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Monthly Archives: February 2006

7 Things List:


7 things I can not do:


  1. Stay awake while getting a back massage. (Zzzzzzz)
  2. Keep my house free of dog hair. (It’s everywhere….)
  3. Eat liver. (eww)
  4. Sleep all night long.  (I’m up and down all night)
  5. Go anywhere without a bunch of dogs following me.
  6. Clean up throw up.  (Makes me throw up)
  7. Date (Seems I have forgotten how)




7 Movies I would watch again and again


  1. Shawshank Redemption  (I just love this movie)
  2. Mask  (A must see for pre-teens)
  3. 16 Candles  (takes me to another time and place)
  4. Absolute Power  (A must see…twists and turns)
  5. The Goonies  (Great movie to watch with your kids)
  6. The Little Princess (the MGM one)   (My all time favorite children’s movie)
  7. Sweet Home Alabama  (Eye candy)



7 Reasons why I BLOG


  1. I love to write
  2. Reading Darlene and Kenny’s made me want to do my own.
  3. To keep in touch with my ex-brothers-in-law.
  4. Marcus the dork is addicted to reading it.
  5. The regulars who visit are the best.
  6. Hopefully to touch lives in regard to Shelter Dogs.
  7. One day, my children will have my thoughts on paper to remember me by.


7 Books I would read again and again


  1. Look to your left and pick 7, I love all of them.  My favorite two being “Found Dogs” and “Second chances”.  (I DID receive my autographed copies!)  Woo Hoo




There it is Tani!  My 7 list thing as requested!



Sorry guys……I have been MIA for a few days.  Doctor says I have a sinus infection, ear infections and bronchitis but I am convinced I was secretly hit by a train while I slept one night…….Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I also have the flu to ad the icing on the cake.  I spent all night last night hugging the toilet.  Even got a Charlie-horse in the mussel in my stomach right below my left breast while hunched over the toilet.  Got to say that’s a first for me……


In the midst of all of the running down the hall and barfing, Franny proved to be the only truly brave dog….. she is the only one that didn’t run, tail tucked away from the bathroom while I was inside yacking then dry heaving for what seemed an eternity…….maybe it’s not actually a sign of her bravery but possibly a sign that she could of previously lived with a drinker and has experience many early morning hang overs…….who knows, but she did hang out with me, waiting patiently until I stumbled back down the hall and got into the bed……


I still think the Doctor is wrong…… I had to have been secretly hit by a train ……nothing else could feel like this…….not even falling down the stairs……



I guess at certain things I could be considered…..well…… indecisive. 


Furniture shopping for example……it has recently proven to be extremely difficult for me….. I looked all weekend and when I finally find a couch that I absolutely love…..turns out the stinkin’ thing might be to gi-normous to actually fit in my living room.


I have measured, re-measured even dreamed about the couch, loveseat and wedge (to complete a giant sectional)……whet to Lowes and picked out new wall color, spoke to the designer, sales lady, consulted with my first born child and I am still confused…….this decision might have to come down to something really technical like putting all of my choices on a dart board, a blindfold over my eyes and me throwing a couple darts…….whatever works.  I am in need of some help.


I mean the couch, loveseat; wedge combination is beautiful, but huge.  It measures 12 x 11 and even thought that doesn’t sound really big, it IS!  My living room is 38 feet long, but on each end there is something I have to work around… entire end of my living room contains a wall to wall fireplace and the other end has a set of stairs……I need to make the couch/loveseat thing work somewhere in between……ugh. 


Maybe I will go without the loveseat and wedge and go with the couch, oversized chair/ chase lounge thing and accent chair for by the fireplace………decisions, decisions… is making my head hurt just thinking about it.


In preparation of my new furniture I decided to do some spring cleaning and throw out a couple of things…….a few of the large items that got tossed included my “Oh too tired broke down” love seat and my “bought it from my cousin for $50” entertainment system that I have hated since the day it was drug into my house…….throwing those items out was invigorating…….Ahhhhh…out with the old and in with the new kind of feeling…….if I can ever decide……the “in with the new” part will eventually happen.


Normally I would give away my old furniture, but the loveseat was in such bad shape I just couldn’t…….. Devon use to go to sleep on the love seat and stick his feet between the cushions, well eventually he wore a little hole in the part that holds up the cushions, that hold became a rip and eventually when you sat on the love seat you would tip inside because the cushions got swallowed up by the springs………this was also Murphy’s favorite hiding spot for all of his collected treasures….balls, bones, remotes, milk jug tops, socks and other various small things he felt the need to hide from the other dogs.  Any missing item from the house was likely to turn up in the bottom of the “loveseat black hole.”…..  Murphy will now have to find a new hiding place, sorry guy.  Try Sierah’s room, she’ll never know……


Woman Who Drove Inmate Out of Prison Led Seemingly Normal Life

Feb 17, 2006, 08:22 AM EST

Associated Press Writer

LANSING, Kan. (AP) — Some inmates at Lansing Correctional Facility knew Toby Young simply as "the Dog Lady."

