Category Archives: Relationships

Christmas Day and Polite Greeting


“We did it!”  After years, simply years, (well at least it felt like it) of practicing polite greeting we were able to come in and join the party!

There were so many people someone was always petting us, which was just fine with us!


Bess, getting all kinds of attention Abby and Barb


The pups sitting pretty for Aunt Marge. “We just know she’s going to give us a treat!”


Belle hanging out with Jim


Bonnie having some one on one time with Aunt Marge.



Having fun with Nancy, Jim, Mike and Abby

The surprise of the day came when we heard a quiet meow and my Margret went out to the kitchen to find Mike talking to “I love living in the basement where it’s quiet” Lucy kitty.  Then a short time later Lucy was back in the kitchen talking to Jim.  To hear my Margret and my Greg talk about it that was awesome and huge even bigger than all of us joining the party and let me tell you that was pretty big in itself!


Mike, the Lucy whisperer


Jim also the Lucy whisperer.

We still have some practicing to do. We, especially Bess, what are you going to do she’s still pretty young, were a bit bouncy when we first met people but it didn’t last long.       Then there was that time that I really needed to have some quiet time, my Margret noticed and opened the door so I could go out in our pup pen.  People get pretty noisy sometimes, I didn’t know that before.                                       All in all though we had a really fun day.  That night my Margret said to my Greg, ” I bet they’ll  sleep good tonight!”  I wonder what gave her that idea?


Bess and Linus





Oh well *yawn* I’ll figure it out later. Until next time, this is Belle signing off for the Pups and Kitties.

Belle Pup April Update

Belle became very anxious at the  CGC class again tonight so she and Greg ended up leaving early.  On the way home they stopped at a park and went for a long walk.  Greg said she did just fine and they had a good time.

We have decided that for Belle the journey to becoming a therapy dog is done.  For whatever reason she just gets too anxious.  We have tried several things to help her and while it makes it better it doesn’t take her anxiety completely away and we love her way too much to put her through that.

So Abbott’s Timber Creek Mae Belle is not going to be a mama, because of her hip dysplasia, and she isn’t going to become a therapy dog because of her anxieties but she is going to continue to be our Belle baby, the snuggler, the “wake Margret upper”,  the blanket stealer, the tennis ball loving, second in command  of our 4 footed family members, (Lucy kitty is still first.) precious, special smiley pup.

Belle Pup

Belle Pup

You’re Home!

The pups usually are in the doorway of the kitchen to greet me when I come home each day from work.  This past Friday after a very busy long week I saw Bonnie peeking through the window watching me walk up to the house.  When I went into the house she said  “Oh, you are home, Yea! You are home,(happy sigh) Okay, I’m going to go finish my supper now.” this was accompanied by a quickly wagging tail, a smiley face and leaning into the pat and cuddle from me.

Bess met me at the door too with full body very excited wiggles and licks, cue the peppy music. “You’re HOME! You’re HOME! You’re HOME! my life is complete! Ok gotta run and go eat NOW!” and she was off and running.

Before I made it up the 4 stairs from the backdoor into the kitchen Belle  appeared tail wagging, eager for her greeting but she had a tired look on her face  then she said, ” Boy, I’m glad you’re home! That puppy has been bouncing around all day, can’t you do something about her? It’s your turn, I’m taking a break!

Linus was lying upstairs on our bed, where he usually at this time, resting from his very busy day of being Linus and looks to me and says, “Oh, good you’re home” and goes back to sleep.

Lucy was  perched on the back of the chair which is her custom and told me all about her day and what she had to do to keep Linus in line. She accompanied by a forehead bump her way of saying I love you.

What a great way to be welcomed home!

Lucy and Linus Kitties


Lucy and Linus Kitties let me know in no uncertain terms that they feel slighted because I haven’t written about them for awhile.  So it’s time to fix that!

Lucy in her computer supervisory role

Lucy in her computer supervisory role

Lucy is 12 years old and is our 4 footed family matriarch. While she tends to be a private kitty, she is my steadfast companion when I am working at the desktop computer or doing paperwork.  Her favorite trick is to lay right on the paper that I need to see or stand and fluff out her tail to effectively cover the monitor.

Lucy laying down the law to the pups.

Lucy laying down the law to the pups.

The rule in the house is that the pups all need to respect her, and are not allowed to chase her.  Even Bess at 4 months learned that rule quickly.

Laundry Supervisor

Laundry Supervisor

Lucy never fails to make sure the laundry won’t fall off the table.

Lucy's favorite spot

Lucy’s favorite spot

Lucy’s favorite place to curl up is on the back of Greg’s recliner.  Her second favorite place to lay is in front of the heat register.  Her third favorite is close to me when I sit to read or watch tv.  She isn’t a lap sitter but she curls up close on the back or arm of the couch.  She does cozy really well.

Lucy is our vocal kitty and will answer you if you talk to her. She and Bess puppy had quite the conversation the other day!   Lucy is a forehead bumper, and that is part of our good morning routine.  She is starting to slow down and this  is the first year that she didn’t climb our Christmas tree.  She has been losing weight and hand in hand with our vet we are closely monitoring her health. But so far she is doing fine.

