Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lucy!

Today is our Lucy's 7th birthday (in human years) and 49th birthday (in doggy years). It is also considered her golden birthday (in human years)--Seven years old on the seventh day of the month.

We are so fortunate to have Lucy as part of our family. She is a gentle reminder of living in the moment, unconditional love and plain old-fashioned fun.

This morning, upon awaking, we wished her a happy birthday, fed her a healthy brunch of sugar snap peas, eggs and perch. Then we loaded up the vehicle for a road trip. Yee-ha!

First stop, Pet Supermarket to purchase another "baby" (doggy toy) to add to Lucy's collection of what seems like 100 already. (The washer gets filled to the top on wash day and Lucy lays beside it the entire cycle.) Lucy loves her new baby. (*squeak*, *squeak*)

After(*squeak*, *squeak*), we took her (*squeak*, *squeak*) to Oregon Park in Marietta. (*squeak*, *squeak*, *squeak*, *squeak*--all the way there--ha!)

One other vehicle was parked when we arrived. Of course, we picked the parking space where someone dumped french fries out on the ground. Lucy had a feeding frenzy! Daddy had a shit-fit trying to pull her away from the greasy food. He didn't want her having her own shit-fit in the vehicle on the way home!

We had a leisurely stroll through the park. Lucy was busy sniffing away at all the scents and marking along the way. Towards the end of our outing, we took some photos.

Here are Steve and Lucy in front of the port-o-potty, one of Lucy's favorite sniffing spots and a perennial favorite place of Steve's too :)

We ladies were quite the fashion divas today. Lucy wore her pink bandanna scarf with hearts on it to match her pink collar and heart-shaped charms hanging from it. I wore my chipmunk hat to impress her and Steve.

Lucy was more impressed with my hat as she kept trying to play with it. I'm sure she thought "Ah, another baby for me". Steve just chuckled at us.

After play time, we took Lucy for a doggy sundae at Brusters Real Ice Cream--a sweet treat to celebrate our Sweetie! Happy Birthday, Lucy. (*squeak*, *squeak*)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dog Joke


Two patients limp into two different medical clinics with the same complaint. Both have trouble walking and appear to require a hip replacement.

The FIRST patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.

The SECOND sees his family doctor after waiting three weeks for an appointment, waits eight weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn't reviewed for another week and finally has his surgery scheduled for a month from then.

Why the different treatment for the two patients?

The FIRST is a Golden Retriever.
The SECOND is a Senior Citizen.

Next time take me to a vet!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

44 Odd Things About Me

Since I am leaving my 44th year of life in less than a month, I thought it would be fun for you to learn:

44 Odd Things about Susan Calvert

CLICK HERE to read them.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The CFA International Cat Show, Part 2

The CFA International Cat Show was a blast! I had a wonderful time meeting new customers and listening to their stories from cat land. It was old home week seeing customers, Paula, Kay and Helen, to name a few, from the Cotton States Cat Club Show.

My hand illustrated angel cat t-shirts were quite a success. I'd like to introduce you to a few of my customers who are enjoying them too:

Here's Dean! Dean noticed my t-shirts and asked me to fix him up with one. He said he needed a new t-shirt to play poker in and show off to the guys. After the fitting, he liked the shirt so much, he decided to keep it on.

Hey, to anyone out there in cat land, if you know Dean, (he and his wife exhibited at the show), please forward this story to him and forward his email address to me. He wrote it down, however, I cannot read his handwriting (Oh, no!). I definitely want him to see his picture and am dying to hear what his poker playing buddies thought of his angel cat t-shirt.

Meet Carol! She sits on the Board of Directors of Purebred Cat Breed Rescue. PCBR is a non-profit 501(c)3 volunteer operation with foster homes throughout the state of North Carolina. Click here to read their mission statement.

Say "hello" to my new friend, Robyn! (crowd says: "Helllll-lo Robyn!")

Robyn purchased her angel cat t-shirt from me on Saturday and modeled it on Sunday. I corralled her into my booth to take this happy picture of her. She has the whitest pearly whites, doesn't she? (*big smile*) Pretty hair too!

