Sunday, December 18, 2016

Tribute to an Angel


A lost treasure in our and so many others lives has been lost. One month ago and grieving is still in our hearts. This tribute has  special meaning to us and at first we felt it should be posted on Thanksgiving in thanks for her life but decided to make it at Christmas when we were to give special honors to an angelic soul. However, finally the right time came to us for sharing Uta  Kramer with all of you. Less than a week ago, Uta was to spend time with Maggie while I was in surgery. (Maggie is our sweet fur family member Uta had helped train. and grow into an amazing companion) I was terrified about a surgery but she always shared with me those fears. On December 8, 2016 as I cried in fear, suddenly a warm hug embraced me and I felt as I heard her voice whisper, not now, you will be alright. Uta was with me as she had been many times before, standing beside me and holding my hand. I could not think of a better time than now to share with you one of life's greatest treasures. Uta Kramer.

If ever an angel walked amongst us, it was Uta Kramer.  A soft spoken yet strong woman who knew the hearts of so many. November 14, 2016 about 9 AM we received a message that began "this is the worst news you will ever hear from me."  it was news from her husband sharing Uta had just passed on suddenly. My first reaction was to yell out the words, "No, this has to be a bad joke" and then, "No, please say this is a bad dream and she's really alright!" I hurried to the front room with streaming tears and ask Doug to read the message and tell me I read it wrong. With tears in his eyes he just kept saying "oh such a sweet woman how can this be."  Together our sorrow, though profound we realized Kim her husband with family and friends across the globe would also be in shock and disbelief. Uta has the love of a husband many never know, an endless bounty of wet slobbery kisses from every animal she touched and friends that adore her. 

Tears streamed down our eyes for days and as Thanksgiving approached, we thought why. But Uta was why!  She was to be at our dinner table and she was!  We had this time to give thanks for the wonderful encounter with an angel. It was a day to recall the laughter, joy and tears shared with the life of another.  A way to celebrate her life knowing the love and strength she so freely gave of herself to others. It was a way to open our hearts and welcome in the holidays ahead because we knew her love would have been in vain had we not stopped to reflect on so many treasures in our lives because Uta Kramer was a part of it!  

Still the tears came. Writing a tribute as I had planned was suddenly impossible because we kept praying someone would shake us and say she was in the next room!  After all, we were just with her three days beforehand joking about which blizzard she would order. She wanted "to be good" and have the small sundae that accompanied her lunch but tempted by our upgrade for that tasty blizzard telling us she had never had one. Yes, we found a hundred reasons for her to go ahead and go for it and she did!  Oh how she loved it but taken but the size of it! That's just one of so many happy times shared and remembered. 

Have you ever had a buddy to just go shopping without buying one thing but spent hours looking, touching, dreaming, laughing and trying on every hat or scarf playing as though you were children!  Well, Uta made these days such a delight followed up by a lunch usually somewhere neither of us had been before. Tired and so happy all day from just being friends!  How can our lives ever be the same without this pure and giving soul gone from it?  But she is only gone from us in body, she will always be with each of us in spirit and as our own angel.

But as the news sunk in, we wondered how would Maggie ever know she had found a plan to help her engage in a happy play with no more fear. She worked by our side tirelessly to train our rescue puppy as she had done for so many. But Maggie was special to her because she could see the love in Maggie and the starved desire to play with other dogs but devoted to caring for us rather than have her own puppy time. Uta watched her as Maggie became my Service Dog naturally without training. She knew she could help her!  But that chance will never be as in an instant, we saw just how previous and fragile life can be. It was obvious to everyone that the expression "live life to the fullest and as if each day is your last." 

That is exactly how Uta lived her life. Aside from this fun loving spirit she shared,  also could be found a serious dedication to all animals for their happiness and well being. She wanted to protect them all from abuse and hunger, training those that others threw away so they could be part of a family again. She worked tirelessly with agencies to train animals and just spend time loving them. Several years back she took a more serious approach to life with animals that needed rescuing and together with another person started a company that dedicated her life just such a cause. 

