The Ark

Music Time!

By: RobDaHood, 3:46 PM GMT on January 30, 2009

Hey Everybody it's Music Time!

Some of you already know that music is a big part of my life. I know there are some here with musical backgrounds, others who just like to listen, or sing along. However you derive your enjoyment of music, here's your chance to share your favorite tunes. You can put up a YouTube video, Lyrics, a favorite memory involving music, or a note about how music has effected your life.

I think that 99.9 percent of us can agree that, while beauty is in the eye of the beholder...all in all music is a good thing and has a net positive influence upon or lives.

I enjoy many varied types of music, from Metal to Classical, Rodgers and Hammerstein to Kid Rock, Lerner and Loewe to Deep Purple. and it goes on forever.

Won't put too much more here, else I won't have anythin for the comments later...but the point is, post your favorites, and give a listen to other folks posts. You may discover whole new flavors...or you might find a favored old memory awakened. LOL Angie insist that my brain is organized by what music was playing at the time...

Two things I ask...
1.)keep it clean. There's a lot of stuff I like that I can't post here. If it's not suitable for the WU, you can always post the name and artist and folks can look it up for themselves.

2.)(and I know I don't have to say this to my regulars)Be respectful of other peoples preferences. Remember, your parents probably hated your music too!

Blog Name - "The Ark" - contributed by surfmom
Blog Theme Song -contributed by beell

ark image credit

Updated: 1:10 AM GMT on February 04, 2009


We now return to our regularly scheduled programming

By: RobDaHood, 9:21 PM GMT on January 22, 2009

A week ago, I posted a blog that I knew would put a damper on the normally festive atmosphere 'round these parts. It was something that I felt was important to do, and it did have the result of making new friends and opening up Some lines of communication. I would like to express my appreciation to those who participated, shared stories, words of comfort, and also for according the respect and dignity that the subject deserved.

But, we are a playful crew here, so we can't be expected to act all respectful and dignified forever. I've had some suggestions that we should post our funniest animal stories, explore interesting fashion possibilities, even rumours of invaders from the hinterlands...

So, Attention on deck...the Captain is proud of you, you get a week of liberty as reward...In other words,


Blog Name - "The Ark" - contributed by surfmom
Blog Theme Song -contributed by beell

ark image credit


A Tribute to Fallen Comrades

By: RobDaHood, 8:36 AM GMT on January 15, 2009

Okay, time to start writing.

This blog entry is a memorial to recently departed animal friends of WU members. It is not a blog post as much as it is a project. When the Idea first occurred to me, a little over a week ago, It seemed simple enough. I'll gather together a few photos, say a few kind words, provide an opportunity for folks to discuss the big deal, right? Wrong. I've always been able to maintain an objective detachment...keep emotions and logic in separate compartments, think rationally when those around me were falling apart, and after all, these were other peoples animal companions I would be dealing with...I've lost my own before, so how tough could it be.

Answer: Pretty tough. As I began searching through archives reading peoples posts and the sharing of stories by other members, my detachment melted away and I found my own emotions personally involved. You see, I've been through it. I know the hole that is left in your soul when a good friend leaves you. I recalled the "if only I had"...feelings. I began to remember, there are no words to make it all better. And all the ideas I had slipped away, seeming irrelevant and insufficient. This was an important subject to me and I truly wanted to do it justice. What I found was that I had set myself an impossible task.

What I decided was that the best thing was to let the story tell itself, in photographs, in the words of the survivors, and with some posts and poems that I had found scattered around the Wunderground.

My Forever Friend

I know that it must be different,
now that I am no longer there.
I realize how much I was loved
and how all of you did care.
I know it will be hard at first
when you look around for me.
Expecting to find me in my bed
or beside my favorite tree.
Someday you will begin to see
although it'll take some time,
the happy times you shared with me,
the memories are yours and mine.
I'll remember you, my friends,
and how much you meant to me.
So please don't grieve and don't be sad,
it was just my time to leave.

