Tag Archives: Animal Rescue

Holiday Cheer. An Ad Sponsored by the Salt Marsh Birds.

It took lots of convincing by friends for me to put out this post. It is about my Nature Bound Art shop. I promise I will do this ‘ad’ only once a year. And I want you to know that every little penny I have earned from my images there has gone, and will go in the future, to bird conservation efforts by Audubon Society (this year mostly for the Osprey nest project), Cornell Ornithology Lab and Osprey Watch.

I’d like all friends to know that my Holiday greeting card collection from the salt marsh is now available. In case you still send real cards, please check them out! They are 5″ x 7″ in size and you can design your own message inside the card. They come with white envelopes as a single card, a pack of 10 or a pack of 25 cards.

Holiday greeting card, an example

And now that I have gathered the courage to tell you about my shop, I want to mention that you can find unique, high quality gifts for family and friends there too. I have prepared a small slideshow of products just as an example of what is in my shop – hundreds of different items for adults and kids. And you can customize all of them for size, background color and image position as applicable.

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The feedback I have received from buyers has been excellent, and the products I have seen myself have been of high quality. But just in case you are not happy, there is a money-back guarantee 🙂  It would be lovely if you just visited to see what’s there! The birds will thank you.

And just as a reminder, Bumble’s book (see sidebar) is a great gift for dog lovers of any age as well as kids from 10 and up. It is still available on Amazon both as a Kindle version and a soft cover – and all proceeds go to two reputable pet rescue organizations, the Humane Society and Florida Poodle Rescue.

Thank you for visiting. Have a wonderful day.

My Quest for a Forever Home.

I found what I was in search for. I know, it’s a spoiler. But I couldn’t possibly be sitting here at mom’s laptop writing to you if I was still pursuing my quest, could I ? Truth to be told, mom picked me up from my foster home on Friday, April 1. Almost six months ago now. But I can assure you I’m not an April Fools’ Day joke.  I’m a survivor.

Photo from March 2016 courtesy of Constanza Bryant, Florida Poodle Rescue.

You see, I was abandoned by my first family. I lived on the streets. And it was hard. Although I became good at sniffing for food people had thrown on the ground, I was always hungry. I could smell a half eaten chicken leg or a piece of hamburger bread from 50 yards,  but such treasures were few and far between. I lost a lot of weight. It was not obvious because my hair grew so long. If anything I looked fat. No hair cuts, no baths and no love do that to you. But it was even worse with water. Fresh water is something you take for granted when you have a home. I learned the hard way that it doesn’t rain in the spring in Florida. Finding even a small pool of dirty water was a challenge. I learned to get by with very little of it, mostly licking the trickles that reached the street when people watered their lawns. Recycled water. Not too good for you.

I can’t tell you how long I lived on the streets. I lost count of the days. And the long nights. I hardly slept because it was not safe. I had to stay alert. So I slept only for a few moments here and there when I collapsed of exhaustion.

Photo from March 2016 courtesy of Constanza Bryant, Florida Poodle Rescue.

And I was looking for my family all the time. My mission was keeping me alive. I ran towards young couples pushing baby strollers. If they let me close, I would gently sniff at the baby’s toes. But it was always some other baby. I couldn’t find my family. I had always believed I was part of the family. Obviously I was wrong. They were gone and had left me behind. I had no idea what I had done to deserve this, but there I was. Homeless. I was so sad.

Then one day a car stopped next to me. It was not the car I used to ride in and hang out from the back window my ears flapping in the wind. Not my car. And I had learned to avoid cars. But the man was friendly so I finally agreed to ride with him. A milestone. My new journey had started. Hospital stay. Food. Water. Love. Florida Poodle Rescue. A foster family – and more love. I was grateful to have a home, but still grieving the loss of my family, if that makes sense.

