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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Meet Miss April In Paris On Tilly The Rescue Dog's Blog

The life and adventures of a very special little rescued dog & her canine companions and friends! Click above and visit Tilly in the UK.

Miss April In Paris, the last dog to come in my house in January of this year has her own blog where she dreams of visiting Paris. Today she is a guest speaker on Tilly's blog in the UK. I am sharing the post with you.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010 Please would you all give a big welcome to my very special guest today, the beautiful Miss April in Paris. She has a lovely story to tell, and without any further ado I'll hand you over to her.
Hope you enjoy it.
Lots of love,

Bonjour Everyone,
Enchante. I am very excited to finally get attention and share my story here. If there is a handsome dog that finds me fetching, contact me. I am a single female, young at four years and very lovely in my vintage rose hat. Don’t you think I look delightful in it?
I wasn’t always this outgoing. I am the sixth dog in a house of dogs. The grand dame is Foxy who is fourteen human years old. The rest of the dogs, my new friends, all came from local rescue shelters in the last year. Miss Barbara lost her husband and decided that dogs were the best source of love. And that rescue dogs give the best kisses. She has written a book about her first year as a widow and how rescue dogs rescued her.
I was the last one to come live with Miss Barbara right after New Year’s Eve this year. I am not in her book but I have my own blog. My owner is wonderful, but it took her a week to finally notice me. I had to bump her elbow while she was on that computer and I heard her say in a confused tone, “I’ve just lost my Outlook tool bar!” Whatever that means. Then she turned to me, held my face in her hands and said in the sweetest voice, “April who are you?” She bent down and kissed my nose making me feel very special indeed. “Let me call you April In Paris because you are so lovely.” How did she know I love Paris? I dream of going to Paris and having a bowl of sparkling water at the Café Le Paris on the Avenue des Champs Elysees. Oui! I hum the old tune April In Paris to myself almost daily. Now I am called Miss April In Paris.
I love my full name. So don’t call me just April. I only answer to April In Paris. I had my Easter photo taken in my lovely chapeau and the rest is history. I have my own blog where I share my dreams of Paris.
I was very frightened in the animal shelter and lived there for two years. I was taken care of by State Trooper Peggy who started the non-profit rescue shelter Atlanta Canine Adoption Project in Monticello, Georgia, about an hour from where I live now. She kissed me and fed me, but the bigger dogs bullied me. There were sixty dogs at the shelter and I am a big girl, but the bigger dogs could sense I was nervous and they were mean to me. I have a scar to prove it.
State Trooper Peggy let me sleep with her, but I wanted my own special person. Then Miss Barbara called after seeing my face on the rescue web site and wanted me. My drive to her house was the best time. We kissed and ate chick filet nuggets. Such yummy food. I wonder if I can find those in Paris?
I was nervous when I arrived and saw five fellow dogs come running out to greet me. I hit the ground worried I might get attacked again. But how silly, I was greeted with barks and licks. My old girl friend Rascal was there. We had been together at Monticello but she came to Miss Barbara a week before I did. Then there were the others. They came from Animal Action Rescue, a cool dog shelter I’ve been told by the others.
Miss Barbara has dedicated her book to her favorite dog rescue shelters and is having a big party in June with a silent auction for Animal Action Rescue. I heard her tell a friend who came by to meet me that her book is her widow story, but it is full of dog stories too. She wants to help rescue groups because she loves dogs so much.
Thank you for inviting me to share my story. From rescue dog to Diva. Merci.
Au revoir, until we meet again.
Miss April In Paris
Widow Lesson Learned: There are friends to be met all over the world if you open your heart.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blog Tour Continues: 4 The Love of Animals Featuring Rascal June 10th

Miss Rascal was featured on the blog 4 The Love of Animals on Thursday, June 10.  A copy of her blog post is below. Click on the link for more of this wonderful blog dedicated to animals.

Thanks to Barbara Barth for this guest post. Barbara wrote a memoir about her first year as a widow called The Unfaithful Widow. A good portion of the book is about the rescue dogs that grieved with her and comforted her during this time. Surprisingly, it is also a funny–no, a hilarious–story of readjusting to single life after 25 years in a relationship. Barth is also writing a second book: Covered in Fur: Lessons Learned Living With Six Dogs.

Rascal And Swan Lake

Rascal. What a perfect name for such a cherub of a dog. Full of mischief and such a tomboy, I forget at times she is a girl. It took me two weeks to stop calling her, him. The placement of a rhinestone tiara on her head changed all that.

She is short to the ground, thick, round, and weighs in at thirty-five pounds of solid muscle. Rascal gleefully runs across the room and jumps on the couch to be near you. She hits your lap and you’d swear a bowling ball just landed with a plop. The she starts gleefully licking your face with her very thick tongue.

“What is she?” I asked when I called the shelter.