Author Unknown

I will start with my own story.
Rajah - RobDaHood

Rajah was given to me when he was only seven weeks old. The guy who had him showed him to me, knowing that I love dogs, and noticed the instant bond that formed. He said "That is YOUR dog...take him home." The old man was right. From that moment Rajah was mine as I was his. He grew from a rolly-polly puppy to the most regal animal I had ever know. The brains of a wolf and the confidence of a chow. He seemed to have somehow inherited all the best qualities from both sides of his family tree. We were constant companions. I spoke to him just like I speak to people and he seemed to understand every word. He knew my moods, he seemed to read my mind, often knowing what I was going to do before I had decided to do it. Once, we had a rather large bear on the property. He would not let anyone outside alone, and in the mornings would escort Angie's car to the gate and stand between her and where the bear was until she drove out of sight. From day one, He let all the other dogs know that he was destined to be pack leader, yet he always deferred to me. I think I, as alpha, was the only thing he ever feared, yet he trusted me completely. He could dominate any dog that he ever encountered, yet was never mean to them and was as gentle and patient as could be with children.

Rajah died suddenly, in my arms, on Father's Day 2004 in the early morning hours. I knew he hadn't been feeling well earlier in the evening, and his last act on this earth was to muster his strength to walk over to where I was sitting on the floor and stagger into my arms as if to say "I have to go now, boss, but when I go I want to be with you. and I'm not leaving without telling you goodbye." It was over in a minute. I was shocked, I felt impotent, and I did something I rarely do...I cried. But true to form, Rajah had been proud and noble and faithful to the end.

Ridge - deepwoods

A Little Prayer for Ridgie

Is there a country, Lord, where Thou dost keep
A place for dogs that fall asleep?
Large airy kennels, yards for hiding bones,
A little river chattering over stones……
And wide green fields for those who never knew a smokey town.
An old worn rug or two before a fire where sparks do not fly out….
Sparks are such nasty things to have about.

I like to think there is, and so I pray for one sweet loving dog
That died today. He was full of fun….not very wise, the puppy look
Still lingered in his eyes. But he was very dear. He’d come to me
And lay his soft brown chin upon my knee.

Thou knowest him; one night not long ago he tramped with me
Across the foggy roads. And there beyond the wood, peaceful and still
We met Thee while walking on the moonlit hill.

Lord, keep him safe wherever he may be…and let him always have a
Thought of me;
That I may hear when I pass through the dark, Thy soothing voice….
And then a friendly bark.

~ By Mina Brown of Newfoundland ~

Shelby - Bludawg

from Bludawg:
Shelby was beautiful and smart. She was the best watchdog. I believe she was my guardian angel. We had the privilege of having her in our home for 15 years and I miss her so much. I missed her before we said good-bye because when she went blind and her legs failed her, she was no longer herself in body or spirit.

Shelby was my first dog. My sister gave her to me for a college graduation gift in 1993 shortly after we moved to our house in the country. The day we got her home I was busy in the kitchen and she was behind me. She barked and I shushed her and then realized she wanted to go out. And so it went for 15 years, Shelby guiding me rather than me guiding her. She was always smarter than me and she tolerated me when I didn't do what she thought I should, it seemed.

She had her tender moments like when she licked my tears away. Mostly she had a job to do and that was to guard her home and her people.

She didn't like strangers and neither do I, so we were kindred spirits in that aspect. When I was home alone and someone came to the door, she barked and lunged at the door and I let her. She wouldn't have let anyone in. Over the years she gained quite a reputation.

She stood post by the sliding doors that we have in the bedroom, the dining room or the basement family room. She could tell if a vehicle was in our lane or the neighbor's lane and would only bark if it was in our lane. Well, until her eyesight went. When she couldn't see anymore she laid near the back door so she could feel the footsteps of anyone coming up to the house.

Clemintine - oneshotww

from oneshotww:
"Clementine, you enriched my life so much, thank you sweet, sweet girl. We miss you and think of you everyday. I am so glad that I got to be a part of your life even if only for a short time. My best memories are the tromps we took thru the woods, you'd get so excited when you even thought we might go for a walk. You were so funny, doing your circle dance as if to say, "walk?, I'm ready, I'm your girl". RIP girlfriend - 11-10-08, I love you." Your Wana (that's what I was to her)

Nova - Patrap

I first heard of Nova when this photo of her was posted showing her "guarding" Portlight supplies destined for Ike relief. I was saddened when Patrap informed us of Nova's passing. Nova has a special place here, because it was she who inspired me to do this blog. I always feel terrible for the poor animals who are left homeless and alone in the wake of a hurricane. A blogger, smmcdavid left a post here about her 5k run to raise money for the Houston Humane Society. Realizing how strained the resources for animal care are in that area, and how many homeless animals there still are, I wanted to help. Ike...relief...that photo of Nova...something clicked in my mind and I sent off a mail to Paul Timmons. I asked him what he thought about Portlight Strategies, Inc. contributing to the HHS by sponsoring smmcdavid in her 5k as a memorial to Nova and the other WUPets that had been lost this year and I would do this blog coinciding with it. Paul being the kindhearted fellow that he is thought it was a good Idea and ponied up a $100.00 pledge. I know money is tight for a lot of us, but it is also tight for charitable institutions right now and the need is great. I would encourage anyone who can to join Portlight in contributing to this worthy cause by visiting smmcdavid's blog and following the link there to sponsor her. If you ask her she can also tell you how to contribute by phone. She has reciprocated by volunteering to help in the Portlight Spring Walk efforts where I am sure she will be just as successful. So all the credit for this little memorial of mine goes to Nova,, and smmcdavid.

There is another way to help. That is with a living memorial, so to speak. There are so many animals in shelters that want a family to love. Which brings me to my closing story.

Brok Li RobDaHood

Unlike the other stories, this one is not a rememberance, but rather one of love, hope, and the future. Brok came to join our family only a short while before Rajah's death. He was a pound puppy. A mutt from the humane society. I didn't want another dog, but he ended up here. Unlike Rajah, Brok didn't have a regal bone in his body, was a bit of a sissy, and I thought he would never learn to comprehend english. When Rajah died, Brok came into his own. He is now 90 lbs of wanna be lap dog. Very loving, won't even hurt a rabbit or squirrel, and a big goofy buddy, but also protective of his family. He will never be like Rajah, nor should he be, but he did step up and do his best to fill the hole in my heart...The reason for his inclusion here is simple. The best way to ease that pain is to make a new friend. They will never replace the old, but they will offer you something new and just as special. Life, after all is a circle, with a beginning, an end, and a renewal.

Please read the comments section of the blog. Nice sharing and caring by our blogger friends.


Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

In conclusion, here is some nice piano music, perfect for reflection.


I don't know who wrote this, it was emailed to me a while back. It is a good story.

A Dog's Purpose(from a 6-year old's perspective).

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolf hound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are s horter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, 'I know why.'

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, 'People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?' The Six-year-old continued, 'Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.'

Suggested reading contributed by surfmom:

ANIMALS AND THE AFTERLIFE - true stories of our best friends' journey beyond death
by Kim Sheridan

"Along w/her own extraordinary experiences, she complied meaningful true stories of everyday people around the world and discovered compelling evidence that forever erased her doubts about an afterlife for animals. This book provides enormous comfort and reassurance to anyone who has ever cherished an animal and food for thought for anyone who has questioned the place of these beloved creatures in the larger scheme of things both here on Earth and Beyond"

I was deeply & profoundly touched and affected by this book -- it gave me the freedom to believe what I already knew

Updated: 10:55 PM GMT on January 21, 2009


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