When Will I See You Again?

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  Some days you wake up, and it seems like any ordinary day.  But no days are ordinary to me.  Because you truly never know what will happen.

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Yesterday, Girl Person told us that we were going to go see Gandma and Gandpa.  Now, I may not be able to read a map.  But I do know that when we go and visit them, it takes us at least four hours to drive back to where we used to live near that Tampa, Florida place.  How do I know what an hour is? I do not.  But I do know time by the growl of my stomach.  And usually, dinner is always late when we make that drive.  So when Girl Person said that we were going to go and see them, I was already getting my stomach ready by a pep talk.  But as we got on the ferry, which was not the direction that we go in to see them…I knew that something was not adding up.  The Sheriff had already deciphered that information too.

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Something was not adding up.  But after the past week with all the rain, the Sheriff being sick, and the persons working too much, I was too tired to think much about it. Actually, I find it tiring to think in general, so I just don’t.  Just “being” is what I do best.  I sit back and enjoy the ride.

So as we got off of the ferry, I let the Sheriff do all of the thinking.  Girl Person continued to tell us that we were going to see Gandma and Gandpa.  But I didn’t see them anywhere at all.  And then…out of nowhere…they pulled up!  The same car that they had back in that Tampa, Florida place had driven them all of the way here!

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First of all, I realized that my dinner would not in fact be late.  And that was excellent.  And then, I realized that they had come to see us with dog treats in their car.  And then…I realized…that it was real nice to see them again.

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It was like they always show up at random.  We go somewhere like any other day, and sometimes they pull up in their car.  Most of the time, they do not.  And being on the road for such a long time made me realize that I really liked them pulling up.  But it also made me think, which I never do.  Sure, I was seeing them today.  But when would I see them again?

Life has a way of getting us caught in routine and not thinking that one day…things will change.  They will change.  They will.  If there is one thing I know after traveling for over two years now, is that the ones that you love the most will come to you wherever you are.  They may not always be able to pull up in their car, but they visit your heart.  Only if you let them.

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Just like I don’t ever take my dinner for granted, there are things in our life that we should appreciate too.  Don’t think that they just know either.  Tell them.  If we don’t tell the ones that we love how much they mean to us, sometimes that distance grows further, even if they are right beside us.

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This time tomorrow, things may be different.  In an hour from now, things may be different.  We have the choice in the moment where we are…right now…to really love.  To really feel.  To really make an effort.  As hard as it is, it will be harder if we don’t have that opportunity again.

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So thank you Gandma and Gandpa for coming to see us.

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We don’t know what the future brings, or where our adventures will lead us after next month.  But for now, we sure love you.  Persons always want things in the world to get better, but I know this.  If you want to change the world, love your family.

-Deputy Digby Pancake 

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  If they into each life a little rain must fall, they didn’t say that it would last for over a week.  Who is they? Does anyone really know? And Sheriff Brickle?  He is getting quite irritable with his hair all a mess.  He doesn’t know it is a mess.  In fact, he thinks that it actually has been looking a little stylish.  I say he is a little mistaken.  But who am I to argue with a Sheriff that hasn’t got his sunshiney lately?  Nope, not I.

When things aren’t going your way, it is easy to go with the flow for a few days.  But when you see no end in sight, that usually is when you may start to worry.  You may start to get upset.  And you wonder, will it ever, truly, stop raining?

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Life is like that sometimes, it seems.  Like when you go to the store, and they don’t have your favorite brand of maple syrup and try to pass off some fake stuff.  Then you try to leave the store, and a deluge falls out of the sky that floods the entire neighborhood.  Then, you get in your car and there is a puddle on the floor because it rained so hard it came inside.  And you have no umbrella.  Because you don’t want to spend money to buy an umbrella.  And so you figure, life has got you all wet.  One thing leads to another.  Yes. This happened. What do you think that I do? Make up this stuff?

