Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Howl-o-ween

HOwl, hoWL!  Happy Howl-o-ween to all, says Lucy!

Lucy wearing her skelly Howl-o-ween costume.
PS: Mommy cleaned up my poopie in the yard for you Trick or Treaters.  Come one, come all!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pet Halloween Costume Photo Shout-Out

If you are getting your pet ready for Halloween, snap a photo and email it to me at  Include a small caption (pet's name, title of costume, etc.) and I'll post it on this blog.  It will be great fun to see your fur baby in costume.

If you have more than one pet, "Cool bananas!", as I always say.  The more the merrier!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


In our home, "LOL" means "Lots of Licks" (in dog talk).  And here's my girl, Lucy, doing just that.  Well, okay, she paused for a second to take this picture but only for a second!

Our pre-wash dishwasher dog, Lucy

Lucy is our "pre-wash" dishwasher.  It is her special treat after dinner to clean the dishes.  It gives her a job and stimulates her sense of smell.

For years, this practice of my giving her the dishes grossed my husband out.  Now he realizes it is truly something special that she loves and is the wrong bone to pick.  Who else lets their pooch clean the dishes?  LOL!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I Love Lucy

Today marks the 100th birthday of the late Lucille Ball from the I Love Lucy show.  I have fond memories of watching the show while growing up.

Google paid special tribute to Lucy on their home page today with their art; an old time television playing a partial episode of the show.  I tried copying it to place within this post.  Am hoping it works upon publishing this post.  Suggestions welcome if it didn't!!!

In the Spring of 2001, the I Love Lucy postage stamp arrived on the market.  I remember vividly standing in line at the post office excited to see the latest stamp designs. At the same time, we were searching for a name for our puppy we rescued from the shelter.  Upon seeing the stamp and being very much in love with our new bundle of joy, I promptly named our fur baby, Lucy.  Lucy Sophia Calvert, to be exact.

Lucy wearing a hand soldered heart (like the one from the I Love Lucy show) pendant that I made.
The pendant shown sold last year.  I'm sure this pic helped me get the sale.  LOL!
Additional funky soldered jewelry designs can be purchased on my website.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

10 Facts about Dogs

  1. It is estimated 1 million U.S. dogs are named as the primary beneficiaries in their owner's will.
  2. All dogs across all breeds are descendants of wolves; dogs and wolves are technically the same species.
  3. Many canine foot disorders are the result of untrimmed nails.
  4. Dogs can find the source of a noise in 6/100ths of a second. They use the swiveling motion of their ears like radar dishes.
  5. Dogs have three eyelids – the upper lid, the lower lid, and a third lid called a nictitating membrane (also known as a 'haw') that helps keep the eye moist and provides protection.
  6. The oldest dog on record was an Australian cattle dog, Bluey. Bluey lived over 29 years.
  7. The grief suffered when a pet dog dies is often the same intensity of grief felt when a human friend or family member dies.
  8. There are over 700 types of purebred dogs.
  9. Dogs do not have an appendix.
  10. Dogs keen sense of smell allows them to locate dead bodies under water, termites, natural gas buried deep in the earth and even human cancers.
(Source:  Karen Becker, DVM)

Catching 'rays, © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
The above image, Catching 'rays, is available for sale on my website as an original painting, print and magnet.

Here is the original painting in a gallery setting:

(left - right) Flea Bag, Catching 'rays, Reigning Cats and Dogs, © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
(White streaks in the picture are reflections from fluorescent lights.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

10 Facts about Cats

  1. Most behaviors of pet cats have a parallel in the wild.
  2. Cats lose almost as much bodily fluid in the saliva they deposit while grooming as they do through urination.
  3. Only mother cats can safely pick up kittens by the scruff of the neck; humans shouldn't attempt this with either kittens or cats.
  4. Domestic cats, regardless of breed, all belong to a single species: Felis catus.
  5. Pure white cats with blue eyes are often deaf.
  6. Cats spend about 30 percent of the hours they are awake in grooming activities.
  7. There are about 100 different breeds of the domestic cat.
  8. Cats walk on their toes, and when they walk or run they move both left legs, then both right legs.
  9. Kitties don't taste sweet flavors.
  10. The more often a kitty is spoken to, the more she'll speak to her owner.
(Source: Karen Becker, DVM)
Pillow Talk,  © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
(The above image, Pillow Talk, is available for sale on my website as an original painting, print, bookmark, magnet and note card.)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rub My Belly (Buttons)

Lucy loves belly rubs.  It's the funniest thing.  She'll be looking at you.  Then instantly she is laying down and lifting her rear leg to have her belly rubbed. My husband, Steve, often asks why she does this. My reply is that she can and it feels good.

