Sammy Speaks

Mama came home last night from wherever she was. Papa said she was visiting her mama but I think she ran away from us. I slept on the couch while she was gone ’cause that’s where we cuddle. Molly said I was gonna get in trouble with Papa but I said didn’t care, so she got up there too. I really like to cuddle with Mama, but don’t tell anyone. She cuddled me last night when she got home and she rubbed my ears that way I like.

That mean black cat was really bossy while Mama was gone. She tried to be the boss of me, but I growled at her and told her she’s a fuzzbutt. She’s no fun like that stripey cat. The stripey cat runs when I chase her! It’s so fun!

Those two guys who are fixing the house were banging on the ceiling a whole bunch while Mama was gone. I wished she was home ’cause when it gets really loud she takes us outside and throws things for us to chase. Sometimes I don’t give Mama the ball so she has to chase me around. It’s more fun that way. When it gets too dark to see outside, Mama chases me around in the house and then I chase her, and then Molly chases her, only it’s really scary when Molly does it ’cause she’s really chasing! Molly has big teeths and big feets and she kinda scares me sometimes. But mostly she’s fun ’cause she lets me chew on her neck and all that. She also lets me cuddle with her.

One time? Oh man, my big brother Charlie barked at me in the middle of the night ’cause I stepped on his bed in the dark and he scared me lots! I don’t like to go upstairs to my bed anymore in the dark ’cause I’m ascaired Molly’s gonna do the same thing. I make Mama get out of bed and help me. I really love my Mama ’cause she cuddles me and feeds me and throws my ball around, and she slept on the floor next to me when I got hit by that big car thing and it really hurt. She held onto my foots and told me it was gonna be okay and she made it stop hurting so much.

I love my Papa lots and he is pretty fun too. He growls at me like Molly and chases me sometimes and I get ascaired but then I remember he’s playing. He’s a good monster! I always do what Papa says because he’s the boss of me.  Mama tries to be the boss of me too. She says Sammy T. means Trouble and sometimes she calls me a nudge, but I don’t know what that means. I don’t always do what she says ’cause I don’t have to, but then she gets really mad and uses her Papa voice and then I have to be good. She’s a lot more fun than that stupid black cat, but sometimes she wipes my face off with a paper towel and I hate that! I run away but she always catches me. Sometimes she even takes me in the shower and rubs me all over with soapy stuff, yuck! I like it better when she goes in the river with me and then I try to swim away and she grabs me. That’s fun!

I gotta go ’cause Mama doesn’t know I’m using her pertuter. Molly showed me how to do it…

~ Sammy T.


Make no mistake, I am in charge

Mother is gone on a trip, so I decided it was time to assert my authority over Father and the smelly beast dogs. Father is a pushover, even though he likes to grab me by the scruff of the neck and make me dance across the floor. I allow him to do it because it is rather fun. Don’t tell Mother.

The first night Mother was gone, those dumb dogs got up on the couch together and slept there all night. I woke up Father and pointed out this despicable behavior, but he failed to discipline them properly. If it was up to me, they would be out in the backyard with no food. In the snow.

That obnoxious Other cat who lives here is completely cowed by me, so she has caused me no trouble. I have tried to convince her that it is in her best interest to break into the cabinet where Mother keeps the dry cat food but so far she has failed to do so.

If Mother doesn’t come back soon, I will have everyone completely under my control. I just need several more days and they will be my slaves.

~ Boots


Kitten in a basket

Have you ever noticed how cats will try to fit in any available space? This picture is Little Miss taking advantage of the fact that I hadn’t yet used this basket to store onions for the winter. She loves to cram herself into any little space for a snooze. I have several baskets lined with old t-shirts around the house for the cats to catch a few Z’s. Little Miss even has her own chair….a very expensive “meditation” chair that we bought years ago. The cushions are so lumpy that it’s really not comfortable to sit in, but she likes it just fine.

