Rite of Spring

dogs, humor, pets, vermont

Charlie Brown

5:05 am Open eyes. Roll over and squint at clock. Stiffly thunk-thunk down the stairs to the kitchen.

5:10 am Flip on lights. Open dog crates. Weave through excited tails to open sliding back door. And they’re off to do dog things.

5:15 am Make coffee. Measure out dog food. Leave Linus’ bowl on the floor as he’s always the first one back for breakfast. Let Lucy inside, and put her food down.

5:35 am Realize Lucy ate her food AND Linus’. She’s sleeping it off under the dining room table. Call Linus and Charlie. Weird that they’re not back.

5:36 am Let Linus and Charlie inside and feed them.

5:37 am Pour that first cup of coffee and turn on the tv news. Sip slowly.

5:45 am WHAT’S THAT SMELL?!

5:46 am Send Charlie outside, locked on the deck. Back to coffee.

6:00 am Search for goretex pants, rubber garden clogs, cleaning gloves, and dog shampoo. Dress for bathing battle.

6:13 am Turn on the hose. Call Charlie, who’s now hiding. Bribe him with a treat as I put him on his leash.

6:20 am Bath time for Charlie!

6:30 am Peel off goretex and rubber layers. Eat breakfast.

So, how was your morning?

Charlie Brown in a dandelion field, Waitsfield, Vermont

Lucy & Linus pose at Sugarbush Resort Golf Club, where some of my greetings cards are for sale in the Pro Shop. We were trying to make a dog-golf photo for a card. Need more leaves on the trees, I think.

YAWN from Linus

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Harper’s Tail

dogs, Healthy Living, humor, pets, vermont, weather

Podium shot: Charlie, Lucy, and Linus on the plow-created snow Mountain next to our driveway

Fayston, Vermont. It has been so cold that the snow left behind by storm Harper complains with squeaks and grumbles under my boots. Just suiting up for a short dog walk down the driveway is an epic adventure. The bundling up and unbundling take as long as the walk.

Linus won’t go outside. He stands on the threshold like an old man caught up in a memory, unsure of the present. I coax him outside with the promise of a cookie.

Charlie rushes out excitedly. But after about a minute, he freezes with one leg in the air as if tagged by an invisible “It.” Slowly, the raised leg lowers and is carefully placed on the ground. A different leg is haltingly held aloft. The deliberate leg exchange is repeated, resembling a dog version of Tai chi.

Lucy runs ahead, clearing the driveway’s giant snow bank in a graceful leap and landing a perfect bellyflop in a pillow of powder. She pops up snow-covered with her goofy golden grin and begs me to throw a snowball. I oblige. Many times.

Satisfied that Linus has relieved himself, we return to the house for cookies, and for me, a cup of hot tea.

Linus says “Nope.”

Charlie doesn’t appear thrilled.

Lucy always manages to find a big stick.

No friends on a powder day.

Charlie in doggles.

Lucy, Queen of Powderhounds

Running With My Pack: CaniCross 2018

animal rescue, dogs, Healthy Living, pets, photography, vermont

RS_CaniCross18_101918025

Williston, Vermont.  Although the wind gusts persuaded me to not set up my wagmorevt.com photo booth, the rain held off and another CaniCross to benefit Golden Huggs Rescue and Catamount Outdoor Center is now in the books. Dogs of all shapes and sizes came with their people to participate. A local youth cheerleading squad was even on site for encouragement. Special thanks to Long Trail Veterinary Center’s Dr. Ericka Canales for organizing and sponsoring this event.

If you are interested in ordering any prints, please go to my photo website, Rebecca Silbernagel Photo on SmugMug. As I didn’t set up the photo booth, any money I make from the sale of CaniCross prints or products I will donate to Golden Huggs. A 4×6 inch print costs .21¢ and ordering is easy through my site. I’ll leave the sale open for a couple of months. (I don’t usually sell my photos this way.)

We adopted all three of my dogs through Golden Huggs Rescue. I can’t say thank you enough!

 

 

Love stinks

dogs, pets
Charlie at home

Charlie Brown at home.

Fayston, Vermont. I recently gave Charlie Brown a bath. At 10 pm.

As was our routine, dog-dad had let our dogs out before going to bed. He let them out into the yard, but not the fenced-in part – our neighbors are seasonal and mud season is not one of their seasons. Spring feverish, our three dogs took off into the night.

After a few minutes, Lucy returned home but Linus and Charlie did not. Dog-dad continued to call them, with each repetition growing louder and angrier. I came downstairs, grabbed my wallet and car key, then tapped the button to open the garage door. I hoped the sound of the door clanking up would bring them back, but I only heard the peepers. No familiar jingle of dog tags. At least I heard no more yelling.

