Share and Care Dogs

Hi Everyone:

Sorry for my long absence.  My husband, Peter, was terminally ill and I was unable to get to my blog.  Pete passed in April and I miss him more than mere words can say.

Today I want to readdress the value of therapy dogs. As you may know, I wrote how important therapy dogs were for those suffering with PTSD or helpful for those feeling mild anxiety.  We all need a friend.  Sometimes, though, we are not up to dealing with a person, a group, or even interacting with anyone.  Hopefully the day will come when we can get back into relationships which will help us recover, but as we work towards this, a lot of us do not have to be totally alone. 

As we struggle to find our way, confused as to who we are, there might be a friend available who will not judge us, nor question what we do or do not do.  This friend is content just to be in our presence, offering comfort, love and acceptance

All dogs have some therapeutic value.  Anyone from Aries to Pisces who shares their life with a dog knows how much their dog enhances their life.  What a relief it can be to kick back and grin at your dog, both of you happy to be together.  You might even say, after a long day, “You and me against the world, buddy!’ The dog will wag its tail, give you a kiss and totally agree with you.  He or she has always known this and is glad you know it too.

 For those who feel cut off from the world and find getting up in the morning a difficult task, reaching out to a person may not be possible at that time.  However, the first step to recovery could be to reach out and stoke your dog’s head, to accept the lick on your hand. 

For my husband, so very ill and unable to accept the turn his life had taken, his therapy dog was Jake. Jake is a pit bull mix rescued as most pet pits are. The comfort Jake gave to my husband cannot be measured.  Pete had cancer and he opted to fight it with extensive chemotherapy.  He fought for over a year until his oncologist advised him to stop.  The chemo had ceased to help. Pete got up in the mornings not because I had made breakfast and wanted him to eat. He resisted food.  He got up because Jake sat by his bed staring into his face until he got up. Pete insisted it was Jake who was hungry when I put his breakfast on the table. We made a deal.  If I made sausage and bacon for Jake, Pete would eat his breakfast.  It must have been one of those secret communications between them. 🙂

After breakfast they both sat on the couch to watch the news every morning, Pete with his arm around his dog and Jake snuggling in.  “Isn’t he beautiful?” Pete asks often.  Well, he certainly is.  Pete’s face, wracked in pain would relax when he stroked his dog and spoke to him.  Jake was an attentive listener. 

As Pete’s illness progressed nurses came to the house daily.  I had to lock Jake up.  He was fine with them.  They were not fine with him.  Initially I was grateful for the help and listened to all their needs until I heard the nurse tell Pete that dogs had no place in his sick room.  I heard him ask again for his dog.  The well-meaning nurse denied him again.I thought about this. There was no doubt about it.  Pete needed the comfort of his dog. I went to speak with the nurse and told her that Pete had an important visitor arriving and would it be convenient for her to leave for a while.  She said she had an errand to run.

For the first time in days, Pete’s face lit up when Jake ran into his bedroom.  Jake took his usual place sitting as close to the bed as he could while Pete stroked him with a shaking hand.  “Isn’t Jake a beautiful dog, Lu?” he asked.  Tears running down my cheeks, I agreed.  Jake definitely is a beautiful dog.

I understood the nurses’ concerns, but whenever they were not in the house, Jake was with his master.

When Father George came to pray with Pete, his family gathered around the bed. Father George had no objection to an important family member being present.  He told Pete he had a fine dog. 

All of Pete’s people helped him and supported him.  He was a much loved man. Pete showed his love for us in return, but the only family member that caused his face to soften, helped to ease his pain and lessen his fear of the unknown was his dog, Jake. 

Pete loved to take Jake to the park, but the time had passed when he could walk him himself. Fortunately his daughter Nikki was happy to help and they were still able to go for a walk together.

I wanted to write this blog as a tribute to Jake and to all therapy dogs the world over. 

Therapy dogs are dogs who want to share and care about you and your life. They are out there waiting for you to find them. They need you as much as you need them – I hope you find each other.

Thanks for sharing – until next post 🙂

Hello Virgos! Happy Birthday ♍

You are a Virgo if your birthday falls between August 24th through September 23rd.  As dog owners go, you are one of the best!  True you tend to be critical, and will expect obedience eventually from your pup, but you will give second chances. Your pup will have lots of chances to please you and you and your pup will create a bond that would be hard to sever.