But then, you realize that your car is actually full of groceries.  Although wet, you have a car.  And food.  No maple syrup, but thankful, nonetheless.  And so you drive home, you get to your house on wheels, and you take out that new birdseed you bought for the Scarlet Pimpernel.  Because he won’t eat the kind you bought in California.

I didn’t know that birds were as picky about their food as Brickle.  But it is true.  Apparently, the Scarlet Pimpernel only likes certain seeds, and he decided to throw all of the rest of them on the ground.  And the ones he left? With all of the rain, apparently, he was trying to grow a garden.

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Now, I am all about having a green thumb…if I had thumbs.  But why would a bird be trying to grow his own garden, I wondered?

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Maybe he wanted to be the talk of all the birds in the campground.  Maybe he wanted to  grow his own grass so that he could buy a lawn mower and ride around in it like a proud peacock.  Seems logical.

Or maybe he wanted to save some money and have an endless supply of treats.  As you know, I have been looking for that coveted pancake tree for years.  But, no.  I thought about it some more.  And I figured that the Scarlet Pimpernel was trying to grow his own garden because he knows that we won’t be camped here forever.  When we leave, who is going to buy his favorite foods?  He was saving up for a rainy day…even though it actually may not be raining from the sky when we leave. It will be raining from our hearts.  Even the little bird one.

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Yes, our time here is coming to end soon.  As usual, our planning skills have much to be desired.  And we didn’t plan for this holiday week.  So we leave our space here in the campground on Thursday to move to another spot here for two nights.  Then, we have to go to St. Mary’s, Georgia on Saturday until Tuesday.  And then next Tuesday, we come back right here until the end of June.  And then?  You will have to wait and see!

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You see, we could have let the rain get us down, and truth be told, some days it did.  But in all of the rain and the storms and the mud and the dirt, we had to find out that actually even waiting for the rain to stop is a good thing.  How many have went through something in their life that they thought was the worst and would never get better?  What happened when you actually got through it?  I can bet as high as a stack of pancakes that afterwards, you learned something.  I can bet that you were a better person for it.  And I can bet that the lessons served as an umbrella for the next time the rain came.  This much is true…after the rain is the best time of all.

But if you are in the rain…right now…you can still start planting your garden.  You don’t have to wait until the sunshine comes, because you will need the rain too.  Life isn’t about waiting for storms to pass.  It’s about learning to be happy in the rain.  And what makes us happy today?  Even if the rain doesn’t stop, Gandma and Gandpa decided to drive the four hours from Tampa here.  And we get to see them today!  That my friends is going to be sunshiney even if there is no sun.  And isn’t that the trick?  Make the effort to grow your garden.  Get your seeds.  Make the best of what you have.  And see what grows.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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There’s No Such Thing As A Little Salty

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  You already know that there is no such thing as a little handsome…in my case, that is. You already know that there is no such thing as a little moody…also in my case.  But let me tell you something that you may not know.  There’s no such thing as a little salty.

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With the extreme amount of rain that has continued to fall here near Jacksonville Beach, Florida the past week, it has been hard to get to the ocean for our daily walk and siesta every day.  Walking thru the mud and puddles is not my idea of spaw time.

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So since we have not been able to get our usual beach time in, Girl Person thought that perhaps she should bring it into the RV.  You know.  The sand.  You know.  The dirt.  You know.  The salt.  It is beyond me how much sand and salt and everything in between can get into an RV.  Beyond me.

Now, if you know Girl Person like I do, and no one actually does, you would know that she can be either like Eeyore…

Or she can be like the Tasmanian Devil.

She is often a multitasker to the extreme.  She isn’t as good at it as me, because no one can look in the mirror, tell himself he is beautiful, and then look at himself some more as much as I can.  And no can can do this as well as I can. That is for sure.