Finally, I'd like to introduce you to Bob and Marilyn. They are the owners of Sound Associates Music, Ltd. located in Lawrenceville, GA.

Do you see that bag Marilyn is holding? Inside of it, is the t-shirt off of my back. Literally! I'm not kidding! Marilyn liked the angel cat t-shirt I was wearing so I offered it to her. (*POOF*) Marilyn's wish was granted!

Dean, Carol, Robyn, Bob and Marilyn: Thanks for being such good sports. Please feel free to download your picture from this blog post for your scrapbook.

OMG! Where has time gone? Wasn't this a fun post? I will bring my camera to all future events in hopes of capturing everyone who has adopted my art into their lives.

Here's to all of my customers celebrating their love of pets: Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for supporting my artistic endeavors. I totally enjoy making you smile.

PS: To my good friend, Melissa : Happy Birthday, Girl! We met through your volunteer efforts with the West Suburban Humane Society during my art show at the Chicagoland Family Pet Expo. You are truly a dear friend. (*HUGS*--*squeeze*, *squeeze*) Love your new red "do" in this picture.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Event: The CFA International Cat Show

I had a ball meeting new customers, vendors and kitties at the Cotton States Cat Club 70th Annual CFA Championship and Household Pet Show a few weeks ago at the Gwinnett Center. Thank you all for supporting my artistic endeavors.

For everyone who placed special t-shirt orders: As of today, they have all been shipped. Hope you are pleased with them as much as I was in creating them. (Click on the images to enlarge view.)

I heard an interesting story while at the show. A lady asked me if I had cats. I told her I was unable to have them due to the litter box odor with my MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) and asthma. She indicated her cats were potty trained. Of course, I laughed and told her she was fooling me.

I’ve never heard of a cat that uses the toilet and flushes it. Okay, I have but only in Hollywood in the movies, “Meet the Parents” and “Meet the Fockers”. Jinx, the cat, uses and flushes the toilet.

The lady told me her cats use the toilet and then flush it by pulling on the string attached to the lever. Speaking of pulling, I saw a fabulous greeting card the other day that read:

The Real Story Behind the Big Bang Theory.....

Pull My Finger!

(*giggle*)(*giggle*) How funny is that?

Soooooooooo, can anybody out there in cat land tell me if this is really true about cats using a toilet and flushing it? Leave me your post in the comments section at the end of this entry for all to read. I’m dying to know if this is true or if this lady was pulling my finger. Oops, I mean leg--ha!

Stories like these that keep me coming back for more. I have secured booth space to sell my art and listen to your interesting stories at:

The CFA International Cat Show
(CFA = Cat Fancier's Association)
(This show is the equivalent to Westminster for dogs.)
November 21-23, 2008

Located at
Georgia International Convention Center
(near Hartsfield International Airport)
2000 Convention Center Concourse
College Park, GA 30337

Open to the public

Friday, November 21, 2008, 12noon-6:30pm
Saturday, November 22, 2008, 9am-6pm
Sunday, November 23, 2008, 8am-5pm

Adults--$8.00 each
Seniors (62+) & Children (6-12)--$6.00 each
(copy and print coupon for $1 off adult admission to the show)

My booth number is

Over 900 cats will be featured at this show in “Catlanta”. I hope to see you there and look forward to hearing more fun cat stories!


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Kite Flying at Mt. Tabor Park

Yesterday was pure R&R with the family. It was a beautiful, blustery autumn day, excellent conditions for kite flying at Mount Tabor Park located in Dallas, GA.

There she is, my crayon kite. Look at those strikingly bright colors! Crayolas were my first art medium as a child. Still use them to this day. Now they come in neon and metallic colors. Yee-ha!

It's not often we have blustery, Winnie-the-Pooh, days here in GA--makes me think of my Windy City home.

