First teaser from my new book The Best Doggone Bakery:
The Best Doggone Bakery
“Millie’s imagination ran wild. She turned to look back at the farmhouse. She could totally envision her two beloved shelties, Luke and Annie, sitting side by side with their heads hanging off the edge of a huge leather sofa. Around them were golden retrievers with kerchiefs around their necks, beagles, and even collies begging for delicious-looking treats while humans watched and sipped coffee. How fun it could be?”
Will Millie succeed or be beaten out by her rival Annabel Larson?
Hi! For all my readers here is a preview of the cover of my new book. I hope it will be available by May.It is a fun-filled tale about Millie Whitfield who opens a dog bakery in the fictitious town of Houndsville on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I will keep you updated as to the release date.
The Best Doggone Bakery
This post appeared on my FB feed today. With permission from Flora I am sharing it. It is a beautifully written tribute to her collie Urfy who died recently.
My dear collie souls❤ a kiss from heaven
Today it’s Urfy’s birthday😃 he would have been 10 years old.
Happy birthday in heaven my angel.
I didn’t sleep last night, I tossed and turned and cried. The heavy terrible pain that was pressing my heart is gone but I feel empty inside. I’m without him for 4 months, seems an eternity. Yesterday I walked the trail we used to walk every evening, the trail he enjoyed so much, by the river. I stopped at his favorite spot where I checked on the beautiful blue wisteria we planted together before he died. Then I made my way along the river thinking of him and I noticed how many snow flowers bloomed. I thought they were a sign from him, from heaven. So beautiful in their own simplicity. Today it’s tough. Will be a rainy day. Can’t stop crying. I’m glad the sky it’s crying too. Let it pour! Urfy, I miss you very much.
Grief. Its all around us, seems we all have to learn how to survive it. I was asked again and again how did I deal with it, when did I know I’m ready to move on…wish I had an answer.
Losing a pet can be just as devastating as losing a human member of the family if not worse. The excruciating pain that we feel for days, weeks, months or even years it’s hard to explain. I really believe it hurts so much because we were dependent on them and they were on us. We were one soul and validating that grief in yourself is a step toward coping with the loss.
When did I know I’m ready? It doesn’t work like that. It’s not a magic moment. For each of us is different. For me was when my mom said “please look for a puppy, it’s time, you need one”. She was right, I needed a new beginning in order to survive the pain. The intense constant stabbing pain in my heart became unbearable and scary at the same time. I found out that a heart can be broken for real, you have to see a doctor if you get to that!
I am part of this group for about 3 years. I joined because I was desperately looking for answers in order to help my boy. Magic happened. You embraced Urfy like he was your own. And you helped me overcome my worse moments. You were by my side through all the downs and God knows were plenty of those..but then the wonderful happy up lifting days. I will forever be grateful to you all. And if I may say, aspergillosis sucks! I pray one day will be a cure🙏🏻
When you grieve let the world know, don’t close the door, you need someone to pull you back into the light , back between the living. Move on slowly, one day at a time, cry when you feel like, laugh at the memories, talk or be silent. It’s your way.
Am I better? Yes! Urfy lives on in my heart and I’m at peace.
Am I ready for a new beginning? YES! And it’s wonderful.
My new tricolor boy is coming home end of April.
I feel like the whole world is waiting for him😃❤🙏🏻
I am laughing now….I’m crazy, I know but who cares!? You will know what I’m talking about. I told my mom that I hope I still have another collie life left to live. She said for sure😃Yes, I’m counting my life in collies. Seems like each decade is made out of a collie love story.
Is any other way? ❤😊
Ryan challenged people to repost his post. I am doing this on my blog with the hope that it reaches more dog owners and prevents this from happening to someone else’s fur baby. R.I.P. Hippo.
I would like to extend my condolences to Ryan and his family. I am sure that Hippo will be in your heart forever!
