Puppy Love…or not?

Good morning people! Welcome to Wednesday! It’s gonna be yet another hot one so be prepared!

The Furry Support staff appears to be quite grumpy this morning! Everyone is voicing opinions on something I’m not privvy to at the moment. The only one not letting his voice be heard is my grandpuppy. He’s just chillin’ in Justin’s room wondering what all the fuss is about. I will so miss that dog when he joins Justin in Ohio. Oh, i will miss Justin too, but that dog is the last of my Aussie line and his resemblance to his grandad JasperJax in looks and most of all personality is uncanny. The first photo is Jasper, the other is Bailey.

I want to wish a very Happy Birthday to my road bestie, Suzan! I miss being on the road with her so much! One of the only people I know that I could spend five weeks in a hotel room with and not want to kill! Lolol! Love you much my lady!

I want to share with you all a photo taken by my go-to photographer and friend Deb Noll. This is the mare Misty Mills, that surprised everyone by producing a filly a few weeks after it was thought she had rejected her colt. Turns out the colt wasn’t hers at all. So, this beautiful filly now has a forever home as does the mystery colt. The filly is part of the Feather Fund group directed by another friend Lois Szymanski, which helps young people to purchase a pony at auction. Can’t wait to see this little girl grow!

So, today I want to touch on a subject that might tick a few people off, but it’s something that literally drives me nuts! The act of humans transferring human like qualities and emotions to animals is simply inaccurate, and I believe arrogant on the part of humans. Animals are so much smarter than we are. Humans have lost their ability to use all their senses together. Our sense of smell and hearing is nothing compared to what it was in the early days of man. So now we rely on other animals, particularly dogs to do those things for us. The domesticated animal I believe was man’s saving grace. But back then these animals were not pets! They were working animals! They were not coddled, petted, or even fed most of the time. They got the scraps. This continued into the early 20th century and even a little longer. Horses were generally used for farming or as mounts for the military. Pets were considered a luxury of the well-to-do. Dogs were used for hunting, herding, and protection, while cats generally lived in the barn to keep the mice out of the grain storage. Again, only the very wealthy could afford to keep animals as pets. When taxation reared its ugly head, all animals on a farm, that had a tail, were taxed. This began the idea of tail docking of dogs as the norm. Yes it also was a safety issue for dogs herding large animals, but the tax was the main reason. In those days, everything that lived on the farm had a purpose. An extra horse used for merely riding would have been considered a hay burner. The point is the relationship between man and these animals that were domesticated was born out of necessity not loneliness or love.

Does Jeb love me? Hmmmmm, the pet lover in me would like to think so. But really, it’s probably more akin to a pack leader kind of thing. Do I love him….yes I do! And he misses me when I am gone for the first few hours and then goes on with his life. When I come home he is happy to see me, he tells me everything that happened while I was gone, then brings me all of his babies and settles on my feet. Does he know he is my heart? He probably has more of an idea that in the hierarchy here, he is number 2, which is evident in How the other dogs here give him a wide berth. He rules with an iron fist! The relationship between my son and Bailey is different. That is pure devotion! That dog worships that boy.

Do animals mourn? Yes they do! Domestic animals appear to feel it more deeply though and for longer period. For example, when my first Corgi, Peedee died, Jeb sat it the back yard for a week waiting for him to return. In the wild, however, animals don’t have the luxury of extended mourning periods. Elephants have been known to mourn a lost member of the herd, but they move on quickly. Last month, with the loss of Butterfly Kisses, the heart wrenching story of Riptide trying to get her up, had everyone misty eyed. Is he still mourning her, probably not. He has a job to do, he doesn’t have the luxury of mourning her, even though she was his lead mare. He has foals and mares to protect. He has mares to breed to ensure his line continues. He is a stallion, he is wild, and he doesn’t have time to mourn. The job of lead mare will fall to the next mare in his band, probably Starry Night, and life will go on.. Hate to say it, but the beautiful Butterfly Kisses is probably already forgotten. But I have seen several comments about how he misses her so much and he is in mourning. Ummmm no….as much as many would like to believe it’s so…its not. We as humans can and will mourn her loss, just as we did with Surfer Dude, Courtneys Boy, and the many that have passed through the years. These animals don’t dwell on things as we tend to do. It is not in their genetic make up.

One thing I have discovered is that my dogs do have a sense of fairness. If I give one a treat, I should be ready to give them all one. If I love on one, yes it is expected I will love on them all.

