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Happy Holidays!!

tripawdsHappy Holidays from Adam, Mary and Caira Sue!

We have had quite the week. Caira Sue was a little blue after we had to put our 16 year old cat to sleep. I know, it seems strange, but that cat was a constant in her life and they slept together. Caira was actually walking around quite worried about him for the last week as he got weaker and sicker. So, she was sad. So, we did what we know cheers her up.

We bought her tennis balls!

Our very good friend, Neezar Samara, is an amazing photographer. To see his great work with people and places check out his website:

So, yesterday the lighting was nice enough and the weather beautiful enough to make Neezar long for a frolick in the leaves. Ok, maybe he didn’t frolick (he’s really not the frolicking type. I mean, he’s a manly man who will probably kill me for using the word “frolick” anywhere near his name. So no, he did not want to frolick…), but he did ask if he could take pictures of Caira Sue playing. Caira Sue? The most awesome and beautiful dog in the WHOLE WORLD?!?!?!?! (Just our opinion? Naw!) We headed straight to the park with the new tennis balls!

So, I’m not sure if it will work, but I am posting the link to his AMAZING and INCREDIBLE pictures here:

I don’t just say they are amazing because he is my friend. If they were lousy, I just wouldn’t post it. This guy has great talent, and I feel like he really captured Caira Sue’s spirit. He is interested in doing more animals (and of course people, objects, etc). If you like his work, give him a call or an email.

I’m sure my house is going to be decorated with Caira Sue portraits before the end of January!

Anyway. Enough about THAT.

My husband has taken to calling Shelby, Shelby Fawcett. You know, she is beautiful. But it’s that amazing TAIL that she just sweeps around so that everyone will look at her! I wanted to show you all the resemblance…..




What do you all think? In doing this research, I found out there are many websites on how to achieve Farrah’s, I mean Shelby’s awesome hairstyle. It seems that even Paris Hilton is jealous of Shelby:

Pretty cool, eh?

Really? At 1 am?

I just finished baking pumpkin bread to bring to the vet tomorrow. Yes, I baked pumpkin bread for the UC Davis vet…wouldn’t you? We’ve had 5 amazingly awesome months with our girl. He deserves a bit of pumpkin bread. Anyway, this isn’t about the bread. Or the vet. It’s about how I climbed into bed to go to sleep when Caira started staring at me. Intensely. Staring. at. me. I said “you gotta go out?” (even though she just went out) nope. still staring. “your water is right there, you already ate dinner, what do you want?” Staring. Then tail wagging. Giddy tail wagging. (is that possible? you all know what I mean).

I couldn’t figure it out. Maybe she heard the rescue kittens getting into something. Sigh. I got out of bed and opened the bedroom door.

Whoa! Excitement! Caira is dancing her way towards the kitchen. Spinning, Tailwagging, excitement. “Caira, it’s 1 am, what is going on?” I tried to get her to go out the back door. nope. I gave her a snack. Yum, that was nice. Staring. Giddy tail wagging. Then she jumped around in a circle and grabbed her rings. OH yes! Caira Sue wants to play tug at 1 am.

Mind you, all evening she slept on the bed while I was AWAKE. Now that I want to go to bed, she’s playing tug with her rings. Sigh. Yes, you got it. I played with those rings for about 2 minutes. Then I gave her a bone to chew on.

I’m not wrapped around anyone’s finger. Or paw. Or whatever. Sigh. Ok, maybe a little bit wrapped.

We’ve made it this far…

Today marks 5 months since Caira Sue had her right shoulder blade and leg taken away from her and sent in for tumor research.

My sister and brother-in-law are in town visiting and yesterday we went to the coast. I know, lousy weather…but they came from Maine, so to them it’s warm!

DSC02925We went for a walk on the beach and Caira Sue had a blast. There were lots of smashed pumpkins (some kind of Pacifica tradition? I wasn’t sure) and Caira had to pee on every single piece…not sure what THAT was all about.

DSC02933This is a crab she spent some time around….he was dead and missing all but two legs, but that didn’t thwart her one bit.

Later my brother-in-law and I took Caira for a little cliff hike.

DSC02940DSC02943They enjoyed the view looking over the cliffs. The view was nice, and it really wasn’t too cold. It was very peaceful watching the big waves coming in.