She was the short woman with light brown hair and brown eyes who brought dogs destined for death to the prison to be trained so they could find new homes. In numerous media stories about the Safe Harbor Prison Dog program, Young, a dog trainer, spoke passionately about her desire to help both the dogs and the inmates improve their lives.

Now, the 48-year-old married mother of two adult sons is known around the country as the woman who allegedly used the program as a cover to help 27-year-old convicted murderer John Manard escape last Sunday.

Manard, one of the inmates who helped train the dogs, was frequently quoted in media stories in which he praised the program.

Prison officials, her family and those who worked with Young on the dog program are stunned and struggling for an explanation. Law enforcement bulletins say Young should be considered armed and dangerous, but prison officials also say they are deeply concerned for her safety.

No one knows exactly how it began, and authorities have declined to speculate on whether the pair are romantically involved, but investigators say they know this much:

At some point, Young and Manard put together an elaborate plan for the escape. It included Young getting together more than $10,000 in cash, taking two guns from her home, buying a vehicle and renting a storage area without her family’s knowledge, and even buying hair dye and an electric razor that could be used to alter appearances.

The two apparently talked seven other inmates into helping Manard get into a dog crate and loading the crate onto a van Young used to transport the dogs. Authorities say Young then calmly drove out of the prison.

The respect Young developed at the prison while running the program may have been central to the plot. The prison says two guards who were supposed to check the van before it left didn’t — apparently because they recognized and trusted Young.

So far, the plan has worked. Young and Manard, who was serving life in prison for the 1996 killing of Donald England in Overland Park, have disappeared and prison officials say they have no idea where they may be. The state has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to Manard’s arrest, and they acknowledge the two could be anywhere in the world by now.

Young’s family, including her firefighter husband, Pat, have refused all interview requests. On Tuesday, her father read an emotional statement saying the family "simply don’t have any ideas why or how this happened" but telling Young they loved her and pleading with her to come home.

People who worked with Young on the Safe Harbor program also have refused to talk to The Associated Press, with one saying they are too overwhelmed to discuss the case.

Corrections Department spokesman Bill Miskell said prison inmates and employees are "trying to grasp what has happened" and are struggling with the feeling that their trust was betrayed.

"Toby Young was well known and well liked by everyone," Miskell said. "It appears that her familiarity with the staff may have played a part in her ability to help John Manard escape."

Since the breakout was reported, prison officials have directed all questions to Miskell, who has consistently refused to speculate on Young’s possible motivations.

Training Young received on dealing with inmates made the boundaries between volunteers and inmates "extremely clear," Miskell said.

"Our training emphasizes to volunteers what they should and should not do for the inmates," he said. "There is no doubt that she knew the boundaries."

Similar situations in all types of institutions — not just prisons — generally involves people who are vulnerable in some way, which leads them to violate the boundaries of their relationships, said Margaret Severson, an associate professor of social welfare at the University of Kansas.

While speculation runs rampant in such cases, it is pointless until the facts are known, she said.

"We’re talking about human behavior and human emotions," she said. "To pretend that we can tell who might be prone to do something like this, that we can predict it, it’s an impossibility."

Severson said she is concerned that the long-term impact of such a widely publicized case will make people suspicious of the thousands of honest people who work hard to improve the lives of inmates.

"The people who staff and manage correctional institutions and thousands of volunteers are doing great things every day," she said. "No matter what we find out about what happened in Lansing, the impact will be unfortunate for all those people."

Miskell said Lansing officials still hope the impact of the case will not include ending the dog rehabilitation program. He said the program has proven valuable in socializing inmates and giving them incentive to follow rules.

The main problem, he said: No one can figure out how to keep the program running without Toby Young.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.


These type of Prison Dog programs save countless shelter dogs lives every year and I can only pray that these programs all over the country will still continue to train and re-home shelter dogs, despite the ignorance of this one woman.




I looked for so long at the shelters website where I got some of my crew that I still feel somehow compelled to look. 


I want you guys to please take a look at this wonderful boy up for adoption.  His time is running out and I imagine he would have already been adopted, had he only been yellow instead of black.  Please take a look at him and note the bottom of the paragraph that says, “I am house broken and an all around great dog.”  Maybe somebody will see this and adopt him…….




