Holly Jolly Christmas This Year

Christmas was wonderful this year. I never had many toys before and I don’t really know how to play with them - except to destuff them when I can…

Things started out kind of rocky. Diana & Michael put up our tree. Then nothing for days - just air blowing around the skirt. Where were the gifts? What’s the purpose of a tree if not to protect my prezzies from the harsh elements of the living room? As you can see, I was getting a bit nervous.

One night I had to sit all by myself because Diana was wrapping gifts for everyone. I tried begging to get on her lap, but she said she was busy and I would have to make do. See my sad face. Sheesh, what does it take to break her?

Miffed and not afraid to show it

Work the eyes - Work the eyes
The next day she came home early and we started baking cookies. I love cookies. Diana’s friend from the office made some just for me. Just for me and "nodoggie" else. Wow!

On Friday the 24th, things got super busy. Michael got out the vacuum. I hate that nasty machine. I barked and barked, but it never listens to me. Just swishes around and around the rooms doing its business. By early evening, all the food was in the oven.

Can you guess what we had for dinner? Homemade Mac & Cheese, made with fresh Beechers cheese that Diana picked up at Pike Place Market.


OMD. I was going crazy smelling it. Oh, yeah we had lots of other stuff like fancy ham and green beans with almonds, spinach salad and special potatoes too. But, really who cares? BAKED CHEESE!

Door Bell. Door Bell.  Bark, Bark, Bark. Door Bell.  Door Bell

I often act like the world is coming to an end and attack the door when it rings. This time, when Michael answered the door, I started jumping and running around. It was Hank Bacon, Katey the Pug, Diana’s Mom, Sister and Niece. Sweet. A full house of my bestest friends in the whole world. Oooh, exciting!

Katey the Pug is very old, nearly 15 human years. What is that in doggie years?…hmmm…1st year is 14, 14 next years are 7 each, add them together and you get - oh, wow, it would be rude to tell a ladies age…never mind…

Katey wanted to rest in my pink bed until she got her energy back. I was ok with that ‘cause she is kind of like my Grandma. The ride from her house was very tiring for her, but she seemed glad to be there and not her usual “slightly grumpy from her aches and pains” self. Hank and I ran around and around and up the stairs and down and around again until we couldn’t catch our breath.

I even loaned her my pink chewy toy.  She ignored it.
Everyone sat around for a while drinking from special glasses, eating and laughing a lot.

Mac & Cheese - Right in the Middle.  Oh, yeah!
The music was playing and Michael was snapping pics of all the decorations. All of a sudden, Diana said it was time to open Pup gifts.

Diana’s sister sat with us on the floor and helped us open our gifts. It was so much fun.

We were all good Pups and helped each other taste test the treats to make sure they were good. They were.

Here is a picture of my loot. I got three chew toys and two balls, plus a funny Santa coat and a sweet rain coat with reflector tape so I don’t get run over on my walkies. I also got some stupid toothpaste and a toothbrush. For a dog, that’s like getting socks and underwear. Boring…………..

Looks a bit skimpy but it's the most I'v ever had!

I think I look silly
Soon, Katey the Pug was sound asleep again in my bed and Hank and I decided to share Hank's Mom's lap. We were soooo tired we could barely hold our eyes open.

The next morning, I got another present. A car ride. My favorite activity in the whole world. Seriously, it is.

We went to Grandma Mary's house for brunch and I got to stay all day with Diana's Sister and play while Diana and Michael went to Michael’s family holiday events. I didn’t get to go. They have two HUGE Golden Retrievers named Teddy and Rosie and they didn’t want me to get hurt with all the activities going on because their two pups are really big and I’m kinda little.

I didn’t mind. See, I’m totally stoked about staying with Diana’s sister - so much so that I forgot my manners and jumped up on the sofa. Grandma Mary doesn’t care. She lets me do as I please.

2010 was a very nice year, mostly. We did loose our dear buddy, Zeus the Pug, in the summer. He was a very good boy and I liked him very much. Grandma Mary is still very sad. But on the up side, Hank Bacon and I were rescued and became part of the family and Katey the Pug is still with us. Hank was badly abused by two different families in the last year before finally catching some forever luck and getting adopted into this family. He is working on trusting humans and doing an amazing job. I have my lust for life back and am working on a couple of things (ahem…I don’t really see why they think leash aggression is a problem) but overall I am doing great.

2011 can only be better. There is no turning back now.


Photographic Nightmares - The Prequel

Diana & Michael bought a real camera for Christmas.  No more Barkberry photos.  Mom is reading the manual tonight.  Michael is fiddling with all the buttons. 

Once they figure out how to use it - I'm doomed.  There will be no rest for me.  They will photograph me until I beg for them to stop. 

If I leave the room, they will follow me.  If I try to sleep, they will say how sweet (blech, patooey, yuck - I prefer smart, courageous, adventuresome and daring) I am and take the picture anyway. When I go outside - I better go outside by myself or there will be consequences...

Stay tuned...


I’m a Twit…er…Tweet…er…

I begged Diana to join Twitter earlier this fall. She was skeptical.

“I don’t want to know what a stranger just ate or who they are mad at this moment, Pish.”

I had a hunch it was more than that. Diana visited with @PhotosRmStry and she said, “You have to join. You will be amazed."

Duh. I’d been barking that for ages. Did she listen to me? Nooooooooo (oh, nice howl, don’t you think?)

Diana is kind of shy and does not meet new people easily and Michael is so busy with his work that he doesn’t have much time to meet new people either. At Michael’s encouragement, Diana is working on not being shy. I am helping with that. I am not shy. At all. Ever. I’m showing her that you just have to go for it. Good things will happen. Sometimes bad things will too, but that’s life, eh?

Twitter has really helped Diana get over her shyness a lot. We have found a community of wonderful people doing amazing things to help animals. They welcomed us in just like that. No questions asked. No uncomfortable moments. We don’t always chime in. We sit by the edge of this fast moving river of chatter and dangle our feet, enjoying the view. But sometimes we jump right in and paddle around.

Diana feels so blessed to have met me and brought me into her life. She should. I’m awesome. But I’ll save that for another posting later. To thank them and to help current pals in need, we started making snuggle blankets for the rescue agency that saved me. Diana is very slow at it. She is a “perfectionist” for barks sake. But we have nearly a dozen ready to go to the agency and plan on making tons more in the coming year. Diana makes them because no one in the family wants her crocheted stuff anymore.

“Oh, no, really, the lap blankets you’ve already made for me are plenty enough. Thank you.” But she spends nearly three hours a day on the bus going and returning from work. She has to do something with her hands and gets dizzy reading for that long. Voila. Sasha’s Snuggles, blankets for us lap doggies ad kitties, was born.

We are small peanuts compared to the people we follow. We are completely floored by the hard work and dedication we have found within the confines of our Barkberry and the Twitter Universe. So in this season of hope, this season of giving to others, this season of good cheer, we would like to Bark Out Loud a short mention and clap our paws together in support for some of what we have discovered:

  • Some people run rescue agencies. Their work is so desperately valuable and, unfortunately, never ending; 
  • Some people train fearful dogs to become more comfortable in a world that has not been kind to them; 
  • Some people foster dogs and cats, providing them with a safe home until their forever home can be found - sometimes this is the first safe home they have ever known;
  • Some people post information about the terrible things people do. While this if often difficult, heart rendering and almost impossible for Diana to read, she told me they are angles on earth because they shed light on evil and diminish it;
  • Some vets give their time and experienced voices to help people understand how to take care of our health needs better;
  • Some people challenge the stats quo of looking at the world and ask that we explore other ways of looking at dogs, dog behavior and human interaction with them;
  • Some expend countless hours organizing and rallying their followers to raise money for selected charities by organizing #PawPawty events. These are virtual parties of amazing proportions and fun - all on the internet with real, tangible results benefiting so many, many needy animals;
  • Some are creative and funny. They write The Anipal Times, they write their own blogs, they write books and they create amazingly cute pictures and videos for their followers to enjoy and share.
We are a blip in the Twitter Universe and yet have been changed forever by what we have seen and learned. We have less than 200 followers and follow about 250 from all over the world. Imagine what is out there that we have yet to discover and bark about!