On our way back, Caira took off up into the trees. I thought she was after a rabbit and I had to use my mean voice to shout her name. Oh no, no rabbit. Caira Sue ran up into the trees to grab a tennis ball. Really? I think she can smell them from 100 ft away!

DSC02951So, another good day playing, hiking and chasing balls. Yay, Caira Sue!

This crazy emotional week

This week has been a hard week at the Caira Sue household. I’ve been sick with the flu. Adam has been busy working, leaving the house at ungodly hours like 5 am and coming home late. I’ve been reading a lot of sad moments on tripawds. Caira started to seem really down to me. And we all know that Mars is in retrograde right now, which makes us feel stuck and weak. I was feeling it. All of it.

On Tuesday I took her to a new dog park….I was in a different area taking my father-in-law to an appt, so I thought I’d look for a good place to play for an hour. Anyone who knows Caira knows an hour is nothing.

After 20 minutes she started to slow down. Then she did a horrible nose-dive flip on her good leg. It looked awful. Of course she kept going….but it was really awful. I made her take a break. She wouldn’t stop panting. After 20 minutes? How many mets does it take, I wondered? The whole time I was smiling at her and encouraging her to stay near me. There were a couple other people there with little dogs…not normally Caira’s cup o’ tea, but she tolerated them. Their owners kept telling me what  a great dog I had and I thought, yeah…for how long?

She walked out slowly. She stopped every 5 steps and laid down in the grass. She’s never been that dog. My. Heart. Broke. I thought, great….she has cancer spreading to her lungs and she can’t breathe and now she’s injured her one and only front leg. Plus my flu was getting worse again, not better. I called Adam. All he could say was, “oh, god, mary.”

Yesterday I slept until 4pm. Yeah, I got up to feed the animals, but I went right back to bed. Caira slept with me the whole day. I kept putting the heating pad on her one shoulder. I just didn’t know what to do. And my head was full of flu goo. In the afternoon I took her out to the front yard, which she usually loves because that’s when the sun is shining best there. My father-in-law was sitting there with his neurotic terrior. Caira walked out there and just stood. Caira Sue just stood there. She didn’t go anywhere, she didn’t smile. My. heart. Broke.

So was I projecting? Was I feeling terribly emotional because I’ve been sick and not eating for a week? Was I depressed and worrying about her lung mets when I had promised myself I wouldn’t do that to myself or anyone else in the household? Was it the whole Mars issue?

Today we got ready to take my father-in-law to the same appt. I looked at him and said “I’m not sure whether to take her. I’m worried about her leg.” And he said “Caira Sue always loves a good ride.” Of course, he’s always right. Pop is always right. I pulled out her harness and she grinned big from ear to ear and did her little “I’m going out!!!” dance. It was adorable.

I decided not to take her to the dogpark. I DID take her to this little walkway near a school. There’s dog waterfountains there….so hey. I thought we’d go sit in the grass and enjoy the sun.


Girl took ME for a walk! She kept pulling, and wasn’t tired at all. We got over near the baseball cage and I sat on a picnic table. I let her off leash so she could sniff. OH! Big grins! Caira Sue found her a softball. I tossed it 10 feet. I wasn’t having her running and nosediving. She was sooooooooooooo happy. Then she proceeded to roll in the grass with her softball and strip it of the top layer! Ok, time to go before the owner comes looking for their ball……


She spent all day with us, and never slowed down, never acted down, or in pain. We ran our errands and she was happy to come to the ones she could go to, or guard the car. She danced her way right back in the house this evening. She just kept looking at me and smiling. It’s like yesterday only upside down and backwards. Which is good thing.

All I’m saying is….deep sigh of relief. I guess it’s not the cancer. She’s still breathing.  I guess the heating pad and day of rest helped the soreness from her nosedive.  I don’t know. Maybe I was projecting. Maybe she was reading my illness off of me. But today is today, and it’s a beautiful day.

My dog’s a cleptomaniac!!

We went to Petfood Express yesterday for a bath. They have the greatest system for bathing dogs….raised tubs and a choice of shampoo. Hair dryers. I like to go there because I can leave all the cleaning up to them!

On the way in, we passed a stand of pig’s ears. Caira Sue popped one right out of the stand and in front of her! She’s NEVER done that before!

I put it back and continued to the register to get my towels and token for the bath. Bath given, dog is clean and smells fresh.

Of course afterwards we walk around the store to look for treats and see what’s new. Caira likes to look for places where bags may have inadvertantly popped open and spilled a few kibble. She’s always cleaning up for the staff!

