Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'm Thunder's mom

It sure is hard to watch Thunder age lately. She’s really getting old. It’s a weird paradox, like slow motion or something. Some days it seems like just yesterday she was zipping around under our feet, marathon swimming for a stick on a camping trip, or pestering us for belly rubs. Other days it feels like she’s been old for a long time.

I hear myself say to others how hard Thunder’s passing will be on Rafa – she’s a daddy’s girl, and Rafa’s never lost a pet before – but the truth is, as that inevitable day gets closer, I’m afraid. I realize that I too brought Thunder into our home when she was a puppy of three months. I have raised, fed and nurtured her, it was me who took her to the dog park, and it’s me who takes her to the vet, and who gives her the old age meds. I’m Thunder’s mom.

Losing a loved one is a bitter pill to swallow in life. Loving comes with that pain. I’m too old to shut down, just for knowing that, and will always keep my heart open and welcome the pain that comes down the pike. I need love and I have to learn live with the pain, over and over, for my life without the joy of love, wouldn't be worth living.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Soft and sweet, and definitely sassy!

Sheets with stars and moons against a sky-blue background, or leopard print? Hay stuffed inside a cardboard tube or a ball made of willow wood? These are the kinds of decisions a bunny mom makes when it comes to pen-changing day. How often is that? Well, that depends. If have adolescents, it could be daily. If your rabbits are spayed or neutered adults with litter-box manners, than once a week is probably enough.

This whimsical rabbit was painted by artist Carmen Medlin who has a shop on Etsy.

Living with bunnies isn’t for everyone, but for those who “get” them, a special kind of pet ownership exists. 

These playful and innocent little beings are very different than cats or dogs. For instance, a rabbit can love and appreciate you, and still make you feel like a big ol’ scary ogre. You can gently groom your bun while whispering sweet nothings in its ear, and even make them purr – though this is really their teeth grinding in merriment - and they will still run away from you. A rabbit may even lunge at you when you are feeding them. What? Lunge? Yup. Rabbits are very territorial, bossy and some have quite an attitude. 

A whole internet site is dedicated to the “disapproving” rabbit.

But if you can appreciate their ways, knowing that their rebuffs are instinctual – rabbits are prey animals – and not-at-all personal, and are willing to feed and house them properly, a rabbit can give you 10-12 years of endless joy. Rabbits require hay, pellets and fresh vegetables, roomy (indoor-preferred) housing where they are a central part of the family, proper veterinarian care and attention. They are not the right pets for families with small children since their fragile limbs can easily get broken, but they can co-exist with most cats and some dogs.

With Easter not too far in the distant past, there are definitely lonely rabbits waiting at a shelter or rescue near you that need loving homes. 

This pair, Bernice and Babette, are available to adopt at The Rabbit Haven.

Every year many well-meaning but unknowing parents buy them for children on impulse and then realize they aren’t prepared for the commitment. If you decide to adopt a rabbit - or a pair is nice too – don’t even consider doing so without getting the FREE training offered at your local rabbit rescue. The House Rabbit Society is an excellent resource online for anything and everything rabbit. And, if you are anywhere near the Bay Area, Bunnyfest is happening in Los Gatos, California on May 20, 2012.

Please, tell us about your house rabbit! Questions welcome!

Friday, February 10, 2012

I am what I am

My name is Henry Keller, and I am an opportunist.

If you are foolish enough to leave something on the counter within my reach, you will find it is gone when you return.

If you na├»vely store something you know I like towards the front of the refrigerator, don’t be surprised when it’s not there next time you look.

Oh, so cat food’s expensive? I don’t care. Not good for me? Please - save it!

My name is Henry Keller, and I am an opportunist.

Some would say I’m spoiled, ill-mannered - even incorrigible.

While this may be true, the bottom line is I’m smart and mischievous - I’m a Dalmatian!

Being a charismatic trickster is in my DNA!

And, please, don’t hate me because I’m beautiful...but that’s another story.

So, the next time you don’t know what happened to your sandwich - better make a new one.

My name is Henry Keller, and I am an opportunist.


This short memoir by a Dalmatian owner might also be of interest you. I got a chuckle out of it. Ha ha ha ha ha!

Photo at top courtesy of Reg Kittrelle. Others by Henry's mom.

Friday, January 6, 2012


It’s 2012 and winter seems to have forgotten about us here on the central coast. I’m not saying I mind. The days are short with pretty blue skies, and glorious sunsets to behold. What a perfect time to rejoice in the paradise that is Santa Cruz and look to the future with hope.

Up here in the mountains, the squirrels have been chasing each other in the trees and making mysterious small talk. A feral cat decided to take refuge in our shed around Thanksgiving – I’m trying to make friends with him, or her.

Our little store has been quiet since the big Holiday Fair in early December, but a February show in on the horizon. Details are on the events page of our website and we’ll be talking about it non-stop soon enough.

In the meantime, sending whoever is reading this right now all the best the new year can possibly bring and a reminder to make each day count.

Enjoy five minutes of a recent sunset as a way to get started with that.