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A Penny and some change…

Thanks to everyone who reached out to me after yesterday’s blog post.  It’s tough to know your crowd — some folks don’t get it.  Thankfully, they have kept their mouths shut to me (and I mean thankfully for them.  I do not go gently into anything.  Good night)

Today my son reached out to me with a dreadful tale about animal abuse.  Some (can’t really call them human, or even people, so I will go with the most polite moniker with which to bestow them) ASSHATS decided that owning a puppy was too hard.  After their 8 month old labradoodle chewed up a pair of tennis shoes, they took the puppy to the woods and shot it.


Luckily, the police were called.  The puppy is doing well, and will be adopted by one of the police officers.

The Asshats are in the brig.  Hopefully the Navy can punish them more than a civilian court.  In most instances, animal cruelty/abuse/neglect is a misdemeanor.  In Washington state, where this happened, I believe the minimum punishment is $150 fine, the max is $10,000 and five years in jail, presumably for repeat offenders.  ( found this link helpful, btw:

Here in Minnesota, my rescue just last night brought in an owner surrender Dachshund named Uno.  Uno is struggling, but making it so far.  (to donate to his care, go to

Nope.  This is not a stray.  This woofer had an OWNER.

Today I want to reach out to all of you animal lovers out there.  So many folks have asked what they can do for me and my family in our time of grieving for Penny — a dog who may have come from a breeder (I didn’t know better back then) but has helped so many foster dogs learn how to be forever pets.

You can help by:

  1. Fostering.  Find a local foster-based rescue and open your doors to an animal.  At our rescue, there is no cost to the fosters — all expenses are covered by Secondhand Hounds (including massive, expensive medical care).  Fosters choose which animals they foster, and they choose the animal’s new family.  Most rewarding thing I’ve ver done.  Yes, it’s hard to let them go.  But it’s worth it (in 5 years we’ve never kept one!)

2.  Adopt, don’t shop.  Don’t use a breeder.  Yeah, there are good breeders out there.  But there are far more animals killed daily in shelters (some of them purebreds, if you care about that) than you want to know:

NEW YORK, N.Y.– The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today released national shelter estimates showing dramatic decreases in shelter intake and euthanasia of homeless dogs and cats. The ASPCA reports that an estimated 1.5 million companion animals are euthanized in U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year, a decrease from about 2.6 million estimated in 2011. Contributing to this reduction is an 18.5 percent increase in national adoptions. An estimated 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats), up from 2.7 million adoptions in 2011. (March 2017)

So yes: the numbers are better.  But 1.5 million animals last year!!!

3. Spay/neuter your pets.  yes, you love your Fluffy.  But don’t breed “just to see” what the pups/kittens will be like.  Every litter brought into this world means another litter dies.

4. LOVE your animals! Get them preventative care (you do NOT want me to put up pictures of a heartworm-ridden hart).  Vaccinate.  Keep their teeth clean.

Do not leave your pet in a car.  ‘Nuff said. (and fyi: the police are getting more and more ok with breaking windows to save animals.  So there’s that).

5. Support bigger penalties for animal cruelty.  The animals are insanely forgiving.  We don’t have to be.

I would love to invite you all to share your stories with me — pets you have loved and lost, your forays into rescue, etc.  If I can convince just one person to help in Penny’s name, it will help ease our pain.

Now: go hug your pet! Walk your dog, stroke your cat, make googly eyes at your fish.  Enjoy them!



What I Love

80s Hair Metal

Unexpected compliments

Making people laugh

Hearing babies laugh


People with differing opinions listening to each other, respecting those differences and learning from them

The way my son now wants to go to theater with me

The way he loves his girlfriend

The way my daughter loves her boyfriend


Madeline Island

Scolding my husband and my BFF for being too silly together (the time they almost knocked the tree over, though…)

Getting Christmas cards

First flowers blooming in spring

My new car


The full moon

When my nail polish stays on

People’s reactions when I hand them puppies at a puppy party

Game night

Planning travel

Books and the people who read them (shout out to my book club!)

Food and the people who eat it (shout out to my Gourmet Club)

Volunteering and the people who make it happen (shout out to my Senior Party staff!)

Dogs and the people who save them (shout out to Secondhand Hounds)

My husband’s commitment to French lessons with me, even though he hates it

Taking off my bra at the end of the day

Wine with my girlfriends


That I forgot I’d already said cheese, which kinda shows my true feelings

The smell of asphalt after a rain

The Oscars

Historical dramas on BBC

Seeing a formerly traumatized dog become what it was meant to be, and finding the perfect forever home

The sound of a champagne cork

Crossing stuff off my list

Making a new list

The way my daughter teaches me things

The way my dad still says I love you, even though he isn’t sure who I am #fuckAlzheimers

That my mom still wants to help me every day in every way

That I am still in contact with friends made when I was a toddler (thank you Facebook)

That people who I used to fear/be intimidated by/look up to/have massive crushes on in high school have become my friends (social media plus time: the great equalizers)

Discovering new links on

Not caring if people think I am weird

Being recognized for my accomplishments

Hair dye (shout out to Chelsea at Spalon Montage)

My Vegas group (shout out to the Unicorn Poop Squad)

Online shopping

Mom and Pop stores

People who don’t untag themselves from photos

That my son asks me for advice — even when the subject matter makes my butt  cheeks clench

40 degrees in February


Lake Tahoe

Watching the parents of Olympic athletes realize it was all worth it

Sunsets over the water with a glass of Chardonnay

A clean house

All the laundry done

Cooking for my family

Having them all there to eat it

Having a long, hot roll … at craps

Free champagne in Vegas!



Someone else planning everything, rather than asking me what I want to do

Big fat scary pitbulls that are really lapdogs who want to give kisses and receive pets

My dog’s patience as a foster-trainer

The “unfollow this post” button on Facebook

Being retweeted

Having random people in cities I am visiting decide I am the bomb and follow me on instagram

Being a fly on the wall during fun school activities

The pile of shoes near the door when there are kids in the house

Watching Singer Girl do her thing

The look on a family’s face when they take home a newly adopted, once-my-foster dog

That my kids both bring soup to their significant others when theya re sick

My kids righteaous indigantion over the mistreatment of others

Doing new things

That my husband remembered that one of my dreams has been to dance on the Champs Elysees on my birthday — so is taking me there for my 50th

Sailor Boy wanting to be the party host (gets it from his mama, ya know)

Everyone’s excitement about my annual Halloween party

My friends’ disappointment when I can’t host Dec 23rd

Dressing up for any and all holidays and events, whether it means black tie or bunny ears

Knowing that my kids have amazing lives in front of them

Knowing that I have an amazing life in front of me

And did I mention cheese?

Enjoy all that you love this Valentine’s Day!







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