Hum for a Blustery Day

Hum dum dum ditty dum
Hum dum dum

Oh the wind is lashing lustily
And the trees are thrashing thrustily
And the leaves are rustling gustily
So it's rather safe to say
That it seems that it may turn out to be
It feels that it will undoubtedly
It looks like a rather blustery day, today
It sounds that it may turn out to be
Feels that it will undoubtedly
Looks like a rather blustery day today

(From: Winnie The Pooh and the Blustery Day
Written by: Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Performed by: Sterling Holloway [Pooh])

Here's my loyal companion, Lucy, and me flying the kite together. Check out the magnificent colorful foliage in the background.

Lucy with Daddy. Who's walking who? Ha!

At the end of our park time, Steve feeds Lucy an apple.

Family day was wonderful. We spent it at the park and driving down Burnt Hickory Road to look at additional fall foliage. We made a pitstop along the way to Bruster's Real Ice Cream. Lucy loves their doggie sundeas. Yum-O!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!

To celebrate the holiday, my friend, Leslie, owner of Sutter-Day Architects located in Libertyville, IL, sent me this card (click to enlarge it):

(Inside reads: They’ll have eggs plastered all over the front of them.)

OMG, this card is too funny! Can you relate to it? I can.....Each Halloween now for several years, I’ve handed out “healthful” or “non-food alternatives” such as raisins and pencils, just like the card says. (My friend knows me well.)

Yes, I’m a “health” nut or I should say “healthier” nut or let’s totally rephrase that: I’m just a “nut”. Ha! (I like to think of myself as a nut in a positive light--full of imagination and creativity. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. Peter Paul’s Almond Joy’s got nuts. Peter Paul’s Mounds don’t because sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t!) Ah, the power of childhood commercial jingles.....

Leslie, my dear, because of your Halloween card, this year I’m adding to the mix. I bought a huge bag of nasty, sugary candy. (more business for Dr. Dressler at Mercury Free Dental) Candy plus a funky, decorated PENCIL for everyone who comes Trick or Treating to our house. (Bet you can’t guess what I sent you in the mail for Halloween. I'm sending you the leftovers too!)

To everyone else, have a Happy Halloween. Thanks for supporting my"alternative" art endeavors and reading my "nutty" creative writings.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Event: CFA Championship & Household Pet Show

I just received notification to exhibit my art at the 70th Annual CFA (Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc.) Allbreed Cat Show & Household Pet Show. The show is hosted by Cotton States Cat Club, Inc. and will have over 400 cats competing nationwide. Meeeeeow!

The show, open to the public, is this upcoming weekend (OMG--I can hardly believe it's November already!):

Saturday, November 1, 2008, 10am to 5pm
Sunday, November 2, 2008, 9am to 4pm

located at:

Gwinnett Convention Center and Arena
6400 Sugarloaf Parkway
Duluth, GA 3009

Admission is $5 (child) $7 (adult).

Please stop by my booth and let me know what you think of my NEW handmade Pet Charms. Place them on your kitty's collar for ID, on your child's charm bracelet or in your scrapbook. I will be taking custom orders at the show that include your kitty's name and phone number on the backside too.

So if you love cats, this is an event for you. And if you don't love cats, forward this to folks you know who do love them. (Hint: If someone has a cat, they love them, even if they think they don't. Ha!) Here kitty, kitty...


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Event: Goldenrama

I met some really cool ladies, Diane and Jen, from Adopt A Golden Atlanta during my art show last weekend. They invited me to bring my art to their 5th Annual Goldenrama, this upcoming Sunday, October 26, 2008 from noon to 4pm. (Yes, I am aware this is a last minute notice, however, keep reading.)

The event is open to anyone with a Golden Retriever. Bring your Goldens along with other family members for a fun-filled afternoon of games, auctions, food and more. There's a Halloween costume contest too--wheeeee! Dress-up your pooch to compete for a prize.

This is a fundraiser! If you can afford a $10 per person or $25 per family donation at sign-in, it would be greatly appreciated by the organization. (Your donation is tax-deductible as allowed by law.) RSVP before 8pm, Friday, October 24, to

Goldenrama is being held at:

Concourse Office Park
Hammond Drive and Peachtree-Dunwoody
Sandy Springs, GA

Click on the image below to enlarge it for additional details:

Please forward this post to others who might be interested in helping out this organization. Just click on the tiny white envelope under the post to forward it. Thanks for supporting Adopt A Golden Atlanta.

Nationwide Dog Treat Recall: Chicken Basted Rawhide Chips

October 22, 2008


The Hartz Mountain Corporation, Secaucus, New Jersey, is voluntarily recalling one specific lot of Hartz Chicken-Basted Rawhide Chips due to concerns that one or more bags within the lot are potentially contaminated with Salmonella.

The product involved is 4,850 two-pound plastic bags of Hartz Chicken-Basted Rawhide Chips, lot code JC23282, UPC number 3270096463.

Dog owners who purchased this product should check the lot code on their bag. If it is from the recalled lot, they should immediately discontinue using it and discard it.

Consumers can contact Hartz at 1-800-275-1414 with any questions they may have and to obtain reimbursement.

Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs, and, if there is cross-contamination caused by handling of the rawhide chips, in people as well, especially children, the aged and people with compromised immune systems. Healthy people potentially infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. On rare occasions, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Animals can be carriers with no visible symptoms and can potentially infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

For information in GA, contact:
Arty Schronce, Yao Seidu or Tyler Adams 404-656-368

Georgia Department of Agriculture
Tommy Irvin, Commissioner
19 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SW
Atlanta, GA 30334
This Press Release was sent to me by:
Humane Association of Georgia, Inc.
A statewide coalition of humane societies, animal control and rescue groups and individuals.

About the organization:
HAGA is known for the Animal Protection Act of 2000 that makes some acts of animal cruelty a felony and the Dog and Cat Sterilization License Plates and Georgia Income Tax Check Off that fund statewide spay/neuter projects. Our formation allowed Georgia to be the first state by law to allow animals in disaster shelter. We were formed to support good animal legislation, provide education about good animal stewardship and help animals in times of disaster. HAGA is a member of the Georgia Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster.

Please join the Humane Association of Georgia. Our membership fee is $25.00 per year. Donations are appreciated. Please let us know if you or anyone you know would like to be added to our email alert list about animal issues. Please make your check out to Humane Association of Georgia, Inc. and mail to the address above.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Marley & Me--(The Movie)

Yesterday, while watching the television show, Entertainment Tonight, it was announced the book, Marley & Me (video clip), the story of a crazy, beloved dog and his untrained pet guardians, is currently being turned into a motion picture. The movie stars Owen Wilson (one of my favorite actors) and Jennifer Anniston. It opens in theatres everywhere on December 25, 2008.

Just a few days ago, I saw the author of Marley & Me, John Grogan, with his wife, Jennifer, and their new Yellow Lab, Gracie, on Cesar Millan’s television show Dog Whisperer. Cesar was desensitizing Gracie from the Grogan’s pet chickens. She had eaten two of them. Whoops!

Cesar brought Gracie and family along with a chicken into the closed garage (for easier control of the situation). Cesar was holding the chicken and allowing Gracie to sniff it while correcting her. The chicken became afraid and crapped all over Cesar. During another try, the chicken dropped an egg right on the spot. The show was hilarious!!!!

My good friend, Cheryl Solomon, owner of the advertising agency, Solomon Space Sales, Inc., located in Chicago, IL, sent me the book, Marley & Me, as a gift when it first came out. She has three Golden Retrievers and like myself, can relate to the story. The book was a delightful read, one I will always treasure and encourage others to read. Thanks, again, Cheryl!

I can hardly wait to see the movie. It will definitely make my holiday season brighter. Until then, here’s "Lucy & Me" in the wee hours of the morning approximately 7 years ago when she was just a pup.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

How Old is My Old Man? (Braves vs. Mets)

We've been celebrating Steve's birthday all month. Here is his picture taken during the Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets baseball game yesterday at Turner Field. I thought it would be fun to poll my readers with this silly question:

How old is my Old Man?

Leave me your answer in the comments section at the end of this blog entry. (No cheating if you already know his age--ha!)

