Happy Fifth Birthday Grover!

DSC_4551Every year on my birthday Doc gives me the day off from writing my blog and she is nice enough to do it for me. This year she wrote me this sweet letter that I would like to share with you.


Dear Grover,

With each day and year that has passed, I continue to be amazed at the many gifts you have brought into my life. My intention from the first day I brought you home from the farm as a 9 week old puppy was to raise you to be the best therapy dog ever. I knew I was only human and needed the help of a dog that loves unconditionally to help me reach the people that cross my path. You have succeeded my expectations. You easily draw people in and put them at ease with your sweet and goofy nature and your willingness to comfort anyone that needs you.

Sometimes that includes me. I didn’t expect that because I am suppose to be the healer, but you have reminded me that sometimes I need healing as well.  You have stayed next to me and watched over me during illness, family tragedy or when I was just having a bad day. Luckily most of the days have been good and I find great joy in the many life adventures we share together. Life is never boring when you are around.

I think people are so drawn to dogs like you because not only do you love unconditionally, but you remind us that life is really more simple than we make it. When you bring us into your world of living in the moment, you reconnect our souls with what really counts in life.

So thank you Dear Grover, for all that you bring into our lives. Have the happiest fifth birthday ever!




groverpic ” Animals are such agreeable friends they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.”

— George Eliot

We All Scream for Ice Cream

IMG_0825When I woke up on Thursday morning who knew that by that evening, two young boys visiting from Pittsburgh would lead me to the promised land. It just goes to show you that your life can change from the mundane to the divine in an instant.

At about 10am, the doorbell rang,  and much to my embarrassment, Doc opened the front door holding a bag of my poop she had just picked up in the yard and was going to throw away. As awkward as that seemed it didn’t faze the two young boys as they came bounding into the house through the front door. Not the least bit tired from their 3 hour trip down the highway, they were ready for action and I was thrilled! They ran right over to me and I responded with a wagging tail and big slobbery kisses to the face. I cleaned out their ears free of charge. (Believe me when I tell you they needed a good cleaning). We ran around in the back yard for a while and just as fast as they arrived, they went flying out the back door with Doc and her friend for a day of fun at the water park. I have to admit, I was ready for a rest, those two boys had a lot of energy.

Many peaceful hours passed when suddenly the back door flew open and the thundering herd was back. The aroma of pizza filled the air, so I stuck close by until one of the boys named Jackson dropped a pepperoni on the floor that I ate in a flash. When dinner was over they asked, “what are we going to do now?” ” Let’s go out for ice cream” Doc said. ” Can Grover come along?” they asked.   And with a nod of agreement, we all piled into the car and headed down the road to Dairy Queen.

Now I don’t want to say that Doc has been holding out on me, but she has. When we got to the Dairy Queen, Doc and I stayed outside while everyone else went in and got their orders. Usually when Doc and I go she gets her ice cream and that’s it, I am just along for the ride.

Soon the boys returned and surprised me with the a most heavenly treat of all treats called a Doggie Sunday. A cup of ice cream with a big dog treat on top. I kind of gave Doc the stink eye while I was eating it. I though she might have been too cheap to ever buy me one, but she claims she didn’t know they had such a thing. She can’t claim that no more. Thank goodness for 11-year-old boys that love dogs.

groverpic ” If you want someone who will listen to you every time, do everything you tell them to do, and always be there for you for better or worse, get a dog.”

— Anonymous

Crushing on Cupcake

IMG_0813Would you find it strange if I admitted that I have developed a crush on a cute pot-bellied pig named Cupcake? I hesitated to make it public because some of my dog friends said the whole thing was weird and that I should stick to my own species. Whatever. Sometimes when you meet the girl of your dreams, she has a pink snout and a curly- cue tail.

One day Doc and I went out to the farm to check out some horses. Doc had the idea that some of the patients she works with might find it calming to be able to work with the horses in addition to working with me. I thought it was a grand idea and came along to be supportive. After meeting a good-looking steed named Sirius, we were told to walk through the stall and out into the paddock if we wanted to meet the resident pig. Pig! I almost said out loud, what’s a pig? And there she was, sleeping in the wet mud, making little grunting pig sounds. When she looked up and saw that a dog was in her sty, she let out a squeal that about broke my ear drums. But as soon as I looked into those little brown eyes I was smitten. We looked each other up and down, sniffed each other and I suddenly found myself joining Cupcake in a roll in the cold gooey mud. It was heaven. To my surprise I vowed my love to her and told her I would return soon. I even posted a picture of the two of us on Facebook to show we were a couple.