A bag, a box, any cave-like space will do for a cat. Boots likes to crawl in the bed covers after we’ve thrown them off to start the day and before the bed actually gets made. Many times I’ve been surprised by her yowl as I yank the covers around to make the bed. If I leave it uncovered, she’ll curl up in the indentation of my special pillow, which has a sleeping “canyon” for back sleeping and two “shelves” for side sleeping. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to find Boots sleeping on the other end of my pillow, or I’m on the end and she’s in the canyon. Cat hair is my life!


Rodents Of Unusual Size

I have rodents in my house. Big ones! They are all four-legged and furry. When the lights go out, they troll the counters looking for food. More than once I have had to come down in the middle of the night, flip on the lights and scatter the rodents. An exterminator is not an appropriate solution in this case since I’m talking about Sammy, Boots and Little Miss!

I think everyone is trying to put on their winter fat. Ten minutes after I feed the dogs and cats, they are milling around in the kitchen staring at me like they haven’t eaten in weeks. One thing that helps is to give them a little extra oil (olive oil) so they feel satiated. The other thing is to keep all food and dirty dishes off the counters. Last night I had to get up twice in the middle of the night (and I DO mean the middle) to stop Boots from eating cookies that were in a box on the counter (her claw was stuck in the cardboard box and she was trying to eat through the plastic window) and to get her out of the sink where she was attacking a bowl that hadn’t been put in the dishwasher.

I have caught Little Miss on the counter countless times attacking the butter dish when I forget to put it away. Sammy waits until we turn out the lights, then waits a few more hours to make sure we’re asleep, then he goes down and puts his front paws on the counters to see if he can reach anything. Now they’re working together in the daylight. Yesterday Boots knocked a spatula onto the floor and I caught Sammy picking it up in his mouth before trying to run outside with it.

I just never know what to expect. This past spring I began to find spoons outside in the thawing snow. Sammy had taken several metal spoons outside and chewed on them, then left them laying around. A month or so ago, after making sure the counters were food free, I went to bed, only to wake up later to hear Sammy doing his late-night patrol. I went downstairs and he had taken a bag of cornstarch off the counter and made off with it. He must have decided he didn’t like the taste because he left it by the dog door, only slightly chewed.

Molly is mostly innocent in this, although she will sometimes share Sammy’s booty if he’s successful. One day I saw them eating something in the backyard. I went out and found that Sammy had taken a bag of raw cacao powder off the counter and they were chowing down on it. I had to spray the powder into the ground to stop them from eating it. Once recently I turned my back for a moment and caught Molly trying to sneak a block of cheese off the counter. She doesn’t put her paws up there, but I found out that she’s not above a snatch-and-grab job!

I think Boots has got to be the worst of them, though. We had a guest a few weeks ago and we were all sitting in the living room having a casual dinner of some great stew that I made, and Boots walked right up to our guest and tried to steal the food out of her bowl. I was so embarrassed. She has stolen steak off my plate. She has run off with food wrappers. She tried to eat cornstarch packing peanuts!

I’m hoping the ROUS’s will get used to the cold weather soon and realize that they are not dying of starvation. I don’t hold out much hope for Boots though…



Up Periscope!

This is one of Sammy’s favorite things to do….stick his head through the cat door (pictured) or the dog door in the back of the house, so he can keep tabs on what’s going on. The cat door in the house leads into the utility room and Sammy can also get a view of who is coming in and out of Steve’s office door. He taught Molly how to do this, and sometimes if I’m out there folding laundry or something, she’ll lay on the floor on the other side of the door with her head hanging in the cat door and watch me. I think Molly has separation anxiety issues with her Mommy! :-)

The other thing Sammy likes to do is stick his head out the dog door which leads to the backyard to 1) check the weather, 2) check if the barbeque is in use and 3) check to see if there are any invaders in the backyard. If something looks interesting he’ll jump out the door to investigate. If not, he’ll give a general bark of warning to anyone who may be out there and pull his head back in. When it’s an investigation of the barbeque he’s likely to come back with grease spots on his head from trying to lick the juice coming out the bottom. He’s my little hobo dog….


