Category Archives: Maisie

Does Maisie have medical alert skills?

The strangest thing happened the other night and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Every night I give Annie her eye drops.  She’s a heavy sleeper so I try to do this before she has started to wind down for the night but I don’t always remember to do so.  This was one of those times, so as she was snoring away in her crate I approached her and softly nudged her awake so that we could get it done and then go upstairs to bed.

I hold her chin in my hand, gently pry her eyelids open, because even if she is awake she will pretend she isn’t, and quickly squeeze the drops into each eye.

Just as I was trying to coax her upright to go upstairs she started making really strange sounds.  I thought she might throw up, but the noises she was making weren’t quite right. It seemed like she was gasping.  Did some of her saliva slide down her windpipe when she was getting her drops?  The episode passed pretty quickly but I had grabbed my car keys just in case she didn’t improve and we needed to run to the emergency vet.  With her, I have a tendency to immediately assume worst case scenario but fortunately that wasn’t necessary.

She was finally willing to stand up and leave her crate and then she let out a horrible sound.  She’s done this a handful of times since we’ve had her and I’ve nicknamed them her “old man noises”. It’s loud and guttural and I’ve never had another dog do such a thing.  She might be clearing her throat but whatever the reason it disturbs me every time and also sends me into fits of laughter.  It’s so unusual, and loud enough to send everyone else running with exclamations like “what was that” or “is everything OK” and there I will be, laughing uncontrollably!

So what does this have to do with Maisie? Well once Annie seemed to be back to normal we made our way upstairs for bed.  The dogs usually hop on our bed for 5 or 10 minutes and then get down and settle into their own.  My husband was already upstairs, fast asleep, so Annie and I attempted to quietly get in bed without disturbing him or Maisie.  Just when I was all settled Maisie started growling and then let out some deep barks and 5 seconds later Annie expelled another one of those horrible noises. My  husband woke up, muttering “what’s happening” and then Maisie started growling and barking again and sure enough, another horrific sound came out of Annie.  About 15 seconds later this routine happened again to which my husband is truly annoyed with Maisie and imploring me to get her to be quiet and of course I was laughing so hard I couldn’t talk.  This was not what he had in mind when he fell into his deep, snoring sleep 15 minutes earlier.

After the 3rd round, Annie let out one of her contented groans while stretching and immediately started snoring.  Maisie had exhausted herself with all of her outbursts and snuggled close to me, put her head on my chest and went to sleep and I just stayed still looking at the ceiling in the dark. What in the world just happened?  I have never heard Maisie growl before, I mean never and that bark was much deeper than her usual bark. I’ve heard it maybe once or twice when she’s been upset and protective. She was really worked up and it took a lot of soothing to get her calmed.  I don’t think she understood what had just happened either.  The only one who didn’t act like something was unusual was Annie, go figure!

I’ve added this post to the daily challenge of calm. It’s the opposite of calm but eventually we all did calm down and it’s a moment I’ll never forget.

Maisie’s country dream

We recently visited the family that fostered Annie after her rescue.  They live on a huge, beautiful piece of property that includes chickens, guinea hens and 5 Newfoundland dogs.

Maisie adapted very well to all of the open space and while she wasn’t successful in getting the other dogs to play with her she did discover a new love for chickens.

img_3021While Maisie is pretty comfortable being a city dog, it was really fun to see her flourish in the country.  She loved running free.  She stuck her nose up and sniffed the fresh air.  She raced through the tall grass and got wet with the morning dew.  And she made friends with a chicken.

If I ever doubted her gentleness, that was put to rest with this interaction.  She regularly chases bunnies and squirrels in our back yard.  I have seen her catch a bunny a couple of times, and she acts like she wants to hug them but they usually escape too quickly.  With this chicken, she was allowed her moment of affection.  She hugged it, rested her chin on her back, and carefully sniffed her all over.  Once she was done, the chicken hopped up and ran off.  It was a beautiful moment and Maisie was thrilled that she had made a new friend.img_3023

Real Neat Blog Award



A very big thank you to Xenia of  Whippets Wisdom for nominating us, it’s our first award!  She has a beautiful blog filled with photos and poetry dedicated to her two rescue whippets Elvor and Pearl. They go on great hiking adventures and the scenery is incredible.


Here are the rules for the Real Neat Blog Award:

  1. Post the Award logo on your blog.
  2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  3. Thank the people who nominated you and link to their blog.
  4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like and link to their blog.
  5. Let them know you nominated them by leaving a comment on their blog.