About a week later, mom knocked on the door. She came with a friend…to visit me! I knew right away she was my mom. That’s called intuition. I jumped onto her lap. I’m not sure if I even thanked my foster family well enough for all the love they gave me, I was so eager to go with mom. And like magic ~ I found myself in her car. I remember sitting in the back seat with her kind friend. Mom kept telling me we would go home to dad. It took a couple of hours, but she was right. I’m home now.

dylan-april-6-bI’m always with mom in her office when she works. Or blogs. I can make my bed of the old blanket on the sofa, redesigning it until I’m comfortable. Sometimes I just chill on the floor next to her desk.

dylan-3-ud82I’m an avid reader, and sometimes mom lets me browse other blogs too. Nothing short of amazing. So much interesting stuff!

dylan-at-computer-2-ud82But I’ll tell you what I love the most. Going for long walks! The faster we walk, the better. But running is the best, of course. You see, I’m mom’s personal trainer.  And I take my work seriously. She really needs her exercise. At least three miles a day. Sometimes even four or five, if I can trick her.

dylan-in-the-parkAnd she’d better take her work seriously too. I appreciate my rewards, ever so small. Be it a couple of baby carrots or a piece of my favorite cookie. Even a tooth cleaning treat will do. Mom, give it to me already!

dylan-1-ud82I have developed many new tricks to test on mom and dad. Some of them work, some don’t. I’ve noticed a few more tricks work on dad. But that’s another story. See you later. Be good now.

With love, Dylan (or maybe I should say Bob Dylan, but that’s also another story)

Dim the Lights. Bring the Envelope. (Or Guest Post XVIII)

Hiff there! It’s me again, Bumble. Long time no see. Finally Mom allowed me to do a guest post on her blog.  And I hope it’s not only because she had to.  I came up with the prize for the best name proposals for the Osprey chicks. And it’s my book telling my story. She’s lucky I’m still here with my wits intact. At almost fifteen. It’s a respectable age, don’t you think?

new bumble laptop5 ed
Typing at Mom’s laptop…

Anyway, I’m happy to see you all again. How’ve you been? I hope life is smelling good. Like chicken. And that you’re getting enough exercise. I still walk Mom four times a day, and I’m on a new diet. I take that back. It’s actually not a diet. I’ve changed the way I eat. And that’s changed the way I feel. I’ve gotten a new leash on life. I heard my groomer say that to Mom the other day. I didn’t quite get it as I already have a leash. Actually two, if you count the short orange one from the hospital. But who cares, I feel fine.

Had to pose for Mom the other day...
Had to pose for Mom the other day…

You’re not curious to know the secret anti-aging trick that has allowed me to keep my good looks well into old age? No, you don’t need to click on anything, or buy anything. I’ll tell you right now for free: no dog treats! Only fresh baby carrots and apples between healthy meals. Preferably grilled chicken. Or poached salmon. So now you have it.

Otherwise it’s been busy around here. We spend a lot of time in the office. Mom and I. And we’re working hard. She talks on the phone or writes. When she’s not flying somewhere or exercising with the birds around the salt marsh. And I guard all her papers.

bumble in mom's office
Guarding Mom’s papers in the office…

One of my favorite pastimes is listening to the osprey chicks on our terrace. I’d say watching, but that’d be a lie. My eye sight is not that good anymore.

Listening to the osprey chicks...and guarding Mom's drink. Water, I think.
Listening to the osprey chicks…and guarding Mom’s drink. Water, I think.

And even Mom uses some kind of long glasses to watch them. But they are loud when they want food. And they seem to eat all the time. Like I did when I was younger. Always helping Mom in the kitchen. Picked up anything and everything she dropped. Under five seconds, with a good margin.

Sorry. Here I’m talking away when we need to get down to business. Dim the lights. We got many great proposals on names for the three osprey chicks. I’m sure you’re itching to know the winners…oh, I almost forgot! I asked mom why they needed names in the first place when we could just call them the big, middle and little chick. Mom said it wasn’t just for fun. A name with a good photo helps to recognize them, should they show up again after they leave the nest. Even if it’s much later, like after my next birthday. A satisfactory explanation, I thought. Much like my ID tag. So here we go. Dim the lights again.

bumble meditating in the dining room
Dim the lights!

