Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Photo Card

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bad Blogger

Yep, that’s me!

Whatever, it happens… I guess or did life happen. Maybe that’s it. So let me catch you up.

Still doing the energy thing but I’m once again became disenchanted and bored. What is my problem? I’m all full steam ahead until I figure out the game and then I just coast… someone should yell at me, but they won’t because they don’t know.

So there is that… my day job is boring me. I’m thinking about a new one. Yea, seems early to jump ship but if the offer is good I might be game. We’ll see what happens there. It just makes me think of Kermit..."It's not easy being green!"  So very true, so very true.
I applied once again to Vet School, my instate school. Yea, I enjoy tossing money down the drain on a wish and a prayer. I figured I only have X amount of years before my pre-requisites start to expire due to age of date taken. Most if not all school want your core work to be within the past six years. Because of this I applied.

Then I got an e-mail last week, once again inviting me to an interview! YEAH!!!

I’m really trying hard to not get my hopes up because it’ll probably go like the last 3X and I’ll get rejected. However, this time around I really scrubbed the crap out of my application.  Funny, ha, ha right?

1.  PERSONAL STATEMENT:  I totally rewrote my personal essay and then rewrote it 10 more times perfecting it! A huge thanks to a few amazing friends and 007 for listening to me bitch about the process. He’s a good copy editor but my friend is amazing!!! If you read this blog you know I need the help and at some point I’ll post the essay, if and ONLY if I get in. If not I’m going to probably reuse it, maybe or maybe I’ll take the hint and stop applying. Time will tell.

2.  ANIMAL EXPERIENCE:  The other BIG thing I did was leave off everything and I mean everything remotely related to the rescue.

ODD right?

Yea, but I think it was for the best.  I sure hope so. I went so far as to make sure all my letters of recommendation left off anything about it. I think it worries them that your going to be some kind a nut job.  Sorry I'm not doing this for the great salary.  News flash people!

3.  LOR's:  I asked my academic reference to beef up my letter regarding the research work I did at the zoo on contraceptive methods the giraffes were on. The irony, the work is totally meaningless now!

Technicality, I hope.

Not only did the zoo stop the contraceptives but they let both the female giraffes get pregnant. Oh it gets better.  One had a baby with major medical issues, but after MANY procedures seems to be ok now. The other female giraffe died and so did her calf during the birthing process.

So the only thing my research provides is they should have kept them on BC, which was not the basis of my research AT ALL, just a side note based on their age, medical history of both of the females.

So irony.... not so good sometimes and I'm really hoping they don't want the current status of the giraffes during the interview.

4.  NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENT:  When your a non-traditional or returning for a change of career there are some "things" your application has to cover and that typically is an undergrad degree that is completely irrelevant to your new interest in veterinary medicine.  I'm no exception.  I also have some crappy grades from back in the day to explain away. 

What have I learned? 

I've learned that I had to rethink my first undergrad experience. I determined that I was being too forthcoming and that nobody truly understands a service academy unless they’ve been to one. So why try and make them get it in 1500 characters or less when it has zero relevance to what I want to do now, i.e. vet school. This was a huge duh moment but a pretty critical one and probably one that has held my application back. So we it comes to the academy I wrote, I went, it was hard, the end. That does some it up pretty well.

I wanted to add that sailing a merchant ship in a hurricane will provide me with zero benefit during gross anatomy but 007 had me take that part out. Butthead!

So there application done, submitted, and interview accepted.

The big day will be early December!!!
  •  Then the big OMG I said what during the interview will follow
  • After that I’ll more than likely get my heart crushed sometime in early January when a twenty something will get my seat.
  • Ah, but I’m staying positive because at least I’m tossing my hat into the ring!


The rescue marches on… We had a very cool FB experience with a lost dog that taught me how amazing social media can be and what positive things can come of it.
The short version: A client at the clinic grooms dogs for the shelter, I asked her to groom one of our rescues. She did a great job and he did get a home from the photos with his new haircut. So yea and thank you!

Few days later I get an email about a lost dog. I offer up to help. Then I find out that the groomer gal is also helping. Small world…

Groomer gall sends me a txt Sunday evening asking if I have any live traps and telling me they need some. Of course most rescue groups do so I tell 007 we are meeting a couple who lost their dog at a park to give them the traps. He informs that no, we are not, it’s dark out and it’ll be close to 10pm.

