Friday, August 28, 2009

Buddy's Love/Hate Relationship with the Vet

Buddy is becoming quite the little social butterfly-however-he does have some limitations when collecting his "friends". His foot got something imbedded in it and rose up like a giant balloon. Of course, this meant a trip to the vet. He already had a follow-up appointment to recheck his ears. (He had polyps/papillomas, calcification and infections from years of neglect at the puppy mill.) So, we had the vet look at his foot also. She had to lance the interdigital ruptured abscess, clip and scrub his foot and flush the wound. When he first got home from the vet, he was not happy and let everyone know it with a low growl. I was not home at the time since I had an emergency with my Mom and my husband had taken him to the vet. My son told me about the "leave me alone behavior" when I got home. I however, didn't experience any of this as when I got there Buddy wagged his tail, gave me kisses(something new in his behavior) and acted like I was Queen.(which of course in his world, I am)

He is now running around all happy and obviously in much less pain. I think he did really good for having all this stuff done to him. After dinner, a walk outside to do his business and a drink of water, he settled in beside me on my bed and promptly went to sleep. He loves to sleep on the bed on my side but can't quite jump up so when I'm not available, he goes into my son's room and whines. Then when he follows, Buddy runs around to my side of the bed and puts his paws on the bed-like"okay, help me up". This is Buddy's new favorite routine. I think he's been watching our spoiled little "Princess Miko" too much. Miko our 14 year old Shih tsu won't even go up stairs without being carried by my husband(her personal servant). I have informed Buddy-IT AIN"T HAPPENING-there can only be one diva in the pack and that position has already been taken.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Buddy's Variation of playing

Well, last night we discovered a whole new side of Buddy. He has been watching Scooter and Miko playing and interacting with we humans. He seems to absorb the dog skills from them like a sponge.
Last night, as I was sitting reading in bed, he came dragging one of my boots that he had gotten out of my closet over to the rug beside my side of the bed. He dropped it on the rug and wagged his tail so hard, he lost his balance. I told him "thank you" and put it up on the bed for returning to the closet later. He disappeared again and returned with one of my slippers. Again he dropped it, wagged his tail and I put the new item on the bed. This went on for about four different shoes, all mine, as he re-invented the "fetch" game.
I finally went to put back the shoes and discovered that he had quite a stash in the corner of the closet. There I found the ink pens, phone cover, and various other items that had disappeared from our night stands. None had been chewed on just left there for safe keeping by our little Buddy. We're going to work on teaching him how to play the fetch AND RETURN game, though in his mind this game is working well as it is.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hobbies for Heroes

I am starting a new series of paintings entitled "Faces of War". This series will contain both originals and prints. These paintings are being done to help fund the Hobbies for Heroes program which is the brainchild of my wounded warrior son, Michael.

These paintings will be done from photos he took in Iraq before his vehicle was blown up by an IED. His brain injury has been helped by his involvement in art and hobbies. There is documented evidence of the difference it has made in his brain injury and therefore his life.

The testing has found that his visual spatial has improved 25%. This means that there are significant improvements in executive abilities. This is his ability to judge what is happening in the environment and make decisions. It is an important skill to prevent accidents and react to things in the environment. Safety issues are a big area of concern, such as responding to an emergency in the home such as fire, and preventing accidents.(i.e. leaving the stove on, etc.) Visual spatial also tells us about our position in space, as when we are walking to avoid something that might be in the way causing the person to trip and fall because of poor visual spatial abilities. Visual spatial abilities are integral to interpreting and responding to everything in our environment for all of our activities all day, every day. It will also give them a new since of self confidence and accomplishment. This program will target the needs of these once active soldiers who are now forced to stay at home with out the purpose they once had and try to give them a new one they can do at home. Through practice, they will even be able to tap their competitive nature at art and craft shows. The occupational therapist, speech therapist and the psychiatrist at the VA are really excited about this new program.
I will be posting the paintings here and on my website as soon as they are completed.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Honoring the Heroes

On August 15, from 11am to 4pm, the American Legion Post 21, 16701 E 4o Hwy, Indep. Mo. 64050 and the Veterans Administration Hospital staff will be honoring those veterans of the OIF/OEF at a social. Also, they will be honoring the fallen soldiers from that conflict and the Gold Star families. Several of the portraits done by the artists group, Grateful Hearts Project(of which I am the founder) will be on display during the event.

