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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Memories

As a dog lover, I have known many people whose lives were changed by the addition and the loss of a beloved pet and that's what I am writing about today.

In doing research for a future book, I've spent the last few years talking to anyone and everyone about their relationships with their dogs.  Most of the time, we are discussing their current best friend but every once in a while, I see a change come over the person.  Their eyes go a little distant, their voices get lower and quieter, and they begin to tell me about a dog in the past - one who is long gone but always remembered.

For me, it's my one and only Deanna Troi - my lab/aussie, beautiful, perfect (ha ha) dog that graced all of my ads, flyers, newsletters, and mailers for 8 years. 

She came to me one Easter weekend in 1993 - I had left my million hours a week job and finally had the time to care for a dog.  I knew someone that had an Australian shepard named Shasta who was one of the smartest dogs I had ever met.  Shasta's parents came to me one day and asked me if I knew anyone 'that would want a puppy'....seems that they hadn't gotten around to fixing her yet and during a Super Bowl party, Shasta had dug her way out of the yard to visit her boyfriend next door and voila - the deed was done.  I immediately said YES and then went about doing research on dogs.  

Shasta gave birth to ten puppies - I could not wait to get over and see them.  On the day they were ready to be adopted, I was the first to pick.  It was like a "Kodak" moment when the door opened and all 10 black puppies came running out at me sitting on the yard.

I knew I wanted a block-headed big male and found one in the crowd - what a doll he was and of course I did all the temperment testing that I read about.....not - just picked him up, smelled puppy breath, and that was it.  I had found him.

Before I could leave, the friend that was with me came in to the yard carrying a small black pup with some white on its nose and paws.  "What about this one?"....Well - up to my face with her sweet nose and still blue eyes and I heard myself say "Sure, I want them both.   As a Star Trek fan - they were now Lt. Worf and Deanna Troi.... Worf ended up with a couple at Reed College (a story for another day) and Deanna with me.

List of names:
Whirly Girl
Marjorie the Majorette
Mamma's Girl
Twirlin Around
and of course: Deanna Troi

Once past the terrible twos, there has never been a more perfect dog (except for yours I know).  Deanna was a talker who made a variety of sounds.  She did not beg, she did not disobey, she did not chew, she had perfect recall, and she loved me as much as I loved her.

I got a portrait of her one Christmas made by a local Florida artist:

Deanna became my assistant in my Real Estate career - by my side in every ad, flyer, newsletter, fax, you name it.  I was the dog whisperer and still am.  She has been gone for 4 years now - I love my current friend with all my heart but in some quiet times, I long to see my Whirly Girl again.

Happy Memorial Day - feel free to send me your greatest memories

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Solar Bliss - here in Oregon

Another reason to be proud of living here in Oregon is our environmental consciousness that has created a state that recycles more than any other --- by a mile.  We were the first state to pass a bottle bill back in 1972 --- this law keeps more than 120 million containers out of Oregon landfills, (that's about 1700 garbage trucks work per year). 

Now we have reached a huge landmark that we should be proud of - 50% recovery of waste generated in our state.  According to the Oregon Material Recovery and Waste Generation Report (whew that was a mouthfull), through recycling, composting, and energy recovery, our state had a 50% recovery rate in 2010.

Now let's talk about solar - you know the thing that a lot of us want but we always say is too expensive?  Here's a breakdown of true cost of just the installation when factoring in tax incentives and more:

Example #1:  3 kilowatt PV system

$16,000.00 -  Installed cost at $5.33 a watt
   -3750.00 - Energy Trust Incentive
$12,250.00 - Amount paid to contractor

Now for the GOOD news

  -3675.00 - Federal Tax Credit (30% of $12,250.00)
  -6000.00 - Oregon Tax Credit ($2.10/watt, capped at $6,000.00)
$2575.00 - Final cost to homeowner

To learn more about solar, call the wonderful folks at Energy Trust of Oregon: 1-866-368-7878 or visit Solar Oregon

It's much more affordable now so take advantage of these great rebates and tax credits to upgrade your home with Solar.  Makes a great selling feature when it's time to sell.

Visit my website and register if you have more questions about solar or other real estate needs:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I am in a Penthouse

Come and visit me tomorrow - Saturday, April 7th from 1:00 - 4:00 and see this beautiful penthouse condo right on the Willamette river.  1830 NW Riverscape - top floor (of course) See you there -  I can show you where the dogs are around this place!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Put a smile or belly laugh in your day!