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Now.  Being able to multitask is one matter.  Being good at what you are multitasking at is quite another.  This particular Friday, Girl Person had writing assignments.  Girl Person had to dictate the blog, talk on the phone, walk us, go to the grocery store, take our pictures, make our dinner, walk us and then she had to record that podcast nonsense with Boy Person.  That is when they just sit there for an hour and talk into microphones to each other.  And yeah, this is in fact beyond me.  She should have already reached her limit by now.

But you guessed it.  She kept going.  It was about ten at night.  Girl Person thought that ten at night was a good time to make dinner for her and Boy Person.  I wasn’t too keen on this because usually, 10:05 is matzo time for me and the Deputy.  But as she got out some pots, and cut up some broccoli, I decided that as long as I had to wait for my matzo, I could watch her cook.  I knew this was going to be good. Better than Broadway.  Some may say it would be creepy watching someone when they didn’t know it.  But she was too busy multitasking to notice.

So she got out her spices for the broccoli.  The garlic, the pepper.  She cut up a lemon.  And all was going well.  Never mind that only one burner works on the Big Blue Treat Wagon stove at this point.  But we will save that story for another day.  She was cooking up a storm.  Throwing in a toss of this, a toss of that.  Singing to Dean Martin on the radio.  And she was almost done.

If all food that people cooked made with love tasted great, that would be great.  But alas, this is not the case.  And it wasn’t the case this night.  As Girl Person realized that she forget to add the salt, she quickly, well, added it.  And then, she folded a few clothes from the laundry a few hours previously.  And then she went back and stirred the broccoli and added more salt.  She talked to Boy Person about how tired she was.  And then she went back and added more salt.  She gave me my matzo which was ten minutes late.  And then she added more salt.  And finally, when it was time to eat, and her and Boy Person sat down to do so, Boy Person said the broccoli looked real good.  They took a bite.  They thought they needed to stir it.  Now, I sat there watching them as a Sheriff does so good, and I knew.  This was not going to end well.

Again, if you know Girl Person as well as I do, you know that she loves to cook. But she doesn’t like it when something she cooks doesn’t turn out the way she wants it to.  And as she spit out the next bite of broccoli, and looked at Boy Person…they both said…yep.  This wasn’t so good, y’all.  In fact, it was pretty salty.  A little salty.  But there is no such thing as a little salty.  Cause you are either salty, or you are not salty.  And well, if you are too salty, there is no way to take care of that it seems.  You can always add salt, but you can’t take it away.  Good thing my salty beauty is untouched.

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Boy Person all of a sudden said he wasn’t too hungry and wanted to eat a peanut butter cup anyway.  Girl Person started crying, Boy Person told her to calm down, and then Girl Person said she was going to bed.  She said she was even too tired to go to bed, Boy Person asked her why she had cooked in the first place, and they might as well have been chasing their own tails.  All.  Over.  Salty.  Broccoli.

Now. If a lesson is to be learned here, and there always is a lesson, it is that sometimes, you can try to do so much in your day that you end up putting too much salt on broccoli.  No, that is not the lesson as Deputy Digby just related.  But the lesson is in fact that sometimes, persons try to do too much.  They try to fit in everything in their day that they can.  They leave no room or time to sit down and enjoy anything, because they in fact have become too salty.  We all need salt to live.  But too much, and it is harmful.  Don’t do too much.  That’s simple, but the truth.  The only room left for salt in this RV is going to be in the person’s pants, because the laundry can wait.  There’s not much in life that can’t be moved to the next day.  We aren’t as important as we think we are.  The world would go on without us…so give yourself a break.  Leave out so much salt.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

Today an NOON ET on our Facebook page, watch Girl Person live as she teaches you how to make a Cesar Salad For Dogs!

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Pawcast Podcast #22 Minnesota

On this week’s podcast, the dogs interrupt us, the persons go way off topic, and we finally get to talking about our travels thru Minnesota!