Here is his post:
October 20 at 3:13pm ·
I came home from my office yesterday to find that my best friend of the past 8 years had suffocated by getting his head stuck in a medium/large sized Frito-Lay chip bag. While I appreciate the sentiment behind condolences and well wishes, they are not the reason for this post and simply not part of my grieving process. I am sharing this in hopes of preventing the same thing happening to other dogs. After a quick Google search, I discovered that this was not the freak accident that I initially thought. Multiple pets suffocate in these types of chips bags every week. A suction effect is created when the pet attempts to breathe inside the bag and only gets tighter as they panic and try to take in more air. It is more than likely that I would not be making this post today if this had ever been mentioned to me. If you ever had the chance to spend time with Hippo then you know what an amazing dog he was. I know after reading this many of my friends and loved ones will want to comment below or contact me. Rather than that, I challenge you to spread this message next time you see a pet owner. We all keep chocolate out of reach because we know the dangers. If I knew death by chip bag was a thing, this would have been prevented.
About a week ago I started reading on FB about Levi, a gorgeous Collie whose owner was worried about him. What happened to Levi was really frightening and transpired over about the course of a week. I told his owner that I wanted to blog about what happened as I truly believe that having knowledge empowers all of us.
At first I thought I would try and tell Levi’s story myself, but his owner’s posts have been so great I felt it was better just to copy and paste them into a blog. Below you will find her posts.
This first post appeared on FB October 13:
My sweet Levi could use some prayers. He’s getting older and he slipped going up the stairs the other day. It seems he probably dislocated a toe. The pain caused him to chew at his paw in the night. When I woke yesterday he was a mess. The vet said he exposed tendon in two places and some of the tissue was already necrotic. He is not having any luck keeping his antibiotics down. I’m just waiting for vet’s office to open and I’ll give them a call. Prayers would be appreciated.
Update: Vet is switching antibiotic. Thank you to everyone for your prayers.
Update: New antibiotics seem to agree with him. I’m so relieved.
Another update: He seems to be doing a bit better tonight. he ate his dinner and he’s trying to steal cat food.
Update: I am a little exhausted. But Levi is doing well. The sugar dressings are doing what they are supposed to and his pain seems to be well under control. Thanks again to everyone for the thoughts and prayers.
Hello wonderful collie people in Facebook land. I asked for prayers for my Levi the other day and it appeared that the huge response was working. He was behaving like his old self. Unfortunately on Monday night, I noticed a small cut on his neck, about a half inch long. I couldn’t figure out how he had managed to do it. Yesterday Morning, I woke to a terrible smell. The half inch opening had become an 8 inch long gash that was two inches wide and was turning black and green. At the time I was checking his neck, I also spotted a bit of blood on his hip. On closer inspection, I found an open wound about the size of a penny. He was already scheduled to have his toe checked at the vet so we headed straight there. By the time we arrived at the vet the spot on his hip was about two inches in diameter and both hip and neck area were already displaying necrotic tissue. It appeared like he had flesh eating disease but that should not have been breaking out in different areas. The vet thought it might have gotten into the blood stream and travelled that way. It may also be a form of cancer. Levi was rushed to surgery to debride the dead tissue and preform biopsies. He spent the night in hospital but is home now and resting comfortably. Biopsy results should be available by Friday. Again I ask you to pray for my beautiful loving boy.
October 19 at 12:40pm
Poor Levi is not looking so beautiful this morning. His whole left flank has been shaved and the large wound on his hip has crusted over. The right side of his neck and chest have been shaved. The wound on his neck is seeping so it has been dressed. His rear right leg is wrapped in bandages and we continue to wait for biopsy results and we pray. Thank you to everyone who is praying with me. I can’t tell you how much I value the support of others who truly love these fur babies.
October 20 at 11:40am
Update: Friday 11pm: The lab results did not come back today. We won’t know results until at least Monday. The sedation has finally worn off and he is doing much better. My guess is that this will prove to be an infection as no new spots have presented since the powerful antibiotics were prescribed.
UPDATE on LEVI: Still waiting for test results but Levi is a lot less sedated this morning. As you can see, his big beautiful coat will need some time to recover. Pain is being managed well and he is comfortable this morning. He is eating and drinking well and he has been outside and done his chores. Thank you to everyone who has been sending prayers and positive energy his way. You will never know how much you are appreciated.