Sometimes here in Portland, the weather is grey and cloudy and a person can find themselves off in dreamland thinking about sunshine.  For me, I admit that I can spend a bit too much time on YouTube watching dog and cat videos, but who doesn't?  These have a way of sucking you in because you can't help but feel better after seeing some of our four legged friends on video.

I wanted to share a small compilation of my personal favorites - send me some of yours too!

Dog's Eye View:

Oh No You Didn't:

Who Let the Dogs Out?  Classic

Another classic:

Guilty Dog:


Printer issues

Bully Kitty

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Renovation Dogs

Forget all the stage your home for sale or look for a home or million dollar listings shows on HGTV - how about a new show entitled - Pet Renovation!!!

The concept is simple - we all have our own stories of dogs and cats helping us in our renovation and decorating or know people who do.  From the simple things like dog beds scattered throughout and multi-storied cat 'condos' to the elegant blanket as slipcover, us pet owners know a thing or two about doggie renovation. 

How about showcasing this wonderful and under reported aspect of our four legged friends?  Why not feature some of the wonderful work that can be accomplished in a short afternoon --- and even done all by themselves!  The hard work!  The artistry!  The magic of doggie renovation is sure to be a huge hit. 

Here are some examples for you to enjoy

Dog Training for Dummies - PRICELESS

This busy dog didn't let a cone hamper his work!

I may be small, but I can renovate with the best of them

See, a new dog door is EASY

We are helping with the recycling

A cat bowl is not needed in this house

My Own Special renovater

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Pit Bull" love

So I admit a bit of fear of certain dog breeds - snapping poodles, snarling chihiuahuas, tiny little toy breeds that I am afraid of inadvertenly hurting.

What I am not afraid of is the media image of out of control breed known now as the Pit Bull.   I do admit that any dog can be dangerous, I am not crazy or naive but what I do NOT accept is that all Pit Bulls (a misnomer at best) or "rotties" or Chow Chows need special legislation.

This Breed Specific Legislation or BSL as it's known is rampant across America and is usually aimed at the Pit Bull - Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Target, Spudz MaKenzie),  and in some cases just the appearance or characteristics of pit bull.  There are over 200 counties in US that ban these breeds all together.

Insurance companies have a boon-town because owners must often purchase huge liability insurance policies, home owner insurance companies dictate to home owner what kind of pet they can have and threaten cancelation if a 'pit bull' or other breed they have determined as dangerous lives in the home.

These laws have unintended consequences with thousands of dogs being confiscated from owners and euthenized, owners being served eviction papers if they don't relinquish their dog, and mass populations of "pit" type dogs being abandoned to shelters and put down by the ten of thousannds across America every year.

A must see documentary - Beyond the Myth will be showing on April 1st at the Hollywood Theatre - 4120 NE Sandy Blvd

For more Info:

Come show your support!  See you there

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I want a family - the joys of adopting

We are lucky to live here in the Great NW for a variety of reasons - big trees, lots of green space, cool neighborhoods and coffee shops, and for me the political landscape.

One thing that is not so great, is the large number of pets without a home.  If you want to get a pet, and who doesn't, there are a plenty of places you can find them. There are rescue groups for almost any breed you would want, foster programs, adopt-a-thons and so much more. You can get breed education, training tips, and a friend for life.  Here are a few places for you to check out before you go out looking for that new family member

For overall resources, this is a FANTASTIC site:

Family Dogs New Life (No Kill Shelter)
9101 SE Stanley Ave
Portland, Oregon 97206
Web Site:
e-mail them at

Greyhound Rescue - you will not be sorry you brought one of these lovelies home:

Oregon Humane Society - 143 years young and going strong with a goal of 11,000 adoptions this year - check them out:

Oregon Dog Rescue (simple and easy to understand huh!) These folks do great work and have a lot of resources to help your new kiddo fit right in:

This is just a partial list of places to look at.  Not ready to get a pet?  How about volunteering or donating?  These places do a great service for the animals and our souls.  They are always in need help of one kind or another from adopt-a-thons and cat-nip spay clinics to fostering in your home to food and money!

Here is my 'sammy'