A Hopeful New Year!

My dog Susie says

Out with the old.... in with the new

Ring out wild bells to the wild sky
The flying cloud, the frosty night
The year is dying in the night
Ring out wild bells and let him die

Ring out the old, ring in the new
Ring happy bells across the snow
The year is going so let him go
Ring out the false, ring in the true

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that we see no more
Ring out the feud of rich and poor
Ring in redress to all mankind

Ring out a slowly dying cause
And ancient forms of party strife
Ring in the nobler modes of life
With sweeter manners, purer laws

Ring out the want, the care, the sin
The faithless coldness of the times
Ring out, ring out, my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in

Ring out false pride in place and blood
The civic slander and the spite
Ring in the truth and right
Ring in the common love of good

Ring out the shapes of foul disease
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold
Ring out the thousand years of old
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

This was written over 150 years ago by Lord Tennyson but seems as applicable today as back then. Lets hope that in the untarnished, robust and reinvigorating New Year, we can all have respect, admiration and peace for each other. Happy New Year everyone!


Sandy and Susie

P.S. Here are a few New Year's resolutions from my neighborhood friends:
Dusty the male Boxer: I'll never have another one-night stand with another mutt again!
Maggie the Poodle: I'll finally understand that the cat is from Venus and I'm from Mars!
Buster the Dachshund: I'll never ever ever chase that damn stick until I see it leave his hand!

To see more of Susie's barks, go to www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com
For info on Sandy go to www.sandysteele.com


Dogs Bearing Gifts

My dog Susie says

Unexpected Christmas Presents

I recently heard a story about a Black Labrador rescue dog who did some remarkable things for his family. One early November morning, a farmer found this abandoned dog who had obviously been beaten and nearly dead from starvation. The family already had a white poodle puppy named Jerry which the two children adored. They weren't sure if they could afford both of the dogs with the economy the way it is. The kids convinced the parents to keep the older and larger black dog as a companion to Jerry the poodle. The family decided to name him Moses.

One day while tilling in the fields the farmer noticed a huge eagle circling the tiny white puppy. He instinctively knew that during the winter, eagles would attack anything that they could carry away. It had Jerry the little puppy in its sights. Running as hard as he could to try to cross the acres of farmland before the eagle struck, he suddenly grabbed his chest and collapsed. Moses sprinted by him as the eagle lifted off the ground with Jerry in its claws. Somehow, Moses jumped high enough that he knocked the small poodle out of the bird's clutches and they both fell safely to the ground. The eagle flew away glad to be alive. Turning his attention to the farmer, Moses ran back to him and then raced off for the house. Moses and Jerry arrived at the back door and started barking. Soon the farmer's wife appeared and watched the dogs scamper around in circles obviously excited about something. She lifted the puppy into the house and followed Moses back to her husband. Calling 911 on her cell phone, an ambulance soon arrived. The farmer lived.

A month later right before Christmas with the farmer almost completely recovered from his medical scare, he noticed that Jerry was acting excited about something. Calling for Moses who was nowhere to be seen, the farmer was worried that something must have happened. Maybe Moses ran off. Jerry took off running across the apple orchard towards the blacktop paved road. The farmer followed as quickly as he could in his weakened condition. Suddenly, there was Moses laying lifeless on his side, by the side of the road. He'd obviously been hit and killed earlier by a car. The tearful farmer gently picked up Moses for burial in his back yard. Christmas would be in a few days.

On Christmas day, a young man appeared at the family's front door. After being let in he was escorted into the living room where the Christmas tree sat, and all the presents had been opened and now scattered. The farmer, his wife and the two children listened as the stranger began. "I'm here to ask for your forgiveness as I did you a terrible harm. I'm the person who hit and killed your black dog a few days ago. I was too scared to come earlier and tell you that I did it. I'm so sorry and please forgive me especially on this day."

After a few minutes, the wife and children walked over and put their arms around the young teenager who was weeping. Soon the farmer asked what had happened. "I was hurrying to get to a holiday party when all of the sudden your dog ran right in front of me. I couldn't stop. I actually thought that the dog I was going to hit was a little white poodle, but when I stopped and looked back, it was a large black dog. I still don't know what happened?"

The farmer looked at his wife and the kids smiled at each other. They now knew that Moses not only had saved their father, but pushed Jerry out of harms way and had saved him a second time. What a wonderful Christmas present!

Here's another true story.

Recently a tragedy unfolded out west in Washington State. Scamp, an 8-month old Yorkshire-Shih Tzu mixed puppy, escaped from his back yard and was then hit, crushed by a car and eventually pronounced dead. The two young children who were minding Scamp when he escaped were completely devastated. Because the children were crying uncontrollably, the father took the broken dog outside in the snow, wrapped him in a blanket and gently placed him in the garage. He would bury him tomorrow on Christmas day..

The children drew lots of pictures of Scamp and cried all night. The next morning before opening their gifts from Santa, they all went outside to bury Scamp in their backyard. Then a miracle happened. Opening the garage door, their beloved puppy was sitting up and wagging his tail. After being taken to the veterinarian and pronounced fit to live, nobody could explain what just happened. The mother of the children simply stated, "Christmas is all about the children. It's about miracles and hope. It's about family being together and Scamp is a wonderful part of our family."

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. Dogs can really help with the decorations and the Christmas tree. If you don't believe me then go to this link below. Also I think that Scamp should be renamed Lazarus!

To see more of Susie's barks go to www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For more info on Sandy go to www.sandysteele.com


Christmas shopping makes me crazy!

My dog Susie says

Frankenstein meets the Cabbage Patch Dolls

Sandy decided to take me for a long ride in her new car that had a lot of electronic devices built inside. She first punched in some coordinates of where we were going, then a strange voice started talking to her. "Turn here, go 150 yards," etc.... ad nausea. Her cell phone rang and she pulled over to the side of the road. Talking to it briefly, she seemed confused because the other voice still coming from the dashboard was constantly giving more driving commands. Back on the road, she turned on the radio and started talking to it and telling the radio which music stations she wanted to listen to. I kept looking in the back seat to see if there was another rider with us but to no avail. Sandy wasn't talking to me because I can't talk back... yet, but instead speaking to cold dead non-living devices. I don't think she's going totally crazy, but it seemed somewhat scary and funny at the same time.

