My photo
I'm a children's author. Animals are a constant source of writing material for me. They are also my heart!

Canine Dressage

>> Sunday, January 31, 2010

Most of you know that I ride Tango dressage and that we're in the training process. Dressage is precise, difficult, and beautiful to watch when done properly. The horse and rider move as one.
A friend sent me this video of canine dressage. I had never seen anything like it so I wanted to share it with you. It's beautiful to see. Enjoy!


Actions Speak Louder Than Words

>> Wednesday, January 27, 2010

She claims to love me. In fact she claims to adore me. Actions speak louder than words, I say! If she loved me as much as she says she does she would most certainly let me get in her car and go home with her. But no. She WILL let me get apples out of the backseat, but that's about it. Just when I lift up one hoof to get in she pulls me out. What do you think about that?
Now don't get me wrong I like my barn and all my barn friends. But this winter has been going on for way too long and my little ears are beginning to get a chill. In fact, now that I think about it, my whiskers are frozen. Worse than that I have little ice balls on the end of my tail and on the the feathers behind my hooves.
You'd think she'd do something...anything! But no, she said my fur protects me from the cold and she doesn't want to cut the ice balls out. I heard her say something about lukewarm water....
Sometimes I think the woman could have a screw loose. Instead of taking me home (or at least in the warm barn kitchen) she decides to take me for a walk outside. I wonder if Maddie and Annabelle know that SHE WALKS ME?
I would have liked it a heck of a lot better if she'd have saddled me up and ridden. I can tell you that she's one hot mama!


The Right Thing to Do

>> Sunday, January 24, 2010

It isn't always easy to do the right thing, especially if you're me, but this week I ran across two examples that I just had to share with you.

One day last week, while driving to my barn, I spotted a horrifically smashed black cat on the side of the country road. I glanced at the cat and then stared straight ahead. I sure hope that's not our barn cat, I thought to myself.

I got to the barn, tacked up Tango, and had a very nice ride. When I was done riding and Tango was in cross ties, Craig (one of the boarders) came in. Have you seen our black cat today? he asked Jeremiah (a terrific barn worker).

Jeremiah answered that he had indeed seen the cat just moments earlier. I breathed a sigh of relief. Then Craig said, Well when you get done here, let's go bury that cat on the road.

That's really nice of you, I told Craig.
Craig's response was simple. If it was my cat I would hope someone would bury it, he said.

I was humbled. It had never occurred to me to do such a thing and it should have.

And then yesterday, I ran into my neighbor Kelly. She was out walking her beautiful dog. We had rather traumatic morning, she said. I was about to let the dog out back when I noticed a squirrel lying on it's back but still alive. Mary Beth and I think it fell out of the tree.

What'd you do? I asked.

Kelly paused. It was so hard, she said, but it was clearly paralysed and suffering. I got a shovel and hit it in the head. I sobbed and sobbed while I did it, she said.

Now the normal me would have been freaked out about killing a squirrel with a shovel. But somehow this act was no different than Craig burying a cat he didn't know. Kelly's act was an act of kindness.

I guess loving kindness doesn't always mean just rescuing, finding homes, or even enjoying our own dear animals. Sometimes it means doing something very difficult that no one else wants to do.

I hope the next time that I encounter a situation like Craig or Kelly I am able to push my horror away and take action. Somehow I doubt it, but at least their examples will remind me of the right thing to do.


Something New and Scary!

>> Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Well, Mom finally took us for a walk. Most of the snow melted and I guess she just decided it was time we got some exercise.

What Mom didn't tell us was that something new and really scary was approaching...or at least I thought it was. As you can see, I was braver than Annabelle gives me credit for...I pointed like a springer spaniel.

Annabelle stood behind me just so I couldn't see that she was shaking...not because she was cold!

At first I thought it was a monster. Then I thought it was something from the woods behind our house. Annabelle told me she thought it was related to us in some way. Quite an imagination that girl has!

I took a sideways glance to see if Annabelle was even close to the truth. That glance gave me the whole story! The biggest dog I've ever seen moved into our neighborhood. Anabelle said it was a fire dog. It didn't look like it was on fire to me, but I didn't want to steal Belle's thunder so I kept quiet. Anyway, I convinced Annabelle that we should approach cautiously and try to look inconspicuous so that's just what we did.

Don't look! I told Annabelle. No eye contact is the way to go with this big brute!

My suggestion seemed to work. The gigantic spotted beast never moved a muscle. It didn't even growl. We've got it made, I told Annabelle.

