Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Please Vote

Please vote for the Arizona Humane Society today for the best animal shelter in Phoenix. They are in the Shopping and Services category. We are just 3% behind AAWL (also a great shelter) and today is the last day to vote!

The Arizona Humane Society is the organization I foster for. They are also the organization that took care of Mo after she was hit by a train. They are the organization that trusted her rehab to my foster care. They are the organization that brought Mo into my life. Yay, AHS!

From a literal train-wreck of a dog to this:
Thank you, AHS!

Please vote!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


This is the definition of optimism:
If I buy tons of cat food, that means my kitty will have to stick around to eat the tons of cat food, right? Right!!

Poor kitty. A year ago I took Al to the vet for what turned out to be a lung infection. I was told then that he also had the beginnings of kidney failure and a weak heart. I think the lung infection is starting to come back - he's coughing a lot again. Also, he has lost even more weight. Poor little guy is just skin and bones. He still looks like a big cat though thanks to the fluff!
While he is losing lung, kidney and heart functionality, he hasn't lost any functionality of his purr-motor! He's a happy little kitty (as long as Mo isn't around hassling him). He likes to curl around my head and purr directly in my ear. He also likes to chew my hair and bite my skull, but that isn't allowed. Naughty kitty!Since my kitty is the coolest kitty in the world, I remain optimistic that he will stick around long enough to eat all that cat food. And then long enough for me to buy that much again. And again. And again. I love my kitty!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mini Updates

  • PLAYOFF HOCKEY! Coyotes lead the series 2-1 over Detroit. Woo hoo! Because everything revolves around me, I'm going to go out on a limb and say the game they lost is my fault. I was there for Game 1 - we won! I watched Game 3 on tv - we won! Game 2, however, I was flying over the plains and thus unable to watch - we lost. OBVIOUSLY, my viewing presence is a factor in the outcome of the game. Yes, I will be watching tomorrow! Sadly, I will not be watching on Friday, as I will again be flying over the plains.

  • Why so much flying? Because for me, it's Twilight Town Treks twenty-four/seven. Ok, that's a lie since I just told you've I've watched two hockey games...but it feels like the truth. This past weekend I flew to St. Louis to choose a start/finish location and map out the St. Louis race. It was 9 full hours of walking. Damn, my knees hurt! This upcoming weekend Christy and I will be doing the same thing in Indianapolis for the Indy race.

  • Two weekends ago, Christy and I spent Friday night walking Phoenix to plan the Phoenix race. Early the next morning we went white-water rafting (fun!), then came home and headed immediately downtown for another three hours to finish the race planning. Seriously, this race stuff is exhausting. I sincerely hope all this exhausting work will pay off! And trust me, the race is going to be FUN! If you haven't signed up yet, please do! And if you know anyone in St. Louis or Indianapolis, let them know about the race!

  • No foster doggies right now. With all the travel I'm doing, I told Pat I would take a break so he doesn't get stuck with taking care of four dogs! I'm probably pushing it with making him take care of F/G/M.

  • Did someone say travel? Two weekends after Indianapolis, I will be going to California with Irene and Michelle for a much-delayed (by three years!) trip to Six Flags.

  • Mo did 12 weave poles at class the other day! YAY!

  • So, I'm bowling in a league now. Yeah, yeah, I know. But, it's a flex league, so I can bowl by myself and I can go anytime I want. This past Sunday I was on fire - I got a 187 and a 194! A 200 game is one of the things I've got to do before I die. I was only 6 pins off! No dying yet, I guess.

  • I rode my bike to work today. I really shouldn't be allowed to ride a bike. I am not coordinated enough to safely pull it off. When I look over my left shoulder to check traffic before crossing a street, I inevitably follow my head's lead and drift leftward into that traffic. Maybe dying will happen before the 200 game after all.

  • Things are still pretty sucky. Some days I deal with it better than other days.

Monday, April 12, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 20: Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Phoenix Coyotes makes a glove save during the NHL game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Arena on March 20, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Blackhawks 5-4 in an overtime shootout. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Today has been a really, really rough day. Really, really rough.

Actually, it's been a pretty rough past week. While I was wallowing in all the sorts of sucky that I'm drowning in, I tried to come up with a list of things that aren't sucky. The one that topped the list was that my Coyotes are going to the playoffs. That is pretty cool.

Too bad they are going to lose.

