I am so excited to report that I had a new person in my life today. Usually, my daily human contact consists of talking with my sister about her day at the preschool where she works, going to the grocery store and chatting at the checkout if they're not too busy or going to the UPS Store where I have my happydogsplay.com mailbox and saying something inane about the weather or how heavy the package I'm picking up is. Anyway, the new person in my life today was a Census Taker. She had an official looking badge and unfortunately, we only got to chat for a few minutes even though I really feel like we connected. She fell down a couple of days ago and her ankle still hurts but she's working anyway. I said I knew how that was but it's not really true. When my foot was hurt, I stayed in bed or on the couch.
In 2003, police in Warwickshire , England, opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog. She had been locked in the shed and abandoned. She was dirty and malnourished and had clearly been abused. In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, who was a Greyhound female, to the nearby Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, run by a man named Geoff Grewcock and known as a willing haven for animals abandoned, orphaned or otherwise in need.
Geoff and the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims: to restore the dog to full health and to win her trust. It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved. They named her Jasmine and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home but Jasmine had other ideas. No one remembers now how it began, but she started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary. It wouldn't matter if it was a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, any other lost or hurting animal, Jasmine would peer into the box or cage and, where possible, deliver a welcoming lick. "We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line. One was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross. They were tiny when they arrived at the centre and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee. Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them."
"But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits. She takes all the stress out of them and it helps them to not only feel close to her but to settle into their new surroundings. She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose," said Geoff. Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary's resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born. The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and 15 rabbits.
And one roe deer fawn. Tiny Bramble, 11 weeks old, was found semi-conscious in a field. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm, and then went into the full foster mum role. Jasmine the greyhound showers Bramble the Roe deer with affection and makes sure that nothing is matted. "They are inseparable," says Geoff. "Bramble walks between her legs and they keep kissing each other. They walk together round the sanctuary. It's a real treat to see them. Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life. When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely. She will be too busy showering love and affection of the next orphan or victim of abuse.
SYDNEY (AFP) – A pet dog that fell overboard in rough seas off Australia has been reunited with her owners after surviving alone on an island for four months, reports said. Sophie Tucker, apparently named after a late US entertainer, fell overboard as Jan Griffith and her family sailed through choppy waters off the northeast Queensland coast in November. The dog was believed to have drowned and Griffith said the family was devastated. But out of sight of the family, Sophie Tucker was swimming doggedly and finally made it to St Bees Island, five nautical miles away, and began the sort of life popularized by the TV reality show "Survivor."
She was returned to her family last week when Griffith contacted rangers who had captured a dog that had been living off feral goats on the largely uninhabited island, in the faint hope it might be their long-lost pet.
When the Griffiths met the rangers' boat bringing the dog to the mainland they found that it was indeed Sophie Tucker on board. "We called the dog and she started whimpering and banging the cage and they let her out and she just about flattened us," Griffith told the national AAP news agency. "She wriggled around like a mad thing. She surprised us all. She was a house dog and look what she's done, she's swum over five nautical miles, she's managed to live off the land all on her own," Griffiths said. "We wish she could talk, we truly do."
It seems only right that this new venture should begin on St. Patrick’s Day because I’m Irish (Kathleen Mary Quinn) and because this is the day where many people say “luck of the Irish” and I’m hoping that with everyone sending this message out to the universe, a little extra luck will come my way.
The happy dogs are now playing and the happydogsplay.com store is finally open. What started out as a website that would specialize in selling safe dog toys has expanded to become an online shopping center for those of us who live in the Land of Dog. On the website, you’ll now find a collection of safe, non-toxic dog toys, practical safety gear for your dog and many treasures that will help you create a Land of Dog shrine in your own home.
Here’s the thing: I love dogs and that love is so big that it’s reflected in every part of my life. Surrounding myself with dogs and dog images just makes me happy because dogs, to me, represent all the best parts of life on earth. I connect with dogs. I know they have souls and that we all chose to be here together in this lifetime. And I do my best to let them be dogs so that even though they’re “domesticated,” they still get to hear the call of the wild and answer it sometimes. And I love it when they take me along with them. I love loving them.
Creating happydogsplay.com is something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time. I want to give a big thank you to my friends who helped me take this idea and turn it into a reality because I know that I couldn’t have done this without their help and guidance. I’m lucky and grateful to be part of a creative and inspiring community of women who gave their time, energy, expertise and support so freely. And I’m lucky and grateful to have wonderful dogs in my life who continue to inspire me too. It must be the luck of the Irish.
So please check out some of the dogs treasures you’ll find at happydogsplay.com like dog cookie cutters, dog paint-by-numbers, Stephen Huneck prints and toys, artwork from three New Orleans artists, dog books, dog-themed fabrics and pillows and vintage dog collectibles.
Please let me know what you think of the site (you can add a comment by clicking on the link below) and let me know if you know of any products I should carry or any dog-centric artists.
For the love of all things dog,