Mentioned in this week’s podcast:

Great River Rescue

Mod Squad

Minnesota Hotdish Recipe For Dogs and People

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Not All Animal Rescues Are Good

Some things are pretty straight forward in our lives.  We know that the sun will come up and go down.  We know that there are there are good people in this world, and bad.  But what happens when the supposed “good people” out there turn out to be…well…not so good?

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When our family decided to go on our “48 states, 48 rescues” tour, I prepared myself for the inevitable.  I would see dogs and cats and other animals that I felt sorry for.  I would want to adopt all of the animals.  And I would be seeing things that would make me angry, upset or defeated.

When we chose all of the 48 rescues or shelters that we highlighted on our trip, we tried to be as careful as possible.  We always chose an organization with a 501c3 tax status.  We did our research on the rescue with news articles, filed complaints, and scrutinized their social media pages.  And often, it took us a very long time to find a rescue that we wanted to visit in each state.  Why?  There were a lot of questionable ones out there.

This was a surprising fact to me.  There is no denying that shelters and rescue organizations serve a vital role in our world.  With millions of unwanted and homeless animals, if not for the people out there sacrificing so much of themselves, money and time, these animals would have no where to go.  People would have no where to turn when they needed help with their animals.

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But with all of the shelters and rescue organizations that are doing wonderful things out there, we have began to realize that there are surprisingly many that are not doing such wonderful things.  So, what can YOU do if you encounter such a rescue?  What can  you do if you are a volunteer and see something that needs to be reported or looked at more closely?  The fact is, it all comes down to the animals.  And even if they are in the pretense of a safe place, the truth is, not all places that claim to be such are looking out for their best interests.  It is such a sad fact…isn’t it?

I had to ask myself in a specific situation this week, what would cause someone to operate an animal rescue, but misuse funds, or send dogs for euthanization regularly? What would cause someone to continue to pull animals from shelters, but turn to making big profits out of selling puppies?  What would cause a rescue organization to turn to puppy mills or breeders for “overstocks” in order to sell these same dogs themselves?  These things happen in animal rescue? Yes.  They do.  As an advocate for animals, and a proponent to “Make Rescues The Breed Of Choice”, I can tell you, no one is more disturbed about this than I am.  Because it gives people an excuse to stop rescuing.  It gives people an excuse to buy a dog from a breeder and feel good about it.  It gives people an excuse to stop caring, stop doing and stop donating.  And this is just…wrong!

But as wrong as this is, and as mad as I was this week trying to navigate my way through information on how to report a rescue or shelter of abuse, I educated myself.  I spoke with the Humane Society of The United States and the ASPCA directly on their suggestions on what to do if, for example, you are fostering for a rescue, or have adopted, or are a volunteer and suspect either misuse of funds, abuse, or endangerment of an animal.  Should you just sit back and do nothing, thinking that since they are a rescue, they must know it all?  Should you just forget about it and move on to another shelter or rescue? You must not.  Because if we are all true advocates for animals, we will speak up.  We will use the proper methods and go to the proper authorities.  This is another way that we can help change the plight of many animals and start a change from within.

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First of all, the Humane Society puts it very blunt.

“Remember, though, that there is a difference between bad shelter practice and differences in opinion about operational strategy – before you move forward with a complaint, review sheltering best practices resources and try to engage the organization in productive collaboration. While countless lives have been saved because a member of the public spoke up and to end harmful shelter practices, opportunities to save lives have also been lost because people have become too embroiled in philosophical disagreements to implement new lifesaving programs.”

They also recommend trying to make a change from within.  But what if all of your efforts fail? Is there anything you can do with lives are at stake? The Humane Society continues.

