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

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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

 

 

Wagmorevt is two!

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Fayston, Vermont.  Thank you for following along with our adventures in the Green Mountains of Vermont.  To celebrate our second year of wagmorevt, here’s a video slideshow of some of the best of last year’s photos. Enjoy!

For daily photos, please follow me on Instagram @skimor, or search #wagmorevt.

If you have a comment to share or would like your dog to be featured (if you’re within 50 miles of the Mad River Valley in Vermont, I’ll come to you), please fill out the contact form, below.  

 

Love Notes

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Lucy brings a big gift. Size matters...

Lucy brings a big gift. Size matters…

Fayston, Vermont.  Pretty much every day is Valentine’s Day when you have a dog. Here are seven ways they celebrate their love for you all year long:

  1.  They are always happy to see you. Even if you’ve only been gone two minutes, they are there, wagging. They greet you with a kiss. Many wet, sloppy kisses.

2. They want to be with you. Even if the bank didn’t give out treats, they want to go for a ride with you. Also, they want to make sure you are o.k. when you go to the bathroom.

3. They protect you by sounding the bark alarm. Squirrels and other rodents who wander too close receive a thorough scolding. Sometimes they even alert you when it’s windy outside.

Charlie Brown is a happy runner.

Charlie Brown runs happy.

4. They make sure you get some exercise. Every day. They remind you when it’s time to take a walk, and become really, really excited when you put on your BIG boots.

5. They make sure you take time for play. They interrupt computer time by bringing a ball. They grab a stick from the woodpile and make you chase them to take it away.

6. They bring you gifts. Sometimes it’s a stick (or several) for the wood stove, other times it’s something they’ve fetched from the trash. (They don’t have a problem with regifting.) Some dogs even bring you socks to make sure you go outside. (See number 4.)

7. They keep you close. They use you for a pillow. The larger the dog, the more lap they need. Even if you’re not all that big. If you leave the house, they hop the doggy gate to sleep on your bed. On your pillow, so you can share dreams. They leave traces of their love on all your clothing, especially your favorite black sweater – it’s their favorite, too!

I hope you celebrate your dog’s love by making sure you take a nice, long walk and spend time with them. Every day. That’s all they want. Well, some cookies would be nice, too.

Linus

Linus

 

P.s. Be sure to follow me on Instagram @skimor for daily photo posts!

I’d love to hear from you! If you want to leave me a love note;), or have any comments or questions, please use the form, below.

Squad coaching

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The Squad: Lucy, Charlie Brown, and Linus

Fayston, Vermont. Linus can’t catch. He becomes so excited at the thought that food is coming his way that he misses the toss. Every time. Unless he’s lucky. His consistency in missing is remarkable.

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Linus on the hunt.

On New Year’s Eve, we took a short romp in the woods after I came home from a day of teaching skiing.  Once inside, I rewarded each dog with a small dog cookie.  Linus missed the tossed treat, as usual. The treat bounced off his nose, sailed through the air then slid across the floor coming to rest underneath the refrigerator. Linus excitedly tried to pry it loose as I watched, amused. Then I thought, what if Linus becomes stuck, too?  Dr. Roy would have another story to tell, but I’m sure I won’t like the bill. I reached into the cookie jar and pushed another cookie across the floor for Linus, which he hurriedly tracked down and gobbled up.

Meanwhile, Charlie Brown took Linus’ place at the refrigerator, trying to dislodge the cookie. After a few futile seconds, Charlie stopped. He sat down and looked up at me. “Can you help, please,” said his large thought bubble. I knelt down, removed the stuck treat, and handed it to Charlie.

Lucy stood by me, watching. Lucy is my star fielder. She catches everything tossed her way. Lucy is just as thrilled to catch a snowball as a carrot. Her movements are athletic and acrobatic: She seems to simply enjoy leaping. She radiates pure joy when she shags anything thrown for her.

I thought of how each of my dogs approaches a problem differently and the success of each technique. With the new calendar year beginning, I’ve been reflecting and planning. I also begin a new job this week. A lot of new things will be tossed my way.