PS…Note about the little black rescue dog.  The lady took her to my Vet and he confirmed my suspicion, she had been burned at one time, badly.  He said her hair will never re-grow over that scar due to the severity of the burn.  She also tested positive for heart worm…….

I woke up late this morning, after a late night of shopping and cooking a requested birthday dinner for my oldest twins who turned 15 yesterday.  I finally hit the bed at about 11:00PM.  I had been on my feet for 17 hours the previous day with only 4 hours sleep.  I was exhausted, mentally and physically.


5:00AM this morning dogs woke me with their usual dancing around and their continuous requesting to go outside.  I was exhausted, my body hurt and I sat at the side of the bed for a few minutes questioning whether I would even come into work today.


A full moon has flooded my bedroom with moonlight for the last two nights.  The light from the moon was so bright in fact, it kept me awake……there I was tired, hurting and tossing from side to side, sandwiched between 3 dogs all night long…there it was, that crazy bright full moon……not helping my need for rest.


When I finally decided to get up off of the bed and make my way downstairs to let the dogs outside……. somewhere in the process of going down the stairway…..  my slipper slipped on a stair……I went straight down the stairs.  Somehow landed on top of my right ankle, dragging my already sore psoriasis covered skin down my wooden stairs, flipping forward pulling something in my arm and neck while trying to brace myself….then going down the last 3 or 4 stairs on my left hip.  My body went from feeling like a tired 40 year olds body to that of an 85 year olds.


My everything hurt.  Stuff I didnt know I have hurt…..


I lay at the bottom of the stairs crying, wondering if any of the kids were awake.  Did they hear me?  There I was scanning over my body, questioning if I had broken anything……everything seemed intact, but I was hurt.  It hurt just to move. 


Devon arrived shortly there after and in a sobbing voice I requested him to let the dogs out……they were dancing around me and I couldn’t get myself together with so much commotion going on, dogs dancing all around. 


He let the dogs out as requested. 


All except two.  Tonka and Bear remained inside.


I didn’t realize that either dog were still in the house until I got myself upright and Bear moved closer to me to lick my hand……my face covered in tears……I still couldn’t help but smile….I said, "Awh Bearie-Bear I’m okay"….just then Tonka came around the corner……


It was the sweetest thing…..him licking my hand almost made me cry…..both of them remained in the house, making sure “Mom” was okay.


How sweet is that?……
I love those doggies of mine….

Anybody that reads a lot generally has a favorite author and/or a favorite type of book they read.  I would say my all time favorite is Elise Lufkin……I have read her books numerous times, almost too numerous to mention.  Prior to MSN’s spaces partnering with, I had mentioned Elise Lufkin’s books “Found Dogs” and “Second Chances” in random blogs.  These are books I always recommend people read if they are even considering adopting a dog…..They are full of true, wonderful stories about dogs who have found a second chance at life. 


These books are two of my most favorite books ever. Being able to post my favorite books on my BLOG was a sheer bonus for me.    Not only have I checked them out repeatedly, read and reread them over and over.  I have purchased the books multiple times as gifts for friends whom I thought would appreciate the books…..leaving myself no copies…..hence the constant borrowing from the library.  I am at the library on average 3 times a week, and I don’t think I could count the number of times I have checked out these books in the last few years.  A seriously ridiculous amount. 


I checked both books out this past weekend because I wanted to do a short book review on my BLOG, mention my favorite stories from both books, etc.  Sierah was with me and said, “Mom, how many times are you going to check these books out?”  *eye roll* 


While searching for a link for people to follow from my BLOG, for the book “Second Chances” I came across a Web page for the book.  I was surprised to find one, book marked it and decided to go back and maybe submit a story at a later date.


A few days ago, I made my way back and left a link for my blog……I think I suggested to look at my “Stellar Stories.”  Leaving a post and kind of assuming I would never hear anything back.


Much to my surprise I received an email today in regard to the link, saying she wasn’t able to take the link to my BLOG and asked that I cut and paste a story on the site.  I sent another email in return, agreed to post something about one of my rescue dogs, and again tried a link to my BLOG.  bla bla bla.


So imagine my surprise when I received a return email from Elise Lufkin herself.  *scream of joy*  I think I took a double take at the “from” line……I was like, “No, way….it cant be.  It IS!  OMG, I cant wait to tell Sierah”……..(She seriously might be the only person who might understand what a big deal this is to me.)  Yes, I am a total dork and I know it!