Another thing, I wanna touch on is house training your dog. So many times i have seen people reprimand a puppy by smacking it or rubbing its nose in its own urine. The problem is, that puppy has no idea that it came from him. You can’t beat it out of him…(heaven forbid you tried that with a human baby). The best thing is diligence about letting him out regularly and I’m sorry but immediately after he eats or drinks is not the time. Also, putting down paper or puppy pads isn’t the answer either. All you are doing with that is teaching him to pee on paper, then you get upset when he leaves a deposit on your newspaper left on the floor. I remember when Bailey was around a year old. He had come to live with me around the fall of that year. He was house broken but the first thing he did when I put up the Christmas tree was lift his leg on it. Thankfully it wasn’t decorated yet and I hadn’t put down my beautiful candle wicked tree skirt yet. But I couldn’t get angry with him because I saw it from his point of view.”Granny put a tree in the house!It must be for me! I must mark it!” I had brought him his own personal bathroom into the house….how convenient for him! Your dog doesn’t have the same consideration for material things that you have, and most definitely your cat doesn’t! He doesn’t care if you buy him an expensive collar, he gets excited because he feels your excitement. He doesnt care that you just spent a small fortune getting him groomed and all pretty….if he encounters something that smells bad, he is gonna roll in it. He has no concept of value, or appearance, or keeping up with the Jones. He is a dog, he is gonna do dog things.

This brings me to my last story, this one is about Jeb and the Fox poo. A few years back my bestie and I took a road trip to Mathews, Virginia. Jeb was along for the ride. It was January and it was cold as heck! There was ice and snow on the ground and the air was bitter. As we were about to leave we decided we should let Jeb run a bit and take care of business in the field adjacent to where we were visiting. So he is out there, running around like a little kid having a blast, when all of a sudden he dives to the ground and starts rolling. Curious as to what has caused this reaction, Susan and I walk to where he is and discover this fascinating scent he has found is fox poo! Now, I don’t know if you know this, but foxes have a musk gland that excrete musk whenever he poops. Somehow it is extremely attractive to other foxes and well I guess Jeb too! Susan and i didn’t find it so attractive once we got him in the car and to return home. Both of us had tears in our eyes. Once the heat from the car hit that odor it permeated throughout the car. I’m quite sure there was a green funk cloud! We rode home on this cold January day with the windows down just to keep from puking. Jeb didn’t care, he was happy in his stench! It took close to two weeks to get that smell out of his coat! And again, Jeb had no clue how offensive he was, all he knew is that he got to run around and roll in something delightful, in his opinion. Lol!

Well, I think i have said enough… This was an extended post, no doubt.

Everyone have a great rest of your day! Extra scritches to your furry loves!

I love you all most ardently!

Play nice y’all…

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Love of Chincoteague/Love Chairs

Good morning people! Yep it’s Tuesday! I am so sorry….It looks as though it is going to be another hot one today. Please be careful in this extreme heat. If you have to be outside in it, take breaks, stay hydrated, and don’t push yourself too hard. Please also keep your pets in mind. Make sure they have plenty of shade and water if they have to be outdoors.

The Furry Support staff has been fed and are now partaking in the ritual after breakfast nap. I can hear Beagle puppy (I call him Rut Roh) snoring like a human. My plan is to let them all out once it is light enough so they can at least have some time outside today. My grandpuppy Bailey’s world is about to change. His daddy Justin, is heading to Ohio soon to learn the art of a farrier. I am so excited for him! Since he is flying and I am not about to put a 9 year old dog on a plane that has never been on one, it has been decided that once my car is fixed, I will drive him to Ohio myself. I have another option as well, but that will be if I can’t get him there. So, I guess my world is gonna change a thing it as well. I will have an empty nest for the first time since shortly after Jeff passed away almost six years ago. That’s when my decisions will be made. Anyhow, stay tuned, same Corgi time, same Corgi channel…lol

Hope this photo of Jeb enjoying a doggie bowl at Mr. Whippy’s might help you stay cool!

Today I am off work, so it is the day I will begin the task of cleaning my art area, in the hopes it will spark that creativity bug. It will be a monumental task, so if you don’t hear from me tomorrow, send in the troops!

