Sunday, November 11, 2012



Meet Barney, my latest foster. Barney is a recovering from a broken leg via a splint and cage rest. He is a two year old Lhasa Apso. Or maybe a Shih Tzu. Who knows? The shelter says lhasa, I say shih tzu. I did a google search on the difference between a lhasa apso and a shih tzu and the best I can tell is that shih tzus wear there top hair in a pony tail and lhasas don't. Since this little dude came in as a stray, there was no one to be styling his hair so that differentiation is lost on him. No matter what his breed, he is a cute little sweetie.

His cast is so big. His leg sticks out in front of him when he sits.

His leg sticks out to the side when he sleeps. That can't be comfortable, can it?

Barney has a few favorites things, such as my dogs, getting the zoomies and chewing bully sticks. I hope a big alarm sounded when you read "zoomies". He's supposed to be on cage rest, remember? Zoomies are strictly NOT allowed. Well, this morning I was in a huge hurry and it takes me forever to find the collar ring under all that hair so I didn't put a leash on him to go potty outside. I figured he would pee real quick and then I'd pick him and take him inside, just like every other morning for the past 3 weeks. I underestimated Barney's intelligence! He knew he wasn't on a leash and he knew that means I had no control of him. I put him down on the ground and SHAZAM! He was off. He was zipping around like a dog on fire, huge grin on his face. He wouldn't come near me at all. It was a huge game of keep away...the funnest game a dog has ever invented, according to the dog. Not so fun for the human! Especially when that human is in charge of CAGE REST! I take some solace in the fact that he did his zoomies all on 3 legs and didn't put any weight on the broken leg. Finally I gave up and went inside and he followed me so he wouldn't be left outside alone.

Barney does not like to be alone. He wants to be with you and be a part of the family. When he's in his x-pen in the dining room, he will go crazy with the barking if I leave the room, even to just grab something from my bedroom. At night, I put him in a crate in the dogs' room. He's not alone, right? He's got Frankie, Georgie and Mo with him. Yeah, try telling him that. He'll go to sleep for a little bit, but he will wake up in the middle of the night barking. And barking. And barking. I try to let him bark himself out, like a normal dog would do, but no. He doesn't give up. After an hour and 40 minutes (not exaggerating), I would give in. I couldn't take it longer than that. Finally, I gave in altogether and now he just sleeps in my room from the get-go....and not a peep all night. As long as he is with the people, he is a happy and QUIET little dog.

His ideal life would to be with us and with the dogs, too. He LOVES the dogs. He wants so badly to play with them. He tries to wrestle with Georgie and he play bows Frankie into a game of chase that he can't follow through on because I've got him on a leash. Poor little guy. I am looking forward to him being cleared for activity, because Frankie will be so happy to have someone to play with.  Georgie has turned into a lazy-butt recently and doesn't play with him as often and he is sad. Barney will be good for him, hopefully soon!  Though when he's cleared for activity, he will go back to the shelter shortly after that to go find himself a forever home. Hopefully that home has dogs!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gilmore Adventure Race 2012

Fall racing season started off with the Gilmore Adventure Race in September. This is my favorite race of the year because we always win our division. This year it sucked because we didn't win our division.  Ok, it's actually my favorite because it is the most challenging, both mentally and physically, of all the races we do and it has super-fun mystery events. This year was no exception. Maybe it was too challenging, though, since we didn't win our division.  :(

The race started with some trekking checkpoints first. To get to the wilderness, we had to run through this neighborhood. We were behind all those people.

But we caught up...and here we are - IN THE LEAD!

The hiking checkpoints went well. Irene navigated fabulously. I provided fabulous moral support to her navigating. It was good. Having fun trekking:

After we zipped through our first set of checkpoints, we headed back to the transition area for some mystery events. Yay, mystery events! Why doesn't someone create an event with no running, no navigating, no clue-solving, just all mystery events? That would be a blast!

The first event was to throw balls into a bucket. Easy enough, except one of us had to wear the bucket tied to our back while facing away from our teammate. Like this:
Obviously that is not us, but there were no pictures of us so you get to see the team that was first at this point. Irene and I did not do very well at this. We switched off wearing the bucket a few times and eventually got all the balls in. It was fun even though we sucked at it.