October 21 at 3:57pm
Levi Update: Once again, I have to thank everyone of you who have prayed or wished us through this very scary ordeal. Your prayers and positive energy are paying off. I am so happy to say Levi seem to be feeling pretty good today. He’s behaving like his sweet goofy self. Let the healing begin. Hopefully, by Monday I will be able to report with certainty that this is just an infection that the antibiotics will cure.
Levi’s pathology report came back today and it provides some strangely positive results. It seems Levi was bitten by a spider with a Necrotizing venom. He will recover from this! Thank you all for your prayers and support. You have all been so wonderful.
My family lives in Maryland and this frightened me so much I did call my own wonderful vet to talk to him. I was curious to know if he had ever seen something like this. His comments were that he had seen swelling around the nose and eyes of labs (he is very active in lab rescue) after they have gotten into wood piles but nothing like what affected Levi.
I want to thank Levi’s owner Karen Baldwin-Porter for allowing me to blog about this. I hope this information serves to help others.
I am reprinting this post from Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue
Important story to share, about our new gal “Pixie”.
We took in Pixie late last night, from a somewhat strange situation. She was in such bad shape and it was late, so we did not ask many questions. We just took her in, and gave her the immediate care she needed. (although she needs much more as soon as our Vet opens on Monday)
Pixie was given to us by someone who said they just decided they did not want her anymore. They had gotten a new puppy, and “Pixie just smelled too bad”. (and she did)
Something just did not sound right.
Once we got all the feces out of her coat, we scanned her for a microchip. We found one!! So, we called the microchip company just to double check the story that we were told. As we suspected, the name of the person who surrendered her, was not the person to whom PIxie was registered to. So……we began our search for the registered owner. Maybe something was amiss? Maybe not. But we were going to find out.
After spending hours trying to find the registered owner we finally found her. Sadly, she had passed away 2 years ago. However we did find “Mary Ellen’s” obituary. The obituary brought tears to our eyes as her dog was mentioned over and over again as the “light of her life”. Mary Ellen’s life revolved around her little dog. Pixie was loved and treasured like a child. She was given the very best care and lived the life of a princess.
Sadly no plans were in place for Pixie in the event of her owners death. One of Mary Ellens caregivers simply gave Pixie to the first person who would come and get her. Then….in the last 2 years Pixie has been passed around to 3 different homes. None of which cared for her. Pixie has had no vet care and her teeth are horrid. In fact her teeth are so bad the this last owner joked that Pixie would only eat canned dog food. Well the fact is her teeth are so bad that’s all she can eat. Pixie has also lost a great deal of hair from what we are guessing will turn out to be low thyroid. Not to mention the enormous amount of dried feces matted deep into her skin and coat. Her nails we way overgrown….etc etc.
This beautiful little dog name Pixie who had been loved and treasured up until her owner died is now just a mess. Our hearts are just breaking at what this owner would feel if she knew what happened.
SO…..This message goes out to “Mary Ellen” in heaven. Mary Ellen – if you are listening – we have Pixie, and she is safe now. She will soon be back in the wonderful condition that you kept her. And we promise you, she will never want for anything ever again.
I want to thank Northern Chesapeake Sheltie Rescue and Linda Isbell for this important post although it seems it may have originated with Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue.
This week there was a post on FB that only has had me in tears and I cannot get it out of my mind. It was about a gorgeous one year old Collie who went to the vet for a routine neuter. Now he is dead. It is just too sad, and mostly because it didn’t need to happen.
There have been many people who have commented after seeing this unfold on FB. At first we all hoped the dog would survive, and if the hundreds of prayers had been heard he would have, but unfortunately that did not happen. The shock of this dog’s death, I believe, has undermined our confidence in our vets, and maybe that is a good thing. Maybe some of us will question them more before we give them permission to operate on our beloved family members. After all we are our dogs advocates, and it is up to us to make sure they are safe.
I cannot imagine how this family is dealing with this tragedy. I feel so sad for them. I hope the many posts on FB give them some solace.