I’m going to use today’s post for a bit of advertisement. Many of you know ow about my Love Chair design that includes Chincoteague ponies in each of the four chairs. The design has really been a hit and I must take a moment to thank Sue Johnson at Blue Crab Treasures on Chincoteague island for believing in me. She and I are both surprised and pleased with the reception of this. The design is available at this time in t-shirts, long sleeve and short, in a variety of colors, kids sizes are also available. Tanks tops are available in two colors! There are zippered and pullover hoodies, along with pullover sweatshirts. Sue has prints, post cards, koozies, bibs, and onesies as well. New items are being ordered with the design too! Can’t wait to see those. There will be hats with the Ridtide/heart chair embroidered on them. So, we have a lot going on.

Above is just a small sampling of what is available. Call Sue at Blue Crab Treasures in Chincoteague, Virginia, for sizes and color availability. Special requests may be preordered with the next shipment, so give her a call! The the number is (757)336-5507 or visit the Blue Crab Treasures Facebook page.

I would lastly like to mention a contest we are holding at the moment. If you get your shirts and you are on the island, take a minute to have your picture taken on the Love Chairs right across the street from Sue’s shop at Robert Reed Park. Post the photo on the Blue Crab Treasures Facebook page. Judges will choose the top four photos from those submitted. Those top four will be given the opportunity to pick which ponies appear in the chairs next year. And I personally will throw in a t-shirt for the four winning submissions. So let the games begin….the judging will start after fall roundup in October!

That is all for today folks! I am so excited about the events that are happening now. This has been a whirlwind and surreal experience for me. Thanks to all of those who have stood by me and had faith in me when I didn’t trust myself. My bestie, Susan Jones has been my rock and biggest supporter. My Cracker Barrel road bestie, Suzan Sheldon, has listened to my rantings many an early morning when we were stuck in a hotel room for weeks at a time. And again, Sue Johnson, who has stuck by me since that first December day when I walked into her shop.My daughter, Kayla Nassef who used to joke about all my paintings being in the garden tube in my bathroom. My dear friend, Deb Ober, who has been my sounding board, my pony conformation advisor, and sister from another mister. Lastly, there is one person that I need to thank especially, my mom, Emma Lupton, for a phone conversation while I was in Alabama, encouraging me to follow my heart and not wait for things to come to me. That evidently was my turning point…

You all have a wonderful day! Please stay cool and hydrated…are you listening Deb Ober?

Lots of fresh water and scratches for the furry loves. Be aware of their feet and be sure those paw pads aren’t being burned on concrete or asphalt. If they seem to be overheated, a damp tepid cloth to the belly will help cool them down…no ice!

My favorite quote from Pony Penning….”you’re famous!” My response… “well at least I didn’t have to wait until I was dead first!”

I love you all most ardently!

And even when this heat has your nerves frayed to the max….

Play nice y’all….

PETA rears it’s ugly head…

Good morning all you animal loving worker bees!

It is Hump Day!! Hump day is here!!🐪

The furry support staff has been fed and all are settling down for an after breakfast nap. Even the ever awake and on patrol Minxy is snoring! I think this weather is making for very lazy pups!☔☁⚡

So today I’m not gonna play around with any other subjects, only one that is near and dear to my heart, for it involves my happy place. As if losing this beautiful mare wasn’t enough, and the recent rantings of a psycho wasn’t enough, now we have this.

Butterfly Kisses and her beautiful colt Trigger

Photo credit Buffy Marcie Kramer

The recent tragedy at the carnival grounds in Chincoteague Va. which involved the freak accident that resulted in the death of a beloved Chincoteague pony mare named Butterfly Kisses has received not just national attention, but attention from one of the most vile organizations claiming to be dedicated animal welfare that exists. Yes that organization is PETA. While I was showing dogs in the late 80s to the late 90s there were numerous occasions where members of PETA released dogs from crates at shows, allowing them to run out onto major highways and be killed.

PETA recently sent a letter to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Dept. asking them to halt the annual pony swim and a whole other range of requests, based on false info. The fire department’s response is below.

