Monday, May 4, 2015

Dog Rescue Transport: The Story of Getting "Phillie" to his Foster Home

Philiie the 12 year old Dachshund
On Saturday, May 2, I (Rob) met and helped transport a sweet 12 year old, brown smooth dachshund named Phillie on one leg of his massive trip from northern New Jersey to middle Tennessee.

Phillie was very calm. I noticed that his eyes are cloudy, so he either has cataracts, or can't see well. He did like the chicken treats I brought, though. I sensed that he was stressed, as he left his home of 12 years that morning, and for the first time EVER on a dog, I saw an actual TEAR roll down from his left eye. I sang to him and kept my hand on his neck and back through most of the trip to the next transporter.
  Phillie began his journey near  Woodbridge,  NJ where Donna of Coast to Coast Dachshund rescue picked him up from his former pet parents. Phillie came from a home with a husband, wife and three small children. He was likely there his entire 12 years, and the family contacted the rescue and said that they couldn't handle caring for Phillie because of a new infant.

A good rider, just wondering why he was abandoned
A SAD, COMMON, RIDICULOUS EXCUSE - Both the Dachshund and Weimaraner rescues we work with get dogs almost WEEKLY from families who say they have small children and they "can't handle a dog anymore" or "the dog snapped at my toddler when the toddler smacked the dog."  (DUH - what would you expect a dog to do if a child or anyone tormented it? ) I always tell people "Get rid of the toddler and keep the dog. At least the dog will always be respectful of you."

Julie and Phillie
THE REQUEST FOR A RESCUE TO FOSTER - Phillie's new foster parent lives 874 miles away near Murfreesboro, Tennessee just southeast of Nashville. 

A LONG TRIP TO HIS FOSTER HOME -  That trip is a 13 hour drive and it was put done through a series of many volunteers who did it over weekend of May 2 and 3rd, and included an overnight stay in North Carolina. Some drivers even took three "legs" of the ride. Each leg is at least 60 miles, so some people volunteered to drive 3 hours each way (6 hours). The rescue person that coordinates this is Katie Wehner and she puts a LOT of work into organizing these types of runs WEEKLY, and usually they go from the south to the north.

MEETING JULIE AND PHILLIE / MY TRIP - Since Tom was dealing with getting his car fixed and having the driveway paved, I did the transport. - I met an awesome dog mom and rescuer named Julie Mead in White Marsh, MD and picked up Phillie. Julie has dogs and told me she bonded instantly with Phillie on her (2 leg)120 mile drive  from Newark, Delaware!
Rob and Phillie

White Marsh is located northeast of Baltimore, and I brought him from there, to Alexandria, VA, south of Washington, DC - so I had to deal with two cities of weekend traffic. The Baltimore traffic was moderate, and there were no issues fortunately. However, the "infamous" Baltimore / Washington Parkway was a traffic mess, so I went the long way around, down I-95 to the Washington, DC Beltway. From there, I picked up the parkway, which I "heard on the radio" was clear. Alas, it was not. ... there was traffic stopped.  I met Christina in Alexandria in the parking lot of a pre-designated hotel and Phillie drove with her to the next handoff destination in Richmond, Virginia. In total, my trip lasted 3 1/2 hours.
Phillie wondering what his foster home will be l

WHEN DID PHILLIE ARRIVE TO HIS FOSTER HOME? - One of the transporters in North Carolina kept Phillie overnight and resumed the trip on Sunday. Several more transporters worked to ensure that Phillie arrived at his new foster home. As you can see, it's a tremendous effort from a lot of people, all who do it for the love of precious dogs.

Christina off with Phillie

Katie left Richmond, VA with Phillie at 4pm ET


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Home Renovation! Front of the house

adding insulation
covering the plywood
When you live in an older house (ours was built in the 1960s) the insulation turns

putting plywood over the insulation
The finished product!
to dust, and the house doesn't keep the heat inside in the winter, and the cool air in the summer. So, we've wanted to do something about the front of the house and recently had siding put up, with new insulation. Here are the before, during and after photos.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Our Encounters with Idiots on the Road

Dumb and Dumber on the road
Here are a couple of instances of idiots on the road from last week. In the first instance, one idiot got a reprimand!