What was found in the trap the next morning.
He obviously doesn’t get how things go around here, silly 007. About fifteen minutes later we met the couple who were a very stressed out and wonderful people at the park, in the dark. We dropped off the traps and helped set them up.

Next morning Groomer gal and owner of missing dog checked the traps.  The photo to the left is what the found.  We caught a number of wildlife and the saga of the 33day search for their missing dog began.

From Missing to Famous!
 I created a FB page on a whim thinking it might be a good way to coordinate the process. It went simi-viral!  The search made the local news and members of the search party were interviewed. It was crazy and cool. We used txt messaging to coordinate when sightings would happen and those who could responded.

Guess what?


Day 33 Reunited!
Yep, after 33days she made it home. Upon rescue she went straight to the vet and was deemed very healthy minus a small weight loss.  Below is "missing dog" with her Mom!  Don't ya just love a happy ending!

Another cool thing that happened through the long search was a txt went out about a sighting of a small dog.  A group responded and caught him he was very skinny and in bad shape. Only about 4lbs! The group named him Zane.  He had been on the streets for a long time and went to the shelter for the three day hold but nobody claimed him so he was adopted by one of the people involved in the search. 

Additional dogs as well were found because so many folks were out looking for the original dog that they came acorss others.  Those had homes and we got them back to those homes! 
"Missing" with her folks
Zane with his new mom!
During the search I met another lady; we’ll call her Angel K. She is a supper rescue star and devoted herself to the search in ways I can barely explain. She was the one to finally catch the real lost dog that started everything.

We had a Meet and Greet at the local Bark Park to thank all the people who helped in the search and the Missing Dog was the star attraction. The local news covered it too! During the party I was talking with Angle K and she mentioned that she was taking in a new dog. Nothing new with rescue people but then she mentioned the dogs name. It was a dog I'd actually asked a group about via petfinder and had received zero response. 

What are the odds?
Emma with Scout & Garfield

I filled her in and guess what Angel K does? She gives me the dog.  Horton is in-love with her.  She's a puppy mill rescue and she's a black toy poodle.  I renamed her Emma Marie.


Makes your heart sing just a bit doesn’t it!
So now you are up to date. I’m still a nut and still chasing dreams. Oh, I need to tell ya about Willy Hitch…tomorrow or over the weekend. Soon I promise!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My new normal

Change is hard, but change happens regardless if you are ready or not.

What's new?


I use to wakeup early and rush off to the vet clinic. I'd handle morning kennel chores and then head up front. From 8am - 12:30pm I was the vet assistant!

(This photo is not of me but rather the RVT who trained me. She's pretending to do an EKG on my cat Amber for the clinic website. Performing an EKG was part of my day at the clinic.)

Afterwards, I'd swing by McDonald's grab a oh so unhealthy lunch and head to the zoo.

I'd check in with the Zoo Veterinarian grab my radio and do mid-day rounds with her. We'd attend to any cases, check on those animals in quarantine, and finish the day with medical notes.

(One of the pumas, these cats were very cool. When a new animal arrives at the zoo it spends about a month in quarantine before joining the zoo population. This allows for medical work, observation, and training by the keepers. It also insures something contagious doesn't impact the entire zoo.)

On Sunday, I'd head straight to the zoo and be there by 8am. I'd handle morning rounds myself and call the vet if any new cases came up. She'd either advise over the phone for non-critical cases or come in if the case was suspect in any way. Most Sundays I was on my own and I had a golf cart!

She always left a to-do list so I never was at a loss for work. Plus at the end of the day there was always medical notes to-do. I hate charting and was always behind which would earn me a sting scolding. I did get better and I do get why you do it the same day.

(I'm feeding one of the lemurs in this photo. He was staying in the zoo hospital for a reason I can't remember. All I do remember is singing that song..."I like to move it, move it!")

(This is Tucker the male hippo and for some reason I was checking his mouth with one of the zoo keepers. I don't remember the case that well.)

