An exquisite message from my dear, dear friend Terri Mattila, regarding my having to bid farewell to my 20-year-old kitty, Xander, yesterday.

No words that pass my lips will dissolve your pain
Nor mend the open wound that is your heart.
A touch from my fingers, though filled with love,
Is not a magic potion, nor a healing incantation.

My love cannot make it better
The way a kiss upon a child’s head mends all.
The hurt is too deep, a well without an end…
Or so it seems for now.

So all I can do is capture your tears
And bring them inside me and hold them there
And we will sit, soaked in tears, together.
And maybe this will make things better, a bit.

Someday the clouds will break and beams will poke through
And reach down and touch your face
Like a soft Xander paw, or whiskers, or a purr
As if to say, “All is well, and hang on until we meet again.”

But until that day, know that she loved you so.
And that the world that you designed for her with warmth and food
And catnip mice
Made her life on this earth a little taste of Heaven.

Below are the pictures of Xander’s peaceful, painless, love-filled passing, with Ambrose, my Westie, providing comfort during our final goodbyes. Thank you again, Dr. Diane, from Minnesota Pets (MN Pets), for your kindness, compassion and respectfulness.


just arting around.jpgI’ve recently begun painting as a means of healing my heart and soul as I navigate a divorce. I’ve also pledged to share this with others. Therefore, I’ve starting Just Arting Around as a means of getting others to try their hand at painting in a private, small-group setting. If you’re in the Twin Cities, please contact me to set up a party for you and your friends.


It is with sadness (but not exactly surprise) that I share the news that our goldfish Dill has died.

Dill joined the family on August 7th, 2009 as a tankmate for Ginger who was fading after Fred’s death. Ginger died two weeks later leaving Dill as an “only fish” for the next (almost) seven years.

Having been through the “get a pair of fish/one dies/get a new one/one dies” cycle too many times in my life, I said Dill would be our last fish. When Madeline was little we brought home Mulder and Scully and figured when they inevitably died, we’d put the bowl in drydock and set a nice pair of candle holders in that spot. Scully lived through three bowls and two (progressively larger) tanks during her eight year run. Next came Fred and Ginger. Fred had more personality than any fish I have known and I still miss seeing his boisterous “feed me feed me feed ME” can-can dance every morning.

Dill was a little comet and never grew very much. He was cute and very mild mannered. Last fall Dill had some health problems. With fish, often once you realize they have a problem it’s too late. I didn’t think he’d live to see Halloween but, after a lot of water changes, medicinal salt and increased aeration, he managed to pull through. He looked somewhat worse for wear with clouded eyes and fin splits that wouldn’t heal.

He’d been doing well recently (and never lost his appetite) but this morning he was curled over and not swimming much. I did a quick water change but within a couple of hours he was gone. He was laid to rest under one of the lilac bushes Madeline planted for me near where Scully, Fred and Ginger were all buried over the years.

This is the end of an era. No more fishies. I’m going to be donating our little 6 gallon tank (stored and kept for use as a “hospital tank”), nets and fake rock archway. The twenty five gallon acrylic tank has been emptied and cleaned and will find a new home with my friend Betsy. That seems somehow appropriate as Betsy is the one who gave us a gallon bowl and Whisper aerator that started this whole fishy business.

—Marit Livingood

It matters not one iota what species the critter is; once they’ve trotted, crawled, slithered, swum, or flown into your heart, they’re there to stay. You have my sinserious condolences. (And you KNOW I really mean it.) I’m proud of you for honoring all your finned friends under a lilac bush. That’s where all my sister’s pets have gone to rest in her yard, too. It is so much more fitting than a quick toilet flush.

Goodbye, sweet Dill. You were loved and will be missed.

—Sid Korpi


I’ve sent the following letter to the Ellen Degeneres Show, in hopes of having her help my poor sister. If you or anyone you know could drop the show a line with my sister’s name (Diane Lloyd) and abridged story before she loses all her insurance money on April 19, we’d all be so very grateful.