I started the car and pulled out of the garage, crawling down the driveway and expectantly searching for Charlie and Linus in my headlights. Twenty five yards down they appeared, looking quite happy and excited, tails and tongues a-waggin’. They eagerly hopped in the car.  

Charlie snuggled up against my neck. He smelled like he spent the night at a frat party. A wave of nausea hit me at the stench. Into the shower we both went.

In the morning, dog-dad and I agreed to keep the dogs in the fenced in part of our yard. I arrived at work tired. My mind had ruminated on “what might have been” and my sleep was restless. As I was settling into my morning coffee and emails, one of my co-workers announced that she had a sad story to tell me. She looked upset. Quite unexpectedly, she said, she had to say goodbye to her dog last night. We hugged and cried; their time with us is too short we told each other. She told me how her dog suddenly became very sick over the weekend. We cried some more.

Dogs are only with us for a short time. Make every day a good one.

 

 

In memory of Goldie.

All photos ©️Rebecca Silbernagel 2018

Lucy & Charlie take a break during our morning walk.

Lucy!

Mother’s Day bouquet

Sugarbush Resort

Hi, Charlie…

Did somebody say cookie?

Morning walk reflections

Linus keeps my seat warm.

Cinco de Barko

Spring fever

Mad River Valley view

Acts of Love

animal rescue, dogs, Joy, Valentines Day
Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus at sunrise.

Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus at sunrise

To my dear pack-mates Lucy, Linus, and Charlie Brown on Valentines Day,

I love:

  • That you are ecstatic when I come home
  • That you are so happy to see me that you like to rub your blondeness against my black pant legs
  • That you use me for a pillow and keep me warm when you snuggle
  • That you use my pillow when I’m not home
  • That you are excited to see me each morning
  • That you are so excited to see me each morning that you begin to chirp at 4:30 a.m.
  • That you are up for any adventure
  • That you think when I have to go to the bathroom is an adventure
  • That you are always by my side
  • That you lie down in obstacle course formation on the kitchen floor when I am cooking
  • That you help with the dishes and vacuuming
  • That occasionally you leave a mess for me to clean
  • That you love me, always

I love my Lucy

I love my Linus

I love my Charlie Brown

Happy Valentines Day!

XOXOXO

 

 

Starting Something

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Rusty, at his forever home in Waitsfield, Vermont

Waitsfield, Vermont.  With Brigitte Ritchie, co-founder of Golden Huggs Rescue.

Rusty is from Louisiana. When I adopted him I had just been diagnosed with cancer. Adopting a Golden was on my bucket list.  I found him on-line in a Lousiana rescue. They told me that he had been hit by a car – he was a neighborhood doggie – and he had heartworm. The shelter called the rescue to tell them they had two goldens, but when they got there, they were told that there was another one in the back, but he’s a total mess. The gentleman that runs the rescue, well, he took one look at the dog – named Rhett at the time – and he took Rhett in his car straight to the vet. They took his leg off and started to treat him. When I got him, he was only about a year old. He was driven up. No transport company, no rules or regulations. That was about twelve years ago. I was startled with the realization about all those kill shelters: They gas them, about 35 at a time, then put them in trash bags at the curb for the city garbage trucks to pick up.

So that led to me going down there, meeting people, and saying there’s a supply-demand thing. There are people that can help, and Pet Finder, and all that.

RS_Sadie_12-15

Sadie

Sadie’s from Tennessee. I rescued her when she was about five. The people that had her were moving and couldn’t take her. She came all trained. She’s an alpha female. I can’t have any more female dogs with her around.

RS_Bode_12-15

Bodie

Bodie, the little one, who’s not little at all anymore, came because my son complained that he wanted a puppy for once. I had adopted out a lot of puppies. Bodie was only five weeks. He’s the comedian of the group.

Rusty just keeps going. I just can’t believe it.

We have quite a few dogs in the Valley now. We wanted to start a rescue – there are four of us – where you answer phone calls, help people, and don’t disappear when the dog gets here. We remain a resource. I don’t have a facility so I can’t take owner turn-ins, but I have rescuers locally that will. The groups help each other – it’s a nice community around here.

To learn more about Golden Huggs and view dogs currently available for adoption, please visit the Golden Huggs website.

If you have a story to share, please contact wagmorevt!

The Nice List

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Even if they are occasionally naughty(!), Lucy, Linus & Charlie Brown end up on the nice list anyway. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday.

Special thanks to readers Wendell Anderson for the fun shot of Nina and Carol Flaker who sent the great pic of Wilson with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. I know for a fact that Nina and Wilson are also on the Nice List:-)

Merry Christmas!

Happy Gotcha Day!

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Lucy, now 3, at home.

Lucy, now 3, at home.