The baseball game on Saturday, September 20th, between the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets was awesome. Braves won! Score: 4 to 2. (actual scoreboard picture below)

I secured fantastic seats, over the Braves on-deck circle, through StubHub. This was Steve's first "close up" game. (much better than those nose bleed seats in the past, aye?)

We were on our toes watching the game. The balls were speeding by so fast including several fly and foul balls. I had Steve's jacket open ready to catch one. Drats, missed it. Perhaps next time.

Our seats allowed premium restaurant service--baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and GMC (that's what we drive). There was a post-game fireworks show too--KaBoom! (Honey, I said fireworks, not farts!)

It was a picture perfect evening celebrating Steve's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mr. Calvert.

Have you guessed his age yet? Look at his picture again. (Click on it, if necessary, to enlarge it.) Remember to leave me your answer below.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nationwide Pet Food Recall

Below is a recent press release regarding yet another pet food recall. This cements why I feed my dog a homemade human diet.

Although it is still possible Lucy can become ill eating human food, it's less apt to occur. There are higher quality controls in place for human food.

Lucy eats an unprocessed whole food organic human diet of meat, veggies and fruit.
She loves it. Her fur is ever-so shiny too.

The preparation is a bit more time consuming, however, I feel better knowing I'm providing her with the best nutrition available. I'll post a week's worth of her menus along with prep notes on my blog one of these days.

If you have the opportunity, read the book entitled Food Pets Die For by Ann N. Martin. It will change the way you think about pet food. I purchased my copy at Natural Pet Market. Click on the image below to visit their on-line store.

Shop for the best all natural, eco-friendly food and products for your animal companions.

As mentioned above, here is the press release. Please forward it to all your pet loving guardians.

Mars Petcare US Issues Voluntary Recall of Everson, PA Plant Dry Pet Food Product Due to Potential Salmonella Contamination

Debra Fair
, Public Relations Manager — Central Marketing
(973) 691-3536

For Immediate Release

Mars Petcare US Announces Nationwide Voluntary Recall

Franklin, Tennessee (September 12, 2008)—Today, Mars Petcare US announced a voluntary recall of products manufactured at its Everson, Pennsylvania facility. The pet food is being voluntarily recalled because of potential contamination with Salmonella serotype Schwarzengrund. This voluntary recall only affects the United States.

Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination caused by handling of the pet food, in people as well, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems. Healthy people potentially infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. On rare occasions, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Animals can be carriers with no visible symptoms and can potentially infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The company stopped production at the Everson facility on July 29, 2008 when it was alerted of a possible link between dry pet food produced at the plant and two isolated cases of people infected with Salmonella Schwarzengrund.

Even though no direct link between product produced at Everson and human or pet illness has been made, Mars Petcare US is taking precautionary action to protect pets and their owners by announcing a voluntary recall of all products produced at the Everson facility beginning February 18, 2008 until July 29, 2008 when we stopped production.

The company is continuing to work collaboratively with the FDA to determine the nature and source of Salmonella Schwarzengrund at the Everson facility. Since it has not yet identified the source of the Salmonella Schwarzengrund at the Everson facility, Mars Petcare US does not plan to resume production out of a commitment to the safety of our pet owners and their pets, customers, and associates.

The top priority of Mars Petcare US has always been and continues to be the health and welfare of pets and their owners. Consumers can continue to have confidence in the quality and safety of the products produced at other Mars Petcare US facilities. Only those products which were produced at the Everson facility are impacted by the voluntary recall.

Many of the brands involved in the recall are national brands produced at multiple facilities. A chart for all products is below. For example, PEDIGREE® is manufactured in numerous facilities throughout the country, and Everson represents a very small portion of the manufacturing base – 2.7 percent of total PEDIGREE® production.

