Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Time Flies

Shiva & Bailey, two old friends we dearly miss.
It's hard to believe we said goodbye to two old friends this year, but as the holidays approach we plan to remember all the fun we had...and express gratitude for the time spent together.

A few weeks before Shiva's passing, she visited the school with us for some patriotic fun.  Thankfully we snapped a couple photos that captured her in her element...basking in the adoration of young people at the Independence Day parade.  What made the moment extra special was spending it with two of her favorite girls in the whole world.

The Red Dog with Olivia, Kennedy & friends.

Another with Olivia & co.
We meant to post these when we had a chance in the days following the event, but life - and ultimately death - intervened.  Whatever the case, we had fun, the Red Dog was there, and the memories are forever.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Little Fun and a Ray of Light from the Red Dog

We've had a rough year here at Red Dog Central Command, so Shiva's Mom and I decided to make a quick getaway (thanks to Aunt Dian) to Folly Beach over the weekend for some much needed R&R.  As long-time readers may remember, this was not our first trip to Folly.  In fact, the initial visit was so much fun we commemorated it in a series of videos entitled "Red Dog's Folly" and "Follypalooza."  That trip also was where we discovered our crazy Cattle Dog mix Joey's aversion to sea foam.  Thankfully, this time he decided being a beach dog might not be such a bad thing after all.  To that end, we are happy to provide you with evidence that Joey is no longer frightened of the foam:

Sadly, this trip also was the first made without this blog's namesake and constant travel companion, Shiva the Red Dog, who left us in July.  Furthermore, the first Folly trip was our sweet Katy's last beach trip before her eventual decline and demise a little over a year-and-a-half ago.  This made for a bittersweet reunion with the lovely island, one that Shiva's Mom and I did our best to enjoy in spite of some painful reminders of those we have lost and left behind.  Fortunately for us, we were accompanied by the little ones (Shiva's favorite "things" in all the world), who did their best to keep us occupied and happy.

Shiva's favorite little girls in one of her favorite places in all the world.

As if to reward us for living life in spite of our sadness - and just in the way Shiva would want us to - we were blessed to capture the following while taking a final picture of the beach the morning of our departure:

A blessing.

We like to think this is the Red Dog's way of touching us one more time, providing us with a beautiful and tangible reminder that she's with us every day, an ever-faithful companion lighting the way on our journey through life.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Farewell, Fair Beagle

After a long, glorious walk in the sun, our sixteen year-old Bailey the Beagle finally ran out of gas and joined Shiva and Katy across the Rainbow Bridge.  There, she reunited with her human "grandmother" Mrs. Gann to begin enjoying an eternity of unlimited Buddy's Bar-B-Q.

Although sad that we had to say goodbye, Shiva's Mom and I will be eternally grateful that we were able to spend the last few years of her life with this sweet girl.  From the moment she miraculously fit-in with our established pack, to her final moments in our arms with the wonderful Dr. Bea there to help, Bailey made our lives better.  We're lucky to have known her.  Sweet dreams, little girl.  We miss you!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Snoopy Update

Things have been quiet on the Red Dog Blog due in large part to the intense care that's been required for Snoopy since his IMHA (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia) diagnosis the week before Shiva died.  While many of you may be unfamiliar with this nasty canine foe, it behooves you to learn about it just in case.  Surprisingly common, the disease is described in detail here at our Knoxville Dog Health Examiner page. 

Although we're far from out of the woods, Snoopy continues to progress slowly, and his prognosis remains good.  He's a far cry from the pitiful, trembling creature we brought home from the ER after two blood transfusions and several days in critical care. Here he is that first night back home:

The boot covers the IV catheter placed for his daily blood draws...which I had to clear and flush with a heparin saline solution every four hours for the first three days.  It was hell.  The soft collar, of course, was to prevent Snoopy from chewing the boot.  Needless to say, he was not happy.

Fortunately for all of us, he's come a long way and seems to be holding his own.  He's gaining back his weight and enjoying some evening car rides.  It may be months before he's out of the woods, but every day above the ground and enjoying life is a good one.  Big thanks to Dr. Brandi Dukes for the quick recognition and diagnosis, and to Dr. Mitch & co. for the lifesaving care and treatment.  We are lucky ducks to have two such awesome vets and their teams nearby.

