Posts filed under ‘From Under The Desk’

Scooter’s Close Call & The Turkey That Got Away

01Hi! Scooter here. I know you’ve missed me and I have important news.

So last week Mom and Dad went to see Maizie in Ann Arbor. She is my niece dog. (I am Uncle Scooter.) I had to stay home. Anyway, I’m not sure when or how I did this, but I flipped or scrunched, or did something and my dog tags got twisted and caught in my kennel, near the bottom, just by the door.

The picture above is a reenactment. Since I couldn’t see what happened I asked Mom. Mom said she really didn’t notice. She just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t coming out when she opened the kennel door. I love my “house” but I love Mom and Dad more so when they come home I always come out, shake, and then greet them, showing them my tail and attached rump, which are my best features.

Well, I didn’t come out. Since I was facing the other door, Mom opened the other door. (My house has two doors.) When I still didn’t come out, Mom saw what happened and clicked off my collar. We don’t have a reenactment of that, but she was super fast. Then I came out and shook, and you know, showed them my behind.

Mom was really freaked out. She loved me up more than usual, which is a lot. And she kept staring at me all day and followed me around. This is hard to do because usually I follow her around. So we went in circles. She wanted to see if I was traumatized. My illustrious predecessor, Madison, went a little nutso after a thunder storm zapped the power and set the alarm off in the house when he was home alone. He was never the same since. As Mom has mentioned before, I am different. Way different. Nothing bothers me. I went in my house several times, just like normal, so Mom was reassured I was OK. I am nutso in other ways. The same ways as before.


That night Mom invented a special thing for my collar. It’s called a Tag Restraint. Or a Sock Collar. Maybe we should call it the No Jingle Thing.

02She cut up a piece of microfleece that just happened to be on the floor and just happened to match my collar exactly. (The sewing room is a magical place.) My collar is 1.5″ wide, so she cut the strip 3″ wide and about 9″ long. The straight of grain ran the long way. I don’t know what that means except that the material stretched more sideways than longways so it would stretch to go over my dog tags.

03 Mom doesn’t know how to use a serger, so she picked stitch #12 on her Bernina which moves the fabric up and down as it sews. The seam is stretchy that way.  She sewed a 1/4″ seam and then turned the tube right side-out and pulled it over the part of my collar that has my dog tags.


04 So now my collar looks like a snake that ate a mouse. I have never met a snake before, but I would like to lick a mouse, and I know it’s not really a mouse in there, so I like it. Plus it makes me silent. Except for the gallumphing when I run. After all, I am a big beast with thundering paws!

05 Here I am posing with my tennis ball. The snow is melting now and the lawn is growing balls. Spring is wonderful.

Anyway, I am now Stealth Dog. Except when I bark.

That reminds me; I have a funny story to tell you. So I noticed a wild turkey in the back yard yesterday. They fly in from time to time. They have to fly in because the yard has a big fence around it and they are not incredibly intelligent and they can’t find the gates to open and walk in. Come to think of it, neither can I. Oh well, continuing….

So I spot the turkey. I bark and bark like a maniac, you know like when we have a home invasion. We have those all the time, mostly squirrels in the yard, the UPS delivery, visitors, the dog three houses down, loud birds, wind if there is nothing else going on. Mom tells me to shush. And this is where not paying attention to her really pays off. So she comes to the slidey door to see why I am berserking. She sees the turkey at the back fence about 100 feet away. Then she tells me it’s a bird and birds are our friends. Then I think she segued into a recipe for lemon meringue pie. I really wasn’t listening after BIRD. I think she said I could chase it but it would just fly away, I don’t know. Like I said I wasn’t really listening.

Then she opened the door! I was out like a shot. I chased the turkey back and forth across the yard. First we went fast, then I just loped after it. Then we sped up again. Then Mom was running after us. What a great game! I’m barking, Mom is yelling, and the bird is loving it because he’s not flying away! We have GREAT birds here. The turkey is just running as fast as his little legs can carry him, just like Saturday morning cartoons except for the background music.

