Monday, December 21, 2009


I know a dog that luhhhvs the snow. The same dog also feels that children on sleds need to be rescued.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Can't hide from nose of a dog.

I had done a bit of Christmas shopping, and hid a bag of goodies in the cabinet of my laundry room. Included, was a new toy for Nesta. Dog toys must come with a special "dog" scent. Nesta found the cabinet, opened it, and stole his toy. My favorite part is when he nudges the door so it won't shut on his head. A Shiloh being a Shiloh...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Almondine, Forte, Tinder, Baboo, and Essay

Having just finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, I just must simply blog about it. Nesta can chime in anytime. For me, it was one of those books that changes us. We can all agree that I am one of those weird dog people. (Clearly with too much time on my hands) But this book will touch you even if you are "a cat person". And hey- it's an Oprah book. I somehow missed the hype with Oprah and would like to hear the comments of the masses in a 10th grade Lit class style forum. I shall google it later.
Spoiler alert: Don't read on if you haven't read it.
I cried when Edgar found Almondine's grave. No correction- I sobbed. I sat nervous and upright while Edgar tried to find the glass bottle. I wanted to kick Claude. I wanted to sleep in the woods with Tinder, Baboo, and Essay. And as a good catholic school girl, I also have to wonder about the symbolism, foreshadowing, and appearance of characters. Why did Edgar take Tinder, Baboo, and Essay into the woods? Why not Opal? What was the significance of engine 1655?
Can humans create a more evolved dog? Or is it us that require a touch more evolution? Does Nesta really have the ability to make choices? Is he a happy dog or would he rather be foraging for turtle eggs?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Jumble Thoughts:
1. Nesta and I went to a dog park today. Never again. Nesta hid by my side and wanted nothing to do with romping and chasing-only leaving my side to greet some human women. (Loves the ladies) While Nesta laid at my feet, a pitbull approached, lunged and attacked Nesta. In a tizzy, I grabbed the dog by his neck and threw him off my baby. The pit scratched my face drawing blood. With blood running down my face, I grabbed Nesta and rolled. Kind people around tried to help. Nobody copped to the aggressive dog. Loser dog owner. No more dog parks for us.
2. In the year that I've had Nesta, never ever have I seen him show aggression. He has not once beared his teeth and I've never even heard him growl. (And Lord knows, we spend a lot of time together.) He has met plenty of dogs that were not as gentle, been attacked twice. Not even so much as a snarl or a nip. Such a lover.
3. Shepherds just know. Why are Shepherds so attracted to each other? There must be a sacred secret Shepherd bond. While Nesta is not adverse to playing with all dogs, he will select another Shepherd (even a Shepherd mix) to befriend. At the dog show, Nesta knew exactly that Pete and Molly were kin. He only watched Shepherds- Both GSD and Shiloh. There are of course several Shepherds at Search & Rescue. They sit together. They chase together. They bark together. I know another Shiloh that will only play with Nesta. (Refuses to run with his lab brother.) Maybe it's the ears. Maybe it's the smarts...
4. Too many scary movies. As I sat in the October night, hiding for Spence last night, it became painfully clear to me that I have watched too many scary movies. Alone in a corn field (next to an insane asylum) with no radio, flash light, or phone- I was convinced that Malakai from Children of the Corn was sending his minions to collect me. Thought I saw Jason and Michael Myers lurking behind a tree. Swore I heard Raegen and Damian chanting in the distance. I armed myself with a large pile of green walnuts. Nothing says "Stay away evil doers!" like hurling a walnut. Thank goodness Spence is so good at his job. Relief came with that working dog jingle bell and the panting of a happy K9! Love that Spence boy.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Things in the woods