Special thanks to all of you who've sent thoughts, prayers and kind words to Shiva's Mom and me as we deal with the loss of this blog's namesake while simultaneously doing our best to keep this guy alive.  We promise we'll post more, as we owe the Red Dog the photographic retrospective and tribute she so richly deserves.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Spirit Hugs from the Red Dog

As you may know, our friend Luna lost a leg to osteosarcoma back in March, and we're happy to say she's continuing to do quite well.  So well, in fact, that her mom Shannon brought her over to visit recently to help spread some big dog cheer.  Here she is doing her best to give a little love to Shiva's Mom:

During the visit, Shannon also informed us that Shiva's survival was the inspiration for her to go through with Luna's surgery.  She told us that, in a very real sense, the Red Dog saved Luna's life.  Much joy - and a few tears - followed, as all of us reveled in the realization that our sweet Red Dog had just given us a Dane-sized spirit hug from the great beyond through her friend Luna.

All cuteness aside, it's sobering and humbling to us to know that our decisions and experiences have so profoundly impacted the lives of others.  Shiva the Red Dog was a hero, and we're just glad she invited us along for the ride.

Happy News!

Miracle of miracles happened, and Kitty was reunited with her person after going missing a few days ago.  In spite of injuries and dehydration, the 18 yr-old feline is none the worse for her experience.  Big thanks to those of you who helped with her medical expenses.  There is a very special place in heaven awaiting you! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Kitty Please, Pretty Please

OK, so most of you know by now we aren't the types to ask for help unless it's for others in need; unfortunately, due to Snoopy's recent medical extravaganza (over $4,000 and counting), we hope to engage you in support of a kitty.  Of course, there's a story attached, and we promise to share the entire epic saga with you soon.  Until then, please bear with us and allow us to tell you about the kitty.

Found by us on the side of the road yesterday, the cat in question was in appalling shape.  Although affectionate, she was clearly injured, and the speculation is that her head spent a little unwanted time inside the mouth of a non-cat-loving dog.  In addition to those wounds, we found her to be soaking wet, underweight and infested with both fleas and ear mites.  Our first course of action was to order an FIV/FeLeuk test, as both diseases are fairly common in the outdoor cat population in our region, and the results would impact our future decision-making for her care.  We also had her scanned for a microchip.  All were negative.  She since has been given an antibiotic injection for her wounds, as well as treatment for the ear mites and fleas.  She will receive a thorough physical exam today, as well as an estimate on her age.  At that point, Dr. Brandi will make her recommendations and we'll act accordingly to help this sweet girl.

As you can see, she's a bit skinny and ragged, but otherwise appears healthy.  We do suspect she's older, though not elderly, and she may not exactly like dogs.  We're hoping to find a foster or permanent home for her once her medical status is clear, and she'll be staying with our friends at Boyd's Creek until we do so.  Which leads me, finally, to our plea:   

If any of our Knoxville-area friends are able to help with her foster or permanent care after she's ready to leave the clinic, please let us know.  We'll transport her to you to see how things might work-out.  

If you'd like to help defray some of her medical costs, please call Boyd's Creek Animal Hospital at 865-577-2738.  The sweet girl is listed as "Friend Douglas" under the "Brian & Debra Douglas" account.  Every little bit will help, as those $5 & $10 donations can really add-up!

If nothing else, please share with fellow animal-loving friends so this story, too, can have a Shiva the Red Dog-inspired happy ending.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Little Fundraiser for Little Lucy

Due to Shiva's passing and Snoopy's illness, the following notice was put on the back burner.  Now, if you have a moment, please read it, and - if you can spare a few bucks - please help.  Thanks!

Recently we were made aware of a terrible situation and were asked to help.  Rather than say no, Shiva's Mom and I decided to do what we could.  Here's the story (we've omitted the last names of all the rescue folks to protect their privacy):

Little Lucy is a West Highland Terrier (Westie) who spent her first 13 years as an indoor city dog with her dad and mom in Virginia.  A few months ago, dad died after a long battle with cancer.  This precipitated extreme health issues for mom, and the both of them (along with Lucy's doggie little sister) moved to be closer to a human sister in Arkansas.  Through no fault of Lucy's, the new living situation for her mom didn't allow for her and she ended up on a tie-out in a field.  In Arkansas.  In the summer.  When we were told about the situation, we also were asked if we could help coordinate Lucy's move to a better place.