The second event was to go out around a cone and back without your feet touching the ground. We were given pieces of wood to maneuver under our feet. If you fell off you had to start over. We fell off once at the beginning but then figured out a method that would work.
Next up was the bike leg of the race. Have I told you how bad I am at biking? I've been doing a lot of road biking recently so I was hoping that would translate to better mountain biking. Irene plotted the checkpoints, transposed the checkpoints onto a better quality map and we were off. About halfway to our way in to the wilderness, Irene changed her mind and decided we'd do better coming in the back way. We zoomed back past the TA and headed down past where we had been hiking. After we got to the back end of the wilderness, we couldn't find where we should go in to start looking for the checkpoints - it was all still neighborhoods. Uh oh. No, really, UH OH!

After looking at both maps for a bit, we realized that the transposing of checkpoints was wrong. We had marked our better map a few miles east of where we really were supposed to be. UH OH.  We were too far from the correct entry into the forest, so we re-routed and came in the back way. The back way included a mile or so of STRAIGHT UPHILL biking, seriously STEEP uphill biking. It was torture. However, it seemed that my road biking had helped after all, since we were still road biking and I was able to make it up the mountain.  When we finally reached the park, we had probably lost close to 45 minutes. Ergh.  But nothing to do but keep on keeping on.

Now that we knew where we were, we knocked out a few checkpoints. Biking:
Then, UH OH, I have a flat tire. In our 5 years of racing, we have never gotten a flat tire. Neither of us have ever changed a tire. Usually before a race we make Brian show us how to change a tire. We didn't do that this year, of course. Nothing to do but give it a go. Irene was a rockstar, she just started taking shit apart and playing with tools that I wouldn't have had any idea what to do with.
And I pitched in by standing there and pretended that holding my bike counted as doing something, though I'm pretty sure I was doing nothing:
Irene used a CO2 cartridge to fill the tire. It wasn't quite enough air so she got out the second cartridge  and UH OH, it was defective. Crap. It probably would have been a good thing to have an air pump, huh? I used to have one but it busted off my bike when I crashed at last year's Dreamy Draw race. Two women (not racers) had passed us while we were using the first cartridge and asked if we needed help. At that point we didn't think we did. Right after the second cartridge was failing us, another women biked by. She had an air pump on her bike. We asked her if we could use it. She said no. Seriously. She said no.

Spurred on by anger at this woman's rudeness, Irene pulled out her hidden MacGuyver resources and willed the second cartridge to work. It was pretty ingenious work. Woo hoo! I'm fixed! Pretty excited! And then we realized that we were now about an hour and a half behind. Pretty deflating. 

We got the checkpoint we were going to and had to head back the way we came to go to the next checkpoint. It was quite a distance...perhaps there was a shortcut? We could see the trail we needed to get to:
And we thought maybe we could just go straight down the ravine and up the other side. Ha! Why do we even try these stupid things? We got about 40 yards and realized we'd never ever get through the pokey, thorny bushes and cactus so we headed back out. Another 20 minutes wasted. This really wasn't our race. :(

Feeling pretty low, we passed the mean lady. Now we are mad again. Then I almost crash my bike and fall off a cliff. It was terrifying. Irene didn't see it happen so she had no idea and kept going. I was so scared I was crying. (There's no crying in racing). Then we passed the mean lady AGAIN going on another trail. Seriously? Gr.  I was so down and scared and angry and unhappy. Finally we got to a checkpoint that had a mystery event! That perked us up. And the team in yellow (from the ball/bucket checkpoint) was there. How could that be? They were about 2 hours ahead of us. Turns out, Sudoku is not their thing. But it is Irene's thing!
She rocked it and finished in one of the fastest times of all teams. We had gained some time back! Whee!

And we were done and headed back to the TA and the big wall. We love the big wall!

We were now official finishers of the race. Surprisingly, we had a bit of time for free-style navigation points. We grabbed the map and were off. Some of the points were in the city areas so instead of orienteering flags, we were to find Go! Adventure stickers on an object in the area. Man, I SUCK at needle-in-a-haystack challenges. We looked forever for the sticker at our first location, finally finding it on a sign that I had looked at 3 times. Gr.

Our next checkpoint was in a wilderness area so we were looking for a flag. Whew. And then we saw this:
Like a crow to a shiny thing, we were sucked right in. We had already lost, right? And how often do you get a chance to climb a rock mountain? So, we climbed instead. It was awesome!  Rocks:
Top of the rocks:
It was awesome! Best part of the day!