We ended up at a big shopping mall to do some Christmas shopping. In a toy store she bought some doggy toys for moi and some dolls for the neighbor's children. On a loudspeaker in the mall, different voices were telling everyone where to go for the bargains. People were singing strange songs about a fat guy in a red suit. Back in the car, she opened up a fake kitty cat for me to play with. When I lightly punched it, the dang cat started meowing and purring. Freaked me out! I had to toss it in the back seat. At a stop light, Sandy then dug into her shopping bag and pulled out a cloth doll. It started crying and laughing and whimpering and saying Momma. Freaked me out again!

Since I'm only three, I was wondering if it was always like this. Voices, music and talking, talking, talking, everywhere one goes. After a half-day of shopping with Sandy, I just wanted the quiet peacefulness of my forests and lakes. I wonder if all the other critters living in the woods know about civilization and how many hidden mysterious people talk at once...all the time. Seems discourteous to me, but what do I know? I'm just a Border Collie; smarter than your average dog and all cats..

Sandy suddenly decided that with all the money she'd spent, she better call the bank and make sure she's not broke. So she grabbed her new iPhone from some fruit company, and started talking to some robot assistant named Siri. Soon she was connected to her bank. Then a metallic voice started asking questions and connecting her to one department after another after another. She never talked to a human being only these robot voices who made Sandy mad. Not paying attention, she ran a red light(she said it was yellow) and suddenly there was a blinding flash-bulb. Thank goodness there weren't any cars around, but Sandy was still very upset. She moaned and muttered about the electronic device taking her picture and that she'd end up with a traffic ticket! Don't they use real cops anymore for tickets?

So our fun outing began with an electronic map telling us where to go, and ended with an electronic camera showing us, it was going to be a much more expensive day than we planned.

Sandy sighed and said, "I thought it was 2011 and not 1984!"

Catch you later,

Susie & Sandy

P.S. When Benjamin Franklin flew his kite and discovered electricity and Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, I wonder if they ever thought electronic machines and humans might eventually become joined together.... like a Frankenstein or the Terminator?


Superman and Lois Lane to the rescue.

My dog Susie says

The Great Debate

Watching one of TV's top-rated shows recently with mom and dad has been interesting, entertaining and funny. I'm talking about the Republican debates for President. Sandy my mom, was a democrat for years and Richard my dad, was a republican for decades. Somehow they're now both Independents! Seems they're so fed up with the goings-on in Washington, that they don't really like either party. Seems that all the elected officials promise one thing to get elected, and then do whatever they can to get re-elected starting on their second day in office. President Obama promised "Hope and Change" and now everyone wants "Change and Hope!"

Dad worked on Wall Street for years but please don't hold that against him. Wall Street used to help the little guy who had an idea, but no money, get the money to make that idea succeed. He helped companies like FedEx, Nike, Microsoft and Apple become public. People who invested in them made a lot of money over the decades. He also helped my favorite store Toys-R-Us when it was having difficult times. Now we have people occupying Wall Street that are mad, but don't seem to know exactly who they're mad at. We all need to chill out for a while.

Back to the debates. Right now there seven men and one attractive woman trying to beat each other up. Since I'm a girl, I'm rooting for the woman, Michele Bachmann. I was trying to discover if she had any family dogs, but all I found was a picture on YouTube of her slowly eating a thick foot-long hot-dog. People thought that was too sexual for some reason. Maybe she's too hot to run for president?

Then there are two fellows from my neck of the woods, Georgia. One has been a politician for a very long time, Newt Gingrich, and the other, Herman Cain has never been one for even a day. Not counting numerous affairs, Newt has been married 3 times and swears this one is for real. Herman has been "happily married" for over 40 years and swears this one is obviously for real. Hold the presses! Seems that Mr. Cain has some serious baggage with the ladies. So because of their peccadilloes, I'm eliminating both of these guys from any consideration.

Texas has produced two interesting candidates. One is a doctor and the other is a cowboy. Ron Paul has been running for president for decades. He wants our country to balance its checkbook and use gold to buy things. Rick Perry likes to shoot guns and forget things when he's talking. Seems to me we might do better.

Being an unattached young lady, I sure like the way Mitt Romney looks. But I wouldn't vote for someone just because they look like a movie star. Mitt has tons of dogs including a Golden Retriever, Bichon and Weimaraner. He signed a new law when he was Governor of Massachusetts to severely increase penalties for animal cruelty and also created a statewide "Dog Owners Month." Mitt once saved an entire family and their dog from drowning in a lake when their boat suddenly sank. Maybe he's really Clark Kent in disguise?

The other two candidates are so forgettable that I can't remember their names right now. I'm having a Rick Perry moment. Anyway, where are all the great men who have helped our great nation during difficult times? Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, both Roosevelts, and Ronald Reagan. They all managed to save our nation from wars, recessions and depressions. Wait a second, here comes someone who swears he can save us all: Donald Trump!

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy,

P.S. A famous lady politician once said about men and marriage: "I never married because it's not needed. I have three pets at home who are perfect substitutes. I have a dog who howls and growls in the morning. My parrot cusses all day and my cat staggers home late every night."

To see more of Susie's barks go to: www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com
For more info on Sandy Steele go to: www.sandysteele.com


"All the President's dogs"

My dog Susie says

Where stars become President

As you know if you've been reading my blog for the last few months, Sandy and I live half the year in the Southern mountains and the rest on the beaches of Southern California. So we spend a lot of time seeing and talking with movie stars and beach bums. Also, when I wrote my very first "blog", I said that I hated that word blog and could someone come up with something better. Well, an Italian Shepherd from Italy emailed me and said why don't you call it a "bark"? Perfect!! I also heard from a German Shepherd( from guess where) who thought it should be named a "bitch." Leave it to those happy-go-lucky Germans. Let's go with the Italians. Sandy loves warmer Lake Como so much better than snowy Berlin anyway.

