Sunday, December 26, 2010

Awesome Holiday

Here's the state of the holidays around here nowadays: It used to be that I would ask Santa for jewelry, but now I'm asking for obedience practice jumps!!! Nothing like trading diamonds for PVC ;) Imagine poor Santa trying to lug a five-foot set of jumps down our chimney! I'm afraid I may already be on the "Naughty" list for next year.

Tess and Jazz were a little easier to please. Here they are opening a gift from their Pug cousin, Frank.

Since the girls hardly need more toys, Santa brought them some more practical things this year, like these doggie blankets. They also got self-heating thermal pads for those chilly days at the agility trials.

Tess and Jazz in front of our "fireplace" with the cute Dalmatian draft stopper that my sister made me for Christmas.

Tess and Jazz in the aftermath of all the present opening and paper shredding on Christmas morning. I'm not sure which they like more, their gifts or shredding the gift wrapping paper! As you can see, the girls had a wonderful holiday with lots of fun stuff. Hope you all did, too!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas
Tess and Jazz!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Santa Visit

When we went to our class yesterday at Misty Pines, Santa Claus was there! We missed our annual trip to the mall for Santa photos because of bad weather, so the girls were happy to see Santa and let him know what they want for Christmas. Santa agreed that both Tess and Jazz have been very good girls this year, so I'm sure he'll leave them lots of goodies on Christmas!

As the holiday approaches, we send our warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy 2011!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Goodbye, Sweet Friend

Our friends Mariann and Jim lost their dear Rocky this morning. He was 14-1/2 years old and was a good friend and companion for many years. Tess and Jazz both respected and adored Rocky and we will miss him terribly. Rocky was sweet and gentle, yet instantly gained the respect of every dog he encountered. Although we didn't meet Rocky until later in his life, we understand that a humane officer was in the area picking up another dog, and when he returned, there was Rocky just sitting in his truck! After failed attempts to locate Rocky's owners, he was taken to a shelter, where he was adopted by Mariann and Jim and enjoyed doing agility, taking walks in the park, and vacationing at the beach. I think Rocky knew that getting in that truck with the humane officer would transport him to a better life. Even as a puppy, that boy was smart!

Rocky, Jazz, and Tess at the beach earlier this year.

Love ya, Rocky. Till we meet again....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Therapy Visit

Tonight was our pet therapy night at the hospital, and Tess, Jazz, and Sammie managed to spread a fair amount of good cheer this holiday season.

Jazz, Tess, and Sammie visiting the 5th Floor at UPMC Passavant.

Tonight's visit also happened to be Sammie's 6th birthday, so I took my first foray into baking doggie birthday cakes this afternoon and made Sammie a peanut butter carrot cake.

According to Sammie, I did okay! He especially liked the cream cheese icing.

Here's Sammie with one of his birthday gifts. You can never go wrong in buying Sammie a ball!
A very happy birthday to Tess and Jazz's Border Collie "brother"!!

While we were celebrating Sammie's birthday, someone approached us and asked Tess and Jazz to visit with her Mom, who used to have Dalmatians. Even though she was not technically in our visitation area, we made a quick visit to Mom's room. Imagine her surprise when two Dalmatians walked in (dressed in Santa suits, no less)! Mom enjoyed seeing Dalmatians again so much that her daughter had tears in her eyes as she thanked us for taking the time to visit. It's times like this that make me so proud of my girls for doing pet therapy. The time we spend volunteering is nothing compared to the comfort the dogs bring to people during difficult times.
I was especially pleased that we could bring some joy to a fellow Dalmatian lover!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Our friends, Jan and George Smith, opened a new dog training facility late this past summer (, and in addition to agility training classes, they've also been offering some fun stuff for dogs and handlers, too. In late October, Tess and Jazz and I taught our fitness ball exercise class there, and yesterday, Jazz and I attended a Doga (doggie yoga) class!

Here are our instructors, Leta and Laurie, and their dogs. Notice how graceful they look!

Here's Jazz going, "Gee, Mom, I didn't know you could touch your toes!!" Notice how not-graceful I look!

This is Jan's little Pom, Regina. Even though she just had hip surgery, she was enjoying the Doga class.

Here's the whole Doga gang. We had fun at the class and Jazz did very well, particularly with the "Downward Dog" position. We learned different stretches for us and our dogs and ended with a nice massage session for the dogs which included placing one hand on your heart and one hand on your dog's heart and conveying all the love you feel for your dog and taking away any hurt or fear they may have. It was a sweet way to end a fun afternoon.