Why am I so pessimistic? Well, because the reason we got into the playoffs is because we won so many games that earned us the necessary amount of points. Cool, right?

Yeah, except what we really excelled at was overtime wins. And more specifically, shoot-out wins. We won more games via shoot-out than any other team in the NHL. And you know what? They don't HAVE shoot-outs in the playoffs. If you can't win a game in regular time, and you can't win a game in overtime, how are you going to win a playoff game?

It's as simple as that. I'm not even going to go into the fact that our opponent is Detroit. That is secondary.

However, I'll still be there cheering my voice away on Wednesday. I would love to be proven wrong.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

AHS Compassion With Fashion

Last Saturday was the Humane Society's Compassion With Fashion featuring Oliver, America's Next Top Model. As you know, I took Oliver back to the shelter on Thursday. On Saturday I was at the resort early for my volunteer shift and oh-so-ready to see my Bonzai Boy again! I greeted him as they took him off the truck. He was so ecstatic to see me! Ah, does the heart good.For the first two hours, there was a meet-and-greet on the lawn for all the event attendees to meet and play with the adoptable dogs. Oliver was a superstar! He was friendly with all the other dogs and all the guests. I learned something new about him, too: Oliver LOVES children. LOVES THEM! This little boy was the first to visit. The little boy sat down and within two seconds Oliver was in his lap. It was so cute. Then these little girls came to visit and same thing...Oliver just could not get enough of their little hands and squeaky voices.
There were so many awesome adoptable dogs. I thought that Oliver would be the belle of the ball with no problem, but that was before I met the world's friendliest miniature schnauzer, Hans; the world's cutest, friendliest golden retriever, Avery; the teeny-tiniest Chihuahua with no inferiority complex at all, Mia; a Great Dane that looked exactly like my fashion-show foster from two years ago; this super-duper cute pomeranian/papillon/fuzzball mix, Sergio:There was an awesome chocolate lab, Creedence, who had impeccable manners and didn't steal Oliver's toy from him even though she wanted to so, so, so, so badly:There was a mastiff, too:If I forget about the four-month-old, one-eyed, ball of fluff shih-tzu mix named Monkey and the pint-sized three-month-old border terrier/tiniest thing you can think of mix named Brad, then Oliver was the belle of the ball! How could it be any other way? Just look at him!
Ok, Brad and Monkey raised the most money, but Oliver was third! People bought $10 raffle tickets for the opportunity to adopt the dogs. EVERYONE wanted those 2 dogs. But almost everyone wanted Oliver, too.
In the end, he had about 30 tickets. I felt so bad for the dogs that didn't have very many people interested in them. Odie, the Great Dane only had 2 tickets. The most shocking one was Sergio - he only had 4 or 5 tickets in his bucket the last time I looked. Let's look at him again:
Seriously? In addition to being this handsome, he was also friendly, well-behaved and loved the kids and the other dogs. I just don't get it! I would have chosen him in a heartbeat!! But no worries, in the end, every doggie and every kitty got a home!

We took a short break while the guests were seated and served their lunches. Oliver was exhausted and fell asleep as soon as I sat down.
Then we lined up with the firefighter escorts for the fashion show. Oliver followed Odie, the Dane. Odie and Oliver became friends while they were waiting.
It was pretty amazing - there were 15 shelter dogs lined up end to end and there was no misbehaving by anyone and no barking at all!! What a bunch of keepers!! The AHS folks did a great job of picking this year's models!

I gave Oliver's firefighter a brief run-down on how Oliver heels and sits when you stop. She was all prepared to go out and show the crowd his wonderful leash-skills. I was backstage during the show, so I didn't get to see Oliver walk the runway. I got to see the live video though.

Oliver didn't actually get a chance to walk the runway. Why? Let me tell you! (WARNING- grumpy Child-Hater alert!!) Because all the parents let their kids leave their tables and crowd the runway and scream and grab at the dogs as they walked by. So annoying. Let's give another round of kudos to the AHS staff for picking 15 dogs that could handle that kind of pressure without snapping. Most of them, like Oliver, loved every minute of it.
In the end, Oliver was adopted by a stay-at-home grandma who watches her 2-year-old grandson every day. Oliver will be happy to have someone home all the time! Hopefully she lets him play with the little boy! She also adopted a kitten at the event, so Oliver will have a little playmate to replace his buddy, Al. After the adoption was complete, I took Oliver to his new mom and showed her his tricks and training to date. Sit, down, stay, roll over, spin, heel. She looked at me and said, "Wow, I've never had a dog that could sit before." Oy. Somehow, I get the impression that there will be no future training in her house. Poor guy - he really likes it and he's got so much potential! Ah, well...he's got a good home and I'm sure he'll be really happy. Hurray, Oliver!