Now when you go to LA, there are two great places to visit to get the scoop on what's happening around town. The first is the park in Santa Monica and the second is the Santa Monica Pier on the beach. There are dogs of every shape, age and size at both locations. There are dogs hanging out there that have lived for over 100 in human years, with stories passed along from their relatives covering the entire previous century. The last time we were there I met a few of these woolly historians.

My bark will only cover tales that interest Sandy and me. So, if I leave anything out, I'll bark about it in later posts. One of Sandy's favorite shows is "Sex and the City." Also, Sandy's husband Richard once met the show's lead Sarah Jessica Parker, and one of his favorite movies "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," stars her husband Matthew Broderick. I found out from my buddies here at the park that Sarah and Matthew bought a dog named Sally from a farmer on a highway in California. So they sort of rescued Sally. Sallie is also a Border Collie like me which makes this more special. Hey, we might be cousins.

Actress Drew Barrymore, whose Grandfather John once played President Lincoln, has many types of dogs with two favorites, "Templeton" and "Flossie" both of Labrador/Chow mix. Templeton was found at an LA flea market and Flossie was a stray she adopted. Good for her. To show her great appreciation for being rescued, Flossie actually saved Drew and her husband by waking them from a deadly fire that burned their house completely down. One good turn deserves another!

Actor Chevy Chase has owned numerous types of dogs and once actually played a mutt in "Oh! Heavenly Dog." He became famous on Saturday Night Live by imitating President Gerald Ford falling down over and over. And speaking of Presidents and their dogs: With the Presidential election now on the horizon, I was particularly interested in any gossip about presidential dogs my friends on the beach might know. Now two guys that ran our country were from around here: Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Nixon had a couple of dogs,"Checkers" a Cocker Spaniel and "King Timahoe" an Irish Setter. He also once owned a French poodle named "Vicky." When Nixon was running for office, he was accused of accepting numerous illegal bribes. He answered by appearing on national TV and saying the only thing he every received for free was his little dog Checkers. So Checkers helped "bail" out a future President of the United States.

Former actor turned President, Ronald Reagan was a neighbor of Sandy and Richard in LA for a number of years. When they would see him walking around in the early evening, he would be accompanied by Secret Service agents and one of his dogs. His favorite was "Lucky" a large Sheepdog. He sure was "lucky" to survive an assassin's bullet that almost killed him. President Reagan and Nancy also had a "King Charles Spaniel" named "Rex." Very appropriate for a President.

I also learned that President Lyndon Johnson owned a number of Beagles and had a bad habit of lifting them up by their ears. Now how would you feel if someone lifted you up by your breasts or ba**s? Also, this Texan was so brilliant that he named his Beagles; Her, Him, Little Beagle, and Beagle. And to think he was once a school teacher.

Walking on the Santa Monica beach, I also learned that actress Marilyn Monroe frequently met President JFK at a home built right here on the sand nearby. She owned a Basset Hound named "Hugo" given to her by husband and famous author Arthur Miller. Her favorite pet was a Poodle given to her by good friend Frank Sinatra. She named it "Mafia."

Well, I'm a little worn out by all this information, so I'm going to go begging for some left-over turkey from Thanksgiving.

Catch you later,

Susie & Sandy

P.S. The biggest baddest cowboy hero of all time was John Wayne. His nickname was "Duke," who was his childhood dog!

To see more of Susie's barks, go to www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com  For more info on Sandy go to www.sandysteele.com


Pass the biscuits and bones

My dog Susie says

Giving Thanks

If you've been reading my earlier blogs, then you know there's a chance my forebears go back to the Mayflower. Since my mom Sandy has been running around this week, like a chicken with its head-cut-off, preparing a "Thanksgiving" dinner for friends and relatives, I thought I'd do a little research. Excuse the guillotine reference as it's probably over the top! However, what about the poor turkey?

The Mayflower ship came over to America in 1620 with 58 men, 18 women, 32 children and a few cats and dogs. The ninety-foot long Mayflower wasn't designed to carry passengers and was originally headed to Virginia. So for most of the voyage, everyone stayed below in the cold damp hold causing illness and death. Then a terrible storm knocked the ship completely off course and it landed in freezing Cape Cod, Massachusetts, instead of warm Virginia. It seemed like a bad omen. Finally on land, unfortunately many of these first settlers further died, because they weren't prepared for the extreme cold and complete lack of food and shelter. Somehow, the remaining survivors managed to last a year.

The reasons for their survival were dogs, cats and Indians. The dogs chased away wolves and bears protecting the homes. The cats chased and ate the squirrels and chipmunks who were eating their meager food supplies. Now, I love a squirrel chase as much as any dog, but to eat them....Ugh.

The Indians, today called Native-Americans, graciously taught the settlers, how to fish the ubiquitous streams and plant the indigenous crops like corn, squash and cabbage. Hence, these pious Pilgrims survived because of the combined help from their new gracious hosts and their old former house pets.

In November 1621, the Pilgrims and the Native-Americans decided to have a feast celebrating the first successful harvest and named it "Thanksgiving." The first Thanksgiving lasted a week. The meals consisted of duck, corn meal, deer meat, seafood, cabbage, onions and squash. It seems that the turkey came much later. The Indian tribe called the "Wampanoag" which meant "eastern peoples," called the Pilgrims "coat people." These two distinct human races, as different as Mars and Venus, decided to get along and help each other for mutually beneficial reasons. Compassion!

In the beginning and lasting hundreds of years, Thanksgiving was celebrated on different dates depending on which State you lived in. President Lincoln in 1863 decided all the States should recognize the same month, November, for Thanksgiving. Nearly a hundred years later in December 1941, President Roosevelt with Congress's approval, officially declared that the fourth Thursday in November would be "Thanksgiving Day."

