Tuesday, December 31, 2013

One More Blog

Since it is December 31, I thought I would write one more blog for 2013 to summarize the year.  Two words come to mind, change and firsts.  It was a year full of changes without our sweet Rudy, which lead to a year full of firsts.

One thing has remained constant, the weather has been crazy!  We had a late Spring - snow on the ground in May.  Our summer was too cold or too hot, never in between.  Fall was nice, but short.  We are experiencing our second round of multiple sub zero days in a row.  The forecast states we will have another starting next week.  I know we live in Minnesota, but this is not normal!  When it is this cold it hurts my feet.  The ice freezes my toes together.  OUCH!

My kitty friends gave me two new blue toys.  They are smaller then me and I pretend they are my little brothers.  I have met a couple of new dog friends and a couple new humans that invited me to sleepovers a few times.  I played Frisbee at home in my backyard and hung out with neighbor friends Hobey and Gertie.

Mommy and Daddy kept up with Rudy's Little World and I started writing the blog.  Rudy was a good mentor.

Another part of my life that has not changed is I know how much I am loved.  Mommy and Daddy have always and will always love me and my brothers, this will never change.

Mommy got a shirt that says, "All my children have paws."  And she wears it with pride.  She also has a necklace with all the birth stones of me and my brothers.  She never takes it off.

So in a year of changes, 2013 was full of love.  I know 2014 will be too.  Other than that, who knows what is in store.  I would be happy with the love and more nice Frisbee weather!

Happy New Year, I hope it's full of love for you.

We echo the sentiment of our good friend Helen, we "truly hope 2014 will bring blessings exceeding the number of trials that 2013 held for you."

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Chirstmas / Happy Holidays, One Year Ago

Cold air ushered in this holiday week with a daytime high of 5 degrees.  It will definitely be a white Christmas around our home.  This is very different from last year.  Many things are different this year.  It is our first Christmas without Rudy's energy and enthusiasm.  I miss watching him run around in his little winter coat.
One year ago, we gave Rudy T-shirts or mugs to our friends and family.  We had no idea at the time it would be our last Christmas with him.  We wonder if he knew.  It was his idea for the gifts.  He was always very generous, a great big brother and friend.
Mommy and Daddy put up all the musical decorations to make it look festive.  Mommy also sings carols to me and that makes me happy.  Our Christmas socks hang over my head.
We donated gifts to "Toys for Tots" to help brighten the day for some children.  We also made some donations to local charities to help provide some holiday cheer.  I plan on giving extra kisses on Christmas Day to add to the cause.
We have attended a couple of holiday parties and have a few more to go.....
We have kept ourselves busy with some baking and Christmas Cards.  It is always fun to hear about the lives of our friends and to catch up on their adventures.
As this year comes to a close, we reflect on all the changes that have occurred and realize time is precious and should not be wasted.  Cherish it and use it wisely - once it's gone, it's gone.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

One More Milestone

In a year of firsts, we celebrated another milestone.  On December 5th, 2003 (ten years ago), an anonymous family made the difficult decision to donate their loved one's pancreas to Mommy.  We don't know them except for the fact that it was a Florida woman about Mommy's age.  During a tremendously sad time they made a very generous caring gift.  The pancreas transplant cured Mommy's type I diabetes.  The disease had already taken her eyesight, kidneys and was starting to cause other issues.  We believe this transplant helped save her life.

It is amazing how fast time flies.  The older we get, the more milestones we reach.  Next year we will have a few more, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.  A little hint is they have to do with birthdays!

In this year of firsts without our sweet Rudy, we also need to remember these important dates in our lives.  They are the challenges, the opportunities, and the events that determine our paths in life.

As a young yellow lab, I can't help but wonder if this is the coldest December on record.  I'm only 4, but I've never known temperatures this low.  My poor paws are freezing!  More snuggle time for me!

Love,
Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Special Note

When watching "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer," please take particular note of Yukon Cornelius' sled team.  One might expect them to be made up of huskies or some other kind of sled dog.  That is not the case.  A Collie, a Beagle, a blue dog and a little black Poodle do the honors.  Of course, the little Poodle is in the front, leading the way.  Very fitting, we believe!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Blink an Eye, Another Holiday Goes By

It seems just like yesterday when I was dressed like a shark for Halloween.  Now it's the day after Thanksgiving and there are only 25 days to shop for Christmas!  Hanuka just began and before you know it, we will start a new year.

While Mommy and Daddy were starting their Thanksgiving prep, we were watching, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."  It has been a long time tradition in our home.  This year we watched it with mixed emotions.  At one point we'd laugh, the next we'd cry.  The show reminds us a lot of our sweet Rudy.

Rudolph's personality, mannerisms and even the voice are just like Rudy.  When Rudolph leaps in the air exclaiming, "She thinks I'm cute!" during flying practice was a hard spot.  All of us immediately thought of little Rudy jumping four feet over a two inch threshold or even a small stick with great enthusiasm.  I'm sure he could fly!

Mommy and Rudy wrote a story called, "Rudy the Red-Nosed Poodle," after this Christmas favorite.  Everything is happening so fast.  I'm just a four year-old Mellow Yellow Lab and I can't keep up!

I wonder why the calendar makers decided to have so many holidays close together?  Something to ponder.  I think I will - while I nap on the couch by the window.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fun Fair - Bye Bye Warm Weather

A rainy day did not ruin our fun at the 2013 Local Authors Fair.  40 Authors from around the Twin Cities Metro area participated in the fair, representing all genres.  Genre is a fancy word meaning types of books like children, poetry, mystery or romance.

Mommy and Daddy met several people - both children and adults.  They sold a few books and might have made a couple contacts for future speaking engagements.  Since they are established writers and presenters now, they were able to give some good advice to a couple of the rookies.

Our table looked very professional.  Mommy and Daddy always do a great job.  Daddy made a slide show of the event, so I will attach it to this blog.  I hope you have a moment to check it out.