The issue here is the MDR1 gene. If there is a mutation in the gene the affected dogs are sensitive to many drugs. For these dogs death can result if they are given the wrong medication. You can read about the MDR1 gene on the Internet. Washington State has a kit they send out that allows you to swab your dog and send it back to them for testing. If you are the owner of a herding dog it is absolutely essential that you test your dog. If given the wrong drug which it appears happened this week your dog may not survive.
It is all so sad. I read many posts this week about other dog owners whose dogs died from anesthetic given for surgery. Some posts even revealed that their vets are totally unaware of this condition which I find puzzling.
I am hoping by posting this blog it might help someone else avoid what happened this week.
Mollie, you came to us in 1986 and to this day you still have an impact on my life. I look at your photo daily while I write my new book.
When you died I felt deeply about telling your story. It was the spring of 1986 when you were taken to your vet. Your owners requested you be euthanized.Why? Because you wouldn’t listen to them. Unbelievable!
Fortunately for you, the vet didn’t want to follow your owner’s directive and called me. Quite honestly, I wasn’t sure I wanted another sheltie at that time. I was about to start a new job and was worried about having the time to care for you, but you convinced me I should bring you home. For some reason unknown to me you decided my family was where you belonged.
Lucky lucky me!!!!
You were with us for ten years and you taught us so much. You were so obviously abused and we had no knowledge of abused dogs nor did we know anyone else who had dealt with an abused dog. It was a huge learning lesson for us to figure out how to help you. Over the years you came into your own. You finally barked after a year, although we were sure by then you had no bark. So many good things happened to you and we benefitted watching you.
I wrote Mollie’s Tail to encourage others to rescue. I don’t know if I was particularly good at writing but I felt your story needed to be told. I did the best I could and worked on your story for many years until I thought it was as good as I could write it.
Now I sit here writing another book. this time I have taken classes and am learning I hope to be a good author. I have found I love writing. I don’t believe I would have ever started on that path if not for you. In your honor, of course, there are lots of dogs in my new manuscript.
Mollie, NONE of this would have happened if I never brought you home. Talk about one event changing the path of someone’s life. You certainly changed mine in wonderful ways.
So today and every day I think of you as my guardian angel!!!
I’ve been thinking about Mollie a lot recently. I want to address something about her life with us.
Many of you who read the book wonder why I didn’t have Mollie on a leash. I would wonder too if Mollie had been with us recently, but Mollie was adopted over thirty years ago. It was in the spring of 1986. Life was different then and certainly my neighborhood was vastly different. Our section of the town was rural. There were only several houses on our street with acre to two acre lots. To the left of us there was only one house, and then the street came to a dead end.That was the direction in which I walked Mollie. Other than an occasional car or truck our street was deserted.In the winter months, if we had snow, we couldn’t even get out. No truck ever came to plow us.
When I wrote Mollie’s Tail, I considered putting the dates in the book and chose not to because I thought at the time that Mollie’s Tail would be timeless. I didn’t want readers to pick up the book and decide not to read it because it happened so long ago. I felt, and still do, that Mollie’s story is relevant today.
Gosh, back in the 1980’s I never even knew that any dogs were abused. That was why we were so confused my Mollie’s behavior.If rescue groups existed then I knew nothing of them.Certainly if they did there weren’t many.
My vet at the time was a really conscientious person. After all she chose to go against Mollie’s owner’s wishes and not euthanize her.Had there been a rescue group she certainly would have given them a call.
I hope if you haven’t read Mollie’s Tail that you will consider all these facts. I can assure you, we loved Mollie and would never have purposely endangered her life in any way.
I believe my readers should know Mollie’s Tail is a true story down to the pizza dinners.
I realize some readers wonder if the story is true, why is the main character (me) named Sherry not Ellen.
Here’s the story behind the name. When I was born my parents named me Sherry. They changed it to Ellen just before i was six months old.
I made the decision to use the name Sherry ( I like it a lot) in telling Mollie’s Tail.
For those of you who may have not read Mollie’s Tail, but would like to, I have lowered the price of the ebook to $4.99 for now.It is also available as a paperback. You can get it from Amazon, B&N, and iBooks.