One dog in particular would be so right for many of you.  It is a very special dog and much beloved all over the world.

Labrador Retriever black, brown and yellow 55-80lb

Google Images

Originally, Labs were bred on the island of Newfoundland, which is a province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.  The British are credited with developing the breed.

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This dog’s talents are extensive.  Hunting, tracking, police work, search and rescue, guide dogs, aids for the disabled to name some of them.  It is not surprising to learn that the dog is famous for its abilities and skills.

Jake was one of the heroes in the rescue of victims of 9/11.  He was also called on to serve Hurricane Katrina victims.

Lucky and Flo were amazing at detecting counterfeit.  They sniffed out 2 million pirated counterfeit DVDs.

Famous people who adored their Labrador retrievers were former president Bill Clinton.  His dogs were named Buddy and Seamus, Russia’s Vladimir Putin’s dog was Koni. Endal was the British Lab who was the most photographed dog  Among other things, Endal was the first dog to ride the London Eye and the first to operate an ATM

Rascal was the first chocolate lab to win the National Field Trial Championships, but the chocolate lab I knew was a champion stealer 0f all things edible.  Very few things were beyond his reach.  Tikka belonged to my daughter Nikki and her family. I had to replace the Advent calendars sent to the grandkids more than once and stopped putting goodies in packages.  On a visit, I saw Tikka help herself to a frying pan of bacon.  This was my fault as I didn’t know the stove was fair territory to Tikka.  It was impossible not to adore this dog, though.  Yes she was naughty, but so loving and giving of herself, she won us all over.

Tikka-Ti in the Wind

Hopefully I have not left out your favorite famous Lab.  If so, let me know and I  will add him or her to the post. (See Comment top left)

All Labradors without exception need to retrieve something to give you when you get home.  The dogs are so pleased to see you they need to give you a gift.  This could be a shoe, a hat, a glove.  Never scold them for grabbing something of yours..  The habit is ingrained and as natural as breathing to a Lab. Labs were trained to retrieve game.  They did this to please their owners.

Children and labs get long well.  This dog is a hunting dog, a family dog, a friend and companion, and will return your affection ten fold.  For most of you Virgos, it would be hard to resist a Labrador Retriever, but I will tell you about another dog suggested for your zodiac sign on the next post.

Of course, if you want to read about yourself as a person and dog owner, check out your chapter in AstroPups. (available on Amazon Books). So much depends on what the universe is doing, doesn’t it?  It has helped to make you a wonderful dog owner and an all round nice person

Thanks for visiting – please leave a comment – see you soon 🙂


Therapy Dogs


I am recovering from spinal surgery when I had a fusion.  Sorry f0r the lack of posts recently, but I’ve been busy getting back to normal.

Normal is a word everyone uses, but sometimes people find it hard to get their life back to what is normal for them.   There can be many reasons for their inability to cope, physical, emotional, or social. They need some help to get up, deal with their day and walk out of the door.  For some, it becomes a safer world if a trusted friend, like a therapy dog, is always with them.  For many, a therapy dog will not only be the trusted friend needed, but a source of courage enabling a person to walk out into the world.

Dog people – I am definitely one of them –  need a dog in their lives to complete it.  A house feels empty without the enthusiastic welcome your dog gives you when you turn the key in the lock. For some people, though, the dog is by their side 24/7.  They do not venture out of their home without their dogs.  Therapy dogs, can help with depression, isolation, aggression and paralyzing fear.  It is also helpful in less severe but still disabling things like reading  A library in North Carolina allows children who have problems reading  to read aloud to a therapy dog

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I need a friend Google Images


Who is taking who for a walk? Google Images

For most of us, a dog is a companion.  For some it is a lifeline

I did not realize that I missed the dogs when I was in hospital and then a rehab hospital.  I was lucky enough to be sent to Marion Joy, supportive of patients needs  I was told my dogs could visit.  I was in a wheelchair at that time and thought it would be nice to see them, but was fragile enough not to be enthusiastic about much.  Dogs were not allowed in patients’ rooms, but were brought to the downstairs lobby.  From there the patients could go outside if able, and share some outside time.

