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Little dramas

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

If you pay attention when you’re out for a walk, you might be struck by all the little dramas going on around you.


A chickadee looked up at me as it lay limply in a neighbor’s driveway. A tougher woman might have crushed its head with a rock to put it out of its pain, but hoping it was just stunned and would fly away, I walked on. When I next passed by, it was dead, its feathers fluffing in the wind.

A week later, I was passing the same driveway and heard birdsong from above. There on the wire directly above the driveway was a black-capped chickadee just like the other.

It has been there every morning since.


Three cats lingered on the front steps and side yard of a house that their owners had left behind, along with them. The Animal Welfare League told me they could do nothing unless I managed to trap the cats and bring them in. Maybe a neighbor will take them in, they said.

A young girl who moved in next door did take care for them for a while, until all her belongings piled on the street told me she’d been evicted. The cats were wandering about aimlessly once more.

I recently saw the lady across the street from them come out in her housecoat with a large bowl of cat food which she placed on her driveway. They gathered around, tails twitching, no longer feral for a few moments.

Now they’re apparently paying tribute. This morning two eviscerated creatures had been left at the end of her driveway.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 4/23/2014 1:06AM

    Sad little dramas and equally sad some of the responses of people's own experiences. It makes very sad to hear of neglected, abused or abandoned animals :(
Thanks for sharing your stories!

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68ANNE 4/22/2014 9:15PM

    ah yes , many of life's little dramas when you look around

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/22/2014 8:16PM

    What sad stories. It was probably so hard to walk by that little bird. I definitely would not be the one to kill it. I'm sure M is right--the poor mate mourning.
I'm infuriated with people who leave pets behind. There is no reason for that--there are no kill rescue groups that will find new homes. All of our dogs have been rescues.
Sometimes I think animals are kinder and more sensitive than many humans.
Beautiful writing!

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    Poor little chickadee. I would have probably been doing CPR. LOL. The second bird was probably the dead one's mate. We have often seen them come to mourn their dead mates. They do it for unbelievably long periods of time. We observed an indigo bunting that would come every day and sit on the road in the exact spot where it's mate was killed. It reinforced to us the fact that people don't give animals enough credit. We are not the only intelligent creatures on earth. Just one of the most destructive.

I would like to beat the stuffing out of people who move away and leave their pets and I am serious. These kind of people are the lowest of the low. When the man next door died his "B" wife didn't want his dog Sapphire and left it to starve to death. It mourned his death and howled every day, one of the saddest cries I've ever heard. It would not allow any one to help it. Eventually Sapphire died in their front yard and was reunited with her owner who really loved her. As a nurse I would help practically anyone but not this worthless "B".

It was nice of the feral kitties to share with the lady who fed them as well, although I'm not fond of eviscerated carcasses. LOL

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CHOCOHIPPO 4/22/2014 2:57PM

    Fascinating but sad.

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NEW-CAZ 4/22/2014 12:50PM

    Thank you for sharing Suz

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WAY2GOCAT 4/22/2014 12:37PM

    So sad. emoticon

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BROOKLYN_BORN 4/22/2014 11:42AM

    Nature is often cruel but human beings can be worse. In 1998 my son adopted a little dog who had been abandoned.

It was winter break at his university and we assume some students just left her behind. It was snowing and the dog followed my son back to his apartment.
She had a good long life for 15 more years and was so devoted to my son. She always remembered that he saved her.

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JANTHEBLONDE 4/22/2014 10:54AM

    Thanks for sharing! I hope you have a wonderful day!
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JOYINKY 4/22/2014 10:45AM

    Interesting but definitely sad. I would haven not been able to interfere with the birds fate either. It also saddens me that people abandon their pets; too common an experience in this college town. I have friends that leave food out for the feral cats. A kindness, yes. But also an invitation to opossums, raccoons and possibly rats. I've seen no rats, maybe the cats are taking care of that. But I have seen the others. I'm also not sure all the cats they attract are feral and not someone's pet looking for a handout. On the plus side, they did trap, neuter and release, so the population is dwindling. Only a few to age, many to traffic. City life of a feral cat is usually short.

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DR1939 4/22/2014 10:40AM

    One never knows their neighborhood from a car--only walking gives you time to really see it.

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DIDMIS 4/22/2014 10:36AM

    How very interesting.

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The sea hibiscus

Monday, April 21, 2014

Remember those two dozen trees that I grew from seed and put in the ground a couple of years ago, after being entranced by the amazing blooms on their mama tree?

I'd been hoping to see a blossom out of one of them in my lifetime and had nearly given up, when my biggest baby produced this on Easter morning.

It starts the day bright yellow.

Then turns deep crimson before dropping off. This is the same flower.

