Saturday, February 28, 2015

Pure Joy

"A day without laughter is a day wasted."- Charlie Chaplin
                  Those words resonate with my heart!
     I think one of the reasons I married my husband is he always make me laugh. In fact when he went away last weekend he short sheeted my bed. The funniest part is, I didn't even notice. Since my husband was gone Odin took over the whole bed. Being the spoiled boy he is, and me being happy to snuggle I just slept sideways. The next day my husband asked me, "How did you sleep?" I said, “Great." He said, "Really because I short sheeted the bed." I had to bust out laughing. My husband is pretty darn funny. I am fortunate that my fur kids can make me laugh as often or more than he does. Laughter is one of the greatest gifts there is. I would like to share a few of these gifts with you.
    As with many kitties, when I open a can Raven comes running and meowing, thinking there must be chicken or tuna in the can. Recently I opened a can of pineapple and of course Raven came running. She will not stop meowing until I show her what is in the can. When I showed her what was in the can, I said, "Look Raven you don't want it, its pineapple." Before I could put the can back up on the counter Odin shoved his face in front of her and stuck his nose and had a bite of pineapple in his mouth before he even knew what he was eating. I could almost hear him saying, “I like pineapple." When he actually got the pineapple in his mouth he thought again, "No I don't like pineapple. Phooey." And he spit it out. Thank you fur friends for the giggle.
    Another laugh out loud moment brought to you by Raven. The other morning, when I was in the bathroom I saw two kitty paws underneath the bathroom door, beckoning to be let in. If you have a kitty most likely you have seen this and laugh every time. We have two doors to our upstairs bathroom one is from the bedroom which is a pocket sliding door, the other is a normal door. When Raven could not get in the normal door she went around to the pocket sliding door and managed to pry it open with one little paw. In the meantime I had opened the other door for her. She looked at me, walked right through the bathroom, like a princess with an air of dignity, and right out the other door. It was as if she was saying, “Thanks door maid lady."
    I also think pets cause us to make us laugh at ourselves as well by just having everyday fun with us. When we play with toys with Odin and Raven, they get so excited and happy that we want to make it more fun and name their toys. Even some of the toys have their songs and silly rhymes that we sing when we play with them. I'm sure my husband would deny it if you ask him but he knows all of the names of the toys too. There is 'Big Head', the big circular stuffed head with just eyes on it. There is Bobo the long dog, whose name has to be sung instead of said. We have Pepper, a stuffed green pepper with legs who has his own song, which is pretty much the same as the" Dr. Pepper" jingle with a few minor changes. I cannot sing that song to Odin without him acting happy and putting a smile on my face too. Of all the toys that we have, Raven's favorite toy is the ring off the milk cap. Nothing can make us laugh more than to see her grab that ring between her toes and fling it up in the air, catch it in her teeth and roll over on her back with joy.
     If I could bottle all the pure joy my furry friends give us, I would be a millionaire. Alas I cannot but, I can share the stories and hold the laughter in my heart every day.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Bite prevention by Odin J.

Odin, Raven and I feel very strongly about bite prevention. We hope to network and educate to keep as many of our pets as safe as possible. We need to RESPECT how the animal feels. We need to teach our children to respect an animal’s personal space and treat them how we want to be treated. Pulling a kitty’s tail or running up to a strange dog and sticking your face in theirs, is not acceptable. We need to teach this to our future leaders, just like slapping your sibling or friend is not acceptable. I feel we need to be the voice for the animals who cannot speak for themselves! Below I have included an excerpt from my book “Furry Philosophy and Memoirs set in stone reintegrating this subject I feel is so very important.

