advance america cash advance centers headquarters

Though it’s not the traditional time of year for

Thanksgiving-style reflections, I feel like it’s a good

time to do just that. The hiking program has

had several seasons now (FOUR!), and despite a few blips here and there,

we are still standing. ONE HUNDRED group hikes and

we’re still having a great time. We’re still disappearing on the trails.

Up to twelve people each weekend morning, spending time

enjoying our dog friends.

Volunteering with the expectation that the dogs they take

will be noticed, shared and adopted. That’s all we in the program want.

That’s all we are here for. Sometimes I have to stop and think

about how fortunate I have been.

Despite the bothersome things that set the program back

from time to time, it really does not matter to those shelter dogs.

They have no knowledge of human issues. They are

simply thrilled to see us show up, stuff them into a vehicle and

go away. Arrive at a place in the woods.

Smell things they need to smell.

See others doing the same.

You know, in the long run, it still boils down to what

the dogs need and this is

SIMPLY what they need.


Thank you everyone who has ever helped.







I feel like I am still riding the high from hiking with

Popeye, because he is such a cool dog with an infectiously

happy attitude. If you do not believe me, LOOK AT HIS FACE!

When I got to his apartment, both he and his roommate Janet

were sticking their paws and noses under the door to see what

was going on. They were excited to go. Popeye’s tail was wagging and

he had a huge smile, but wasn’t barking and jumping

all over the place, he just radiated happiness. He is a very

cute guy with the sweetest disposition.

There were no problems in the car. I was hoping he would stay

in the back where I had my seats covered, but he hopped on up front

and was a fantastic co-pilot. (I believe there is a

picture that proves this). He knew what car Janet

was in, and every time we would get close to it

he got excited and tried to see her. Smart guy and a great friend!

He did great on the trail; he did not pull one single time and never

barked. He loved taking a break and cooling off in the creek.

He also loved being by Janet. At the end when they were

tired, they walked side by side and leaned into each

other for support. It was so sweet.

On the car ride back, he was a tired but content guy. He had his bottom

in my back seat and front legs and head up on my console the whole time,

and would occasionally lean on me like we were

old friends. I am a responsible driver, but that

big fat head is irresistible. It was hard to keep my hands

off of it and pay attention to the road.

I cannot get over what a great dog Popeye is. He is just a

laid back, happy, chill, little cutie pie with an awesome head

who will make you smile. If you are looking for something

to “center” you, skip yoga this week and hang out with Popeye.


advance discount auto parts zellwood fl



I was so excited for my first hike with Four Directions.

When I received the email from Donna with the hike match up,

it suddenly seemed real. “My” dog had a name…Artie.

I found out that both Artie and I were newbie hikers,

and it turned out to be such a great match.

Artie was such a good boy, both in the car and on the trail and

showcased his goofy personality to the group. While he

preferred to sit in the front seat on the way to the hike location,

and even attempted to sit in my lap, he happily complied

with having the back seat to himself.

At the start of the hike, Artie had energy to burn and was ready

to get moving! As we progressed, he slowed to walk alongside me,

but was not interested in checking out much of the surroundings.

This lovable boy was making the most of his hike,

and especially enjoyed galloping through the muddiest

sections of the trail.

During our breaks Artie could be found playfully rolling in the grass,

and even took a dip in the creek during a water

break, bringing a good laugh to the group.

When it was time to go, Artie seemed ready for the long car

ride back to the shelter. This time he immediately stationed

himself behind the driver’s seat and nuzzled his head

onto my shoulder for most of the drive, a gesture

of gratitude for his big day out.




I was very excited when I learned that my partner for Sunday’s hike

would be Whirlwind, or Whirly Girl as we affectionately call her.  

Whirlwind has been living at Stray Rescue for some time waiting for her

perfect home.  As you can see, she is a beautiful girl.  

Her coloring is absolutely gorgeous,  steel grey with white socks.  

Whirlwind met me at the trail as she had hitched a ride with another

volunteer.  She was eager to get going and hit the trail with her dog buddies.  

She is a strong girl, and her assistance up the large hills was truly appreciated.  

Whirlwind could not decide if she preferred leading the pack or bringing up the rear.  

We decided for a happy medium somewhere in the middle where

she settled in to a perfect pace.  We did about 4 miles on that up

and down winding trail, and even got to stop for a water break

in the creek….it was a pretty warm day.

After the hike, I took Whirly home for a bit to get a drink and

pick up my son for a trip to the shelter to do some measuring for his Eagle Project.  

After examining Whirlwind  for ticks, we picked a few away

and headed back to the shelter.   Whirly Girl snoozed the

entire way back!! I think she was having sweet dreams of that

forever home that I know is in her future.  I hope she finds it soon.




Normally at night Newbury is curled up in a ball on her fleece blanket, quiet as can be,

with a dog bone in bed with her like a child’s stuffed animal. By morning of the hike,

Newbury was wide awake and ready to go! While we were getting her easy

lead harness on and getting ready for the apply for a loan with wells fargo hike inside her apartment, she was jumping up to

give me kisses and say hello. A gentle “Newbury sit” command and she was in a sit position

still trying to reach up and give me kisses. I like to bend down and get on her level, which is a

ways for me since I am over six feet tall and Newbury is a petite 45 lb. brindle

boxer/terrier mix. This lets her stay in her “sit” position and still give me kisses

while I put her lead on. After a short potty break, we got in my car and we were ready to go.