The days have been getting shorter and the temps are slowly going down.  The weather guessers say tomorrow might be our last day in the 40's for a while.  Minnesota gets very cold and stays that way for a long time!  We may get some snow this weekend.  Optimistically, the snow could be a soft covering for my landings when I catch the Frisbee.  It's never too cold to play Frisbee!

Love,
Boomer! the Mellow Yellow Lab


Sunday, November 10, 2013

1111

1111, a very significant number as it stands for November 11th.  The date is important for numerous reasons.  first and foremost, it is Veteran's Day.  Those of us living in the United States should take a moment to thank the honorable men and women who have served our country and protected our freedoms.  Daddy is a veteran, so we always celebrate Veteran's Day.
Another important event happened on November 11, 1983.  That is the day Mommy went in for her last eye surgery to save her sight.  By noon, it was dark.  She couldn't see anymore.  We celebrate that day too because it was a turning point in Mommy's life.  (Which means it's an important point in the rest of our lives.)
In many ways, Mommy thinks losing her sight was a blessing.  It has helped her become the person she is today.  Although it changed some of the goals she had as a young person, so many better opportunities have happened that might not have occurred had she not lost her sight.  That is what she calls changing challenges into opportunities.
Who would have known, a 19 year old newly blind girl would eventually meet the man of her dreams, graduate college with honors, have 5 fabulous puppies, 3 transplants, write 5 children's books, have a comfortable house, wonderful supportive friends, give presentations on both coasts, and do at least 3 TV interviews!  Wow!
In his typical understated assessment, Daddy would say, "That's not too bad."  I think so too!
Love,
Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Never a Dull Moment

After the Kidney Walk, Mommy and Daddy decided they needed a break.  Off to Vegas, baby, Vegas!  they really enjoy Las Vegas.  There are many places to explore, so that means a lot of walking and it doesn't cost much money.  Mommy and Daddy are really into walking now.  They find it relaxing.  They also went on a gondola ride, saw a show called "Rock of Ages" and ate fresh pasta called Gnocchi.  The show was full of music for old people (80's Hair Bands), so they liked it.  I had a staycation with my friend Jennifer and her family.  My furry friends Max and small white dog were there.  The two little ones jumped on me and off we went!  Fun time for Boomer! (That's me!)

Every day we also went on walks.  I guess you could say walking runs in the family.  Hey, that's funny!

Shortly after their return from Vegas, Mommy and Daddy went to the Apple Orchard.  Puppies are not allowed there anymore, otherwise I would have gone too.  They brought home many yummy apples.  Very tasty!

For Halloween, I dressed up like a shark.  Daddy put a fin on top of my head.  It kind of felt like a Mohawk.  Little kids walked up and down the street.  I was too busy barking all night, so I didn't get to see their costumes close up.  I had to bark because I wanted to make sure my friends Gertie and Hobey were safe.  That's kind of my thing now, "the protector!"

"Candy Gram!"

Love,
Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Short and Sweet

Here it is!  Daddy made a fabulous slide show of this year's Kidney Walk.  We can't thank the walkers and donors enough for their support, encouragement and spirit.  As you will see, everyone had a great time!

Other news of note: the weather is freezing!  There were a few scattered snow flakes in the sky yesterday.

We were accepted in to a book fair taking place on November 16.  I will write more about that as we get closer to the event.  I am sending Mommy and Daddy to be our representatives.  Mommy can talk to the people and Daddy can see to count money, so I think they make a good team.

Since I said this blog would be short and sweet, I will bid a fond adieu (that's French for good bye for now).  It just dawned on me, short and sweet describes Rudy.  I guess he's never far from our minds and hearts.

Love,
Boomer! the Mellow Yellow Lab

http://youtu.be/oyriFbZhoNY

Friday, October 18, 2013

Poodle Pride

Many thanks to Rudy's Little Walkers.  So sorry for the delay in writing this blog.  I wanted to write sooner, but Mommy and Daddy were out of town.  They didn't think I'm responsible enough to have the computer password, so I had to wait until they got home.

Saturday, October 12th was the annual Kidney Walk for the NKF.  It was a cool, windy day but no snow or rain!  The weather was quite accommodating for our activities.  We did a lot of walking, running and dancing, so the breeze kept us from overheating.

Rudy's Little Walkers were well represented with 27 people and two dogs named Barkley and Romeo.  Barkley came dressed as a biker and Romeo was a hot dog.  Very cute!  Our people representatives were of all ages.

I think our team was the best because we had the most spirit.  Everyone was very excited and energetic.  We walked in a big group and if people got separated we waved our pom poms so they could find us.

There were a bunch of the local sports team mascots that led the crowd in a warm up dance called the "Cupid Shuffle."  Mommy tried to show our group how to do it before they started.  She loves to dance.  It is a dream of hers to be part of a group dance flash mob.  She says it's on her "bucket list."

There was a great "Fun Zone" for the kids to enjoy.  Three great teens named Grace, Sophia and Kathryn painted an awesome picture what will be auctioned off at an event this spring.  Mommy and Daddy hope to bid on it.  They made a picture of dear Rudy and it was so touching.

A super young lady named Anna made bracelets to sell to raise money for the NKF.  She made 50 bracelets and sold them for 50 cents each.  She donated the $25.  What a thoughtful young lady.  I thought it was awesome!

Daddy is making a slide show, so I'll post that soon.

Our little Rudy was so proud of his team.  He was there in spirit and I know he was dancing all day!

Nobody knew this, but Mommy had a photo of Rudy she carried in the pocket of her hoodie.  She touched it from time to time all day so she definitely felt his presence.

Many thanks to our team for supporting us.

Rudy's Little Walkers raised $2045.00 for the NKF.
There were 3500 participants that raised $262,000.00!