(This is Quilla and I remember her very fondly. She was in and out of the zoo hospital for diarrhea. I felt really bad for her but I also got sick and tired of cleaning her up. I still have a few quills. Like a dog she'd shed quills instead of hair. She loved bananas so I'd hide her meds in them.)

When I'd get home I'd be exhausted and typically I'd just crash. I didn't spend much time at home and the weekend schedule was intense. Come Monday I'd head back to my 40hr work week. Yep, the process was fine until I took time off and then the reality of the insane schedule I was keeping caught up to me. However, I'd dive right back in.

Looking back I miss all of it and I don't. It's more of a feeling of been there, done that, got the t-shirt!

How it all changed I don't really recall. It was little at first and then it all changed. At some point I STOPED.

My new normal.

I work a new 40hr work week at a new job. It's still energy work and not the dream, but it's light years better than government work. I do work harder, get paid more, and have the stress that comes with an increase in work status. I'm ok with it most days. My head boss, company President, has ridiculous revenue goals. I should care but most days I just assume it's fuzzy math. It is a means to an end and that end is keeping a roof over our heads while 007 takes the long way through college. Its a sore subject.


On Saturday, morning, 007 gets up by himself and heads to the clinic. We used to go together until i just stopped. He does kennels on his own and oversees the whole kennel staff. Yea, it's crazy weird. My part-time job is now his. He even worked for awhile as a Vet Assistant but then got a real engineering job, you know since his goal is engineering and not vet med.

My involvement at the clinic consist only of maintaining the web site and facebook. I created both and I only recently started getting one of the main staff to help me but only with the FB account. Wow, I design websites! Random twist there.

(This photo is on the clinic website:

As for the zoo, I left and I haven't been back. The "why" didn't involve me. Once I left and got use to the feeling I realized I didn't really miss it. Keep in mind by the time I left I'd been there over 3 years! Plus I'd assisted on a procedure with every animal in the collection. I guess I'd finished there and hadn't realized it.

(My favorite zoo photo. Me with the male lion during his annual check-up. To bad these moments weren't everyday at the zoo.)

So my new Saturday with 007 handling the clinic consist of sleep! Glorious sleep! On some mornings I might still be in bed when he gets home at 9am. Or somedays I'm already ousted working on something. One of my newer flower beds is pictured below.

On Sunday, we spend the day at the ranch doing ranch stuff. We work on remodel projects, spend time with our fur kids, watch movies, bug each other, read, and sometimes take naps!

(Our GSDs Rocco, Scout, Orson, and Greta. Nala is in the bottom left just her ears. She has yet to figure out group photos.)

It's so weird but that IS my new normal. It feels a bit strange but it's growing on me.

Don't get me wrong, vet school is still the dream but it doesn't feel so mandatory any more. I am however toying with school in Grenada. My skills feel rusty and the cost gives me heartburn but my day job just might push me towards a plane!

Change, it happens.

Location:Happy Tails Ranch

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The past two weeks have been full of County Fair events. My sister’s kids participate in just about everything under the sun when it comes to 4-H.  I think they are starting to figure out that maybe they are doing to much.  Which is good but for this years fair it was another whirlwind event.  How my sister pulls it off I have no flippin clue. What I do know is these kids age before my eyes in the show ring. They showed at a small fair in a tiny rural town and then the bigger county fair the following week.

The Judge (red hat) talking to the kids in the pig tag-a-long class.  County Extension Agent in the lime green.  She was my agent and my other mom.  This woman has shaped the lives of so many kids I can't even begin to explain her impact.  She is amazing!

I think I like the rural fair even more because the focus is on the kids and there seems to be less pressure to win.  Maybe I'm wrong but that is the vibe I get.  Everything is also the same day so it's a busy day but then your done.  The county fair drags out for over a week if you count the horse show which starts the week prior.  A few things prevented me from attending all the events they participate in but I went to what I could.  I am happy to report I was there when my niece won Showmanship for her age group.  The best part was telling her afterwards that the older senior gal she had been watching intently had been watching HER show.

The middle, Cowgirl, my niece.
She won Grand Champion in Showmanship class and mastered smiling for the judge!
As the proud Aunt I show up and do what I can to help or what I’m allowed to-do. Things are in transition from the kids needing lots of help to being able to do it all on their own. It’s hard for this Aunty but that’s the goal of 4-H. So now I sit back and try to capture the process in photos.