Most of our searches include woods and parks. Paths not often traveled. Secluded areas in which others could hide. Nesta and I have yet to stumble upon a victim but have however tripped over many odd treasures:
Tons of beer bottles and cans. Never the good stuff. It seems that those that drink in the woods prefer Natty Light and forget to bring their recycling container to the party.
Lots of underwear. Yes. Underpants. Only Men's undies though. I have encountered so many pairs of discarded undies that I'm starting to wonder how many people started the day off with underpants and ended the day commando. Gentlemen-What kind of scenario includes taking your underpants off in the woods and not putting them back on? Are they an offering to the woodland creatures? A personal statement of freedom?
Prescription medicine. Specifically antipsychotic drugs. Major stuff. Somehow the patients at Norristown must be escaping and ditching their meds (and underpants) in the woods. Baffles me.
Porn. Yup. Several titles in fact. Maybe the viewer just didn't like the acting.
All of these "teasures" together paint a rather illicit picture of the woods in Eastern PA. No wonder the deer stare at humans with wide eyes.
Let's all hope that if an alien culture ever lands on Earth- they don't start in the woods.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunday Search


Nesta and I have joined a Search and Rescue Team. I have been training for 2 months- twice a week, sometimes +30 hours a week. After proving that I was indeed committed, Nesta was finally invited to train with me. The team often trains at Norristown State Hospital. (A mental institution built circa 1880 consisting of 26 brick buildings all connected underground by tunnels.) I feel protected with the numerous K9's, but get creeped out when the sunsets. I'm still waiting for an escape ghost patient to breath down my neck. All of this leads me to our tasks. Should somebody become lost for what ever reason, the local authorities call GPSAR. We descend on the scene, K9's in tow. Equipped with tools and know how to find a missing person in an orderly and professional manner.

Sunday, we were to train at Fort Washington State Park, but a call came in for a missing man along the banks of Darby Creek. A young man had been out at night partying with some family and some how fallen in the creek. The evening's events included drugs, drinking and some bad decisions. GPSAR arrived at the scene ready to search. Some of the handlers went out on the boats with their dogs while others worked the banks. When I saw the firefighters getting the rescue basket, I knew he'd been found. Dead. My heart sank and the adrenaline which had been surging though my blood turned to fear. I didn't want to see a dead person. But I knew I'd have to face it and learn the procedures of body recovery. A sad part of the job. We walked to the bank of the creek. I followed behind, slinking between the trees and team members, hoping that maybe the task would already be taken care of before I got there. Nope. I watched as they pulled this young man from the river. I suppose that rescue workers have to learn to accept the sight a dead body. This young man had made some bad decisions and now was gone. Life snuffed out. A tragedy for the family. If anything, it was a hard lesson about the gift of life for me. A moment to slow down. Be thankful for everything and moment that we get and-If anybody finds themselves lost or looking, GPSAR will be there to search.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tattle Tail

Today we did NOT pass our AKC Canine Good Citizen Test. So is Nesta not a good citizen? Perhaps he could better be described as an enthusiastic citizen with a zest for friends. The test consists of the following 10 tasks:

1. Accepting a friendly stranger. The evaluator approaches, shakes hands with the handler. The dog must sit politely and not break position to greet/touch the evaluator.

(We started off on the wrong paw from the start. Nesta got up to greet the evaluator.)

2. Sitting politely for petting. The evaluator pets the dog, the dog may not show any shyness or resentment. (Pass- done perfectly. No shyness here.)

3. Appearance and Grooming. Evaluator inspects the dog, combs and brushes, checks paws and teeth. (Pass- Clean, handsome boy loves attention)

4. Out for a walk. Handler takes dog for a walk including, right, left, turn about, and stop.

(Pass- Obey the leash)

5. Walking through a crowd. Dog and handler walk close to several people, dog may show casual interest but no lunging/jumping.

(Pass- What people? There's dogs here somewhere.)

6. Sit, Down, Stay commands. (Pass- duh)

7. Coming when called. (Pass- Who me? )

8. Reaction to another dog. Two handlers and dogs approach each other from a distance, shake hands, exchange pleasantries, move on. Dog shall not cross in front or show more than casual interest. (Fail- Nesta leapt and lunged to meet the other dog. He cried and whined. I could feel the judgemental stares from the other good dogs)

9. Reaction to distraction. Dog may not panic or show aggression. Open umbrellas, dropped bowls, etc. (Pass- Nesta's no fraidy cat.)