So America's "Thanksgiving" was created and helped along by cats and dogs , foreign English settlers and native Indians, and Presidents and Congress, all working together for the good of their Country. Gee, what a concept!

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. The cat up the street was telling me how she felt about Thanksgiving and November. "November is when most Americans shut their eyes, bow their heads and give thanks for the turkeys they are about to receive. Then they vote."

To see more of Susie's blogs go to www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For info on Sandy go to www.sandysteele.com


...the dogs of war.

My dog Susie says

A Four-Legged Veteran

Sandy and I were driving into town today when I noticed that all along the side of the road were tiny American flags placed for miles and miles. I motioned at them with my paws and Sandy knew I was asking her, "what are they for?" She explained that today is "Veteran's Day," which celebrates and honors our brave soldiers for all the wars they have fought in. Wars like, "The Civil War, The Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korea, The Cold War, Vietnam, The Gulf War, The Iraqi War and The Afghanistan War. My goodness that's a lot of fighting and more importantly... dying.

Being a Border Collie and born leader, I decided to educate the neighborhood dogs, and cats if they'll listen, to what I had learned about "Veteran's Day." One of the slower thinking dogs, Butch, was confused as to why they would have a "Veterinarians Day?" After a few minutes even Butch got it. Soon a German Shepherd named Gus told us a story, related from a friend of his that was currently serving in the Afghanistan War.

"In the Afghan War on the 4th of July enemy bullets were flying overhead when one ripped through his body. His closest friend, Specialist Marc Whittaker, decided there was no way that he'd let his best friend Anax die. His best friend was a German Shepherd."

"Anax and Marc had been ambushed by enemy insurgents firing so many rounds at them, it looked like a scene out of "Star Wars." Marc, who was wearing body armor, laid down and shielded Anax who was completely unprotected. Bullets continued to rain down upon the duo for minutes, which seemed like hours before stopping. Marc was unscathed but Anax was whimpering in pain. One leg was bloody and the other totally shattered. He picked up Anax, who was now dead weight, and carried him for miles to the medivac site for emergency medical care. Soon they both were on a plane that landed hours and thousands of miles later in Germany. After an eight hour operation at the Army Veterinary Hospital, Anax was saved but his right leg was lost."

Specialist Whittaker was asked why he'd spent so much time and effort taking care of just a wounded dog? His answer was, "Never leave a fallen comrade behind." Marc also added with tears streaming down his face, "I'll be Anax's caretaker for the rest of his life. He'll retire fat and happy on my couch!"

Susie says, "Please don't forget man's and woman's 'best friends' during the Holidays. Remember they'll do anything for you, if you just love them back!"

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. While going to the animal shelter, a young man found and adopted an old parrot. Deciding to make him part of the family during the Christmas season, he placed the bird in the living room. Unfortunately, during a Holiday party the parrot yelled "Merry #+$ing Christmas and Happy #$&+ing New Year! Totally embarrassed the young man pleaded with the bird to stop swearing. The parrot's attitude and language only got worse. As a last resort, the owner put the parrot in the kitchen freezer to quiet him down. After a few minutes, the owner became worried that his potty-mouthed parrot would freeze to death. Upon his release the bird said, "I'm very sorry that I offended you and your friends with my language. I ask for forgiveness and promise I will never do that again."

The young man stood speechless as to the parrot's complete change, when the bird then asked,
"By the way, may I inquire, what did the turkey do?"

To see more "Susie says" blogs go to: www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com
For info on Sandy Steele go to: www.sandysteele.com


Harry and the Snowman

My dog Susie says

When you rescue someone... you never know...

Now for y'all who haven't been following my blogs up until now, my name is Susie and I was rescued three years ago by Sandy, who's now my mom. I'm a Border Collie who likes to write about what I see going on from time to time. We live in a small village in the mountains of the South and spend time in L.A. where mom is from. Whether we're running on the beaches or hiking in the forests, we appreciate and love each other. Sandy says that we rescued each other because when we met, her mom was suffering from Alzheimer's which made Sandy very sad. She says that my crazy antics make her smile.

A few months ago, I met a horse from Texas that was pulling a covered wagon. After traveling over a thousand miles they ended up in our quaint village. He didn't have a name, so I called him the horse with no name. Before leaving, he told me that he had a once famous grandfather horse who lived in Virginia. It seems that a farmer was going to town one wintry day in 1956, when he saw a dirty and thin plow-horse headed straight for the slaughterhouse. The farmer looked into the horse's eyes and they immediately bonded. He bought the horse on the spot for eighty dollars which was his value as canned dog food.

Canned dog food from horse meat...gross...thank God, Sandy feeds me mostly fresh food from the grocery store with vegetables and such. Every once in a while, I get some chicken liver from the butcher. Maybe I'll become a vegetarian. Anyway, here's the rest of the story. The rescued horse was named Snowman and he turned out to become quite a guy! The farmer was named Harry de Leyer, who was an immigrant originally from Holland. They sort of rescued each other. Now here's where it gets interesting. Even though Harry was considered lower class and his horse just a clumsy plow-horse, they eventually found themselves entering horse jumping contests. Now these contests were for the super rich only! When Harry and his wife came to America, he only had $160 to his name. He worked on other people's farms just for food to survive. But they now had a horse named Snowman with determination in those eyes. Something magical happened the day Harry met the Snowman.

A few years later in 1958, the farmer and the headed-for-the-slaughterhouse- horse entered the most prestigious horse jumping contest in America, "The National Horse Show," in New York. Upon entering the ring at Madison Square Garden, thousands of the spectators and numerous other competitors laughed at the unlikely duo. However, Harry and Snowman would show the snooty audience in the end. Snowman was crowned champion. A champion that cost only $80. That led to them twice being in "Life" magazine. That led over the following decades to Harry and his wife building a horse jumping empire and owning 40 or more horses at any one time. It changed his life. It changed his childrens' lives. It changed his grandchildrens' lives. You see, they are all involved in the horse jumping industry.

So the moral of the story is when you rescue someone, you never know how many different lives, human or animal, will be positively affected.