Here are my favorite photos.

Savannah with 007 this is Cowgirl's milk goat I am hoping she will sell to me. 
Cowgirl is tired of milking and too busy with dance she is on a competitive team.

I just thought this pig was cute.
The kids don't show pigs, it's pretty much the only livestock project they are NOT in.

The youngest, Mr. Up-To-Something.

The oldest, a young CowPoke on his way to becoming a real Cowboy.

Sheep show, Cowgirl is trying hard to brace her lamb so his muscles are tense for the judge.

Mr. Up to Something with his market lamp.
Yep look at the stare and confidence.

What Cowpoke was really interested in. The young lady in the blue tank.

One of my favorite photos.
Cowgirl with her friends from 4-H camp.  These two are thick as thieves.

I love capturing her compassion and love for her animals.

Milk goat show, Cowgirl changed into whites since this is a Dairy class.

Time for the horse show.
Cowgirl with Budweiser her horse that used to be her Dad's horse.

Cowpoke with his horse Rascal.
This photo makes me super sad. This was their last show.
Rascal broke his back femur the following weekend in a freak accident at home.
Cowpoke and the Vet decided the best thing for Rascal was to let him go.

Mr. Up to Something and his pony Jo Jo.
This was Jo Jo's first show and he didn't behave to well.
He was sent to a trainer the following weekend because he didn't respect personal space.
Jo Jo also kicked Rascal which caused the initial injury. 

Just before going into the ring.  Cowgirl talks to Bud telling him they are going to rock this!
Probably my favorite photo!
There you have it another fair over and done with.  This year the kids only really needed me to hold stuff and drive the car to the next event.  I had fun talking with 4-H friends from back in the day.  Now they are 4-H Mom's with kids showing.  Full circle.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


When trying to title this post so many ideas came to mind. Was it fate or outright activism? Was it just the heart leading the way or could it simply be human curiosity?

It’s hard to say.

What I do know to be fact is on June 26, 2011, I attend the JHS Adopt-a-thon for pets displaced by the F5 tornado. It moved me in ways I can’t truly explain.

I think I drove 007 nuts.

I’ve been following the work of the ASPCA and Humane Society of Missouri in their efforts assisting Joplin Humane Society to deal with the aftermath of this catastrophic event.

I’ve read the FB page religiously.

Mr. Rickey
The command staff and countless volunteers, in my world  are the real Rock Stars! On Sunday, I walked passed many of them. You could have pinched me I was so tickled.

ASPCA with JHS Executive Director Karen

I’ve also developed mini-crushes on the command leader, hey anyone who can pull off a pony tail and rescue dogs is what legends are made of!  When I pointed them out to 007 he rolled his eyes and laughed probably with me. Maybe.  He gets it and if you pressed him he'd say they are Rock Stars too, but he's cooler than me.

While following this process via social media it reached out and wrapped its grip around my heart. The feed on FB made it real to me!

I’ve cried.
I’ve smiled.

I’ve cheered when reunions happened.

I’ve come to know many strangers who shared in this journey.

Then one day I filled out an adoption application.

How ironic that two very special people to 007 and I would be getting married the same weekend as the Adoption Event? Ok not that unique BUT our route to the wedding would take us through Joplin not once but twice (return trip).

That seemed like FATE!

On Friday, we stopped in to see how the process would unfold. It was amazing to walk through the doors of a place I’d just seen on the internet. It was hopping place!

There was lots of activity and confusion but good confusion.

I was told to come back, I hadn’t been selected for a special needs pup. I was a little sad but it was nice to see that the process they had laid out was really in place and yes starting Saturday adoptions would begin.

Organized chaos was the word that came to mind.  Here is the video from Saturday. 

We were busy getting the kids married but after the reception we hoped in the car and headed towards Joplin.  We made it to just outside of Fayetteville before we realized most hotels in the Joplin area would be full. The event had made the nightly news!

Upon my demand 007 confirmed this by calling nothing less than 10 hotels. I finally relented and we stopped for the night. We slept hard and in the AM we rushed out of the hotel a bit behind schedule but still in time for the event.