Lucy's classic leg lift
The other day, I watched the show "Wildlife Nannies" for the first time. Baby monkeys, who lost their mothers, were being taken care of by humans 'til they were grown enough to live on their own.  Upon feeding the monkeys, their belly's would be rubbed to promote digestion like their mothers did in the wild.  I wondered if this was the answer to Steve's question about Lucy's rubs.

Below are belly buttons of sorts for you to rub over with your mouse and click on to join my social media sites.  Hope you enjoy them as much as Lucy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Our friends, Jeff and Christy, sent us a picture of the newest addition to their family. Say "howdy" to Hank.  He is a Boxer/ Bulldog mix, they rescued--a big 70 pounds of lap dog!!!

Here is Hank cheering his team during the Ohio State vs Michigan game.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Project CatSnip - Low Cost Spay / Neuter in Atlanta

Project CatSnip is the Atlanta Animal Alliance's first program to combat pet overpopulation through non-lethal means in the greater metro Atlanta area. Over 50,000 feline spay/neuters have been performed by this organization. Click here to view the upcoming month's low cost spay/neuter schedule for Project CatSnip.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

To all pet dads: Lucy barks "Happy Father's Day". Without you, our pets would not have homes.  Thank you for your love and support.  "Woof!"

Lucy and Daddy having loads of fun playing tug

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pet Themed Tshirt Gifts for Father's Day

Surprise your pet loving dad with a one-of-a-kind t-shirt created by Yours Truly for Father's Day.  My handmade t-shirts make fun, lazy day pj and lounging tops.  And what a great way to show support for your four legged animal companions!

Let Us Live and Love, ©Susan Calvert
Several designs are available.  Order by Thursday, June 16 and I will ship your t-shirt USPS, Priority Mail, in time for the holiday.  Visit my website, to view additional designs along with the juicy and place your order.

Whiff this!, ©Susan Calvert

Friday, June 10, 2011

Find Me and Lucy Dog On Facebook

I often write about my dog, Lucy, on Facebook.  We share many wonderful memories together and several of my pet paintings are based on our relationship.

That being said, I want to thank each and every one of my fans for joining my Facebook page, Good Girl Designs - The Fun Art of Susan Calvert.  Lucy and I truly enjoy interacting with you.  (Yes, I read all posts and replies to Lucy.  I let her know who "likes" what her mommy has written about her.)

If you have a Facebook account with an interest in pets and art, please join my Fan Page. To do so, click on the "Like" button in the box below or on the live link above.  Again, thank you for your support.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Where's the Beef?

As many of you know and if you don't know, you do now, I feed Lucy a raw diet consisting of raw meat and produce.  The other day, I forgot to take her meat out of the freezer to thaw.  So off to the store I went to "fetch" Lucy some meat.  I picked up a package of each, beef and chicken.

Upon my arrival home, Lucy greeted me with a wagging tail and her nose to my bag.  I pulled both containers of meat out of the bag and held them out to her asking "What would you like for dinner:  beef or chicken?"

Lucy sniffed both packages.  She gave the chicken package two licks and licked the package of beef forever.  I thanked her and immediately mixed a piece of beef with pureed snow peas and lettuce.  She gobbled it and that was the end of that!  Her tummy was full and now it was time to "play ball".

Lucy with a full tummy and favorite toys.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tribute to Military Service Dogs

Old Faithful, © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
The painting above entitled Old Faithful depicts a dog painted as the American Flag. The bright background colors are a symbol of hope.  Please take a moment this Memorial Day to remember our military service dogs and their human companions who work together to protect our freedom.

Prints of this image are available for purchase on my website.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lucy Has Cancer, Part 5

Since my last posting regarding Lucy's cancer, we took Lucy to have her lung  x-rays .  Great news:  Clear--no signs of cancer!

During the x-ray reading, Doctor Kevin informed me Lucy's tummy was full of chicken bones.  He let me know in case she had gotten into the trash.  I told him they were from the chicken leg she ate for lunch.  Yum, yum!

Lucy is thriving on her grain-free, raw food diet.  She went from an allergic, ichy, hot spot, yeasty-earred dog to clear skin, no bald spots and spotless, clean smelling ears.  Yippee!

In addition to Lucy's raw diet, she receives the following supplements to support her immune system:
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Milk Thistle
  • Chlorella
  • Spirulina
  • CoQ10
  • Bone Meal Powder
  • Astaxanthin
  • Balanced Amino Acids
  • Halo VitaGlo Hip & Joint Supplement

We have more great news:  Lucy made it through her second surgery to remove two additional tumors!  She had prolotherapy injections to her torn ACL in her knee too.  The two tumors were benign and her knee is getting stronger.  Doctor Kevin at Loving Touch Animal Center:  You rock!