The Official Response to PETA:

We are aware of the untruths that PETA has stated in their latest attempt to fool the general public about our Pony Penning events. In their last letter to us which by the way was sent to me through a newspaper reporter, it wasn‘t emailed to me or mailed to me (unless it’s at the post office as I write this), they claim that one of our mares, Butterfly Kisses, was “chased into” the pen. Nothing could be further from the truth. She was already in the pen and had been there for over 24hrs. We have eye witnesses to prove otherwise. This is the same pen that she has been in numerous of times without incident. They also claim that we “force” them to swim. I have photos to prove that the ponies swim all the time on their own. They also claim that while in the care of the fire Company during round ups that the ponies aren’t provided shade. Again, false and we have photos to prove that we provide shade when necessary. They also claim that while during round ups that no fresh water or food is provided to them. Again, false. There are at least a dozen water troughs at the carnival ground pens and hay is placed quite generously throughout the pen. Again, we have photos to prove that. While these ponies are out in the wild, they also have access to fresh water troughs in case the freshwater ponds are dry in the summer or frozen in the winter. During the winter, extra feed is provided to them. Twice a year, there are two complete vet checks. At these times the ponies get de-wormed, vaccinated for eastern and western west Nile disease, hooves checked, teeth checked and much more. All of the ponies that live out in the wild on the Virginia side of Assateague are microchipped with meticulously kept records of each one. When one is reported to be injured, someone from the pony committee is on the scene within usually a half hour. If the pony needs more care then the pony is brought over by trailer and seen by our vets. Same if a pony is sick. If the pony cannot recover then the pony is humanely euthanized and given a proper burial, not just tossed out on the marsh. At auction, the vet decides which ones can leave their mares at which time. If they are too young, then they go back with their mares until the fall. When each foal leaves our care and goes with their new families, a coggins test is done as well. Once again, while these ponies mean a great deal to the Fire Company, the town and the county financially, we are also human beings who see these gorgeous animals as the beautiful creatures they are and we handle them with the care and respect they deserve. If we did not do this event, these animals would end up over populating, eat themselves out of house and home, suffer diseases and injuries without any help at all. These are the facts about how we do what we do.

Now, I’m just going to throw out some facts about PETA so everyone can be as educated as PETA thinks to
hey are about us. Since 1998 PETA has killed more than 36,000 animals. 95.9% of animals under PETAS care have been killed in one year! Yes, one year! PETA has handed out literature to children with a graphic comic stating that “your mommy kills animals“ while also funding arsonist and terrorist groups. Their own president, Ingrid Newkirk, stated “ it would be lovely if we stopped this whole notion of pets altogether”. Would really love to know if she has any pets herself. In October 2014, members of PETA drove their van to the small town of Parksley, VA right here on the eastern shore and stole a pet dog off the porch of a family by coaxing the dog off the porch with treats. Within hours, the dog was killed. PETA broke two laws that day, larceny and euthanizing an animal before the 5 hold period that is the law for kill-shelters. The family ultimately sued PETA and PETA settled the case with the family for $49,000 dollars. In 2014, PETA killed 2,324 animals of the 2,626 it had acquired. It had a 1% adoption rate. A former PETA field worker testified that workers were mislead in the field, they were told to lie as much as possible to gain access to an animal under the ruse that the animal would be sent out for immediate adoption but instead were immediatelay taken to a kill room. One worker quit on the spot when witnessing healthy, vibrant animals in the kill room. Another former field worker testified the PETAS objective was to get as many animals as possible and the vast marjority was killed. She then testified that she was told to lie by her immediate supervisors to gain access to any animals and then told the same by President Ingrid Newkirk.

So, my friends, there you have it. All of the information I have just provided can be found at huffpost.com/killing animalsPetasopensecret and petakillsanimals.com

I truly believe that what The Chincoteague Vol Fire Co does is good, fair and caring. I have personally been involved going on 29 years. There are many others that have been involved longer than I have and many younger ones coming up through the ranks. Until you have been here, seen it with your own eyes then we ask that you reserve your judgement until you do. I have done my homework and ask that PETA does theirs.

Thank you,
Denise P. Bowden
Public Relations Officer
CVFC
Denise’s response is eloquent and fact filled. Please if you agree with her, email PETA and ask them to stop this relentless onslaught of allegations.

Scritches and extra biscuits for the furry ones! 🐕🐎🐈🐾 Hug them extra tight!

Love your faces!💖

Play nice y’all…

Pony Penning Wrap Up

Wow! What a week it was! Highs, lows, very lows, and everything in between. No doubt the energy during Pony Penning is a natural high that keeps one going. And unless you actually are there, there is no way to describe it accurately.

First off let me apologize for my absence. I was so busy preparing for the events of last week that I really couldn’t wrap my head around posting for this blog. Lots of work went into the week, art wise, and I have to say I am thrilled with the results!

