• It’s not just about the dog itself, but the relationship you have with it!

  • Dedicated to Bart, who had the Most Beautiful Tail

    It's very simple. Dogs and cats and other talented animals have tails; their tails, with their thousands of flourishes, provide them with a wonderfully complex language of arabesques, not only for what they think and feel and suffer, but for every mood and vibration in their feeling tone. We have no tails, and since the more lively among us need some form of expression, we make ourselves paintbrushes and pianos and violins..." _Hermann Hesse
  • Denali – Queen of our Pack

    C-Myste Denali RAE3,CGC (a.k.a. Wild Woman!)

  • Kenai – Our First Cardi

    Trust 'n Luck Keep an Eye Out (The Funniest Dog in the World)

  • Elbee – Our Teeny Pembroke Princess 1998-2010

    Bridgecreeks Little Bit, CGC

  • Sage – Our Perpetual Puppy!

    C-Myste Baledwr Redwood Sunrise RN

  • Quimby-Sweet Spirit

    Toreth Spirit in the Sky BN, CD, RAE, CGC

  • Photos

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A Wonderful Memory of Elbee & Kenai

For Christmas in December 1999 Moe gave me a cool pen that wrote in purple metallic ink, along with a memo tablet of dark purple sticky notes. To try it out, I took the pen and wrote “Wow!” The dogs were eagerly watching as we opened the little things in our stockings, so Elbee and Kenai were right there. Moe took the pen and hastily sketched them.

It took but a moment, but he captured them perfectly. Kenai happily dancing with her long tongue and happy smile, and Elbee, studying her intently in her quizzical little way, wearing that serious expression we would come to know so well.

From that day forward the sticky note has been in Elbee’s folder, along with all of her other important papers. It will forever be one of my most cherished possessions. Seeing this always reminds me of the days when they were both young, vibrant, and such fond friends.

Thank you Moe for chronicling such a beautiful memory of our beloved companions.

Saying Goodbye to Elbee

Yesterday afternoon saw the close of the chapter on Elbee’s time with us, a period just short of 12 years. Although we’ve been through this once before, I’d blocked out just how devastating it is to say goodbye to a beloved companion. Surely no animal ever gave more love than Elbee. She has her grip securely locked on my heart. She spent her last hours in my lap while Moe and I petted and talked to her.

Sadly, she’d had another seizure about an hour before we got there, so she was somewhat sedated on valium and was really only a shadow of her real self. In some ways that did make the decision easier. If she’d been perky and alert I would have been even more distressed – though that is hard to imagine.

Elbee had been with the Veterinary Medical Specialists in critical care for the past couple of days while we determined that her kidneys were shutting down, causing severe electrolyte imbalances which spurred repeated seizures. The VMS folks were wonderful, allowing us private time to visit. Due to her sedation, I wasn’t sure if she knew where she was, then she kissed my hand. She did.

Because she’s been so ill, her diet has been restricted. As a special treat we brought fresh cooked hamburger. She dove into the bowl in true Elbee fashion and gobbled it down.

Finishing with a bit of peanut butter, another long-time favorite.

Though she was wobbly on her feet, we let her have a little walk outside. The afternoon light was low, bringing out her beautiful coat colors.

Even as a senior dog, she kept her luxurious coat and gorgeous red head to the end.

Resting in my lap, with the two people who loved her best, she said Goodbye.

I found this photo of a rainbow over “Denali” Highway in Alaska. I like to think that it looks something like Elbee’s trip over Rainbow Bridge. She would like that it is Denali’s Highway. In her younger years Elbee was Denali’s constant playmate, raising Denali from a puppy and showing her the ropes.

Over the years Elbee has communicated with me. I often knew what she was thinking and I would catch her studying me intently seemingly to discern my thoughts. Once in awhile I would actually get a very succinct flash of words being spoken from her. She didn’t say a lot, but when she did her message was always to-the-point.

This morning, as I was deep in grief and trying to tell her how much more I wished I could have done for her I got this message, “My life was perfect. I was happy.”

Elbee, you were perfect and you made us very happy. We will always love you. Travel well and in peace. Trust in Bart to guide you.

Farewell to you sweet Elbee.

Bridgecreeks Little Bit, CGC (Elbee)

January 12, 1998 – Dec. 29, 2010

The Most Beautiful Little Pembroke in the World

The Words I didn’t want to Hear

I just came from the Veterinary Medical Specialists where Elbee spent the night last night. She’s doing very poorly and has had several grand mal seizures since Dec. 23. There are multiple issues and in the words of the specialist, ” Her prognosis is not good.”

These were the words I expected, but had hoped not to hear. It is highly likely that we will have to make the difficult decision to let her go tomorrow or Thursday. We’re expecting some additional test results back tomorrow, but they’re not likely to give us a real solution.

We know that she is in the very early stages of renal failure, but there are other complications. There is the possibility of a brain tumor. She would be 13 years old on January 12th and she’s had a good life. I would not elect to put her through the stress of  brain surgery and radiation, given the circumstances.

Elbee came to us on her first birthday as a physically weak and terribly frightened little creature. But I never gave up on her. Out of that seemingly fragile shell, an animal with an incredible depth of spirit, a will of iron and a purity of heart emerged. She has been a great gift to so many people over the years, and my constant companion.

She was home for Christmas Eve and Christmas, surveying the going’s on from her favorite perch. She had a good holiday, spending much of her time in our laps. Yesterday she went downhill and we had to rush her back to the Veterinary Hospital in the evening. A turnaround isn’t likely at this point. Please send a little message to her so she knows that many people care. It will mean a lot to her – and to me.


