A Delightful Afternoon at Hundenruhe Haven- Senior Dog Sanctuary


What an absolute treat to spend time at Hundenruhe Haven yesterday afternoon.  A sanctuary for little senior doggie’s.  See more photos on Facebook of more of the beloved, sweet little ones of Hundenruhe.

This quaint sanctuary resides on the outskirts of a Kiel which is about six miles from where I live.  Jodee and her husband, Dan, have been taking care of senior dogs for most of their married life, which I believe has been for about 23-years now if I remember correctly. I visited the brood of adorable pups a few years ago and I was delighted I could make a return visit with my life at a slower pace these days.

Some of the same faces greeted me enthusiastically, while some faces are new, and some are now laid to rest having had the beautiful opportunity to live out their last days, months or years at what I would call heaven on earth.

After the official greeting of sniff’s, wags, and licks, Jodee, led the pack and I through the doggie room out into the backyard. It is quite the site to see all those little legs and paws scampering underfoot! You just can’t help but smile.

As Jodee settled onto the swing, I sat in the lawn chair across from her. One by one some of the dogs had to take turns sitting on Jodee’s lap, or hanging out next to her on the swing.

Somewhat  like a senior nursing home for people, after greeting their visitor, they all settled into their spots to take in the summer breeze, warm sun, and catch a few z’s.

Eddie, the 4-lb. petite Chihuahua sat on my lap for quite sometime. So tiny, I felt like I was holding a small bunny.

Not all of the brood joined us as they preferred to be in their favorite spots inside. For most of the time I was there I enjoyed the company of Sargent Harvey (the biggest of the brood there as he is a puggle), Teddy, Eddie, Kenzie, Barry, Bella Grace, Baci, Roo, Barry and Grammy D (the D stands for Delores).  And oh yes, of course, Jodee, their queen of care taking and love extraordinaire.

Each pup with endearing qualities, I felt myself wanting to take them all home.  Roo, the only young one of the clan at two years old, captured me with his happy-go-lucky look on life, which Jodee loves as her reminder when life gets stressful. His head indents on one side due to being kicked which likely caused brain damage. But don’t tell him that, as he is the happiest little guy who takes joy in everything and every moment.   The rest of the crew “puts up with” his antics of not realizing that sometimes he is laying right on top of another or has his quirky, silly moments.

Teddy was especially endearing. Not one tooth left in his little mouth causes his tongue to have a mind of its own.  He could also snore up quite the storm and I couldn’t help but chuckle a few times.  It reminded me of my days volunteering with Frankie at an alzheimer’s facilty.  Company or not, if it was time for a nap, it was time for a nap!

teddy two

As we settled into great conversation and sipped on ice cold lemonade, the afternoon slipped away.  Grammy D made a trip or two around the perimeter of the property as Jodee and I talked. She reminded me of how my Grandpa Ramaker would make his check around the mobile home he shared with my grandma in Florida many years ago. I asked him one time what he did when he went outside each evening.

“I check the chickens” he told me with a grin.  From that point on when we’d visit, and he would head out before settling in for the night I’d have to ask him if he was checking the chickens.  Mind you, there never really were any chickens.  But I would come to understand it was his time to be alone, as well as make sure all was well on their little piece of property.

As granny D “checked the chickens,” Kennedy and Eddie snuggled together, Teddy snoozed on the swing, Bella Grace cuddled on Jodee’s lap, and the others doing what made them happy, I couldn’t help but feel myself relax into realizing once again that this is what life is all about. Ahhhh, life is good.

Silly Songs We Sing to Our Pets

joie with flowers 785IMPORTANT:  If you subscribe to my blog via Google Reader, Google is shutting it down as of July 1.  Here is how you can subscribe via another reader.

Just about everyday, at least once, I have to sing a silly little song for Joie.  It first began with a new nickname I came up for her which is Skoodles (pronounced like doodle).  So I pick her up and as I sing, in between I have to smooch the side of her face.

Scoodle-li doddle- li-do, I love you!

Scoodle-li doodle-li-do, I love you!

Scoodle-li, schoodle-li, schoodle-li, schoodle-li

Scoodle-li, doodle-li-do, I love you!

Maybe someday I’ll get the courage to record and share with you via audio. But for now you’ll just have to use your imagination!

Special Announcement: Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog Children’s Book Series Now on Kindle

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IMPORTANT:  If you subscribe to my blog via Google Reader, Google is shutting it down as of July 1.  Here is how you can subscribe via another reader.

I’m so excited to share with you this special announcement that my award-winning non-fiction, inspirational children’s books about the life of Frankie, and her volunteer therapy dog work at Libby’s House, a Alzheimer’s facility, are now available on Kindle! During Frankie’s lifetime she inspired thousands of children to be positive and make a difference no matter what their challenges in life.  She continues to inspire generations today and generations to come.

Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog

A true, inspirational story about a dachshund whose life started out just like any other dog walking on all four paws until a spinal injury leaves her paralyzed. Frankie is custom-fitted for a wheelchair and learns to keep on rolling. Her zest for life will have you cheering and she will give you hope that all things are possible. Frankie will leave an everlasting and loving paw print on your heart. A book for all ages to teach overcoming challenges and also compassion for the physically challenged.  See reviews here or order your Kindle copy today here!

Awarded: National Best Book 2008 from USA Book News, Merial Human-Animal Bond Award from Dog Writer’s of American Association, Editor’s Choice award from Allbooks Review, and Indie Excellence Awards Finalist

Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby’s House

Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog keeps rolling along in her doggie wheelchair. This paralyzed dachshund’s unabashed healing, exuberant spirit, and spunky personality is a blessed gift to everyone she befriends. In this true, inspirational story, Frankie tells how she became a registered therapy dog and shares her visits to Libby’s House, a senior facility where many residents have Alzheimer’s or dementia. Frankie teaches us that patience, listening, and understanding opens our hearts to what matters most—love. See reviews here or order your Kindle copy today here!

Awarded: Indie Excellence Award, Midwest Book Award finalist

Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog Inducted into the Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame as Companion Dog

***A portion of all proceeds from Barbara’s books, paperback or electronic go to the Frankie Wheelchair Fund which helps dogs with mobility challenges who need a wheelchair.***