Last Living Search and Rescue Dog from 9/11

Meet Bretagne, the last known living Search and Rescue Dog from 9/11, and her handler and owner, Denise Corliss. Bretagne and Denise were both members of Texas Task Force One. They were part of the search and rescue team after the World Trade Center attacks in New York on September 11, 2001. bretagne2

Bretagne is a 16-year-old Golden Retriever. For her 16th birthday, she was recognized in New York for her search and rescue efforts after the attacks of 9/11. Bretagne was recognized in many ways during her visit to New York. Special thanks to 1 Hotel Central Park for a donation of $1,000 to Texas Task Force One for the training of future Search and Rescue Dogs.

This is one video you do not want to miss!!! Thanks to all those involved in recognizing both Bretagne and Denise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezcHy8DkrmE

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Stiggy’s Dogs

Disclosure: I received food, goodies, and a fun time in exchange for this post.

Yesterday I had the privilege of going to a blogger event that sponsored a non-profit organization called Stiggy’s Dogs. Stiggy’s Dogs is an organization that rescues and trains shelter dogs to be psychiatric service dogs for military veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) or Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”).  The service dogs are trained and deployed at no cost to the veteran and each dog is trained to help the specific needs of the veteran.

Stiggy’s Dogs was named after Benjamin Phillip (“Doc Stiggy”) Castiglione.  Doc Stiggy was known for safeguarding and improving the physical and emotional health of those serving in his unit. He died in Afghanistan on September 3rd, 2009. In 2010, Stiggy’s Dogs was developed by Jennifer Petre, Benjamin’s aunt, to carry out Doc Stiggy’s legacy of helping others. Her motto is “Rescuing one to rescue another”.

Doc Stiggy

The goal of yesterday’s Comcast and Hallmark sponsored event was to raise awareness for Stiggy’s Dogs. Our job as bloggers was to promote Stiggy’s Dogs by tweeting and posting on Facebook and Instagram. As a non-profit organization, Stiggy’s Dogs relies on donations from individual people and organizations. Comcast presented Stiggy’s Dogs with a $1000 check yesterday and hopefully as a result of our event, more awareness will be brought to the cause.

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Three of Stiggy’s Dogs with their Vets.
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#Stiggyselfie @HallmarkOnX1
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Blogger Friends! #Stiggyselfie #HallmarkOnX1

Coby AKA “Stinker”

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Coby is our puppy at almost 9 months of age. He is as cute as can be, but man can he be a stinker!!!! He has definitely changed our family dynamics. Before Coby came along, Artie and Buddy spent most of their time lying around or eating. There wasn’t much play between the two unless Dave and/or I were involved. They also rarely left our sides at the dog park. Both of these situations have changed. Artie and Coby play a lot, whereas Buddy stands by to be the “referee”.  He barks like crazy as he hangs out next to the wrestling. There are times when Buddy will join in, but he doesn’t play nearly as much as Artie. Their dog park behaviors have changed too. Instead of hanging by us, they venture off more and take part in dog type activities. It brings us so much joy to see Artie and Buddy interact with Coby. It’s like they have new life!

Now…to the stinker part!!! Coby is a puppy and puppies can be mischief!! We rarely let him out of our sight. If he gets quiet, we get suspicious. Although Coby hasn’t destroyed anything major, we don’t take our chances. He’s torn up plastic bags, tissues, napkins, newspaper, and other papers, but nothing of importance. It’s just a nuisance to clean up. Now for the biggest issue we’ve had…potty training! He’s been a difficult one! Our dogs ring a bell, which is hanging at the sliding door, to tell us they need to go outside. This works great for Artie and Buddy. For Coby, it’s like “The Boy who Cried Wolf”.  He rings the bell so often we don’t know when he really needs to go. Sometimes we take him (and the other two) out and he doesn’t go one or two! Other times we ignore him and he goes potty in the house! Frustrating to say the least.

Not only is going potty in the house an issue, but Coby has a NASTY puppy habit right now. Are you ready???? He likes to eat poop – his own or his brothers. Can you say GROSS?! I’ve done some research and this appears to be a common puppy behavior. The best thing we can do to stop the behavior is to keep him away from any poop. This means cleaning up the yard frequently and keeping him away from any temptations. We are hoping he grows out of this habit quickly. Sorry if this was TMI (too much information). Although these couple of things can be frustrating, we couldn’t be happier that Coby is apart of our family!!! He is a bundle of energy and joy! He keeps us on our toes and he keeps his brothers young. So blessed by this 5 pound bundle of cuteness! Thanks to Homeward Bound Rescue League for allowing us to adopt Coby.