We checked in and got our number 820 :)
I was happy! Then we looked around and I got to soak it all in. My people! The energy was contagious and everyone was eager with anticipation. It was moving to see so many come back to see if they might get a dog or cat.
We waited… And

We watched dogs find little girls with pink hair!

We watched cats find new loving homes and meow their departure.

THEN our number was called for orientation. I was thrilled! We
learned the process and lined up.


Waited some more…

But not long,

Then our number was called and in we went.

We split up.

I was overwhelmed. It was a huge operation. Dogs everywhere. So many had Adoption pending signs. Many where already gone, moved on to start their new lives. It was surreal to be there and to have the option to adopt. I couldn’t decide so I asked a vet.

She had on a dark blue scrub top with DVM in white letters. She could have been an angel because she made since of all the chaos for me. I told her I worked at a clinic part-time and was willing to take on a special needs dog. She wanted me to clarify how special needs and I said whatever needs me. We walked around and she told me about a few cases.

Then she said, “Oh, I almost forgot I have a pair you might want to consider. They are very bonded and have to go together. One of them has heartworms though. Here they are.”

That was it I was sold. Two rag muffins. The kennel read must go together they love each other and are Two Peas in a Pod. Really? That works!

I asked an adoption counselor if I could go in with them and she said yes please do. The white fluffy one in need of a haircut was the first to great me and jumped up saying hello! His buddy quickly joined in but you could tell he felt like hell. The counselor was thrilled at their response saying they hadn’t done that to others. Oh sure rub it in and make my heart fall further! Thanks:) She had her job down pat!

I was already sold and all it took was a little more paperwork before I officially became there’s.

Meanwhile, 007 was on his own rescue mission. He’d spotted a 100lb love bug and the two were already in the paperwork stage of becoming family members.

Before we could click our heels three times we had everyone all settled in the car and were bound for Happy Tails Ranch! I had a smile on my face from ear to ear and I am pretty sure so did the pups. Was it fate, mission of insane people, or just love leading the way. All go with all three. You know what?
It was a great day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy Tails Ranch - 2009.

I'm catching up on my photo/scrapbooking a year at a time. I'm pretty happy with the last two digital books I've put together. Enjoy, lots of zoo pics in this one!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Keep Learning

As the years pass by and experiences stack up I am amazed at how my perception and understanding of things I once just assumed shift.

Recently I experienced a loss of someone I once knew about the same age, similar background, same lofty goals. We shared a space in time and walked the same halls. We were not close but everyone remembers that one person, that person who just never took anything to serious and always was nice to everyone.

As I learned of his passing, I assumed I must have missed something. Chances are I probably didn’t even see it. It probably wasn’t even there for me to see or for anyone for that matter.

It makes me think back to my own experiences and what mattered most to me. Specific people come to mind. They are still very important to this day. Did they make the difference? Maybe? Was I ever so hurt that I couldn’t get back up? I’d love to sit here and say, No. It would be a weird kind a lie one that you don’t want to admit too or better yet talk about. But I remember boy do I remember…

I remember how crystal clear the day was and the thought that I could get it right. All I had to do was have the guts and I honestly I remember it occurred to me as almost laughable that I didn’t. I assumed it was a choice.

I think that’s what gets to me.

We assume it’s a simple choice. Yes or No, Do or Don’t

It’s so much more complicated than that. It or what you perceive as it, starts out as something that you just can’t get right and then before you know it you’re falling down a mountain top. You can’t put the break on even if you try. You learn effectively how to get by but not how to really deal with any of it. You’re on autopilot. It’s true. You don’t want to actually look through the looking glass and have to deal, maybe another day, maybe another time but for now you simply don’t or you can’t. I think that is something to remember, sometimes you just can’t.

The unfortunate part of “all of this” is the consequences of auto pilot, of just getting by. They add up and then the shear reality of what you, yourself have put in to motion can simply be more than you can bare. So I believe and I think it’s not a choice it’s more cause and effect.

Life happens and it’s not always great. Sometimes we have the skill and sometimes we don’t and that shapes how we deal or how we don’t deal with something.

It’s not black and white, its layers upon layers and it’s different for everyone. The thing I like to remember is how complex we each are and how no one can be there all the time. Sometimes we have to look through the mirror. Sometimes we simply can’t fix it and that sucks. It really sucks!