Elise sent be a beautiful email….. she enjoyed the BLOG, photos of the dogs and kids, the story of the little rescue dog, thanked me for featuring her books on the blog, suggested I write a little something for my favorite magazine “Bark”, told me about a new book she is working on, (I cant wait) and closed her post with this line……..drum roll please….. “If you give me your address, I’d like to send you signed copies of my books.   Elise”


“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!  Autographed copies of my favorite books sent from the Author herself……. Somebody pinch me!  Woo-Hoo! 


I cried tiny little happy tears……yup……I am a total goober……I know it and I am happy as can be that my most favorite author in the world emailed me today.  (I will now start stalking the mailman)


Somebody pinch me!  


Elise, you are the best!





Tonight will be the first Sectional basketball tournament game.  Sierah’s team is favored to win.  If they win Sectionals, it will be the first for the girls ball team in the history of the school to win and go on to reginals.  Go South Side!



A rescue dog:


A resident in my building got a little rescue dog this week.  Great right?  …..No, she had just given her cat up to Animal Care and Control 24 hours earlier……  THAT, I have a problem with. 


She came down to tell me that she was going to give up the cat.  I was asking her what the problem was, and giving her suggestions on how to fix the problems, etc.  She said, “Well they are on the way now to pick up Smokey, I’ve already called them.”  (As far as I was concerned, she made NO attempt to help him stay.)


She came down about 3 hours later and told me that she was going to be getting a dog from them.  I said, “Are they going to give you a dog if you just surrendered a cat?”  She says, “Oh yeah.”  I am thinking…..I bet not.  (They didn’t either…..Good for them.)


Well, yesterday she appears with a little black dog.  She brought it in for me to meet.  It is a cute little sh*t.  All black, scruffy looking little terrier mixed dog.  Looks lots like my Franny, just smaller and darker. 


As soon as I got a good look at him I notice his back had what appeared to me to be a burn almost the length of his body.  The resident didn’t know what it was, but said the lady she got her from said she “thought she had been beat”.  To me it looks like either a burn, or a car could have hit it and drug on it’s back.  I know one thing for sure, it is really scared, and its behavior would be consistent with an abused dog, but that mark on her back didn’t come from a beating.


I said, “Who did you get him from?”  She said, “A rescue.”  I say, “Oh really, what one?”  She says, “Well, not really a rescue, but I got the dog from a free ad in the paper.  The lady rescues dogs one at a time”…..


I have a problem with this……


My problem you ask?…….The lady who gave her the dog, never did a home check, never called the land lord (me) to make sure she could have a pet, must not of asked her about previous pets, the dog has not had any shots, she has not been spayed, has not been to the vet…(despite this sore down the length of her back)….but the “rescue” woman has had her for two months.  I have a serious issue with that. 


I understand there is a lot of people out there who think rescuing animals are all nicey-nice, but if you really want to make a difference….. rescuing animals is great, but you just have to do the right things. 


This resident is someone who I am not sure if they will be able to handle the responsibility of a dog.  I have serious concerns…….she has some serious mental issues and given the fact she gave up the cat so easy……makes me really concerned about the dog.


I love dogs, I love to place dogs and I love it when dogs who have been dumped or abandoned find new homes……but all people are not suited for pets and all people aren’t suited to rescue dogs……those of whom should stick with fake goldfish.



Phrases from my day today:



“Mom, can I get $380 for a bus trip to Washington?”  (Jenna…..who obviously has forgotten I am BROKE as h@ll!”)


“Mom, Acacia missed the bus and no one knows where she is.”  (Sierah… striking the fear of God in me.)


“Mom, I think someone broke into the house today.”  (Devon…. striking the fear of God in me for the second time in 30 minutes.)   *makes note to self*  I might need a drink after I leave work.


“Hey, can you run down the street and get me something to eat?”  (From a new resident , who must have mistook me for someone other than his apartment manager.)


“I might be able to get your taxes done one day next week.”  (From the man who does my taxes every year, and has already had all of my stuff for over a week now…….HEY!  I WANT MY MONEY!)


Drum roll please for the Icing on the cake……


“Laura, can you bring over Joe-blow’s file?  The auditors need it.”  (Angie in accounting)  Oh joy… AUDIT.       ugh


And finally….


“Lets go get something to eat before the game.” (My friend Laura)   I say…..”Thats the best thing I’ve heard all day……I think I’ll have a margarita too, it’s been a long day…..”

I actually took a double take at the calendar today to verify if indeed it was or was not a full moon.  It’s not……sure seems like it is.


This has been a strange day….a day full of strange random stuff.


Generally the beginning of the month means that the majority of the people in my building get their check.  This often includes them running off to the liquor store, drinking and acting up so I end up dealing with lots of problems (more than normal) the first 3 days of the month…..