Linus Kitty is a lovable stinker kitty, He thinks he is a Golden Retriever and from the time we brought him home as tiny kitty he followed the pups, especially Belle,  everywhere, except outside and that still frustrates him to no end.  He has been known to ring the “gotta go” chime in an effort to go out.

He is 1- 1/2 years old and loves to play. So much so that it’s hard to casually pet him because he turns it into let me bite that hand.   He is a lap sitter and loves to snuggle although he has this habit of sucking blankets and I’m not sure what’s up with that.

Let's play!

Let’s play!

Linus, Bonnie and Belle

Linus, Bonnie and Belle

Things  have changed a bit for Linus since Bess puppy joined our family a couple of months ago.  When Bess first joined our family she and Linus loved to play together and Linus would usually be the one to instigate the play.  But Bess quickly grew and her play became too rough for Linus, so much of our time is telling Bess to “leave it” when we hear our non verbal kitty give a yowl.  I have noticed lately that Bess is learning how to play more gently and Linus is once again starting to play with her.

During the day we have a child gate across the upstairs doorway so the pups can’t go upstairs but the cats can.  The upstairs landing has become one of Linus’s favorite places when he needs a break.

In his safe place upstairs.

In his safe place upstairs.


Linus and Bess

Linus and Bess


Ha, you can't reach me! Notice Belle standing protectively beside Linus.

Ha, you can’t reach me! Notice Belle standing protectively beside Linus.

Otherwise he spends a lot of time just out of her reach.

When Linus allows himself to nap his hang out place is the back of the couch where he alternates sleeping and keeping an eye on things outside.

Linus's favorite place to lay.

Linus’s favorite place to lay.


Keeping watch.

Keeping watch.

Lucy and Linus kitties are a very special part of our family and life quite simply wouldn’t be the same without them.

Belle Pup



For those of you who may read our Two Pups and a Kitty Facebook page, that don’t know me may feel that my post yesterday about Belle and being diagnosed with moderate  hip dysplasia might be considered cold. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  The back story that new readers may not know, is that early on in our marriage and over the years Greg and I have prayed, talked and dreamed about having a kennel and raising Golden Retrievers.  In 2008 after the NIU campus shootings when I witnessed first hand the healing touch that therapy dogs brought to our hurting campus that dream morphed into also having our dogs become certified to be therapy dogs. Due to many factors the time wasn’t right for any of this until a little over 2 years ago when we brought Bonnie and Belle into our lives.

A funny thing happens sometimes to dreams, they evolve until sometimes the reality isn’t anything like the original dream.  While we do have three golden retrievers that we love to pieces,the dream of having a kennel has faded into maybe having a litter of puppies (in only the most responsible, breed strengthening way of course which was always our intent).  Those who follow our story, ( and I certainly thank you for doing so) know that  we are still working on Bonnie and Belle passing the Canine Good Citizen test. And seeing if either of them will qualify for therapy dog status is way down the line.

The next step towards having puppies was to have Bonnie and Belle be tested for hip dysplasia, which we did a few weeks ago.  We had discussed before hand that we certainly would not move forward in breeding if they had it. We knew that would be highly irresponsible  so when we received Belle’s report yesterday, it was in effect the end of that part of our dream for her at least.  It’s hard when you dream something for literally decades to shrug it off and say ok, there is a small amount of grieving and letting go that comes with the end of a dream.  That was my emotion while writing the facebook post about it last night.

The biggest feeling though when I read that report was concern for Belle. What the future holds for her medically, how will we best be able to help her as the years go on.  She already deals with allergies, and ear infections and now this.  Yes, trust me I know that these things are easy issues.  I know that so many other dogs are dealing with or have just lost their fight against cancer, are dealing with serious injuries and other very difficult health issues. My heart hurts for those dogs and their families. But for us, right now, today this is our issue with our Belle pup and for us it’s pretty big.

We will be talking with our vet to find out what to look for and how we can best help Belle deal with any pain and or other issues that will be a part of her future with hip dysplasia.  As always we will continue to pray and see what Lord has in store for us and our pups as we continue our Golden Adventure.



New Weekend Tradition or Girls Go Get Greg!

A few weeks ago we started a new weekend ritual where the pups get to wake Greg up.  It doesn’t matter what they are doing when they hear the words “Girls, where’s Greg? Go get Greg” they stop what they are doing and run straight to the closed door leading upstairs and wait not so patiently for me to open the door.

Yesterday morning I said those magic words and Belle got up from where she was laying, cocked her head at me started to run to the door only to pause to make sure her sister Bonnie was coming from the kitchen to get in on the fun then paused again in the dining room to greet Lucy kitty who was sitting on the computer table only to come to a skidding halt before the closed door.  where she looked at me as if to say “Hurry, hurry Greg’s up there. I gotta go!” All of this took maybe 30 seconds.