TOM'S TAILGATER - Last week, Tom was driving to work and a car tailgated him for about a mile before he got to the guard gate at work The tailgater also turned in and was behind him at the gate so Tom told the guard "Can you tell the guy behind me that tailgating isn't going to make me go any faster?"  The guard gave Tom a thumbs up and as Tom pulled through he saw the guard pointing his finger at the tailgater. The tailgater then slowly pulled out of the guard station and crept up to Tom's car (which was stopped at a 4 way stop inside the campus. Guess he learned his lesson!

FLASHER FOOLS - After dropping the kids off at daycare, I (Rob) was driving down state route 3 here in Maryland and a 30 something guy in an old car was driving in the right lane (of 2 lanes) doing 35-40 mph in a 55 mph zone. Of course, during morning rush traffic backed way up. I had the misfortune of being behind him for 2 miles (traffic was heavy) and after finally pulling into the other lane I drove past him as he continued.  Why he didn't drive in the breakdown lane or pull over is a mystery. Of course, when I reached state route 193, there was ANOTHER guy with his flashers on, and this fool was going 30 in a 55 mph zone, AND in the fast (left) lane of two lanes. I was dealing with him for over a mile before getting around him.

Friday, May 1, 2015

TWO WINNERS Idiot of the Week Award: Bill Flores links Baltimore crisis to same-sex marriage

It's time for the "IDIOT OF THE WEEK AWARD"!!   This week there are TWO that get the prize. BOTH are so laughable.  -  I can't believe a Congressman from Texas would even say what he did, but he did. 
  The other idiot is one everyone is familiar with- Mike Huckabee. He just needs to open his mouth and stupid falls out. See below. 

Here's the article from the non-partisan publication, Politico (and MANY other sources below)

1) WHAT DID IDIOT #1 SAY?  Congressman links Baltimore crisis to same-sex marriage

Republican Bill Flores blames the breakdown of the traditional family.

Politico (4/30, Gass, 1.11M)

Texas Rep. Bill Flores said this week that ongoing unrest in Baltimore could be related to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States and “the breakdown of the family.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins hosted Flores on the group’s radio program Tuesday after conservative crowds gathered outside the Supreme Court to rally against same-sex marriage while justices heard arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Perkins suggested that the government is making more issues for itself with continued rulings in favor of same-sex rights.
Bill Flores (YouTube/screen grab)
“Government is kind of the last stop to fix problems. I would argue they’re not the best to fix these problems, but they have to deal with the problems,” Perkins said. “And a lot of these problems are created by the breakdown of the family, which the redefinition of marriage would only accelerate.”

“You’re exactly right, Tony,” said Flores, the chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee.
“Let’s talk about poverty for instance,” he said, noting that the “single best indicator of whether or not a child is going to be in poverty or not is whether or not they were raised by a two-parent household or a single-parent household. And so the breakdown of the family has contributed to poverty.”

Flores then made the link between the Supreme Court case and what he thought might be behind recent events in Baltimore.
“You look at what’s going on in Baltimore today, you know, you see issues that are raised there,” Flores said. “And healthy marriages are the ones between a man and a woman because they can have a healthy family and they can raise children in the way that’s best for their future, not only socially but psychologically, economically, from a health perspective.”
“There’s just nothing like traditional marriage that does that for a child. Each of us has a mother and a father, and there’s just no way to get around that,” he said.

Read more:

2) HERE'S IDIOT #2: Mike Huckabee

Main | Thursday, April 30, 2015

Huckabee: SCOTUS Can't Overrule God

"I respect the courts, but the Supreme Court is only that -- the supreme of the courts. It is not the supreme being. It cannot overrule God. When it comes to prayer, when it comes to life, and when it comes to the sanctity of marriage, the court cannot change what God has created. Somebody's got to be willing to take on the institutions that challenge and threaten our ability to believe as we believe, because when religious liberty is lost, all liberty is lost. I do not come to you tonight with the ability to speak Spanish. But I do speak a common language: I speak Jesus." - Mike Huckabee, addressing the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Return of the Shocking Squirrel/ It's important to have a sense of humor

Tom making a funny face
One of the things we learned is that it's important to have a sense of humor in every situation. No matter how serious things are, try and find something to make you laugh. We do that all the time. If one of us is grumpy for some reason, the other will smile a goofy grin and stare at the grumpy one until we both crack up. 

