Alaska, Animals


This last week has seen me traveling 20 miles (one way) each day. Our road is 30 miles long -which pretty much means I have been traveling from one end of the island to the other, at least twice a day. Between working on one side of the island and living on the other -plus various house/dog sitting jobs everywhere in between -I have been putting in a lot of miles.

Sunday, I was in the middle of making my rounds (getting dogs, dropping dogs, getting other dogs) and the gas light blinked on. It indicated I had about 20 miles left before I would be stranded on the side of the road -and not wanting to walk somewhere in the middle of the night, I pulled into the gas station that happened to be right there.
Now I must stop here to say -normally, when I get gas -I leave everything in the car. I am super paranoid about blowing things up, so don’t use my cell phone or carry anything extra. I even will admit to tapping the car every so often to avoid electrical currents or whatever they are that could cause the entire gas station and myself go up in flames.

But this day. I was getting numerous texts about house sitting jobs, and since I am equally paranoid about texting and driving (read: $10,000 fines and jail time), I grabbed my phone when I jumped out of the car. Started the gas, then walked a good distance away to finish up my texting. I got a few gallons of gas (just to make it to where the cheaper gas is), took my card and went to open the door: But it wouldn’t open.

Because the dog had apparently gotten tired of hanging out with me, locked the door then went to sleep.

See? Sound asleep!

It took a few minutes for everything to stack up and for it to hit me: I was locked out of the car. All the windows were up. The dogs were going to be of no assistance -BUT! I had my phone.

The smugness! It’s like he’s saying “Yep, I know what I did!”

I laughed, then called mom.

Who didn’t answer.

I tried another fifty some odd times -to no avail. Just a few hours prior I had turned her cell phone off for her (so it wouldn’t ring in church), we don’t have a phone at home and she wasn’t at the shop. I called a few more times -just for good measure.

I text a few people in town to see if they were in the area. No one answered.

I started to panic.

I emailed Amanda -if for nothing more, to have someone to laugh with me. Because really, what else do you do in a situation like that? I had help -she was just a billion miles away in the UK, so, you know, a lot of good that was going to do me.

But then I remembered: My good friends lived right up the road. Surely they would have a hanger I could borrow! I didn’t know what, exactly, I would do with said hanger -but I figured I would cross that bridge when I got there.
Thankfully they answered my frantic texts and showed up about 15 minutes later with a hanger and a hammer. Because we all know a good hammer works in situations like those too.

Apparently just a few days prior they had locked their keys in a car as well. Having had just went through the same thing a few days ago, they had all the needed tools to do a proper ‘break in.’ It took all of about 5 minutes and I was on my way.

…and now? I don’t dare leave the keys (or my phone) in the car when I get out!

But it leaves me wondering: How many people take their keys with them when they pump gas? It honestly is something I have never considered doing before this weekend.


Round Two!

It’s official.  I might be just a little bit crazy.  Back in October I found myself watching a total of six dogs at once.  It wasn’t until after the fact did I realize just HOW crazy I might have been.  But somehow -I have found myself in the same position once again, only this time -the dogs are all big dogs.

It seems a little less chaotic this time, however.  Perhaps because they all live in the same general area, or perhaps because mom is back in town and can lend a hand.  Either way -we are back to having six dogs.

Round Two!





Kilo is a purebred lab.  She is one of the best dogs I have ever watched, and am terrified I will break her!  She listens SO well!  Her puppy dog eyes are because she is trying to tell me she doesn’t like plain dog food and needs more treats.



Mr. Winston is an good old boy.  We used to watch him -many, many years ago.  Probably 10 years ago.  He is old, but still good.  He got himself stuck in the bushes this afternoon, took me about ten minutes to coax him out!



This is Bob.  Bob has been here before.  He is surrounded by female dogs -and enjoying every minute of it.  Don’t let his sad look fool you!  Every time I see him, I see Scrat:


He is a good boy too.  He is easy going and gets along with every dog.



Miss Harper has been featured here before.  She is still hanging with us.  These sad eyes are brought to you by the word “sit.”  She loves to run, jump, play and do anything BUT sit.  Don’t worry -she was back to smiles and kisses after the picture.



Belle is a husky.  She has one brown, one blue eye.  She is a beauty.  A nut.  A wild girl who loves to play in the snow…I guess being a husky it runs in her blood.  She was more than happy to smile for the camera -perhaps because I was holding a treat?

and back by popular demand, Yoshi!:


The ringleader of it all.  Her look says it all.  I have been super happy -she has done VERY well with all these dogs in her house.  The only casualty has actually been to her -I let Yoshi into Harper’s area and Yoshi came in with a bit too much gusto.  Harper bit her ear.  But she is healing nicely.  She is going to be one lonely nut when all these pups leave!


Dogs, Dogs, Dogs!

I don’t have anything against any breed of dog, or at least, I didn’t until about two years ago.  The pit bull breed has always gotten a bad rap -and I have always done my best to stay away from choosing sides.  But two years ago I dog sat two pit bulls and vowed never to do it again.  It was the worst two weeks of my life.  The money I made was not worth it.  I am all about following through with my jobs, but this was one job I actually threatened to leave.  I’m not entirely sure what was wrong with them -I just knew I would never watch a pit bull again.

Fast forward a few years.  A few weeks ago I got a phone call from someone asking if I would watch their dog.  I said yes then asked the breed.  A bull dog, she told me.  A sweet bull dog.