We pass by another aisle with little rawhide sticks…the kind for chihuahuas. She took one of those for half an aisle! What! She usually ignores these things!

We walk over to help my father-in-law who is trying to fit his neurotic terrior into a new harness. Insanity ensues (that’s not unusual if the neurotic terrior is involved). The staff don’t care about the terrior, they are busy oooooing and aaaaaing over Caira Sue. She got plenty of treats for doing next to no tricks.

We go to pick up a cat toy–all of a sudden I notice Caira Sue has a pig’s ear! Where did she get the pig’s ear?!?! TWO AISLES AWAY! She’s not chewing it-like she knows it’s not hers…she’s just carrying it!

My dog is an official cleptomaniac. 3 times in one trip, when she’s never done this before. And yes, I bought her a treat for the ride home anyway. I’m such a sucker.

I don’t have any pictures of her stealing items from the store, so here’s an artsy one my friend took of her in the redwoods.



LookinupOur friend came to visit from New York and we decided to take her to see a few redwoods. We know to truly see the redwoods in all their glory you have to go WAY far north, but we didn’t have time for that. We went to Armstrong Woods near Guerneville. Lucky for us, our friend is from NYC, so it’s ALL nature to her!

Actually, it was a very lovely day. Caira walked the trails with us, until we were told dogs couldn’t walk on the trails-ooops. We can’t help it that we ALL missed the sign, can we? Here’s a shot of me and Caira playing in the knots:

MandCredwoodsI think the pine forest was really easy on her feets…she kept trying to pull us faster! I’ll bet if she had been off-leash we would have lost her to the pines.

InsprWe later met up with some friends in Jack London Square at Heinhold’s first and last chance. If you’ve never been there, it’s really quite a treat. Caira sat outside and got her ears scratched by EVERYONE! We met a very large brindle pit there who spent the whole time talking to her-literally! We couldn’t stop laughing as he kept saying “arooooo-arooooo-oooooo-oooooo. oooooo-oooooo-rawroooooo” It was seriously like a speech he had prepared. His dad kept saying “can’t we just sit here and enjoy a nice cup of beer?” ha! The bartenders are really nice there too. They always have fresh water on the patio for dogs and come out with treats! Talk about Caira finding her new true love! Blast that I didn’t have a camera to take a picture of that!

November Tripawd Party

CairaandTravisCaira Sue made a couple new friends today. Here she is with Travis Ray. Let me tell you about Travis Ray.


He is in the German Shepherd Rescue and needs a home. He’s an 11 month old, absolutely beautiful guy with the best disposition. I saw him play gently with a little dog and around kids. He was really great.

TravisandlildogAnyway, we made friends with another tipawd as well, Maggie. She’s the tiniest tripawd I’ve ever met! She has her own chariot to take her to parties!

MaggieWe didn’t think Maggie was going to explore much, given her propensity to lay about in sunbeams, but this girl went on a little adventure across the grass to go meet some new people too!

shelby loves ballsShelby girl loves her balls. Here she’s doing a little dance to grab one from her dad. At one point this beautiful petite princess has 7 tennis balls around her! She’s amazing! Oh yeah, and there’s Travis Ray working the public. Off to the right you see this terrier mix who came to meet us, but really just barked a lot.

ShelbyandadSpeaking of Shelby, I had to put this picture in of her running with her Dad! Check out those ears! She’s a happy girl!

CairarestingResting. Ain’t she purty?

WhoaWe wanted to put the biggest and littlest tripawd together. I think Cemil is 140# and Maggie is 18#. I love the look on Maggie’s face as she looks up at Cemil, “Whoa!!” Also, check the paws out, too cute!

someone's missingWe were trying to get all the tripawds to line up. Ok, I have 12 pictures of this idea! But I love this one. There’s 4 in place, and it’s so clear Cindy is saying “Shelby should go right HERE.”

IMAG0025Ok, so here’s the real lineup. Cemil, Shelby, Maggie, Caira Sue and Travis Ray. Oh yeah, and a few Parents in there too!

Mary's kidsThis is all Mary’s kids. Cemil did a few loops of the park-he was a regular politician, making sure he spoke to everyone there! I won’t try to spell the other two’s names…look for that in the comments section! Just know that she’s the tiniest tripawd owner, with the biggest tripawd! And all her dogs are very nice to hang out with.