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. Harry recently said, "Meeting Snowman was my luck and too good to be true. Nowhere else can this happen but in America."

For more "Susie says," blogs go to: www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For more info on Sandy Steele go to: www.sandysteele.com


A moon walk that Mike would like

My dog Susie Says

My cousin from across the pond

Even though I'm a rescue dog, Sandy did a DNA analysis on me recently to find out where I might have originated from. I wish she'd spent the money on filet mignon for moi instead. Anyway, after the analysis was finished the experts determined that I was directly descended from England hundreds of years ago. Hey, maybe my relatives came over on the Mayflower.

Now that I know where I came from, it explains my urge to look for sheep and herd them around and tell them where to go and teach them tricks like forming circles and such. The only problem is here in the American southern mountains, I can't find any sheep. I only see them in my dreams. So I decided to watch the Learning Channel and other TV shows to see if I could figure out where to find them. After many hours it seemed that Australia was really loaded completely full with them. Sandy said that's way too far for us to schedule a trip anytime soon. Drats, foiled again!

Border Collies are considered the most intelligent of all dogs, and who am I to argue the obvious. After watching hours of learning television until my eyes hurt, I decided to take a break and watch something soothing and uncomplicated. That's when I discovered a reality talent show called "The X Factor." After seeing numerous people trying to sing and dance, I was about to turn the channel when an unexpected and shocking event happened. Instead of another human, there was a Border Collie named Jenn taking the stage. Also a girl like me. In fact she looked exactly like me. Maybe she's a long-lost relative. Hey, this X Factor is from England. Anything is possible. I'm going to claim her as my cousin until someone proves me wrong. I think I'll send Jenn a text.

Now, I thought I was way smarter than your average dog, but this Jenn was Ms. Einstein. She danced and jumped and twisted and smiled and even did a Michael Jackson moon walk. It was unbelievable! I was soooo proud of my cousin, that I went outside and howled at the moon. Sandy looked at me like I must have eaten the kitten's catnip from across the street.
Instead of Hollywood making silly movies like, "The Planet of the Apes," they should be making "The Planet of the Dogs."
When it comes to Border Collies and other bright breeds vs. all other animals and especially apes, we are the cat's meow!! If you don't believe me watch Jenn's performance by clicking below: Tip... you may have to click link twice.

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. A blind Englishman walks into an adult video shop in downtown London. He suddenly picks up his guide-dog and slowly spins around in a circle while holding the dog above his head. Alarmed the shop keeper says, "Can I help you?"
The blind Londoner says, "No thanks, we're just looking."

To see info on Sandy & Susie go to: www.sandysteele.com
To see more "Susie Says" blogs go to http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com


To trick ot treat?

My dog Susie says...

The headless horseman and his trusty dog

Once upon a time a farmer, his horse and his faithful companion, a Border Collie named Lucky, were deep in the woods hunting for varmints and tiny critters to eat for dinner. It was 1880 and there weren't cars, telephones or airplanes invented yet. Suddenly a creature unlike any they had ever seen rushed out of a hidden cave and ran straight towards the unlucky duo. Lucky raised up as tall as he could and howled as loud as possible. The farmer cocked his rifle and fired at the huge dark shadow. It never even slowed down. Soon, Lucky was knocked unconscious and his master was missing never to be seen again. Lucky was so scared that he and his generations of offspring remained hidden in the woods for over 120 years. Until... Sandy found and rescued Lucky's last offspring Susie, three years ago.

Sitting around a wooded campfire this Hallowed Eve were Sandy, her husband Richard, Dusty the neighbors' boxer and Susie. Because of the Indian Summer it was right comfortable this night to be outside toasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate. There was a full moon along with with thousands of stars lighting the entire sky. A few minutes later, there was a rustling coming from the blackness of the forest. Somewhere buried deep in Susie's' DNA, she instinctively knew there was trouble afoot! Before anyone could arise it was upon them. Big Foot!

Sandy and Richard jumped up to run away, but instead ran smack into each other and knocked themselves unconscious. Dusty barked once and then passed out from fright. Only Susie remained to combat the enormous creature. Now Susie is much smarter than your average dog, but what about a Big Foot. "What to do..what to do...?"

Looking at the vittles cooking on the open fire, Susie decided that she'd offer the creature some warm marshmallows. Opening her mouth and gently putting two marshmallow treats in her mouth, she slowly took them to the huge animal a few feet away. Maybe she could also communicate with it, convince it to eat the treats and not her family.

After the monster ate the luscious marshmallows, he sat down and grumbled something that Susie understood. He was tired of being an ogre and was actually misunderstood. He was a gentle giant named Oscar and liked to cook. He never hurt anyone is his life and all his relatives had never hurt anyone, human or dog. He was a scavenger and plant and fruit eater. Soon Susie offered Oscar a cup of hot chocolate. Three cups later, the two companions were looking at the sleeping humans and boxer and started to laugh a little. It seems that everyone in the forest is so afraid of him, that he has no friends. Talking with Susie was a real blessing which he wouldn't soon forget. Bidding farewell, Oscar patted Susie on the head and said to take care and make sure to watch out for bears. Bears are dangerous!

Thirty minutes later Sandy, Richard and Dusty all awoke at the same time. Remembering what had just seemingly occurred, Sandy screamed again. They all looked at Susie and wondered what had happened? Where was the monster? Why are they unhurt and alive? Susie decided to tell a little white lie to explain.

Protecting her new-found friend, she communicated somehow with Sandy that what happened was simply a "college prank." It seems that since it was Halloween night, some bored college students decided to dress up in costumes, including Big Foot, and roam around the woods scaring people. Sandy and Richard accepted the explanation, but Dusty knew he had never smelled anything like that before.

The moral of this little Halloween tale is, if you see an unknown creature in the woods, offer them a treat before shooting. But, if it's a bear... run like hell!

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. Mark Twain basically once said, "If you rescue a starving dog and make him prosperous, he'll love you forever and won't bite you. That is the principal difference between dog and man."