And bring me the envelope. Mom? You were supposed to sit on the couch here. And hand me the envelope with your Excel sheet and the rationales we agreed on. I’ll need to paste them here.  Why do you always complicate things …oh, there you are! Thanks Mom…I have to bite this open. And now I press  “insert”. Ta Da!

osprey chick names

Lofty describes the personality of the big chick to the dot. He is imposing and a bit patronizing. Always wants to have the fish for himself and eat first. And be the first in the air. Val wins a book!

Aspire is a great name for the middle chick, who is well behaved but otherwise aspires to be like the big chick, sits next to him all the time and tries to come and eat with him. Kathy wins a book!

Sindile is a suitable name for the little chick. It means survivor (African origin). She has grown to a beautiful bird despite meager odds. And is slowly getting more assertive. Nancy Tex wins a book!

Bumble counting the books BG
Just checking…yes, we have enough books. The rest will go to the shop at the shelter.

There you go! And all the others ( Gallivanta, Jackie, Lorrie, Nancy, Nancy, and Susan) share the second place and get a card with all the chicks’ IDs. Once Mom has gotten lucky with a neat picture of them. That I approve of.  I’ve already volunteered to help her print it on the cards. Maybe she’ll allow me to sign them as well. I think my paw print looks quite good. Mom doesn’t always agree. Like that time I put my print on one of her mementos, a Zambian driver’s license.

Bumble selfie BG
Looks can be deceiving…I’m a good guard dog.

All winners please send your address to me at tinylessonsblog@aol.com. I promise to keep it safe. I’ll growl if someone tries to steal it. And I’m prepared to bite should tough measures be required. Looks can be deceiving. But you already know that, right?

Bumble Skydiving BG
An illustration from my book…I’m living fearlessly.

Thanks for playing and live fearlessly. Until next time. Love, Bumble

Almost Wordless Wednesday: The 99 Cent Celebration!

Bumble is celebrating a nice Editorial Review of his book by offering the Kindle version of “Confessions of a Rescue Dog”  for 99 cents on Amazon.com for five days! The sale starts today and goes on until Sunday, July 20th! Thank you for spreading the word!

Bumble the rescue poodle
Bumble, the Rescue Dog

Confessions of a Rescue Dog

“I’ve learned to trust again. I’ve learned to play again. I’ve conquered my fears. But most importantly, I’ve learned never to lose hope.” That’s Bumble’s message to his readers on the back of his new book “Confessions of a Rescue Dog“.  He generously shares what he has learned and let’s the reader peek into his world through touching and humorous observations.

Bumble plans his escape.
Bumble plans his escape.

Bumble hopes this book will be a heart-warming treat for pet lovers of ages 10-100, but more importantly, he hopes it will raise awareness and much needed funds to help more shelter animals find loving forever homes. He wanted to post an excerpt for you to read here. It’s about one of his favorite activities, visiting a small uninhabited island for a swim and a nice picnic:

“I love to go to this one particular island. It’s uninhabited and few people ever go there. It has shallow white beaches, and the sand is soft. My family likes the crystal clear water, and we spend hours snorkeling. This is where I also go into the water to swim and snorkel. It’s such a wonderful beach….Last time we were there we got a surprising visitor, completely unannounced. We were all swimming and suddenly mom was screaming. I thought she’d been bitten by a big fish, like a shark or something. I was ready to swim to her rescue!

Bumble goes swimming.
Bumble goes swimming.

Then I looked more carefully and saw a large dolphin. They are nice, intelligent animals and not fish. Mom had told me that earlier when we saw two of them swimming ahead of our boat. This one was swimming around mom, who was now standing waist deep in the water. She had been a bit scared when the dolphin first came to nudge her, but now she was delighted. The dolphin stayed with us for a while and then swam out to the ocean. The whole experience was very special.