After Doc hosed the mud off of me and we started driving home I asked her, “Is it possible for a dog to love a pig?” Doc was still for a moment and then she said, ” Grover, love will show up when your heart is open. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pig, a goat or a beautiful Golden Retriever. If you love a pig that’s fine with me, but just remember one thing, if you date a pig, it probably wouldn’t be right for you to eat bacon any more.” No Bacon!, I screamed, that’s it, hand me the phone, I am breaking up with Cupcake right now. And that was the end of my romance with a pig.

groverpic ” What is man without beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts soon happens to man. All things are connected.”

— Chief Seattle (Iduwamish Tribe)

With Liberty and Justice for All!

IMG_0800Next Tuesday will be the 4th of July, one of my favorite holidays. What’s not to love? Doc and I will be spending time with family, eating good food and watching the fire works, all to celebrate The United States 241st birthday! It’s hard to believe that 241 years have passed since 56 men waged an open rebellion against the British to form 13 colonies that would be independent from the most powerful empire on earth.

From a dogs perspective, I feel that it takes courage to break away from the old pack that you have been running with for years. Moving forward and forming a new pack with different values that benefit the entire pack and not just the alpha dog can feel scary and unfamiliar. I think that’s why so many people get stuck. It’s easier to stay with what’s familiar even if you are miserable. Luckily, that group of brave adventurers were not afraid to start something new.

It is interesting to watch how all of you Americans still try to debate the liberties you were given so long ago. But that is the beauty of The Declaration of Independence. We were granted the right of free speech. Never take that for granted. I guess the trick is not to trample on other people’s rights in the process of standing up for what you believe in. I think Abraham Lincoln said it best; ” Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” Important words to ponder I think.

Doc and I want to wish all of you a wonderful 4th of July. Happy Birthday USA, let freedom ring!

groverpic ” The dogs agenda is simple, fathomable, overt: I want.  I want to go out, come in, eat something, lie here, play with that, kiss you. There are no ulterior motives with a dog, no mind games, no second-guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains, and no guilt trips or grudges if a request is denied.”

— Caroline Knapp

False Alarm

IMG_0811 We first noticed the chirping sounds as soon as we got home from work. Doc, all too familiar with the noise, knew one of the batteries in the smoke alarm needed changed. Since Doc had to eat a quick lunch, change her clothes and dash to a meeting, she needed to put off fixing it until she got home. What she didn’t realize is that she had made a very poor decision.

Left alone at home with the obnoxious noise, I got under the bed and covered my ears. At about 8 pm, the back door opened. After changing her clothes, Doc put a fresh battery in her pocket, got the ladder from the garage and carried it to the room where the smoke alarm was making the noise. Swiftly she climbed the ladder, changed the battery and closed the opening to the smoke alarm. As she put her foot on the last rung of the ladder the chirping sounded again. Back up the ladder she went, trying to fix it off and on for at least 20 minutes until she decided there was nothing more she could do. She couldn’t just remove the battery to make it stop because the alarms are electrically wired through out the house so you can’t stop the noise unless you detach the wires. Thinking that the battery might be bad, and given that she had no more of them, she decided to wait until the next day. Bad idea. She shut the door to the room, came downstairs and after about an hour we went to bed.

As the house became quiet, all you could hear through out the night was that darn ” chirp, chirp, chirp” off in the distance every 15 minutes through out the entire night. Needless to say, neither of us got any sleep and we drug through our work the next day as best we could. On the way home we stopped and bought fresh batteries.

Once again after getting home, Doc climbed back up the ladder and put in the fresh battery. Surely the problem was now solved and we would have peace and quiet again. Nope, not a chance, “chirp, chirp, chirp,” it sounded once again. Well you should have seen the look on Doc’s face, it was a cross between exasperation and fury. ” Please make it stop!”, she yelled. I was right there with her until she started talking about getting a gun and shooting the darn thing.

Knowing it was time for an intervention, I texted her nephew that happens to be an electrician and typed the following, ” Please come help us! The smoke alarm won’t stop chirping. We are sleep deprived and not thinking clearly. Doc has done everything she can think of and is now threatening to kill it with a weapon.” Luckily her nephew was close by finishing up a job and came right over. Quickly he disconnected it, removed the wires and said that the whole smoke alarm was bad and needed replaced.

In an instance, a wave of calm and normalcy returned to the house. I did learn one important thing from the whole adventure. If I ever need to get any top-secret information from Doc, all I need to do is lock her in a room with a chirping smoke alarm and she will give up the farm.

groverpic ” The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.”

— Johnny Depp