Monday, November 27, 2023


 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I was not prepared for the antics of a German Shepherd. Princess was restless at first, but she accepted me as her mom quickly and I learned it's true that when you have a shepherd you no longer have any privacy. She follows me everywhere and watches me intently while I work. The minute I get up from my desk, she's on her feet, prepared to follow me anywhere. When I'm walking, if Princess feels she hasn't had enough attention, she'll flop down on the floor directly in front of me to request a belly rub. When she wakes up in the morning, if my alarm hasn't gone off yet, she wakes me up by sitting on me––sometimes she perches uncomfortably on my hip and sometimes she tries to crawl onto my head. 

When I take a shower, Princess stations herself outside the bathroom door to wait for me. I'm almost embarrassed to be the recipient of such devotion. She likes to watch TV with me, but she's only interested in certain shows. When she arrived, I was watching the final season of Succession on HBO, which she liked a lot. I don't know why, but when the opening music began, she hopped up on my lap. Having her on my lap isn't as much of a problem as you might think. She places the front part of her body on my legs, while her rear stretches across the couch. 

 More recently, she liked Lessons In Chemistry on AppleTV. The only part of having her on me that I don't like is her shedding, which she does A LOT. Her fur gives the Roombas a work out.

Some of the stories Penelope told about Princess in blog posts were true and some weren't. It was not true that Penelope disliked Princess. Penelope wanted Princess to play with her from the moment she first saw Princess. Penelope did the doggy "let's play" bow and pranced around, trying to lure Princess into games of chase, but Princess wasn't ready to play until she had settled into life with us after about two weeks. Then the two became best friends; antics ensued. After Penelope had her annual wellness exam with Dr. G., though, and was tired and didn't want to play, she told Princess with a little growl and shake of the head. Princess backed off immediately. 

The two of them have some sort of communication system. Penelope knows Princess will escort her past a scary Roomba. At first, Princess nudged Penelope off of the big doggy bed. After they became friends, the nudging stopped, and Princess settled herself on the little doggy bed instead, although that means she's mostly on the floor.

Penelope told the truth about Princess, however, when she said Princess is a thief. With time she learned that stealing food from the kitchen counters is frowned upon, as is stealing soap from the edge of the bathtub. Yes, she really did eat most of a bar of soap. One evening I heard a strange noise in the bedroom while I was getting ready for my shower. I found Princess with a full bag of dog treats she had stolen and opened while lounging on my bed. She looked like someone settling in to watch a movie while snacking on popcorn.

Princess is a smart girl. She knows sit and she does pretty well with stay. She's escaped from the backyard twice. I'm convinced Penelope was the mastermind behind both escapes. Penelope came right back in the house, though, while Princess refused. She wanted to go for a ride in the car. Both times I had to get the car key, let her in the car, get a leash, and lead her back in the house. Last spring when I walked her, she did pretty well on the leash, but she lost those skills over the summer when it was so hot that we couldn't go walking. I haven't been able to get her to heel, and she doesn't seem to understand the word NO. She resists down. 

Consequently, Princess is attending dog training school. She's been there for a week. She'll be home in two - three weeks, so she'll be here to celebrate her first Kissmas and receive gifts from Santa Paws. I miss her terribly (Penelope's heart is broken), but thorough training is an investment in our future together. After she comes home, I will be trained in how to handle her. For now, I get a report card with photos and videos on Fridays.

I'll be so happy when she returns to us.

Infinities, of love,

Janie Junebug

And now a very important message:







Monday, November 13, 2023


 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Some of you have already read about The Great Cancer Scare from Franklin's POV, but I'd like to add to Franklin's story. 

First, I have to tell you how I feel about Franklin. I love Penelope and Princess, but Franklin is my boy. We've been together such a long time (since 2010), and he was my walking companion until he started to stumble and struggle on our strolls. My all-time favorite dog was Faulkner, The Original Dog, but Franklin is a very close second to Faulkner.

I'm not the only one who loves Franklin. He was admired all over the neighborhood. People often called out to us to say how pretty he is and how they liked his fluffy fur. He's an exceptionally amiable dog. But when we had a front door with glass panels in the top, I took delight in the way he appeared in those windows to roar at strangers. More than one Jehovah's Witness backed away in fear. 

Rebekah's husband, Eddie, is something of a dog and cat whisperer. When Eddie and Franklin met, it took about 30 seconds for them to become fast friends. I wasn't surprised when Eddie settled down on the floor with Franklin to talk to him and brush him. That's when he found the red thing that resembled a pimple. The next day it was so much bigger that I made an appointment for Franklin at the vet's office even though our beloved Dr. G. wasn't there.