Special Thanks to #SuePicArtist4Anipals For My Festive Look
P.S. If Sandy Paws would be so kind as to come to our house this year, Diana would like some yarn for the blankies, Michael would like some new socks and I would like some CHEESE!


A Few Holiday Words From My Sponsoring Human

Pish: Thank you for letting me take the spotlight here for one post.

The holiday season has been a very difficult time for my family in the last decade. My Grandmother died on Christmas Eve 2000. My Father was permanently placed in an assisted living facility specializing in dementia on December 26, 2001, and on December 17, 2006 my Husband was diagnosed with a condition that required immediate surgery to save his life. On December 18, 2007 my Mom suffered a massive stroke that left her paralyzed. By 2009 I had come to dread the holiday season.

Starting in the late fall of 2009 I began having dreams. At first I didn’t realize what I was dreaming about. Each dream played out its own theme built around dogs. But in each dream there was one sentence that stood out.

“Rescue me and I will rescue you.”

The sweet voice in my dreams continued unabated. By early February, 2010, I was searching PetFinder.com obsessively. I took a chance and sent an application to Northwest International Pet Rescue (NWIPR). They had a darling dog, Poncho, available for rescue. Could he be the one? Almost.

Christina reviewed our application and invited us to meet Poncho. But first she wanted us to meet a dog that wasn’t getting very much attention at all and they didn’t know why. She had been brought into rescue a few months earlier when her human family decided that they didn’t want her anymore. I read her profile on their site and agreed to meet her before I met Poncho.

The foster family lived over an hour from our house. My husband and I left work early and worked our way north to meet the little red dog with the huge eyes, funny smile and desperate need of a home of her own.

I knew that the interview was for the foster family, NWIPR and the dog to interview me as much, if not more, than I for me to interview all of them. The meeting went well but I was extremely cautious. It was really hard not to make a commitment that night. I wanted to meet Poncho first. I met Poncho a few days later. Oh, sure, he was a great dog, all right. He was awesome in fact. He wasn’t the one.

Something had shifted inside me. I was daydreaming about the little red dog with the raspy bark. I bought yarn and crocheted a small blanket for her to use while sleeping on the sofa - in girlish colors. I read and re-read her profile on the NWIPR site at least a hundred times.

I was home sick for a couple of days the week after meeting both dogs. I wasn’t up to making any decisions. In my dreams the words calling to me had changed.

“You found me. What are you waiting for?”

I called my husband at work and said the little red dog had to come to our house. He was on board with this but he wanted me to be very sure. I was. We went and got her as soon as we could.

In the next few days I plan to log onto the local pet insurance company, http://www.trupanionpetinsurance.com/, and sign Sasha up for insurance because in my family you just never know what will happen during the holidays!

The love and desire to give to another, to protect, care for and love those less fortunate than you, is what the holiday season is all about. The selfless way this tiny little dog, that we nicknamed "PishPosh", lives her life as my friend and companion, has restored my faith in Christmas once again.

Sasha is an amazing dog with a resilient soul and joyful way of approaching her world. Sasha wakes up happy every single day. I find myself wanting to do the same now. Watching her live in her world has inspired me beyond anything I have ever known. Sasha and I are now on the life-long journey of rescuing each other. We are having a grand time. The holiday season is fun again, thanks to the gift of Sasha’s love!


I Will Answer Some of Your Questions

Welcome back to Dog Day Afternoon, everyone!

Today we are chatting with Miss PishPosh. Pish is a celebrity in her own mind and has been barking about herself for a while now. We thought we would check in with her and catch up on the news.