“Odin is a VERY smart boy. Being smart does not mean that he does not have issues. Odin is very fearful of strangers especially men and children. I don’t know what his early life was like, as he was a rescue, before he came to me.
     A very wise trainer I have worked with in the past, said, “Don’t set your dog up for failure. You can work with him in safe situations, but don’t put him in a situation he cannot handle.”  Most of all she taught me to believe in Odin.
     I believe EDUCATON is a major factor in “Bite prevention.”  One of the reasons I started “Future Voices Kids Club” was to educate children. I did this because I wanted dogs like Odin to be safe.  If a child approaches a dog (or cat) without asking and does not know the proper way to approach the dog, it is unfair to the dog. If the dog is fearful, the dog does not know what to do except to protect itself. This is not the dog’s fault but lack of human education. Not only should the dog be trained but children should be trained as well.
     Sadly many pets end up in shelters or worse- euthanized for lack of education and the unwillingness of the owner to dedicate time to the dog and commit to training. One on one training with a kind trainer can be extremely beneficial. Learning helpful methods such as proper door greeting and how to send Odin to a safe “place” which is a rug Odin has learned to go to and has helped so much. This is his place where he can feel safe, that no one will touch him.  When teaching Odin to go to his “place” I was told to point to it. Well, Odin being the smart boy he is, has learned when I point at something , be it my glove I drop in the woods,  or any miscellaneous item , it means I want him to pick it up and hand  it to me . When we first started learning “place” I pointed to “place” and Odin promptly went and picked up the “place” (rug) and handed it to me. I guess he showed me, huh?
      We have tried many things to help Odin with his issues. I worked with several trainers, always making sure I stay kind, patient and constant and that the trainer is not being forceful, which I do not believe in. I have taken TTouch seminars to keep Odin’s energy even and relaxed and I’ve worked with energy workers. Not only have they helped Odin, but they’ve helped me to keep my energy balanced so I can help Odin with his. I also practice canine rally and other exercises to help Odin stay focused on looking to me for direction and trusting me.
       I believe whole heartedly this quote by Stacey O’Brien “To that which you tame, you owe your life”
It is our responsibility to do all we can to help our dogs with their issues and not just throw them away like garbage. After all WE are not perfect and WE have our own issues and no one throws us away.
Sometimes it is just not one solution, but a combination of many. Try to find the right formula that works for both of you as a TEAM!  I highly recommend if your dog has problems don’t ignore them, set them up for failure or lock them up. I suggest working with a reputable trainer; ask your friends or veterinarian for recommendations. Above all make sure your trainer is kind and does not try to use unnecessary force or shock collars as a solution. Combine methods like the ones I have mentioned. There are also many wonderful calming items like the “Thunder Shirt” and “Rescue Remedy” that can help aid your dog if it is distressed.
Have some fun with your dog and be the best dog owner you can. Don’t give up on their beautiful soul. After all they would never give up on you!”
Please join me in spreading the word about bite prevention and share Odin’s video on your Facebook, twitter or Instagram.
Together ONE BY ONE we CAN make a difference!!!!
See Odin's  Bite prevention movie at :

Doggie and kitty kisses

Jodi, Odin and Raven

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Keeping our pets healthy.

“I will acknowledge the profound and continual role of animals in my life as teachers and healers. I will repay this special gift by caring for, writing about and speaking on behalf of animals throughout the course of my life” ~Susan Chernak McElroy

     I believe after many years of working with animals, we need to stick to nature as close as we can, to keep our pets healthy. There are many ways to keep them healthy, not only by their diet, but we also need to be aware of what we put on their bodies and what we expose them to.
Sometimes the best remedies to chemicals and imbalance is going back to nature for balance.
ONLY put things on your pet’s skin that they can eat, as we all know they will lick themselves which lead to ingestion. There are some nasty ingredients out there that can REALLY harm your pet and YES even kill them. So please read ,research and listen to nature and to the animals! Research what they need. If something hurts them , you can go back to nature for answers. Consider researching bone broth and tart cherry juice for joints and cranberry for bladder. I believe the earth provides us with a solution to almost every problem.
     I feel this is best said by my often quoted friend, a wise ol’ bear named Winnie the Pooh, “If people were superior to animals, they'd take better care of the world.” 

 Here is Odin J., aka  my little marshmallow fluff , after his bath in his all natural organic shampoo with a white vinegar  and water rinse. He is thankful the ingredients I put on him, he could eat. His cologne is a mix of water with a couple drops of lavender, which is  safe and calming.
Future blogs will include some research I have done on healthy food, shampoos and supplements to help your furry friends :) 

Till next time,
 Jodi , Odin J. and Raven Roo

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Pondering questions that can't be answered

“He died that day because his body had served its purpose. His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave.”
Garth Stein, the Art of Racing in the Rain
When my dear dog Cheyenne was still in this world, my husband and her were BEST friends. He loves Odin and Odin loves him but Odin is my soul dog. So there was a void I believe after Cheyenne passed.
     When I adopted my kitty Raven my husband DID not want a kitty and I mean DID NOT!
Things change! Somehow my husband and Raven also have become best friends. He will now admit he can’t believe he didn’t want a kitty.
     This is what I am pondering … reincarnation or coincidence?
 Raven is the same color as Cheyenne, could quite possibly be a coincidence
Raven has the same allergy eye as Cheyenne. Whenever Tim sneezes Cheyenne would abruptly get up and leave the room, with Raven the exact scenario happens.
Are these little things a coincidence or possibly Cheyenne has come back to take care of her dad? It is comforting to think so... but there is only one way to find out the answers difinitively  and I am don’t want to know the answer that bad.
In my opinion we have to believe whatever makes our heart happy, and continue to ponder the possibilities.