“Where do you lodge a complaint? It can be difficult to know where to turn to complain about an organization’s policies or procedures. To get results, you need to understand who is in charge of the organization: Public organizations, such as municipal animal control agencies, typically have a leader that is ultimately accountable to the elected officials of the city or county. The good news is that politicians are typically very reactive to citizen concerns; the bad news is that the process of making change in a government can be slow and tedious. If you have tried reaching out to the head of the agency (and onward up the chain of command) to no avail, discuss your concerns with local political officials either one-on-one or at a public meeting. But remember, politicians hear lots of complaints on all kinds of different topics – raising specific concerns, or better yet having concrete solutions available to solve those concerns (particularly if they won’t cost the municipality money!), tends to be much more effective than simply voicing general complaints. Private organizations are generally run by an Executive Director, who reports to a private Board of Directors. These agencies do not report to any national humane organizations, like The HSUS or ASPCA. Unless they are violating a specific law or ordinance (regarding tax law, for example, or animal cruelty) the Board of Directors has virtually unrestricted authority to set the organization’s path. However, private agencies are dependent on donor dollars to survive, so they are typically willing to hear concerns about their operations, particularly if those concerns might affect their bottom line. If you have already met with the Executive Director of the organization and have not been satisfied, request to speak directly with the Board of Directors.
Private agencies with government contracts generally report to a Board of Directors just as private organizations do, but they can also be influenced by public policy due to their contractual relationships. Use both paths to make your voice heard. What other agencies might hear your concerns? Local or state law enforcement/attorney general offices may become involved if active cruelty is occurring; ask about filing a formal complaint. Governmental agencies must make budget information available to taxpayers, and private 501(c)(3)s must file federal 990 forms with the IRS – these are available for public viewing on websites like Guidestar and Charity Navigator.

If you suspect improper use of donated funds, you may also file a complaint with the IRS. http://nonprofit.about.com/od/fundraising/a/safegiving.htm

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) oversees how euthanasia and other drugs are acquired, stored and managed; if you suspect that drugs are being stolen or misused, contact your local DEA office (http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/offices_n_dirs/fielddiv/index.html). Your state Veterinary Board or Department of Agriculture may be charged with overseeing and/ or inspecting local shelters – file a complaint if you suspect the shelter is violating local or state law. Tips for complaining effectively can be found at http://www.howtocomplain.com/info/advice.shtml.

Sit on a citizens’ advisory board: Many public shelters have an advisory board that serves as a liaison between the shelter and elected community officials. If such an entity exists, see about getting yourself appointed. If there is not yet one in place, talk to local officials about creating one. o Use Freedom of Information Laws: Obtaining records of the shelter’s operations can be the easiest way to document abuses or violations (or to reassure yourself that circumstances are not as you feared). Every public agency or organization with public contracts is subject to state and federal open records laws (sometimes referred to as freedom of information laws or public access laws) which allow citizens to obtain copies of all documents created or produced by the shelter. To learn more about the federal Freedom of Information Act or to see what public access laws apply in your state visit: http://publications.usa.gov/epublications/foia/foia.htm

Use Open Meeting Laws: All states have in place some form of open meetings and open records laws that ensure citizens have access to government meetings. These “sunshine laws” or “open meeting laws” prevent government officials from holding meetings and making decisions behind closed doors. You can find information about the rules applicable in your state at http://www.rcfp.org/open-government-guide.

Engaging the media: A sympathetic but objective reporter can be a strong ally. Most media outlets have websites with contact information, either for the entity itself or for individual reporters. o Use your political savvy: Many groups have successfully lobbied local political leaders and completely upended existing outdated shelter operational philosophies. Be professional, visit local officials, and make yourself an ally to them politically, rather than just a thorn in their side, and you stand a greater chance of success.

Consider filling in the gaps instead of fighting: If what your shelter needs is an effective foster program, a comprehensive pet retention program, or a rescue transfer program, perhaps the best way to achieve that goal is to start that group yourself. Many people have dramatically reduced shelter euthanasia by creating a viable alternative, rather than fighting a stressful battle to force the shelter to change.”

