Bark for Peace!
musings & ramblings, mostly about dogs, from a three being, three species family

Bark for Peace!

Learning to play with Banjo…

April 28th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

Apparently it is official- I am The Accidental Foster!


I got the call on Tuesday that Stan was in the hospital and then would be moving into assisted living. His beloved dog, whom I’d long ago agreed to take care of for Stan, needed a new home. Saying “of course” to bring our neighbor’s dog home seemed like an appropriate Earth Day action to me!

Banjo is a 4-5 year old handsome male dog- maybe a mix of Bernese Mountain Dog and something that gave him a few spots!?!? (Clementine HAS taken notice, as has he of hers!) Since Stan lived in a van on the parking lot next to our commercial kitchen, Banjo was with him 24/7 and I suspect this gentle giant is in a bit of shock. Surely, he is grieving.

Thankfully, we’ve already has lots of support with Banjo. The wonderful photos on this page are courtesy of Verysupercool Greeting Cards. Flea treatment was graciously donated by Animal Trustees of Austin. Our good friends at Lee Mannix Center for Canine Behavior loaned us a kennel and gave us a helpful pre-transport phone consult, and the fabulous Paula Baker-Prince of DogBoy’s helped us get Banjo home, begin the introduction process with Bounce & Clementine and then she pampered him with a full spa event (shampoo, ear clean, nail-clip, and super cute new Martingale-style training collar). He walked into our front door strutting like he was sporting his Sunday best!

We are looking forward to loving and nurturing this big, sweet boy and learning more about him and ourselves in the process! Today has already been an adventure!


Since Banjo’s a bit skittish, and unsure of new people and noises we are working to socialize him rapidly. That means that before 2pm he met: my Mom & her husband; Dr. Ma, our family doctor (& happypuncturist!)- this visit included stairs which seemed to be a first; shoppers at the Container Store & REI plus we hung out for awhile with Tony at the Auto Stoppe. (if you need a trustworthy mechanic in Austin, this is your place!); and he made buddies with a sweet sales clerk named Brittany in a neighborhood pet store. We are trying to make sure that Banjo feels safe, secure and has soooo many good new experiences that he both trusts us and sort of starts trusting life to be pretty much full of non-scary things!

And this time, we’re taking the whole assimilation deal very, very slowly. Let me say that again: we’re taking it very, very slowly- which is decidedly NOT my way! But I am trying to learn since my beloved “throw ‘em all together and the lion and the lamb WILL lay down together in my backyard” approach has been wholly unsuccessful. So far, so good! woof!woof!

Giving up some Chocolate

April 26th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

Last night I let her go. It was very, very easy, and terribly difficult all at the same time.

Serendipitously, Lil’ Miss Cupcake bounded into the lovely home of a young woman and her two daughters, Grace and Kate, on Friday night. Grace immediately gave her treats & then took Cupcake outside to play ball. Returning only a couple of minutes later, she breathlessly exclaimed, “Wow! She’s FAST!” I knew they would be fine. (I only wept a little bit on the way home).

Via email, I received the following note: “Cupcake is doing great. She loves chasing the birds in the backyard. We went for a bicycle ride today and she thoroughly enjoyed it. And, man does she love to play ball. She’s so quick. Very sweet. And, as advertised, a remarkable snuggler.”

Cupcake finds an awesome new chew toy in her awesome new home!

This young mother had agreed to foster FOUR different dogs during the four days prior to receiving Cupcake and every time another placement was made and her home remained dog-free. We both agreed there was no doubt that Cupcake was destined to be with them! Isn’t it wonderful when things come together so beautifully?

So, our little chocolate pupcake is gone. I miss her rambunctious grin and silly, floppy ears, and that remarkable snuggling.