For more blogs from Susie go to www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For info on Sandy Steele go to www.sandysteele.com


Hold the ice cream sundae

My dog Susie Says

To die or to diet

We returned from California a few weeks ago and I had my regular check-up at our local veterinarian place. Surprise... I was three pounds overweight when we left the Atlanta airport for LA, then mysteriously lost the weight enabling me to sit with Sandy on the return flight, and now I'm suddenly six pounds heavier. Maybe the scales at the airport were wrong? Our nice lady vet said something about me being obese. I'll have to look that word up because I've never heard it before. I hope I still like the lady doc after I know what that obese word means.

Sandy completely wigged out about my girth. No more beauty contests for moi or desserts either. Mom didn't realize that when we visited places on our recent California trip, like the Santa Monica beach, I checked out all the food vendors while she talked to the natives. The people there are so friendly and generous with their food, I was always getting little snacks when Sandy wasn't looking. When she got on the Ferris wheel and the roller coaster, I was scoping out the hotdog stands, and the hamburger stands, and the taco stands, and....well, mystery solved. I hope she doesn't figure it out because I'm looking forward to our next trip back to the warm sand and cool water.

Now for my diet. Sandy consulted with an animal nutritionist(I swear), who recommended the following food regiment. Cooked chicken without the skin, liver, brown rice, apples, blueberries, baby carrots, green beans and peas, fish oil capsules and peanut butter. Now I love peanut butter and meaty chicken and liver, but carrots and fish oil? I'd rather be bulimic. Leave the carrots for the rabbits I chase in the woods, and let the fish oil sleep with the fishes. But since I can't fix my own food yet...I'll have to go along with this until I lose the lbs.

Supposedly, having a loving happy pet makes the owner feel more contented and peaceful. I'll keep you posted on this new diet experiment and if I'm happy? Sandy loves to cook anyway, so now she's really cranked up on the stove. I smell brown rice, green peas and poached liver. Please let that be for me!

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. Sandy and I caught the Jay Leno Show while we were in LA. Jay said, "According to a new survey, 90% of all men state that their lover is their best friend. That's really disturbing when you consider that man's best friend is their dog."

For more info on Sandy and Susie go to: www.sandysteele.com
To see all their blogs go to: http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com


Gone but never forgotten

Sandy Steele's dog Susie Says

The Apple of our eyes

We left LA and would arrive in the Atlanta airport in the early evening. I lost so much weight running after seagulls and swimming with the dolphins in the ocean, that I was able to sit with Sandy, instead of being held again in that dang hold deep in the airplane. Now where's my cocktail and treat?

Sandy's husband Richard, who is also my dad, met us at the metal baggage merry-go-round, and mumbled something to mom. She now seemed sad and started to cry a little. I wonder what happened?

It turned out that Sandy and Richard were sad this night because a person of great integrity died today. His name was Steve Jobs and he started a little computer company named Apple. I wasn't aware of him, so I Googled his name and read pages and pages of information. Seems he was quite a guy! He was an orphan like me, who also was rescued by compassionate parents that always deeply loved him. His favorite sayings were, "Stay hungry and stay foolish" and "Don't be trapped by dogma."

I love the foolish part, but I wonder what dog's ma's have to do with anything?

Now, Richard had met him years ago in 1980 when he helped take his company to the public or something like that. Dad said he was the most unforgettable person he ever met then or since. I also suddenly realized that the computer I was typing on had an apple logo on it and that Steve had invented it. In fact mom's little music box she takes with her when she jogs has a little apple on it. And dad's flat tablet computer he takes along on trips has an apple on it. And my favorite movie of all time, "Toy Story" was created by Mr. Jobs. And my cell phone which I use to keep in touch with my buddies, I recently met on the beaches in California, has a little apple on it. This guy was an Einstein! He was Johnny Appleseed spreading little Apple seeds that sprouted all over the world. Too bad he couldn't clone himself into an Apple device. But wait, that's exactly what he did. He's Thomas Edison too!

Watching TV recently with Congress and the President bitching at each other reminds me of Kindergarten. They should look at Steve Jobs' incredible life and remind each other that it's humans like him, and a few remarkable dogs, that made America great. Now if Lassie could become the first female President, maybe she could bring us all back together and save the day! All of this deep thinking and pondering made my head swim a little, so I decided to sleep outside in my doghouse. I usually sleep in my parents' gigantic bed but tonight I wanted to be outside with my thoughts, look at the bright stars and watch a little TV, which dad had recently put in my abode. And yes, it has a little apple on it.

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy,

P.S. About Steve Jobs: Don't lament his death but celebrate his life!

To see more Susie Says blogs go to www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com
For more info on Sandy and Susie go to www.sandysteele.com


Where are the cowboys on Rodeo Drive?

Sandy Steele's dog Susie Says

Nip and Tuck

It's Saturday morning and Sandy decides we need to go down to the pool at the hotel and order a little breakfast. Sitting in a cabana, which is a high-priced tent, a waiter delivers our luscious breakfast. Eggs Benedict for mom and grilled sausage and scrambled eggs for me. Now back home, Sandy would never let me have something like this, but we're on vacation. Yummy! I love the "Beverly Hills Hotel."

Next, we go to some cowboy drive named for a Rodeo. I'm very disappointed when I don't see any cows or horses when we arrive. Walking down the drive, all mom does is look in windows while the people just look at each other. Something to do with celebrity sightings. Finally we go into a store that sells shoes and such called Gucci. Sandy has me on a short lease, but I still get to check out the place. Soon, a cute blonde woman stands next to me with a tiny girl dog stuck in her purse. I tried to start a conversation, but all she does is look at me like I'm a hick. Her mom is from France and named Paris.

Sandy decided that while were here in La La land, that she's going to take me to a local veterinarian for a check-up. I love going to the vet because I always get a delicious treat. Now the office for the dog doctor is a lot different than back home. Everyone is dressed up to the nines including the cats and dogs. Soon a nice lady helper takes Sandy and me back to another waiting room. Seems like a maze in here. Finally, another doctor in a white coat comes in and greets us. He explains that he'll do a complete check-up and make sure everything is A-OK. I'm waiting for my treat.