To view the completed portraits that were done free of charge for the families you can go to my website at Click on Works, then on Grateful Hearts Portraits.

It has been an honor and privilege to provide portraits of these heroes to their families. If you know of a family that would like a portrait of their fallen soldier from either Iraq or Afghanistan war/conflict just email me thru my website or at

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Teaching Buddy that "touch " is a good thing

Well, Buddy and I are trying a new approach to his fear of people. I offer him my fingers in front of me and if he touches them, I say "touch" and give him a treat. This way I hope to encourage him to see that not all humans that move forward towards him just do bad things to him. We have also started having other families members put treats on the floor and put them closer and closer to them if he follows the "treat trail". Our goal is for him to actually take treats out of other human hands besides mine.

His potty training is going great! No accidents in the house this week at all. He now starts pacing and goes to the door to let me know that he needs outside. I still crate him when I'm going to be gone. I think that the other animals have helped him in his potty training accomplishment.

He also ventures out of the studio every once in awhile on his own to explore. Even when I'm not going with him. I still leave his leash on his halter as he is still hard to catch when he gets scared and starts to run, but he is now off the leash more and more in the studio.

We are hoping for another great training session tomorrow night where he stays out from under the chair like last session. I'm hoping that he will also feel comfortable enough to take treats during the class even with all the distractions.
Baby steps!
Jennylynne and Buddy

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Buddy at doggy obedience class-2nd week

Buddy is learning how to be a dog/companion. The two top photos are of Buddy in my art studio,where he and I hang out the most. Miko, our other Shih Tsu hangs out there with him. She has really been more active and doesn't spend all her time in the closet since Buddy came. Buddy is helping her,and all of us, get over the loss of our precious Wizzy.
The third photo is of Buddy walking on his leash. He spent almost the whole class out from under my chair-huge improvement. He walked on a leash around the whole area with all the other dogs and their owners. Yeah! His tail is much more often up than down now. I am having other family members walk him also so he doesn't stay so focused on me and can begin to enjoy the company of other humans. We try and introduce people slowly to him so he doesn't get overwhelmed.
We gave him a bath yesterday and he did really well with that. He is also now taking treats from my hand and sometimes from other people's hands too. He still prefers it to be quiet but we are working on that. Our short term goal is to get him to take treats even with distractions-he will need to do this for class learning. Baby steps!
Jennylynne and Buddy

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Buddy, the WIP

In art, WIP means a work in progress. That applies to my little Buddy too. We seem to take four steps forward and two back, but we hang in there. He was taking treats out of my hands(which is crucial to doggy training) but then he was distracted when we tried to do it around other family members and animals. So now we are back to laying the treats on the floor in a pattern which he will eat very close to me but not out of my hand, even if he is hungry.(like before breakfast or dinner) He however, is great at going outside to do his business-he has that trick down pat!
Today, we go for our first grooming experience with our groomer. This is an unknown as the only other time he was groomed was by the rescue group when they had to shave him because of all the matted hair after years of neglect by the breeder. We'll keep you posted on how this goes. Also, we have our second doggy class tonight. Our goal tonight is to just spend most of our time out from underneath the chair. Baby steps!
Jennylynne and Buddy

Monday, August 3, 2009

Holyfield Winery Plein Aire Painting

I spent the afternoon at Holyfield Winery Saturday painting in plein aire(my favorite thing to do). This is the painting I completed that day. I know, why a pond at a winery? Well, there were wonderful views to paint everywhere-grapes, grape vines, an apple orchard, wine barrels, beautiful skies but I am always drawn to the water. I love painting water, all kinds, rushing-still-cascading-it all intrigues me. This pond had algae completely covering the surface of the pond. There was a lone tree growing out of the water and casting wonderful shadows across the pond's surface. The painting took me about 2 hours and seemed to just "paint itself". I also did a couple more paintings there which I will post in a later post.
Also, for those who are following Buddy's journey. He is doing great. I get tail wags every time he sees me and he is asking to be let out to "do his business". This morning he even stood still while I put his leash on and didn't try to exit the situation. He ran to me after he did his stuff with his little tail wagging to beat the band and ran right to me for pets and praise. He loves being outside and since our yard is fenced securely, we allow him freedom but still with his halter and leash attached just in case something were to spook him and we would need to try and catch him. He's really fast when he wants to elude you.