Poor Lucy being rescued.  Note her black skin!
Thanks to our friend David connecting us to Westie rescuers Patsy and Diane, within two days Lucy made the trip (free of charge and with a lot of TLC!) from Arkansas, via Memphis and Nashville, to a temporary foster home here in Knoxville.
Two of the wonderful ladies who rescued and transported Lucy!!
Once in Knoxville, Patsy arranged for treatment of Lucy's terrible sunburn and preexisting skin condition.  She had her bathed and groomed, her horribly overgrown nails trimmed and bought her pajamas to protect her from the sun.

Lucy in Patsy's car waiting to meets us, only 2 days(!) after rescue!
Although her first foster home was short-term, it gave us time to arrange for her to stay with our good friends at Boyds Creek Animal Hospital for some more TLC while we searched for a longer-term foster or forever home.  (Special thanks to dog-lover and friend Dr. Chitwood for underwriting Lucy's care while at BCAH!)

After a couple weeks of spoiling by Dr. Brandi and the girls, Lucy was taken-in by a wonderful Westie lover in the Oak Ridge area named Kaye.  Kaye is retired with three terriers of her own (one Westie and two Yorkies) and has worked with the breed for decades.  At this point (about a month into it), Lucy seems to be adjusting quite nicely to her new digs.  In fact, she decided to assume the role of "top dog" while no one was looking!

Lucy 30 minutes into her stay at Kaye's.
This brings us to the favor we want to do for Kaye:  While the love she has for dogs is limitless, the money isn't.  Like so many retired folks, Kaye is on a fixed income.  She's comfortable and able to care for the needs of her now 4 pets, but we know Kaye will need to fund ongoing intensive care for Lucy's skin condition.  To help with that, we are asking all our friends out there to consider making a small donation of $5, $10 or $20 directly to the veterinary clinic so that it won't be a financial burden on Kaye.   

Simply call Jackson Square Animal Clinic in Oak Ridge, TN at 865-483-5994.  Tell them you want to make a contribution to the "Wimberly, Lucy Rescue" account.  If you'd rather send a check, call the clinic for details.

Although your donation is not tax deductible, you can be secure in the knowledge it will be going directly for the care of one of the sweetest little dogs to escape the fires of hell/Arkansas that you've ever seen!

Please post a comment or send us an email once you donate so we can keep track of who to thank!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reminder of Why We're Here

Lest we forget - amidst all the sadness - why we are here in the first place, allow us to remind ourselves (and you) what an awesome, irrepressible spirit Shiva was, and continues to be.  Even just a few short weeks after her osteosarcoma diagnosis and amputation, she blazed around the pool like she had an Evinrude strapped to her tail.  Those who saw her recently will be amazed at how robust and powerful she was back then...in spite of her new limitations.  Although eventually slowed by arthritis, cancer and age, Shiva lived each day in the same manner...even if her body was no longer able to perform what her spirit wanted.

Remember this:  She had more than 3 good years beyond that sunny day.  Her cancer wasn't a death sentence, it was an opportunity to live each day to the fullest.  She lived - and ultimately died - that way.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The End of an Era

These are the hardest, most painful words I've ever had to write:  In typical Red Dog fashion, Shiva decided the party was over yesterday morning, and she left this world while in the loving care of Dr. Cheryl and the gentle embrace of Shiva's Mom and me. 

She exited our lives the same way she entered them: in decisive fashion, and with barely a look back.  From swimming Wednesday, car rides and Voodoo Thursday, to a subdued Friday, and finally earning her wings Saturday, hers was a blessedly short transition with little time for pain.  Never one to shrug off a challenge, Shiva remained true to her nature and charged headlong into her next assignment, granting us the one final gift of a graceful and sudden exit.  No muss, no fuss and - most importantly - no suffering.