Kevin Brantly, DVM
Upon the healing of her incisions, we started messaging Lucy's scars to prevent scar tissue from forming and adhering to other internal areas of her body.  Lucy loves the extra-special attention.  Who doesn't love a message?

Lucy is a bit more tired these days.  We've started our 1 mile walks again.  She doesn't ever seem too tired to walk me. I forgot how fast she goes and got shin splints the first few times.  They were well worth the smile on her face as she paced through the 'hood to smell the roses.  Err, replace the word "roses" with "pee spots".

Lucy laying under my desk
We are extremely happy Lucy made it through her surgeries.  Her innocent, joyful spirit completes our lives.

In case you missed the other posts leading up to this one, here they are:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lucy Has Cancer, Part 4

Since I last posted, Lucy has had all 30 of her staples removed.  Well, actually it was 29.  One was missing and today as I was cleaning up her toenail clippings, I found it.  A souvenir to place in her keepsake box!  And yes, I have a few of her baby teeth saved there too.

Speaking of teeth, let me take you back almost 10 years ago when Lucy was a pup.  We lived in IL at the time.  She and I were headed outside for a late-night potty.  Lucy slipped on the icy step and her tooth popped out.  Help!

I frantically placed an emergency call to her vet, Dr. Youssef, at Essington Road Animal Hospital in the wee hours of the morning informing him of the situation at hand.  He explained it was normal and another one would grow in it's place.  It had been 14 years since our last puppy and I had forgotten they lose their teeth like humans.  OMG!  How embarrassing was that?

Back to today....  Lucy is still under doctors orders to wear her wardrobe of t-shirts.  Her scabs need to fall off enabling her wound to close up completely before she can undress and RUFF-house again.

Playing "tug" with Lucy.

Also, we still stay with her 24/7.  She gets entangled in the t-shirt when she bends and brings her legs to her chest.  Plus, sometimes it comes untied enabling her to scratch the area and irritate it.  So in this case, we are her "watch dog".

We have extended the length of Lucy's walks from 4 houses to 10 houses, back and forth.  She just loves her walks.  The more, the merrier, as she regains her strength and energy each and every day.

All in all, Lucy's recovery is going excellent!!!  We are extremely happy with the progress she's made to date.  I chalk this up to the staff at Loving Touch Animal Center, her raw diet, high antioxidant supplement regimen and the love, affection and respect we have for her within our home. ♥ ♥ ♥

Click on the links below for other posts in this series:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lucy Has Cancer, Part 3

Lucy has had two additional visits to her vet, Loving Touch Animal Center, since my last post. The first visit was for the flushing of her 2 drains along with a set of antibiotics and probiotics; the second, for removal of her drains. She is doing remarkably well, especially still having to wear a t-shirt 24/7.

Lucy’s lab results came back with an interpretation of “Spindle Cell Neoplasia, Grade 1 Hemangiopericytoma”. We are very thankful it was the lowest grade.

Upon having her 30 staples removed, we will have her lungs x-rays. This is the most likely place for metastasis of this type of cancer. Hopefully, these x-rays will only ever serve as a base-line set.

If Lucy’s lungs come up clean, she will undergo surgery for the other 2 small masses on her body. She has one on the other side of her trunk and another under her leg which, in time, will interfere with her walking. (The veterinary surgeon was unable to remove them during the first surgery. She would have been under anesthesia too long.)

I researched “hemangiopericytoma” on-line and located this info:
  • 'Grossly, hemangiopericytomas can be soft, firm, or rubbery and are frequently mistaken for lipomas. They also may be nodular and locally invasive. Hemangiopericytomas occur most frequently on the extremities, but may arise on the trunk.'
Lucy’s hemangiopericytoma was diagnosed for a lipoma at first.  It was located on the trunk of her body. From this experience, we learned the surest way to tell what’s growing is through a biopsy. Let me say it again: If you feel a lump on your pooch, get a biopsy ASAP!

Lucy and her "babies".
If you missed any of the previous posts in this series, here are the links to them:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Man, Goose Form Odd-Couple Friendship

I saw this on CBS News earlier this week and found it heart-warming. Reporter, Steve Hartman, is a wonderful storyteller, isn't he? Here is the link to the video too. The embedded codes seems to only be showing 1/2 the picture.

Lucy has Cancer, Part 2

For those of you who read my previous blog post, here is an update on Lucy:

Lucy is recovering from her surgery on Tuesday.  The cancerous sarcoma mass was removed. She has a long incision, approximately 10 inches in length, with 30 staples and 2 drains on her lower left flank region.