It wasn’t until she showed up to drop her off did I realize this was no bull dog.  This was a pit bull.  I couldn’t exactly back out, so I bit my tongue and braced myself for a hard month and ½.  It hasn’t been as difficult as the last time -but it still has been a challenge and one that has made me agree more than ever that I will never watch a pit bull again.  Nothing against them -just that they are not smart.  They have no brains.  I don’t mean it to sound mean -it’s just how they are.  They destroy everything in their path and don’t think about anything else.

I figured however, that since I am going to be watching this bull dog, er, pit bull -for over a month that I would buckle down and try to do some training.  While it hasn’t gone well -it has gone ok.  Which is more than I could have hoped for.  I make her sit before getting her leash on or off.  I make her wait before going in the door and I make her wait before eating her food.  We are still working on “Be quiet.”  I’m not sure that will ever happen.  It might not sound like a lot -but believe me.  It is a lot.

She is a sweet girl.

As a bonus -Yoshi, who doesn’t get along with ANYONE has taken a liking to her.  They enjoy playing in the snow and chasing each other around.

Introducing, Harper, the ‘bull dog.’








It was all fun and games until Harper stole Yoshi’s snowball.


It’s A Dog Party

Big dogs, little dogs, blue dogs, green dogs…

It certainly has felt like a dog party out here!

A few months ago I got a phone call from someone asking if I could house / dog sit for their two dogs. I agreed. Then a few days later, a regular of mine called to see if I could dog sit during the same period of time. I told her I was house sitting -but wouldn’t mind adding her dog to the mix. Then a week later I got a call from another person asking if I could dog sit at the same time. Again, I agreed. Then a few days ago a friend asked if I could dog sit their dog for the week.

I started out with two -and over the course of the past few weeks have slowly added to bring my final number to six. Six dogs.

Knowing that Yoshi doesn’t appreciate dogs in her space -I bought a baby gate to close off a section of the office in hopes of keeping the peace. It was the best thing I ever did. Not only are dogs not rushing out to tackle customers, they are staying away from Yoshi and the peace has been kept.

Tonight I drop one dog off on the way home. Tomorrow, I drop another. Sunday I drop two. Next week I am back home in my own bed with only one dog who lives here.

It’s been a wild ride!

I felt pretty much like this:

Meet the cast of characters (all of whom were together under one roof):















The Yoshi-nator

Someone turns five this month. That seemed like a good enough excuse to write about her.


Yoshi is…simply put, a nut.  With all the nutty shells that encompass nuts…and then some.

She is our special nut.  With all the problems that special nuts bring.

She is scared of people, dogs and anything that moves suddenly.  I have taken her to doggy school, hired a dog therapist (seriously, I know), and done more research on shy dogs than I care to admit.  She has guarding issues -which turns up in the tune of biting any dog that gets too close to whatever she deems important.


Oh yea, and she always has allergies.  To just about anything and everything and nothing all at once.

I have narrowed down a lot of her issues and tried to work out some solutions for the others -but there are only so many hours in a day and when it comes down to it, she sometimes has to take the back seat on things.

She has a serious obsession with pigs!
She has a serious obsession with pigs!

I’ve been able to narrow down her guarding issues to a few main triggers: Her space, her bed, her food and her toys.  While this may sound simple enough -that pretty much means anything she calls her own, at any given moment.  Whenever a new dog comes over we have to be careful to make sure that her toys are picked up and there isn’t any food laying around.  Also the pig?  Still around.  Still causing problems.

How 'bout 'dem wrinkles!!!
How ’bout ‘dem wrinkles!!!

Her being terrified of people is a work in progress -and something that I need to work with her on more.  She spends the day with us at the shop in the office so she sees a lot of people each day -her therapist said that she shouldn’t be allowed to hide and that I should make her stand beside me when customers are in the office -but when it comes down to it -I can’t try and handle and customer and wrangle a dog at the same time.

Every so often though, she gets a teachable moment with the right customer.  Slowly.

…and her allergies?  Are still an unknown mystery.  After spending a lot of last year chasing them around and around I thought I finally had them under control with a change of food (from chicken to salmon) and wiping her down every week.


While I was gone, mom decided to change her diet to a more natural diet -which involved cooking for her.  I wasn’t game at  first, but she had appeared to have lost some weight (because yes, she is also overweight) so continued with it.

This past week she has been REALLY itchy -and by itchy I mean she gets uncontrollable.  She NEEDS to be scratched.  She rubs herself on chairs, desks, the floor.  She runs, she whines, and when all else fails -she lays there with the saddest puppy dog eyes.  She breaks out in red bumps that look so painful.  Sometimes the benadryl helps, and sometimes it does nothing.


The last time we had her in the vet they said she had flea bites -but no fleas.  They recommended treating her with a $50 flea product, bombing the house and spraying all the furniture as well as treating the cats.  I almost went for it -but mom suggested we wait, considering how we had just given her some flea medication.


Last night it hit me -the past week I had been feeding her chicken all week long.  Her rice had chicken stock, her protein was chicken.  The past few nights she hasn’t had  chicken -and guess who hasn’t been itchy?

Sniffin' out the pig (I think pig looks slightly terrified here -ha!)
Sniffin’ out the pig (I think pig looks slightly terrified here -ha!)

I told Amanda that every time I yell EUREKA! with her allergies -she breaks out in itchy bumps again, so here is to hoping she doesn’t break out tonight or tomorrow.

...because a good selfie with the dog is almost always, certainly a terrible idea!
…because a good selfie with the dog is almost always, certainly a terrible idea!

Either way, despite all her special issues -we love her and her nutty ways.