Love,
Boomer! the Mellow Yellow Lab

Monday, September 30, 2013

Walk Talk

When Rudy was excited he did his "Happy Dance."  I am sure he is doing it right now up in heaven.
The response for this year's Kidney Walk for the NKF has been amazing.  In fact, it's a bit overwhelming!
Friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and even some strangers have signed on to walk for Team Rudy.
One of the 10 year old team members made bracelets to sell so she could donate money to the NKF.  Hearing that story brought tears to Mommy's eyes.  It is a beautiful example of how caring people are and how much Rudy has touched lives.
Rudy's Little Walkers will have 33 members!  Mommy and Daddy have participated in the walk for many years and they don't remember seeing a team as big as ours.  What a wonderful tribute.
Both children and adults are honoring Rudy's memory and supporting a cause very important to him and his family on Saturday, October 12 at Thomson Reuters campus in Eagan.
Not only have we had a wonderful response from walkers, but donations from all over the country have made their way here so we know they are supporting the team and the NKF in spirit.  At the time this blog was written - we are just over $1000.00!  WOW!  If I could do the Happy Dance, I sure would.  I am a little to tall to do it like Rudy.  He had a way of bouncing and balancing on his back feet better then anyone else.  I will run around in circles chasing my tail.  I will call that my "Happy Dance" in honor of Rudy and his "Happy Dance."  I think Rudy would approve.
The only things we have left to worry about are weather and everyone making it to the event.  Neither of these are in our control.  (Tell Mommy that, she worries about everything!)  Thanks to everyone for the unbelievable outreach and support.
Love,
Boomer! the Proud Poochie Mellow Yellow Lab

Friday, September 13, 2013

One At a Time

Weather, like so many other things in life, is unpredictable.  You can't really count on what is going to happen next.  Monday, we had 90 degree temperatures.  By Friday, it was 60.  The only constant was no rain fell.  My beautiful green backyard is now dirt.  I can still play Frisbee, but the landings are a bit harder when I jump for it.
Recently, we have had contact with two of our young heroes.  If you read the Blog called, "The value of One," you remember our little friend that wanted to meet Mommy and gave her the poem, and the woman that gave Mommy and Daddy a hug because she realized her daughter would experience true love one day because of their story.
We were happy to find out both young heroes are doing well and are happily enjoying life.  We even found out one of them lives very close to us!  She was inspired by Mommy's writing and has been writing stories of her own.  We look forward to reading them.
The other young girl is now going to school full time and enjoys swimming.
In the last week, we were also contacted by mothers of two 7 year olds.  One is local and the other lives in Georgia.  They both had wonderful things to say about Rudy Gets A Transplant.
The local mom used the book to explain the transplant their uncle had 4 years ago.  She thanked us and the library for having a book like Rudy Gets A Transplant.  She said it described the process exactly and was very entertaining for her son, too.
The Georgia mom said her daughter loved the book and loved "that a little dog had a transplant just like me!"  She was so excited about the book, the mom just had to write and let us know.  She is also going to recommend it to her transplant team.
It's too bad large publishers can't understand the importance of books like Rudy Gets A Transplant.  Many children like to learn.  Not everything has to have vampires or princesses.  Just little dogs named Rudy explaining difficult topics.
It's nice to know that even though we are not reaching thousands of people at a time, we can still reach out to one at a time.  In some ways that's actually better.  We get to hear their stories and they get to know we've walked the same road.  That makes it worth the effort.
Love,
Boomer! aka El Poochino the Mellow Yellow Lab.  (I'm not sure what name I like better!)

http://www.rudyslittleworld.com/images/ELC%20Ariana%20and%20Stacy.jpg
Mommy and one of our little heroes

Friday, August 30, 2013

Once A Year

The summer is almost over, and kids are going back to school.  What a perfect time for a heat wave to hit us!  That has kind of put a damper on our outdoor activities, too dangerous to spend any time outside.

I have come up with a creative nickname for myself.  A few weeks ago, I told Mommy and Daddy I wanted to be called Poochy.  I don't know why, it just felt right.  Well, being a part of this "crazy" family means every nickname eventually evolves to something else.  Daddy gets the prize for this one.  He changed my nickname to El Poochino.  It's supposed to be after some famous actor from years ago.  It has a nice ring to it, so I am keeping it.  Stay tuned for some funny lines and send-offs from "El Poochino."

We think social media helped Rudy's Little World a bit last week.  A nice group of kidney moms on Facebook contacted us.  They were interested in our dialysis and transplant books.  It feels good to help.  We sold nine books.  And helped them feel better.  That's what Rudy's Little World is all about.

As many of you know, it has been a hard year on our family.  Health issues and our Rudy going to heaven have hit us hard.  This year, we are doing something special for the Kidney Walk in October.  We participate every year, but this year has added significance.  We are doing it in loving memory of Rudy.  It is also to show support for our family who has been through so much.  Please strongly consider joining our team and show your support.  We need the physical sign of unity.  Collecting donations is voluntary, not necessary.  Your presence is the important thing.

It's Saturday October 12th at Thompson Reuters Campus in Eagan.  Signup, free food and entertainment start at 9am.  Walk is from 10 to 11am.  More free food and entertainment follow and last until noon.  You may leave any time.  All of our walkers receive a free "Team Rudy" T-shirt - another sign of unity and support.  It's what Rudy would have wanted and loved.

Thank you from his family.

Love,
Boomer! the Mellow Yellow Lab aka El Poochino "Let me introduce you to my little friend."  (it's Crush, my orange ball!)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Up Early, Bed Late

If early to bed, early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy and wise...  I think late to bed, early to rise makes you sleepy, sluggish and numb.

Our house has been a flurry of activity this week.  We had some windows and doors replaced.  I met two nice men that liked me very much.  In order for them to replace the windows, we had to take our curtains and shades down, move furniture and clean the garage.  Wow!  That was a lot of work!  It looks very nice now.

Although I'm sure they would have liked to play Frisbee with me, I went to my friendly puppy day care for a visit.  That was fun.  I saw my old friends, both human and puppy.  We caught up on what has been happening since my last visit and took many walks.  The weather was gorgeous, so we spent a lot of time outside.  I tried to teach Max how to play Frisbee, but he is too small.