We thank the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA for getting us this information and their time.  And if you have continued reading this information, we thank you for your time too.  It is a sad world for many animals out there who find themselves homeless, abused or neglected.  Add to the sadness anticipation of a new beginning in a rescue or shelter that turns out to be the opposite.  We can’t change the world ourselves, but we can make a world of difference for one animal.  We all know in our hearts what is right and wrong.  Don’t sit back and let someone else convince you that abuse…even if at a shelter or rescue is normal.  We cannot anticipate all situations that you may encounter, the local laws where you live, or the exact steps you will need to take.  But if you make the time to find out, and make a difference, the bad rescues out there will cease to operate.  This will not be an easy task, or a short one.  But if we all long for a day when shelters and rescues aren’t needed at all, we will continue to support the good ones.  We will continue to tell them thank you.  And we will continue to make it possible for them to KEEP doing great things by removing ones that give them a bad name.

-Rachael Johnson, Owner, 2 Traveling Dogs

Catch our daily dog blog where dogs do all the talking at www.2travelingdogs.com

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Hot Pizza Toppings On Feet

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  I have been instructed to write the dog blog today.  You know, I normally would have no problem with that in between bites of pancakes.  But this week has been rough for me trying to hold down the RV fort.  You see, we have a sicky, Bricky Sheriff on our paws, an under the weather Girl Person, and a floor full of dog hair, hot pizza and dirty feet.

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We knew that there was going to be rain in the forecast this week.

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So we tried to prepare for it as much as we could.  You know, getting out towels, plugging up the hole in the Jeep hood, duct taping the RV roof in places, and putting in the slide outs.  Our motorhome has now turned into a sardine can with nowhere to move except on top of each other. And with all of this commotion, and trying to be as normal as possible, Girl Person wanted to feel better by making some pizza in our easy bake oven RV.

Sometimes, Girl Person says she feels like she is playing house.  She says that no one in their right mind would try to make a pizza in a sardine can, but she wanted some.  Also. She is not in her right mind. And so, after a day of pouring rain and mud, and climbing on top of the RV, Boy Person took a seat, laughed to Girl Person about the day, and she went to making a pizza.  Or two.  Yes, for each of them.  It had been that kind of day.

But when you try to fit two pizzas in an easy bake oven with toppings, and you are really hungry, you forget where you are for a minute, because you are so excited about the pizza.  And so you pull it out of the oven, and you also forget you are standing on a square floor in a half a butt kitchen, and you pull too hard, and you fall back onto the kitchen table, which has been made into a dog bed, and the hot pizza toppings go all over your feet.  You are also thinking in run-on sentences.  Obviously.

Your foot is now burnt, you are laying on top of your Digby dog…me…who is not happy about it.  And then, to second that emotion, you have the Sheriff who wakes up from his sleep with a sick stomach, starts crying to go out, and then Girl Person tries to run across the half butt kitchen, catapulting herself over Boy Person in a chair with hot pizza topping feet. She slides out the RV steps with Brickle at her side, forgets a dog bag, and has to run across the campground with hot pizza feet, no dog bag, a sick Sheriff, and.  In. The. Rain.

Now,  if you have ever had soggy pizza, it ain’t good for anyone, and yet, Girl Person was mourning the loss of her mushrooms and leeks, and realized that if Brickle ate them, he was going to be even sicker, so she ran back to the RV to get a dog bag to pick up the toppings and other items, and she just stood there for a moment.  What had her life come to? She had one dog sick from worrying about the storm.  She only had an easy bake oven.  And well, she had a pretty sad pizza.  And this made her sad.  And then, sometimes, you are so sad, you start laughing.  And when you start laughing with burnt pizza feet and soggy dog bags full of mushrooms and leeks, you look like you need the police called on you.  However, he is outside in the rain with you.  And you are both a sad, sad sight.

As Boy Person opened the door, due to the frantic knocks, he first of all wondered if his personal pizza had any toppings on it.  Then, he wondered if we had all lost our minds.  Finally.  In this sardine can.  And I seconded that emotion.