Fayston, Vermont. We celebrate Lucy’s “Gotcha Day” on December 19th.  A “Gotcha Day” is more significant to rescue families than a birthday because it’s the day the dog joined it’s forever home. I’ve written stories about how Linus and Charlie Brown came to join our family, but never told Lucy’s story.  In honor of her Gotcha Day, here’s Lucy’s tale.

Lucy was a Christmas puppy. I didn’t plan it that way. I didn’t even want a puppy.

Then I saw her picture.

It was the beginning of October when I said goodbye to my sweet Chesapeake Bay Retriever Kona. I wanted another dog – I will always have a dog – and contacted a CBR breeder. Her next litter was about a year away, she informed me.  Would I like to be included on The List?

The house was so empty. By November, the emptiness became unbearable when my then high-school-aged son went away on a trip. Kona had lived a good, long life, and was my constant companion. But, her many medical issues were a source of stress for me. I started searching the web for a young, healthy, energetic dog. One that didn’t need to be housebroken and that had too much energy for its owner – one that could hike for miles, then go for a swim, then still wasn’t done playing. On the Golden Huggs website, I saw a young Golden Retriever that seemed perfect. I applied immediately without telling my family.

I quickly received a phone call with the news that the dog I requested was already adopted, but “would you like a puppy?” asked Golden Huggs’ Brigitte Ritchie. I had never met Brigitte, and I was surprised by the question. I replied without hesitation “no, not really,” as I explained Kona. Brigitte didn’t exactly take no for an answer. She described a litter that would soon be up for adoption but told me that she wouldn’t show me a picture yet. That wouldn’t be fair, she explained. Think about it, she advised.

It wasn’t long before my family figured out what I was up to, and, over the phone, I asked my son (who was miles away in Colorado) what kind of dog he wanted, theoretically. He requested “fluffy.”  I passed that information on to Brigitte.

Then I saw that first photo.

Lucy on her Gotcha Day, December 19, 2012

Lucy on her Gotcha Day, December 19, 2012

We had the winter’s first real snowfall on the day before we brought Lucy home. During the 45 minute trip from her foster family, ten-week-old Lucy cried and cried. Then, as soon as we let her out of the car, she happily bounded in the snow for a very long time. Exhausted – finally – she fell asleep in my son’s arms.

Want to share your tale on wagmorevt? Contact me!

Dogs ran over the Cat

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And they're off! Halloween Canicross, 2015

And they’re off! Spirited Canicross, 2015

October 31, 2015, Williston, Vermont. I feel fortunate to have made many new friends at the Canicross! This benefit event was held on a cold but wind-free morning at Catamount Outdoor and Recreation Center. I had cortisone injections the day before, otherwise I would have much rather joined in the fun. Thank you all for participating!

Rescued

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Mavis & Cleo with Cecelia

Mavis & Cleo with Cecelia

Fayston, Vermont. With Susie Snow and her daughter Cecelia, along with Mavis, Cleo, and Simon.

Mavis

Mavis

Mavis came from Riverside Rescue in Lunenburg, Vermont. She’s eight, turning nine in January. Mavis came from this woman – she was an older woman – who had a mixed breed female. The woman kept breeding her, selling the mixed breed dogs for $50 each. The litter before her [Mavis], all the puppies died because they had a brain abnormality. So when they took Mavis’ litter to Lunenburg, they told the woman that they’d take the mother too, but they need to spay her. So she was finally spayed after Mavis’ litter.

Cleo

Cleo

Cleo came from Potter’s Angels. We just got her off the truck – we hadn’t met or anything – and she’s fabulous. Cleo’s turning four, in December.

They both got lost in the woods together for three days last year, down at my father’s camp in Reading. When we found her, Cleo had attacked a porcupine. Quills were in her mouth and her legs. She couldn’t walk on one of her legs. We feel that Mavis helped lead her out. It was amazing. When we got the phone call that they had been found and went to pick them up, we took them to an emergency vet in Rutland. Cleo had quills everywhere. The quills had been in so long that the tops had popped off. When we had to take Mavis out of the room, she cried and cried. Their bond was so strong. We think that Mavis saved Cleo’s life… Cleo’s never off the leash now.

Simon

Simon

Simon, who is my cousin Kelly’s dog, was found in a ditch in Tennessee. He was 2-3 weeks old. My cousin Kelly’s best friend found him. They had him for about six months before Kelly adopted him. He lives in Warren village.

Note: I met Susie through her work with Golden Huggs Rescue, for whom she had previously fostered dogs. Susie performed our pre-adoption house visit before we adopted Lucy.

Another note: My posts will now be coming monthly.  My work load has made scheduling interviews difficult, and I really don’t want to write about my dogs all the time! I know I can find many, many more stories out there, but I need to give myself a little more time.  If you are interested in participating in an interview for wagmorevt, please fill out the contact form below.  Thank you!