 Cheyenne :) 


Saturday, February 7, 2015

MY heart

If by chance you follow me, and read my articles in "Cats and Dogs Magazine" you may have already read this piece. I wanted those who haven't read it to have the chance as it is one of my favorites ,or if you have read it , I hope you enjoy the re-read :) Words can never express how much I love my Odin J. but this comes close <3

Doggie and kitty kisses ,
Jodi, Odin and Raven

“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog,
 the world will change forever.”
Karen Davison

     I cannot say this statement without getting choked up and feeling my heart swell. The life of each animal is so precious. I wish I could save all the poor, discarded animals in shelters and on the streets. To see their sad faces can break our hearts. I think you would have to have a heart of steel to be able to watch the shelter commercials on TV, such as the one that features Sarah McLachlan’s “In the Arms of an Angel” without having your heart strings tugged a little. I know I have to change the channel when that particular advertisement comes on. Just because we cannot save them all does not mean we cannot make a difference for one or two of them. It also doesn’t mean we can’t help a select few by giving a little time to volunteering, donating or networking. I feel if we all do just a little bit, we CAN make a difference. I always try to remember what one woman, Ms. Jane Goodall, has accomplished to make a difference. She is my inspiration to always do what I can. I do understand we are all busy and we do have to know our limits to stay sane and not take on too many animals. We should not feel bad because we don’t have time to help every creature. We have to learn to keep that sacred balance or we can get burned out.
     I just cannot fathom throwing a creature away. In this modern world of disposable items, I cannot understand how so many people think it’s okay to give up on a LIFE. There is not one person on this earth who does not have an issue or quirk. We are not thrown in prison for having quirks. If that was the case my husband would have had me locked up years ago, with him following directly behind me.
     My heart and soul dog, Odin J. found his way to me from a rescue in Kalamazoo MI approximately 10 years ago. Even though he had a fair share of fears and imperfections he became the love of my life. I have never loved another being more and we have connected in a way that words cannot properly express. I have tried to help Odin with his issues with continual training that is designed to be fun. He works for his dinner every day and prances around like a puppy, eager to please. All this continuous training has helped him with his issues immensely. He has come a long way but sadly still has a few fears he has not been able to overcome. I try to keep him safe by knowing his limits and not setting him up for failure. I know if there is a house full of running kids that Odin is safer in a locked room instead of stressing him out and taking a chance that he will panic. I cannot imagine throwing my best friend away just because he has issues. I believe it is like when you say “I do” in a marriage you mean “I do” for better or worse. The love and special bond I have received for sticking by my boy for better or worse is priceless. He has become so in tune with me that if I say “uh oh” he comes running to see what I have dropped and hands it to me. He has found many a glove on our walks in the woods and has always brought them back to me.
     I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe I was given my soul dog, Odin, so I could help others who have dogs with special needs and teach them how to give their dogs the life they deserve. I also believe Odin was given to me so I would become active in educating others on bite prevention. There would be a lot less dogs in shelters if education on these topics were more accessible to children and adults alike. As it stands education on how to both generally approach a dog and how to choose the right dog for your specific household is your personal responsibility. It is important to understand that the cute puppy will become a full grown dog with needs of its own.  It is not just a toy you can return 6 months after Christmas because you are bored with it. It is a serious responsibility.
     There is nothing better than the gift of a rescuing a pet and sticking by it for better or worse. In return you will receive an unconditional love that is so amazing and precious, that surely not only the dog’s world but YOUR world will change forever!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pawsome charities, giving back

This photo is what I see EVERYDAY before Odin and I go for a walk. Princess Raven Roo must get a treat at the same time as Odin before we walk out the door. She then proceeds to sit in the window and watch for us to come back. As soon as she sees us, she runs to the door anxiously awaiting for it to open. After one more treat , she must smell Odin head to toe to find out exactly what he has been up to without her. He sits and allows the inspection, but twitches his feet and ears when she tickles them. We are all very fortunate to have each other and Odin and Raven are very thankful for the treats. They know that not everybody is as fortunate as they are.  We want to give back when we can.
When my book, "Furry Philosophy and Memoirs Set in Stone" is sold privately by emailing or calling 231-893-1227 and not through Amazon( as Amazon makes more money on my book than I do) I will donate $5 for every books sold the animal related charity that is featured at the time.You can read the first chapter of my book for free at: 
You may also chose form the list of charities I have featured in the past .
Here is a list of some of them and it will be updated as new ones are added :

Ruff  Readers at Grandville Library in memory of Ben who was a Ruff Reader . The Ruff Reader program encourages children to become better readers and discover the joy of reading.

Pound Buddies of Muskegon dedicated to finding good homes for homeless and abandoned dogs.

National Crisis Response Canine in Memory of Lily and Emma who served proudly  with this wonderful service. When someone is hurting, NATIONAL crisis response canine teams are trained to provide safe compassionate support to people affected by crisis.

