Saturday, August 27, 2011

Duchess: The Sequel

Duchess spent two days at the veterinarian's office after she came to live with us. As you may know, she spent the past EIGHT YEARS in a local shelter.  The day before I adopted her she spent time at the shelter vet so you can imagine my surprise when my vet told me she had five infected teeth, both ears were infected and her remaining eye was so infected she could not see!
When I went to my vet to retrieve her after her two day stay, the technician told me that "shelter care is not the same as regular care".  How could that be?  The shelter vets charge a discounted fee but does that mean the service they render is acceptably incompetent?  This kitty and many other animals may be suffering under the "care" of veterinarians whose job it is to keep them well!
Unacceptable! All the more reason to adopt a shelter pet (or seven)!

She currently is not feeling her all-time best but in time she will recover and gain much needed weight.
She is a loving girl.  Very trusting as well.  I cannot imagine the suffering she has endured!
She has been in the upstairs guest bathroom since Thursday after her surgeries.  She looked so sweet in her iron canopy cat bed but I have no photos.  You'll have to take my word!
I, however, slept on the tile floor next to her.  My back feels surprisingly good, though!  LOL!

Faerie Princess and Atticus slept near her on the bed in our room this morning but Duchess didn't want them to get too close.  She certainly is a bed hog!
I wish to thank everyone for their well-wishes.  I have been busy with the little angel so I may not have responded to everyone as I would have liked...

To those in Irene's safe.  You are in my prayers!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Preparedness For Pets

Surrounded by litter left by refugees, a dog remained tied to the railing of a highway ramp in New Orleans on September 3, 2005, six days after Hurricane Katrina. Like many of the city's newly stranded pets, the dog may have been refused passage by rescuers as they evacuated its owners.

In one such instance reported by the Associated Press the previous week, a police officer took a dog from a sobbing young boy as he was waiting to board an evacuation vehicle. The officer had no idea what would become of the dog, he told an AP reporter.

 U.S. Air Force Lt. Nathan Brosheal held a kitten that had been rescued and airlifted to Louisiana's New Orleans International Airport in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the city on August 29.

Thousands of dogs, cats, and other animals have been stranded along the U.S. Gulf Coast as a result of the hurricane. Rescue workers in New Orleans denied pets entry to some shelters and often refused to allow animals aboard evacuation vehicles, according to reports. 

The ASPCA advises residents to bring all pets inside their home in the event of a hurricane or other severe weather emergency. This includes dogs in outdoor kennels and outdoor cats. Prepare a space for them away from windows where they will be protected from falling debris.
Remember, if the space is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pet.
Prepare an emergency kit for each animal in your home. The kit should include:
•           Pet first aid kit and manual
•           One week supply of food, water and medications
•           Copies of vaccination records with your veterinarian’s contact number
•           Photographs of pets in case they become lost and you need to create a “missing” flyer
•           Sturdy carrier for each pet
•           Leash and collars
•           Comforting blanket
•           Disposable litter trays
•           Litter
•           Pet food and water bowls
•           Garbage bags for cleanup
•           Toys
•           Always take your animals with you when there is an emergency. If disaster strikes and you cannot get to your home, use a pre-planned “buddy system” and call your neighbor to get your pet. If you are forced to evacuate your home, don't leave your pet behind. Find out if any local hotels take pets. Call area veterinarians and kennels who might board your pet. Find out who does this in advance.
•           Keep one carrier per pet in an easily accessible place in your home.
•           If you absolutely must leave your dog or cat behind, bring them inside; do not leave a dog tied outside. Put a large sign on the door to notify rescue crews to the presence of pets; leave plenty of water in a large open container; leave food in a dispenser-style bowl (so your pet can't eat it all at once); and do not tie or cage your dog or cat.
•           Make sure pets are properly restrained:
o   Cats: Have a properly fitting harness and leash in your supplies so that if your cat must be confined in a cage for an extended period of time, you can take it out for exercise.
o   Dogs: Have a properly fitting harness and at least a 6-foot leash in your supplies for walking your dog. Disasters are stressful for dogs, and a frightened dog can slip out of a collar, but not a harness.
•           Maintain up-to-date copies of your pets’ medical records. Keep medical records and photos with the important insurance papers that you would take with you if you had to evacuate.
•           If your pet requires medication, always have a two-week supply available in case there is a disaster and you cannot get to an animal hospital.
•           Make sure your pet has a collar and ID tag and if possible, have them microchipped. Collars should include your pet’s name, your telephone number(s) and an emergency contact. Remember that proper identification will greatly increase your chances of being reunited with your pet if she becomes lost.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Navy SEAL U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jon T. Tumilson was among the 30 American troops killed August 6 when Taliban insurgents downed their Chinook helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. At his funeral in Iowa, his dog Hawkeye paid his last respects, walking up to the casket, lying down in front of it, and heaving a sigh.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


In exactly one hour and twenty one minutes we will be bringing a new friend home.  I was so excited that I cannot sleep!
Her name is Duchess and she is perfect!

