Little Prince: It is Bieshert


Bieshert is Yiddish for “meant to be.”

There were a few people who chastised and criticized me for “paying for a puppy” when I bought Prince.

That hurt.

Right now, our home is filled with two rescue cats and three rescued dogs. Over the past five years, we have fostered and failed more times than I can count. The Hooker Horde provides hospice.

A year ago, I received the Huntsman Excellence in Education award along with a generous cash prize. I planned to use the money to buy a Berner puppy and train him to be a therapy dog.

After losing two Berners in the first two months of this year, I found The Little Prince; he was the runt of his litter and, when I met him, they had not taken a deposit for him.

Prince came home; ten days later, we discovered a giant liver shunt that made it impossible for him to process food and grow. His first family refunded all of my money and said prayers.

Support from friends, family and our veterinarians brought us to the teaching hospital at Colorado State University.

The Little Prince and I will celebrate Easter Sunday; the Little Prince is reborn.

The Little Prince is bieshert.

If I hadn’t won the award, bought Prince, and had the support, Prince would not be here.

Every dog deserves a life filled with love and luxury.


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Mom, Park City is NOT a Third World Country

imagesWhen mom plans to visit Park City, the conversation goes like this:

ME:  Okay, I’ll pick you up after school.

MOM:  Well, come a little early because I’m bringing a sack of groceries.

ME:  What?

MOM:  Well, do you have peanut butter?

ME:  No. You’ve seen me make almond butter.


MOM:  How about milk? I don’t want to drink that stuff you have in your refrigerator.

ME:  It’s almond milk.

MOM:  Right.  Do you have Pepsi?

ME:  Yes. I still have the mini cans I bought when you had knee surgery.

MOM:  Good.  I like to have a mini-can with dinner. Otherwise, I have to bring a snap-top to save half of a regular can.


ME: Excellent. Jodi has leftover full-size cans from her birthday party.

MOM:  Do you have cinnamon?

ME: Of course.  Why?

MOM:  Well, I like cinnamon toast.

ME: Mom, Park City is not a third world country. There’s a Smith’s within walking distance.


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I Live a Charmed Life


Today, I found an envelope from Embellish in my mailbox. Inside, was this.

My sweet Berner friend sent me charm to place next to Faith’s key to my heart.

When Embellish ships, I feel like a princess receiving gifts.

Earlier in the week, a colleague gave all of us a bracelet made of smokey quartz to keep us grounded.

Today, Mar, gave me the beads from around her neck.

My heart is softer now.

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Protected: An Open Letter to Laura Olsen Barney from Princess’ Mom

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2 More Reasons Why I’m Wearing Sweats Tomorrow


After a 12-1/2 hour school day that included parent/teacher conferences, I arrived to four enthusiastic dogs. As usual, they bounded into the laundry room and started barking when they heard the garage door.

But, when I walked in, Betty White was shaking. She followed me and tripped into a water bowl.

I scooped her up, set her back on all four paws and watched her stumble. Betty White seemed disoriented. She was shaking. Her tail was between her legs.

TEXT FROM ME TO DR. KERI:  Keri, I think you’re teaching pole right now, but something is really wrong with Betty White.

Keri called.

KERI:  I just got home. I had to get a sub for pole because I’m still sick.  What’s wrong with Betty White?

ME:  She’s being nice.

TOGETHER:  Nervous Laughter.

ME:  She’s letting me hold her and she’s not snapping at me when I wipe her eyes.

KERI:  Do you want me to come over?

ME:  No.  You’re sick.  I’ll bring her to you for a house call.

Turns out, Betty may have a scratched cornea.

I wonder if she had some type of stroke. Dwight had a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA).

Between school and Betty White, I did not put on my pajamas until 8:45.

With a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon to keep me company, I turned on the televsion. Michael Moore was talking about a resignation.



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Princess’ Team: A Tribute to LOVE

Etiquette suggests that we place the person before the situation. However, I do not know of a pet person that would not want the pet to come first.

My pet people see veterinarians as super heroes. Veterinarians are real people with super powers that live among us. Often we don’t see their capes until action is required.


In fact, we claim our veterinarians. My veterinarian is Dr. Carl Prior at the Park City Animal Clinic. That having been said, the Hooker Horde has a whole team of superhero veterinarians and technicians ready and willing to jump in for extreme vetting.


Last November, Dr. Prior met Princess.

When I think of a princess, I think of Princess Diana, the people’s princess.


It took a team to make Princess Diana a princess. She had stylists, speech writers, and security. But, it was her heart that made her a real princess.

It took a team, led by Dr. Prior, to make our Princess, Princess Hooker.

First, Dr. Prior saw in this girl something too special to let go. Dr. Prior gave his time, his talent and his treasure to save her life. Princess’ team included sweet Susan, Nikki and Moe at the Park City Animal Clinic. In addition, Dr. Hopper and Dr. Nazzaro stepped up and in to make sure Princess was ready for a new life.

Then, he trusted me to follow through and love her.