Oh BARF! The Bones And Raw Food Diet

We started feeding our dogs and cats a raw diet around 2000, when my dad told us about the Bones And Raw Food (BARF) diet proposed by Australian vet Dr. Ian Billinghurst. All of our animals have been on the diet and have done pretty well. It takes a little more work and attention, but I believe they are much healthier than they would have been. Boots, our Queen Feline, is currently 17 years old and shows no sign of slowing down. I’ve never had a cat reach her age and be so healthy.

It’s true that two of our dogs have died from spleen problems, but we’re suspecting now that there may have been extenuating circumstances due to the black mold that has been found in our roof recently. I also believe it has affected our health as well. Our dogs and cats don’t have arthritis, hip displaysia, cancer, or any of the other “old age” diseases that animals get when on a cooked, grain-based diet. And boy howdy, do they love feeding time!

A raw diet is no guarantee of perfect health, but I have to say that our dogs have lived longer than the average life expectancy for their breeds. Their quality of life has been excellent, with a breakdown occurring only at the far end of their life spans. Our black lab lived to be 14 or 15 (not sure of his age – he was a stray) and our Doberman/St. Bernard cross lived to be almost 13, which is considered pretty good for a giant dog breed.

As I mentioned, one of our cats is 17. The other cat eats almost exclusively what she hunts so I imagine she’ll live to be thirty!  :-)  The BARF diet may seem extreme to you at first, but I would suggest that you at least incorporate some raw food into your pets’ diet. They will benefit greatly. Find all about it at Be sure to look for Dr. Billinghurst’s book, “Give Your Dog a Bone” on

~ Dooney


Enough already!

Okay, I really think Martha Stewart has gone too far. I was in PetSmart the other day and noticed that you can now get Martha Stewart dog poo bags! Really? In addition to that, you can get all kinds of other Martha branded dog accessories. I wonder if she even likes dogs. :-)

Talk about someone who has really overexposed herself!


Top ten reasons for Molly to bark

1. Someone’s at the door. I don’t care if I know them, I’m gonna eat ’em!

2. Mama’s putting on her shoes! Mama’s putting on her shoes!

3. Mama’s putting on her gloves! Mama’s putting on her gloves!

4. Mama’s picking up the ball! Mama’s picking up the ball!

5. Are we going outside? Are we outside yet? Is the door open?

6. There’s a car in the driveway! I’m gonna eat ’em!

7. Have I met you? I don’t care…I’m gonna eat you!

8. Sammy barked…there must be a reason.

9. I thought I saw….oh, never mind.

10. Turkeys!


Put the Bubbie to bed

Did you ever see the movie “Crossing Delancy”? If not, it’s great so look it up. It’s ’80’s era (oh horror) so you’ll get a kick out of the clothes and the lack of cell phones. :-)  Anyway, in the movie Amy Irving’s character has a Jewish grandma – a Bubbie (pronounced with the “uh” sound, Dad). At the end of the movie, the grandma says, “Come children, let’s put the Bubbie to bed”. Steve and I always thought that line was funny, so we say it about a particular personality trait that we’ve noticed in two of our dogs now.

Molly, our current yellow lab, exhibits a very sweet behavior. When I go to bed, she comes upstairs after I do and comes over to my side of the bed to see if I am there. I give her a pat on the head and she turns around and goes to her bed. Sometimes she’ll go into the bathroom first to see if Dad is going to give her some bedtime supplements. Sometimes if I’m upstairs but not in bed yet she’ll go over there anyway to see if anyone is there. Maybe she gets confused…  :-)  If I don’t respond, she noses any body part she can reach, then gives a huff and goes to bed. In any case, it happens every night and our dog Black Jack who died in 2009 used to do the exact same thing every night.

I’m not old enough to be a Bubbie (well, maybe a young Bubbie) and I’ll never be a grandma since I wasn’t able to have kids, but we still have a giggle over Molly “putting the Bubbie to bed”.

~ Dooney