The Texas Two-Step

What a great time we’ve had the last two nights: I had the pleasure of doing a fund raiser for the Austin Humane Society in Austin Tuesday night, and for the Animal Defense League of Texas in San Antonio last night. Both nights had fantastic turn outs and raised lots of money for good causes.

By the way, please please please check out the website of the Austin Humane Society. This is what I shouted in my office, months ago, when I first found it: “You guys, you guys, you HAVE GOT TO COME SEE THIS!!!”

A few hours south of Austin, the newly formed San Antonio Pet Trainers Alliance (all progressive trainers, and as nice a group as you can imagine) organized the San Antonio event and donated all the money to the Animal Defense League. You can learn more about the Alliance by writing Its founders are Lorraine Martinez, Diana Wilkins and Irma Bice who trains at the Palms Pet Resort. If you are in the area, this looks like a fantastic opportunity to pack up with progressive trainers who are committed to educated and positive-based dog training. They are planning a series of educational events, and it was a singular pleasure to help them get the ball rolling.

One more special person to mention:  a generous woman (who preferred to be anonymous), the best friend and partner of a Portuguese Water Dog, bid $150 dollars for one of Willie’s “distressed” toys. We converted the proceeds into lots and lots of Love Has No Age Limit books for the Animal Defense League to send home with adopted dogs. A win/win all the way around.

Now that the speeches are over, I have time to show you a few photographs from our time at the Lake Austin Resort & Spa. First off, here are four lovely individuals we got to enjoy for two and a half days at the Celebrating Paws week at Lake Austin Resort. Susan and Mary Floye belong to Hap and Dorie, both dogs rescued from pretty horrific lives, and doing amazingly well.

Along with the services of a great clicker trainer (yeah Tina!) and a massage therapist, the Lake Austin also brought in Pet Photographer Jay Herman of Zoom Pet Photography, who does amazing work, is a delightful man and has about the most oxytocin producing Golden Retriever who ever lived, Abby.

Here’s one of  his photos of Hap, who Susan rescued from life on the streets in the barrio. Hap was extremely polite, but cautious of unfamiliar people. He made great progress at Celebrating Paws and seemed to be enjoying himself immensely.

And here’s the lovely Dorie, who Mary Floye adopted from Border Collie Rescue:


Following are a few photos of the wild critters Jim and I enjoyed. A far cry right now from November in Wisconsin for sure. Here’s a Monarch on what looks like what we call a Butterfly Bush. (And was it ever, it was covered with dozens of butterflies, gorgeous to watch.)

Next is either a Soldier or a Queen Butterfly. It’s in the Monarch family. The two species are very close, and apparently sometimes interbreed. It’s not a butterfly I’m familiar with, anyone know how to distinguish the two species?

Jim took the last photograph, on a boat tour we took of Lake Austin. It’s an Osprey, sometimes called a Fish Eagle, because it eats fish almost exclusively. It is one of the most widely distributed raptors, we see them in Wisconsin too. We had a great time watching this and many other gorgeous birds on the lake edge, from herons to egrets to grebes. Truly heavenly for a bird watcher like me.

And now, Jim and I are going to go play with dear friends and add two more fun and silly days to our honeymoon. Happy Dance again. Then home on Sunday, where I’ll melt into a puddle because as wonderful as it is here, if I told you how much I missed Willie you’d send me to counseling.)


  1. Gordon Edwards says

    It’s hard for me to read because is sounds so perfect and wonderful and I didn’t get to make the trip to Texas that had been planned for months. My big guy re-injured his leg and had yet another (his 3rd) surgery on it. He’s doing well, but I had to forgo the trip to San Antonio to see my daughter and catch your talk. Oh well, next time.

    Thanks for the great report and photos. Makes it almost like being there. Almost.

  2. Mary says

    Jim must a fabulous camera, great detail… The butterflies are beautiful nice shot! Love the Osprey with the spider web, what is the nest like thing?

    I am sure Willie will be excited upon your return! I swear Kaiser’s heart beats in tandem with mine, now whose crazy!!!!!!

    Good day to you…

  3. Trisha says

    Argh, Gordon, so sorry to hear about the injury. Third surgery? Ouch.. for him, for your heart, not to mention your budget. Sending healing thoughts, catch you next time!

  4. Pat says

    Queen Butterfly below the Monarch.

    Trisha, you’re missing a beautifly 50+ sunny day in Wisconsin! Good to hear you had a nice trip to Texas!

  5. Jackie G says

    What a treat it was to hear your talk last night in San Antonio. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Thank you so much for coming here where we have so much work to do for dogs in need.

  6. LunaGrace says

    OMG – I am in LOVE with AHS’s “rapping dog with the speaker on his head”! What clever producers they have/had!

    I can understand how much you miss Willie, I was fortunate enough to spend several days all-expenses-paid in London a couple of years ago. While my days were filled with the excitement of Hyde Park, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum and a day trip to Stonehenge, I still bawled myself to sleep every night in the lovely little boutique hotel ….. missing Yogi and the cats. (Sounds like a jazz ensemble, doesn’t it?!) Wonder if that, alone, qualifies them for Therapy Pets?

    A week married and still doing the Happy Dance …. how wonderful for you both!

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