After looking down my throat, feeling me-up, and weighing me, the doctor has a worried look on his face. "Ms. Steele, I feel that we have a number of issues with Susie that need to be resolved. First, her throat is sagging, her belly is sagging, her eyes are sagging, and lastly, her one ear is sagging. How long are you in town for?"

Now, I've had one ear sagging all my life caused from living in the wild before Sandy rescued me. I like it! Kind of gives me character. So don't mess with my ear.

Soon a lady vet came in to join the doctor with an analysis of everything that needed to be done along with the cost. They call it plastic surgery. I sure don't want some kind of toy stuck in me somewhere!
First, I need a nose job because my snout is too long. Second, a tummy tuck is necessary because my belly hangs down an extra inch or so. Last, my "folding" ear needs to be straighten "straight-up" so it doesn't hang down in my face. The hell with the treat. I need to get outa here!

After seeing the "bill" for all of this and looking at my forlorn face, thank God, Sandy decided to grab me and escape this Frankenstein factory. On the way out, I met a white poodle named Pete that had been neutered years ago. His mom suddenly decided that he didn't look manly enough, so she brought Pete in for an operation today. Seems he's getting something called a "neuticles" which is putting in fake testicles to replace the real ones he'd lost earlier. Now, I know what you're thinking, but I swear all of this is true. Google it... if you don't believe me!

Sandy decided that after the stress of this morning, we needed to hit the ocean. While relaxing on Santa Monica beach, we saw a Golden Retriever on a surfboard riding the waves and hanging eight. I swear!

Catch you later,

Sandy and Susie
P.S. An alien from outer space comes down to Earth. He observes a dog and his owner walking on the beach. The dog takes a poop while the man follows behind scooping it up. Whom should he ask, "Take me to your leader."

For more info on Sandy & Susie go to: www.sandysteele.com
To see all their blogs go to: http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com


Hollywood here I come

Sandy Steele's dog Susie says

Dreaming California

Sandy decided to take me on a trip back to her home in California for a vacation. I didn't know what she meant by that, because my work takes place in rippling streams, blue lakes and lush beautiful forests in the mountains around here. It's a rough job but somebody has to do it.

So we get to the airport in Atlanta where I understand more people and dogs fly out of it, than just about anyplace in the world. I wonder what first class is like? After checking in and then going through some line where strangers pick and poke your body, I'm ready to leave already. Then the bad news hits.

At the gate, mom is told that there is a weight limit for dogs to fly with the humans. It's 35 pounds. Now, Sandy has been feeding me nutritious dietary food all my life, so it shouldn't be a problem. However, she doesn't know that sometimes I go next door to Dusty's house and eat his food, while he is chasing a ball that I manage to toss down a hill. The nice lady at the gate takes me to a room and weighs me; 38 lbs. and now I'm dead.

Sandy does her best job of pleading, but to no avail. Seems the nice lady was actually feeling like a rag or something, or so my mom muttered. They brought out a cage with wires all around it and started to put me in it. Sandy's crying, but I manage to communicate that it's all right and not to worry. A few minutes later I'm down in some kind of "hold" in the plane and guess what; there's all kinds of dogs and cats down here with me. So, I decided to to make the best of the situation and plan a little party for all of us while we're flying for the next 5 hours. The dogs love the idea but the cats would rather sleep.

Somehow, we all soon fell asleep and when I awoke, we were in the LA airport which looked like some kind of spaceship. People were running around speaking in languages I couldn't understand. We then manged to get in something called a cab, and the driver also spoke in a language I didn't understand. Shortly, we arrived at a huge pink building, called "The Beverly Hills Hotel." We checked in and then were escorted somewhere in the back, to a smaller hotel called a "cottage." Sandy gave the nice man something, maybe a treat, for bringing our bags to the cottage. Dog tired, we both got into bed and fell asleep. "Tomorrow... will be another day!"

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. If your dog is fat, then you're probably not getting enough exercise. And never trust your dog to watch your food...if you're exercising without them.

For more info on Sandy & Susie go to: www.sandysteele.com
To see more Susie Says blogs go to http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com


100 miles to a bushel

Sandy Steele's dog Susie Says

Who needs cars

A few months ago, Sandy and I went into town to see what was going on with some holiday on the 4th of July. People were everywhere with their dogs and cats running amuck around the town square and people blowing horns and throwing small paper cigarettes that exploded on the ground. Scared the stuffing out of me, so I hid under an old fashioned covered wagon parked nearby.

Now don't get me wrong, but the horse that was attached to the wagon seemed dazed and not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. However, sitting on the driver's bench was a " sharper than your average male dog", dachshund named Buster Brown. Buster told me a tale that's hard to believe. Seems he met up with the driver of this covered wagon back in 2009 in Texas. They sort of rescued each other like Sandy and me. Now here's where it gets real interesting. And it's all completely true!

Buster and the wagon driver, Mr. Newton, decided one day in February 2 ½ years ago to go on a little trip together. So they packed up their food(vittles) and clothes and hitched up the horse engine and left Corpus Christi to see some of America. Whoa Nelly!!!

So far they've traveled over a thousand miles on their trip. And guess how much they spent on gas and lodging..Zero. The horse eats grass and such in fields where they camp out, and people along the way have actually given them food. Buster in fact could stand to lose a few. They sleep in the covered wagon or on the ground under the stars.

Here's the kicker. Mr. Newton said he awoke one day and decided to retire from work and married life at the same time. After talking to Buster, they decided to leave everything like bills and such behind them. No mailbox in a traveling covered wagon. Oh, by the way, Mr. Newton is 70.

I asked Sandy if we could go on a trip like that in a wagon across the country. She looked at me like maybe the fireworks had done something to my brain. Sandy is so warm blooded that she runs the air-conditioner in the winter. I swear. Anyway, Buster and Mr. Newton and the horse with no name, left our tiny village for parts unknown. The last thing I said was, they should go to the beaches in California and see the chicks.

