mix of either of these two with other small breeds.  A low maintenance dog will be best because of the high cost of grooming.  But we simply can’t afford the high costs that everyone is asking.  We would have liked to “rescue” a dog – but to rescue a dog who is already an adult and set in their ways is a risk to bring into our home.  It is simply not an option for our dog and for our home and even if it was – we cannot afford the adoption fee.  What we are really looking for is another puppy we can train and who will be raised to fit into our lifestyle and our other dog.  An owner who cares more about that puppy getting an excellent loving and attentive family – then making $500-$1000 on each pup.

I know that many animal activists are not going to like my opinion on this.  But the only way my opinion will change on this is to lower the cost for people to adopt and more people could enjoy having a their first dog or would maybe be willing to adopt a second one.   We cry out “save a life” – “save a dog or cat” and then make it so difficult to own one.  Dogs are expensive – need grooming, shots, good food and a lot of time and energy.  Why make them SO expensive to purchase, knowing how expensive they will be to own?

We were lucky.  We never thought we would be able to own a pure bred like our Daisy.  She is a gift and a little miracle to our family.  We need another miracle puppy to take into our home and love.

Do your research – there are breeders out there not looking to make money – just looking for loving families to take care of their animals.  The right one will care more about you than your money.

Just something to think about.

God Bless

Danger On The Trail

Last week Greg was stopped by a neighbor on his way home from an event.  The man was concerned for all the people on our street with small dogs.  Because of the lack of rain in our area – the coyotes have been driven in to residential areas in search of food.

Canis latrans Français : Un coyote en Arizona

Canis latrans Français : Un coyote en Arizona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We often hear them at night.  The strange howling and distant song that becomes part of the night.  It is somewhat soothing and usually does not bother our puppy, as she is safe and comfortable inside our home.

During the day (early morning and sometimes early evening) we walk a trail close to our home – heavily wooded and thick with brush.  It has been an excellent place to walk and let Daisy off her leash.  She loves to smell everything, hop along and run with reckless abandon – never straying too far from us – and never letting us out of her sight.  We have felt comfortable doing this for some time now.  It is a refreshing 30 minute walk down and up again.  Although at times I have to admit, I did feel like something might be stalking us as we walked along.  And we have seen the occasional deer or rabbit running along beside the trail.

But today – a day like any other day, was different on the trail.  As we walked along – Greg spotted fresh “poo” and wondered, although he said nothing.  Then we happened upon a little wounded shrew in the path – and wondered why it was left there half alive, like something got spooked and didn’t finish the job?  But we continued on.  When we turned a corner we saw something way up ahead and both of us thought maybe it was a small deer in the path, stopping to look right at us and then move along to the other side and disappear in the woods.  But as we hesitated for a moment – we saw clearly that it was a coyote.  This is an animal we have never seen.  Normally this would not alarm us too much – but when coyotes come that close to you it can only mean one thing.  They are hungry.  So we attempted to get Daisy back on her leash – and this was no small feat because she was in full prancing and playing mode – fully secure in her “freedom” allowed her on this trail.  We knew if we could not get her on the leash – the coyote could start a chase – and she would take the bait and run “like a bat out of hell” into the woods.  We would never be able to catch her if this happened.

After putting her back on the leash we finished our walk – but with heightened awareness – as every crackle and snap all around us – reminded us of the danger on the trail for a small dog.  Many years ago a neighbor of ours lost a small dog in this spot and we believe it was a coyote or other wild animal.

It is something to think about.  The danger was probably always there, lurking in the woods – we just never sensed or saw it – until today.  How much of our lives are like this?  A feeling of safety and security – until – it is not anymore.  Sometimes we need a reminder – to just be careful.

Here’s wishing you and yours safety on your trail today.

God Bless

The Real Protector

We have a puppy.  A little dog who will never be much more than 10 or 11 pounds.  She is a lot of fun – and to be sure, so much more than I ever thought possible because she seems so human.  But I will never feel protection from her.  Just a lot of love.

This is our 10 month old Bichon Frise named Daisy. 
She is a wonderful dog.  She likes to cuddle and play, be silly – and loves to make us laugh by dragging a shoe or slipper off and then turning to see our reaction.  She is not destructive like I’ve heard so many breeds of dogs can be – especially when left alone for long periods of time.  When we come home from being gone – nothing is disturbed – and we know she just runs upstairs to our bed and sleeps.  She is gentle and LOVES people – sometimes too much and gets TOO excited when first greeting them, but then soon calms down and enjoys just being near anyone.  She follows me everywhere – my little shadow, hanging on my every word.