This morning, as I was about to head out the door to walk the dogs at 7:15am, I heard a loud "POP" from outside. As happened just 1 month ago, a SQUIRREL climbed onto the transformer outside... and he was electrocuted, shorting out all the power to our house and the surrounding houses. 
   Needless to say, after walking the dogs, I returned to a house without electricity so I couldn't telework. That meant running around the house, getting dressed (again) for work, getting the dogs situated and heading into the office. SIGH. 
   When I got there, I let Tom know about it, and he said "Well, at least the squirrel won't be bothering the bird feeder anymore."

Even people running for serious positions (whether you support it or not) can be funny!  This article was in the Huffington Post. Humor is the key to a better world. 

Hillary Clinton's 404 Error Page Is Perfection
If the idea of a punning president makes you uncomfortable, then we've got some bad news for you. Hillary Clinton stands a pretty good chance of becoming president, and her new website shows she's not afraid to bring the puns.
Check out the site's 404 page, which appears when you try to navigate to a page that doesn't exist:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fun Video: "Weird Al" Yankovic - Perform This Way (Parody of "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga)

Here's another Fun Video for you from "Weird Al" Yankovic. He does "Perform This Way" which is a  parody of "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga.
 The lyrics are told from the point of view of Gaga and describe her performance style and fashion sense. The song is the sixth single from Yankovic's 2011 album Alpocalypse, and all the proceeds were donated to the Human Rights Campaign charity. Gaga herself has praised the work and has additionally described herself as a "Weird Al" fan.[4] The song entered and peaked at number six on the Comedy Digital Tracks chart of Billboard, remaining for a total of eight weeks.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Some things you may not know about Animal Rescuers

The things that Animal rescuers do may surprise you. Tom and I work with dachshund and weimaraner rescues, as well as any others that need assistance. Our friend Dianne Frasier and her husband One Eagle who live in Florida, work with dog and cat rescues every day. They are also FOUNDERs and Dianne is a PSYCHIC MEDIUM at Spiritlight  
   Dianne recently put together some things you may not know about Animal Rescuers:
Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue
1. Most of us work full time and have families to care for including pets of our own.
2. We spend a lot of time at the vet every week getting pets spayed/neutered and meds we give around the clock.
3. We spend a lot of time at shelters trying to decide which of the desperate pets we can save, afford to care for, and agonize over the ones we can't take.
4. We receive an average of 200 network emails a day and half as many phone calls pleading for help, 7 days a week.
5. We have to make adoption appointments or events around our jobs, asking lots of questions of potential adopters and praying a lot for our foster babies.
6. It is very hard for us to go on vacation because of the special care our pets need, most if not all are rescued and special needs pets including seniors.
7. We spend lots of time on our phones even when we are not home, networking for pets out of time at shelters or in desperate situations belonging to people we have never met, who may be hospitalized, losing their home or moving.
8. We don't sleep well after seeing abused animals pix in our emails with pleas for help for funds for vetting or petitions to sign against the abusers.
9. We spend most of our money on pet stuff and most of our time volunteering.
10. There is nothing better than saving a helpless pet, nursing them back to health, then seeing them go home with a great family. The happy pix they send us gets us through steps 1-9.

We know so many people in animal rescue that it's impossible to name them all. 
What can you do?  DONATE to rescues. They pay for vet bills, provide food, shelter, transportation from one end of the country to another, and more. 

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14

Article on Rob's books in Baltimore Gay Life

Writer Jen Vance interviewed Rob about his books and abilities and published an article about him in Baltimore Gay Life newspaper in Nov. 2013. (It's on the 2nd to last page). LINK: