The Ballads of Brenda Lee

Brenda Lee's Catering Service

July 31st 2010 5:56 pm
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I think that's a good name for our latest endeavor, don't you? Perhaps I should explain. See, every year Mom likes to plant a few vegetables and herbs in our small yard. This year we have flat leaf parsley, basil, chives, Marion tomatoes, scarlet runner beans, and purple pole beans, all of which are doing quite well and are either bearing fruit or are on the verge of it. Plus, our neighbor has cucumbers that they have shared with us. And Mom and I just can't resist the local farmer's markets, so we also have some lovely Vidalia onions, along with some Swiss Chard and potatoes.

What to do with all of this lovely bounty? Well, Mom and I have lots of good ideas!

Today we made a fabulous cucumber and onion salad from a very old German family recipe. It's cucumbers and onions in a sour cream and vinegar dressing with some salt and pepper for seasoning. Simple and delicious, Mom says it's never better than this time time of year when the veggies are young, tender, and fresh.

Apparently it's also very popular with Mom's friends! Even though I can't eat any of it, I did tell one of Mom's friends (who's also my groomer) that she was making the salad today. Would you believe she loves it too?! I told Mom what she said and suggested that we should share it with her. Mom thought that was a great idea, and since I thought of it, we would deliver the goods together and call ourselves Brenda Lee's Catering Service. Wasn't that a great idea?

So this afternoon Mom and I packed up the salad, added a couple of new tomatoes for good measure, and headed out for our first delivery. It was so much fun! I got to go for a ride with Mom, see my groomer (one of my favorite people in the whole world), and she and the lady who works at the shop got some salad that they can have with their dinner. What a great Saturday afternoon!

Mom's next project -- pesto! Tomorrow we'll harvest the basil and parsley, then I'll sit quietly in the kitchen and watch Mom work her magic food processor and create some pesto. I just love to smell all the great smells wafting through the air when Mom's in the kitchen. I wonder if we'll get to deliver some of the pesto to someone too? I sure hope so!

 

Stacking 101 ...

July 29th 2010 5:53 pm
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Tonight I had my very first stacking lesson, and so did Mom! We are starting to practice for the "Meet the Breeds" event in September when I'm going to be the Poodle breed representative. Although Mom and I have watched hours of dog shows on television and seen many dogs of all breeds stack during their time in the show ring, we have previously competed in the rally ring, where stacking isn't a part of the events, so this is new to both of us. And since we both want to do a great job, it's time to begin getting comfortable with this process.

We started by reading articles and tips that Mom found on our friend the Internet, which were pretty helpful. Since I'm a Miniature Poodle, I will be placed on a table when I'm on stage at the event. I'm used to being on a table for grooming, so that's no problem, but I usually find a nice, comfy position while that's happening, and I get moved around depending on what part of me is being combed. I'm very relaxed and sometimes I even fall asleep in the middle of the process. It's fun together time for Mom and me. Now I will have to stand still and leave my feet where Mom puts them, look straight ahead, and keep my tail up in the air; hmmmmm ... that's new!

Mom and I agreed that I should have a special table to help me know the difference between "show" time and "groom" time, so she looked around the house and found something called a "typewriter table". She said it's a little low, but it's the perfect size, very stable, and she put some cabinet liner stuff on the top of it so I don't slide around and can feel very secure when I'm posing. (By the way, what's a typewriter? Mom said those were before my time and not to worry about it because it's now my show table. Allrighty, that's what I'll do!)

Our first lesson went well, and Mom is very happy with me. I stood when she asked me to and tried very hard to keep my feet where she put them. I even put my tail up almost by myself, and looked straight ahead even though I was wondering what Mom was doing and I couldn't see her very well through my ear hair. I was such a good girl that I even got a couple of treats. Yippee!

Mom says we'll continue practicing at home, but she's considering taking me to a couple of conformation practice sessions at our kennel club so that we can get some tips from people and dogs that do this a lot. They have weekly classes and since we can sign up for them individually, we can attend only as many as we need. I think it sounds like a good idea; I love going to the club!

 

Onward and upward ...

July 26th 2010 7:02 pm
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Mom and I have been having several discussions over the past few weeks about when we would start our path to my CD title. Well, it's now officially begun. Today Mom mailed our entry for two trials to be held at a mid-September show about two hours from home, at the same facility where I got my RN last year. We also plan to enter two trials at another venue in October; the plan is to receive the three qualifying scores needed for my CD at these events.