So for me and only for me.  My way of looking at all of this is to keep learning and try to understand, to grow, to broaden my perspective. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A little snow goes a LONG way!

Greatings from the snow covered ranch.  It's been super cold.  When I got home I had the camera so I issued a mandate that we all bundle up and head outside to get a few snow shots in.  We lasted maybe 15minutes.  I maybe exaggerating by about 10minutes.  At one point the camera froze up!

I'm not kidding.

Sunset at the Ranch

Then my hands started to go numb and that was about the time I called it quits.  Prior to that we captured a few photos.

In these photos below are of course myself, 007 and our five German shepherd's.  Yes, you read that correctly we have five GSD's.  To give you some idea of what they are like I'll give you a run down on them in order of their arrival to our lives.
  1. Rocco - we found him via the classifieds and brought him  home at 8 weeks of age.  He picked me by sitting on my feet.  He has the typical GSD markings of black and tan.  He has no idea he's a dog, is very independent, and thinks that when the TV goes off in the evening it is time to go outside for a pee break before bed.  He's very trained and so are we!  Rocco loves his kennel and caring rocks in my yard from the flower beds.  Never mind the fact that the rocks are the boarders.  He has his own landscaping plans. 
  2. Orson - he arrived the day the former President came to town for a historical dedication.  When I called 007 and told him I'd found a GSD who was all black with some tan he thought I'd found a secret service guys missing dog.  Orson is not a working dog by a long shot, he's a goof ball, has to be close, and literally hates grass.  I'm not kidding. Orson is probably a mix and our guess is Rottweiler or Black Labrador.  It's a toss up but he's our clown.  He also has a condition known as epilepsy, which is scary in dogs but he's on medication, been to the specialist, and we have it managed.  He still occasionally has grand mal seizures but I know what to do now and that makes all the difference.  
  3. Scout - He is our oldest and was adopted from a shelter via  007 found him online and feel in-love with him.  I drove to pick him up with Rocco.  I refused to leave the shelter until he was with me.  He was really sick but I didn't know that at the time.  He had a really bad case of kennel cough but with the help of our Vet we got him healthy and now he's a happy old man of the ranch.  We think Scout is also a mix with maybe a bloodhound.  He has a very long face.  Scout has a number of scares from his past one of which is his ear that won't stand up.  We still think he's handsome!
  4. Gretta - She showed up one morning at the clinic as stray.  I managed to get a slip leash on her by putting some can food out and tricking her.  Once I had her I was pretty happy she was friendly.  I brought her into the clinic and 007 gave her a bath.  She was so sweet we just feel for her instantly.  This was around the time we were buying the ranch and we decided if  we got the ranch she could stay.  Prior to that we lived in-town and didn't think the city would take to kindly to four GSD's in our home.  We think Gretta may have some wolf in her.  She was probably a garbage dog in the city.  At some point she lived with people because she was well socialized.  She is very unique and does very well with our cats.
  6. Nala - She is 007 baby girl and the dog he just had to have from the pet store.  She was getting to old for the store so her price was marked way down.  He was worried that she would go to a bad home, that was one of the many tactics he used to convince me to add her to our home.  They have gone through extensive training together.  Nala is still a nut job and does this highly annoying whine bark whenever she wants to do something.  I HATE it!  I am also convinced that she has doggy ADD or she's simply a puppy.  Hard to say.  She's also all black and adorable  when she smiles at you and hangs out that big old tongue of hers. She is 100% GSD for sure. 

Now for the winter fun photos!  Notice how bundled up I am and I still froze half to death!

Rocco, Scout, Me, Orson, Gretta. 
Not pictured is Nala who has ADD and couldn't be bothered to slow down for a photo opt.
Up by the pond 007 with the gang.  Orson is front and center, Gretta is on his right and Rocco is on his left. Scout is hiding behind him and Nala can be seen running around in the back.

This is what happens when I try to take a photo of 007, he talks.  With him in this photo is Orson and Scout.
another smiling shot this time Orson, 007, and Scout, and Rocco walking up to them.

Hugs all around and then we all headed inside because it was freaking COLD outside!