Catch you later,
Susie and Sandy

P.S. People never really understand and appreciate that dogs really are man's best friend, until they start betting on horses.

For more info on Susie and Sandy go to www.sandysteele.com
To see all her blogs go to: http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com


Beauty Contest

Sandy Steele's dog Susie Says

I'm ready for my closeup...

Sandy decided to enter me in a dog beauty contest to be held at our new dog park on the river. She put sunglasses and a pink beaded necklace on moi which rattled when I ran. I think she spends too much time watching those celebrities on the red carpet when we're back in LA. Anyway, since I'm 19 in human years, I guess this is my prime. However, I drew the line at wearing a grass hula skirt. I wonder if that would make me look fat?

Getting ready for the impending circus event, she weighed me, pinched my flab, groomed my black and white coat, trimmed my toenails and lastly decided to "whiten" my teeth. Now a dog, when she's alone outside, eats a lot of stuff that's not exactly good for brightening your smile, if you know what I mean. But being the good-natured companion that I am, I decided to let Sandy do what she wanted. Up to a point.

She soon ran into my point. Sandy decided to educate me about tooth and gum disease, so she could actually brush my teeth with a toothbrush. Whoa! Being the good Border Collie that I am, I listened intently to her information concerning my gums and such. I learned that after age 3 in my actual years, eighty percent of dogs develop gum disease which leads to lost teeth and worse. Hey, I don't want to look like some of the farmers around here that live way up in the hills.

It's recommended that the owner brush her dog's teeth once a day. Also, the diet should be enhanced with eating raw meat. The gnawing of the meat and bone seems to prevent gum and tooth decay. So Sandy and I did a deal. I'd let her brush my teeth everyday in exchange for a daily meaty bone. Easy compromise. I wish those guys and girls in Congress could do the same thing.

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. The first rule in successful dog training is you must be smarter than your dog. Wonder why millions of dogs are running amuck everywhere?

For more info on Sandy & Susie go to www.sandysteele.com


Fall was in the air...

Sandy Steele's dog Susie Says

10 years ago on a beautiful September day...

On 9/11 a decade ago, our safe world in America forever changed. My husband and I were in New York and he had just visited friends Monday morning at the Twin Towers. We always enjoyed, when we were in Manhattan, visiting the World Trade Center and the "Windows on The World" restaurant. The very next day Tuesday, he lost four friends and business associates. Staying at the Plaza Hotel more than 50 blocks north of the man-made Holocaust, I remember the gray dust of crushed concrete wistfully floating down 5th avenue and into Central Park. A few days later there was an unmistakable aroma of death in the air. We'll never forget that Tuesday dawn, beautiful with blue skies, green grass and fountains gushing with sparkling water. Then in an instant, the inherited innocence of safety and security of living in America was forever lost.

On the flight back to our home in Los Angeles, we counted our blessings. No longer would we naively take everything for granted. We had each other, and our loving children that were now gone from our secure nest. Family meant everything... money nothing. That beautiful Tuesday morning became a day of mourning.

Ten years have passed and now we have Susie our beloved Border Collie. I rescued her and she saved me. My mother was dying from the ravages of Alzheimer's, so I moved from California to her home to take care of her. She went to heaven in late 2010. We stayed. Susie, my husband and I, now live a bi-coastal life. But, the more we stay here in the splendor of the ubiquitous breathtaking beauty of the lush mountains of North Georgia, the more peace on Earth seeps into our souls.

Now as y'all know by now, our dog Susie understands human. So she reminded me of the four-legged heroes, that sacrificed and eventually died, from effects of that sad day... the day peace on Earth died.

"Apollo" was a German Shepherd that was the first rescue dog on site. "Porkchop" worked so hard that he had to receive intravenous treatment to stay alive. Guide-dog "Roselle" led his blind owner down 78 floors to safety. "Cowboy" a black-and-white Border Collie like Susie, searched non-stop for days by nosing through all the blackened debris. "Jake" a black Labrador worked in both 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina years later. He eventually died in 2007 his body completely riddled with cancer. Jake gave it his all... along with all the human workers, who perished much too early from the face of the Earth!

Susie says to tell you to hold and hug your cats and dogs because you never know when you'll need them. Or lose them.

Warmest Regards,

Sandy and Susie,

P.S. Susie is making a video that help's test your dog's IQ. It's only $9.99 on TV, and if you buy it, then your dog is absolutely smarter than you.

For info on Sandy and Susie go to: www.sandysteele.com


Manhattan Maggie

Sandy Steele's dog Susie Says

I prefer Perrier

A friend of mine and her owner recently visited us here in the North Georgia mountains. They live in New York City. Seems that the owner, Craig Wilson, writes for a big newspaper, USA Today. I like the colored pictures and the crossword puzzles.

Anyway, Maggie my friend and confident told me a story about Craig trying to hire a "dog-walker" to take her out to do her business and such. In New York, it's much more difficult than here in the mountains and forests where just about any tree will do.

So when this walker guy show up, he starts to ask a lot of questions about Maggie. Such as, any bad medical or mental conditions like peeing on the floor? Or does Maggie have epilepsy, aggression, hate the mailman, howl at the moon, etc... ad nauseum. But here is the clincher; "does your dog drink tap or bottled water?" Craig reluctantly answered tap.

Maggie wanted to tell Craig, that she really preferred the pristine toilet water but she kept her comments to herself. The dog walker said "he'd evaluate the answers and get back to them."

I wonder how hard it is to get a child in kindergarten or middle school in the Big Apple?

You know Sandy and I spend half the year in LA on the beaches and the other half in "God's Country" here in the South. I'm glad that she doesn't have to hire someone to assist her in taking me out for long walks or just relieving myself. Life is good!

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy,

P.S. Dogs believe they're human. Cats believe they're God. However, did you here about the dyslexic cat that couldn't sleep fearing dogs were gods.

For more info on Sandy & Susie go to www.sandysteele.com