Max is a tiny schnauzer.  He reminds me of my  brother, Rudy.  He makes my heart happy.  I taught all the little dogs a new trick I learned from Rudy.  He was known as the mighty hunter.  Rudy used to search the backyard for the biggest stick.  When he found it, he'd sneak up on it and grab it with his mouth.  He would prance around the yard showing everyone his latest capture.  He was a proud poodle!

I showed all my friends at day care the mighty hunter routine and we had a contest.  It made all the humans laugh.  I guess 5 dogs of varying sizes prancing around with big sticks in their mouths would look funny.

Love,
Boomer! the Mellow Yellow Lab


Sunday, August 4, 2013

4

This blog will not be introspective or thought provoking.  It will be just fluff, covering three of my favorite subjects. - my birthday, playing Frisbee and the weather!

On Friday, August 2, I turned four years old.  That is one whole paw!  I woke up to the sounds of Mommy and Daddy singing "Happy Birthday."  This guy named Birthday Bear sang along.  I think he might be a little crazy.  He only shows up on birthdays, sings his song and then goes somewhere until the next birthday.  I don't know where he hides, I can't find him.  My brother Rudy tried wrestling him one time, but that didn't seem to scare him.  Birthday Bear must be pretty tough with an excellent memory.

For my birthday, I received a brand new red Frisbee.  I love it!  The Frisbee flies through the air like a warm knife through butter.  Daddy told me that means "smooth and easy."  Professional Frisbee is definitely in my future.

The weather the last few weeks was nothing to complain about except for last weekend.  Sixty degrees in July is not normal for Minnesota!  I guess nothing about this year has been normal.  These last few days have been gorgeous!  When the sun shines and there is not rain, everyone is happy!  Especially me.

It was a great birthday!  The strange bear, singing all day, new Frisbee and decent weather.  All in all - I am a happy puppy.

Love,
Boomer! the 4 year old Mellow Yellow Lab

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Value of One

Sometime in the spring of 2006, one woman decided to share stories about her little poodle.  Thus began Rudy's Little World.  When  it comes right down to it, one could say this little world actually began on July 9, 2004, when an energetic little guy named Rudy bounced into our home and hearts.  Instantly, he impacted lives and hearts forever.  Who knew the affect little Rudy would have on the big world.

Although the writing began in 2006, ideas came from years of personal experiences in the lives of Rudy and Mommy.

It was decided at an early stage in the adventure to cover difficult but interesting subjects that would help inform and educate people including children.  That was our mission.

After five books (there might be a sixth) www.RudysLittleWorld.com has been visited by every continent but Antarctica.  Rudy's books are shared in the three continents of: North America, Europe and Australia.  This includes the countries of the United States, Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Australia.  People in 48 of the 50 United States have at least one or two Rudy books.  We have been from coast to coast sharing our little world with groups that range in size from 7 to 900 and ages 18 months to 80 years.
  • We hoped we could educate and positively affect others.  In return many have affected our lives and hearts.
  • A young girl reading aloud to find out what's on Rudy's nose.
  • Another young girl losing her sight who wanted to meet Mommy & give her a poem that said "You are so cool."
  • A group of nine year old boys labelled as behaviorally challenged that were so sweet and attentive, they asked questions like: "Do you move with the Earth?" - "Where are the kidneys on a shark?" - and "Have you ever tried glasses?" You see, Mommy is blind.
  • Young children who have decided they want to become authors because they have seen Rudy's presentation.
  • A little Daisy Scout who cried in Mommy's arms as she shared the recent loss of her furry friend.  After their talk, the scout decided to name her new girl puppy "Ruby" in honor of Rudy (who is a boy).
  • Twenty eight children who squealed when they found out they would receive a free "Rudy" book.
  • A mother telling her child "You see this name? (autographed book)  This is what makes the book special."
  • A mother telling her daughter "You have one kidney."  Little girl, "Did I donate one?"  Mother, "No, you were born with only one."  Girl, "Oh.  Well I only need one."
  • A little boy who still feels like a "Rock Star," because he is mentioned in one of my brother Rudy's books.
  • A twenty six year old PKD dialysis patient who finally has a book (Rudy's Incredible Kidney Machine) he can read and understand himself.
  • People so touched by our story they cry and stand to applaud.
  • Others walk up to us and hug us with gratitude.
  • The Mother of a young disabled girl that saw Mommy and Daddy present, and for the first time in her life - realized with great relief that her daughter would also find a true love one day, too.
Who would ever imagine one little poodle in one little family in one little world could have reached so many people in so many places?

Love,
Boomer! One Mellow Yellow Lab

Sunday, July 14, 2013

How Many Lives does a Mommy Have?

I think my mommy is part cat.  Why do I make that statement?  If the old saying, "a cat has nine lives" is true - my mommy must be part cat.  If my count is correct, Mommy is on her fourth life and that does not included the times, for instance - November 1983, when the doctors said she wouldn't make it.

Her first life started on March 7, 1964, when Mommy was born.  The second was on May 9, 1995, when Auntie Tammy donated a kidney to Mommy.  The gift gave her another life.

Her third life began on December 4, 2003, after an anonymous non-living donor gave Mommy a pancreas.  Now Mommy has a new pancreas, and that cured her diabetes as well.

On July 16, 2009, Daddy donated a kidney, so Mommy could have another kidney transplant.  Without it, she wouldn't be here.  Because of the generosity of these three donors, Mommy is now on her fourth life.  Wow!  I always thought she had to be part puppy because of my brothers and me, but she has to be part cat, too!

With all of the donated organs, I would say she is part of a lot of living beings.  Life is amazing; we are more connected than we can imagine.  Think about it.

Love,
Boomer! the mellow yellow lab

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Celebrating Daddy

Wow!  Another day to celebrate Daddy.  Last month we had Happy Daddy's Day and this weekend was Happy Birthday Daddy Day.  The night before his birthday, everyone shoots off fireworks.  Mommy told me that is to celebrate the birthday of our country, but I think it is to kick off Daddy's Birthday.  I believe everyone knew Daddy would be awesome when he was born.