Then we climbed back down, realized we had overshot our search by A LOT and moved on to the next few nav points. We found a couple and ran back to the TA just in time.  And guess what?! Though we didn't win, we got SECOND!
 Ok, there were only two teams in the female, two person division. :(
Despite the "McKayla is not impressed" look on my face, I actually wasn't upset about losing. We really like Jill and her partner and we've beaten them a few times before, so no big deal that they beat us this time. We ended up having quite a fun day. And, you can't win them all!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August Is My Month!

August has been pretty good to me as far as contests go. In addition to the BIG win of the PetSmart Charities video contest, I had a slightly smaller win in a Great Urban Race contest. Every month they ask people to submit pictures from their races. GUR followers on Facebook then vote for their favorite. The photo with the most likes gets to be the GUR Facebook cover photo for the month. As I've said before, my friends rock and for this one, Nicole's friends rock too! The owner of the Obstacle Races and Mud Runs Facebook page posted the picture asking for votes and that led us to our big win.

Nicole and I are fabulous cover models! We should do this for a living. Check us out here:  or just check out this screenshot:

Best cover photo ever!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Friends, Family and Random Strangers

My video of Frankie was chosen as one of 10 finalists in a PetSmart Charities video contest (you can see the video at the bottom of this post). The winner was then decided by the most public votes received in a two week period. It was a long two weeks of promotion! Every day I emailed all my friends, family and co-workers with the link, reminding them to vote. Every day I texted all my friends with the link and asked them to vote on their phones. About every other day I posted the link on Facebook asking for votes. Here are two of my posts:
I posted pleas for votes on the Maricopa Animal Care and Control Facebook page. I found a few other people on Facebook who were in other contests and started voting for them in their contests in exchange for them voting for me.  I posted in the Classified Ads email at my firm asking all the lawyers and staff to vote for me.

Monday, August 20, 2012


There is a cheap glasses place in Scottsdale. I mean cheap, really cheap! They charge $29 for frames and lenses. Frames AND lenses - only $29! They also will put your new prescription lenses into frames you bring in.
I took 3 pairs of frames in to be updated with my new prescription. Then, while I was there, I tried on a few pairs. I couldn't decide which ones to get, so I got them all.  And now, I am the proud owner of 12 pairs of glasses.


Nah. You can never have too many shoes, and you can never have too many glasses.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Olympic Pups - Track and Fielder

Who fostered the cutest puppies ever? I did!
I got these cuties four weeks ago, during the height of the Olympic excitement. Thus, I wanted them to have Olympic names. I thought about Shot Put and Discus, Breaststroke and Backstroke, Bars and Beam, but finally settled on Track and Fielder. Track is the brown one, Fielder is the cream colored one.

They were picked up as strays by County and were transferred to the Humane Society for medical treatment. When they were found they were covered in ticks and scabs. When I got them they were covered in dead ticks (thanks to a tick dip) and scabs. Track was underweight and he had no hair on his body at all except that little brown spot by his tail. 

They were tested for mange and tick fever and luckily were negative for both. All they needed was a little fattening up, some oatmeal baths and some TLC.

They certainly didn't know they were sick. They were jolly, cuddly and super-playful. It was hard to get good pictures of them because they were constantly in wrestling motion. I have about 100 pictures that look like this:

I haven't had puppies in a long time and my dogs were not quite sure that they liked the idea.  Frankie was terrified, to the point that he was drooling like a madman. I tried to explain to him that they were puppies not monsters, but he wasn't convinced. A little (a lot) nervous:

Georgie didn't want anything to do with them. She spent the first few weeks as far away from them as she could get:

Mo was simply annoyed. The puppies loved to jump up and bite her in the face. She would growl at them, but that didn't deter them. She finally gave up the growling and tried to just ignore them. That didn't work either.

After a few weeks of the puppies, my dogs decided that perhaps puppies really are dogs and perhaps they could accept them.

When I go swimming, I leave the dogs' room open so they chill inside if they want to. They all wanted to.

Isn't this cute?
I've had over 30 dogs stay with me and Track and Fielder are the first dogs to take up the diving board as their relaxation spot. This is also cute because it highlights how they were always together. They acted like one dog, never more than a few feet from each other. I bet they will be sad at first when they get adopted since they will be separated for the first time. I hope they both get adopted on the same day so neither one has to spend time at the shelter alone. It's a scary place!

Here are the kennel card photos I submitted for them-

The cute Olympic puppies are getting neutered tomorrow and will be up for adoption on Tuesday. I'm guessing they will get chosen quickly. They are adorable, playful and Fielder is even housetrained! Good luck little Olympic puppies! We loved having you!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Elaine's Birthday Flash Mob

First of all, have you voted for Frankie yet today? Please do! Click on the Jill Diamond video, wait for it to load and then click Vote. The number should go up if your vote registers. We fell to second place today but for the moment are back in first. It's a fight to the finish for sure!