Q: So, tell me Pish, how was your Thanksgiving?

Awesome. What more can I say. Awesome. I met my new best buddy, Hank. He came over and we partied with the humans. We didn’t hit it off so well at first. Why do boys get so mad when you bark at them? But after we went for a potty walk - we were best friends. We ran around the living room super fast and scored lots of treats. I met Michael’s family and they were really nice. I also got to see my buddy Katie the kid. So much fun in one day should be illegal.

Q: What did you think of the snow last week

Yuck. Let’s not go there again. It was fun for about 15 minutes. I like to take long walkies for over an hour. 16 degree weather was too harsh for my paws and naked legs.

Q. What’s up with the new furniture?

Argh. I don’t know. That’s a stupid human thing.

Q. Tell us, Pish, what’s your favorite thing to do these days?

Go to the beach! By a long shot.

Bet you thought I was going to say take a nap. Taking a nap actually comes in third behind barking at the dog in the skylights.

Q. Who is your best friend?

Human = Diana.  I love her so much it hurts and she loves me *almost* as much as she loves Michael.  I just couldn't get any luckier, I tell you that right now!

Dog = Zeus. Zeus was so nice to me when I joined the family. He just let me be me and wagged his tail. But he is OTRB this summer, so now it’s Hank Bacon. Hank is funny and he runs really fast. But I jump better.

Q: What is your favorite treat?

Hello? Enough with the softball questions. Everybody knows its cheese. Cheese is king now. Cheese will be king tomorrow. Cheese will reign forever.

Q. Sorry…What’s your favorite T.V. show?

Well, we don’t watch very much tv at all around here. I love this little documentary movie called “My Dog”. Diana will set it up for me on Netflix every Saturday morning. I sit right next to the tv and bark out the good parts. Not sure about it being only about celebrity dogs, but it’s still the best thing I’ve ever watched. Paws down.

Q. I see that you are on Twitter now. How’s that going?

I love Twitter! The people and animals we have made friends with are super nice. Some are doing amazing things to help rescue animals, some just have fun and some are just soooo funny it makes my tail hurt it wags so much. You should check out my followers. They are changing the world - one bark at a time. Hey, that’s my motto…

Seriously, they let us join in immediately and we feel as if we really know them. I want to send a happy Bark Out Loud to all my Twitter Buddies. You guys are the best.

Plus, I learned that one of my Twitter Buddies gets Pokey sticks as a treat. POKEY! Dogs get POKEYs? How come I never knew that (looks at Diana…). Who needs to get barked at (still looking at Diana…)?

Q. What’s the point of your blog?

To bark - what else?

No, really it’s to share that rescue dogs are amazing too. We can rediscover trust, we can be happy and we make mistakes. Just because we ended up in a shelter, or in need of a new family, doesn’t mean we are bad dogs.

I want to let people know, in a non-preachy way, that getting a rescue dog is a sound, viable and rewarding option. As a shout out to my breeder friends and dogs, I have nothing against you guys, but I have experience with the “starting over” stuff and I feel that showing my life can set an example for others to follow or simply enjoy.

Plus I’m just naturally talkative…

Q. Last question. What’s up for you in the New Year?

Oh, I have lots of new and interesting stuff in the pipeline for next year.

I heard we are going to Ashland this summer for the Shakespeare festival and to hike with Diana’s best friend.

Begging for a trip to the San Juan Islands so I can bark at seagulls on the ferry and run on the beach.

Hank Bacon and I are working on solving some local dog and cat mysteries in our neighborhoods. There is a lot of weird stuff going on and we are getting to the bottom of it.

I’m also working on a line of swag that will be hidden all around the Seattle area. Each piece will say “PishPosh Says ______________.” The “blank” will be filled in with cool and funny stuff I say. Be the first to get a piece and play along to find them all.

Ok, everyone. There you have it. All the scoop from our local gal pal, PishPosh.