The vet we saw used to be our regular vet. We had switched to Dr. G. because of a scheduling mix-up at one point and continued to ask for him. The other vet said Franklin had cancer and he wasn't going to stick a needle in it to find out if it was malignant because it was so inflamed. He gave me an antibiotic for Franklin and some drops to put on the red thing. Then he opened the door and gestured for us to leave. And that was it. No further instructions. No here's when you should come back or this is what you should do next. I was in shock and didn't make a fuss.

So we went home and I cried while I worked and cried while I didn't work. I couldn't wait for Dr. G to get back. I have to tell you, also, that Maureen stayed with Princess and Penelope while Franklin and I were at the vet's office because Princess had been with us only a few days. The first time I left the house to go to Costco, Maureen said Princess cried. But when I took Frank to the vet, it was Penelope who cried and was inconsolable. 

Of course, Dr. G. removed the cancer, it was benign, and Franklin has been fine. He's been far more lively since that ugly red thing was removed, so something must have been brewing in his body for a while. I have to tell you about what happened after Dr. G. took Franklin's stitches out.

Dr. G. was done and it was time for us to leave. The vet tech opened the door to escort us to the front desk (the bills for the surgery were pretty substantial but we managed it). Dr. G. was on the other side of the room entering his notes in the computer. I stood up to leave. Usually Franklin goes straight out the door because he can't wait to leave. He hates vet visits.

But this one time, instead of leaving, he went to Dr. G. to stand next to him. Dr. G. stopped what he was doing to pet Franklin, who was looking up at him with Franklin-style love and devotion. I think he's saying thank you, I told Dr. G.

Dr. G. said, I think so, too.

We left a beaming Dr. G. when Franklin was finished showing his appreciation. 

I check Franklin's skin frequently for any new bumps or lumps, especially his back leg where the cancer was. When I took Franklin to see Dr. G. in October for his annual wellness exam, I told him every day with Franklin is a bonus. I don't know how much longer he'll be with us, but I love and appreciate every minute with him. to be continued with more about Princess

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023


 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Princess was very well behaved while traveling in the car, but when we arrived at the Little House On The Swamp, she was confused and distressed. She had no way of knowing why she was in yet another new place when she had become comfortable at the shelter.

Franklin and Penelope wagged their tails and welcomed her, but she had no interest in them. After meeting them in the back yard, she checked out the house and paced from one room to another for about three hours. This is the first photo I took of her when she finally stood still for a few minutes:

A few minutes later, Princess decided it was okay to lie down in the dining room. She must have been exhuasted, but after a few minutes of rest, she was up and moving again and she decided to check out some of the details of her new home. She discovered a bowl on the dining room table that held dog treats and stood up to help herself. 

No more keeping dog treats in the glass bowl on the table.

She also decided to help herself to anything she could find on the counters in the kitchen, including the medication I had out for myself for the following morning. If Princess had been feeling depressed or had allergies, perhaps she felt better after stealing my meds.

I hadn't had such a tall dog in the house for a long time. I had to train Princess not to stand up to take things from tables and counters, and I had to train myself to remove tempting items. Later in the evening when we settled down to sleep, she was fine and slept next to me. 

When I had to work the following morning, I told Princess we couldn't have any nonsense. She had to behave herself and be quiet––and she did and she was. She curled up on the couch and watched me so intently that I suspected she hoped to apply for my job.

And so those first few days went by. Penelope kept begging Princess to play; Princess ignored her.

On Saturday, Rebekah and her husband, Eddie, came over because they had graciously agreed to use their rototiller in part of my yard that was so overwhelmed by weeds that I couldn't remove them on my own. After Eddie did the work and he came inside, he asked for Franklin's brush. That was when he found the ugly, red pimple on Franklin's back leg that led to The Great Cancer Scare. to be continued

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, October 25, 2023


 Hello. It is I, Penelope. I know Mom Mom has been telling you stories about adopting my big little sister, Princess, but I must ask you a question.

Sometimes Mom Mom sprinkles some grass seed in the backyard and sometimes I might accidentally lick some of the grass seed. Mom Mom said, Penelope, stop eating grass seed.

I don't eat grass seed, I told her.

Look in a mirror, she said. You have grass seed on your lower lip.

A little while later I accidentally got more grass seed on my lips and she said, Penelope, if you keep eating grass seed, you are going to turn into a chia pet.

Is this true? Could I turn into a chia pet? Sometimes Mom Mom makes up stuff, but sometimes she is right. 

If I turned into a chia pet, would I still look like myself, or would I look like the Bob Ross chia pet? Or maybe I would grow some different grass and look like the Willie Nelson chia pet?