Another thing that I love about these small outings is that we usually go out in the morning and return just before sundown. That means lunch on the beach somewhere, and I mean an excellent lunch on the beach. Mom never brings my bowl or my food, so I get what they get. Usually chargrilled chicken breasts or yummy sausages! I love the lunch time on these trips. I get pieces from everyone, and no one keeps a count. That’s what I call a picnic! I’m suggesting we make a small boating trip a regular feature in the weekend calendar, every week. No one would ever be bored.”

You can read another excerpt here. It is about the time when Bumble had just come from the shelter to his new home and was rediscovering how to play.

His book is finally available on Amazon US as a paperback and also on Kindle! In addition, it will be available on other on-line book sellers in the US and on Amazon’s sites world-wide in the next few days.

We both hope you’ll enjoy it!

OMG! He Did It!

Finally we are up for air, my writing partner and I. You see, last November right around NaNoWriMo time, Mister Bumble insisted that he wanted to write his story. He would call it “Confessions of a Rescue Dog”. He asked me to type it since I’m a bit faster than him.  When I hesitated, he went to his archives and brought me a quote. That did it.

Bumble borrowing laptop ed

The quote was written on a simple piece of white paper and it read: “Rescue animals aren’t broken. They’ve simply experienced more life than other animals. If they were human, we would call them wise. They would be the ones with tales to tell and stories to write… animals dealt a bad hand, but who responded with courage. Don’t pity a shelter animal. Adopt one! And be proud to have their greatness by your side.” -Anonymous

I thought his story was worth telling. In fact, it’s quite heart-warming and uplifting. So he started narrating and I started typing. And typing. For the whole month of November. Then came December and we both got busy with other things. I re-engaged in some income generating activities and Bumble concentrated on his work, namely protecting our home from shady characters. We made a few efforts towards editing the manuscript late at nights, but achieved little.

the manuscipt ed

The holidays came and went. The manuscript was covered by soft cushions in a corner of the sofa in my office. Until one day, when Bumble was digging there to make a bed for himself, it fell down on the floor. And I knew we had to finish the book.

We got to work. Reviewing, editing, reviewing again. Then one day great illustrations appeared in my inbox. My son had finalized the cover and several other images for the book. Now we just had to get to the finish line.

front cover final

So finally our joint labor is bearing fruit. 175 pages of treats for pet lovers.  Just before midnight yesterday, the book was submitted for publishing. Bumble did it! He wants to help other animals find loving forever homes so he committed us to donate a portion of the sales to the Humane Society’s shelter here at home.  We have been there, seen all the dogs, cats, rabbits and birds waiting for a new home. It’s a large and well run no-kill shelter.

We’ll let you know when and where Bumble’s story will be available. When you read it, please remember not to take all his observations about me literally. While I think that he’s a fairly accurate analyst of human behavior, I have noticed that he tends to exaggerate a bit when I’m concerned.

Have a wonderful weekend ♥ Tiny and Bumble

Confessions of a Rescue Dog (or Guest Post VIII)

Hiff friends! Now that I’ve written seven posts on mom’s blog, I feel confident enough to tell you my story. I’m a rescue dog.  Yeaff. That’s true. I would never write fiction about anything like that. I want to tell you how I finally came home to mom and dad.

It was Christmas Eve 2006, a few days after my fifth birthday. The winter was approaching in the Nation’s Capital. My home was nicely decorated for the holidays, warm and cozy. It smelled good from all the baking. In the morning everything seemed as usual. My little sister Carrie, who is a white toy poodle, and I were getting our breakfast in the kitchen.  Kibbles as usual. Then we were let out in the backyard to do our stuff. We were running around and playing to stay warm until my ex mom came to let us in.