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Tent or a Hotel Room??

Pat got a new tent. He did a ton of research over the past year to get exactly the tent he wanted. He spent a crazy amount on this tent, in my opinion. I have this opinion because with our crazy schedules, there really aren't that many free weekends to go camping. He had it for months before he finally used it. I harassed him quite a bit that if was going to be in possession of such a fine tent, he'd probably make an effort to use the fine tent.

Putting it up in the backyard doesn't count!He finally went camping with his dad over Easter. He's getting his money's worth. Right now, he's at about $200 a night! No, that didn't come with room service, big screen TV or a view of the ocean. :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cuz It's 80's Night and the Feelin's Right...

At the Ugly Christmas Sweater party in December, Nicole, Emily and I made a New Year's Resolution that in 2010 we would dress up in costumes more often.

To that end, Nicole's 30th birthday was a costume party, specifically an 80's party to celebrate the year that started it all.

Nicole went crazy with the crimper, which for the record, has been in Emily's possession since the 80's.
I went classic with the skinny ankle Esprit pants and the jacket with shoulder pads over the mock turtleneck with shoulder pads.
Emily does her best Jem and the Holograms.
Karissa goes Working Girl 80's. Damn, that dress was a find! Sun City has some good thrift stores if you are in the market for something equally as stunning.
August is such a poser. She's not much of a costume girl. We couldn't even get to her actually put on the New Kids on the Block t-shirt!
What a bunch of 80's hotties. I know all the other people at the bar were so jealous of us! ;)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Oliver: The Next Top Model

The Arizona Humane Society's Compassion with Fashion fundraiser is this weekend. Oliver is going to be a model and then be raffled off to a new family. I took him back to the shelter today. He was happy, happy, happy like he always is, until he realized that he was supposed to go one way (toward the kennels) and I was going the other way (back out the door). Then he planted his little feet and refused to walk any further and he gave me the sad, sad, sad face. :(

My volunteer duty at the fashion show is to be Oliver's handler. Yay! I get to see him again on Saturday.

He really is a cutie! And super-smart, too. One day I decided that I probably should get off my lazy bum and teach him to walk nicely on a leash. Jen, the wonderful dog walker, has been walking him with the other dogs, but he had never been walked alone. I put him on the leash, took him outside and made him sit. Treat. Walked 10 feet, did the same. Etc. By the time we had gone 4 or 5 houses away, the dog was walking in heel position and giving me automatic sits. WTF? Amazing! It wasn't a one-time occurrence either. He still heels like a pro on all our walks. What a super star!

Oliver loves stuffed toys. He likes to carry one around all the time. Then he likes to kill it. He used to "bury" it in the covers (meaning on top of the covers) but then he realized it was much more fun to tear the stuffing out instead! This was his very-favorite toy before he learned the joy of stuffing extraction:
I took him to the agility trial a few weekends ago. He was starting to be skittish around guests at my house. This was bad and thus more socialization was in order. In true Oliver fashion, he was a super star at the show. He was hesitant for a few minutes, but by the end of the day was loving every stranger he met.
At the agility trial, I cleaned up in the Corgi Rescue raffle. I didn't win a corgi, but I did win 2 bags, a gift certificate for a facial, and the MOST coveted prize of all....A GIANT STUFFED HEDGEHOG! Woo Hoo!!!!Oliver loved the hedgehog. Never mind that it was 4 times his size! He tugged and tugged til he got it where he wanted it.He tried to get it up on the bed, but since it weighs more than him, he was not successful. But he did keep trying and keep trying! Very persistent little guy!If there is not a stuffed toy around, Oliver will gladly substitute for slippers. I'll have to warn his new family of this tendency. I took this picture this morning, right before I abandoned him at the shelter. :(

And in other news...I found a new type of food that Al seemed to really like. Then he threw up all over the bed. That was annoying. Also, Pat and I got into a teeny-tiny pre-cursor of a fight yesterday and he immediately threw out the "I don't get to have kids because of you" card. And it wasn't even a real fight! That was also annoying.