We sang the "Happy Birthday" song several times throughout the day.  I do not sing well, but I do bark and wag my tail in time to the music.  I just know Rudy is dancing in heaven.  It is great fun!  Mommy took Daddy out for dinner and had a good meal.

Love,
Boomer! the Mellow Yellow Lab


Daddy's Steak!
Mommy and the Birthday Boy




Mommy's Shrimp - MMMMMM!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Two Great Days

Brief note about last week's blog: a grammatical error and typo appeared in last week's guest blog when it was originally posted.  As editor, I take full responsibility.  I am still learning and Rudy has big paw's to fill.  I will continue to work hard.  Thank you!
Boomer!

A good day was had by all on Father's Day.  It was fun hanging out with Daddy.  I gave him this fabulous card with a picture of a yellow lab on it.  Mommy made him a card.  It was a bit dorky, but we'll give her an A for effort.  Daddy has taken an interest in photography, so we got him a new camera.  He used it for our program last week.

The program at the Hastings Library last week really went well.  We were a little worried since it was our first one since our little Rudy went to heaven, but I think we were prepared.  Mommy and Daddy practiced reading the stories a few times.  That was going to be one of the harder parts, but Daddy sailed through it with one small catch in his throat.  Mommy was even able to join in on the song!

Mommy tried a new technique with the group.  Instead of doing most of the talking, she asked questions, especially when a difficult subject seemed imminent.  It kept the audience going and kids love to share!  We still shared a lot of information with them, but didn't reach uncomfortable stages.

The whole audience was very responsive, clapping, laughing and interacting.  It was the biggest group we ever had at the Hastings Library.  We saw some of Rudy's fans - Caleb, Owen and Addison.  It is fun to watch them get older and their love for Rudy is so clear.

Mommy decided the night before that we were going to give a free book of their choice to everyone as a gift.  We usually give little gift bags, but a book just felt right.  We knew Rudy would have wanted it that way.  They loved it!

Only Barb, the librarian could tell Mommy and Daddy were emotional.  She said it was "in their eyes."  Eyes can't hide things.  I guess that's why they are called the windows to our souls!

Here is a slide show of "Story time with Stacy."  That is what the library titled our program.  Stacy is Mommy's other name.  We hope you enjoy.
video

Love,
Boomer! the Mellow Yellow Lab

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Legacy

Guest Blog from Mommy:
Prayers or good thoughts would be greatly appreciated for us on Wednesday June 19.  It is our first children's program since little Rudy went to heaven.  I have not been able to say Rudy's name in a sentence without tears and trembles since his celebration of life.  I believe shock, sleep deprivation and adrenaline helped us make it through that day.  Now reality has set in.

I do not want to upset the kids and the phrases "giving up" and "not meeting a commitment" are not part of my character.  It will be a challenge.

I used to believe Niche's saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  Stronger is not the word I would use anymore.  Perhaps something like it "changes you" would be more accurate.  Change doesn't have to be negative.  It can make you motivated, driven, empathetic, kind, introspective or informed.  I'm not going to lie and say sad or confused don't creep into the mix once in a while.

A dear old friend recently told me, "time doesn't make a loss easier, it just makes it different."  This is true.  I have always believed in remaining positive and and will try to continue that belief.  Now it has an even more powerful purpose.... and that purpose is to carry on Rudy's legacy.  That little guy never gave up.

I was recently reminded that "Rudy is not only special to us, he is special to many."  Heartfelt thanks to Jill, Michelle, Merry and Courtney for their encouragement.

Gratefully,
Stacy
(Boomer! will return next week with his regular Blog)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Anniversaries

Anniversaries commemorate life changing events.  Some are happy, some sad.  Some affect the world while some are just in our heart alone.

Mommy and Daddy recently celebrated their wedding anniversary, a day which happily impacted the lives in our little world.  My brothers and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for that special day!

Last Saturday, Mommy and Daddy had a fabulous dinner at a nice place called Kincaid's.  They would highly recommend it for a special occasion.  The people there were friendly and helpful.  Daddy had a wonderful steak that he could cut with a butter knife.

I had steak once, too.  It was sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to go outside on the grill.  I saw it, it looked good, so I ate it.  I didn't need to worry about cutting it, I gulped it down.  I had a little stomach ache later, but it was worth it!  Mommy and Daddy still don't believe it.

Mommy had crab cakes and asparagus.  She likes to eat healthy.  It sounds good, but I think I prefer the steak!

To top off the evening, the nice people gave Mommy and Daddy a desert called Creme Brule!  That is french for "burnt cream."  They said it was delicious!  Silky and smooth custard with a crust of brown sugar on top.  It was served with fresh berries - Yum, Yum!

Love,
Boomer! the Mellow Yellow Lab


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Is Spring Finally Here?

The lilacs are blooming!  The lilacs are blooming!  These fragrant blossoms are a sure sign that it will not snow again this year.  Well, probably not snow again this year.  Nothing is for sure in Minnesota!

We just wrapped up a two week fundraiser book sale for the PKD Foundation.  PKD stands for Polycystic Kidney Disease.  It is the most common kidney disease but also affects other organs, like the eyes.  Of course, we always wish we could have done more, but we did our best.  We were very excited to receive our first two orders ever from Australia.  Rudy's down under!  We are preparing for a children's program in June.  It will be the first one Mommy has given since Rudy went to heaven.  She is nervous, worried she might cry, but I know Rudy will give her strength.  When she gets home, I will give her many kisses from Rudy and me.

Memorial Day was uneventful.  Daddy wanted to take his annual motorcycle ride to Fort Snelling, but it rained.  We have had a lot of rain.  I hope the sun will make an appearance one of these days.  Muddy conditions hamper my Frisbee playing.

Mommy and Daddy are celebrating their anniversary on Saturday.  They told me the number of years, but it was a big number I never heard of before.  They must be really old!