AdamandChuckJust ask Adam!

heading across the parkAnother shot of the park and Mary’s kids.

Shelby's wagonThis is what it looks like when it’s time to leave. Isn’t this great? Shelby rides in her little wagon while her servents pull her and lug all her belongings! I love the tail hanging off the back!

Thanks everyone for such a great day in the park!

Dog friendly patios? Alright!

Tomate CafeWe went to a cute little Berkeley cafe today. I had been here before and noticed a dog. I looked at the website

and decided they must really like dogs as much as they like good food! Caira Sue made lots of friends hanging out on the patio.  She also got a lot of head scratches. Of course, she enjoyed helping her favorite friend, Pop, with his crossword puzzle.

After this little adventure, she went on a walk around Berkeley. This is always exciting because there are lots of dogs there. Lots of dogs=lots of bushes and trees to sniff! Oh the things she sniffed! IF only she could tell us!

That’s it. Another nice day with Caira Sue, traveling around the bay area and looking for people to love on my 3 legged dog.

No Ball? No problem!

Yesterday I had to go to an early acupuncture appointment. I had given Ms. Caira Sue no indication she was going anywhere. I hadn’t touched a leash, her harness or anything I normally take with her on a car trip. But for some reason she had it in her head she was going with me. She followed me to the door dancing with a great big smile on her face. She actually did a tripawd twirl and spun around several times!

I told her I wasn’t going anywhere interesting. She smiled and jumped and twirled and said “I don’t care! I’m going on a road trip! I’m going on a road trip!”

I told her she would be stuck in the car for an hour. She smiled and jumped and twirled and said “I don’t care! You are taking me on a road trip!”

I told her it was no place for dogs. She stomped her feet. I swear. She used that voice that only a 7 year old can use and said “But I WANNA go! Why can’t I go00000000?!?!?!” (Stomp Stomp).

So I took her with me. My acupuncturist came out after my appointment to meet her and (as Caira was bounding around her feet) started giggling and said “she never needed 4 legs, did she? That was just extra!” Yep.

Then I took her for a walk along the waterway. Nothing fancy, but it’s next to the office. There’s a nice little gravel path and I noticed a few other dog owners with their dogs. I let Caira off leash.

Caira Sue did her “I’m a dork” act. She’s done this since she was a puppy. She gets so excited about chasing a ball, she will run in front of you….backwards….jumping….up and down…in your face with the stupidest of happy looks on her face. It took her about 6 weeks after her amp to start that up again. We had kinda hoped maybe she’d let the “I’m a dork” act go after the surgery. I mean, she’s really too big to be jumping in your face, backwards, while you walk on a trail! Oh well.

So, we are walking and she is doing her “I’m a dork” act. She keeps saying “OK! Throw the BALL! Throooooooow the BALLLLLL!” Here’s the problem. I don’t have a ball. I forgot to bring a ball. Really. I know. It’s pretty pathetic. Everyone who knows Caira Sue knows I must have been completely MAD to forget a ball.

I tell her, “I have no ball. Go, just be a dog. Go, run and sniff things.” But she keeps up the “I’m a dork” bounce. I stop. She stops in anticipation. I say “GO! I don’t have a ball!” She looks at me and turns and runs down to the water.

Finally. I can walk! I took 6 steps, maybe 7. Here comes Caira Sue with a wet, soggy, perfect tennis ball. She plops in at my feet and just looks up with the biggest, happiest of grins.

Problem solved.

Living it up

1026091758So, this weekend Caira had a great time playing and swimming with her BFF, Codie Rae. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera, so I didn’t get pix. Hopefully, Codie Rae will put some up for us!

These pictures are from today. We went to the trail and played  a little ball. The wind is howling and the clouds are rolling. It feels like a great fall day in Northern California. Caira Sue had a great time running after her ball. I can tell she self-regulates a little more. Whereas she used to run continuously after Sammy (the neurotic, psychotic terrior that belongs to my father-in-law), she tends to sit more. She happily sits though! She wags her tail and chews her ball, with her head in the air and great big Caira smile! She loves the wind as much as her mom does.

1026091753Neurotic, Psychotic Terrior: Sammy

We are living it up, every day. Good food (yes, lots of fruit with her salmon and chicken!) and plenty of fun chasing balls and playing tug with her rings. And of course, hours of endless belly rubs and ear scratches!

1026091751Happy Monday, everyone!

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