Our thinking is if they receive a bunch of letters with the same person as the subject, they might take more notice. Thanks a bunch if you can help. Here’s the link to submit a story:
My 70-year-old sister, Diane Lloyd, has been living in a torturous state of limbo since, nearly two years ago, a house fire left her homeless and with 4 of her 6 beloved pets dead. Her 3 mourning doves and her tuxedo cat, Tennessee, were dead on the scene. Since then, her schnauzer, Bruno, who suffered severe burns and smoke inhalation, also has died. As if all this loss weren’t enough to bear, her insurance company has placed her in an inescapable Catch-22 situation, whereupon they refuse to release her money to her to rebuild her house—get this—until she rebuilds her house! Her church and Home Depot are trying to help, but they are forbidden to “build” anything like stairs due to liability issues and can only paint. Her son, Jason, has restored the exterior of the house and has received only $3,500 for his many months of labor. He is raising a young son alone and could not continue to help his mother with no payment forthcoming. Other contractors refuse to work on contingency, and meanwhile the insurance is going to close her case on 4/19/15 and KEEP ALL HER REMAINING MONEY. Diane has had to hire a public adjuster to fight for her rights, but of what little more he has been able to pry from the hands of the insurance company, he has taken 1/3. Diane is left homeless still—she is sleeping on an elderly friend’s couch and cares for him as he slides into dementia and deals with cancer—while her house has no interior walls, electricity, plumbing, heating, etc. PLEASE HELP HER!!

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One of the worst things to endure is having to give up a pet when you move because your new apartment doesn’t allow pets. Here are some places to check out that DO ALLOW PETS!pet-friendly apartments

Join me at this fun event in a beautiful park!

2014 A W Flyer (small) not printable

jce3Ca4mw9bfDGwwV0bKe2EjxDw7dTOWiYR2Z6dKTby99HCzVp0RcCTzi9KnzfEbveuXdaLVJyHQSgtO-SdVtrdoarSc2U-PRGSxTkPbIXxENw=s0-d-e1-ftCheck out the Plant Sale Fund-raiser for Feline Rescue tomorrow, May 31, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. at the Feline Rescue parking lot, 593 Fairview Ave. N., St. Paul. Great plants, great cause!7b_3L9qy9CeIKa7KA6HmcdZZRobJKvANHlsKhJf9b601wqWFQiP4VQCNUCbQqYU8UEvcuhVxzjuiggdvVd-EM130yWQYCemJR9ZHyRIZT6JrZFIdd-1mkH1w3hU4JQ=s0-d-e1-ft

How’s this for a new reality TV show? “Helper Dogs.” On it, people will try in vain to accomplish things with the help of their dogs. The inspiration for this was my attempts to change the sheets on my bed with four Westies wrestling each other on it as I did so. There have also been the times I’ve been painting a room only to have the dogs come in and step in or rub against the wet paint. Feel free to weigh in with your own tales of unhelpful helper pooches. 🙂

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Display your Celtic Pride
by marching in the
St. Patrick’s Day parade
in Maple Lake, MN!
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Hosted by:
Lacy’s Legacy Scottie and Westie Rescue
Here’s how it works…..
If you have a Scottie, Westie or Cairn, you are welcome to march with us!
12:30 We will meet and gather as a group (directions included)
When we get the call, we will walk together to the parade line-up area
(or gather in the park and fall in line)
1:30 Parade begins!
We will have human and canine refreshments before and after the parade
The cost is FREE however Lacy’s Legacy will be accepting free-will offerings to cover the cost of the snacks and for future rescue expenses.
Wear green!
Wear a kilt, sash, bandana, hat, etc. It’s not required, but both you and your dog are welcome to dress for the parade.
Early registration is encouraged –complete & sign the included release form
Some details
No Flexi-Leashes, please!!
Please be in control of your dog at all times.
Bring some water and a bowl.
Don’t forget to bring some poo bags to clean up after your terrier.
If you have questions regarding the details about the parade, please email John or Steph at
We will march come Rain, Shine or Snow!!
To get to Maple Lake, simply take Hwy 55 west from the Twin Cities.
Go through Buffalo and stay on Hwy 55.
Maple Lake is about 7 miles west of Buffalo.
(From 494, you should plan about 1 hour travel time – there could be a lot of traffic)
When you get to Maple Lake, turn left at the first stop light.
Continue south to the Rail Road tracks. After you cross the tracks, we will be on your RIGHT). There will be signs so you will see us. Parking is available at the building.

Waiver Form:
To participate in the parade with Lacy’s Legacy Scottie & Westie Rescue, you must sign this waiver. Please complete, sign and return by mail or email.
John and Steph Wisecarver
Lacy’s Legacy Scottie and Westie Rescue
506 Lake Blvd
Buffalo, MN 55313
If you cannot register in advance, you can complete and sign this form when you arrive
I understand I am responsible for the behavior of my dog(s) while attending this event. I will not hold John and Stephanie Wisecarver, Lacy’s Legacy Scottie & Westie Rescue or Maple Lake Lumber liable for any injury or accident caused by my dog(s) or to my dog(s) or participants on this form while attending the Maple Lake St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 15, 2014.

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