10. Supervised separation. Handler goes out of sight for 3 minutes while the dog waits with the evaluator. Dog may not show distress. (Pass- this is the one we worked on the most. I was sure he'd yelp and cry when I walked away. We whimpered a bit but sat with the evaluator - must have been all tuckered out from the greeting dogs incident)

All of the above are done on leash with a flat collar. No treats. No toys. Just expected to behave. Which brings me to the tattle tail part. I watched a man give his Corgie several treats during the test. Not allowed! I sat silently. The evaluators must have missed it. The blog has become my means to tell on the man with his Corgie. And know what else? When a Corgie shows "more than casual interest", it's not as obvious as when my big giant boy shows more than casual interest. I mean those dogs are barely off the ground. Is it even in a sit? Who knows. Just bitter. We promise to work harder on greeting politely.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Tall Dark & Handsome

SPSM seeks SFSF:

Single, plush, Shiloh male seeks Single, friendly Shiloh female for companionship. 13 month old ISSR Shiloh:

Hips- OFA prelim GOOD

Elbows- OFA pass


30" tall 82 lbs.

SAR K9 in training

Enjoys walks in the park, sitting in the back of the jeep with the top down, organic turkey dinners, and listening. Your place or mine?

Hit me up ladies! Let's make puppies.

Monday, August 3, 2009

the importance of being camera ready

Good friends of ours live down the road on a beautiful property. Included on this property is an amazing pool with an 85 foot water slide. Nesta's BFF, Maya is the resident dog, so we are often found carrying on and lounging poolside with dogs. Maya swims in the pools, pond, and creek. Nesta prefers the baby pool and pond. And now- the water slide. The children had gone up to the top of the slide, mats in tow. Nesta, curious, followed. "Do you think he'll go down that slide?" "Nah, he might run along it." WRONG! The children flew down the slide wildly screaming and laughing. Next I saw a doggy head at the top, and then just ears careening down the massive slide. With a large Plunk, Nesta ended in the pool. Giant Shiloh does water slides. Where's my camera now?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday!

Happy 1st Birthday to my puppywuppy and his 3 brothers. (Especially Piston) My sweet sweet Nesta Lion of Zion.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I heart Maryland

Charlestown, Maryland is a wonderful well kept secret. It is an hour and 15 minutes from our house- and there's no traffic. (Except for the occasional slow moving farm tractors) Dogs are everywhere. One can bring the dog to dinner at the Wellwood and the River Shack. Waitresses will bring water and biscuits for the canine guests. Charlestown Marina boasts over 20 dogs and 300 boats. The Poor Man's Flats has enough beach for every dog to frolic. There is however no WiFi....which is why Nesta hasn't been blogging. But really, shouldn't summer time be spent outdoors? Chasing waves and frisbees?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

In the summertime

I've been totally slackin' on the doggy bloggin'! But mother nature has finally come around and granted green trees and blooming flowers. Nesta is huge. And sweet. Beyond intelligent. My boo boo. Hims so handsome. (Even after a good swim)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Snuggle Fresh

Nesta carried a towel around with him all day. Every time I'd take it- He'd find it. He rolled on it. (in the same manner that he rolls in deer poo) He shook it. He chased it. He slept on it. Normally, I'd think he was just being spiteful because I had too much house work to play. A dog toting a towel- not that odd. But...this particular towel is covered in fabric softener. I spilled a cup full earlier in the morning. Why on earth has my fuzzy boy taken to this snuggle fresh towel?