By time Mom caught me by the Stealth Collar, the turkey had taken a header in some leaves. It just fell over. I was trying to revive it by sniffing it vigorously in all its places but Mom pulled me into the house. Then Dad went out to investigate. I barked from inside. Dad looked for it by the leaves but it was gone. Then we all saw it walking around by the back fence again! So Dad opened the gate and it walked out. I have looked everywhere for it, but I think Dad scared it away.

That was all very exciting. I think you should watch my video so you can rest a little. I will bark if you don’t. Come to think of it, I might bark if you do!


Scooter Simms

Pleases remember: if you get this blog in your email box, click the TITLE of the blog post (in blue) to get the video to play and to enlarge the images. Clicking the TITLE will take you directly to my blog, where all the good stuff happens.

March 30, 2014 at 1:53 pm 56 comments

What a dog!

Madison T. Dog
July 14, 2001-February 22, 2011

I lost my shadow this morning.

Last spring Madison developed a bump under his left eye, all of a sudden. I thought I had konked him on the head accidentally with the shower nozzle. It persisted.

Tests early in the fall indicated cancer. He wasn’t in any pain.  We decided not to put him through the discomfort of radiation treatment to prolong his life for only a short time. 

Silly dog; he never knew. He behaved just like always. Happy to do whatever was suggested, even if the highlight of his day was sleeping at my feet.

We thought the cancer was growing as the lump grew and spread above his eye.  It turned out to be a raging infection. He stopped eating, but never complained. We learned about the healing properties of Beggin’ Strips, a smell so strong even hand sanitizer has trouble un-stinking it from my fingers. The delicious aroma penetrated his swollen sinuses and he was on his way to recovery.

In November the right antibiotics did the trick and by the end of the year, the left side of his face returned to normal. We got our old dog back! A week ago yesterday our vet suggested perhaps it never was cancer in the first place!

What a happy day!

Routine blood tests on Tuesday were all “good news!” By Wednesday he was walking funny. On Thursday he was favoring his right front leg. After shoulder x-rays on Friday he was limping. By Saturday he refused to walk without a lot of coaxing. We wheeled him outside to do his business on a dolly. At 75 pounds he was just too heavy to lift. It worked great until his tail feathers wrapped around the back wheel. Not a peep out of him.

Sunday the three of us swaddled him in towels and wheeled him outside in a 28″ rolling suitcase (lid open) and then headed to the emergency clinic. We were told to make a decision in the next 48 hours, sooner if possible because the pain medications weren’t helping. A specialist was suggested, as was amputation.

One last-ditch visit to the specialist yesterday was in vain. Even after a page-long list of suggested tests, the earliest they would know anything was three more days, more likely a week, and then several more weeks for treatment to get at the root of the problem, which they could not identify. After five trips to various clinics and animal hospitals and evaluations by five different doctors, we brought Madison home.

After much soul-searching we decided to end his suffering. He died in our arms. It was so hard.

Remembering Madison


Madison loved to blog. I know that so many of you enjoyed his unique perspective. If you enjoyed his writing, please bark, woof, or yip in the comment section of the blog. If you would like to support his favorite charity, please consider a donation in Madison’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative.

I’m going to stay low for a while, trying not to look over my shoulder too may times for the faithful friend who was always there.

Ami Simms

February 22, 2011 at 5:43 pm 721 comments

Hair of the Dog

Greetings from Madison T. Dog, canine correspondent for Mommy’s blog, Through The Eyes of a Quilter.

Today we’ll be looking through the eyes of a Golden Retriever. My eyes are just a little closer to the ground and I don’t play with needles.

I am a Golden Retriever. My fur is gold colored and Mommy retrieves it.

Often, rather than letting me deposit my hair wherever it falls, Mommy prefers to harvest it.  This is called “grooming.” She prefers this to random vacuuming.