So now we have to prepare and train and polish our competition obedience skills. Mom and I have been very busy with other things for the past few weeks and haven't practiced them at all -- we're very rusty! She has the utmost confidence in me, though, and is sure that we can regain our edge over the next eight weeks. And since I also have to learn to "stack on a table" like a conformation dog for the "Meet the Breeds" presentation being held the weekend before the September trials, there will be plenty of variety in our training so we won't get stale or bored. I know I'll try very hard to do my very best for her!

Wish us luck!

 

A wonderful surprise!

July 26th 2010 6:25 pm
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Mom and I had quite an eventful weekend. On Saturday we were asked to represent the Poodle breed at a "Meet the Breeds" event in September being held at the local mall in celebration of AKC's Responsible Dog Ownership Day. My good buddy Samuel T Sheltie will be representing the Shetland Sheepdog, and my other buddy Molly will be the Italian Greyhound representative. All of us are also therapy dogs, so we will be able to provide some therapy dog information at our tables too. Molly's mom is the event's coordinator and her goal is to have all of the AKC breeds represented, so there should also be many other dogs there too.

Mom and I are very honored to be a part of this day. It's a very big milestone for me - a rescue dog - to represent my breed! And big kudos to Sammy as well! He's also a rescue dog, and a great Sheltie. It's going to be a fun time!

 

I love a good Farmer's Market!

July 26th 2010 5:35 pm
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Yesterday morning Mom and I went to a local farmer's market and it was so much fun! There were about seven vendors under the tents, and they had all kinds of fruits, veggies, meats, plants, and even honey for sale. As Mom shopped at each stand I got to sniff all the smells hanging in the air and say hello to several very nice people. I also made recommendations to Mom about the best produce to purchase and she listened closely to me! We came home with fingerling potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, green beans, and honey. Mom said the green beans and the honey were for Gussie and me. She's going to blanch the green beans so we can have some crunchy snacks and she is also going to make some oatmeal dog cookies with the honey. Yummy!!! I can hardly wait!

 

Fun in the sun! Independence Day weekend 2010 activities.

July 5th 2010 8:12 pm
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Wow -- it's hard to believe that it's July already! I've been very busy since Mom and I decided that I should become a therapy dog. First we went through the evaluation, seminar, and monitored visits necessary to become registered with Therapy Dogs Incorporated, which was a month long process. Mom was so proud when I passed with flying colors! Since then we have attended a Memorial Day Veteran's service, a Kid's Day at the Mall, visits to an independent living facility, AND I spent the day with Mom at her office on Take Your Dog to Work Day. Now all of a sudden it's Independence Day weekend -- whew!

Mom and I had a great time over the holiday. On Saturday we picked up my good buddy Samuel T Sheltie and his mom and we all went visiting to an independent living facility. Sunday was the best, though! See, awhile ago I told Mom that I would love to have my picture taken on a Harley motorcycle. I even helped her pick out a really cool pink jacket and sunglasses for me to wear when the time came. I was ready!

Well, when Sammie's mom heard about my wish, she made arrangements with her friends that own a beautiful bike to meet with us on Sunday. It was sooooo hot, but very exciting, and I was ready for my photo shoot! Mom put me on the seat and it was like I had been riding my entire life - I loved it! I could almost feel the cool breeze blowing through my ears, and I sat quietly and smiled while Mom quickly took the photos. Everyone thought I was such a good girl! Don't you think the pictures turned out great?

I wonder what the rest of the summer will bring? Mom said something about getting ready to try for my CD in September. I hope we can; I have a great time playing with Mom and I try really hard to do what she asks me to. She says I'm a great partner. Now if the temperature would only get below 90 degrees!

 

A Special Mother's Day Message ... :-)

April 5th 2010 6:32 am
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Good Morning Everyone!

Brenda Lee here! Gus, Harvey, and I are already planning a Happy Mothers Day for Mom. I found this message online and want to share it with all the Dogster mom's out there. Enjoy!

A Special Mother’s Day Message
By Roxanne Dwyer

Happy Mother's Day (May 9th) to all of you who have children that are a bit hairier than others and who walk on four paws!

This is for all of the mothers who have sat up all night with sick dogs in their arms, wiping up barf laced with edible and inedible things and saying; "It's okay Baby, Mommy's here."

This is for all of the mothers who have sat on the floor for hours on end soothing dogs who can't be comforted.

This is for all of the mothers who show up at work with dog hair on their suits, unexpected scratches on their wrists and poop bags in their purse, coat pocket, pants pocket, and all other pockets.

This is for all of the mothers who make their own dog food and treats – and for all of the mothers who don't.

This is for all of the mothers who help the new mothers deal with the loss of their litter. And for all of the mothers who help them cope when they are given new homes.

This is for all of the mothers whose priceless art collections consist of ribbons and photos. And for all the mothers who froze their buns, sweated gallons, and swatted away bees to watch their Precious prance into a ring and achieve 2nd place, and then jump around as though they had won Best In Show.

This is for all of the mothers who go to the special pet stores to collect the proper treats, food, and toys; no matter that it take 3 stops and 50 stoplights.
This is for all of the mothers who taught their dogs to sit, come and stay. And for all of the mothers who opted for sit.

This is for all of the mothers who teach their dogs Agility, Obedience, and Rally, and actually understand that it needs to be FUN!

This is for all of the mothers who take their dog to the vet, assuring them that there will be no needles, only to be told a blood sample is needed.

This is for all of the mothers whose dog has gone missing and was returned because she had the forethought to have a chip put between its shoulders.

What makes a good mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Ever available treats? The ability to answer the door, hold back the dog and deal with a phone call all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart? Is it the ache she feels when she walks out the door to her job every Monday through Friday knowing that 2 eyes are boring into her back? Is it the jolt that takes her from sleep to dread when she hears the sounds of heaving at 2:00 am? Years later, the guilt that won't go away when she has no other choice but to put her friend down?

The emotions of motherhood are universal, and so this is for you and for all of us ... hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them every day that you love them.

 

What is a Title Really?

March 6th 2010 5:15 pm
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Mom did it again. She found this today and liked its message so much that she wanted to share it. Enjoy!

"What Is A Title Really?"

Not just a “brag”, not just a stepping stone to a higher Title, not just an adjunct to competitive scores, a Title is a tribute to the dog that bears it. A way to honor the dog, an ultimate memorial, it will remain in the record and in the memory for about as long as anything in this world can remain.

Few humans will do as well or better in that regard. And though the dog herself doesn't know or care that her achievements have been noted, a Title says many things in the world of humans, where such things count. A Title says your dog is intelligent, adaptable, and good-natured. It says that your dog loves you enough to do the things that please you, however crazy they may sometimes seem.

And a Title says that you love your dog, that you love to spend time with her because she is a good dog, and that you believe in her enough to give yet another chance when you fail, and that in the end your faith is justified. A Title proves that your dog inspires you to have the special relationship enjoyed by so few; that in a world of disposable creatures, this dog with a Title is greatly loved, and loves greatly in return.

And when that dear short life is over, the Title remains as a memorial of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend, volumes of praise in one small set of initials before or after the name.

A Title is nothing less than love and respect, given and received permanently.

Author unknown

 

Food for Thought

November 25th 2009 2:58 pm
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Evening everyone,

Mom found this story yesterday, and cried when she read it. And since now is a time for giving thanks and the beginning of the holiday season, she felt it was appropriate to post it here as "food for thought". See, Mom rescued Gus, Harvey, and me from unhappy situations, and she hopes that this story might help other dogs and kitties in need.

Love,
Brenda Lee


LETTERS TO A DOG.......

January 6
Dear Dog,
I saw you today for the first time, just a couple houses from my own. The school bus stopped to let out your kids, and your mom opened the front door to let you run out and greet them. You are a wiggly, bouncy and happy little puppy with a full belly and a shiny coat. Your kids grabbed you up, hugged you, held you and toted you inside. Your tail was wagging the entire time. I thought to myself, how sweet, what a way to end a long hard day. I spoke to your mom this evening and she said that they got you from the Animal Shelter, and the kids named you Lucky.

March 10
Dear Lucky,
I saw you today as I always do on my way home from work. You were already outside to greet the kids today, which seemed a little odd. The little girl got off the bus and shooed you away; she appeared to not want you jumping on her. The boy got off the bus and gave you a quick playful pat on the head, then smelled his hand and brushed you aside. You looked confused and sad, as you went to lie by the porch. You curled up in a tight ball on the cold ground and let out a huge sigh. My heart felt heavy that day.

March 21
Dear Lucky,
I saw you today. I was headed home, and the kids got off the bus, walked to the house, and you ran out as far as you could on your heavy chain to let them know you were there. The little girl ignored you, the little boy told you to be quiet when you barked for his attention. My neighbor commented that they needed to do something with your barking because you keep them up at night. You had a bucket of water, a bowl of food, and a relatively nice doghouse, but your eyes were sad and empty. I shook my head and let out a huge sigh.

April 30
Dear Lucky,
I worried for you today. You look thin, your chain heavy on your neck, your coat is dirty and falling out, you don't get up to do much anymore. Your bucket is turned over, and I have not seen your food bowl for a few days now. I spoke to the neighbor and asked about you. He said you still bark at night and he saw the man of the house throw something at you the other day as he scolded you. I shook my head in despair as I went back into my house.

June 4
Dear Lucky,
My heart sank today. I was headed home, and you weren't in your yard. A large part of me hoped you got away, another large part of me was frightened at all the other possibilities. I asked my neighbor about you, and he said your family went on vacation and sent you back to the Animal Shelter. I shook my head and cried for you as I went into my house.

June 5
Dear Dog,
I went to the shelter today. I found you huddled in the back of a cage that had a bucket, a bowl of food, and a blanket for you to lie on. You looked up at me as if you knew me, and my heart broke as I read your card. They did not even care enough to give them your name, and the card simply said, "male, neutered, Poodle. Owners did not want." I cried when a gentleman from the kennel said, "That's a sad one there. He came from here, you know, last Christmas. Guess they just got tired of him. He's too frightened, no one will adopt him." I went to the counter and told them I would be back tomorrow and please don't do anything just yet. They all kind of nodded like they heard that one before.

June 6
Dear Dog,
I brought you home today. You were scared and untrusting, but a small part of you somewhere allowed you to wag the tip of your tail when I told you that you were a good boy and that I loved you. I gave you a new name, "Happy", because you aren't and I hope that someday you will be. You had an accident on the floor, and when I came back to clean it up with paper towel you slunk down and whimpered as if the hand was coming for you. I tried to choke back the tears when I thought of what you must have gone through in the past six months. I reached out and patted you and your eyes closed and your body went limp at such a gentle gesture. "We're going to be all right," I told you. I showed you your food, and you ate voraciously, and you marveled at the treats and toys I got for you.

December 25
Dear Happy,
Good morning my best friend! You woke me, as always, popping out from under the covers on your side of the bed, licking my face to tell me it was time for our walk. We went through the living room and you sniffed what Santa left for us. I hugged you and said, "Last year you were a Christmas gift, now this year, these are all yours!" Your coat is shiny, your belly always full, and even though we found out at your first vet visit you had heartworms, you are healthy now. As we went out for our walk, we saw your old family in the front yard. They look at you each time as if they recognize you in a way, but you don't give them a second glance.
--- Then I believe both our hearts stopped as we saw the children emerge from the yard holding a small playful puppy. "Isn't she just precious? We got her from the animal shelter. Hope this one works out, the other dog we got from there was so much trouble." I sighed and refrained from pointing out that you were not the trouble. You looked up at me as if to say, "Thank you, Mom." I kneeled down and whispered in your sweet ear, "No, it is I who thank you."

"DOGS ARE LIKE CHILDREN; THEY ACT LIKE THE PEOPLE WHO RAISE THEM"

Author Unknown

 

It's Thanksgiving Eve!!!

November 25th 2009 2:44 pm
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Hi Friends!

Greetings from wild, wonderful West Virginia! My buddies Gus, Harvey and I want to give everyone a hearty *woof/meow* wish from us for a great Thanksgiving!

Mom has been cooking all day and the smells have sent our noses into overdrive! And even though we have been underfoot in the kitchen "snorfling" for whatever might drop from the cutting board (Mom was very careful and all we got for our efforts was a couple carrots - humph!), Mom told us that the thing she is most thankful for is that we are members of her family and we are at the top of her list. We were sure to tell her that we were thankful that she had rescued all of us and that we planned to continue to show her every day how happy we are! She was so glad to hear that from us that she promised each of us a special pup/kitty plate of our own tomorrow. It's going to be Mom. Grammie, and us having lunch, and we can't wait!!!

Love and Holiday Wishes,

Brenda Lee, Gus, and Harvey

 
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Brenda Lee, CGC, RN, TDInc.


 

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