Love,
Boomer! the Mellow Yellow Lab

Saturday, May 18, 2013

PKD, Prance, Present and Milestone

"Slow down, don't pull.  Slow down, don't pull."  I hear Rudy's words of wisdom constantly as I practice walking with Mommy and Daddy.  He is my teacher, having a show dog style prance.  I'll get there.  Unlike his walking, Rudy ran with heavy feet.  Often, it was hard to tell us apart!  Affectionately, Mommy and Daddy called Rudy, "Thunder hoofies" and me, "Dainty feet."  It's funny when a 10 pound poodle sounds like a 70 pound yellow lab.  (Although, I do feel like a little dog, sometimes.)

For "Mommy's Day," the boys gave Mommy a beautiful necklace.  Daddy helped us.  It has the birthstone of each of our birthdays.  Mommy loved it.


We are helping a wonderful organization called the PKD Foundation with a fundraiser May 13 - 27.  Twenty percent of all gross book sales will be donated to their worthy cause.  PKD stands for Polycystic Kidney Disease and it affects 12 and a half million people world wide.  It is the top kidney disease and can even affect different organs in the body along with the kidneys.

Rudy's Little World hit a milestone this week.  We had our first sale from Australia!  That is very far away.  Maybe someday I will visit Australia and hop with the kangaroos.

Our weather is still swinging back and forth, I don't know what to say about that anymore.  So I won't.

Love,
Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Lucky

Within three days we reached our first 60, our first 70 and our first 80 degree day of the season!  On May 1, it snowed.  U N B E L I E V A B L E !

I have had a chance to see my neighbor friends more often.  Gertie and I keep track of the neighborhood.  My friend, Hobey Baker, got bit under his eye by another dog.  He wore a cone on his head for a few days, but now he's feeling much better.

Mommy and Daddy went to the 50th anniversary of the transplant program at the University of Minnesota.  They are one of the pioneers of transplants.  In fact - they performed the first kidney transplants on diabetics.  We are very lucky to live so close to wonderful, forward thinking medical facilities.

There was a ceremony for all the living donors.  Mommy has had two living donors.  My Aunt Tammy, who gave Mommy 14 extra years of life and Daddy, who has given just under 4 years.  190 living donors were recognized.  Wow!  It was amazing.  Can you imagine the number of people that wouldn't be here if it weren't for living donors?  Mommy was very lucky to have two generous and caring people in her life.  I know my life would be a lot different if it weren't for them.

Thank you Auntie Tammy and Daddy!  You gave me life, too!


I am starting to practice my walking skills with Mommy and Daddy.  I tend to pull on the lead.  Right now, we are content with the back yard.  I don't have to protect my people very much there, so I can concentrate on walking slow.  Rudy's walking with us in spirit.

Love,
Boomer! the Grateful Mellow Yellow Lab

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An Incredible Little Guy

April 24th is the anniversary of Rudy's birthday.  He would have been 9 years old.  Our hearts still ache.  Rudy will always have quite an impact on our lives.  He is an incredible little guy.  We miss him and look forward to seeing him again.  We'll meet you on the Rainbow Bridge, okay Rudy?

Here is an awesome example of happiness and love.  It takes about 3 minutes to download, but is well worth the time.  We hope you enjoy and it brings a big smile to your face.

Love,
The Boom!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Nothing Normal about This Year

In Minnesota, the average temperature for today is 55 degrees.  Since we got 3 or 4 inches of snow, we didn't even get close this year.

Our event last Saturday was all right.  We met some new people.  The attendance has been going down the last few years.  I believe that is because they have shifted the focus from "Donate Life" to just kidney education.  We hope they go back to both issues.  Mommy wore Rudy's guardian angel pin for strength.  I think it helped.  We know he was there in spirit.

I had another play date this week.  Max the little guy was there, so we hung out.  Bella, my friend who is also a girl was not there.  I wonder if she found out I already have a girl friend?  It is fun at puppy care, I enjoy my human friends as much as my furry friends  The kids call me, "Boom!"  I like that.

Since April is National Donate Life Month, we posted our T.V. Videos on our facebook page.

Love,
Boomer! the Mellow Yellow Lab

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My New Bud

Can you believe they are forecasting more snow in Minnesota this weekend?  I know some other states are having the same kind of weather, but this is crazy!  For everyone with real Spring temperatures and green grass, you're lucky dogs!

Mommy and Daddy got me a new friend.  His name is Bud.  He is a yellow squeaky ball.  I can only visit Crush, the orange ball, once in a while because of the hole I made.  I have been more gentle with Bud.  He is learning about my house and daily routine.  Once the snow is gone, I might be able to take him outside.  He likes to take naps with me.  I included a picture to prove it!



This weekend is the annual Kidney Education Day.  Mommy and Daddy are going to be there representing us.  This will be our first event since Rudy went to heaven.  He will be there in spirit, I'm sure of this.  It is difficult preparing for the event without Rudy here, he always had the attention to detail.  I wish Mommy and Daddy good luck, I know it won't be easy.  We are taking it one step at a time.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks to everyone who has been checking on our fan page on Facebook.  We have been trying to put more fun pictures and videos for your enjoyment.  Check it out here.

Love,
Boomer! the Mellow Yellow Lab (and Bud)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friends

Living in Minnesota can be challenging at times.  According to the calendar, it should be a week into Spring.  Looking outside my window, it still seems like winter.  The snow has melted enough to make it sloppy, so Frisbee playing is a bit difficult.  Opening day for my local baseball team is Monday and the temps are like football weather!

I had a play date this week and made some new friends.  Max is a little dog and Bella is a girl white lab.  It was a lot of fun and I was very tired when I got home.

At home, I have a new friend called Crush.  It is an orange tennis ball we named after the soda pop.  He was so much fun, but I accidentally bit a hole in him.