Today is the first, so I always expect the unexpected…..As I glance down a my watch and wonder how long it will take for the first police officer to arrive. 


From the moment I got here this morning I had issue after issue……strange things happening, strange phone calls, etc.  Just as I was ready to leave, I had one last resident who came in to speak to me before I left for lunch says…….


“Can you make me a copy?  I will pay you a quarter.”  I said, “No problem, they are only 10 cents.  She says, “Is 121 bigger than 203?”  I said, “Apartments?….No.”  She said, “See what happens when you listen to resident managers, I see the police, they say she just lives here, pass by, this should just about cover it for life line, they don’t know where I come from.  Hey, I got to go kid, I gotta get some toilet paper.”


*  total silence  *  …………WTF?


I smile, act like I know what she just said and wave bye.  *as I sit there  with that stuck on stupid look on my face….* 


I decide I have had enough. Time to leave to pick up Tricia for lunch.  We had to go see theeeee prom dress Sierah picked out.


On the way my gas light lit up, so I had to pull into the gas station……bad idea


At the gas station was a man sitting on the curb, directly outside of the entry to the building and he was making sounds at people as they passed.  I thought to myself, was that a pirate noise he just made? 


The guy pushes out an “Argggggggg” at some random guy walking into the building.  The guy glanced over, looked a bit puzzled, shook his head and passed him by.  I chucked to myself…..that was a pirate noise. 


I try to slip past him, but as someone came out of the door rushing in my direction I had to step aside….directly in front of the pirate sounding guy. 


I then get the “Arrggh” and he then points down to my freshly painted pink toenails…(thanks Jenna)….I stand, looking at him with a blank stare…..*raise my eyebrows*……..and again I get another “ARGGGG!”  This time louder and with more meaning…….again he points at my toes.


I smile and say, “You like my pink toenails?”  The pirate sounding guy replies, “ARGGGH!”, smiles and raises one eyebrow.  At that same time he does what appears to be a salute with a cigarette between his middle fingers. 


I said, “You need a light?”  He replys, “Argh!” and nods his head.  I said, “Sorry man I don’t smoke……that shit will kill ya.”


He says “ARGGGGh” and points back down to my toenails……..I say, “Well alrighty then, been nice talking to ya.” In the perkiest voice I can muster up.


He replied……..”ARrrrrrrrrrGH.” and looked at me with one eye squinted shut, banishing one tooth from his raised upper lip.  This guy could have been a poster child for what happens when you dont brush your teeth……He may have had 3 teeth total…maybe 4 if two half’s count as one.


Then he lifts of his 2 liter of Mountain Dew and says a final “ARGH.”




Only me….


As I drive off, I cant help but wonder what lunch will bring………that or the next full moon.    It’s always something……

Last night was the first night that “Charlie Tuna” (AKA “the three legged cat) decided he was going to sleep with me.     


My normal evening routine includes a shower, getting into my P. J’s, getting into bed and reading for an hour or so until I drift off to sleep…… this time my bedroom door is open…. dogs come and go, but generally they find a spot some where in my room and settle down for the evening…..


Once I get into the bed I read until I fall asleep….. and then when Taryn comes upstairs to go to bed she shuts my light off and shuts the door.  (I doze off early….what can I say….)


At that time, any straggler dogs get sent to my room so they are not meandering around the house at night chewing up the couch or anything or deciding that they cant wait to go out in the morning to use the restroom……..


Well, evidently “Charlie” was asleep in the bedroom with me when the door got shut.  His normal sleeping spot is in the cabinet under the bathroom sink…….next to the tampons and toilet bowl cleaner.   


Not sure if he was pleased with the idea of sleeping with all of the dogs and I…..but Taryn pulled the door shut and he was stuck in there none the less.


At some point last night he decided he wanted to sleep on top of me.  (Literally on top of my body) No matter how many times I moved or rolled over he managed to hang on (despite having no claws and 3 legs) and move along with my body…..never falling off.    I was impressed. 


I laughed out loud thinking that it was kind of like one of those lumberjacks who roll those logs in the water …….I swear I dont know how they do that.  So each time I would move or roll over, he would kind of roll my body/log until I found a spot to rest…….It didn’t matter how I moved around….slow…….left….right, he managed to end up on top of me after every move and he never fell off.


So now not only do I get sandwiched in my bed between by one giant dog on one side and two little dogs on the other side….  like a giant hot dog in a bun….  I now have a log rolling cat running up and down my body at night trying to keep his balance and stay on top……


Now that I think about it……I may have to go sleep on the couch alone tonight……..just to get some rest.  ………..