But Daisy is NOT a watch dog.  I’m glad I was somewhat prepared for this before deciding on the right breed for us.  I wanted a companion dog – Greg works a lot at night and knew it would be important to have the right kind of dog to keep me company.  And having a dog around I just knew I would be safer as the dog would alert me,  bark or growl and scare away prowlers and the like – at least I thought.  

However, Bichons are lovers not fighters.  Alas – that sweet cottony white angel is too gently and timid to be much of a menacing presence to scare anyone.  But they like to think they are.  For example:  she will be out in the yard playing, something will spook her, like the dogs barking next door and she will run in the doggie door and look through the french doors to the backyard and BARK AND BARK her head off.  Even occasionally HOWL and GROWL with such LOUD DETERMINATION – all the while safe in her own home.  It is quite humorous and this can go on for a very long time – until she feels the danger has passed – or that she has exerted herself for long enough to tell “them” a thing or two.

Unfortunately for me – she also feels the need to “alert” me – or “them” of her superiority in the “wee” hours while Greg is out and I am trying to sleep.  It can be very alarming to be awakened out of a deep sleep with Daisy barking before even raising her head and then flying off the bed to tell “whomever’ or ‘whatever’ that she is the boss of this house.   This behavior puts me in such a state of panic – I actually think there really is someone in the house – especially when she won’t stop growling standing firmly on the upstairs banister – staring straight down into the dark downstairs.   Yikes.  The first time it happened, several weeks ago, I was quite alarmed, thinking there really was someone in the house.  I turned on my iPhone and called Greg.  He said it was probably nothing – and sure enough – it was.  It did freak me out a little though, if I’m honest.  It does not happen every night – just enough to throw me off, keep me a little off-balance and really mess with me!

Last night it happened again.  But by now I have realized what makes her jump thinking the neighbors have probably just come home and opened up their garage door, which sounds a great deal like ours when it opens.  Daisy is waiting for “Daddy” to get home and is always sleeping with one eye open – waiting for that glorious moment when she can fly down the stairs to meet him 🙂  We both know the real protector of our home –

It’s Greg.

God Bless

A Quick Fix

Today we made another discovery with our 7 month old puppy, Daisy.  She is not a normal dog.  She is picky like a cat.  She does not scarf down food – instead sniffs it and sometimes will eat it.  If it suits her.  She eats to live – not the other way around.

Because she is a small white Bichon Frise – she also has tear staining issues.  We’ve tried everything.  But since being on more of a raw diet (fresh meat, freeze-dried and air-dried raw) she is much improved.  We were also told to get stainless steel bowls for her water and food.  She had pink porcelain before – but just in case any dye could seep through – we decided to try them.

Well believe it or not – she was FREAKED OUT because she could see her reflection in the shiny new bowls.  We tried to coax her to drink her water but she would NOT go anywhere near those scary things.

So we returned them and got plastic.  With plastic there is no clanking of her tag against metal or porcelain – so a double bonus.

But with these new bowls – there was another problem.  They were scary and deep.

She simply would NOT put her face inside the bowl to eat her food.  Drinking was okay because she didn’t have to go as far inside the bowl.  But in order to eat – we would have to put her food on the floor beside the bowl or hand feed it.  Because she is still a puppy – it is important for her to eat – tough love doesn’t work for growing puppies.

But we made a discovery!  When we brought the food up higher in her bowl – she went right to it and ate it just fine!  So Greg got a plastic lid – and with a little hot glue – he glued in to the inside of her bowl.

Guess who is eating now? With NO PROBLEM.

It was such a quick fix – so cheap and very little effort. And now we can all relax and know she is getting enough to eat 🙂

It’s the little things in life – that cost nothing, that give the most satisfaction.

When was the last time you had a “quick fix”?

God Bless

Who Is Leading You?

Today I took our puppy Daisy on her second walk ever with a leash.  It has been fun to watch her adapting to a leash for the first time.  At first she stood still and wouldn’t move – and now when I put it on she turns her head and tries to bite the leash – thinking she can get the blasted thing OFF!

When we walked today, she alternated between stopping to sniff everything in the patches of grass in neighbor’s yards – and getting tangled up in the leash, then stopping and dragging her feet so I would have to pull her.  There is some road construction on the road near our home and we walked near it on our circle coming back home.  She stopped and looked at the big trucks, pondered for a moment what she should do – and then turned toward home and RAN!  It was all I could do to hold her back from her fast TROT – we arrived home today in record time!