My Aunt Wendy made us a very nice photo book filled with pictures of Rudy and my family.  It is great.  I get to see photos of Rudy and my older brothers I heard so much about from Rudy.  I look forward to meeting them someday.  I miss my Rudy, we all do.

Happy Easter and have a great weekend!  I wonder if one of the rabbits in my back yard is the Easter Bunny?

Love,
Boomer! the Mellow Yellow Lab

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring? I don't think so!

I can't believe tomorrow is the first day of spring.  We have seven inches of snow on the ground and the temperatures are barely hitting the mid 30's.  Ouch!  I don't mind winter and all, but I'm ready for some grass and other green things.

We recently had a delightful outing.  Mommy and Daddy took me to a new family's home for a visit and then we went to a store called PetSmart.  It was a little confusing, I don't get out much.  I liked seeing new people and puppies.  There were many toys to look at, but the Frisbees were out of my reach!

When the snow and ice melt we are going to start taking walks around the neighborhood.  I tend to pull on the lead a bit, so we need to practice more.  I think it's because I want to go faster then Mommy and Daddy, but it's two against one, so I lose (frown).  It will be fun to practice.

Rudy is giving me pointers from heaven.  His advice is to slow down and prance so "Everyone can see you."  That is Rudy.  He was a big prancer, strutting his stuff for all to see, just like a star.  Since I plan on being a professional Frisbee player and part time writer, I guess I will work on my swagger.  We'll call it the "Mellow Yellow Swagger."  Maybe I should get some sunglasses and a visor?

Love,
Boomer! the Mellow Yellow Lab

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Celebration

It rained all day Saturday, still it was beautiful.  People came to share Rudy's life in celebration.  Rudy was watching from above, and I know he loved it.  Many laughs and hugs were exchanged, along with some tears too.  I think that's to be expected when sharing memories of my awesome brother.  It's great when so many people sharing their love for Rudy can gather together in tribute.

The celebration was topped off by the "Rainbow Bridge," a fabulous slide show created by Daddy and a delicious cake.  Our friend Kathy made it.  Everyone loved it.  I included a picture so you can see it.
I also included the tribute Mommy wrote for Rudy.  She said it out loud to everyone that day.  Thanks to everyone who came to honor my beloved little big brother Rudy.


On July 9, 2004 a little spark plug bounced into our life, infusing it with energy, joy, optimism and love.  One of his first experiences was being met at the door by Dexter’s big head.  He squealed and then jumped into the house with his little puppy bark, as if to say, “Hi!  I’m Rudy.  Here I am!”  And was he ever.  From that moment on he owned us and that was just fine.  It was his little world, and we were happy to be part of it.

It had been a sad time, we had just lost our little guy Dito and the house lacked energy.  Rudy fixed that.  It took Kirby, Dexter, Wayne and me to keep up with him.  Sometimes that wasn’t enough.  The four of us needed to sit on the couch in the living room while Rudy ran around in circles.  Wayne and I laughed.  Kirby and Dexter looked at each other, thinking, “He’s crazy!”

Not being able to have human children because of my diabetes, we’ve grown especially attached to our puppies.  They’re our furry children.  Rudy was our little boy, he was my baby.  He knew I needed him.  When we brought him home from Monticello; we had a box with a little bed in it, in case he was tired.  Rudy never used it.  He rode in the palm of my hand; balancing his two tiny paws on my index finger all the way home.

Rudy let me comfort him, care for him and cradle him in my arms while I sang his favorite songs.  When he was scared, he jumped into my lap for comfort.  One of Rudy’s favorite spots was in my lap.  When I cried, he licked my tears.  When I laughed, he danced.  When Rudy danced, I laughed.  The two of us were like one.  We were a lot alike.  Both small, both kind of runts in fact.  We’re always curious – always wanting to know what’s going on.  Rudy followed us everywhere – kitchen, bathroom, upstairs and down, inside and out.  Rudy was right there watching in case we needed help.

Rudy let me take care of him when he was sick, but he also took care of me.  He was there through a lot of tough times.  Rudy always slept right next to me on my pillow, his head on mine.  When he thought I needed a pick me up, he jumped on me, wrapped his little paws around my neck and put his head on my chest to hear my heart beat.  His positive energy was my motivation and joy.  He was my voice.  Because of Rudy, I started writing.  Rudy was my whole life.

Rudy cared so much about everyone.  He loved his older brothers, adored his younger brother Boomer!  He idolized his Daddy.  Rudy made sure everyone was all right, checking up on us often.

Rudy filled our hearts, our minds, our souls with cherished memories.  He touched many people and puppies.  He entertained and comforted them.  He truly believed he was responsible for everyone and everything.  Rudy was a tough little guy with a big heart.  He left us far too early, and I don’t know why.  I believe everything happens for a reason, but this time I’m confused.  I’m lost.  Maybe I’ll figure it out.  It might not be until the day when Rudy and I are together again and he tells me.

Right now he is in heaven taking care of his big brothers.  I know he is watching over us too, making sure we’re all right.  That’s Rudy, that’s our little boy, that’s my baby.
I thought I was taking care of him, when actually he’s been taking care of me.  I miss you Rudy and I will always love you with all my heart.  Well, not all my heart because you took a big piece of it with you.  I know you’ll give it back when we see each other again.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Get Ready to Celebrate!

Just a reminder that Rudy's Celebration of Life is Saturday, March 9 at 1pm.  It will be nice to share memories with all of you and eat cake, too.  Every one is welcome, Rudy would love it.

This week is full of activity.  We have had an influx (pretty impressive for a 3 year old, huh?) of  book orders from all over the country.  A few said it was to help explain transplants and dialysis to children!  Rudy would be thrilled.  He loved to help.  He loves the attention, also - that's his thing.

Mommy and Daddy have been busy preparing for the Celebration.  Daddy put together an awesome slide show.

Just when we thought spring was coming soon, we got snow and more is on the way.  I don't mind too much, it makes for a softer landing with my trick Frisbee catches.  I impressed friends Gertie and Barreta yesterday.  We saw my friend Hobie Baker and a new puppy, I look forward to meeting him soon.