I was relieved of much of my hair yesterday.  I feel considerably lighter.

Mommy asked me to stand next to the pile of my own hair, lest anyone think I have met my demise and the pile of hair was all that was is of me.  I have survived.

She caught me mid-lick, however, but I don’t want to criticize.

Contrary to what you might think, hair harvesting (or grooming) does not eliminate vacuuming. The leftover bits must still be sucked up.

This leads to yet another sewing tip I have picked up along the way:

Once my hair, or stray quilting thread, wraps iteslf around the beater bar of the vacuum cleaner, use a tiny pair of scissors to cut it off.

Please wash your hands before you pet me.

I often blog here and say very interesting things. You should sign up here to have my posts go right into your in-box. Very convenient. You and your dogs should also “like” Mommy on Facebook. She would appreciate that and then maybe wouldn’t have so much free time for grooming. Hint, hint.

February 7, 2011 at 7:03 am 36 comments

Back To School

I go to Daddy’s school every year to talk about being a service dog. Actually, Mom does most of the talking. We go with Aunt JoAnne who brings her Leader Dog puppies. I’m retired now, but I still know my stuff.

This year Aunt JoAnne brought Maggie May. She was “career changed” because of her hips. I think her hips look swell, but Leader Dogs for the Blind only accepts perfect dogs. She also brought her new puppy, Kaiser. He’s a German Shepherd.  I am the yellow dog in the picture in case you didn’t recognize me in my red backpack.

After we talked about stuff we got to receive pets and love from the students, which was my favorite part.

We all remembered to be gentle and I tried to give as much of my stray fur away to the students as could stick to their clothing. Mom brushed me real good before we went, but I stil managed to leave a little bit of me behind.

Yesterday was a really fun day. Today after the newsletter goes out, we’re ironing fabric for Mom’s trip to North Carolina. Then the quilt auction starts around lunch time. It’s a full day.

Tail wags to you,
Madison T. Dog

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(By the way, if you like Mommy, please “like her” on Facebook too, then the both of you can be “friends” and talk about me. She Tweets too. She thinks she’s a bird, and I get fewer walks. It’s a dog’s life.)

May 1, 2010 at 8:38 am 9 comments


Although I am a dog I know things. Like when it is time to eat. Mom doesn’t need a watch. At 7 in the morning time, or as soon as she’s done yanking her head-fur with the electric heat machine, I know it’s time for breakfast. Dinnertime is precisely at 5pm unless Mom decides to make me suffer and wait. She does this on purpose so that I won’t faint from hunger if I’m always used to eating at the same time and no food comes.

The leash means WALKS!

I like ice cubes. I thought I’d mention that in case you would like to send me some.

I know that when Mom puts her coat on, she usually will want me to tinkle outside. Towels on the bathroom floor mean bath time, followed by much drinking of water and more tinkles.

Suitcases mean it’s another trip. She packs. I help by removing things and bringing them to her. I want her to stay home. I mope.

“Bye-bye” means we’re going some place in the car. My tail goes way up and I move fast before they change their mind. “Up-up” means get in the car. (Wait until they open the door first.) And at the end of the day “Night-night” means it’s time to go upstairs and go to sleep.

I also know the usual commands like sit, down, stay, off, leave it and wait.  I also know special things like ” remain.”  That’s what Mom says when she and Daddy leave the house with me in it alone. I’m supposed to REMAIN while they leave.  I don’t have to be any place in particular, just inside the house. I guess I’m not supposed to unlock the doors or drive the other car or something. STAY would be horrible, as I would have to plant my carcass in one place and not move for many long times.

“To the rug” is what I get told when the door bell rings. We have a rug just for me about 10 feet from the door and that’s my place when people come to the house. Mom wants to make sure any visitors  who come are OK with dogs. If they’re not I don’t get up. If they are, I am invited to “go visit.” My new best friends then get to pet me and love on me and I transfer my fur onto their pant legs in return.