I only took one member of the furry support staff with me. Jeb is the easiest to travel with and Chincoteague is his happy place as well. Everyone else stayed here and from what I was told Sassy was none too happy about being left behind. She tends to be very vocal and I didn’t want her disturbing the other guests at the hotel. Anyhow, they all survived my absence, no matter what they might tell someone else. Fortunately, and surprisingly enough I didn’t come home to yet another four legged addition to our current pack of 6. I believe I would have blown a gasket, stolen Kayla’s key and returned to where I had just left. So, there is something there for which to be thankful!

Reworked Love of Chincoteague 3

Now the good news!!! My design, the Love Chairs with the ponies in them was a huge success. I cannot even tell you how over the moon I am with this! People were in Blue Crab Treasures buying several shirts at a time, plus prints, post cards, and koozies. Sue, nor I had no idea just how big this would be and we both are appreciative to those who have supported our efforts. It was a completely surreal week made more so by a woman in Sue’s shop who wanted her picture taken with me, she said “because you are famous!” I have to say that truly messed with my head. Another good note was the auctioning of my original sketch called “Treasures of Chincoteague.” It was sold at $450.00. I thought I was going to pass out from holding my breath! I was just so happy it sold for more than the price of the framing. I never dreamed it would sell so high! A huge thanks to the person that bought it. I know her and have dealt with her in the past and am so happy she got it, and honored that she would pay that much for it!

Not all of the week was business related. We were able to attend a couple of the Chincoteague Legacy group functions. I was able to make new friends while attending the pony parade. Colleen Murdock is a riot and I am so glad I finally had the chance to meet her. I am also glad to have met Andrew Kozak at the parade. He has commissioned me to do a project that is out of my normal scope, but I am excited to be doing it!

Monday night was the CLG Meet and Greet where I was able to reconnect with old friends and finally meet friends from Facebook. I explained to someone last week that among this amazing group of people, I tend to become a social butterfly, which I am not normally. The ease that I experience among these people is something I don’t generally feel. The CLG bonfire with the McClure sisters, Jody, Meme, Kelly, and Rita, is such a treat and free entertainment at best! I love these ladies to the moon and back, and apparently will be spending my December vacation with them at Grayson Highland state park. At least, that’s what Jody told me I am doing. Hahahaha!!! Love her!

Now I have a bit of a rant….it might tick some folks off, it might even cause them to unfriend me, but I have to comment on this.

Last week on the day of the auction, a tragedy occurred, when a beloved mare, Butterfly Kisses, slipped on some hay and hit the fence at the fairgrounds and she died almost instantly. The events leading up to this freak accident are still quite fuzzy to me. Some say she was being chased by her stallion Riptide, others say she was trying to get to her colt. So, in all honesty, I don’t know what happened. All I know that it was a sad moment in an otherwise, wonderful day, and my heart goes out to her buyback owner. This seems to have set off a firestorm of nastiness, allegations, pot stirring, and name calling that is down right childish and absolutely unnecessary. All it took was one person to unleash the beast!

I think we can all agree that when you have a large group of people there will be questions and some disagreement and petty squabbles, especially when that large group is predominantly women…lol. Yes I am one of them and not ashamed to admit it! And I am not saying that I have agreed with everything that has been done, nor am I saying that I am not happy with the group. I have enjoyed the camaraderie of the group in question. I love many of them and have close connections to many of them. So, this lashing that was made on a public business page on Facebook had me just a bit more than miffed! The accusations made were not based on fact. The woman had no clue about much of the crap she was spewing. Then to make it all more laughable, she expected an apology from the very group she had just ripped to shreds publicly. Are you freaking serious? What makes a person so unhappy that she feels the need to make others as miserable as she seems to be?

Rant over, it’s making my head hurt.

Folks, I must leave you now. Lots to do today! I love you all most ardently! I will be sharing a recipe for a nice and cool treat for your furry ones later.

Love and extra scritches for your furry loves. Remember they love you ,even if you can’t find any redeeming qualities in yourself. By the way, throw them an extra biscuit! And if you are in Chincoteague get those biscuits from Howl Naturale! Jeb loves them!!!

Take care of yourselves while you suffer through your Tuesday, aka Wednesday’s ugly step sister. Be aware of those around you and try to make a stranger smile today, it won’t cost a thing and you will get something out of it as well!

Play nice ya’ll…