Anyway...on to the topic of this post....
For Elaine's 40th birthday, she threw herself a flash mob. If you've got a bucket list item (such as to be in a flash mob) you just gotta make it happen. So she did.

She made up a routine, she videotaped herself teaching the routine and posted the links on facebook. She invited everyone she knew and asked them to invite everyone they knew and so on. She is awesome, who could say no? Let's face it, even if I didn't like Elaine, I wouldn't have said no! Flash mobs are fun!  But since I adore Elaine, this was fun x 2!

Pat, Brian and Kiri also wanted to do it. Irene wanted to too, of course (she's as much a joiner as I am), but she was going to be out of town that week. Bummer for her.  So Brian and Kiri came over a few times in the weeks preceding the dance and we practiced, practiced, practiced!

On our last practice day Christy brought Miranda over. Miranda is 12. I didn't think she'd do it because she's shy sometimes. But no, she said she would and she did. She's never taken dance but she learned the dance in one night. We 3 swing dancers took 3 full nights of practice to learn it, which just goes to show that just because I learned to swing dance, by no means am I a dancer!

Christy doesn't dance (even though I bet she would have learned it in one night too) so she videotaped it for us. The dancing started before she was ready so you don't get to see the people milling around and then all start joining in. There is a video of that but it's on a private facebook page and I can't figure out how to share it.

Elaine is the girl in hot pink off to the left. I am the spazzy one (of course) in the front (of course) in the purple-ish t-shirt. Brian is behind me also in a purple-ish shirt. Miranda is the tall thin girl in the yellow shorts. You can see Kiri for the first 10 seconds off to the right in the black tank top and pants. Then Christy realized Elaine wasn't in the video so she panned over to include the guest of honor. Sorry, Kiri. :)  Pat and his mom are way in the back so you can't see them at all.

You can see Miranda and Brian in this picture and I'm peeking out from the vines.

When we were hanging out waiting for the music to start I was kind of worried about the turn out. It seemed like very few people were there. But then the music started and tons of people started joining in. Where did they come from? It was awesome! It was more people than even Elaine thought would be there. We were terrible at the "walk away like nothing happened" when it was over. Everyone was so excited that we were cheering and congratulating each other and Elaine. It was really fun to be in a group of such happy and excited people. I'm so glad it was a successful flash mob for Elaine!

Here are a bunch of the dancers:
Happy birthday Elaine! GREAT JOB!!  Do we get to do it again next year? I vote for an annual tradition!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Vote for Frankie!

I got two bits of good news last night.

The first bit of good news is that Frankie was chosen as a finalist in the PetSmart Charities High Five for My Pet Adoption contest. Ok, that's a goofy name for a contest, but the prize isn't goofy! The person with the most votes gets a $1000 donation to the shelter where their pet was adopted from. So, please vote!    Follow this link, click on the Jill Diamond video, then click VOTE. You don't even have to register! You can vote once a day on each of your devices (PC, laptop, smartphone) through August 3rd. I'm currently in 2nd place so I need all the votes I can get!

The other bit of good news is that Jake was adopted! Woo hoo! I was surprised at how quickly he was chosen. I guess someone saw through his scarred exterior and could that tell he's wonderful. I'll be keeping an eye on the adoptions page to make sure he isn't returned, though. Not everyone finds a torn up couch as humorous as I did. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012


This is Jake:
Jake is already up for adoption at the Humane Society! Here is his foster story.
After a short break from fostering (I needed some sleep; Quinn was a VERY early riser), I called the Humane Society to see what they had for available for foster, preferably something along the lines of mange or tick fever or infected uterus in size small, please. Anything that doesn't require cage rest. They didn't have anything small. Bummer. However, a few days later they called and asked if I could take a beagle mix with mange. Mange! Yay!

When I got there to pick up the dog, they inquired about my request for small dogs. I explained that Mo is a Nervous Nelly who doesn't particularly enjoy other dogs though she seems to do okay with smaller dogs. The foster lady looked a little nervous and told me that the mangy beagle mix was actually 40 pounds. 40 pounds is not small! But I was there and a mangy beagle mix needed some foster care so I said okay. Mo would just have to deal.  And so they brought out Jake...who is exactly the same size as Georgie! Georgie, who is 29 pounds!  No problem!