Mars Petcare US will work with retail customers to ensure that the recalled products are not on store shelves. These products should not be sold or fed to pets. In the event that consumers believe they have purchased products affected by this voluntary recall, they should return the product to the store where they purchased it for a full refund. Specific product details and other information can be found at

Please find recalled pet food UPC information below. The products listed below are made at our Everson facility on behalf of a variety of retailers. All code dates, with the exception of PEDIGREE®, are listed in a similar format as noted below: Consumers should look for “17” as the first two digits of the second line. Sample: Best By Feb 18 09 17 1445 1 For PEDIGREE® the Everson code date format is as follows: Consumers should look for “PAE” on the bottom line – the sixth, seventh and eighth digits. Sample: PEDIGREE ® Small Crunchy Bites Best Before 02/2009 808G1PAE01 12:00

In an effort to prevent the transmission of Salmonella from pets to family members and care givers, the FDA recommends that everyone follow appropriate pet food handling guidelines when feeding their pets. A list of safe pet food handling tips can be found at:

Pet owners who have questions about the recall should call 1-877-568-4463 or visit Please visit the official recall web site for the exact brands affected.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who Farted?

I painted a cat's face and butt on the front and back sides of a pocket folder to showcase a mini portfolio of my art. My art will be featured during the grand opening of the second veterinary and rehabilitation offices of Loving Touch Animal Center. The facility is opening next month at Amsterdam Walk (corner of Monroe Dr and Amsterdam Ave) in (Midtown) Atlanta.

I came up with the title "Who Farted?" (front) or (back) for these paintings. The look on the kitty's face is priceless. The swooshing painted strokes and what looks like clouds of stink around butt on the backside made it apropos.

Do cats fart? I've never had one as a pet so I don't know. I'm thinking they do like dogs and humans. Phew!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Blues Traveler, Live and Collective Soul Concert

Just arrived home from an evening of musical inspiration at Chastain Park. (Actually, it's the wee hours on Monday. My how time flies.)

We saw one of our favorite bands from Priceton, NJ, Blues Traveler. John Popper is still rocking out with his harmonica. The other bands, Live and Collective Soul, invited him to play during their sets too. Blues Traveler's latest release, North Hollywood Shootout, is set for release on August 26. It's on my Amazon "Wish List". Their album, Four, remains a favorite.

We had not heard of Live from York, PA. Their last song had lyrics that included the words "rolling thunder". I'll have to look it up or if anyone knows the title and album name, please send me a comment to this post. It was beautiful.

Until we purchased the tickets, I hadn't heard of Collective Soul either. (Where have I been for the past 18 years?) I was fortunate to locate their 2007 album Afterwards at Target and have been listening to it for over a week. Their concert with the lighting effects reminded me of the Goo Goo Dolls. We saw them at Chastain last summer. Yes, I am now a fan of the Georgia rock 'n roll band, Collective Soul. yee-ha!

Here are two of my favorite Collective Soul songs from YouTube:


The evening was a wonderfully, inspiring event during which we thought of our good friend, Ray. Happy rockin' Birthday, Raymond, with many more to come!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pet Peeves

Today's Illustration Friday topic is entitled "Pet Peeves". I knew I had to enter something for sure since I paint pets. I've selected my painting entitled "Catch of the Day" where the kitty has a whale of a fish in his mouth and proudly wears the fish hook necklace he caught it on. I call it: Cat-titude!

I enjoy cats for their individuality and mystery they bring us. One of my "pet peeves" about some cats is constant meowing when it is meal time. However, I view this behavior as "trainable". If pet guardians give into their cats meowing session, they develop the habit and meow until they get their food. Who's training who?

I'm not a cat guardian, however, most everyone I know trains their cat with a squirt gun filled with water. It doesn't hurt them just startles them and helps change the behavior.

Let's visit my "pet peeves" about the other domesticated furry companion--dogs. Yippee, I am a dog guardian! Lucy is such a joy. I like to keep it that way by not allowing her to bark and disrupt others. Again, this behavior is "trainable". If you cannot get the job done yourself, visit Bark Busters. I've heard they have an excellent program.

When you leave your dog out to bark, besides being a nusiance, you are making a bad name for that breed! When "would be" dog guardians go to adopt a pet, they remember the breed that constantly barked and sadly for the pet, pass it up at the animal rescue or shelter.