At home, Dr. Keri Bogardus met me. I wasn’t sure how I’d get Princess in the house and comfortable with everyone. But, with Keri (also a superhero vet), it was easy. It was as if Princess had been a Hooker her whole life.IMG_5061.jpg

Back in Pennsylvania, Dr. Toby Erlichman answered my questions via Facebook message.

On a few mornings, Princess cried out in pain. Dr. Keri Bogardus came right over.

We had some ups and downs.  On December 21st, Dr. Prior found another mass. He removed it. We biopsied it. It was sarcoma, but the margins were clear.

From November 26th, 2016 – February 24th, 2017, just 3 short months, Princess Hooker was a true Princess.

Princess had a family. She even had a grandma.

For Christmas, a Facebook friend sent her a BARKBOX.

Another friend, Cousin Nikko, Faith’s nephew, sent Princess $100! He was her Secret Santa. We thought about what to spend it on  . . . a new collar? Cousin Nikko’s gift paid for Princess’ portrait painted by a Berner buddy.

She spent Christmas Day helping clear snow in Grandma’s driveway with Uncle Jeff and eating ham.

From the moment Princess came home, she ate slow-cooked chicken mixed over vegetables.


Princess enjoyed the snow, hiking at Run-a-Muck, snuggling in her very own bed, and listening to stories.

For Princess’ 10th birthday, we had a party. She drank some CharDOGnay from my wedding glasses and enjoyed a cake with mashed potato frosting. (I drank the Veuve Clicquot.) Everyone PAW-tied.

For a moment, I was optimistic. What if the clear margins from the second surgery meant that the cancer was gone?

When Princess started panting, licking her paws and her bed, and stopped going up the stairs, I knew.

So, we made a cake.


Following are a few thoughts from our pet communicator:

She is trying to get your attention.  She isn’t feeling at all well and knows that soon she will feel very badly.  She doesn’t want to go through too much discomfort.  She likes that you are willing to send her home before it gets too bad. 

So any time now?  Party first?  Maybe?  She’s hoping.   In a week or so?  Sooner?  She’s ready.

So sorry to hear about Faith but, you do have enormous gratitude coming from her wonderful energy.  She’s barking and running around the house.  Tearing around the house is more apt.  I’m surprised her happy little soul hasn’t tripped you up on the steps.  She says she spent a goodly amount of time just jumping up and down.  Nice to not have the body impeding us.  She is a little rapscallion right now.  Just soo filled with joy.  She’s just going on and on like that.  Very nice to connect with.

The day Princess decided to leave, she woke up and BARKED at Faith’s portrait.


After adventuring outside in the snow, I poured myself a glass of liquid easy courage and sat next to my girl on her bed.  Lost in the feel of her fur, I heard the slurp before I realized she was sipping, too.

With Dr. Prior, tears in his eyes, he wondered, “Did we do the right thing? Did we put her through too much for just three months?”

No question. He and all of his superhero angels did the right thing. Princess Hooker had 3 months of unconditional love and pampering.

Our pet communicator wrote this on January 7th, 2016:

Well, look at that.  Never mind, she’s just fine and wanting to stick around and all the dogs love her and she loves them….And, You.  Not kidding one bit.  This is working.  I’d like to offer for you to send her picture every once in awhile and we’ll do a check in and keep her where she wants to be.  But, honestly, at this point I believe you would hear her very well.

She’s lovely, so are you.   No charge.  Apparently, you are hearing them loud and clear.  Many hugs, 

She continued.

She’s tired and not feeling 100%, but this is the happiest she’s ever been.  Just to clarify.  We’ll keep an eye on her and that will be my contribution. 

January 21st

We’re very close.  Maybe even next week?  We’ll see.  She adores you to pieces and all the dogs are helping you help her.  Really very sweet.  

January 23rd

Thank you for listening to these lovely animals.  She knows she will go home soon but she is treasuring every second with you and your wonderful dog family. 

February 23rd:

She can’t stand to be without you.  Sunday or earlier would work for her.  Sigh, have to go get a kleenex.  This is hard on all of us silly humans.  Many, many hugs to you.  thank you so much from her, and from me, for taking such good care of her.   February 25th:

Boy, for some reason I’m having a hard time with this passing.  Luckily, I can see how happy and loving and grateful she is, but boy, this one really, really touched my heart.  Thank you again for providing such a safe haven for her. 

So, at the end of the day, the superpower, for veterinarians and everyone who made Princess, Princess Hooker is 4 letters.  It is love. LOVE from so many.
When I left the clinic, I opened my phone to find that Shonda and Mike had shipped Princess’ portrait that very afternoon.
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Life Lessons from the Horde

  1.  Wear your coat when you go outside in inclement weather.

    2. Snuggle.


3.  Gramma’s are awesome. Love them while you can.


4.  It’s okay to be inquisitive.


5.  Eat, drink and be merry.

6. If you have Faith, you are safe.


7. In a way, all of us have an El Guapo to face.

Lucky Day: In a way, all of us has an El Guapo to face. For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us, El Guapo is a big, dangerous man who wants to kill us. But as sure as my name is Lucky Day, the people of Santa Poco can conquer their own personal El Guapo, who also happens to be *the actual* El Guapo!

8. It’s never too early for cake.


9. LOVE.  Love is the answer.


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