But, when it comes to rainy days, rainy weeks, stormy weather and sardine cans full of no toppings pizzas, you have to just stop and wonder.  Is a smooth sailing life a better life? Or is a little rain needed every now and then to make you appreciate pizza with toppings, feet that aren’t burnt and not eating sardines?  I say rain, rain, go away.  But thanks for the visit.  We are ready to go back to not being sick and not being rained on.  But as long as you are here, and you don’t get to leaving, pull up a chair. Never mind. There’s no room.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

What did we pick out of our vintage recipe box this week? Don’t miss Girl Person making our third retro recipe installment for May!

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Today, we have Cheeseburger Pie that you can share with your dog.

 See Girl Person make it live on our Facebook page at 4:30 p.m. ET.

If you are struggling with skin issues, low energy, digestive issues, sleeplessness or weight gain, find out what your food and environmental sensitivities are. Try an at home scan! Learn more at www.creatingbalancedhealth.com. Use coupon code 2TD to save $20!

 

Your House. Is A Very, Very, Very Fine House

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  They say those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.  Or something like that.  I don’t know who in the world lives in a glass house, but someone probably does.  Someone lives in a rock house, I am sure.  Or a wood house.  Or a house on wheels like ours.  Or maybe a house that’s a tent.  Or maybe their house is their car.  Maybe their house is a mansion because they are a movie star.  Maybe, they live in a tree. You know, like a tree house. I could go on like this all day long.  But I will stop here.  Because as usual, I have a story. And a point.

This past weekend, Girl Person decided to take a break for once to clean and do laundry.  And once she puts down the computer thing and starts cleaning, we know that it is going to be mayhem.  Things get thrown away, things get sprayed with stuff, things get thrown out the window.  I hear the usual comments like why are we so dirty.  Why don’t we ever have any time to clean.  I hear why is there sand in my underwear. If I wore underwear, I would be mad about that too.  Digby says yet another reason not to wear pants. But it always ends up with Girl Person remarking that she needs to get her life in order.  And then she starts thinking back to when we had a big yellow house or a trailer on the water from Country Cousin Person. And then she starts thinking maybe we have gone a wrong direction or something because we are still in a house on wheels.

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You know, I find it crazy that persons worry about what they live in.  Why do they spend so much time filling it with stuff that they end up throwing out the window anyway? Why does it matter what their house is made of?  Meeting all kinds of people on the road, we have met some of the happiest people that live in their van, or in a tent.  We have met some of the most unhappy, arguing people who drive around in a big motorhome that they have trouble parking.

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In my Sheriff estimation, I think it all comes down to one thing.  How YOU feel about YOUR house.  You see, I often hear Girl Person comparing herself to others.  But with houses, did you know that no one has a house like yours?  Why?  Because you aren’t in it.

No one has what you have filled your house with..the love…the trials…the experiences…the memories.  I have to break it to you.  Your house.  Is a very, very, very fine house.  Be proud of it.

It is easy to feel bad about what we can or cannot afford.  It is easy to compare ourselves to what others have, or worry about what they may think of us.  But we all were born on this earth with nothing.  And we will leave with the same.

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Think for a moment of a house that you loved.  Maybe you’re like Girl Person and you think of where you grew up.  She thinks of her room with a Pink Panther bedspread and a play oven in the closet.  She thinks of walking down the trailer hallway to a kitchen with her mom standing in it making chicken nuggets and her dad coming home from work, taking off his boots.  She thinks of Granny and Pappy’s house that is now Aunt Person’s house.  She thinks of sitting in the living room and watching the news or drinking some merlot.  You see.  It is the people in the house that we will remember one day.  How will you be remembered? What filled your house?  It is what inside that counts, whether that’s a car, a tent or a mansion.  And if there is a little dog hair in there, all the better.

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So the next time Girl Person starts cleaning, I am sure another life lesson will come to me.  Until then…she needs some underwear without sand in them.  It makes her a little grouchy.

