A Tribute to Barney, by Andrea Hartley

Barney 3

Barney, age 19

My dog Barney lived to age 20, after being diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease at the age of 14, and given 6 months to live.  The doctors were amazed.  When I had brought him in to see the vet, his stomach was very swollen.  When I returned with him a few months later, the doctor said his stomach had returned to normal.  What had I done?  I had stopped feeding him dog food and started feeding him the way I fed my family, with good wholesome food.  I do not buy any processed foods.  I do not buy any foods with artificial colors, flavors, preservatives  or MSG products in it.  I serve only natural, organic when possible, cooked from scratch food, and now, this was what Barney was eating too.  He had  turkey, beef, organic chicken, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, brown rice, green beans, peas, apples, and yogurt (plain with no additives).  I also gave him vitamins, herbs, and some homeopathic remedies.

Barney, age 19

Barney, age 19

I had other pets who lived to ripe old ages too.  Tabby, 18; Jessie, 19; Tiger,20 (all cats) and Duke, a shepherd, Doberman mix, 16.  If you would like recipes that I  feed my dogs, and to learn of other things that I have done which I believe have helped my pets to “live long and prosper,”  I will email you a full report for $10.00.

 

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The Miracle Bird, by Gary Frisch

010In February of 2009, I got my kids a pet parakeet, which we named Twitter. This was a special bird, and warmed to my family right away.  He was blue, white and grey, very distinctive looking.  His wings had been clipped so he could flap around but couldn’t sustain prolonged flight.  We gave Twitter a lot of freedom to explore our apartment, knowing he’d return to the comfort of his cage soon enough.

On Dec. 27 that year, Twitter escaped from our third floor apartment when my 10-year-old son left the sliding door to our deck open for a few minute.  A family search of the apartment complex yielded nothing.

I posted a “missing bird” sign in the clubhouse, offering a $50 reward, and there was a confirmed sighting of Twitter a couple of days later.  Based on that tip, I spent the next three weeks searching the complex for the elusive blue bird. Despite a hard winter and heavy snowfall, I continued to search.  I even perched his cage with food and treats on top of a bush near where he’d been last seen.

003Given the harsh conditions, I finally came to the conclusion that we’d never see Twitter again. My son, missing the bird and feeling guilty, said he hoped Twitter found someplace good to live. I smiled and lied that I was sure he did.  We moved on and bought another parakeet, a more traditional green and yellow one which was never as sociable as Twitter.

Flash forward to June 29, more than six months later.  Walking to the apartment complex pool, I saw a little Asian girl carrying a birdcage.  I knew this girl because she rode my son’s bus to school, and asked if I could see her bird. I was just being friendly.  Imagine my shock when I saw a blue, white and grey parakeet!  I asked where she got the bird, and she said it flew onto her second floor deck in December.  I said, “This is my bird.”

We walked to her apartment, which was on the other end of the same building I lived in, where I spoke with the girl’s mother.  Her younger brother said if it was my bird, they should return it to me.  I offered them a reward.  The girl asked me a list of questions to confirm that I was, in fact, the rightful owner. Questions like, “Does he talk?” (No)  “Does he let you pet him?” (Yes).  Finally, the kids and their mom walked back to my apartment, where I showed them a photo of Twitter with my daughter hanging on the wall, and introduced them to our replacement bird.  Any doubt was eliminated.

013I’d silently been planning to give them a $20 reward, but the little girl was a shrewd negotiator.  She told me just about every dollar she’d received for her birthday was spent on supplies for the bird.  I almost felt like she was shaking me down.  Eventually, she accepted a $30 reward (ransom?), and let me borrow the cage until I could put the two birds together in a single cage.

A short while later, I called my son at his mom’s house to tell him I had found Twitter.  There was a long silence, then bawling.  He was so happy, and I suspect, relieved and a little vindicated.

I felt like I saw something come back from the dead.  This bird which I had written off in mid-January had been living happily in our building for the previous 6 months, unbeknownst to us.  I’ve since started calling Twitter “Miracle Bird.”

Blind Dog Gives Owner Insight

LambchopMany years ago,  I visited a shelter to find a dog.  As I went from cage-to-cage, I saw many friendly ones and some shy ones, but the one that stood out most to me was a little poodle mix who was elderly and blind.  I felt that no one would want him, so he was the one for me.  The shelter, very kindly described me as a “saint” and decided that they should waive the adoption fee.  They were nice.  Looking back, it is interesting that they used the word “saint’ but they should have used it to describe the dog because he taught me many life lessons. That tiny, old dog had a spirit and a will larger than life.   I decided to call him “Lamb Chop” after Shari Lewis’s puppet.     “Undaunted” would be a great word to describe his spirit.  Though he couldn’t see and was up in years, he never let that stop him.  I really should have called him “Mr. Magoo” because, like the cartoon character, his lack of sight had him involved in a ton of near misses and dilemmas.   Like the time he managed to find a hole in the fence and wandered out into the street .  Just about the time he hit the middle of the road a pickup truck was headed right for him.  My son swooped in and snatched him up.   Even after we thought we had the fence fixed, he still got out once and wound up at the dog pound.  I had to bail him out.  Occasionally, he would fall off the front porch and once, he almost got clobbered by a large can when I was fixing dinner, when it fell off the counter and landed right next to him.  The worst calamity he got himself into, however happened after a generous rainfall.  My son and I were out in the yard and I couldn’t find him anywhere.  We searched until I spied the top of his head slightly protruding from a batch of quick sand like sand at the side of my house.  I was horrified.  I called for my son to bring the hose and I pulled him slowly out of the muck and mire and my son washed him off.  Thankfully, he was ok. He never seemed ruffled by his mishaps.  He just got right back up and did what he wanted to do.    We actually had him a few years, though the vet at the shelter didn’t  think he would last more than a few months.  Right up until the end, he lived his life and just kept going.