Seriously, Jake and Georgie are exactly the same size:
I think he is more basset mix which would account for his low-slung heavy stature.

Jake was originally fostered for two months by a different foster home while he recovered from a bad leg injury. His leg was torn open all the way to the bone. It was so bad they couldn't suture it closed so they let it scar over while wrapped up. The scar is about an inch wide down the whole length of his leg.  I don't have any pictures of it. He is also covered with scars all over his face. You can see a few of them in this picture, though there are a few more that you can't see.
Who knows what happened to this boy in his prior days, but I can tell you that it hasn't at all affected his temperament. The day I brought him home, he allowed me to trim all his nails and clean his ears, and he lay still for about 45 minutes while I manipulated him in all sorts of configurations to thoroughly de-tick him. He was amazing! After his leg healed, the poor guy was diagnosed with mange. The original foster couldn't keep him any longer which is why I got the call.

He got along with Georgie, immediately asking her to play. As Frankie got used to him, they would wrestle and play chase frequently. For the most part Jake respected Mo's request for distance, though every once in a while he tried to be more friendly than she wanted.

Jake LOVED toys! He especially loved to run around the yard with a toy in his mouth. He would demolish stuffed animals in minutes. I went to Goodwill and bought a bunch of $1 stuffed animals to keep him happy.

Isn't this cute? This is the picture they put on his kennel card and online:
Although Jake came to me housetrained, he had never been taught to sit. Teaching him to sit was an arduous task. He really liked his food so I thought he would be easily trained. Wrong! The problem was that Jake was TOO easy-going. I would hand-feed him his entire meal piece by piece, breakfast and dinner - each time giving the command to sit, showing him the correct position and then giving him the kibble. You think eventually he would understand. But no...his thought process was more along the lines of "this crazy lady sure likes to maneuver me around. Okay, I don't mind. I'll let her do whatever she wants. I can wait til she decides to give me the next morsel."  It took him probably about 325 repetitions before he finally realized that he was supposed to be playing a part in this game. When he did eventually connect the dots, he had a solid sit. I never did get a chance to start on down. 

 He really was an awesome dog. He walked perfectly on a leash. He was housetrained. He was super-duper cuddly. If you were watching a movie or taking a nap, he would happily snuggle up with you for the duration, happy as a clam! He was super-silly, always doing things that made us laugh. Once he tried to jump, with all 4 feet, into my lap while I was sitting on a high barstool. He failed. :) With all the wonderful things about him, there always has to be a catch, right?

The catch was that, like Quinn, Jake was an early riser. As all my fosters do, he slept in a crate in the dogs' room. He would wake up and start barking at 5:00-5:30 every day and loudly protest being in the crate until I came to get him. Ugh, I needed sleep!  They had told me at the shelter that he was a chewer, and though he tore through toys really quickly, he hadn't even attempted to chew anything he wasn't given for that purpose. So, to see if he'd sleep longer, I decided to test him sleeping loose in the room with Frankie and Georgie. It worked like a charm the first night. He slept on the couch and didn't wake up until I woke them up. Yay!

But the second night, he woke up early again. He barked once or twice but then was quiet so I went back to sleep. You should always be suspicious of quiet dogs! Jake was being quiet because he was happily chewing the stuffing out of the couch! The couch is a "dog couch" so this was no tragedy.

"I didn't do nuthin'! See? I gots this pink toy in my couldn't have been me!"
So, back to the crate for Jake. Back to really early rising for me. I hypothesize that if he was allowed to sleep in the bed with us, he would have slept as long as we wanted him to. Pat is out of town this week so I was going to test that hypothesis. However, when I took him to his vet appointment (Jake, not Pat) on Saturday, they surprised me with the news that his skin scrape was clear and he could be put up for adoption immediately. I was supposed to have him for 4 more weeks! I hadn't taught him down yet. I hadn't taken any video of him yet. I hadn't even filled out his adoption information paperwork!  My intention was to create an adoption video to try to help him get adopted. He's so ordinary looking that I'm afraid he'll get overlooked in the shelter. He's adorable, but he looks like 50 other of the 100+ dogs there.

It's a good thing that he got to go up for adoption sooner than planned so he can hopefully find a home sooner than planned, but I'm still worried about him. He has been up for adoption already for 5 days. It makes me sad to think of all these days that are going by that he doesn't get to snuggle with someone. :(   Please, someone out there, please go adopt my boy. You won't regret it!

Until he is adopted, this link to his adoption profile will be active: