Thoughtful Thursday: Look at Your Dog …


My Editorial Assistant, Mom Karen, recently has been as loose ends — dashing here, dashing there. I have found it best to just recline on the sofa or my favorite chair in the living room and comfortably watch her and stay out of the way.

Therefore, I am posting these words of inspiration for her so that she will know that I am here and that “Good Still Exists.”

The human in your home may need this thought as well.

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Memorable Monday: Dogs Rule!


“Every dog has its day,” or so the quote goes.

Monday, August 26, is National Dog Day, a time to bring attention to the number of dogs seeking to be adopted from shelters by people who need them.

Once upon a time, I, Lady Louise, lived in a shelter — two of them actually. I was in search of the right human needing to be rescued.

Then, a lady came into the second shelter where I was waiting. I took pity on her. She had sadness written all over her heart. How could I not respond to her? Other families were there waiting to be rescued, too. But this lady seemed particularly needy.

I found my way to her, and I let her pat my head and tell me how how beautiful I am. I realized then that she was observant and kind, and I knew that she had the potential to be trained to love a Standard Poodle like me — just me, of course.  I didn’t think she should be confused by adding another pooch to the job ahead of us.

I went home with her, fully realizing that I would have to begin her training right away. It hasn’t always been easy giving her new responsibilities, such as blogging, but over the past five years Mom Karen has adapted pretty well to having a smart Standard Poodle .

In our home, I have helped her realize that every day is “National Dog Day” when you have a pet like me. Sometimes I let her think that she’s in charge. However, all of us know what the real story is!

Today, I am celebrating all of my friends and the humans that we’ve rescued, and I’m sharing these Lady Louise words of wisdom: “When a dog speaks, perk up your ears and listen.”

This is especially true if you humans have been sent to a shelter to add love and companionship to your lives. A dog is waiting there to change your world if you listen to our hearts — and yours.

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The Paw on My Heart

Ivy healed my heart and changed my life forever!

Ivy healed my heart and changed my life forever!

I met Ivy on a Saturday morning in June 2003. It was a terrible time in my life. Ten months earlier, I had gone through a devastating divorce. My mother had a rare lung disease, and I was working two jobs.

Why I thought I wanted a dog, I don’t know. It was a moment of craziness, I am sure, one of many that I have had in my life — except this one had a good outcome!

Knowing that I couldn’t manage a puppy in my life, I gave up on the idea of a dog until I heard a colleague at the University of South Carolina say that her co-worker didn’t know what she was going to do with her dog Ivy when she moved. Ivy couldn’t go with her, and the day until the move was approaching quickly.

For some reason, I made arrangements with Jane to meet Ivy, age 7. The beautiful dog with jet black fur came running toward me when I entered the house and kept running back and forth in front of me as though she were auditioning to be my dog!

She was spirited and sweet and no doubt figured out quickly that she could train me, the inexperienced dog owner, in no time.

And she did.

The doubts that I had about adopting her melted away, and within a month of her arrival in my home I began writing the first book in what has become a children’s mystery series. Because of Ivy, I have traveled throughout the United States to share my love of reading and writing with students.

More than that, she healed my heart and then comforted me when my mother died in 2006.

Losing Ivy on Saturday, May 31, 2008, seemed unfair. I wanted more time with her.

But loving Ivy taught me about the responsibility of rescue, and the love that I had for her led me to Carolina Poodle Rescue and Louise, my sweet, smart and mischievous Standard Poodle.

Ivy was wise and knowing. Louise is adorable and boisterous.

They are two completely different dogs, but both have given me such joy and love that I cannot think what life would have been like without them.

Since the publication of “A Paw on My Heart” in 2008, many people have suggested that I update the book with information about my life since Ivy. And I am going to do just that, with a new edition to be out before the holidays.

“A Paw on My Heart” is more than just my story with Ivy. It’s about the healing power of pets and how a “no-pet person” has become a truly crazy dog lady. And I am proud to be one!

The AKC may not award papers to crazy dog ladies, but I am certified and “bone-I-fied.”

Even with my over-active imagination, I could never have imagined the life I had with Ivy.

She’s on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge now, waiting for me.

And, in the meantime, I know that she whispers to Louise to take care of me — because, as both of them realized, I need them!

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Loving “Fuzzy Pooches”


Rosie and Lily are the beloved poodles of Bobby and Mary Clark of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The family’s love for dogs began when Bobby thought that the family needed a sense of vitality beyond careers and school.

Though the idea of having a dog caught the family by surprise, they not only warmed to having Madame Tootsie Wootsie take over their lives, their passion for pooches was born.

Today, Bobby and Mary Clark are the parents to two miniature poodles, and Bobby is building a business, Fuzzy Pooch Productions, around America’s love for their pets.

Click on Saturday and Other Stories above to read more of the family’s sweet story and to learn about Fuzzy Pooch Productions.

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Something about Stretch

Stretch, a dachshund with a mind of his own, has trained his Columbia. S.C., family well.

Stretch, a dachshund with a mind of his own, has trained his Columbia, S.C., family well.

With a personality to match his name, Stretch is the much beloved companion of Jack and Karen Magradey and their college-age daughter and son.

Without question, Stretch has added love, joy, laughter and mischievous behavior to their lives and is a source of delight for the much younger Tonks, a Golden Retriever with a “Houdini” gene.

When Stretch became sick recently and needed surgery — and then contracted pneumonia — the family feared the worst, but found a special meaning in his recovery.

Click on Saturday and Other Stories above to read more of their special story.

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