The surgery was difficult, lasting approximately 2 hours instead of the allotted 1/2 hour of time.  The cancer was encapsulated except for at the base where a 1-1/2 inch diameter was attached to her muscle.  The veterinary surgeon removed a 5 inch diameter piece of muscle.  We are awaiting the histology report and hoping enough of the margins were removed so it doesn't grow back.

Lucy has been a real trooper.  Thank goodness for pain meds.  Dogs don't show much pain.  It is a sign of weakness in the wild.  When she is unable to get comfortable (cannot lay down), it is a sign to give her medication, approximately every 12 hours.

Lucy obtained a new wardrobe from her ordeal.  We upcycled Steve's old t-shirts for her.  Well, actually, Steve passed them to me.  I wear  them for art and household projects.  I cut off the arms on some of them and passed them along to Lucy.  Wearing a t-shirt alleviates self-inflicted trauma from Lucy trying to scratch as her incision is healing and catches the fluid from her drains.

I'm bringing sexy back!

Lucy was under some heavy anesthesia and wasn't interested in drinking water at first.  I didn't want her to get dehydrated.  So I went shopping for some fresh coconuts and found some.  As soon as I arrived home, I punctured the eyes of one giving her the water inside.  She lapped it up immediately.  Yay!

Coconut water provides an isotonic electrolyte balance and I'm sure hers was off from anesthsia.  Did you know coconut water from the cavity of a fresh coconut is sterile until opened?  It mixes easily with blood and was used in World War II for emergency transfusions.

And too, as Lucy luck would have it, the February/March Issue of Animal Wellness Magazine arrived containing Dr. Carter's cancer cocktail recipe.  Dr. John Carter, a British veterinary surgeon and research scientist, created it after losing his own dog to cancer.  The recipe is as follows:

8 ounces raw chopped liver
4 ounces grated carrot
1/2 ounce ground Brazil nuts

Puree the ingredients.  Serve as a topping or as a complete meal.  It's bursting with flavor and nutrients including potassium and selenium.

I chose calf liver over mature beef or chicken thinking it is the youngest liver with the most nutrients.  Lucy loves her "liver pâté de foie gras".  She gobbles it all up!  It is an easy recipe to include in my beloved's raw diet.

Lucy has had sudden bursts of energy today.  She wants to play fetch which, of course, is a BIG no-no presently.  So I took her for a walk--down 4 houses to where her dog buddies, BJ and Bear, live and back.  She was tired after and took a nap.  Steve thought I might have taken her too far.  Rehabilitation exercise is a must prior to being able to leave a hospital.  It would strengthen her, I told him.

Unfortunately, Lucy is not out of the woods yet.  She has a lipoma growing under her left forearm and another small mass on her right side.  The veterinary surgeon was unable to remove them as Lucy was at the limit for anesthesia during this surgery.  (sob, sob)

To all of Lucy's fans in blog and social networking land and Loving Touch Animal Center:  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your pawsitive thoughts regarding Lucy's health.  Dogs are people too.  Woof!

PS:  Read the other posts in this series:

Part 1
Part 3

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lucy Has Cancer, Part 1

This is the most difficult post I've written to date.  As the title indicates, my little Sweet Pea, Lucy (dog), has cancer. I'm sick over this news.

Last year, Lucy had some developed some roly-poly, jelly-like feeling lumps. They were diagnosed as benign fatty tumors (lipomas). Lucy's vet said they did not operate on them until they interfered with walking or became the size of an orange. Well, the one near Lucy's rib cage enlarged to that size. We visited her vet again and the word, sarcoma, became part of our conversation. I was blown away! I didn't realize lipomas could develop into cancer.

I took Lucy to another vet for a second opinion. There we had blood work drawn and a biopsy for each of the two lumps. The one under her leg is benign and the "orange" is malignant spindle cell sarcoma cancer. (sob, sob)

Next week, Lucy is scheduled for surgery to have both lumps removed. Her prognosis is good if all cells are 100% completely removed.  The vet will need to take large margins so it doesn't grow back.  This type of cancer does not respond well to chemo.  Hopefully, she will not need radiation.

Below you will see Lucy on her bed gnawing on a pink tennis ball.  To prepare for surgery, we removed the legs and placed the base on the floor.  She has adjusted nicely to the change.  Of course, I miss her being at the same height as our bed where we gaze directly into each others eyes every morning.  However, this is a small price to pay for her safety while her sutures heal.
Please send your PAWSITIVE thoughts Lucy's way. Thanking you, in advance.

PS:  Read my other posts in this series:

Part 2
Part 3