Elbee is doing MUCH better. She recovered completely from the seizure and has all of her motor skills intact. This is one tough little dog, as we’ve seen multiple times in the past.

We were able to bring her home yesterday evening. She was very happy to be home, sleep in her own bed and hang with the pack again. Both of her pack members she raised from puppies. Seems only fitting that they take care of her now. Her appetite is back, she is on some new meds, and her energy level is back to normal. She’s back to following me everywhere again.

The bad news is that yesterday’s ultrasound confirmed that there are some significant irregularities with her left kidney. We recently treated her for a suspected UTI, but this didn’t eradicate all of her symptoms. The specialists did some tests yesterday and we will get results today. I also have to take her in for another blood test today. We suspect that chemical issues, stemming from her kidney problems, may have been responsible for her seizure.

Mentally, I am prepared for the fact that my almost-13-year-old-dog (yes, I miscalculated yesterday – she will be 13 on January 12 if she makes it) may be going into renal failure. Emotionally…well, I’m certainly not ready to lose her.

I’ll post more updates after this afternoon’s meeting with the specialist and receipt of test results. Thanks to all of those who sent their good thoughts yesterday. It means a lot to know you’re out there. Please keep it up. My sweet little girl needs all the help she can get!

Meanwhile, Sage continues to hang with his buddy and work on a bone while Elbee occupies her favorite spot on the landing, allowing her to observe her Queendom below.

Elbee Needs your Help!

Early this morning at 2:30AM Sage’s barking awakened me. He was barking at Elbee because something about her didn’t seem right. She’d evidently had some sort of seizure. She wasn’t responsive when I first got to her and was hyperventilating badly, which was what caused Sage’s reaction. (Thanks to the Grandma Phoebe gene, he will bark at anything that seems out of place or unusual. In this case he may have saved Elbee’s life by doing so.) She seemed to come around slightly after a few minutes, but still couldn’t stand up and clearly wasn’t right.

We took her to the Veterinary Specialists Emergency facility where they gave her IV fluids, as she was very dehydrated. They’ve run a blood panel which shows slightly elevated liver and kidney values. By 7:00AM this morning Elbee had responded and was more alert, able to stand, and was sitting up and looking around.

At 8:00AM she was transferred to the Veterinary Medical Specialists where one of the specialist vets examined her. I am waiting to hear from them regarding what’s next. Elbee’s birthday is January 12. If she makes it to 2011 she will be 13 years old.

Please send all the good wishes that you can. Elbee can really use them right now!

UPDATE: 9:30AM – Just talked to the vet attending Elbee. As expected, there are a number of things that could cause this and she had some other issues prior to this episode, so some additional tests are in order. They’ll do an ultrasound to look at her organs, further examination of her urine, as she is spilling protein and glucose in her urine, and monitor blood pressure throughout the day. As of now she is alert, can stand, walk, is still a little wobbly on the one side, but is vastly improved. She seems to have come out of this episode very well. Now the issue is to figure out what caused it and where we go from here. If she continues to hold steady she can come home late this afternoon.

Please keep the good wishes coming!

Happy Birthday Moe!

Have a Great Birthday!

Elbee’s Walk to Fight Canine Cancer

Today was a great day for Elbee! Being our couch potato, and our “little dog,” (a 15-pound Pembroke), she often gets overlooked when it comes to outings that require exercise, but the K9 Walk to benefit canine cancer research was a nice chance to show off our most well-mannered dog. Given that there would be hundreds of dogs and Elbee gets along with everyone effortlessly, she was a perfect candidate!
 Here’s what the T-Shirt looked like! And Elbee got a matching bandana, which she was wearing during the walk, and still is!

 We also told some of our dog friends about the event. All three corgis in this photo are ForPaws Rescue dogs! My own, Elbee, plus Guinness, (black tri) and Scooter, (red tri). And of course, my long-time friend, Jennifer, with her sweet yellow lab, Molly! In this first picture, Elbee has just come from visiting the Pet Food Express booth. They hand fed her a selection of treats and she is still smacking her lips!

 Here’s the “nice picture,” in which all of the people and all of the dogs are smiling!

 This was the first K-9 Walk to Cure Cancer in our area. We walked through Vasona Park, which is one of the most beautiful, and largest, parks in our area. I’ve run here many times and it was a beautiful morning.

 I liked this special moment between Dave and Scooter. Scooter has just found his new furever home, but Dave and his wife, Linda have been taking Scooter out for regular exercise while he’s been in foster care. It has been a great help to the foster person and Scooter has definitely bonded with Dave and Linda. But then, Scooter will bond for a belly rub – a very cheap date. He’s definitely one of the sweetest corgis we’ve had in rescue. Next weekend he meets his new people!

 Jennifer, modeling her “Woof” hat. These hats were giveaways at one of the vendor booths! There were tons of great free items for dogs and people who love them!

 Virtually everyone there was connected to a dog…or two. This little boy was more interested in the souvenier balloons, while his dog watched.

 I told you there were tons of give-aways! We ended up with three bandanas, including the one Elbee is wearing, plus three tennis balls, which made Sage really happy, and lots more!

Dave and Linda brought friends too. This team of six people was the third highest fund raising team! Great job!

 When we got home, someone was very curious as to why Elbee and I smelled like a gazillion other dogs!

Sage knew we had some cool stuff in that big Home Depot beach bag! And he also knew that some of it just had to be for him!

 Now we’re talkin’…hand over that tennis ball – my favorite!


 Someone else was tuckered out – but still fashionable in her pretty bandana.

Elbee, you’re the BEST little dog ever! Even if I did have to carry The Princess for part of the walk! Elbee will be 12 years old in January. She has definitely reached the point where she’d rather survey her subjects than scramble about among them!