And so we are left with a wreckage of emotions, knowing in our minds it was time, that Shiva had wrung every last drop of joy out of this broken body and miraculous lifetime, but feeling in our hearts the seemingly-irreparable pain of separation, the dropping of the veil between us and  - in many ways - our best friend.

As we come to terms with this gut punch and move through our grief, we'll add more details to this latest chapter of her story.  Until then, thank you for loving this crazy dog half as much as we did - and do.  Seeing her reflected in each of you showed us - without a doubt - the impact she had on her world. 

If there's one thing you can do for us and for Shiva, it's this:  Please support the fine folks at Tripawds.com, as they guide people and their pets through the post-cancer diagnosis and post-amputation world, and the wonderful team at Morris Animal Foundation, a dedicated group of people working diligently to kick canine cancer's butt once and for all time.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


After overdoing it and getting a bit achy thanks to a combination swimming expedition/spaghetti dinner/little girl slumber party, the Red Dog visited her favorite Witch Doctor, Dr. Cheryl, along with Voodoo Priestess-in-Training, Soon-to-be-Dr. Caroline (Class of 2013) at the UT Vet School for some acupuncture and cold laser treatments.

Thanks to the relatively mild weather, we were able to entertain our friends in the back of Shiva's royal coach, so as to avoid her very own special brand of canine "white coat" hypertension.

As you see here, Shiva is relaxed and enjoying Soon-to-be-Dr. Caroline's expert ministrations.  Tune-in again soon for more updates on the Red Dog's summer.  WOOF!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lamenting Lennox

While we at Red Dog Central Command generally steer clear of controversial topics and focus instead on canine cancer treatment and prevention - along with the occasional foray into family fun - the furor surrounding Lennox the Dog compels us to speak.  For those unfamiliar, Lennox was a family pet confiscated due to Northern Ireland's ban of "Pit Bull Type" dogs.  Whether he was a pit bull or not was in some dispute dispute, but at least one magistrate believed otherwise.  Although his ultimate fate was decided today, his saga is emblematic of a much bigger ongoing problem.

Having spent more than ten years in animal care, as well as half-a-decade directly in the shelter world, I have developed some thoughts on sheltering, breed-specific legislation and societal responsibility.  Although mine is only one opinion, I've visited the front lines and worked both in a shelter and with the public in need.  

The problem is the overabundance of unwanted pets; the cause, sadly, is us.  From witnessing haphazard and sometimes idiotic breeding practices focused on maximizing profit with little or no concern paid to the health of the mother or her offspring, to moronic and self-serving justifications as to why a person won't get their pet sterilized, to pathetically rationalized reasoning as to why it's ok to "get rid" of a pet, I've seen and heard a lot.  Too much, probably.

An essay I originally began two or three years ago, what you will be reading is as much introspection and catharsis as it is a personal call for action, so please consider it both within the context of my particular life experiences as well as in conjunction with the horribly sad story of Lennox.  I titled it "Today They Stilled the Heart of a Champion."  It contains some painful truths, along with many admittedly emotional opinions, so all I ask is for you to think about what you might do to help solve a little piece of this issue in your part of the world.  It may not be much, but each small act can add up to something grand.

Dedicated to all the dogs in shelters that will never again sniff the fresh air of freedom, the workers and volunteers whose kindness and compassion are often the last thing these dogs will experience, and the rescuers and reformers, whose tireless efforts may yet create that grand change.

Today they stilled the heart of a champion. 

By Brian Douglas

Today they killed the finest of dogs, a dog whose only crime was looking like a member of a notorious breed, a “bully” with a huge head, and a heart to match.  A massive animal whose lumbering gate and gigantic jaws belied a child-like soul and eagerness to please that was almost comedic to see.  Today, cowards in control in Belfast and around the world ordered it done, and there's little doubt they lacked the stomach to watch. 

On a cold concrete floor, for the remainder of his short lifetime, that dog’s championship heart struggled to beat, struggled in vain to stay alive, while every other sign of life ebbed from his muscular body.  Pupillary reflex, gone.  Respiration, gone.  Pulse, gone.  All signs of life, gone from his empty shell, save the final one:  his mighty heart. 