As soon as I opened the door the pups bounded up the first flight of stairs, skidded around the corner to the second flight. Ran into our bedroom and in a flying leap landed on Greg thereby waking him up. I personally think the sound of pounding paws on the hardwood floor wakes him but either way the job gets done. 

I love to hear him say “Good morning girls, how are my girly pups?”   According to Greg, Belle after making sure he is awake will run into the bathroom where she searches for the bar of soap that tastes so good to her. While Bonnie quietly sits beside him so he can pet her, and pet her, and pet her some more.  I have asked him if he wants me to stop having the girls wake him up and he just grins and says “No, that’s ok.”  So a tradition is born.

So Smart it’s Scary!

I had just gotten settled into the recliner for a bit of an afternoon break. Bonnie and Belle pups were on the couch laying together and Bonnie was snuggling with her stuffingless fox. Belle walks over Bonnie to come climb into my lap, tail wagging, happy wiggles and rolls over for a belly rub. Bonnie upon seeing Belle getting some loving can not resist and leaves her fox and climbs up with Belle and I in the recliner. Bonnie proceeds to give me a bunch of pup kisses on my nose, in my ear, deep in my ear and on my cheek. She is very happy to be getting some loving too. Belle in the meantime climbs off my lap back on to the couch and grabs the fox that Bonnie abandoned in her quest to not be left out. Was it by chance? Oh no she knew exactly what she was doing. Oh Pups you are so  smart it’s scary sometimes!


I just have some random snippets to share from over the past few days.

Our 3 year old grandson isn’t sure yet about our feisty energetic  pups, and enjoys them the most with a door between him and them which is totally fine.  The other day while watching the pups wag their tails as they looked at him. He said their tails look like they are clapping. After he said that I took a closer look and when their tails bumped they did indeed look like they were clapping!

He and the rest of his family brought the pups a couple of tennis ball launchers because his aunt has one for her pup and he thought our girls should have them too.   I am hopeful that the next time he visits, that from the height of his grandpa or daddy’s arms he will want to launch the tennis balls for the pups to chase and will feel comfortable playing with the pups because I know the pups want to play with him!

The pups always sleep with their stuffingless foxes and this morning when I opened their crate doors, I noticed Bonnie took hers went to Belle’s crate laid it in her crate and picked up Belle’s and ran to the pup cushions to play with it.   A while later though I noticed that Belle and gotten hers back.   I had to laugh though that Bonnie traded hers for Belle’s.

This morning while working on the computer I have been interrupted twice by the pups and their “requests”.  It’s made me aware once again of the differences in our nearly identical pups.  Bonnie comes up and true to her nature head bumps my arm when she wants to be loved on. Belle on the other hand true to her nature will come up and gently lick my hand as a request for some loving.  Two totally different personalities, both equally loveable and precious!

Good Morning!

Good Morning from Linus!


Love from Bonnie and Belle

Love from Bonnie and Belle

This and That

We have been very busy with the 2 legged people in our lives over the past few weeks. Our son in law’s father passed away suddenly so I spent several days helping out with our two oldest grandsons so the adults could take care of everything else.   Greg came down for the visitation and funeral and helped out as well.   Besides spending time with the kids I got to know our Granddog Patch better.  He is a Brittney spaniel mix with a big, big heart who loves to play.  At 8 months he tops both of our pups and is going to be a big boy.

While we were gone our tax refund check came and it had been placed up high where our pups couldn’t get to it…well we learned the hard way that things need to be place higher up than we thought as Miss Belle decided that she liked the crinkle of the envelope.  Greg took what was left of the check to the bank along with the joke about you know when your dog eats your homework… The bank referred us to the IRS. We are in the process of replacing the check.  Oh Pups!

Easter was this past weekend and we had a lot of family and extended family and friends in and out during the weekend.  Because our 5 grandkids are still very little (6 years-to almost a year) and our pups are still very boisterous the pups while the kids were up and about spent a lot of time in their puppy pen where they had a steady stream of company.

 Lucy Kitty is shy and pretty much hung out in the basement but she did venture upstairs during the late evening hours for her cuddles and gentle tummy rubs.  Linus Kitty on the other hand was up and around the action much more. He clearly favored our 5 year old grandson who enjoyed cuddle time with Linus during our early morning snuggle times.

As I write this Bonnie has been ringing the “gotta go out” chime in hopes that her sister who isn’t quite ready to wake up will go out with her. I answered the summons and let Bonnie out but she wanted right back in so that’s my indication that she wants Belle to go out with her.   Give her a few more minutes Bonnie pup.

Due to medication I am on for a bout of bronchitis I had trouble sleeping last night and Lucy kitty kept me company.  I was in a room and had the door almost shut when Lucy wandered in and upon hearing Linus who wa coming to investigate stood up on her hind feet and shut the door so Linus couldn’t come in.  Lucy clearly wanted some alone time with me, which was just fine.  She is good company and listening to her rumbly purrs serve to help me relax and get sleepy.

I would love to hear about the special 4 legged family members in your life.