Maggie’s Kitchen Tails: 
Dog Treat Recipes and Puppy Tales to Love

Aside from everything else, Uta has a fur dog family member Merlin and to her fur cat family member Panther. She also had room in her life for raising her Llamas which she has loved from the time they were only infant in age. They are the lucky ones to have known a special bond but the ones left behind and will miss her certain touch  of love and reassurance. Their life as ours are richer from having Uta in it for however long. 

Uta Kramer was also a great supporter of Maggie and the book to help support abused dogs and animals and why we want to share with you the chapter in the pages of our book that share her work with you. Maggie's Kitchen Tails and Puppy Tails to Love respectfully bids a See You Again to Uta Kramer now our angel that walks among us!

Here is her story!
Uta Kramer, Co-Founder of KARE 
Uta is fur addicted-loving, studying, training, and breathing the very thoughts of each dog she is in contact with making it her mission that no dog be cast away but trained so their lives are full and happy. Moving to the USA from Germany, she and her husband Kim had bought their home but they only completed the feeling of “home” after finding and taking in a furry stray making him part of their lives. That was the beginning of what turned out to be Uta’s passion in life. Training dogs paying particulate attention to behavior. Learning and understanding their behavior almost before it was visible and beginning a training path she used while working the next twenty two years at the Humane Society. With KARE, Uta believed there was no attack without signs and she was determined to learn what those signs were in  order to stop the attacks for both the love of the dogs and safety around them. Each of the next few dogs she added to their family aided in her passion for training. 
Many trainers in our society are there for the income or they need a job but Uta loves every dog. She spends her time understanding and communicating with them-speaking doglish with them because she cares. If a dog has something to say, she listens and replies. Uta is a diamond amongst our dog world making sure they don’t go without so in 2001 she began her journey into training so her life could make that difference in a dog’s world. Her passion is evaluating dogs so she can understand what they need to improve their lives. Uta spent many years volunteering at the Humane Society so she could put her knowledge to good use making each dog a family  member to others and saving their very breath in life. She does not see yellow, black, brown or any color but she sees them all as creatures to be loved and spoiled -all equal and all worth saving. Uta is a blessing to all mankind, a friend to others and a true lover for dogs. Some people have best friends amongst their peers but I would say that Uta is likely happier to have a dog in her home than many people because they are loyal, forgiving. loving and never petty. Yes, Uta Kramer is our diamond in the sky, leading so many to that destination of happiness that in time.  results in families united everywhere .
Uta Kramer: Helping out at a Book Signing
After our training at the KARE facility ended at the Humane Society, Uta Kramer volunteered to continue our training while loving Maggie, becoming a close friend and our mentor. We had our foundation from them but now needed the care to be on going so as not to lose ground and continue to learn. Uta has been associated with KARE as the co-founder from the beginning and rescued many dogs herself with the vast knowledge and love she has for dogs-a natural for this style of life.

Uta celebrating her birthday, July 16, 201

We encourage you to please leave your comments and perhaps take the time to share one memory you have with Uta so we can together raise her up in prayer and leave these thoughts to her husband Kim, her family and for all of us who have loved her. 

Uta, you will be forever missed.

Kim and Uta Kramer celebrating with us, life at it’s best. 

We love you and miss you dear Friend!
With broken Hearts,

Mamie, Doug and Maggie Anne

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Butts and Noses: Secrets and Lessons from Dog Parks

Butts and Noses: Secrets and Lessons from Dog Parks
Marc Bekoff, Ph.D.

Dog parks are gold mines of information about the behavior of dogs and humans
I love going to dog parks. So, too, do dogs and their people. Dog parks are a fascinating recent and growing cultural phenomenon. Indeed, I go rather often to what I call my field sites, for that's what they are, to study play behavior and other aspects of dog behavior including urination and marking patterns, greeting patterns, social interactions including how and why dogs enter, become part of, and leave short-term and long-term groups, and social relationships. I also study human-dog interactions and when I study how humans and dogs interact I also learn a lot about the humans. For example, I often hear how happy people are that their dogs are free to run here and there or free to be dogs when they're at the dog park. Often, they say this while they're constantly calling them back to them even when the dog is simply sniffing here or there or looking for a friend. They also call them to break up play when they think it's gotten out of hand. You call this free?
Two works to which I often go when thinking about social dynamics at dog parks are Matthew Gilbert's book titled Off the Leash: A Year at the Dog Park and Sonoma State University's Patrick Jackson’s essay called "Situated Activities in a Dog Park: Identity and Conflict in Human-Animal Space ." Linda Case writes about Dr. Jackson's study and she is not a fan of dog parks because she feels they're not safe and because "Dog park people frequently behave badly by not being responsible dog owners and by being inconsiderate and uncaring towards other people and their dogs." We really need empirical studies on the safety issue. After having spent countless hours at dog parks I've never entertained drawing this conclusion, but there aren't any detailed data on this topic of which I'm aware. However, on occasion, but hardly regularly, I've marveled at just how inconsiderate a very few people can be. But, as part of the gossip network among the other people, I often hear that a given person behaves like this even in non-dog park situations. On a few occasions I've had a rather inconsiderate person ask me why their dog has bad manners and rather than get involved I call attention to some interesting dog-dog interactions. 
Most people realize that "dogs are in" and countless scientific and popular essays  (see also New Directions in Canine Behavior, Julie Hecht's "Dog Spies," and essays written for Psychology Today by writers including Mark Derr, Stanley Coren, Jessica Pierce, and yours truly) and books have been published in the past decade or so about these fascinating mammals. The bottom line is that a plethora of detailed data - and the database is rapidly increasing - clearly show that dogs are thinking, clever, and feeling sentient beings, and viewing them as sort of robotic machines is incredibly misleading and academically corrupt. This does not mean that they are "doggy Einsteins," however, ample data from numerous different research groups around the world clearly show that dogs are rather complex and incredibly interesting mammals who deserve a good deal of further study. Perhaps even RenĂ© Descartes would consider changing his views on nonhuman animals (animals) as unfeeling machines given the enormous amount of empirical evidence on sentience in animals.
Why do dogs do this and that? Canine confidential
“Why do dogs do this and that?” The purpose of this short essay, that can be conceived as a field guide to the extremely interesting and largely unknown world of the fascinating dogs with whom we share our lives, is to provide some lessons in dog behavior from observations and questions arising from visits to various dog parks, especially around Boulder, Colorado where I live. I see myself as “a naturalist in a dog park” and aim to show here, via a series of questions, what we know and don’t know about many different aspects of dog behavior. Dogs are often called social catalysts – icebreakers or lubricants -- for social interactions with other dogs and they often open the door for pretty frank and wide-ranging conversations among familiar and unfamiliar humans. It always amazes me how dogs free up humans to talk about things they might be more reluctant to share in other venues including what they really think about their human “BFF’s -- best friends forever” -- and the infamous “3 p’s,” namely, pee, poop, and puke. Often when I get home and look at my notes I view them as “canine confidential.” So, what follows is a sampler of many "why" questions, including why dogs hump, why they sniff butts, genitals, and ears, why they play, and why they organize themselves the ways they do. There are also many "what" questions such as "What do they know?", "What are they thinking?", and "What are they feeling?" in different contexts. The list of questions is endless and I'm sure those that follow can easily mutate in many, many more. 
People who are lucky enough to share their world with a dog often think they know it all. And, while they do know a good deal about what their canine buddy is thinking and feeling and what they want and need, there really are large gaps in the scientific database. As I mentioned above, there are numerous anecdotes about why dogs do this or that, and, taken together, they form their own pool of data. However, while the claim that  “the plural of anecdote is data” applies in some cases, many mysteries still loom in what we actually know about the world of dogs.
Furthermore, often there is no single “right” answer to a question -- even some of the most commonly asked queries -- and that’s just fine. Dogs compose a highly variable group of mammals -- I often say "the dog" doesn't really exist -- so it’s not surprising that just when we think we have a solid handle on what they're thinking and feeling and why they do what they’re doing an exception or three arises. Surely, the early experience of individual dogs influences their later behavior. So, while we know a lot, people are often amazed by how little we know and that hard and fast answers can't be given to some common questions. 
Visiting dog parks can be wonderful educational experiences. Visits, some lasting hours on end each and every day, can be myth breakers and icebreakers, and also provide information about why dogs are doing this or that. People are always asking questions about why their dog is doing something and really want to know what we know. They also freely offer advice to other people about why their dog is doing something and how they can treat various problems such as shyness, aggressiveness, and why dogs ignore what their human is asking them to do. And, as I wrote above, dogs also are icebreakers – "social catalysts" the academics call them -- and get people to talk with one another and to talk about things
The questions below range from interests about basic dog behavior such as why do dogs stick their noses where they do, and why they play, bark, pee, eat turds, and roll on their back, to more lofty questions about whether dogs have a theory of mind and whether they know what they look like and if they know who they are. A good number of questions deal with dogs' butts and noses, hence the title of this brief essay (motivated, of course, by the famous rock group, Guns N' Roses). Butts and noses -- including other “private parts” – figure into a number of the questions below. We all know dogs put their noses in places where we couldn’t imagine there would be anything of interest, and also place their active snouts, often on their first introduction, to other dogs and humans, in places that make us rather uneasy. We don’t greet friends or strangers by immediately licking their mouth or with a genital sniff or slurp. There also are many general questions that don’t center on anatomical features that figure largely in the world of the dog. I’ll answer each question briefly with what we know from various types of research, with some stories where they’re available, and note where we really need more information. It's entirely possible that I have missed a given study (or studies) and I apologize for the oversights and look forward to hearing from readers.
While we know a lot about dogs, there are holes in the database, so the future is chock full of exciting research. Readers will discover that what we often take to be the gospel about dog behavior frequently isn’t all that well supported by published empirical research or even detailed observations. While good stories are interesting and can serve to stimulate more "controlled" research, in and of themselves they don't constitute "data" as do detailed and more focused studies (I'll suggest below that studies in dog parks may be more "ecologically relevant" than studies in laboratories and help to settle on-going debates among different research groups). In some ways, then, this essay is sort of a myth-buster and a fun way not only to learn about dogs but also to stimulate further research about dogs and dogs and humans. So, here we go.
Are dogs really our best friends and are we really their best friends?
I’m asked these questions a lot and I always say it’s simply not so that dogs are “unconditional lovers.” They discriminate among humans just like we discriminate among dogs. And, while dogs might love “too much,” they’re very careful about to whom they open up. So, sometimes -- perhaps very often -- dogs are our best friends and we are their best friends but we all know of picky dogs and the horrific abuse to which dogs are subjected.
Are dogs really free at a dog park?
I often hear something like, “Oh I love coming to the dog park because my dog is so free” – and then she's/he’s called back constantly when he plays too roughly or strays too far. People surely differ in how much control they exert, but some just don't give their dog the opportunity to play, sniff, and hump. Control freaks often abound and they don’t realize it. Patrick Jackson, in the essay to which I referred above, writes about how "caretakers become 'control managers' who must negotiate problems related to a variety of dog behaviors, especially mounting, aggression, and waste management." He's right on the mark, but there are also those who get upset when play gets a bit rough, even when the dogs obviously are enjoying themselves.
Do dogs display dominance?
Yes, they do, just like many other animals. There is major confusion and mistakes among many “dog people” about what dominance really means, and dogs, like numerous other animals, do indeed use various forms of dominance in their social interactions. However, this does not mean that dominance is equated with overt aggression and physical harm nor that we need to dominate them in order to live in harmony with them.
Dogs and humans: Why do people open up at dog parks?
Dogs can easily serve as icebreakers and social catalysts. People often open up at dog parks and talk to friends about things they likely don’t talk about in other arenas. They seem to feel safe among kinfolks. Some people began talking to me about pretty personal stuff within a minute of meeting them such as a woman who decided that she didn’t like her BFF because of how she treated a dog she just rescued, and a woman who, after meeting someone for around 10 seconds, decided that the woman wasn’t a good dog owner because she was suffering from bipolar disorder but didn’t know it! Some people – men and women, alike – have told me that dogs are social magnets and make it easy to meet other people who also are out with their canine BFF. These discussions often have very interesting “conclusions.” Enough on that for now …
The full original article and all links are at Marc Bekoff’s blog @ Butts & Noses. He asks and answers many other interesting questions and we recommend checking it out. 

                              ABOUT MARC BEKOFF, Author of Butts and Noses

Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is a former Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. His homepage is and with Jane Goodall Twitter @MarcBekoff

                                                  A message from the authors:
             Maggie's Kitchen Tails  Dog Treat Recipes and Puppy Tales to Love

We at Maggie's Kitchen Tails Dog Treat Recipes and Puppy Tales to Love, wish to thank Marc for his generous contribution to our blog post so we can send you a new look at our precious dogs! We met Marc on line through reading his animal research papers but we knew he had a busy life in research, writing and a former Professor at the University of Boulder in Colorado and did not expect he would find time when we ask for this article. His compassion to help dogs and animals is so focused, he stepped up and provided us this piece very quickly. Thank you Marc. and we hope you will share with us again in the future.

Stop by and visit our web site and check out our Maggie as she has inspired a book with a collection of short stories and dog treat recipes. Our book supports several charities that are advocates for abused animals. You will also find many items in our on-line store for your furry friend with special offers! Thank you for supporting our mission.

Maggie’s Kitchen Tails:
Dog Treat Recipes and Puppy Tales to Love
Be sure to order your signed copy today!
Douglas E. and Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins
Martha Char Love 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Goodbye Amos

Goodbye Amos - 

Carla Peterson
A tribute to my lost buddy.

Dear Cheezer (Amos),

You were six pounds when I got you in October 2002 and advertised as a doxie/beagle mix. I was not ready for a dog let alone a puppy that was truly not a doxie/beagle mix. It turns out, you're a one-of-a-kind Cheezer dog! You quickly became the love of my life and will remain in my heart forever. 

You were my very first dog on my own. For over 13 years together, your enthusiasm and wagging tail always made me smile and laugh. We experienced a lot together. I learned about raising a puppy and you learned how to fetch and swim. I will never forget the day you finally decided to like being in the water while visiting Grandma at the nursing home in Billings.  

We enjoyed a hike, your first snow and your first beach together. When you grew too big for the apartment complex restrictions, I refused to give you up so we moved somewhere you were accepted. I turned down a rotational opportunity in Hawaii because I couldn't take you with me. When I found out about the new five days or less quarantine rule, I made sure that you could go with me to Hawaii for those five months in 2004. That was your first really long flight and it made your tummy upset. But we were together shortly after I picked up my luggage and rental car.  We had a blast in Hawaii and that is where you met Chris for the first time. 

 The year 2004 was a great travel year for you as I fulfilled a rotational assignment in Washington DC. You were always such a great traveling dog in the car.  I hoped that the airplane rides didn't stress you as much as it stressed me out. I wished you could just sit next to me on the plane.  We had a great time in DC living in your first high rise building with a park across the street.  You discovered squirrels and elevators that summer. We always ran into those pesky Eskies in the elevator. We toured civil war battlefields and survived four (or five?) tropical storms that summer.

I always tried my best to keep you safe. I'm so sorry that I wasn't able to protect you better when the St. Bernard female in heat got away from her irresponsible owner in 2005 and attacked you. You were left with a puncture wound in the shoulder that needed stitches and a drip drain. I'm sorry that I left you that week at Olympic Animal Hospital when I couldn't find a work replacement ASAP for the $4000 software conference in Palo Alto, CA.  I would regret that the rest of your life as your handling issues seemed to get increasingly worse after that. You endured another dog attack at the apartment, but thankfully it wasn't serious and I was able to fend them off with help from others.  

In 2007, I finally was able to buy you a house with your very own backyard as your sanctuary.  That was also the year Chris came into your life more permanently and you two would be buddies forever.  

I will never forget your excitement and enthusiasm to play fetch and go for car rides. You loved sniffing the fresh air coming through the windows. It makes me chuckle when I think about that time we played in the soggy elementary school field and you rolled in the mud.  Chris and I laughed so hard at your antics. You were such a goofball. Always ready for action or food.  I'm still amazed at how long you could hold your "stare" at us while we watched tv. You patiently waited for any eye contact so you could wag your tail and paw us for something (most likely food). 

We had our challenges because you were so fearful of handling and having your items taken away. I always wished you could understand how much I loved you and was trying to help you. Some advised me to get "The Dog Whisperer" because it seemed you were out of control. Those tactics were not my personality so I looked for help elsewhere and found Patricia McConnell and Jean Donaldson for starters. You loved people, but didn't want to be pet by many except me. Remember my shoulder and chest massages I gave you? Oh and the ear massages!  I loved your ears so much! You were ok with other dogs as long as they didn't sniff your butt and violate your personal space.  

You were my teacher in dog behavior.  We worked together so that I could kiss your face and flop your ears and make you smile.  You tolerated it because you knew you would receive something you wanted after I violated your personal space. You were a rockstar in KARE classes too showing off all your skills and talents. You and I worked so hard to develop our bond and you loved to train. Remember agility and rally? That was so much fun! You were so smart and kept us on our toes. Remember when we had to change up what we'd say when we were going to play fetch because you figured out every single phrase we made up?

I loved it when we would snuggle together (mostly on your terms of course!). I loved our coming home greeting where you would grab a toy (bowling pin, saucer, or bumi) and we'd go outside and we'd touch each other's noses. You would also roll around the grass so happy. You loved being outside whether it was 80 degrees or 28 degrees! You were a busy dog for nearly 13 years! Wow! We sure had fun doing those dog puzzles though!

I could go on and on, but I like to think of all that we shared together over the last 13 years. We tried to kick lymphoma's ass for a while longer. I'm so happy we made it to the ocean and you enjoyed your last time on the beach.  

In the end, your body wasn't cooperating even though your mind was still active like always.  You were still my Amos Cheezer Magee, but your body couldn't keep going. I'm so happy I was with you during your final moments. You are loved by so many and you've touched the lives of many. 

We are bonded forever and you will forever be in my heart. I love you so much Poofs. I miss you immensely.  



Maggie’s Kitchen Tails:
Dog Treat Recipes and Puppy Tales to Love
Be sure to order your copy today!
Douglas and Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins
Martha Char Love

Monday, November 16, 2015

Uncle in Vermont by Kenneth Weene

Uncle in Vermont
Kenneth Weene

She loved traveling, delighting in hotels and particularly enjoying room service breakfasts: scrambled eggs not too firm or a cheddar omelet, a side of bacon, toast buttered and strawberry jam, hash browns with ketchup, and coffee—light and sweet. Uncle, our twelve-pound terrier-poodle mix, had little use for me, but she did appreciate my serving her hotel breakfast. Another thing about Uncle and hotels stays: that was the only time she would tolerate a leash. Yes, she did understand the rules that people imposed even if she knew they were stupid and surely didn’t apply to a dog who knew exactly where to go and what to do without being told. 

For all her love of travel and of hotels, Uncle (Her paradoxical name my wife and the dog’s choice. I was told the alternative had been Steve.) had one vacation spot she particularly loved. That was the Kedron Valley Inn in South Woodstock, Vermont. 