Friday, April 10, 2009

The adventures of Timbee and Tirbee

It is with a heavy heart that I blog today. Timber, a GSD close to my heart is gone. She died last night. It came swiftly, but she had 12 wonderful years on Earth. Timber was Janet's dog. (or as I like to calll her- Jane) We both got our GSD's when we were young and had no responsibilities. They were our first babies. Tirowa and Timber grew up together- and in turn, watched us grow up. Babies came home and their yards got bigger and bigger. We had nicknames like Cafe Snack and Timbylu for them. We all know that our time with these animals is short but the love grows so much that we want to hold on to them forever. The loss is profound.
Timber was a beautiful girl. A devoted gaurdian and friend (unless you wore a fedex uniform). She would trot into the kitchen at 4 o' clock to ask for a biscuit. She'd hide in the tub if she was naughty. She claimed all the children as "hers". A sweet sweet doggy.
I imagine that when Timber opened her eyes in heaven, Tirowa was running towards her through a field. Reunited. I'm sure there was leaping and squeaking, and lots of kisses.
So tonight, I'm giving Nesta extra biscuits and lots of hugs in honor of Timber. Love you Timbee!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Smart boy

I take Nesta for off-leash walks at a local park. There are trails, a stream, playground, and plenty of room to roam. We were walking the other day-taking in a little fresh spring air, sniffing fresh deer poo, and frolicking in the mud . Out of no where-there was a man standing alone by a tree. A little odd. No picnic basket, no dog, just a dude behind a tree looking nervous. Nesta noticed him and began to bark. Not a little puppy bark, but a "If you come any closer, I'm gonna rip out your jugular" bark. I had never seen him act this way. Nesta loves everybody and everything. He doesn't even bark at the UPS man. Never met a person he didn't love. Except this guy.
On our way home, I remebered that there had been a rash of flasher incidents at that very park. Did Nesta find the flasher???? Was he just defending my honor? The local flasher won't be showing us any of his bits and pieces!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Call Caesar

The other day, I was going on and on about how good my Nesta is. I should know better. It's very similar to children. My first born was a delightful toddler. Listened, smiled, and never dreamt of telling me "NO". I would see a mother trying to reign in her tantruming toddler and shake my head and think to myself "Hmmm. Somebody needs to read up on child rearing". Because I clearly had a handle on my own little darling. That was until I had baby number two.
She is lucky that she's cute. Now I am THAT mother- with the child wearing rainboots and a tutu in the GAP. Perhaps a lollipop stuck in the hair and doing snow angels in a pile of tshirts she has just thrown on the floor. I often feared that somebody would call Super Nanny on my ass.

Now, after our AM vet visit, somebody might be calling Caesar on my ass. Nesta was a holy terror at Dr. Latta's. First, we arrived on the wrong day. But they were kind enough to give us the appointment anyway. As I sat on the bench waiting, Nesta cried and flailed. The poor little pug next to us was terrified by my 75 pound beast. The nurse ushered us into a room where Nesta continued to leap and cry- over and over. He jumped on the door, he licked the face of our vet and refused to get on the scale. The behavior continued for the whole time. Leaping and jumping, making me look like a bad Alpha leader. I finally coaxed him back into the car (not without drawing dirty looks) and we sped off. Ughhh. Naughty boy. Leave it to your kids and dog to make a liar out of you.

But alas, I shall soldier on. Naughty children and dogs included.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Custom doggy bed

I made Nesta a new bed in anticipation of his arrival. I used the finest velvet and even made a Burberry welting. The inside is stuffed with memory foam. I thought he'd cherish it. Wrong. He opened the bed, pulled out the inside, and ate the foam. In addition, Mr. Nesta has already outgrown the 40 inch bed! 7 months- 74 lbs. and 27 inches.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Come closer, I have something to tell you.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Changing Shiloh Colors

These are my baby pictures. I was such a little fluff ball! My colors have run the spectrum. I've settled on lots of black with a deep brown undercoat and some white/gray on my chest. I was 17 pounds at 9 weeks. I gain 16-18 pounds a month. A good meal includes my kibble (Eagle Pak Holistic- giant puppy, yogurt, chicken, carrots, and cottage cheese).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Grizzly Shiloh Pup.