I can also recycle. Mom gives me an empty water bottle and I put it in the recycle bin. 

And, I can “trash it.” That’s putting things INTO the trash, like paper. Tissue is the hardest because it gets stuck to the roof of my mouth and although I want to let it go it just won’t fall out on it’s own. I can also pick up anything  Mom tells me to and hand it to her.

How’d I learn all these things? TREATS! That my best word. I can even spell it.

Here are some very nice dogs receiving treats in slow motion. You’ll want to watch this several times.

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(By the way, if you like Mommy, please “like her” on Facebook too, then you and her and all your friends and all her friends can be friends. And you can talk about me.  Mom Tweets too. Go figure. As long as she doesn’t meow, I guess I’m OK.)

April 27, 2010 at 2:41 am 33 comments

Mom’s Leaving Me Again

Madison T. Dog

Mom does this from time to time, and I don’t like it at all. The worst part is that she looks so happy about it.

Mom says she’s going on a teaching trip. She says it will be fun. Not for me.

She says she’s going to be teaching for the Crossroads Quilters Guild in Effingham, Illinois on April 13 and 14.  People who want to come to her lecture should email Sharon Davis right away so they can all fit in. I wish I could fit in. Dogs like quilting lectures too.

Mom says she’ll be home soon and that she’ll miss me every minute. I bet she will be having such a good time with all the quilters she won’t even think of me at all. I have been to her presentations before, not just the ones she teaches upstairs, and I know what goes on. All the laughing and sewing. I could carry fabric for her, and pre-moisten it in preparation for ironing. I can be a helpful dog.

I hate the suitcases. I try to take things out of them and hand them to Mommy. She just laughs and puts them back.

Perhaps if I put things INTO the suitcase….

Mommy will be sharing her lecture “Living With Quilts: A Survival Guide” at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1501 W. Fayette, Effingham, IL. The meeting starts at 6p.m. I think you should all go and ask questions about me. I am so more important than quilting stuff.

April 5, 2010 at 1:29 am 36 comments

Fur Between My Toes….Grows!

Madison T. Dog here. Again.  I thought I would write again because I am amazing and you probably want to read about me. I would like to tell you things.

I have fur. This is a dog thing. Some of us are hairless, but I have lots of hair. After Mom brushes me she says she can make a new dog out of the hair that falls off me.

I am a Golden Retriever dog. Even if you brush me, 30 seconds later I can walk near your leg and deposit more fur. It kind of jumps right off me. I can’t help it. Mom wears black only when she teaches.  She should buy stock in lint rollers.

This is me resting. I’m resting on Mom and Dad’s bed which I don’t get to do ordinarily unless I am invited up. Sometimes I invite myself up, for example during thunder storms. But, as I am rather bony and expand when I sleep, and don’t care that much who I step on as I make myself comfortable,  I am mostly not allowed on the bed with Mom and Dad

You will notice a lot that my toe fur is quite long. Mom thought it would be fun to return me to my natural state of dogness and so she let my toe fur grow out for a few weeks.

Here’s a better picture. As I stated I am quite hairy.

When I go outside in the winter I bring back little snowballs between my toes. I crunch them off with my teeth. I hope that is not too much information.

On Tuesday Mom said that the experiment of letting my toe hair go wild was over. It was up on the grooming table for me and she trimmed it all off.

She also brushed the rest of me and clipped my nails. And she combed my tail. I look even better than usual. And I smell good too because I had a bath. Mom shampoos me with Bath & Bodyworks shampoo. She told them that at the store but they didn’t seem as happy as they could have been she said.

I am resting some more in this photograph, but my feet are all trimmed.

Furly Yours,


Get my Mommy’s blog delivered to you via email, or read it online.
(By the way, Mom Twittesr too.
And she friends all quilters on Facebook!)

March 8, 2010 at 2:58 am 35 comments

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Ami Simms

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