I will be spelling her name a bit differently.  I hope she doesn't mind! Hi Duchess!  I cannot WAIT to see you again!  Oddly, I always have animal names lined up in case I meet another stray.  Duchess was the next name on my list.

While creating my last "New Leash On Life" post I gave in to  PetFinder temptation and I looked in my local area for pets in need.
Several weeks ago I lost one of my best kitty friends, Shenanigan, to cancer.  The loss was unexpected and devastates me to this day.  I miss her more than mere words can define.

I know all too well how many animals need loving homes.  It is heart wrenching.  
All of our kitties were strays.  They literally walked into our lives (and we are all the better for it!)
Since we have moved to our new home there are no strays in the immediate area.  I know.  I have been looking! The subdivision is brand new and devoid of any animal life.  No squirrels, skunks, oppossums, raccoons.  Some birds.  Not many.  No trees.  I digress...

When Shenanigan passed my husband said "well, we are used to having six cats..." Hardened police officer by night, cat furniture by day (he works nights).

I am in no way attempting to replace Shenanigan.  She has a special place in my heart, in the fabric of me.  My animal friends have given me nothing but unconditional love.  It is a breeze and a gift to love them back.  The amazing thing about love is that the more you give the more you have to give.  My pets taught me that.  In doing so, they have planted a seed in my heart and soul.

I called the shelter where Duchess has been living for the past  EIGHT YEARS!!!  They have a policy that you have to wait 24 hours between filling out paperwork an bringing your pet home.  Since they are closed on Fridays we had to wait until today. On Thursday,  Gracie and I sped to the shelter to meet Duchess before they closed.  I was so nervous, afraid she wouldn't like me.  The shelter manager directed me to her cage.  It was open but she was sleeping inside.  All the cats roam during the day.  I was in kitty heaven!
We walked to her cage and asked the manager if Duchess minded if I picked her up.  The manager told me that she didn't know because "no one ever tries".  
I spoke softly and gently lifted her.  She was so full of purrs and affection!
Duchess is thirteen years old.  She was found abandoned in a vacant apartment with her kitten eight years ago.  Her kitten died.  She had a terrible eye infection which necessitated its removal.  Poor, perfect little angel. 
No one had tried to pick her up...  That echoes in my head.
Her story isn't the only one.  There were so many sad looking little babies who had been let down by the people they trusted.

We will be getting ready to leave soon.  
Duchess!  We will be there when the shelter opens! You will sleep on velvet, feathers and silk.  You will eat out of silver and crystal.  We will love you forever. We will cherish every moment of your time with us.  I will never let you suffer again.  I promise.  I promise.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Leash On Life! Making a House a Home! Meet Popcorn!

We all know a house without loved ones just isn't a home. I don't know what I would do without the love and affection that pours from my fuzzy friends. They give me more love than I will ever be able to return in a lifetime! They keep me sane in this crazy, crazy world! 
As I prepared this post I initially put a random zipcode into the PetFinder search engine.  Then I saw something that stopped me COLD!

This ...


Popcorn had a rough start, but we are going to make sure that changes! After being thrown from a moving car, Popcorn was brought to one of our foster locations covered in fleas. After a thorough flea bath, skinny little Popcorn was given a bowl of baby food and lots of love. Popcorn enjoys other animals, all the human snuggles he can get and toys of course! Contact us for more information about bringing Popcorn into your family! CONTACT HELPINGPAWSINFO@GMAIL.COM FOR ADOPTION INFORMATION.

More about Popcorn

Up-to-date with routine shots • House trained • Primary colors: Orange or Red, Tabby - Orange or Red • Coat length: Short

I normally choose older pets because they are usually left behind but God wanted you to meet Popcorn! Hold him and his friends in your prayers, please! Don't forget that he is not the only shelter animal who needs your help!  Of the millions of unwanted, abandoned and neglected animals, PetFinder only represents a portion!
Shelters everywhere need volunteers, blankets, towels, newspaper, cat litter, cleaning supplies and money for day to day

We are all so abundantly blessed.  Let's share our good fortune!

With Love and Hope,


Friday, August 12, 2011

Is This Normal?