In a mature tree like its mama, you'll see blossoms of different colors dotting the branches at any given time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GABY1948 4/22/2014 5:38AM

    How beautiful!

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RD03875 4/22/2014 4:17AM

    So pretty!

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JOYINKY 4/21/2014 11:23PM

    Beautiful! Those rewards are why we garden. :)

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CARTOONB 4/21/2014 10:25PM

    That is so cool!!

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    Beautiful!! You have found your green thumb! What a nice Easter present. You must be in a good place. Living right.

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TINKERBELL200 4/21/2014 9:14PM

    So glad you shared this. It's funny I thought about that tree the other day and wondered how your babies were doing. I almost asked you. What a beautiful bloom. So glad it bloomed for you on Easter Sunday!

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/21/2014 6:13PM

    I do remember that and had forgotten all about it. Those are beautiful flowers. They change colors in the course of a day? And, they fall off at the end of one day? Amazing!

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SCOOTER4263 4/21/2014 4:31PM

    I *do* remember that, because you said you were going to plant them around a .... something...linoleum? ...lanolin?...anyway, I do remember the trees. Those blooms are gorgeous - how large are they?

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CHOCOHIPPO 4/21/2014 4:12PM

    What kind of plant is it? The blooms are beautiful and how cool that they change colors!

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JANTHEBLONDE 4/21/2014 3:03PM

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures of your garden! "Love it" Your flowers are gorgeous! I hope you have a wonderful day!
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BROOKLYN_BORN 4/21/2014 2:44PM

    I had no idea about the changing color. What an effort from such a little tree! With that start, I\it will be quite a site when it reaches maturity

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    Wow ! that is amazing and gorgeous.. Thanks for sharing.

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WAY2GOCAT 4/21/2014 1:19PM

    Amazing! What a day to show its blooms! Blessings and emoticon

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NANCYPAT1 4/21/2014 1:03PM

    Lovely - you have a green thumb

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Ocean State south

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Forgot to post this, especially for any Rhode Island Sparkers out there. You're a small state with a complicated coastline that seems the equal of Florida's in length, so you deserve a shout out.


A deli isn’t always a deli. Sometimes it’s a shape-shifting roadshow with New England fair food and its own troupe of troubadours.

Your first hint that this deli with the Boar’s Head sign has morphed, almost in spite of itself, into something unique is a wrought-iron patio set and potted succulents placed artistically out front for sale. Still thinking you’ll just go in and take a number at the counter--for a Reuben and a half-sour perhaps--you instead step into a Caribbean breeze.

Soft calypso is being played by Trinidadian Sylbert Jackson-Smith (Smitty), who runs Saturday’s open mic here.

Also in the house: the Guitar Army, an eclectic community of acoustic musicians who encamp here when not playing Gilchrist Park Thursday nights. Canadian Marc Ballesteros, card-carrying member of the Army, showed up one day, got talking with co-owner Lisa Vale about music, and next thing she knew, all these musicians flocked in for lunch and kept coming back to play.

“I mean, I like music, but I always thought I’d be doing an Italian restaurant,” Lisa admits, bemused.

Where you least expect it, is a coffeehouse--painted warm bistro earth tones, musical paraphernalia hanging on the wall, striped café curtains that a customer sewed for free from a bolt of yard-sale fabric, and salty Rhode Island accents rolling off the tongues of staff and customers.

One patron yells, “Hey Joe Walsh!” to co-owner Randy. “He looks just like Joe Walsh, the rock stah. I just gut in lahst night from the Carolinizz, had an ice stawm, lost powah for fo-ah days. How ya doin’--aright?”

This place could be called RI’s, not RJ’s, but its name comes from Randy Jr., not his home state.

Half the year, a box trailer sits contentedly out back, frying up such delectables as clam cakes--Rhode Island’s cornmeal/clam take on the hush puppy, best when dunked in chowder.

Order some while you can, before Randy and that trailer rumble away like the circus, from May through October, to crank open their yellow awning at big New England fairs. The awning opens over the Charlestown, RI, Seafood Festival, where the dress code requires lobster attire, from red antenna-waving headgear to full-on clawed costumes; the Deerfield Fair’s cattle pulls, pig scrambles, and Flying Wallendas; and that mile-long flea fest near Sturbridge, MA, the Brimfield Antique Show.

When they ask, “What do you do when Randy’s gone half the year?” Lisa laughs, “It’s great! No cluttah problem. Pah-TAY!” But she also takes RJ’s helm offseason, keeping only slightly different hours.