Paws with a Cause, enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs

NEADS: : Dogs for the Deaf and Disabled

Puppy Love :15 MILLION+ shelter dogs are euthanized every year in the United States... This is a community of people wanting to make a difference, one life at a time.

Heal with a Horse provides free equine therapy for children with life threatening disease , emotional challenges and autism

Howling Timbers Animal Sanctuary
Their mission statement is “to provide life-long-sanctuary to wolves, wolf dogs and exotic animals that have been neglected, abused, abandoned or relinquished by their previous owner.” 

Making life better,

                  four paws at a time

We are thankful for what we have and think it is only fitting to share some of the PaWsOmE-ness bestowed upon us.
Doggie and Kitty kissies ,
Jodi Odin and Raven

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Welcome ,enjoy the first chapter of Furry Philosophy

So now that I have written a book , "Furry Philosophy and Memoirs Set in Stone" I should take  the next step and start blogging. Because I am new at this please feel free to offer ideas on how to help me promote this. My words are my mission to help share the Philosophy given to me by forever faithful and loving furry friends. Today is Superbowl Sunday and I have to admit football is not our game.Thankfully Odin and Raven have helped me designate this as Snuggling Sunday, time to experiment with blogging.
      To start out this blog I think I should share my first chapter of my book to give you alittle info about us.


     For years now I have been carrying a notebook around in my purse with the intention of “someday” writing a book.  It took my sweet dog, Cheyenne, to finally get me take those notes and put them into some form of order.

     Cheyenne, who was 14 years old when she passed, had been fishing for about 10 years. To her, fishing was the best thing in the world. She never caught any; it was definitely the thrill of the chase. In her younger days she could give a bass a run for its money until it swam to a point Cheyenne couldn’t touch the bottom. She would run into the water as fast as lighting to chase after a fish. Once that fish was in deep water she would just stop and walk back to search for more. Wading was her thing; swimming was not! If she accidently went too far and had to swim she resembled a child learning to swim and her front paws would flail in the air.   It looked like she was saying, “Help I’m drowning. I am drownnnnnnnnnning. Ahhhhhh.”  When she was wading she would   stand with her nose just brushing the water with her tail doing an eternal loop de loop. If she saw even a small shadow she would take a leap in the air and bang her two front paws down into the water with all the force she could muster, then she would sniff the water as if wondering where the fish was. It reminded me of Yukon Cornelius from Rudolph the Red nose reindeer  when he was looking for silver and gold and  he would throw his pick ax up in the air and the ax would land in the snow and he’d pick it up and sniff, sniff, sniff, and say, “Aw nothing.” Maybe I have watched that show too many times, but I could almost hear Cheyenne saying that phrase, “Aw nothing” just like Yukon Cornelius used to say as if Cheyenne really had expected to catch a fish by bashing them with her front paws.  She would fish in her younger days until the sun went down. People passing by always stopped to watch her because her happiness and joy was so contagious.

     This past summer my youngest dog Odin, who was 6 years old at the time, all of a sudden realized what Cheyenne was doing. Now he is “hooked” fish line and sinker. He has even given it a new twist by pacing up and down the dock, stalking the fish, until he sees one. Then he takes a flying leap into the water. Odin definitely watched Cheyenne to learn this behavior, but does it his way and will even swim out deep to follow a fish. It is as if Cheyenne passed her legacy down to her brother. Shortly after this Cheyenne had been diagnosed with kidney failure and was not doing very well. On her good days she still fished. She was doing what she loved best and was living life to its fullest. I started to notice when she was too tired to fish and would rest by the shore; it is as if she was watching Odin with pride while he fished. I could almost hear her say “Atta boy” as she lay with her paws crossed, looking regal.  Cheyenne fished until two days before she passed away.  She could not see well but still enjoyed just being in the water, circling and jumping after imaginary shadows.

     If Cheyenne can pass her legacy down to Odin and leave her mark on the world in that way, and many more ways than I can count, then maybe she is telling me it is time to leave my mark on the world.

     I believe that our pets come to this earth to teach us our greatest lessons and help us through the rough spots. Being the amazing creatures that they are, they ask for nothing but a little love and food in return, a very small price to pay in my opinion. Animals are so intuitive. They speak to us and teach us lessons every day. We just have to pay attention and listen.

   It was said best by a wise ol’ bear named Winnie the Pooh when he said “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem.”

    I would like to share some of the wisdom passed on to me by the amazing animals I have encountered in my life.

    The wisdom they have given me is truly a gift and I think it is time I share it.

Until the next time we share some of our Furry Philosophy
xoxo Jodi , Odin and Raven

Odin and Raven on Snuggle Sunday