When I received a phone call that Sally was downstairs, I smiled and left the bed to get into the wheelchair, totally unaware what my reaction would be when I saw the little dog.  One of my support people wheeled me down the long corridor to the elevator, informing the nurses at their station that I was leaving the floor and why.  The elevator doors opened at the lobby and there, on the back of the couch was Sally.  I called her name, tears filling my eyes.  Sally gave a short bark and leapt into my lap, licking my face enthusiastically.  I cried a river.  All the emotions I had hidden before surgery, post surgery and the painful rehab surfaced.  I hugged that little dog, burying my face in her fur.  My daughter, Nikki, had tears in her eyes as did my friend Loraine who watched the encounter.  It was the first time I had cried since I got the bad news I needed a fusion.

tiny black dog

From that day on I was interested in therapy dogs. Sally allowed me to feel and react.  I just didn’t realize I needed to do that. Now it is four months since my surgery.  I am back behind the wheel driving and have completed PT.  Sure it is going to take months to get back my strength, but I get better every day.   Sally stays at home with Jake, but she was definitely my little therapy dog.

When I started to research therapy dogs, I found the subject to be very well addressed.   Pet Partners is interesting.  The dog handlers are volunteers and the dogs are all sorts of breeds.  If you think you would like to volunteer yourself and your dog, check out Pet Partners and the many more that would welcome you with open arms.  All the dog has to be is trained in the basics and to like people.

The Alliance of Therapy Dogs is a good source for information for a facility that would welcome a visit from therapy dogs to help lower their patients blood pressure and put a grin on their faces.

Of course, if you are considering getting a therapy dog, you may find a dog suggested for your zodiac personality a bonus.  You can check out these dogs in AstroPups, available at Amazon Books.

Thanks for visiting my blog. If you have a comment please leave one, love to hear from you.  Chat to you soon 🙂







German Shorthaired Pointer

Hello Capricorns!  (People born December 22 – January 20).

I thought I would wish you all a Happy Birthday and discuss one of the special dogs chosen for you in AstroPups,  available on Amazon Books. I have fully explained the book in another category.  The paperback version is recommended.  For a browse, check out the Kindle version.

Of course, Capricorns, a lot of you are not likely to take our word for it that this dog is a very good suggestion for you.  You prefer to do your own research, but most of you love an aristocrat.

German Shorthaired Pointer

Colors:  Liver or ticked. Height: 21″ – 25″. Weight: 50lbs. – 70lbs.

German Pointers are the result of years of careful, selective breeding by German breeders to produce this fine, versatile dog.  The dog has a powerful, well-balanced body, is capable of great endurance, is intelligent and trains well in obedience.

German Shorthair Pointer
German Shorthaired Pointer – artist Peter Solomon

Although it is believed that German Shorthairs were first bred in the 1700’s from Spanish Pointers, the English Pointer and Foxhounds, the breed was not introduced to breeders in the U.S. until 1920.  In a short time, the dog was recognized for being easy to train to the hunt.  German Shorthairs can work with pheasant, quail, waterfowl, coons, possum and deer.

For people who do not hunt, this dog is amazing as a pet.  It’s clean, has a mild disposition, is protective of loved ones, is affectionate and even good with children.  German Shorthairs make good guide dogs for the blind and good therapy dogs, also.

It’s gratifying to show this dog and you will swell with pride if you enter your dog at obedience trials.  Grooming is an easy chore.  A good bristle brush is all you need. For Show, a chamois rub is a good idea to help the dog’s coat shine.

You will not have a chance to be a couch potato if you own a German Shorthaired Pointer.  In fact, lack of exercise makes this one restless.  The dog is tireless on walks and hikes and loves the outdoors.  This is why the country or the suburbs is a better home for this breed.

Owners tell me, with pride, that the German Shorthaired Pointer is the best dog in the whole world – a paragon of virtue!  Right, Capricorns would have to prove this for themselves so if you are in the market for a pup, check this breed out.

It was fun chatting to you, as always.  Thanks for visiting my blog.  Please leave a comment or you can email me, address in About Us.

A very happy 2017 to you all!  🙂



Samantha Freckles

Hello Everyone:

Sorry for not posting for a while.  Unfortunately I was ill for three months. Then we lost our lovely Boxer, Sammi, which was unbearably sad.  She died in her sleep in the beginning of November. Sammi was eleven – a long life for a Boxer, but we are all struggling to get over the loss of her.  For my return readers, you all know Sammi pretty well.