I don’t believe that we can ever “own” any other living thing- that goes for non-human animals like dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, as well as trees, water, land, etc. But I do believe that we may be charged with, or take upon ourselves, the role and responsibility of cohabitant, companion, and guardian. Cupcake belonged to us in the same way that Bounce and Clementine do- because we belong to, and take care of, each other. And so Cupcake we always be ours, just as she will find a deliciously chocolate place in the hearts of others and become theirs as well. What lucky ones we all are for having each other!

And, thanks to Verysupercool Sue, I’ve STILL got a Chocolate Cupcake at home! (see below)

MY gluten-free Chocolate Cupcake

Clementine eyes MY gluten-free Chocolate Cupcake!

Oh, Give me a Home…

April 23rd, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

… where no Clementines roam, and the dogs are nice to me all day! ( as sung by our little chocolate pupcake) Poor thing has been the target of repeated attacks from Clementine, something I thought was quite rare, but I am learning is actually quite commonplace. (click here for a short article) Since we know that Clementine came to us with some issues of resource guarding and aggression (and we were told the other dogs were beating her up in the pen she was in), and that she has some back and knee pain, and that her aggression is escalating, it is simply no longer reasonable to expect these two gals to just get along and play like they have so many times in the weeks that Cupcake’s been with us.

Now we are essentially running two households with a LOT of kenneling to ensure everyone’s safety. Believe me, it’s no fun for anyone. And as always, I am learning a LOT!

Cupcake Gaze

Heartbroken as I am to know that we can’t keep our accidental foster Cupcake forever, I have been actively working with a true Wonder Woman who coordinates fostering and placement of dogs thru Lucky Mutts. Since they find “Good Used Dogs for Lucky People” we thought they’d be a perfect match for helping us find a fabulous home for Cupcake. There are a couple of great families in the wings so keep your fingers crossed! Look at this face, she’s ready to roam… and ROMP!

Lovely is the Earth, Everyday

April 22nd, 2008 . by blogadmin

Ask the loveliness of the earth, ask the loveliness of the sea, ask the loveliness of the wide airy spaces, ask the loveliness of the sky, ask the order of the stars, ask the sun, making daylight with its beams, ask the moon tempering the darkness of the night that follows, ask the living things which move in the waters, which tarry on the land, which fly in the air; ask the souls that are hidden, the bodies that are perceptive; the visible things which most be governed, the invisible things that govern—ask these things, and they will all answer you, Yes, see we are lovely. Their loveliness is their confession. And all these lovely but mutable things, who has made them, but Beauty immutable?

- Augustine
Sermons 214.2

A Good Green Time

April 21st, 2008 . by blogadmin

We met some wonderful, and some VERY wacky (see below), folks this weekend at the Austin Green Living Expo. A Good Green Time was had by all!!! Thanks for stoppin’ by! woof!woof! (per request, demo-ed recipes to be posted later this week, check back) Cara and JoCara getting her brain sucked outCara 1Cara and Jo

Being Green Starts Young

April 20th, 2008 . by blogadmin

We’ve met lots of cool kids this weekend, many who shared their dog stories with us! Here are just a few of the youngsters who barked for peace with us! Gimme a “woof!woof!”


Indoor Earth Day- Austin Green Living Expo

April 18th, 2008 . by blogadmin

Kinda goes against the grain- mine at least- to celebrate Earth Day weekend indoors. But we’re Barkin’ for Peace! down at the Austin Green Living Expo in the Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall #4. Mention the B4P blog for a free surprise prize! (and it’s not in a cracker jack box) This is our first show of the year since the grooviest gathering ever, Sustain-a-Ball, is on hiatus. What can I say? We miss the Ball… Come see us! woof!woof! :)

You Know it’s a Good Day When…

April 17th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

You get the Onion delivered to your door, car door that is!

The Onion delivered to your Door

Sometimes timing is everything- delivery guy was stocking the stand at Mi Madre’s (yum!) this morning and since I was ever-so-slightly delayed while he dropped the papers off (his car was blocking me in) he brought me one while I ate my breakfast taco in the parking lot!

I buzzed on down to the Convention Center where we’re setting up for the Green Living Expo