The mixture of patterns on her squat body fascinated me. A little clown dog her white square face and palest pink highlights. With one blue eye and one dark eye, she looks back at you with adoration. Most of her body is pinkish white. A third of the way down her back it looks like a crazy woman tried knitting a brindle sweater on her. When she rolls on her side, her plump belly is pink and white with huge polka dots sprinkled from one end to another.

“She has bulldog in her,” the voice at the end of the phone told me. “And maybe a little daschund.”

I looked at the photo and thought no

“How do you get that? She looks like she has some pit in her.” There was that dreaded word pit. I’ve seen so many pit mixes looking for homes. It is sad people give them such a bad rap.

“Well, could be. But when you see her crooked legs and funny feet, you’ll understand.”

She does have funny feet. Think ballet. Her front feet splay outwards. She looks like a ballerina about to do a plié (plee-AY). The word plié means “bent.” To do this ballet move, you stand at the barre in the starting position and turn your feet out only as far as is comfortable. Then you bend at the knees, your arm gently goes out and you rise back up.

My vet smiled when he met Rascal. He mimicked the ballet position, placed his feet facing outward and did a low dip, raising and lowering his arms.

"I’m getting too old for this.” He smiled at me. “I think that movement just pinched my back.”

“You were pretty graceful. With your talent and Rascal’s feet, you both could be in Swan Lake.” I laughed watching him try to bend his knees again.

“She’s a cutie.” My vet chuckled as he bent down to listen to her heart.

Rascal took her thick tongue and gave him a kiss.

“How many dogs is this now, Miss Barbara?” He likes to kid me about that too.

Rascal was the fourth rescue dog to recently come into my house. Add in my old dog Foxy and now there are five. The non-profit animal shelter that had Rascal was run by a State Trooper. State Trooper Peggy. She came to do the home check in full uniform. I opened the door to be greeted with flashing lights so bright they almosted blinded me in the dark of night.

“Told ya I was gonna do that.” She gave a hearty chuckle as I invited her in.

Yes indeedy. I am sure my neighbors wondered what this widow lady had done, now that the law was in her driveway.

Rascal was delivered to me on New Year’s Eve. I laughingly told the state trooper I needed a date and Rascal was it. She had sixty dogs and was ready to find a good home for this one. She didn’t care if I sounded crazy.

“Be a better date than most, I reckon.” She had me sign some papers before she made a hasty retreat.

Rascal was a bundle of love that suddenly had invaded the space of my other dogs. That night I was a wreck. As the ball fell in Times Square to bring in the New Year, I was trying to keep my wits about me while my seven pound rescue Chihuahua yapped at Rascal. Her little voice screeching in my ears.

The other dogs ignored the situation, but I was worried the bowling ball shaped new member of the pack might land on the Chi and squash her. She was certainly annoying enough.

New Year’s Day was no better. The yapping from the Chi was impossible. Rascal was mouthing her and the two of them were rolling over each other on the couch.

I called the State Trooper Peggy. “Those two are going at it. Rascal has her mouth on my Chi’s neck…” I knew I was going to loose the seven pounder.

“Aw, they’re just playing. Rascal mouthed the puppies from the last litter here. She’s gentle. Get out, relax and let them play.”

I looked at the dogs in front of me, grabbed my purse and ran out the door. Dinner and a glass of wine. That was all I could think of. They’ll sort it out.

I returned two hours later and five dogs were watching for me, lined up in front of the picture window. I turned the key in the door and five dogs came up, happy to see me. Rascal and the Chi were running side by side. In that short period I was out of the house, leaving the dogs to fend for themselves, they bonded.

The dance continues at this house. A week later a sixth dog was brought to me by State Trooper Peggy. I think I hear Tchaikovsky's music on my classical radio station. Swan Lake. I can picture Rascal, in her tiara, leading the pack, as they pirouette across my hardwood floors.

Widow Lesson Learned: Dance like no one's watching......who can have you committed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book Review From Canada for WOW

Book review: The Unfaithful Widow by Barbara Barth (click to read what they are saying about my book in Canada).

My blog tour continues with Silver & Grace. Click here to see Eliza's women's blog and click above for my book review. Every day Eliza has wonderful posts for women.

I love what she and her guests have to say and am so happy to have been included today! Thanks Eliza.

Widow Lesson Learned: A blog tour finds great new friends along its journey.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Here is the skinny. I joined a gym. Awesome.