We started going to the Kedron Valley because of their animal policies. Not only did they welcome dogs, but they had a lovely stable from which we could take great rides into the rich Vermont countryside. Uncle loved it not only because of the great breakfasts and the absence of leash rules, but more importantly because it allowed her to enjoy some of her favorite pastimes.
First and foremost was drinking. Yes, I mean booze, or to be more exact – Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry. For all her regal ways—and Uncle was sure she was a descendant of royalty—Uncle was an alcoholic. She liked nothing more than padding into the lounge, sitting in front of the fire, and being served her favorite libation. By the way, while she would if necessary drink her sherry from a lesser vessel, Uncle did prefer stemware, which she never knocked over. 

Once the innkeeper understood Uncle’s wants, he was happy to fill them—even when my wife and I were not in the room. When we would go for one of those lovely rides, Uncle, who never walked more than a few hundred yards before settling to the ground and waiting for one of us to provide carriage service, would slip out of our room and down to that comfortable lounge. Eventually and with some difficulty, I convinced Paul, the inn’s owner, that Uncle did not have her own money and that I would only pay for two drinks a day.

“After two, you pay,” I said.

Reluctantly he agreed. After all, she was a regular.

For Uncle the Kedron was more than drinking. There she could indulge in other favorite activities. One involved the two-acre swilling pond. Uncle did not swim. Slogging under the weight of her waterlogged coat was an effort well beneath her standards. However, she did love to watch our Airedale swim. Jennifer would swim for hours if allowed, and Uncle—big sister that she was—would bark herself hoarse providing encouragemen—or was it criticism. 

Uncle did not take kindly to other dogs, and there were many at the Kedron. On each visit, she quickly established dominance over them, usually by tricking them into running into stationary objects like automobiles and doors. It was clear that Uncle remembered which trick each dog would fall for, but it was equally apparent that none of the housedogs remembered her. There are dogs and then there was Uncle.

Uncle loved Vermont in all five seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter, and mud. It was one of her great delights to watch us, her humans, try to cope with the various conditions and activities the seasons offered. What a joyful day it was for her when we tried cross-country skiing. It was one of the few times Uncle actually took physical part in one of out activities—carefully coming over to sniff us each time we ignominiously landed on the ground. Oh, what a wicked grin she had that day.

Once we were comfortably ensconced at the Inn, Uncle was always ready for a drive though the countryside. There she could indulge her only passion that came close to her love of drink. Uncle was a bovine fanatic. Let us drive by a pasture with cows, and she would leap about the back seat and sometimes onto my wife’s lap all the while screeching her excitement. 

In fact, Uncle was so enamored with cows, that when our son bought a pair of leather pants, it took two of us to remove her from his leg, which she maniacally clutched and humped.
In case one wonders, horses, sheep, pigs, chickens—nothing but cows elicited that excitement.

I know there are many wonderful things in Vermont, gorgeous countryside, lovely villages, handsome covered bridges, impressive mountains. Of course we tried downhill skiing and snowmobiling, bought maple syrup from local trees, and admired the colors of fall. We did all those things and more, but none bring a smile to my face or a laugh to my heart that comes close to the joy of those memories of Uncle at the Kedron Valley Inn. 

Ken & Roz Weene
Ken Weene’s poetry, short stories, and essays can be found in various print and electronic journals and collections. His novels, Widow’s Walk, Memoirs From the Asylum, and Tales From the Dew Drop Inne are published by All Things That Matter Press, along with two electronic shorts, Two Tales of Terror and El Catrin. Ken co-hosts It Matters Radio on Thursday evenings and edits “The Write Room Blog.”  A new book, Broody New Englander, should be out soon. Currently Ken is editing a new novel, Times to Try the Soul of Man, and working on Red and White, a novel of the Native American experience.

Ken’s website is

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Maggie's story: Rescue dog inspires a book

Maggie's story: 

Rescue dog inspires a book

Emily Hall
Contributing writer of the North Kitsap Herald

Maggie, a rescue dog, at 9 weeks old. Her journey from abandoned and abused to love and health has inspired a book.