Here she is with Sally, our Bichon Frise/Italian Greyhound mix.  Sally misses her a lot and is still checking out the front door in case Sammi will suddenly appear, her whole body wagging at the sight of her best little friend.

WP_20160410_19_54_05_ProJake, our pit bull mix, definitely went into a depression when Sammi left us.  Our good friend Loraine owned Sammi, but the dog came to us for doggy care on a regular basis.  Jake bounded downstairs when Loraine and Sammi arrived, barking happily and wagging his tail.  When Loraine arrived alone, he tore downstairs initially, but now seems to understand that Sammi is not coming with her.

Dogs losing their friends as Sally and Jake lost Sammi brings a tear to the eyes.  How can you explain to them what has happened, why Sammi no longer comes to play, to cuddle and to go for walks with them.  Goodness, can Christmas be ruined because a certain stocking is not hung by the chimney with care? Certainly it puts a dent in what was a fun activity last year.

The dogs still with us had bulging stockings this year – couldn’t make up for the one not filled, though.

Sammi had a brown stuffed dog which squeaked at our house.  Sally carried it about.  Jake did not destroy it as he does with his own toys, but kept leaving it in the hall by the front door.  Sally left it on the bed.  I hugged them more than usual, but I can’t make up for their lost friend.  I wished I could see the owner of that brown stuffed dog which squeaked, too.

Pit bull
Jake adored Sammi

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Sammi’s best friend, Sally



Yes, the good part is that a stiff, aging Boxer died peacefully.  She was having trouble sitting down and getting up.  Stairs were becoming a problem,  I am grateful she is no longer struggling or hurting, but I so miss Sammi Freckles.  She is an ache in my heart, even as I smile remembering how very special she was.

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Sammi’s first rawhide

AstroPupsSammi,  cover girl, chosen for AstroPups.

I am dedicating this post to our Samantha, so loved, and so very missed by us all.  Thanks for sharing with me – see you soon 🙂









Miniature Pinscher – the Min Pin

Colors: black, blue, brown – tan markings on face. Height 11″ – 12″. Weight: 7-9 lbs.

Some consider the Min Pin, as it is affectionately called, the toy breed of a Doberman Pinscher, but this is not the case.  The breed originated from the German Shorthair Pinscher and has been recognized since the 16th century.  Some authorities claim it has been around longer.This little dog is perfectly proportioned, agile and very spirited.  It once was a ratter and was very good at its job.  Nowadays, the Min Pin is an excellent watch dog, show dog and a sweet companion for adults.

Min Pin (Google Images)

Although the Miniature Pinscher only weighs a few pounds, nobody has informed this pint-size dog that it has limitations.  The dog behaves much like a large dog and is braver than a lot of them.  It’s tiny, it’s adorable, but if you don’t watch it, this dog will become a tyrant!

You will actually need to take a firm approach in training and let this dog know who is boss from the start.  Training the Min Pin is not easy as this breed is easily distracted and becomes stimulated quickly by minor things, but don’t be too harsh.  Try to remember tis just this dog’s nature, and remember also that this pup is intelligent, eager to please and very affectionate.

Miniature Pinscher (Google Images)

Walks are a must for this one.  The dog needs lots of exercise to thrive.  It would not be a good idea to take off the leash, though.  The dog will be off like a shot, doing its favorite thing, hunting rodents. Recall is not one of its strong suits.

Protective of you and its family, the Miniature Pinscher needs social contact with as many people as possible, especially during its imprint time of three months.  Petting only, though, as people who pick up the dog may hurt it, and instead of getting the dog socialized, you will make him or her suspicious of strangers.

Buy a cozy bed for your pup.  Amazon has several beds available if you buy on line. For access to beds, click below.

Don’t forget to buy your pup some toys also.

It’s  good idea to avoid plastic or rubber toys as the Min Pin will chew them up and may choke on the pieces.  Check out the cat toys but be sure you do not give the pup any with catnip in or on them. While you are shopping, don’t forget to buy your pup a warm coat if you live where snow falls in the winter.

