Tag: Florida

Firefighters save dogs

Ashley’s heroes. These firefighters saved Ashley and four other dogs from a wildfire in Florida. 

I enjoy what I do. I write for two small town newspapers in Florida. The kind of paper that focuses on local events.

Yesterday my assignment took me to the Flagler Emergency Operations Center. Three firefighters were being recognized by the Flagler Humane Society for actually going into a wildfire to save five dogs in the yard on March 24.

As I arrived I saw two employees of the Flagler Animal Hospital and the Executive Director of the Flagler Humane Society walking toward the front door. What made me jump out of the car and dash toward them was seeing Ashley, one of two of the dogs burned in the fire. Ashley and Harley had suffered third-degree burns and I really didn’t expect to see either of them at the event.

Suddenly Ashley turned and started “talking,” as many hounds do, and pulled his handler toward women who had just gotten out of a truck. Soon he was on top of one of his owners, licking and loving.

Firefighters 2
A heartwarming reunion.

The community came together for these animals, not just the firefighters (though they did the scariest act), but the Flagler Animal Hospital and, a non profit clinic, St. Francis Animal Hospital, in Jacksonville, and of course those generous souls who donated what they could to help pay for the medical bills.

Firefighters 3
The Flagler Animal Service officer who responded to the firefighters call and took the two injured dogs to the hospital. Anyone want to say anything bad about “Dog Catchers?”

Harley couldn’t be at the event, he was on his way back to the animal hospital after undergoing 10 hyperbolic  treatments.

There was a presentation of plaques and certificates, but from the looks on the firefighter’s faces (each who had at least one dog of their own) the real thanks came from the dog himself as he licked and nuzzled his rescuers.

The dogs recovery will take time but they are in good, loving and talented hands. A wonderful reminder that there are some very special people in this world who do some very extraordinary things on daily basis.

The humane society is accepting donations http://bit.ly/2nrddU1 (type “Ashley and Harley” or “emergency medical fund,” into the notes section), to help pay for the medical care for the dogs.

Most humane societies have emergency funds for catastrophic events and appreciate donations so they can be prepared for a disaster. Donate to yours today.

Adult puppy

We have one dog, a corgi, who smiles all of the time, and Buddy who doesn’t.

I intended to write one post on how Buddy has come to us, his quirks, and recent regression to training pads, when I realized that would be far too long a post. So I will be posting a series on Buddy the shorty Jack Russell. I hope you will join me on this journey with a dog I never wanted but would never give up.

Chapter One

I’ve written and photographed our shorty Jack Russell but I am not sure I have ever explained how this — oh let’s call him “unique” — dog came into our lives.

Buddy, as his previous owners, our son and his first wife, named him had to be the most unattractive dog on the planet. I am being kind in this description, he was ugly. Not his fault, he had been neglected.

But from the start:

Our former daughter-in-law went to a pet supply store in Orlando to get a collar for another dog and came home with a pink dog. Pink because he had no fur. He had pretty much given up on the world he was given to her by a “rescue” group – no application, nothing. Lucky for Buddy, but I wasn’t sure about the rest of us.

Buddy “faints”

Buddy had, make that has, issues. Seizures that are psychologically based according to our vet. A perfect example is his early “fainting” episodes.

While we were dog sitting we took both dogs to an event at Washington Oaks Garden State Park (If you have never been to this park and you are on the East Coast of Florida you must visit).

While walking the dogs, Buddy falls over. Seriously a straight drop, 90 degrees sideways, to the ground. He didn’t collapse, he just went from standing to lying on his side in the same position – wide awake. A woman at the plant sale stand nearby gasped and asked, “did your dog just faint?”

No, “he just does that.” we responded as though it were the most normal thing in the world.

I am happy to report that Buddy doesn’t do that any longer so progress is being made.

Tomorrow: How did Buddy get from Florida to Arizona and back again?


Is your shelter expecting?

It’s the first day of March, and in Florida and other southern climates, that means Kitten and Puppy season is about to begin. Our northern neighbors may have a couple more months, but not us.

I received this poster in my email from a local shelter and it reminded me that while they certainly need loving homes to adopt the incoming litters of kittens and puppies, they also need help with supplies.


So , throw a baby shower for your shelter. New items, gently used, I guarantee they won’t care. Towels, wet kitten food, and litter. Stop by your shelter today. They will be glad to see you.

Is your shelter having an event to raise funds or supplies? Send me their poster.