Let's leave just like we came!

After we rounded the corner I barked and Annabelle cried. Mom said that Annabelle sounded like coyote bait. I wonder what that means?

It probably means we won't get to walk again for at least a week. I wonder what will be new then? I'm hoping there will be exciting smells by every hydrant we pass. Do you like fire hydrants as much as me?

Hey! Maybe Annbelle's right. Maybe that beast is a fire dog and we just happen to have the best fire hydrants in the whole city!



>> Sunday, January 17, 2010

It was rainy and cold
But we didn't care
No need to get dressed
We had cozy to wear
No reason to worry
No reason to rush
No reason for make-up
Or even a brush
A day to be thankful
For a break from the snow
A day all together
With no place to go......


If Your Furry Friend Had a Job What Would It Be?

>> Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I was thinking about abstract ideas to use on my writer's blog as writing activities. A comment my nephew made kept running through my mind. His mother (my sister) is as much of an animal person as me...maybe more. She has a huge dog and several cats.

The last time I visited her, my nephew passed through the room and looked at their rolly polly cat stretched out on the couch and said, "Get a job!"

The more I thought about what my nephew said, the more I thought this blog would be a much better place to ponder my idea. All three of my animals have one job in common. They are my psychiatrists. They hang on my every word and seem to agree with everything I say.

If I'm feeling like I want to run and hide to get away from a problem the best thing I can do is stroke Maddie's soft fur and listen to her purr (yes, I know she's a dog, but she purrs anyway) or play with Annabelle.

Tango's just a bigger version of the girls. When I go ride, every thought or concern I have goes by the wayside and better yet, when I'm done riding it's as if I didn't have a problem in the world.

After I thought for a bit about the therapeutic side to my animals I let my mind really wander and think about what kind of jobs Tango, Maddie, and Annabelle could have. It didn't take long for a very exciting idea to explode.

Tango could also be a circus ringleader. Maddie and Annabelle could be his circus stars. I'm sure I could make millions and millions just doing what I love best...being entertained by my handsome boy and my sweet girls. We'd travel all over the place. When we got to your state, I'd be sure to let you know. You could come meet us face-to-face or better could join us!
Yup! The circus is in our future.

What jobs do you think your guys would like to have? Just curious!


>> Sunday, January 10, 2010

TANGO, ME and the JUDGE!

I've had people ask me over and over again why I just don't drive Tango and not ride him. "It's so much safer," they say, "And at your age you don't want to fall off."

Frankly, I honestly don't want to fall...period. But if you want to know the truth, I feel safer riding than driving ...especially in a competition.

I've only had one driving accident personally and it happened right in the middle of a show. Tango's girth began to break and the cart started to tip. As the cart tipped, Tango felt like something was chasing him and he started to run. Luckily I got him stopped in the middle of the arena, but I knew if I shifted my body weight an inch, I was going to be catapulted out of the cart and possibly under Tango's hooves.

Thankfully, Tango's a calm steady horse and he tries to take care of me. At another show, a driver somehow fell into the bottom of her cart and lost control of her horse. Once again I moved Tango into the middle of the arena as the run-away horse tore around knocking down fences and into the back of us. Tango didn't move a muscle but it was scary.

Check out this video. It's not me, but it's what CAN happen at a driving competition. See why I feel safer in the saddle?
Since Tango loves to drive, we'll still take jaunts around the farm, but I might never show in pleasure driving classes again...unless of course, Tango begs me! Or if Maddie and Annabelle want to be in the 4th of July parade!


Can It Be Too Cold?

>> Friday, January 8, 2010

I've tried and tried to wake her up but it's just not happening. Maddie's not a winter kind of girl. Now I don't expect her to go outside for hours on end, but just ten minutes to chase a squirrel or two wouldn't hurt her, would it?
After all, I'm the one with the short hair and bare paws. Maddie's got slippers on her feet for goodness sakes!
She says she hates ice balls. Go figure! I could get frost bite and Maddie worries about snow in her feet. She never gets ice balls because Mom won't leave us outside that long. I guess my problem is that I'm just not a loner. I like company. Even Mom has deserted me, so to speak. She'll go to the barn to check on Tango, but she seems to have forgotten our walks. She said something about the wind chill being under zero. The wind chill doesn't seem to bother her when she's at the barn!
I do believe the problem could be resolved if Mom would buy us some clothes. I've seen lots of you wearing all kinds of trendy outfits. I've seen you in winter coats and boots too. Maybe someone should call children's....I mean and report our mom. Now that I think about it, Mom's more to blame than Maddie. What do you think?