Around 10 in the morning my ex mom told us that we would go for a ride. We were happy, jumping up and down, we both liked car rides. There was nothing better than a holiday ride! Maybe we would get some special treats. We were sitting in the back, riding for about 15 minutes only, when the car stopped. My ex mom took us both out and we were wondering where we were going. It was a red brick building, I had never been there before.

We went in, my ex mom talked to someone for a while. I overheard heard her saying that I was too loving, wanted too much attention. What does that mean? Of course I love my family. Then Carrie and I were taken into the back by someone very nice. We saw lots of other dogs, all in little cages. I was very frightened. No one told us what was going on. Finally we got to an office. I told Carrie that this was a doctor’s office. Our mom must have gotten a new doctor for us again.

The doctor was nice and the technicians as well, but were was our mom? After the examination we both got some injections and then we got a nice long bath. Now we could go home! But we didn’t. Mom never came to take us. Instead we were put into one of those cages. Very nice, clean and bright, but it was not home. It was good to be together but we both were so frightened. I remember shivering, but didn’t want to let it show. I was the big brother and had to remain strong for both of us.

That was the longest Christmas night ever. Our mom never came back to take us home. Why? I tried to think if I had done something bad. The only thing I could imagine was that I had taken a slipper from the hall the day before. My ex mom didn’t like it. She hit me with a newspaper. She shouted and hit Carrie too. Now I started to fear we would never go home again. It was all so sad.

The next day we were photographed and we were given new names. Now I was no longer Chief. We were now Bumble and Bee. Actually I like Bumble much better than Chief, I was never a commander or chief. We were well taken care of by the loving staff, but we were at a shelter, abandoned by our family. We were homeless.

The next few days lots of people came to see us, either me or Bee. I was on my best behavior. Then came New Year’s Eve. In the morning my mom came in. She walked right to our “room” and I was jumping up, wanted her to pick me up! Someone came for Bee too. Then I sat in my moms lap in the play area for over an hour. Bee sat with a different mom, her mom. My mom just held me like she would never let me go, I could feel her love. I felt safe.

I missed her when she left. And to be honest I was a little disappointed, I so much wanted to go with her! But the next day she came back with dad, I was so excited! They both held me, it felt like being in a family again. The nice staff told me that I would have a new home, and Bee would too, but a different one. They just needed to do due diligence, whatever that might mean. But it must be something good because a few days later mom came back with dad. That time I could go with them! We went to mom’s car and I was shivering a little when she carried me because I had no idea where we would go. I sat in dad’s lap until we came to brick house with a big garden.

I ran into all rooms to check them out. Sniff, sniff. I remember I was very excited…to the point that I did a tiny wet spot on the blue silk rug upstairs. Of course that was a pure accident! And no one hit me with a newspaper or shouted at me, mom just took me out to the backyard. And that house became my new home, my own territory. By time I relaxed, I was no longer afraid of newspapers, and started playing with the new toys mom had bought me. I got good food, but no sweets like I had in my first home. Mom said it was not good for my teeth to eat candy, so I stopped craving it. I loved my new home!

Then one day, much later,  dad started to pack our car. I could have never thought so many things could fit into that old Durango. I remember that I sat in the front seat almost the whole day, while dad ran back and forth. I knew something was going on, and I didn’t want to risk being left behind. Not that I suspected anything, but just to be absolutely sure. A huge truck also came later that day and it seemed like the whole house would go into it. Then the next day, we were driving for a long time, many potty breaks! I sat on my black cat pillow in the back seat.

When we finally got out of the car, it was warm and nice! And I discovered my current home. I love it! And I love to chase squirrels in the yard, and take long walks in the park. My life is soooo good now. Lots of luv given and received. And that’s all I ever wanted. Now I’m no longer fearful when Christmas arrives.

I’ve been a happy camper for almost seven years now! Thanks shelter staff for finding me my mom and dad. I think I’ll need to go and check if my dinner is ready…Luff ya all.