Another dog "pet peeve" of mine: Many people allow their dogs to use the bathroom in other people's yards when walking them. Even though they may pick "it" up, it's not their property to use. This is trespassing. Do you let your children play in other peoples yards? So why would you allow your dog to do the same?

When I take my dog, Lucy, for a walk, first and foremost, I take her AFTER she goes to the bathroom in OUR yard. The walk is for exercise, not a "marking" event. I walk Lucy either on the road or on a SHORT lead on the sidewalk. As her guardian, she is not allowed to "stop and smell the roses". She has plenty of time and space to do that in her own yard.

When you allow your pooch to "pay tribute" in other's yards, you never know for sure the consistency of poop that will come from your beloved four-legged friend. One day, I walked with another dog guardian and her dog dropped a load of DIARRHEA in another person's yard. The first words out of my mouth were "Is your dog sick?". The guardian indicated the dog had a nervous stomach the last few days and because of the consistency, was NOT going to pick up that particular "gift". Do you leave dirty diapers laying around for others to take care of? Your dog, your responsibility! Same holds true for public places, folks.

I find it disrespectful when people let their dogs frolic and do their duty in other's yards. Besides that, if the other dog has worms, Giardia, etc. and your dog sniffs his poo pile or child plays in the area, guess what? Your dog and/or child may end up with the condition too.

Now I realize there might be an emergency here and there. However, this is far and few between the "daily" regulars. Always bring that baggie along and please pick up no matter the consistency should this happen.

Let's face it, we love our pets. They are wonderful companions. However, pet-lovers or not, we have to respect the rights of others.

Above image: "Catch of the Day", (c) Susan Calvert, all rights reserved

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Calvert Uses Art to Show Appreciation for Animals

By Mary Prickett, Paulding Neighbor Staff Writer

Artist Susan Calvert rarely has to look very far for inspiration. It usually follows her closely, on four legs.

When Ms. Calvert was diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, she said she also found a purpose for her art.

This disease, which left her allergic to most chemicals and synthetic products, affects her neurologically. But, she said she is not allergic to dogs.

When she was diagnosed and could no longer work, Ms. Calvert said she began spending more time with her Labrador Retriever, Lucy. Ms. Calvert said she began painting Lucy and when she ran across a flier for the humane society's Doggie Dash, she felt she and her loyal companion could make a difference.

"I thought my dog has given me a life and it was time I gave something back for all animals," she said.

After speaking with the society, Ms. Calvert set up a booth and displayed her artwork. But, she said, that was just the beginning.

"I wanted to put up my own Web site and sell it on eBay," she said. "I wanted to give a percentage of what I sold to the Paulding Humane Society, because the euthanasia numbers are high here and there is so much over populating and fighting. I thought this was the way I could finally give something back."

After months of preparation, Ms. Calvert said she has finally launched the site and has posted numerous paintings online.

"I have 40 matted photo prints on sale on eBay right now and they are being sold for $24.99 through a program called Mission Fish," she said. "Whenever one is sold the donation is $5, or 20 percent, whichever is higher, and I have sold two so far, but I don't make any money on this."

The Web site,, also has a store, she said.

Now that everything is up and running, Ms. Calvert said she is glad to be able to help.

"This was the right thing for me to do and it felt great to sell my first two paintings," she said. "Lucy gave me a life and I know many people who couldn't live without their pets. We need to save more animals, spay and neuter and adopt, because they are beautiful souls and they give us so much."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone! Yes, I know. January is almost over.....

I have been very busy working on two projects this month:

1. Updating my website with help from my friend and coach, Jean, owner of Haley Corker's. Visit her website,, for some really cool bottle corks she invented. Sure to be a hit at every party!

2. Fundraising for the animals at Paulding Humane Society with my prints on eBay. Please visit and search for my name, "Susan Calvert", to see my charity auctions.

Please review my website,, when you have the opportunity and let me know what you think of it. Remember this: Cats and dogs are earth's angels!

Image: Togetherness, copyright Susan Calvert