In a recent chat, Rudy informed me that I need to come up with funny sign offs that pop.  He said that makes readers laugh.  I will try to be jazzy and come up with something unique.  For now, I will stay Boomer, the big yellow lab.  Oops!  I forgot!
Love,
Boomer! the Big Yellow Lab

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Doing My Best

We have been very busy preparing for Rudy's celebration.  He would be thrilled.  He always enjoyed the spotlight.  What a star!  I know he's dancing right now.

Mommy got her hair cut and donated almost 10 inches to charity.  I really like it.  My hair never grows, it just sheds.  Once in a while I get it fluffed and have my nails done.  It makes me look quite handsome.  Rudy always loved to get his hair cut.  It grew quickly, so it wasn't enough to donate.  I loved it.  He looked very cute prancing around with his "puppy cut."

The weather is slowly warming and it is staying lighter later.  That means more frisbee time for Daddy and me!  That is my area of expertise!  I am the best frisbee player.  If people want to come and watch me play, I could put on quite a show.  I do flips, somersaults, contort my body in many ways and dive to catch that frisbee.  Once in a while I play the bounce.  I rarely run into the fence anymore, at least not nearly as much as when I was a puppy.  It's pretty amazing.  Rudy was a great spectator, but his mouth was too little to catch anything!  I leave the dancing to him and he left the frisbee to me!  We all have our strengths.  I hope I will be a good writer, too.

Love,
Boomer! the Big Yellow Lab

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Brief Introduction

Hi, I'm Boomer!, little brother to Rudy the Cute Poodle.  As many of you may know, my big brother Rudy went to heaven on January 30, 2013.  He is the best big brother and I miss him very much.  I still don't quite understand everything, Rudy and I did everything together.

While things still aren't normal around here, I think it is my responsibility and honor to continue writing Rudy's Little Blog.  He taught me everything I know, especially about writing.  I will brush up on my grammar and punctuation and try to advance my vocabulary.  I am only 3 years old, so it won't be as good as Rudy's.  I will share happenings in our house, talk about new friends we've met, the comings and goings of Mommy and Daddy, and upcoming events.

I will share some of my latest adventures and even attempt to describe some things from the perspective of little Rudy.  I will probably have to lay on my tummy and look up to get the same perspective but I will definitely give it my best shot.  In case you didn't know, I am a 70 pound yellow lab, so I'm a bit larger than a poodle.

Maybe Rudy will share some news from heaven; he talks to me every day.  He has been quite busy reuniting with older brothers Dito, Dexter and Kirby.  They are having a wonderful time.  I'm glad, but I still miss him.  We all do.

Our home will always be Rudy's Little World, nothing will change that.  We are all honored to be part of it.

This is me!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Never a Dull Moment

As told by Rudy...

Since Mommy made it through her surgery on Wednesday, we needed some more action to fill the Waibel house.  That seems to be our luck.  Who really wants a nice restful weekend, right?  On Friday - Daddy had to bring me in to the emergency room because my electrolytes were all out of whack.

I'm starting to feel a little better, but still very weak.  Mommy and Daddy have visited many times, and I drank out of a bowl of water for them today.  We have been singing our favorite songs and taking walking tours so I can look out the window at all the new snow.  I am sure Boomer! is enjoying the new snow, but we sure miss each other.

Tonight before bed time I sat up in my crib and watched people go by.  That is a big improvement.  We are encouraged by the baby steps.  I'm sure I'll be home soon to see my little brother and our big back yard full of fresh snow.  If anybody has any extra prayers they can share, I wouldn't mind a couple coming our way.  January has been a very tough month.

Thanks for all your support.  It means the world to me. 

Love,
Rudy the Recovering Poodle

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ups and Downs

Establishing a new routine with my tummy tube has been a series of small ups and downs.  Overall, I am adjusting and there are always tweaks involved with new things.  The vet thought I might have a little infection so the medicine made my stomach upset, so we tried something new.  I am a lucky poodle to have a family like mine.  Mommy, Daddy and Boomer! have taken great care of me.  They love me so much.  Feeling is mutual!

The high today is expected to be 5 below zero.  YIKES!  I will definitely have my sweater and coat on when I go outside!

We have had 3 sales so far this year.  They were from Minnesota, Las Vegas and England.  WOW!  Maybe that is the beginning of a European wave.  We are now in Denmark and England, that's very exciting.

Mommy will be unavailable for a little while.  She usually helps me come up with ideas for my blog, so it might be a couple weeks before we post again.  Sorry about that.

Our wonderful friend Miriam created a new flash banner for our website.  It is awesome and full of animation.  If you have a moment, you should check it out.  It's super!

Life is full of ups and downs.  Sales are up a bit, the temperature down a lot.  Medical ups and downs - what else is new!?  We need to keep the spirits up and the stress level down.  Good advice for everyone.  Keep on smiling and dancing!

Love,
Rock Star Rudy the Positive Poodle

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New Year!

Well, 2013 started out with a bang.  I have been recovering from a small surgery.  My special vet put in a feeding tube to help with my hydration.  I was a bit tender, but after a few days, I feel like my old self again.

I don't need to go into the vet three times a week for fluids anymore and eating is much easier.  Mommy and Daddy can do it all from home and I can get fluids whenever I want.

I am dancing again and running laps in the backyard!  Boomer! has been great; he's very gentle.  I know he's really curious because he keeps sniffing me, but then he backs off.

The NKF appreciated our donation and offered to have us as guests at the Kidney Education day in April.

The weather is beautiful, especially for winter.  The sun even made an appearance.

I will need to find some new sweaters to wear.  The sweater covers my tube so it doesn't fall out.  The one the vet gave me is like a mock turtleneck with short sleeves.  It's cream, so it gets dirty quickly.  I would like something with a little more color!  Daddy's looking online for some.

Now I must get going and make plans for the new year.  I am way behind!

Love,
Rudy the Poodle Fashionista!