Sooo....I planted the final boxwood in my parterre today.  I think.  Well, I am waiting on replacements for a few plants that have already passed into the Great Beyond.
Here's the thing, though...  I think I hate my garden.
Maybe after I place the pea gravel I will like it.  I dunno.  Maybe after I plant the yew hedge in the front yard? Maybe when the dead grass grows in?  Maybe it needs more to the design?
Sigh. I am a lunatic.

Is it me? Have you ever completed a project that left you feeling underwhelmed?

I am linking up with Courtney at The French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More Craigslist Finds...

I had prepared this post the day before Shenanigan's passing.  Every second of every day has been consumed with missing her.  Every last second.  I still can't believe she is gone. I would like to thank all of you for your kind sentiments.  It means so much to me that I am not alone in my grief.
I have not worked on the gardens, nor the house or much else, for that matter.
I have made a conscious decision to start easing back into the world, though there is a veneer of sadness covering everything.
Here is the post I created.  I hope you enjoy it!


I have been so busy lately, digging garden beds and enjoying the summer with my wonderful family that I have not taken the time to post my Craigslist finds with my dear Blog friends.  Without further ado, here are some exciting finds...more to come!

Pair of (over) four foot tall glazed terra cotta lions purchased from Craigslist.  I need to make plinths that match the brick on the house or perhaps limestone? I have them flanking the driveway.  

Four foot iron fountain from Craigslist used as bird bath.

Bronze fountain from Craigslist.  I drove to St. Louis for this...

Cherub urn on plinth from Craigslist...

Craigslist cherub on plinth surrounded by boxwood and gladiolus.

Three piece Victorian urn on plinth from Wisconsin Craigslist.  I was going to repaint but I kinda' like the silver and rust patina...

Concrete Craigslist urns flanking sunroom doors...

Architectural salvage and Craigslist odds and ends used to make a display in front entry...

Arbor attempting to disguise ginormous air conditioner!

Front of house.  Please consider this a "before" photo!  LOL! You can see the English Garden in progress.

Under this tarp is 6 yards of mushroom compost waiting for the side garden beds...

One of three iron urns on plinths that flank garage doors...

Close-up of one of three bronze plaques we found on ebay and placed on the walls flanking garage...

12 foot x 7 foot iron gate found on Craigslist for $500!

These will be the entrance to the side garden...

One of four "Four Seasons" cherubs in one of the side gardens...

Close up shows how  cherubs sit upon closet shelving and rebar to disguise window wells and keep the critters out!  I didn't want those cheapy plastic window well covers! I planted ivy, which will soon cover the grate...

Glimpse of boxwood parterre...

Plants patiently waiting for the side gardens to be prepared...

I tried to get a photograph of the red rose garden surrounding the pavillion but it was difficult...

Seems all you can see is the empty lot next door!  I am waiting to put the fence in.  Right now we are only allowed to have a four foor plastic fence.  I am lobbying for that to change. The builder for this development went bankrupt so there really is no one in charge! I really want a five foot trellis style wooden fence painted a bluish green!

Craigslist tapestry temporarily hanging over entryway balcony...covering that ghastly builder's oak!

Louis chairs purchased for $15 each on Craigslist.   The wood will be painted Gustavian grey and upholstered in linen.

Grandfather clock purchased on Craigslist.  It came out of a haunted Chicago restaurant called 
That Steak Joynt.  I painted it a white grey to suggest otherworldness!  LOL! It is missing its base but I am sure I'll find something!

Leather chair purchased from Craigslist for Library...

Louis cane chaise purchased from Craigslist for $300! I temporarily covered the apple green upholstered cushion in a matelasse quilt.  The cushion is very heavy, as it is stuffed with horsehair!

Reproduction oeil de boeuf mirror temporarily hung over mantel...

One of theCraigslist Louis XVI cane chairs in Gracie's sitting area. I meant to paint them grey but results were a bit too blue. It will have to do for now until I have time to repaint it. I need to make new cushion covers for the down cushions.  

The chairs are from Sweden and looked like this when I bought them...the trim is actually an orange-red. The woman I purchased these from was moving back to Sweden.  Her son was playing the violin when I rang the doorbell.  He had just won a scholarship to a prestigious music school and was playing for his parents.  I could have listened for hours!

Gothic church window purchased from Craigslist, placed over tub in Master Bath...

Detail of the iron leg on a French campaign bed I purchased from Craigslist for Gracie's room...

I purchased the hutch for Gracie's room from a French woman on Craigslist in Chicago.  It had belonged to her husband as a child in France.  It cost almost nothing!  

Dressing table purchased from Craigslist. Cherub mirror from ebay.  Stool from Ballard Design...

Vitrine from Craigslist purchased for Gracie's room to showcase her treasures...


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