The Queen of Soul has left us again!  Please keep foster girl Aretha’s family in your thoughts and light a candle for this dear ol’ gal. She’s now waiting for us at the Bridge.

From her foster momma: Last week seemed so unreal. Our lively and tooty Aretha stopped eating. What was first thought to be a severe gastric disturbance turned out to be something much worse, cancer, and we had no choice but to end her suffering.

I cannot thank Dr. Larsen and her staff enough for the support, compassion and expertise they gave us during this time. I could not have made it without them. They were with me until the end, ensuring Aretha was calm and ready for her journey over the Bridge.

To say the loss of this sweet girl has made a major difference in our home is an understatement. I miss her antics and her smile and her sweet face. It is way too quiet without her. I hope she left knowing how loved and adored she was. I hope she forgives me for syringe feeding her and giving her fluids. I just wanted her to stay. She brought us so much joy and we loved her unconditionally.

Brian took these pics the week before she got sick and in hindsight, I can see she didn’t feel well then.

Oh, Aretha, if only I could have gotten a video of your elf dance after you go poop, or when you hid around a corner and “rattlesnaked” the other dogs! You are so missed and I hope you are whole and well and even happier now. I can’t wait to see you again someday. Fly free, my angel girl! Love you always.

Sing on Miss Aretha!

Long live the Queen of Soul! Please welcome and Say a Little Prayer for our newest arrival: Aretha.

Today is the day so many dogs dream about. Aretha is officially retired and received her freedom ride from South Texas today. She was in a shelter, but never claimed, even though she was microchipped. What a Chain of Fools! You can tell she has more than a few litters, so maybe someone just let her go to find her own new life.

Well, new life it is for this brindle gal. She has a little age on her, her eyes are goopy and she walks with a limp. But we are determined to turn this gal back into a princess and Natural Woman.

Aretha will be going to the vet for a complete exam and spa treatment. We will have a better idea of her age once she is examined there. In the meantime, she is resting and getting ready for her next adventure. Could that adventure include a visit to your home?

9/17/18 Update:  Aretha just settled into her new foster home! This senior gal just wants a place to rest and someone to give lots of belly rubs!

9/22/18 Update:  Hello Miss Aretha here. They also call me mama. I prefer mama. I am finally comfortable showing my personality around here. Foster mom calls me the queen. My hobbies include: eating and napping. I love my naps. I don’t mind the kids. They don’t bother me one bit. Unless the baby tries to sit on me. I love walking although I can’t walk very far. I don’t like the rain but I do love laying down in a warm bath. I may be a senior but I LOVE playing around. I have only had one accident in the house. But it wasn’t my fault. It was too wet outside! I love staring out of the window from the comforts of my bed. I am finally friends with the other dogs here. We like laying around together. My foster family loves me to the moon they say.

9/27/18 Update:  Learned today that little miss loves the car! She enjoyed sitting in the school pick-up line and kept me company. She is seriously the sweetest little thing ever! Don’t mind our goopy eye. She’s on meds for it. That and warm wash cloth wipes.

9/30/18 Update:  Aretha loves spending time with the kids in her foster home. And they’re helping to keep her young!

10/16/18 Update:  I’m living the dream at my foster house. Lots of naps, treats and belly rubs. I’m walking a lot better than I was when I first got here. I even started running! I like to talk. I sure have lots to say! I realized how much I LOVE playing with toys. Anything that squeaks is awesome in my book. I got a new foster sister yesterday. She is just a puppy and all I want to do is give her kisses and run around with her.

My eyes are finally clearing up, which is great. All I need in my life is hands to run my belly, a big comfy bed and squeaky toys!

10/30/18 Update:  My name is Aretha, but I really love being called Mama. I have a had a very exciting week. I stole one of the puppy’s toys and it’s my most favorite thing. I have learned that I really love anything that squeaks! I may walk like an old lady, but I sure play like the young pups.

I also have claimed my spot on the couch. I think it has my name on it because it’s really just mine. I’m a queen and all queens deserve a throne. Foster Mom loves cuddling with me and I soak it all in. I’m just a big love bug. I have finally learned how to play with the puppy. She is hyper and it’s sometimes too much for me, but I’m working on keeping up. I’m definitely not a morning person. Thank goodness Foster Mom let’s me sleep in! And when, 9 p.m. hits, it’s bedtime. I also have learned that I love watching Foster Dad cook. I’ll only beg for a little bit. Then it’s time to lay down and just hang out with him. I have learned how to go out the doggy door and even how to push open the front door, but I also wait on the humans to walk with me.

I’m a big cuddle bug. I like to give tons of kisses . Foster Mom says she is madly in love with me. I may wobble when I walk, but I’m truly a puppy a heart. I’m just looking for someone to spoil me rotten and give me tons of snuggles!

11/15/18 Update:  I can’t begin to express how absolutely wonderful sweet mama girl is… She is my little bundle of joy. She is my happy place. Her goofy personality shines more and more every day. She is becoming mighty vocal. She tells us many stories and definitely lets us know when she wants some snuggles. We have learned that she gets nervous if it’s too dark at night. She will bark until we turn on a light and tell her everything is OK. She is the queen of all the dog beds. In her eyes, they are all hers and will make the other pups move when she wants to lay down. She isn’t a fan of the cold and will only go outside to go potty and then comes right back in to snuggle up and take a nap. She is an absolute sweetheart. I’d say her favorite times of the day is breakfast, nap and then dinner. She also somehow managed to climb up in the dryer for some warm clothes and quiet time. No idea how she pulled that one off, but she was mighty comfortable in there. She is such a little blessing in our home and we just love her to the moon! Any family would be so very lucky to have this sweet baby in their family.

