Houston Hooker

October 9th, 2015

Perusing Facebook on my brother’s 47th birthday, I saw Thor’s Petfinder profile on Reggie the Deaf Pit Bull’s page.



Meet Thor!

Thor and his brothers were surrendered to us by a family who had an accidental litter and needed help finding responsible homes for them.

Thor is DEAF, but he does not let that get in his way! He is happy, outgoing, and very smart. He responds well to signs and will be easy to train with signs.

Thor is about 9 weeks old. A SUPER CUTE lab / cattle dog mix. We were told dad was in the 70 pound range, so Thor could grow up to be a BIG boy.

Thor has been well socialized with other dogs (large and small) and cats. He LOVES to play with his brothers, nap on the couch, and investigate the yard. We are working on his house and leash training. He is kennel trained.

Thor is not old enough to be neutered yet, but he will be as soon as he is old enough. Adopters must sign a spay/neuter contract affirming their understanding he will be neutered once he is old enough. He is current on his shots.

Thor is very smart and incredibly friendly. He loves everyone and everything he meets!

Thor’s adoption fee is $250 (which includes all of his vetting – shots, neuter, and microchip).

If you would like more information on adopting Thor , please email LC at adoptions@reggiesfriends.org

With spotted ears, a pink and black nose, and soft eyes, I was charmed.

Two days later, I messaged LC at Reggie’s Friends and asked if anyone was interested in Thor.

LC’s responded, “No. No hits on him yet. He is PERFECT beyond PERFECT. So sweet and SMART!”

Since I could not stop thinking about him, I wrote, “If we could arrange transport, I’d be happy to adopt him.”

Having been one of Reggie’s friends on Facebook for years, LC replied, “I would LOVE for him to be with you—I’d know he was safe and loved forever.

Because he was on my mind, I started thinking about names.

I messaged, “Since Thor is from Texas, he is either going to Woodrow Call, Ranger or Cowboy. Which name suits him best?”

“I think Ranger is perfect for him!” exclaimed LC.

On Monday, October 13th, I asked about Ranger. LC replied, “He is great. He is home with us. He is having some separation anxiety with his brothers being adopted, so he is much happier when he is with the pack. He is SUPER sweet.”

Then came the really good news.

LC wrote, “I’m looking at a flight that would get him into SLC on Friday at 12:09 your time. Pick up is usually within an hour. Sometimes they are slow getting the dogs across the tarmac, but they pull them from the plane first and put them in climate controlled vans.”


But, when Ranger flew in on Friday, he became Houston Hooker. Houston was easier for my mom to remember.


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Why We (You Doggies) Can’t Have Nice Things #7

Stuffy 1  IMG_5116

While I’m away, you have elaborate memorial services for stuffies in the backyard.

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Teachers Don’t Have the Luxury of “Bad Days”

Having “a bad day” is a luxury that, for 180 days each year, is not an option for a teacher.

Earlier this week, on historic Main Street in downtown Park City, I fell into fashion. The boutiques hosted an evening of shopping.

Emily, Tara and I went from shop to shop. While walking from Farasha to OC Tanner, a young man called, “Mrs. Hooker! You’re Mrs. Hooker.”

When I turned, he continued, “I’m Jonathan from your fourth grade class. Do you remember?”

I remembered.

Jonathan explained to my friends, his friends and me, “You are my favorite teacher.”

One of his buddies added, “Seriously. You are. He still talks about you.”

Jonathan is 24-years-old now.

“In third grade I had Mrs. Wilhelm. When we did something wrong, she made us turn our cards from green to yellow or red. I was so shy.” Looking at me, he asked, “Do you remember how shy I was?”

I remembered Jonathan’s quiet presence, mixed with a quick wit and intelligence.

Jonathan pressed on with his story, “Then, I got into your class. You laughed at my jokes when I said something about Democrats and Republicans.”

While Jonathan spoke, I watched my friends react with smiles. Both Emily and Tara are teachers. Younger than me, they have not had the experience of meeting a former student as an adult, as a peer.

Emily took my phone and snapped a photo.


Jonathan and his friends continued down the street to toward the Thai restaurant. We walked on to the jewelry store.

That night, when I returned home, I called Dwight. I teach because of Dwight. At the time Jonathan was in my classroom, I made less than $30,000/year and Dwight literally subsidized my teaching. He bought a library full of books along with beautiful art for the walls.

Jonathan reminded me that my students count on me. I joke that I don’t teach; I do three stand-up shows a day for very different audiences.

The reality is that my students need me to be “on.” While the content I teach is essential, the way I make a child feel is even more important.

I’m not perfect. I do have bad days. But, I make a conscious choice to leave my unhappiness, worry, and angst at the door when I walk into my classroom.

There are, however, days when my fuse is short or I’m sick. (Yes, I know we tell students to stay home when they are sick, but as a teacher, it is too difficult to script a lesson for a substitute. It is easier to show up and teach.) On those days, I tell my class that I do not feel well and my tolerance level is low. In return, they are compassionate and understanding.

Thank you, Jonathan, for reminding me that being an effective teacher requires being present and laughing.

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Why We (I) Can’t Have Nice Things (like panties) #6

Why We (I) Can’t Have Nice Things (like panties) #6
Yesterday, during a passing period at school, my friend, another teacher, walked up and whispered, “I just went to the bathroom. How did dog fur get in my panties?

“It could be worse,” I began, “I sort my laundry on the floor and Booker chews the crotch out of them.”


“I sort my laundry on the floor, too. My husband went hunting last weekend. He must’ve got into something really nasty because the puppy peed on his shirt.”

“Yuck. Do you have apple cider vinegar?” I asked.

“No, why?”
“Pour some in the laundry. It will get the remove the smell of urine.”

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Why We Can’t Have Nice Things #5


Pillows from World Market provide a splash of color, but, like everything else, they attract fur and end up on the floor. Therefore, we can only purchase pillows that are on sale for $9.99.


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Why We Can’t Have Nice Things #4


Faith, the beautiful Bernese, sheds. Now, the carpet under the bed looks like cashmere.

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Why We Can’t Have Nice Things #3

ALL of the dogs lounge on the sofa.


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