The Miniature Pinscher is a wonderful little watchdog, and if handled correctly, with firmness and affection, a loyal and loving friend.

We suggested the Min Pin for Leos in AstroPups, available on Amazon Books in both paperback and Kindle.

Any questions please use Make a comment at the top of the post on the left or you can email me (About Us, upper right). I enjoy hearing from you.

Thanks for visiting my blog and we hope you enjoyed learning about the feisty, sweet little Min Pin!  🙂




Possibilities on What Jake wants

Thanks to all of you who responded to my plea on ideas of what Jake, a pit mix rescue dog, wants when he sits in front of me and makes loud demands.  As you know, I tried food, treats, a walk, a retrieve-the-ball game and hugs.  None of this changed the cadence of his demands.


I liked this one – Cathy suggested he wanted me to go get his siblings and rescue them, too.  No can do, but it’s a nice idea.

Nikki suggested he was asking for Samantha who goes home at night with her mom.  He adores Sammi so maybe.

Lisa suggested he wanted to go to the doggie park and is demanding I pull the car out of the garage – at ten p.m? Now I should have taught Jake to tell time.

Speed says he is just trying to gain my full attention which is on a movie and not on him.  Now that could be – he is a demanding dog definitely.

Loraine says he is just a very verbal dog and won’t shut up!  Well, this is what I was trying to solve.  I believe dogs make requests, and I usually try to communicate with them to increase the bonding, but last night he was yowling again.

The vet says he is healthy so no concerns there.  Then we had another problem to add to Jake’s yowling.  Sally now barks sharply at him, wagging her tail, but saying “Shut up, brother!”  Pete stared at them both in disgust as he was watching an HBO movie. He went back to his computer.  Well, it was a lousy movie anyway, but who could hear it over these two?

I think I overdid trying to understand my dog here.  Because he came in as a tiny pup with initially an inability to connect, I forgot he is a healthy, active, loving and sweet dog nowadays.

“Be quiet” is my next step.  Time for Jake to learn his loud demands are not acceptable and although even a slight reprimand will send him sulking to his bed, his back turned to me, time for Jake to learn who is Alpha in this house.

For those of you who downloaded the Kindle version of AstroPups, and have questions, I will be happy to answer them either in comment in a post or by email (About Us, upper right).

Thanks for visiting my blog – until next post:)





What is this Dog Saying?

My daughter, Lisa, gave us a rescue pup for Christmas a year and a half ago.  Lisa told us that the pup was only four weeks old.  Well, he was very small, solemn and had zero interest in meeting us or making friends. The pup didn’t have an interest in accepting food, drinks or treats from us.  He stiffened when I petted him and turned away from me.

I introduced the pup to Sally, my Italian greyhound/Bichon Frise mix and Sally licked the pup.  He stared at her without interest and turned away.

I set up his bed, with a soft toy, a blanket, in a large plastic pen and we went to bed.  I thought about including Sally in the pen mix, but she hates being caged and throws up if I cage her to travel, so I threw out that idea. There was no crying, no whimpering, no sounds at all from the pen.  I kept waking up to listen, but the room was silent.  Pete, my husband, slept on, but this pup unnerved me.  At four o’clock, I got up and opened the door.  I sat in front of the pen and invited the pup to join me.  The pup was not lying down.  He was sitting up, staring out at me, but totally still.

Okay, I was a stranger, the house was strange, but this was a baby!  I guess his stillness unnerved me.  In all my experience with pups and dogs, I had not met a pup like this.  Maybe he had been caged all his four weeks and yelled at if he whimpered.  Maybe he had no human contact previously.  I tried to lure him out with a treat, plain water.  The pup had no interest in anything nor me.

I reached in and gently pulled him out.  I didn’t want to disturb my husband, so went into the spare room and lay on the bed there, cuddling the small pup.  I guess we both fell asleep, but I was awakened by a tentative lick on my face.  Yay, contact!

The next morning we had the vet check the pup out, who confirmed he was four weeks old and bought some cans of puppy formula for the pup we decided to name Jake.  The vet remarked upon his solemn behavior and tried to tease him to play, but Jake just stared at him, looking like a statue of a pup. Physically, Jake was healthy.  Mentally, the vet wasn’t sure.