This was a tragedy that didn’t have to happen.  This was a tragedy in which we all played a part.  Whether through bloodlust, fear, greed, ignorance or apathy, our actions as a people doomed this noble creature to the most ignominious of ends, expiration on a concrete floor in the back of a charnel house no amount of window-dressing can hide. 

Every day, in too many shelters worldwide, dogs like him meet their fate with dignity and grace, or with submission and fear, but with finality all the same.  They die, just because of who and what they are.  They die in spite of the fact that gallant people in a broken system destroy themselves in a vain effort to do the right thing, while weak-willed politicians and self-described experts do “what’s best for the community.” 

These same weaklings, who will move the very heavens and the earth ten times over for causes they deem worthy of their attention, do nothing, other than pass laws or sign death warrants, and then let others do the deed.  No amount of rationalizing will ever change that fundamental truth:  This death, just like all the others, is on their heads, a stain on their souls no amount of spinning or politicizing can ever erase.   Every life has value; every preventable death is a tragedy.

They can build all the buildings they want, their temples to ego and self-aggrandizement, but the fact remains that while they clap each other on the backs in that self-congratulatory way, the unwanted and unvalued continue to die.

Today, they stilled the heart of a champion, and now his body lays stiff and cold, awaiting a trip to the landfill where he will be forgotten.
...But it didn’t have to end this way. 

From court systems that fail him and his kind, where judges and juries refuse to find guilty or appropriately punish the people who chain them, starve them, torture them, fight them, and ultimately abandon them, to unscrupulous breeders who crank out litter after litter just to make a buck, to animal welfare organizations and government bodies so dedicated to “doing the right thing” that when reputable rescue groups or adopters offer to take and place them into forever homes, even homes without other pets, without exploitation or appreciable risk, those same gutless “leaders” refuse, instead falling back onto the comfortable canard that the best decision is the easy one, that killing these dogs is justified, a service to the community, a community they purportedly serve.

This is about justice, about right and wrong, about a world where style and appearance trump substance and mettle, where having the wrong genetic code predisposes one to an early demise at the hands of the ones who are supposed to care, the ones who are supposed to help, the ones who are supposed to serve, the ones who ultimately are failed by a system beyond repair.  

It is only when we stop, as a society, accepting that killing is the only answer, that real change will be made.  When we demand our elected leaders make commonsense decisions based upon science and facts rather than hysteria and hyperbole.  

It is only when we stop breeding dogs for status, fun and profit, or through ignorance, carelessness and neglect, where the excess numbers become grist for the mills of death, that shelters will stop being killing fields for so many. 

It is only when owners, as human beings and members of a supposedly “higher” species take the responsibility of pet ownership seriously, and stop dumping animals at the drop of a hat, without so much as a second thought, that real progress will happen. 

It is only when all our local humane organizations work together, instead of engaging in petty squabbles and pathetic power plays while thousands of innocents die, that our communities will emerge from the horrible conditions in which so many are mired.

It is only when all of us take responsibility that real change will be made.  When we hold ourselves accountable, just as we clamor to hold our shelters accountable.  When we no longer blame “them” for killing the animals without looking in our mirrors first to see what we have done to help create the problem, and what we can do to help solve it.

Today they stilled the heart of a champion, and it will beat no more.  Weep not, then, just for him, but for the countless, often nameless others that have gone to their unmarked graves before, their only crimes that they were unwanted, forgotten, surplus in a throwaway society where hysteria and sensationalism take precedence over right and wrong, where today’s fashion soon becomes yesterday’s news, where appearance is more important than substance, where we move on to the latest thing without thought for the consequences. 

Today we’ve lost a friend, and we’re all the poorer for it.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Beagle Pain Syndrome

Although not something we'd normally cover here at Red Dog Central Command, this funky condition recently struck our Beagle friend Rose.  Thankfully, she's on the road to recovery (thank you Dr. Cheryl!), but it's yet one more thing to obsess and worry about if you love your dogs as much as we do!

The link to the article is here.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Hope You Don't Mind...

She may not be an angel, but she is that to me.

I hope you don't mind that I put down in words

How wonderful life is while you're in the world

Thanks to Bernie Taupin for the words and Elton John for the music...I couldn't have said it better if I tried.  

Here's to many more magical moments with the Red Dog...bring on Summer!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tiki Top Open for Business!