Grizzly bear or Shiloh Puppy?

6 months old. 67 pounds. 26 inches.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

This was posted on The ISSR Shiloh Shepherd Forum and I just love it!

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Invisible Fence

The decision was clear. We had to get an invisible fence for Mr. Nesta. An intelligent dog with emotions not unlike a human, Nesta kept running off into the woods. No temptation of biscuits, nor cheese would lure him back until HE had had enough and felt like returning.

We purchased a top of the line fence on Ebay (LOVE EBAY) from a pet supplier. The install was all on us. To be exact, me. I waited for the ground to thaw a smidge and began my day with a trip to Total Rental. The fellas at Total Rental were funny and helpful, even though they had little faith in me that I would be able to tackle the beast of a machine. But my resolve and determination would ensure that the trench would be dug that day.

The first machine pooped out on me after 3 feet of trenching. I thought that I broke the machine, cursed, and loaded it back in the car (with the help of dear old dad). Back to Total Rental.

The new machine was LARGER and more POWERFUL. Mmmmm, power tools. I found myself fighting and digging my heels in the dirt to maneuver the new beast over rocks and through the mud. My learning curve with the machine was short. I figured out how to finesse the 200 lb. steal beast and dig the 1"x 4" trench required for the cable. My victory felt great! I didn't care that the moon was rising and the temperatures were dropping. I had an invisible fence to install! (890 feet of it)

Seth made the connections and hooked the wires into the house. A success. Now Nesta would have to learn his boundaries. I put up exta flags to mark the boundary. We were now ready to show Mr. Nesta his new fence.

For two days we kept the settings on beep only. (no shock) I thought that Nesta was beginning to understand that he should turn about when he heard the beep. That was not the case. I felt a lump in my throat, turning on the shock. As we walked the perimeter, he stayed close- until he saw a rogue leaf blowing in the wind. He crossed the line- YELP!!!! Oh boy did it shock him! I felt terrible- but still a giggle surfaced. Lets just say that Nesta wants NOTHING to do with white flags or beeping noises. My fluffy boy has zero desire to take off into the woods. Hope it lasts!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Top Ten Reasons I Love My Shiloh:

10. The way my dog loves to give me a kiss right after drinking out of the toilet.

9. You can always blame the dog for flatulence.

8. Puppy Breath.

7. I no longer need an alarm clock to tell me when the sun rises.

8. When I step out of the shower, he is there to act as my personal bathmat.

6. A recycled use for all those plastic bags- pooper picker upper.

5. Nesta's uncanny ability to unroll an entire roll of toilet paper in record time.

4. The smell of puppy paws. It sends out endorphins just like the smell of a baby. A little like popcorn.

3. How can I take myself too seriously when my dog is so funny?

2. The good kharma bestowed on humans for loving and caring for an animal.

1. He loves me even when my breath is stinky and my hair is a mess!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Shiloh Party!

Kona graciously invited Nesta for some Shiloh fun. Beautiful Kona showed Nesta that she is the queen and Nesta agreed! Then as if we could have anymore good looking dogs together- Maya the neighbor Shiloh came out to play with Nanook a gorgeuos GSD!

Years ago, we lived across the street from beautiful Everheart Park in West Chester. Our family was growing and we moved away to a bigger home with more land but often thought fondly of our little house in town.

One day at a playground, we ran into a family that had 2 dogs that often walked and played at Everheart with us. Oddly enough they now live a mile away from us- all the way out here in the country! Small world. Tirowa and Duke have passed away but Daisy and Nesta get to hang out. Daisy is a large GSD mix with some arthritis, so we decided to take the dogs swimming at a local dog pool. It was an interesting experience....Nesta has asked that we NOT return. He also asked that I not say anything bad about the owner of said pool. He is after all a gentleman. Nesta would however like to see Daisy again on dryer terms.