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