Rainbow Sprinkles

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.

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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 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

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!


Linus & Charlie Brown

Puppy love

Micah & Sophie

Micah & Sophie

My family is generally pretty open to this kind of crazy stuff (getting a dog in the middle of ski season) but I’d been asking for years with no luck. Finally my mom brought it up after watching me care for Charlie and said it was something we could look into. After the entire family signed off, we were able to choose a dog. After hearing that Micah was the cuddliest in his litter, we decided on him.

He’s about 5 months old, yellow Lab-Golden Retriever mix. We think he could have some beagle in him but don’t really know. The funny thing is, most people who meet him think he is a purebred. He’s very high-strung when he’s energetic but if he’s tired enough he loves to curl up right next to you and fall asleep. He’s also very good at showing us his facial expression. He’s a little bit dopey and somewhat of a klutz. Everyone loves him very much but it’s easy to get fed up with him as he’s always causing trouble. The cats and him did not get along for the first month and a half but now they are fine (most of the time). Micah tends to treat them like dogs even though they’re not.  Elsa [the family’s mild-mannered black lab] hated him for a week but now they are inseparable.

One of the funniest things he does is when he is laying on a piece of furniture and gets very excited to see someone. He stretches out and tries to roll over and say “hi” but often ends up falling off. He just sits back up and starts wagging his tail as though nothing has happened.


Micah, in the GMVS Clubhouse.

Sophie and her family live in Warren, Vermont. 

Charlie belongs to me – Sophie and her family “puppy sat” our Charlie over the Thanksgiving break as Charlie was young and didn’t travel well. We’re fortunate that Sophie’s family doesn’t blame us – too much. Both Charlie and Micah were adopted through Golden Huggs Rescue.