I really don't want to be Willie Nelson or Bob Ross. I want to be I, Penelope. I hope I don't turn into a chia pet, but if I do, then I will be the cutest chia pet ever!

That is all. Goodbye.

Monday, October 23, 2023


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

 I applied to adopt Princess. I usually adopt dogs who might be considered unadoptable because of their health or fear issues. I also have the requisite fenced-in backyard with a six-foot (and some) fence. Since I work from home, I would be able to give Princess loads of love and attention. She would also have built-in dog friends. I knew Franklin and Penelope would welcome her with open paws. Princess, at two years old, would help to keep the older dogs active.

I received a swift approval to my application along with an invitation to visit the shelter. This shelter wasn't just any shelter, though, that would easily allow me to pick up a dog and go home. I would have to spend time answering questions and getting to know Princess. Would she fear me? Would the person who runs the shelter think I was acceptable? 

I asked Carol to join me.She is Grandma to my dogs and would tell anyone who would listen that my dogs are well cared for.

We arrived in Green Cove Springs early on an April afternoon. The shelter could take seven shepherds at a time. Princess was from Tennessee. Her mistress had moved to Florida, been diagnosed with a cancer that was to claim her life, but had somehow found the shelter's benefactress, who drove Princess to the shelter. 

The woman who ran the shelter, "Ann," brought out Princess to meet me. 

She was beautiful. No, she was gorgeous. She was amazing. She looked at me with eyes that were not quite brown. They were more of a warm amber and the fur on her head and neck was red, with fawn and some darker colors on her lower body.

We spent some time outside with Princess, while Ann asked me questions. What did I feed my dogs? When did I feed them? Why did I want a German Shepherd? It was hard to tell from the photos I'd emailed how large my yard was and Shepherds would become destructive if they didn't get enough exercise. Was my yard really big enough? How would I exercise Princess? How would I? When would I? What would I? 

I could tell Ann didn't like my responses. She frowned a lot and at times, she told me I was wrong and told me what I needed to do instead, yet we moved inside to go over more details. Princess allowed me to pet her. Her fur was made of velvet. Ann didn't like the way I reached out to Princess and corrected me. Was she going to let me adopt this dog I had already fallen in love with?

Finally, I asked, So, can I take Princess home with me? Ann said Princess had already made the decision. Yes, she had, by settling on my feet and staring at me with absolute devotion. I signed a contract stating I would not give Princess to someone else, and if for some reason I couldn't keep her, I would return her to the shelter, and I paid a fee, along with making a donation because I didn't want Ann to change her mind.

Ann cried. She cried when she talked about Princess leaving with me. She cried before Princess left with me. She cried when we left. And she cried in between all the other crying. Ann was devoted to the dogs. 

Princess hopped right in the back seat of my car, happy to go for a ride. I told Carol, For a while there, I didn't think she was going to let me have Princess. Carol agreed. I didn't think so either. 

We were relieved to drive away with our girl and head for home.   to be continued

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug 


Monday, October 16, 2023


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I had been thinking about adding a third dog to our family for quite a while, and started to work toward making it a reality after Christmas 2022. I knew it would be a little easier on Penelope and me if we already had another dog in the house when Franklin leaves us. I dread his death. He is an old man at 15 or thereabouts. He has some difficulty getting around, and last year––for the first time since 1998––I had to go for walks by myself. Franklin couldn't manage it anymore, and Penelope is lousy on a leash. I needed a walking buddy.

So I went on Petfinder, the online adoption website, where I spotted Penelope back in 2015. 

This is the photo of a smiling Penelope that beguiled
me into adopting her at a rescue in Georgia.

This time, though, I hoped to find a dog who was fully or partially of a breed that was naturally intelligent and easy to train. I looked for a Collie and couldn't find a single one available for adoption. I know German Shepherds are intelligent and can be quite beautiful so I decided to search for them and discovered some were available not too far from our Little House On The Swamp.

I was especially interested in one shepherd, but when I called about him the contact person wouldn't help me find a time to visit the dog when I didn't have to work. Then I saw the story of Princess along with pictures of her and a video of her running and playing.

Princess was described as extremely shy and traumatized. She would need a home with a pet parent who would be patient with her. She had been with a person who kept her chained outside. Then the person became ill and couldn't keep Princess anymore. Fortunately, she ended up in a shelter especially for German Shepherds in Green Cove Springs, Florida. She was definitely a pretty girl. And German Shepherds are protective. 

 I was sure I could give Princess a happy, secure home, and in return, she'd be a good dog for me.   to be continued

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Saturday, October 14, 2023



Trump himself said he could shoot someone and get away with it. I'm sick of him getting away with things. Yes, he's under indictment. How is it that this criminal can still run for president?

Will he ever pay the price that other people pay?