As some of you know, our recent obsession with the Red Dog-inspired outdoor living space at our humble abode is taking shape.  To that end, we hosted two young human fans (niece and great-niece!) last night for the inaugural Tiki Top* Southern Appalachian Backyard Beach Bar/Beer Garden/Somewhat Vegetarian Grill Bonfire & Slumber Party.  Twigs were burned, marshmallows were roasted and fireflies were chased, and a few choice scenes were captured on digital:

Hey Shiva's Mom, nice touch with the candles!

Snoopy in the background, guarding his Tiki turf.

I couldn't replicate the awesomeness of this photo if I tried.

Looks inviting, no?

Debra and her juvenile photobomber.

The high price of sugar!

Maybe Romance Night at Tiki Top in the near future?

We promise to return our focus to Shiva and the fight against canine cancer soon, so please bear with us as we indulge this new bright spot in our lives.  Come over and sit a spell!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Outdoor Living, Red Dog Style

Having spent the last three years under the wise tutelage of the Red Dog, Shiva's Mom and I are anxious to show-off some of what we've learned from her about being - and staying - in the moment.  To that end (and with a little help from Shiva's Mom's Pinterest addiction) we created an evening-oriented outdoor living space reflective of our shared interests.  It's a place to enjoy good food, cold drinks and great friends.

With that, we give you what we like to call:

Tiki Top* Southern Appalachian Backyard Beach Bar/Beer Garden/Somewhat Vegetarian Grill:

The flaming tiki torches give the flower bed a pleasing Polynesian jungle vibe, don't you think?

Edison lights make pretty much anything look cool...even our backyard.

Note the metal shed in the background. Classic relics such as this are considered by some to be the apex of Southern Appalachian lawn architecture.

Like many things of (relative) beauty, Tiki Top is best viewed in dim light, which unfortunately further dilutes my already rudimentary photography skills.  It really is something one has to experience in person.

This endeavor also will allow me to unveil/pull from mothballs the vintage tiki bar my lovely wife found for me a few years ago in a local antique & garage sale store.  No longer will it be a combination storage unit/art table/cat perch; rather, it once again will serve its intended purpose as a funky-cool Mai Tai delivery device!  Check it:

Can't you just feel the Tiki vibrations already?

* For those unfamiliar with our hometown, it is known - among other things - as Rocky Top.  Hence, our choice to combine our love of all things Tiki with our landlocked Tennessee home.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

University Study Yields Encouraging Results

Recent findings of almost two years of study at the University of Windsor in Ontario on the cancer-fighting properties of dandelion root have shown enough promise to earn the scientists substantial grants for further research.  The entire article can be found here, and it's this kind of outside-the-box thinking that can lead to fantastic breakthroughs. 

Please send this research team positive thoughts as they delve deeper into what looks like potential hope for all those fighting this terrible disease!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Just Read New eBook Called What the Dog Ate...

And we LOVE it!  Our review of this new novel from Jackie Bouchard is here and you can buy it here for ONLY $2.99!?  What a steal!  All in all, a fantastic summer read and well worth the price. 

You get this cool picture AND the book for only $2.99!
If you like Jackie's writing, please visit her blog Pooch Smooches.  It's a lot of fun, and she's a fellow tripawd lover, so you know she's cool!  WOOF!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Is 3 Years Really Possible?

Even our most loyal friends and readers are shocked to learn that the third anniversary of Shiva's osteosarcoma diagnosis and subsequent amputation has come and gone without the usual fanfare.  But really, what more can be said?  At this point, even hyperbole fails to capture the magnitude both of this achievement/happy accident and our gratitude.  After all, this is a dog that "should" have died in 2009 and gives new meaning to the term "outlier."   

Therefore, we choose instead a simple, heartfelt 'thank you' to all those who have been with us at any point along this journey, and move on to sharing with you what keeps her engaged and around.  It really begins and ends with her girls.  Without them in Shiva's world, who knows?

Shiva and Kennedy, one of her favorite reasons for living.
Shiva and her beloved Olivia, along with that pesky kitten.

There are others to be sure; the little ones are just the most important.  Here are a few other shots of Her Royal Redness enjoying her Bonus Time in the sun.