SILVERDALE — By the hopeful look in her bright brown eyes, no one could have guessed that at just seven weeks of age, her puppyhood was taken from her.

It would take someone extraordinary to notice the trying spirit of Maggie Anne, showing her will to flourish in the seemingly dog-eat-dog world.

She was a pitiful thing when she was abandoned over several hundred miles from her present-day Bremerton home. At the time of her rescue, her stomach was so insufficiently developed that she could not digest regular dog food. She would run at the sight of any person who attempted to approach her, a post-traumatic response to the abuse inflicted on her by her previous owners.

Rosemary “Mamie” and her husband, Douglas Earl Adkins, of Bremerton were devastated by the passing of their Labrador retriever, Sandy, a member of the family since birth. To fill the void caused by the loss of their four-legged companion, Douglas and Mamie began volunteering at the Kitsap Humane Society — where they found Maggie. At first, it was hard for the couple to cope with the death of Sandy, especially after years of endless love and care. While the Adkinses hadn't considered bringing another dog home, they saw Maggie and, in her deprived condition, were convinced to let her into their hearts.

Saved from an untimely death, Maggie soon became Mamie's and Douglas's canine child.
It took some time for Maggie to adjust to a nurturing environment. At first, she was cautious and fearful around people; because of the physical and emotional damage inflicted during her young life, she did not know who to trust. During these trying times, the Adkinses worked closely with Kitsap Animal Rescue and Education (KARE) to rehabilitate and steer Maggie toward the right path to behaving and functioning well.

Her stomach's inadequate development prevented her from eating like the other dogs. Specially prepared recipes had to be made for her. Thus, the conception of “Maggie's Kitchen Tails.”

now approaching her second birthday,
is a happy and healthy dog

“Maggie's Kitchen Tails,” written by Mamie and Douglas Adkins and Martha Char Love, is a collection of recipes specifically for dogs, along with chronicles of Maggie's heroic journey as a rescue dog. The book also explains what dogs are and aren't supposed to eat. Since youth, Maggie's food had to be steamed and dehydrated until she recovered from her rescue. All of the recipes in this book have been tried, tested, and dog-approved. The food is even human-grade.

“Maggie's Kitchen Tails” will be launched on Oct. 31, Maggie's second birthday. There will be book signings across Kitsap County; the first one will take place at the Silverdale Library on the evening of Nov. 5. Proceeds from this book will help animal rescues such as KARE, PAWS, and the ASPCA. To check if there's a book event in your area, go to

The book will also be featured at KARE's second annual Wine and Wag Gala on Nov. 14. At this benefit event, you can meet the authors and possibly the dog behind the book.

Mamie and Doug Adkins have been activists in the community helping animals.

“Every spirit deserves a happy home with a family of their own, to live free of fear, abuse and hunger, knowing they are loved above all else,” Mamie stated. “The shelters are filled with pets that have no familiar beds of their own, no toys that belong to them and many without even their own names. Please open your hearts and do what you can to help these animals find their happiness in a forever home.”

Since her rescue at seven weeks old, young Maggie Anne has come a long way. A few weeks shy of turning 2, the German shepherd/border collie mix has become the picture of progress. Her coat is healthy, shiny, and soft, and anyone could see in her eyes that because of the Adkinses’ patience and care, she is now truly living — and cradled in love.

Above: Maggie, now approaching her second birthday, is a happy and healthy dog. Contributed photo

Stop by and visit our web site and check out our Maggie as she has inspired a book with a collection of short stories and dog treat recipes. 

Maggie’s Kitchen Tails:

Dog Treat Recipes and Puppy Tales to Love
Be sure to order your copy today!
Douglas E. and Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins
Martha Char Love

About the reporter:

Emily Hall lives in Bremerton, Wa, attending Olympic College. She is studying education with the hopes of transferring to the University of Massachusetts, slated to graduate in 2019. One day, Emily aspires to be an elementary teacher.

In her spare time, Emily works for the Olympian, where she is a reporter for the college’s newspaper. She also has an internship with the North Kitsap Herald.