The questions are:

  1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?
    Most come from the United States and Canada but we also have visitors from the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Malaysia.
  2. What is your favourite sport or exercise?
    I love to go for long walks with my dogs, that is my preferred exercise for my mind and body.  As a fan, my favorite sport to watch is my son playing college lacrosse but I also love college football (the band adds so much spirit) and baseball.  The Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs are the two teams that I follow. (Really hoping this is the year for the Cubs in the World Series!)
  3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2016?
    We adopted Annie in January and it’s been a long road to recovery.  She has been doing so well that we recently went to see her foster family and she had a wonderful visit with them.  She was confident, relaxed and happy to see them all.  She flopped down with each of their dogs like no time had passed at all and then happily jumped into our car when it was time to go home.  It was a big moment that we all enjoyed.
  4. What is your favourite quote?
    It’s hard to choose but I recently found this one:  Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.
    —Sidney Jeanne Seward
  5. What was your favourite class when still at school?
    British Literature, I just love all of those classic stories.
  6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?
    I wish I had focused on historic preservation and architecture when I was in school,  I have slowly figured it out with trial and error and lots of independent reading as we have renovated our old houses.
  7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?
    I’m more of a listener than a performer.  I learned to play the clarinet in grade school but figured out pretty quickly that I preferred other people’s musical talents over my own.

I would like to nominate the following bloggers:

My Brown Newfies:  I have read this blog for years, long before I started my own.  She was one of my inspirations that maybe I could do this too.  You don’t have to be a Newfie owner or even a dog owner to appreciate her humorous and informative posts.

de Wets Wild:  I have always wanted to go to Africa and they post the most amazing and beautiful pictures of wild animals and their surroundings in South Africa.

The Swirling Dervish: We are big wine drinkers in our house and she writes about wine and regions all over the world.  It’s always interesting to read about what she is highlighting.

Under new management: A couple raising their kids while renovating their old house.  My husband and I have done this for years, and we are close to finishing so it’s fun for me to relive all the chaos, frustration and satisfaction of living in a renovation.

Harley, a puppy mill survivor:  The message is so important and they are highlighting and doing good work with efforts to end puppy mills.  The majority of puppy mill dogs are small and live their lives in filthy, small cages producing puppies for pet stores and on-line purchases. Harley’s story is an inspiration.

It’s crucial to raise awareness to this cause and  I have written Annie’s story so that people hopefully can understand what these dogs go through.  Whether the dogs are big or small, their fears and behaviors are similar. Like Harley, Annie lived in deplorable conditions with basically no health care and limited human contact and she is just now, at the end of her life, figuring out what it means to have a family to call her own.

If you choose not to accept this award, I understand.  I just want you to know that I appreciate your blogs and always look forward to new posts in my feed!



“Little Timmy fell down the well”

This week I had an actual Lassie moment.

On Tuesday, I was out of the house for a couple of hours and when I walked through the back door, neither dog was there to greet me.  Annie is usually there next to Maisie, but Maisie is always there and very often jumping up on the door so she can see me through the window as I approach.

I called out to them and then I heard the thunderous roar of aimg_2871 dog running down the stairs. Much to my surprise it was Annie who came skidding around the corner, charging right at me. She began barking and nearly took me out with swats to my ankles.  “You’re home, you’re home!”  Annie is not an excitable dog, so a greeting from her with this amount exuberance was highly unusual! I tried to calm her with gentle pats and soothing words as I waited for Maisie to come flying around the corner with a similar level of excitement.  After a few seconds, and no Maisie, I knew something was not right.

I called out for her, and as I began walking through the house, Annie was right by my side, pushing into my legs, seeming to guide me toward the stairs. I called for Maisie again and this time I heard a high pitched yip with a lot of scratching. As I started up the stairs, Annie barreled past me pushing me into the railing and raced to the top to wait for me and give me a couple of barks. “This way, this way!”

“this way!”

Once I was at the top, Annie ran down the hall and I could see that my bathroom door was closed and I could hear Maisie desperately barking and scratching at the door.

Annie ran to the door, barked a couple of times “hurry, hurry, she’s here” and watched me with such concern as I slowly opened the door.

“she’s in here!”

I didn’t want to hit Maisie with the door or run over her bandaged foot but when the door was open just a couple inches Maisie wedged herself through the opening and leapt out with the speed and energy of a tiger pouncing on her prey.  I quickly jumped out of the way, but Maisie was jumping on Annie, jumping on me, both were barking, trying to tell me about this terrible thing that happened.


Then they both turned, ran down the hallway, and side by side charged down the stairs faster than I’ve ever seen before. In a flurry of legs, tails and flying hair, I crossed my fingers that they wouldn’t get tangled up and roll down the stairs like a big, hairy  wagon wheel. I followed as quickly as I could to let them out since they both seemed desperate to get outside. They both ran outside, found spots in the middle of the yard and had what I assumed was a stress potty break.

I wasn’t gone that long! Annie never runs more than 2 or 3 steps so watching this level of excitement continue with the two of them had me laughing out loud.  Maisie proceeded to run circles around Annie, then run to me and then back again to Annie.  At this point, it was clear they both needed to calm down so I took them inside and got them to settle by my feet.  As they both were snoring, I had visions of them each lying down on either side of the door snorting at each other through the crack at the bottom, until Annie heard me coming and could run for help.  Oh to be a fly on the wall!