Happy February 14th


Of course I know it’s Valentine’s Day, but for our pets it’s February 14th otherwise known as “Tuesday.”

No chocolates in their bowls or flowers by their beds, what’s this day for them?

It’s another day to enjoy, dare I say “celebrate,” them being part of our family. Like so many adopted dogs, cats and birds who are waking up in a loving home this morning, they are the lucky ones.

Breakfast has been served and a new day begun.

So on this day I have five things, do one or all five, to challenge my readers on this day of Love.

  1. Make a donation to your local humane society. This can be $1 or $500, or even your old blankets and towels for bedtime and bath.
  2. Volunteer at a shelter. One hour a week walking a dog or petting a cat can make a big difference. Animals that receive attention are more social and have a better chance at being adopted.
  3. Post a link to your shelter on your Facebook page. “Like” your shelter’s Facebook page.
  4. Learn one new thing about your shelter. Do they have a new program or event?
  5. Say “thank you.” Shelter workers are hard-working individuals that do their job for the love of the animals, certainly not the pay.

    one more;

  6. Don’t spread rumors. If you hear something about your humane society or shelter, investigate it yourself before repeating it or reposting online. There are many misconceptions and sadly there are  some groups that bad mouth each other and shelters to rise themselves up. Don’t fall into that.
    It is all supposed to be about the animals, remember that please.

The dog days of summer are here

I live in Florida where we expect the summer to be hot, but this summer is a scorcher — and not just in Florida. It’s unusally hot in sections of the country, and the world, that don’t have to deal with high temperatures.

Today I want to share my weekly column with you, because, even though I am on the East coast of Florida, it’s important advice for everyone, and every dog.


Buddy Beach


Trip Home

Kodi bed close

Kodi – back in his “own” bed

Packing up and saying “good-bye”

Time for the two-day return trip. The back seat is “slip-covered” with a fitted sheet, his pillow is in place in hopes of encouraging naps, crate and luggage packed. We say good-bye to the staff at checkout and we are off.

One more stop at Buc-ee’s

We stopped in Wharton. Our son got a new job in another part of the state so I doubt we will be this way again.

I look for items to take home to friends. If you can’t find something to take home here you can just give up because you aren’t going to find anything.

While I have been in the store Mark has been exercising Kodi in an expansive grassy area designated for doggies. You know this because there is a doggie “poop” station with bags available.

I ask the cashier if I may leave my basket of items on the counter for my husband to pay for after he shops, explaining he’s outside with the dog. “Of course.”

Mark goes in and Kodi and I do some more walking, have some water and treats, greet people and more people, pretty much everyone in that part of Texas and Mark is still inside. This is a man who has perfected the 60-second rest stop.

We walk past the sliding doors so they slide open and we can get a look inside hoping to catch a glimpse of our driver. My shopping basket is on the counter, hmm. Just as I am wondering if he is ok and trying to decide how I will be able to check on him with pup in tow I see him, red Buc-ee’s T-shirt in one hand as he searches the gourmet jerky. Like a child at the beach he is not looking toward the door. He doesn’t want to make eye contact and be told it’s time to go.

Just as Kodi and I have confirmed one more time, that “yes he is like the Queen’s dogs,” Mark emerges from the store laughing. At the checkout he picked up my basket to pay and was asked, “Are you traveling with a Corgi?” Asking if that were the password the cashier explained he had seen us walking outside. Friendly, helpful and observant can’t beat that.

The Back Seat Driver

Dogs are funny. When Mark is driving Kodi is on full alert. He tries to wiggle his way into my lap and watches Mark. He has always done this. When I get behind the wheel he curls up and relaxes more.

Last night 

The trip home is long, lots of traffic but we make it to Daphne, Alabama for our first stop. La Quinta has a lovely hotel here and we have stayed before. We are on a travel kind of schedule now. We settle in and while Mark goes to Cracker Barrel across the street to pick up our carry-out order I feed Kodi. Tomorrow night we will be back home and back to our routine. We are all ready.

We chill out, loving up Kodi and preparing ourselves for the final lap of the trip. Florida is a very long states and I-10 is a tedious stretch of highway. Much like children playing the old license plate game we will play “Spot the cop.” We don’t speed but on this trip home we have seen dozens of officers in each state demonstrating their radar detection techniques.

Home sweet home, our own beds. We pick up Samantha and Rosie and enjoy our quiet reunion.