Basking in her yard.

Willing me to put down the camera and pet her.

Come to me, squirrel.  You know you want to.

Enjoying a sunrise together.

Resting on a trail in Ft. Pulaski, Tybee Island, GA

As close as we could get to Tybee's beaches with a dog.
She's done a thorough job of showing us how to be in - and enjoy - the moment.  If this happens to be her final Spring (which we've been saying for three! years now), let's enjoy the heck out of it.  Hope we see you soon!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Back to the Thinking Spot

 As long-time followers of the Red Dog Blog know, one of Shiva's very favorite places to be is along the shores of the Tennessee River at a place she likes to call her Thinking Spot.  Due to the unfortunate mix of our busy schedules and her advancing age, she doesn't get to visit as often as she'd like.  We vowed to change that.  The Red Dog approves.

Can't you feel the "deep thoughts" flowing?

The Red Dog loves her some geese.

You're alright, you know that?

Is that goose poop I smell?

Okay, so not all her thoughts are that deep...but, still.  The Red Dog loves this spot like few others.  It takes a little more time to get there that it used to, and we always need mom to pick us up in the car...but it's so worth it, don't you think?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Back When the Red Dog Really Was Red!

On a recent journey in the "Way Back" machine, we discovered some great photos of the Red Dog in her first year or two of life.  As we get through the tedious scanning process, we will post a few for your pleasure, so here we go:

Why are you staring at me like that?  You're kinda crowding my space.

And speaking of crowding me...where's mom when you need her?

Where has all the time gone?  If nothing else, dogs teach us unconditional love and to enjoy every moment.  Their time here with us is all too short.  Thankfully, our three-legged friend isn't quite done yet!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Little More Retail Fun

The Red Dog never tires of visiting her friends at Agri Feed in Knoxville.  She went there a few weeks back, and we were lucky enough to remember our video camera.  Enjoy!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Nice Little Review of a Nice Little Book

Although originally published awhile ago, Dog Walks Man: A Six-Legged Odyssey is a fun read for dog and nature lovers alike.  I resurrected my examiner.com page to publish my thoughts on this little gem.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Prayers Please

Lovely Luna with a two-legged friend.

Today our dear friend Luna had a rear leg amputated to stop the spread of that nasty old foe, osteosarcoma.  Although Luna is a nine year-old Great Dane, her mom Shannon keeps her in excellent health and thus made her a good candidate for surgery.  X-rays of her lungs were clear, so it appears the disease was caught in its initial stages.  Kudos to Shannon for catching Luna's limping early, and then aggressively pursuing diagnosis and treatment.  Quick action can make all the difference in the world.

After she spends a couple days with our friend Dr. Mitch and his awesome staff, the jumbo pup will be heading home to be with mom and her four Dane brothers.  Please keep both Luna and Shannon in your prayers as they go through this difficult time, and we will be sure to keep you posted on our newest Tripawd's progress.  In the meantime, we're going to put together a shopping list so they can get on the Red Dog's Anti-Cancer regimen.  WOOF!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


So, this is getting to be kind of embarrassing...after all, the point of a blog is to keep its followers "in the know" - something Shiva the Red Dog and Company have not done a very good job doing.  Call it being trapped in the winter blahs, doldrums, etc.  Whatever the case, you deserve at least a quick update on all Red Dog-related activities, so here goes...

We'll start with swimming, of course, as it continues to be an important part of her cold weather regimen, both for the physical and emotional benefits.

She also has been busy schooling our newest family members on all the rules associated with living in the Red Dog's domain.  Here she is hanging with "little" Luna, a kitty saved from an almost certain feral existence.  As you can see, she's fitting in (although Shiva does look like a dog who would rather be elsewhere at the moment!).

In addition, we've had the blessing of taking-in an approximately 15 yr-old Beagle named Bailey whose human passed away recently.  Prior to her passing, our dear friend Miss Virginia asked us to care for her beloved pooch and we didn't have the heart to say no.  Here she is in couple of old dog "action" poses:

The biggest surprise for us is how well a crotchety old girl used to living alone has fit in.  We love her!

Finally, a sampling of what we live with on a daily basis. Enjoy!