Lisa’s coffee-brown curls spill out of a fisherman’s cap as she strides around waiting tables, greeting everyone like old friends with her broad Ocean State accent. She never waitressed before, and she’s “still to this day not a tray carrier,” but she loved cooking at home. Her mother, sisters, girlfriends remember the stuff they made when they were kids--potato and chicken salads, sheet pan pizza. Lisa’s mom, Margie, going on 89, shared all her recipes.

“Now we tell her, ‘Oh that chowdah, oh that pizza! Mahgie’s recipes are famous now!’”

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BROOKLYN_BORN 4/19/2014 2:26PM

    You sure have a variety of options and you describe them so well We are positively boring by comparison.

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TINKERBELL200 4/17/2014 7:10PM

    Yum I want some chowdah! Sounds like a fun place, kinda down to earth! It sounds like you enjoy it!

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_LINDA 4/17/2014 5:12PM

    Another charming find! Enjoyed reading about it!!

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    It doesn't sound like any of the delis I've been to. LOL.

Boar's Head is a popular name in Florida. I went to a Boar's Head Restaurant there years ago. It was unique also.

I love wrought iron patio sets and succulents. Love Calypso music and love listening to Trinidadians talk.

It's funny that snowbirds from other states seem to find each other and congregate. I wonder if there is an Illinois hang out.

Never had clams. Never had chowder. Potato salad and chicken salad and pizza I love though. LOL.

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/17/2014 4:10PM

    Oh, I like this place, too!!

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GINIEMIE 4/17/2014 10:39AM

    Suzy, sounds like a great place to visit-especially in the winter.
emoticon for sharing.
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GABY1948 4/17/2014 5:54AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JOYINKY 4/16/2014 9:38PM


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68ANNE 4/16/2014 9:17PM

    oh I would love to see full lobster attire

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JANTHEBLONDE 4/16/2014 4:57PM

    Thanks for sharing! Sounds like a wonderful place! Sending you lots of hugs!
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WAY2GOCAT 4/16/2014 3:45PM

    Hugs and blessings!

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NEW-CAZ 4/16/2014 11:09AM

    sounds terrific emoticon

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CHOCOHIPPO 4/16/2014 11:03AM

    Sounds like a fun place!

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What got Doxie

Monday, April 07, 2014

For any of you living in the Gulf Coast area, beware of the walking stick bug, also called the "stick bug." Our regular vet is fairly certain that's what got Doxie. These three-inch-long sticklike bugs are very hard to spot, but when threatened, they shoot out a caustic acid that should be flushed out immediately by human or dog owner, or it will cause a corneal burn. The vet shared with me an article that described a situation almost exactly like Doxie's. Dog yelps, rubs face, then hours later has an eye swollen shut.

He has her on new medications and is hopeful it will heal because, though widespread, it's superficial. Fingers crossed!

Both patients are on pain meds, but only one of them can eat crunchy food.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHOCOHIPPO 4/8/2014 8:53PM

    How are the patients doing now?

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SUNSET09 4/8/2014 6:50AM

  Oh, my! emoticon emoticon as you have your hands full! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RD03875 4/8/2014 3:52AM

    Poor puppy, hope she feels better soon! And Bill too

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NEW-CAZ 4/8/2014 2:32AM

    OMG never heard of them!
I hope Doxie gets better soon! emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/7/2014 9:08PM

    Like JOYINKY, I thought praying mantis and walking stick were the same. Learned something new. Hopefully, she will mend quickly!! Hope Bill is doing well. You're probably exhausted! emoticon

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JOYINKY 4/7/2014 9:00PM

    Well this sent me to research! I thought walking sticks and praying mantis were the same, or varieties of the same bug. Not so. Xena has caught praying mantis and brought them in the house. I just release them back to the garden. They sure look more fierce than a walking stick. I never would have suspected the walking stick as a problem insect! Thanks! Now, get Bill a milkshake, spoon, no straws! I hope both patients feel better soon.

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GINIEMIE 4/7/2014 8:57PM

    My Steve had a gazillion reasons why our children couldn't have a pet in Florida. I wonder if he knew about that one.
Hope Bill and Doxie will be feeling better soon and that they will both be able to enjoy appropriate menus.

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JANTHEBLONDE 4/7/2014 8:55PM

    On my gosh! I've never heard of those kind of bugs before! I hope Doxie gets better soon!
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TINKERBELL200 4/7/2014 7:03PM

    The crunchy food patient must be Doxie. Here's hoping that eye will heal quickly. I never knew that the walking stick could cause that much damage. Poor baby, you know it had to hurt. Big hugs for Doxie and Bill. Hopefully Bill will be a good patient too!

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_LINDA 4/7/2014 6:53PM

    Yikes! Nasty bug! Poor Doxie! Hmmm. I could live on a pasta and smoothie diet ;)

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VEENAS1 4/7/2014 6:10PM

    I hope Doxie and Bill make a complete recovery.