Our drive west of the city was beautiful. The weathermen had concerned us a little bit the

days before with nasty predictions of rain and thunderstorms. It was sunny and

absolutely beautiful outside. The sun rays were coming through the windows and

Newbury was laying down in the back seat relaxing before the hike. She was so calm in

the car. Loved stretching out in the back seat with all legs extended chewing

on a nylabone. I had put a sheet down for her, and she rearranged it into a ball on the floor

of the car. She must have really liked the feel of my cloth seats and the smell of my other

dogs at home! Occasionally Newbury got a wild hair and put her paws on the middle

console and wanted to give me more kisses or come up in the passenger seat.

With a gentle guiding hand, she was so smart and went and rested in the

back seat again. I reminded her we have to be safe in the car

and there are unlimited kisses on the hike!

After another brief potty stop and leg stretch, for both of us this time, we manage the

curvy roads to our final destination. Newbury was excited to hit the trail! Ears back

and tail up! She saw all of the other people and dogs getting out of their cars and just

waited with patience while we put on our day packs and hiking bandanas for safety.

We decided to be the caboose that morning and let everyone go in front of us. We

had an absolutely blast on the trail. Smelling everything, including the

beautiful purple flowers that covered the ground, we took our time and made lots of stops

to smell. #1 rule of our hike…make sure to smell anything and everything!

Newbury’s nose was to the ground most of the hike. Newbury had absolutely no problem

with being close to the new dogs and new people, even though she is

normally a dog that likes to be properly introduced with a yummy treat and

a calm hello. On a side note, she is a lady, and likes for people to respect her space,

and in return she respects those around her. Our hiking leader, Donna, was able

to give her a nice hello and take her glamor shots right on the trail! Towards the end

of the hike when we were all getting hot and tired, we decided to let all the dogs on the

hike cool off in a small stream. Newbury let everyone else go first, and then she dipped

her paws in the water. I am not sure how much she likes the water. It seemed to turn

on her spunky side and she ran around a little bit and attempted to pay tug-of-war with the lead.

A simple “leave it” and we started walking and she was calm again and

ready to finish our hike. She was so attentive and listened so well.

She knew all of her basic training commands, and it really came in handy on the hike.

As we hiked down the last big hill, 1500 payday loan bad credit I could tell she was going to be snoozing on the

car ride home. We were both tired, but in heaven after the hike. We said our goodbyes and

got back in the car for the ride home after a water break and snack. Within the first minute

of the ride home, Newbury gently asked to curl up in the front seat by slowly

nudging her way up. She was so tired; we both agreed this was a good spot to take

a good nap close to me. She curled up and rested her head on the middle console.

I slowly rubbed her eyes, ears and back and she fell deep asleep. When we were about

halfway home, she started snoring! A little dainty Newbury snore. It was so sweet. I had

to turn the music down so I could listen to it. What a perfect end to the glorious

hiking day! Newbury is definitely a loving, kind, gentle, and “ready for anything” companion.

She loves life and loves being close. She can go on long car rides,

long hikes, trail runs, or just enjoys being lazy on a couch watching movies.

She is ready for anything, especially her forever home and forever companion!


The photos below are courtesy of Kaitlin ;)



I heard that I was lucky to have Lady Tulip as my hiking buddy,

but I had no idea how lucky I was! What an awesome dog for

my first hike with Four Directions. Before we left for the hike, we

ran around in the yard together to stretch our legs and burn off some energy.

After about ten minutes of exercise Lady Tulip and I had a chance to cuddle while

she sat patiently around the other hikers and dogs getting ready to leave.

Once we got in the car, she quietly chewed on a bully stick, and every few minutes

she’d stick her head up into the front seat to give me some kisses or a gentle nudge.

A couple of times she even put her paw on my shoulder,

as if we were old pals! That’s one of the beautiful things about

Lady Tulip, I’d only just met her, but she was so loving and attentive to me

right off the bat!

Once on the trail, Lady Tulip led the hike for a while, then politely moved to

the middle of the pack to let someone else take the lead. She looked

back at me frequently to make sure I was keeping up, and when we stopped she’d

sit politely for treats, taking them very gently from my hand. On our breaks,

Lady Tulip seemed perfectly content to just plop down on the ground and take

in the scenery. She was great around the other dogs, and didn’t pay them

much attention (except for Popeye, who she showered with friendly sniffs and

tail wags). On the ride home, Lady Tulip lounged on the back seat, working at

her nylabone. She was so quiet I kept checking on her to make sure she

was okay! When we got back, she was all sleepy smiles and tail wags while I checked

to make sure she was free of ticks, and gave her some goodbye

cuddling and kisses. LT (Lady Tulip) is a very sweet dog who’s sure to

win over the heart of anyone who meets her.

She’s 35 petite pounds of pure love!










Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>