I am a believer that love is the most powerful component in owning a dog.  I showered Jake with affection, ignoring his tentative responses, praising his small efforts, and always being light and gentle with him.Pit bull

It was not long before he chewed my new boots, ate a couch cushion, and decided the wood work at the top of the stairs needed a trim.  Guess Jake was home.

Jake is now puzzling me yet again.  He is always talking.  Okay, I understand he is demanding some meat when we are eating dinner, whimpering when Sally gets to go for a walk and he is left behind, happy chatter when I throw a ball for him to retrieve, but at times, he sits before me and goes into this loud conversation.  The first time, even though there was food in his bowl, I offered him a can of Sally’s Mighty Dog, which he ate.  It was not long before he was making so much noise, we couldn’t hear the TV.  I did everything I could think of.  A walk, a rawhide bone, a game of retrieve, and would you believe he was still asking me for something, urgently.  I tried a cuddle, got a big face lick, and then he started up again.  Right, you may be thinking he makes out big time when he does this, but there is a note in his voice, urgent and demanding, and I just don’t know what Jake wants.  He goes on doing this and I stopped trying to fix it.  Whatever I did, didn’t seem to be what he was asking for.

Any ideas?  I really would appreciate them!

By the way, Kings River Life Magazine asked me for a post on Westies, which I sent to them.  So many people love West Highland White Terriers, so if you want to know more about this wonderful, cheeky little dog, check it out.

We suggested the Westie for Gemini in AstroPups, available on Amazon Books in paperback or Kindle.

Until next post 🙂

Weimaraner a Leo Dog

Happy Birthday to all Leos!

We have been working on the Leo chapter from the book AstroPups, available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle.  Initially we discussed Leo’s personality according to the Zodiac, who Leo is as a dog owner, and then went into the breeds suggested for Leo based on Leo’s sun sign personality. So far, we have discussed three of the dogs suggested for Leo.

Rhodesian Ridgeback.

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Google Images


Google Images

Alaskan Malamute

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Great Dane

Google Images

Now let’s look at a sporting breed that we think would just right for some of you.

What a beautiful dog!  Color: gray. Height: 23-27″. Weight: 50-62lbs.

The spirited, graceful Weimaraner has a nickname among sportsmen.  They call it the Gray Ghost.  In the fields at dusk, light reflects off its metallic coat and its pale eyes shine.  There’s nothing ghostly about its performance, though.  It’s a superb gun dog and bird retriever.

There are several things you will particularly like about this dog, Leo.  Weimaraners train to the hunt much earlier than most hunting dogs and they excel at tracking.  If you are wondering how brave they are in unknown terrain, German hunters once used this breed to track down wild boar and hold them at bay.  The police recruit Weimaraners for their intelligence and they do well at show, especially at obedience trials.  As companions, Weimaraners are both protective and loyal.

Your strong personality and upbeat style of training is good for this breed, but most Weimaraners are sensitive to their owner’s moods, so avoid training on one of your bad days. Lighten up when training and use your positive approach.  Losing your cool with this pup will confuse him or her.

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Google Images


There’ll be no confusion, though, when the pup catches on and performs well.  Your enthusiastic response will mean more to this pup than its reward treat.

Because Weimaraners have soft, fine coats, it is not wise to house them outside.  The cold does not affect them on a hunt, though.  They work hard enough to keep them warm.

Grooming is minimal.  Weimaraners do not shed, and some clean themselves, just like cats.

Weimaraners need exercise, but adapt well to apartment living.  You can take this pup home to wherever you live.

Nowadays, it is easy to get a purebred Weimaraner.  Back in the day when President Eisenhower had his beloved Heidi by his side, indiscriminate breeding occurred due to its increased popularity.

If you know someone who is lucky enough to own a Weinaraner, I found a great gift when browsing.  Check this out:


Weimaraners have the reputation of being good all-purpose dogs. this dog will strive to please you Leo, when mutual trust has been achieved. The breed has enough spirit, intelligence, speed and style to please even the most demanding among you.

If you want to rescue this wonderful dog, there are some in need of forever homes.  Check out the Rescue sites in your area. If you can’t adopt at this time, perhaps you can volunteer or donate.

Thanks for coming back to my blog – appreciate your comments or you can email me (About Us, upper right).

Until next post:)