Linus has shown me that it is exciting to be goal-oriented, but to be successful, one needs to slow down a bit. And, sometimes one needs a second chance. Charlie pointed out that it’s o.k. to ask for help after giving the task a good try.

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Lucy shagging a snowball.

As for Lucy, she reminds me to enjoy the leaping.

Special thanks to Lisa Loomis and The Valley Reporter for the lovely profile article about wagmorevt.com in the December 28, 2016, issue. ICYMI, read the article by clicking here: The Valley’s own dog blog

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!

Rainbow Sprinkles

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Linus sees a rainbow.

Linus sees a rainbow at daybreak.

Fayston, Vermont. My dogs begin each day with the excitement of Christmas morning: They burst from the back door and race into the yard to find the “presents” of smells left for them overnight. Sometimes Charlie Brown likes his gift so much that he rolls in it with joy. Those days do not feel like holidays. But sometimes, as I’m pouring my coffee while they are unwrapping their presents, I see a gift left for me: a rainbow, or a giant moon setting, or a hummingbird feeding, or maybe a plucky little forest critter who challenges Linus to a race. (The critter always wins.) On those days, my coffee always tastes a little richer. Like sprinkles on ice cream.

If you have a comment to share, please use the form, below.

 

Devoted

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Stella at her forever home.

Stella at her forever home.

Stella is a foster dog, probably part Shih Tsu.  I am an adoptions coordinator and foster for For the Love of Dogs/Vermont Dog Rescue. Stella arrived on a pet transport last July. Something about her seemed wrong and after about a month of testing the diagnoses was bladder cancer. We decided not to put Stella up for adoption but to give her as good a life as possible for the very few months we expected her to live.

Stella

Stella

Stella has exceeded all length of life expectations and we at the rescue often affectionately tease her about bouncing along beyond what we ever thought. Because I expected her time to be very short she is spoiled rotten and now she expects me to respond to various demands throughout the day. These involve throwing a ball which is picked up but never returned, ambulating about the front yard, getting massages and yummies and so on.

Each time she refuses a meal as she did this morning I worry because, of course, she has become a much-loved family member.

Stella was obviously horribly neglected because her right knee cap slipped out of place at some point and nobody ever fixed it. When she came here last July, I took her to Roy [Dr. Hadden, Valley Animal Hospital], and we talked about it. It was a side issue. “She will not be out of pain if I fix it,” he explained.  Luckily her cancer drugs –  the NSAIDs – seem to have helped.

Anne Pfarrer lives with Stella (and three other small dogs) in Waitsfield, Vermont. When asked how she became involved in dog rescue, she replied:

I have been doing this for decades…I was on the board of Faces Dog Rescue in Massachusetts and I also fostered…I finally met Carole Moore, and we’ve become good friends. I am Adoptions Coordinator. Carol Crossman is very active in this, too.

How many dogs do you have?

Right now I have four, two of them are mine. Normally I have three. Because Stella has held on for so long, I thought I’d better start fostering again.

[Stella interrupts by barking.] This is how Stella is spoiled rotten. She lets me know when she wants one of her demands met during the day. The demand probably is because it is close to 9:30 and at 9:30 we take an ambulation around the front lawn.

With that, the photo session began as Stella and her companions explored the yard.

 

Happiness Indicators, Summer

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Happy Linus

Happy Linus

Mud between one’s toes = I had fun.

Mud + wet up to one’s belly = I really had fun.

Mud + wet up to the top of one’s head = I had a great time!

Mud + really wet + leaves stuck in one’s collar = that was AWESOME!!!

For the humans, remember to empty your pockets before you cannonball.

Here’s to a leaves-stuck-in-collar summer!

Images are of my dogs, Lucy, Linus, and Charlie Brown on a recent romp in the snowmaking pond, Mt. Ellen.  We adopted all three from Golden Huggs RescueShenanigans require a buddy!

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Linus & Charlie Brown