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PEWTERBUNNY 4/7/2014 5:49PM

    I had no idea1 Thought they were harmless! Hope Doxie gets to feeling better.

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I think I would do a little bug culling in this case. See if the bug is still around and get rid of it and any others in the area.

Poor babies. I hate to see anyone suffer. I hope they have a speedy recovery.

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GABY1948 4/7/2014 5:25PM

    Awwwww...take good care of both your babies, Suz! I hope Doxie heals just fine!


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Nurse Suzy

Sunday, April 06, 2014

"Yipe!" said Doxie, while nosing around our tree, and at once threw her face on the ground and began rubbing it. I checked it carefully, couldn't see anything, and she subsided with the rubbing. So I figured whatever it was would work its way out.

By evening, her eye was weeping. I gave her hot compresses, which she gratefully accepted. Good girl.

This morning, the whole thing was swollen shut, and she was kicking and scratching at it. So, enough. Time for the emergency vet, a trip that I expect will cost as much as a short vacation. But, Sunday or no Sunday, I'm not messing with possible infection. Off we went, leaving Sister Roly home with Bill and praying there will be no pitbulls in the waiting room with torn ears hanging from their heads after the Saturday night fights.

All was quiet. Everyone was a delight. Doxie behaved herself like an angel in the absence of her sister to give her courage.

But it seems she has a severely ulcerated cornea and will be on an aggressive course of eyedrops and ointment every few hours. Not to mention the Cone. Bless her heart, she has gotten used to it quickly--maybe because it frightens her sister like nobody's business.

Tomorrow Bill goes in for major dental surgery in preparation for a nice set of new teeth. He's on his own! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTFATCAT 4/7/2014 5:15PM

    Sorry to hear about both. Hope the eye and the mouth get well soon.
Keep your spirits high!

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GINIEMIE 4/7/2014 3:59PM

    Poor Doxie, and poor Bill! I hope Bill does well and gets a wee bit of sympathy from Nurse Suzy. I know Doxie is getting plenty.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Doxie emoticon Bill
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RWETHAIRYET 4/7/2014 8:03AM

    Ha ha, poor Bill! We see how it is!
Hope poor Doxie recovers quickly.

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GABY1948 4/7/2014 8:01AM

    So glad you too Doxie to the doc. Take good care of that baby! Oh, and hope Bill fares well too!


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_LINDA 4/7/2014 12:53AM

    Poor Doxie :( May she feel better soon! Poor Bill! That sounds especially painful :P Hopefully he will be as good as a patient as Doxie ;)

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FIT4MEIN2013 4/6/2014 10:20PM

    LOL! You sound like me; take care of the innocent critters and the man can buck up!

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68ANNE 4/6/2014 9:59PM

    Poor Bill . . . lol
Good thing you are quick with Doxie

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/6/2014 7:42PM

    Poor Doxie! I hope her eye clears up soon!! Poor Bill! My brother had that done a couple of years ago. They put the teeth in immediately and he did fine! Good luck to you!

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TINKERBELL200 4/6/2014 7:08PM

    Poor Doxie, what happened? Did something sting her eye? Prayers for Doxie and Bill, for a speedy recovery.

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CHOCOHIPPO 4/6/2014 6:15PM

    Poor Doxie. Hope she heals quickly. Hope Bill does too.

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    Poor little Doxie. I wonder what got her eye. I would see if there is something around that tree which could be a problem.

Poor Bill. I went through that with Benny and really felt sorry for him. Not a pleasant experience. He lived on smooth peanut butter. His doctor is one of the ones who doesn't put in teeth until the gums are healed. He said people have less trouble that way and Benny has done well. He just has uppers.

Sounds like you will have your hands full there. emoticon

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JOYINKY 4/6/2014 2:13PM

    Glad you took her in; obviously a good decision. You're not kidding us-----WE KNOW Bill's not on his own! emoticon No fun though, I hope his surgery goes well and mends well. Hang in there Nurse Suzy!

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JANEDOE12345 4/6/2014 1:58PM

    I hope by now she has recovered. Poor animals can be so afraid of cones & drops & funny smells from the meds. Your nursing skill is an unsung talent that Doxie surely appreciates. Wonder how Bill is doing.

emoticon @ Doxie

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NEW-CAZ 4/6/2014 12:56PM

    I hope she's better soon Suz.
Have a great Sunday hun emoticon

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JANTHEBLONDE 4/6/2014 12:17PM

    So sorry to hear about Doxie! I hope she feels better soon! Thanks for sharing! I hope you have a wonderful day!
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