My new hot spot, Ladies Workout Express

I just came back from a session with my personal trainer. She is twenty-six, has three kids, skinny as a rail, eats ice cream and looks eighteen. I look worn out in my sad gym outfit. Denim capris, a one size fits all T with a smart chick on the front of it, oversized New Balance shoes that make my feet feel like they are stuck in buckets. I have to stand in front of the mirror, next to this adorable girl and watch myself lift weights. It is the closest moment to hell I've had in some time. I joined the gym a week ago, hired a personal trainer and am determined this is my year to glow, even if just from the sweat. Know what, I am feeling great. After one week. How cool is that?
I look like the me I was when my husband died. I did loose fifteen pounds the first few months, they have come back to visit me again. But I am sluggish. I have never been sluggish. I sit writing on the computer until 4 AM some mornings. My inner clock is confused. What time is it? I am confused. What day is it? Inner clock and I are having a meeting of the minds. I am exercising and getting us both on track.
Here are my ground rules to the personal trainer. I am paying for my sessions so I want some say!
I want to work with weights and machines. If I wanted to be on the floor doing leg kicks I'd stay at home. Check box one, no floor exercises.
"Let's get your weight and measurements." She was so perky. "No, I think not." I was so determined. "I'll know changes when I see them."
Numbers don't matter. I feel the same with age. Don't box me in with figures. The point of this adventure is to feel better, move with more grace and feel hot. Not hot flash hot, but hot and sexy looking.
It is not a numbers game for me, it is a state of mind situation. She agreed. So I love working with her.
I ride the exercise bike for five minutes to warm up. Last week we worked on my upper body, this week my legs. They are still moving after today's workout, so that is a plus.
After my session with the trainer I ride the bike for thirty minutes. Long, boring minutes. I try to read. I drop my book. I try to watch TV but it is hard for me to see the captions from that distance. I think I will take music next visit. I'll groove while I move.
If I sound like a wus, I may be. But I'll be a strong wus soon.
My pet photographer recommended the gym. It is low key, a power gym for women only. I love that.
She told me about it when she came to take my "professional" photo for my media kit. I was grumpy (rare for me, but it happens) and uptight. Had been dreading the session. Instead of doing my hair and fixing my makeup I was cleaning dog poop off the floor when she arrived. Now that's a way to look your best. It did make me laugh, the situation was so silly,  so my smile was big. April In Paris was my dog partner for the shoot. She was more glamorous than I was. Pity. But she is a diva. Check out my photographer's web Rupa K. Photography. That girl can photograph dogs! The gym came up as a way for me to relax. I have been up late writing, yet again, and marketing my book. My health taking a back table. Rupa convinced me to start taking care of myself. It works. I have a glow. I need a shower, but I think I'll leave the sweat glistening on my skin. It's salty and maybe the dogs will kiss me. I am my own cocktail, a salty dog! Yum. I'll keep you posted on how this all works out.
Widow Lesson Learned: Sweat makes you glow and washes away the grim in your brain.

Blog Tour Continues With Mom-e-Centric June 1, 2010

Thanks to Mom-e-Centric for having my post on my WOW (Women On Writing) blog tour.

Those of you who know me that I have no reservations about telling you how I spend way too much time online blogging and reading blogs. Barbara is my kind of lady!  Jerri

Addicted To Blogs

Blog crazy. My friends laugh at my love of blogs.

“Started a new blog last night.” I called my best friend first thing in the morning to share the excitement.

“Another one?” She was clearly not as impressed as I was.

“Yeah, wait until you see it.”

“That makes three now since December if I remember correctly.”

I hear it in her voice. She thinks I’m crazy.

She’s right. My interest in blogs peaked at the end of the year. I haven’t been the same since December.

My first blog was to promote my book, my memoir on becoming a widow. I have to laugh. It is really my dog blog. I talk about the six rescue dogs that rescued me. My sister read it and wrote me back. No wonder you can’t get a date. All those dogs. I do go overboard. No kids, so the pups are my babies.

I am an antique dealer, love all things garden related and make botanical themed jewelry. Why not have a blog and talk about those things? Good idea and a way to reconnect with my antique buddies. So Barb’s Botanical Garden got started the following month.

My latest blog is about my sixth rescue dog, April In Paris. She has a story to tell. A hunting dog in a vintage hat with a huge pink rose has a lot on her mind. April dreams of visiting Paris and this is her diary.

I can hardly wait to write at night and my lonely evenings are lit up with my joy of blogging. I write and feel connected.

My love of blogs comes from my old passion for journals. Reading a blog is like opening a journal. I love the intimacy created by the writer and the implied friendship with the sharing of thoughts. I am amazed at the wealth of talent by unknown authors, crafters, decorators, and life commentators. I adore the spunky gals who tell it like it is. I laugh out loud as they comment on the craziness of the day. The humor right to the core of life and its problems. Something I can read and identify with.

I learned a new word through blogging. Giveaways. A great read and a chance to win something. Hey, it doesn’t get any better than that.

I will always buy books because I love the feel of a book in my hand. I love to enter small cozy independent shops. But I find discovering a new blog that enchants me as thrilling as finding a new book at my favorite bookshop.

I am excited to have found this great blog, Mom~E~Centric. Just having read the latest entry on cat fights and the nasty business of women in business hit a nerve with me. Been there, done that. Glad to hear it wasn’t just me.

Blogs give more information and fun than most anything I can find to read. So I will continue to be addicted to blogging. Just how many more blogs I feel the need to create is yet to be seen.

Widow Lesson Learned: It is much better to be blog crazy than plain crazy.