There is enough to feel bad about in this world without worrying what our house is made of.  Until they can build me a house made out of peanut butter, I will take my house on wheels.  It feels like home to me.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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The Not So Itsy Bitsy Spider

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  There are many wonders in this world.  There are natural wonders like me.  There are man made wonders like the pyramids.  But if you have not found a lonesome spider in an RV, well, you haven’t seen nothin.’

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Meet my friend Not A Recluse.  Yes, he has three names to be official, because officially, people mistake him for another spider called a Brown Recluse many times.  So many times in fact, that he has taken to hiding. Which actually would make him a recluse.  But who are you? The name police?  You see, some are wrongly accused.  Not like Deputy Digby who is always rightly accused.  Because he did it all.  But Not A Recluse has taken to hiding because not only is he innocent, but he is harmless.  Not only is he harmless, but he is useful.  And not only is he useful, but he is feared.  By you, probably. Most certainly.  But why?

It amazes me as a dog how persons are scared of so many things around them when they are bigger than most of those things.  And it amazes me that persons cannot see the value in someone like a spider just because it is supposedly scary.  Yes, some can harm us like poisonous snakes. But the downright truth it, and I always tell the truth, is that most of them are harmless.  It is you that is doing the harming to many other things when you disrupt their jobs and abilities. Most of the time, your fears are simply unfounded, y’all.

There Boy Person was last night, reorganizing and cleaning a little under the RV. And all of a sudden, there Not A Recluse was.  He was hanging out, building a web.  And at first, Boy Person jumped a little bit.  But he looked at Not A Recluse.  He didn’t see any signs that is was a Black Widow.  He didn’t see any signs that it was a Brown Recluse.  Why? The Brown Recluse has what you may think looks like a fiddle on him.  Also, remember. His name is Not A Recluse.  I guess I had to state the obvious.

Boy Person took a picture of him to blow up to make sure that he was correct in his assumptions that he was not a criminal.  And after doing a bit of research, it was determined that Not A Recluse could hang out where he wanted to hang out. He could catch bugs.  He could simply be what he wanted to be.  A spider that didn’t mean to scare anyone.  A spider that didn’t even know why persons should be scared of him.  For all he knows, he is the handsomest, best spider that there ever was.  For all he knows, he may think that the sun comes up for him everyday and that he deserves an award for being the best bug catcher around.

You see, sometimes, we think we are so important.  We go around, being all important.  We see a bug and we step on it because maybe we think it isn’t important.  Maybe a bug is in our house and we just kill it and don’t take it outside so that it can live.  Maybe we spray our yard with chemicals or weed killers and think nothing of everything we are doing to harm others.  And I have to say.  When will we know to stop? When will we realize that the more we fight against nature, the more it will fight back in other ways? When will we realize that everything could end if not for bugs? If not for spiders? If not for bees?

Just like persons and dogs are important, so are all living things.  Even the sea gulls on the beach that are driving us crazy.

Yes, we may harm things everyday that we don’t know. We may step on an ant just trying to be an ant.  We may swat a mosquito trying to do mosquito things. But for those that we can help, isn’t it imperative that we either take an extra minute to help them, or just let them be?  Not everything is out to get us.  Everything is just trying to be.  Just trying to live and be the best that it can be.  Even Not A Recluse.

You may say you are scared of spiders.  You may say that you don’t want them crawling on you.  Well, I don’t want them on me either.  But I am proud of the fact that I have found a way to live by them and live with them.  It takes us all to make the world go round in a better way.  If we don’t try to live peacefully, we won’t have any world at all.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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Pawcast Podcast #21 Wisconsin

Wisconsin was a state that surprised us with natural beauty and wonderful food! We meet a group of great people helping animals in Washburn, Wisconsin and we visit a National Lakeshore and sea caves!

Mentioned in this podcast:

Helping Paws Pet Rescue

Stop Hounding Me Episode For Wisconsin

Wisconsin Cheese Curd Sweet Potato Delight For Dogs