And it got me thinking – who was the one leading?  It should have been me – but most of the time because of her inexperience and lack of leash training – it was her.

Puppies need to be trained to walk at the same pace as their owners – and not take the lead.  They need to learn true submission and hold back natural and instinctive inclinations within them – like bolting, stopping to sniff every few steps and then refusing to move, having to be dragged.

This is a picture of what I must be like to my Heavenly Father.  He should be leader – but how often do I take it from Him?  I like to be independent and do my own thing – stopping and getting distracted with things that look good – but that aren’t especially good for me, wasting time on the wrong things – completely stopping and giving up – even though He is with me and guiding me through tough times – and then just BOLTING – when He asks me to SLOW DOWN and walk beside Him – not getting too far ahead so I can’t tell who is leading anymore.

His gentle tug on my “leash” is a gift to me – He is still in charge of my life and sees all the dangers around me – and the temptations.  He still needs to drag me through areas I don’t want to go through – and then teaches me patience at times when I want to go ahead on my own – even though my timing for things is not always right.  Like our puppy on a leash – I have an invisible one that connects me to God.  It is His invisible hand of protection on my life.  And like the good Father that He is – He knows what is best for me – even though I sometimes can’t see it.  He knows my weaknesses, and my fears – and promises to walk beside me – never taking His hand from my life for a moment, even though I may wander off on my own.

Why do I fear the unknown with Him beside me?  Can I match my pace with Him?  Will I ever learn true submission without question?   Sometimes I think I have it – and then I fail again.

Dear Lord,

Help me to be a better “follower” – and not attempt to take “the lead” from your hand.  Teach me true submission as you guide me silently through life’s circumstances and situations that I cannot see yet – or even comprehend.  Being in charge of my own life is exhausting and I want to give it over to you willingly – without the hint of reservations.  Help me with my stubbornness.  Help me not to get ahead of your plan and purpose for me life.    Help me to be ready for what lies ahead.  Teach me to know the sound of your voice so well – that I obey without question when you hold me back. Amen.

What is God asking of you today?  Can you match His stride?  Can you do what He requires of you today?

Are you the one leading?  Or is it God?

Who is leading you?

God Bless

Driving Miss “Daisy”

Many of you know that my husband and I became parents again – and at our age too!  No – it’s not a human baby, although we have raised two children and they now have homes of their own.  No – this time we took on a puppy – and not just any puppy.  A very special Bichon Frise puppy – all curly white, pink tummy and joyful bundle of happiness  🙂

We’ve been waiting since July for the day where we would go pick her up and drive her home.  There have been a few twists and turns along the way – which made the waiting harder – but wait we did.  Two weeks ago we went to visit and pick out just which special puppy would be “Daisy”.  And  at the right time where she was old enough to leave home – we took the journey to go and get her – this past Sunday.

Now I have not been the parent of a “baby”  human or otherwise – in 20 years.  So this was no easy task – I can assure you.  And although she is very good – and really smart – she is still a baby and very needy – more for attention than anything.  She does not like me out of her sight – so when she is “passed out” after eating, doing her business outside and playing hard – I have a few minutes to myself to shower, dress or anything else that needs doing without a puppy in tow.

Daisy is a sweet bundle of love.  Well worth the inconvenience for a few nights of adjustment without the usual amount of sleep,  to make sure she is comfortable and safe.  And since Bichon’s prefer human company over anything else – she not only sleeps with us at night – but stretches out and takes up most of the bed too!

For those of you that have had a puppy – or a Bichon Frise dog of any age – I think you’ll agree that they are worth the effort and give lots of humorous moments, love and sweetness – all the while looking adorable and cuddly.

I’ve met many new friends online who also have one of these special dogs and have discovered a bond of friendship with them, sharing our love of puppies and experiences with them.  And I’ve had countless support from many of my friends who have either a dog or cat – and think of them very much as their own children.  The love and encouragement have been priceless over the past several months and I feel as if I look at things in a strange new way, like a whole new world has opened up to me.

And I think – what a creative God we have!   He even cares about little puppies and made each of them with love and care – attention to detail that bring out a very special tugging at our heartstrings when we see them.  Recently I saw a program about puppies.  There is a chemical released in our brain when we are around a puppy – bringing out pure joy and happiness.  How many have said they love “puppy breath” and wish they could bottle it?   Me too.  Yes – there’s something about a puppy.

Below is a picture of our little Miss “Daisy” and a video too.

You know the saying, “puppy dogs, rainbows and ice cream”?  Well now I say it with new meaning and understanding.  There’s nothing better than a puppy 🙂

God Bless

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