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Bark in the Park 2.0

Today my husband and I took Coby to the Bark in the Park event in Farmington, MI. The event took place at the Sunquist Pavilion in downtown Farmington from 12-3 p.m. The pavilion area is a centralized gathering place for events such as their farmer’s market, concerts, and more. It is a quaint area surrounded by small restaurants and stores.

When we got to the event around 1 p.m. we were happy to easily find a parking place near the park. There were dogs of all sizes (on leashes) with their owners. The first thing that caught our attention was the dog costume contest. It was just ending, but we got to see which dog earned first place. It was a large black dog dressed as a spider. He was so cool, although maybe frightening to some!!! The spider costume was handmade by the owner who commented that he made many trips to Home Depot. Check out the dog below and be sure to watch the short video (9 seconds).

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After the contest was over we ventured over to find out more about Therapy Dogs Inc. There were volunteers from both Therapy Dogs Inc. and an organization called Doctor Paws, Inc. This group was completing on the spot testing for dogs who met the requirement of one year of age. Coby will be one year of age in September and this is definitely something we want to pursue. I will be looking into various groups to join, but this group sounds promising. They test the dogs free of charge but ask people to consider making a donation of $25 to cover the Tee-shirt (with logo below) for the handler and bandana for the dog. Also, this donation allows handlers and their dogs into special functions during the year such as the Make-A-Wish events and others events. I could feel the energy and excitement of these volunteers which lets me know that Doctor Paws is a good organization to join. Can’t wait!!!

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These two poodles are therapy dogs for Doctor Paws, Inc.
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There were many vendors at the event some of which provided services and others who were selling their goods. There were also some animal rescues. Although we didn’t purchase anything, it was interesting walking around and a good experience for Coby as he met many new dogs and got lots of attention from people.  Thank you to the city of Farmington for hosting this event.

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Happy Mother’s Day! 

Being a mother can mean many things. For me, being a mother means caring for my three Yorkie babies.  After many years of infertility treatments (and the emotional ups and downs), I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s not human babies for me, rather it’s canine babies…three of them! 

Some people tell me that canine babies are more work than human babies. I personally don’t believe it, although if it’s true, then I’d rock being a mom to children.  Yes, dogs are work, but most of their training takes place at a young age. Human babies need training their whole lives! Children are continually learning from their parents, therefore, a parent’s job never ends!! Even after they become adults and leave the house, there is still training and learning taking place. 

I know I am missing a part of life that many women get to experience, but God’s plan was different for me. It hasn’t always been this easy for me to face that fact, but time heals all wounds. The part that still bothers me has to do with aging. Who will take care of me (and my husband) when we age? As people age, the roles switch and children begin taking care of their parents. We all know that dogs love unconditionally but they are not physically capable of caring for humans. Again, God has a plan and I can’t worry about the future. 

For those of you who are mothers in any way, I want to wish you a Mother’s Day full of love, laughter, and relaxation!!! Most of all, I hope you feel appreciated every day of the year! Thanks for all you do! 

Check out these 12 signs that your dog is basically your child. All 12 signs are fitting for me! 

https://www.thedodo.com/signs-your-dog-is-basically-your-child-1033721529.html

Visiting Tea Cup Poodle

Nala is a teacup poodle who visits a nursing home in Minnesota with her owner Doug Dawson. Nala wasn’t trained as a therapy dog, yet Nala provides love and affection to the residents of Lyngblomsten. Doug prescribes medication at the nursing home while Nala ventures through the nursing home all by herself to visit those in need of love. She even takes the elevator all by herself. The residents at the nursing home say that Nala was Heaven sent and Doug says, “Nala is doing God’s work”.

Check out this touching story in the short video below.

http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/2015/04/13/25702267/

Walking Three Dogs

Yesterday for the first time, I attempted walking ABC by myself. I placed the older two on a coupler and the younger one on a leash by himself. Artie and Buddy did really well on the coupler for their first time. They pulled opposite directions most the time and sometimes one would pull the other in his direction. It made for some laughs. Check out the video of Artie and Buddy below!