I'm Sorry Tango...Really I Am

>> Wednesday, January 6, 2010

You know how sometimes suspects are coerced into confessions by over zealous detectives. Well that's what happened to Tango pony and it's all my fault.

I assumed he took Tantra out for a little jaunt on Christmas day because of the way the iron gate was plowed over and flat on the ground. That's something that Tango would do. I found out differently today. Why? Because I got a phone call from the barn. That call made me realize that I shouldn't always jump to conclusions about my boy.

"Jan," Becky said, "You're never going to believe this."

Becky's the barn manager.

"What, Becky, tell me what!" I implored (assuming that Tango was in trouble again).

"Well," said Becky. "I had just taken in the next to last mare from the mare field and I heard a huge commotion behind me."

"And?" I asked

"Tantra just couldn't wait. She kicked and shoved and knocked that iron gate flat on the ground. Then she and Cypris walked right over the iron bars!"

Before I could even ask about the loose horses I had to say the obvious...."Yay!" I chirped gleefully into the phone. Then that means that Tango pony didn't let plow over the gate on was Tantra all the time!"

Becky agreed. "That's why I called you," she said. She went on to say that it took a bit to round up Tango's rowdy girlfriend. In the end Tantra took herself to her stall in the barn.

I was grinning from ear to ear. Then I remembered Tango's confession on our last post. Poor boy. He must have been exhausted by the persistent chatter coming from me on Christmas. I suppose he decided to bite the bullet and give me what I wanted......


I'm sorry Tango. From now on I'll get my facts straight before I accuse you of anything.

Here is a true fact. Tango likes to get in the backseat of my jeep to get his own apples. I don't stop him. I am a moron because he might just take the door off someday!


>> Sunday, January 3, 2010

This photo is of me being me! Now what's wrong with that?

She wanted to tell you this story, but only I know what really happened so I think you should hear it from me. Don't you think that's only fair?

Here's how the whole incident went down. I spent the whole week wondering why she hadn't come to give me treats everyday like she usually does. Oh sure, she dropped by now and then but she didn't groom me much and twice she even forgot to bring carrots. I was being neglected that's for sure. Why? Because she was with her sister. Who cares about sisters? Not me! She tried to tell me her sister only gets to visit a couple times a year because she lives in Texas.

Texas Shmexas I say!

The only time her sister even stopped by to visit me was when they put the stupid garland around my neck to take my Christmas picture. I never asked to have my picture taken and I sure wasn't going to cooperate...why should I? I knew she'd go right home and drink hot chocolate (with a little Bailey's) with her sister and cuddle with Maddie and Annabelle. Oh yea, I know all about those little yappers!

Anyway, on Christmas day she shows up with her husband...she calls him Chuck. He's a little scared of me so he never gets too close. I thought they were going to do the usual...clean my stall and then give me extra hay and a candy cane or two. But this Christmas, that didn't happen.

Instead, they put me out in the pasture with Tantra. I've had a long-term relationship with Tantra, so for a while I thought that being out to pasture with her was just dandy. But one thing led to another and Tantra got ancy.

By then, she and he were gone. GONE I TELL YOU! The extra hay they threw us just wasn't going to do the trick. Tantra wanted out and she wanted out bad! I did what any gentleman would do for his girl, I pushed the iron gate flat on the ground, helped Tantra over it, and took her for a stroll.

Never mind that we wandered down a busy highway. Never mind that we went down country roads. Tantra was happy and that was all that counted. We ate hay from round bales. We munched on grass from under new snow. We were having a fine time and then....

SHE SHOWED UP AGAIN! In fact, she showed up with Chuck and her son, Ryan. It was like they thought they were on a round-up. They circled in on us. She had one lead rope and Ryan had the other. And faster than we had left the farm, they clicked the lead ropes on our halters and we trudged back to the farm.

Chuck drove the car in front of us like we were in a parade or something. I heard HER mumble something about a turkey in the oven. I thought she wasn't even going to give me a pat when she put me back in her stall but she couldn't help herself. She even gave me a kiss on the nose as if that would make everything better.

Before she left she made sure to tell me that next Christmas I'm grounded to my stall for the day. Do you think she'll remember to stop by with treats?


We'd Love to See Who You Are - We Know You're Adorable for Sure!

Blogger templates made by

Back to TOP