Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas photo shoot

This past Sunday I decided to be brave and take Bella's official Christmas portrait since she was groomed on Friday and still looked good.
I bought a festive bow and hoped for the best. At first, she hated the bow but after biting it a few times and trying to shake it off and failing, she gave up and relaxed and seemed to get into the mood. She was actually more cooperative than I expected.
These are a few of the ones that didn't make the cut. I will post her "official" portrait on Christmas Day. Riley was trying to figure out what was going on.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Keeping guard

Riley and Chaz keeping a look out for trouble. It's hard telling these two apart sometimes. Often I have to check their tails to be sure. Riley's ends in orange and has a little crook in it. He's on the right.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I had heard we had an owl making his hunting grounds in our neighborhood and was hoping to see him. Last night I was blessed. Here he is on my neighbor's roof.

Friday, September 26, 2014

They call me Mister Tubbs!

Dr. Tom our wonderful veterinarian came by the house this week to give everyone their annual exam. Everyone did fairly well. Bella was excellent. I was afraid she would be very rambunctious and bark at Dr. Tom but there wasn't a peep out of her and she was very cooperative, even though she had to get a shot and an oral medication.
Riley has some dental issues that we will need to address but right now we are more concerned about his poor appetite and weight loss. Dr. Tom is coming back in two weeks to microchip Bella and check on Riley's progress. For now he can have any food he wants and for some reason prefers baby food. I will be weighing him daily to make sure all is well.
But the big surprise was Sean. The "baby" now weighs the most of the three cats. He's 15 pounds! Chaz is a little behind him at 14 pounds.

Friday, September 19, 2014


Sean loves to snuggle at night with Riley. He seeks him out and asks to be groomed and babied.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Riley update

Good news!
Dr. Tom just called and Riley's lab work is normal. Yay! 
We think he just doesn't want the herbs any more - either they were making his tummy upset or he is telling us he doesn't need them any more.
So Riley gets to eat anything he wants and I am going to stock up on his favorite tuna and crab dinner that he likes so much.

Riley's Not So Excellent Adventure

Riley has had a poor appetite these last couple of weeks and has started losing weight. His playfulness has stayed the same and his fur looks good but I can see his little hip bones. At first, I chalked it up to him just being bored and tired of his canned food. Then I thought maybe he didn't like the herbs he was taking for his history of bladder infection. Maybe the herbs were making his tummy queasy.
So I called our vet and mentioned all of this to him. He decided it might be an indication of developing kidney problems and should be looked into, just to be safe. So he ordered some blood work. And since he was booked up and wouldn't be able to come to the house for a little while, we decided that I should take Riley down to the local animal hospital where he has gone before and have one of the techs draw the blood.
As it turned out, easier said than done.
Riley hates going to the hospital. I'm sure he has not so fond memories of being there and having a catheter inserted. So he fought them at every turn when the tech tried to get his blood sample. They muzzled him. They had a tech holding him and a tech trying to take the blood. None of that worked.
Finally, they called me in and asked me to help by talking to Riley, hoping it would soothe him.
Riley still wasn't happy but he did seem to respond to my voice and touch. It broke my heart to see him so unhappy. But after what seemed like an eternity the tech said she had enough blood for the test and we released Riley. I snuggled him and put him back in the carrier. He was only too happy to go back in.
And all three of us - the two techs and me - were absolutely covered in orange cat fur. I have never seen anything like it. I understand that cats can release their fur like that when they sense trouble so their potential captors won't be able to grab them. Poor Riley was obviously scared out of his mind based on all the fur he had released.
Riley complained all the way home in the car but once I let him out inside the house he settled down and was happy again.
The blood work should be back on Monday. I am hoping and praying all will be well.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bella had Lesson #2 last week

And she - and I! - did very well. She walks better on the leash and I am getting more comfortable being the Alpha.
But training is exhausting.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bella's training

I finally decided it was time to rein in Bella's "enthusiasm" while on the leash and I also needed her to learn to jump in and out of the car. Up until now she has been afraid to jump in the back seat of my SUV and once there afraid to jump out. She is excellent once she is in the car.
She also still pulls a lot when she is leash walking and lunges and barks at other dogs and people.
So I approached Tracy from Pals Inn Pet Resort for some help. Tracy is a trained animal behavioral expert and dog trainer.
Bella had her first lesson last week and did very well. Within minute, Tracy had her jumping in and out of the hatch of my car. She's not crazy about having the hatch closed though so I pushed the back seats down and now she has the entire back of the car to herself. I put a bed in there for her too.
Then we dd some leash walk training. Again, Bella was a little lady. She walked well for both me and Tracy and she was polite when she met up with other people and other dogs.
So, I bravely tried it on my own Saturday to see how she would do.
We went early because it was cooler and I thought we would run into less people.
I also walked her around the block here at the house since that would be our usual route if this continued to work.
The first two legs of the walk were fine.
There was another couple walking their two dogs about a block away from us and Bella didn't even seem to notice them.
She walked well on the leash with very little pulling and listened to me when I told her not to pull.
Then as we rounded the turn and were heading right I saw a man walking his dog to my left heading toward us about a 1/4 of a block away.
Bella saw him too and started barking, growling, and lunging. It took everything I had to pull her in the direction we needed to go and distract her.
Oh, and did I mention he was walking a friggin' mastiff!!!!!!!!
Yep, Bella wanted to take on a small rhinoceros. 
So we are on to Lesson #2 on Thursday.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dog bed covers

I think I found the solution to smelly dog beds. Bella has lots of dog beds - one I bought her and several she has inherited from Toby and Jessie. The problem is washing the covers when needed. I have tried putting doggie blankets over them. This worked with T & J but Bella has a mind of her own and for the most part feels that it is more fun to scrunch up the covers and take them off the beds. And washing the actual bed covers themselves is a problem because wrestling the cushions back inside the covers borders on an Olympic event.
But I think I have found a solution.
Nest and Rest Sheets
These covers seem like a great idea. I wasn't sure what size I needed so I emailed the company. Much to my surprise I got a phone call within hours from the owner. She is wonderful to deal with. Very friendly and helpful. I ordered two in red [Bella's color]. I just got word they have been shipped. I can't wait to try them out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bella is all ready for company

Another nest

This is in the front yard. The little finch made it in the suet holder. It's very intricate, entirely enclosed with an opening in the lower part of the nest.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Morning visitor

This little guy was munching in the front yard this morning. Chazzie was very excited to be able to watch him.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bella hated the fireworks

She fell asleep after they were all over. All that barking wears you out.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Looking good

For now.
I always have to take a picture of Bella after she gets groomed because it doesn't last too long. Once she goes to daycare she jumps in the puppy pool and there goes the grooming. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

We miss you.
John and Riley - December 2008
John and Chaz - February 2010

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I know crates can be safe places for dogs

But cats?
Why do the boys like Bella's crate so much? They just go in there voluntarily and fall asleep or sometimes just hang out.

Monday, May 19, 2014


Sean likes to steal Bella's food and she lets him. She just sits there and looks at me as if saying "Mom, help. See what he's doing?"