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You may also be interested in these other animal stories:
Daisy’s Christmas Dinner
Dog Plans Takeover

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Daisy’s Christmas Dinner

 

by Sonny

Daisy

This was our beagle, Daisy,  My daughter gave her to us one Christmas. When Daisy was a pup, she had the sign of the cross on her back. She was a very smart dog .” How smart?” you ask.  She learned how to open the fridge and managed to remove a whole ham, which she happily ate rather quickly.  During the holidays she pulled the table cloth off the table and ate all the Christmas cookies . Never underestimate how smart animals are!

 

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Animal Stories

A Tribute to Barney

by Andrea Hartley

Barney 3

My dog Barney lived to age 20, after being diagnosed with Cushion’s Disease at the age of 14, and given 6 months to live.  The doctors were amazed.  When I had brought him in to see the vet, his stomach was very swollen.  When I returned with him a few months later, the doctor said his stomach had returned to normal.  What had I done?  I had stopped feeding him dog food and started feeding him the way I fed my family, with good wholesome food.  I do not buy any processed foods.  I do not buy any foods with artificial colors, flavors, preservatives  or MSG products in it.  I serve only natural, organic when possible, cooked from scratch food, and now, this was what Barney was eating too.  He had  turkey, beef, organic chicken, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, brown rice, green beans, peas, apples, and yogurt (plain with no additives).  I also gave him vitamins, herbs, and some homeopathic remedies. [Read more]

 

The Miracle Bird

by Gary Frisch

003

In February of 2009, I got my kids a pet parakeet, which we named Twitter. This was a special bird, and warmed to my family right away.  He was blue, white and grey, very distinctive looking.  His wings had been clipped so he could flap around but couldn’t sustain prolonged flight.  We gave Twitter a lot of freedom to explore our apartment, knowing he’d return to the comfort of his cage soon enough.

On Dec. 27 that year, Twitter escaped from our third floor apartment when my 10-year-old son left the sliding door to our deck open for a few minute.  A family search of the apartment complex yielded nothing. [Read more about Twitter]

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Blind Dog Gives Owner Insight

LambchopMany years ago,  I visited a shelter to find a dog.  As I went from cage-to-cage, I saw many friendly ones and some shy ones, but the one that stood out most to me was a little poodle mix who was elderly and blind.  I felt that no one would want him, so he was the one for me.  The shelter, very kindly described me as a “saint” and decided that they should waive the adoption fee.  They were nice.  Looking back, it is interesting that they used the word “saint’ but they should have used it to describe the dog because he taught me many life lessons. That tiny, old dog had a spirit and a will larger than life.   I decided to call him “Lamb Chop” after Shari Lewis’s puppet.     “Undaunted” would be a great word to describe his spirit.  Though he couldn’t see and was up in years, he never let that stop him.  I really should have called him “Mr. Magoo” because, like the cartoon character, his lack of sight had him involved in a ton of near misses and dilemmas. [Read about Lamb Chop dilemmas]

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[Read more…]

Dog Plans Takeover

by Andrea Hartley

Duke

Duke

Dogs are capable of thinking and planning and no one will ever convince me differently.  I witnessed my dog Duke, a Shepherd-Doberman mix actually plot a takeover.  Well, ok, it wasn’t a business takeover, but it was a chew toy takeover.

At the time, he was about 6 years old and my other dog,  Minute,  a Chihuahua mix was about 9 months old.  Minute was happily playing with a chew toy in my upstairs bedroom.  Duke had already devoured his.  I saw him eyeing Minute and his chew toy and suddenly, it was like a light bulb flashed in his eyes.  His head bolted up and I swear, he was smiling.   He ran downstairs and jumped up on the couch by a window and started barking.  Naturally, Minute dropped his chew toy and ran downstairs to see what all the commotion was about.  No sooner than Minute reached the bottom step, Duke promptly jumped from the coach and bolted upstairs, where he victoriously snatched up the abandoned

Minute says "Don't mess with my chew toy!"

Minute says “Don’t mess with my chew toy!”

chew toy lying on the floor.

Minute paused, then ran upstairs only to discover his toy was now in the large jaws of his brother!  I think that Duke was really proud of himself; and to this day, even though our beloved Duke has passed at the age of 16, Minute will still growl if anyone comes near him with his chew toy!

Duke and Minute relaxing after a hard day's play, but Minute's not really trusting Duke anymore!

Duke and Minute relaxing after a hard day’s play, but Minute’s not really trusting Duke anymore!

 

 

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