11/20/18 Update:  I’m still doing AMAZING. Living like the queen I deserve to be. My foster parents keep telling me how special I am. Well, let’s face it, I am. I am absolutely perfect. I give the best snuggles in the world. Foster Mom keeps telling me how happy I make her. How could you not love my sweet love mark on the top on my head? Anyway, I’m just hanging out, stealing all the love and treats I can get. Being the perfect dog ever. Loving life, y’all!

12/25/18 Update:  Super excited this year because my foster dad said I’m going to get so spoiled this year with all the toys I want. Anyways, I haven’t been up to much lately. I live a retired life. I eat, I sleep, I sit outside when the weather is just right. Foster mama said I get to go stay at my mimi’s house while they go on vacation soon. I love it over there! It’s quiet and peaceful and I can rest as much as I want.

I have learned that the vacuum and I do not get along. I chase it all the time. The puppy and I are still getting along nicely. We figured out how to play tug o’ war together and we have a blast. Foster mom gave me a nice soft blanket, but I still prefer towels. I sure do love to roll around with freshly cleaned towels. Anyways, I’m still waiting for my forever home. Foster mom always tells me how special I am. I am such a good girl. Merry Christmas, everyone!

1/7/19 Update:  Aretha has had a rough couple of days. Her energy level is low and spends most of her time sleeping or resting in her comfy bed. Yesterday, she had a very exciting morning and actually woke up long enough to spend sometime outside. She is currently resting and taking it easy. We have upped her meds and pray that it will help her be more comfortable. But in the meantime, you will find her laying down, being a queen and giving kisses. Send good vibes and prayers her way. She is the ultimate warrior princess!

1/15/19 Update:  What a roller coaster the past few weeks have been for me! I am now on better meds and I feel like a whole new woman. The only issue I’m having is that I can’t see very well, but everyone talks to me before petting me, so I don’t get scared. I’m out of the bed and back to playing around and barking at the mailman.

Today, I decided to climb the stairs. I really enjoy being up there because I feel so tall, but foster mom has to carry me down. It’s a fun ride. I really love being around the little people. They just love on me and bring me all my toys. I still enjoy a good nap, but I’d rather be out with foster mom watching TV and playing with the baby. I’m also back to chasing the vacuum, so foster mom got a thing she calls the Swiffer. It’s not nearly as fun, so I leave it alone.

Anyways, I hope y’all are as fabulous as I am. Nap time!

2/4/19 Update:  Little lady is doing GREAT! Her energy is up and she is back to her silly self. She is also becoming very talkative again. She has something to say about everything. Her sweet personality is shining. She spends her days sitting in the living room begging for rubs and kisses. After breakfast its nap time, then play time with her favorite toys and then it’s back to napping again. She is truly living out her retirement in happiness. The joy she brings us is remarkable. She has found that she loves playing tug a war and sneaking kisses on the babies cheeks. This little bundle of joy is pure happiness. Her workouts include a short walk and chasing the vacuum. She also loves following me room to room and having long conversations with me. She wants everyone to know that although she is older, she still has puppy in her. Her youth shines. Don’t let her age fool you! How could you not fall in love with her sweetness?

3/18/19 Update:  It has been a little bit of a journey for me lately. I am finally feeling more like myself after my trip to Dr. Larsen. I can spend a little more time without my cone on, but only if my foster mom is right beside me. I really don’t like that thing. I cannot play with my chew toys.

The weather has been perfect so we get to go play outside and go on short walks. I’m still taking all my meds like an angel. Foster mom says I’m the best girl. I tried to convince foster dad to take me on a ride, but he said not today. He told me when I’m totally cone-free, I can go to work with him! I’m super excited to go help dad get some work done. He said everyone at the office wants to meet me. Ill have to remind foster mom to help me shower so I smell real pretty!

Anyways, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Stay dry and weather aware!  Aretha “mama”

3/25/19 Update:  We were finally able to take Aretha girl to an event! She only griped a few times when other pups got too close. She is kinda cranky because of her eyes. She let a pup get close, but they tried to kiss her eyes and she wasn’t having it … which is OK, they are still sore. But she had a blast and even made a few friends! We couldn’t stay too long because, let’s face it, an old gal can’t hang too long. It was way past her usual nap time. She would like to ask for some doggy-size T-shirts… she is kinda jealous of foster mom’s! It was so good getting to say hi to everyone!

4/7/29 Update:  Aretha here… just relaxing and getting all the love. My cone is officially gone and my eyes are healing well. I still have a growth, but the doctor said it should heal. It doesn’t bother me at all. My mornings start by only getting up out of bed if I hear my food bowl move. Then I eat and take my meds and vitamins. Then it’s time to spend outside and then back to bed for an hour or so. Then I’m up and playing again. I enjoy my naps. Lately, I have slept near the fan because it’s getting warm outside. I have found the cat around here. She is sneaky and I only see her every now and then. We aren’t friends yet, but it will happen soon. I really love playing with the little people. Also, car rides are my favorite thing to do. Anyways, I hope everyone is having a great weekend and staying dry.

5/5/19 Update: Let me first start by saying: I am not a fan of storms. As soon as I hear one coming, I go into the closet. Foster mom says that I am one smart lady, but I find it very safe in there. I have enjoyed the sunshine lately and playing in the doggy pool. It’s been very refreshing. I have been a tad grumpy, but that’s OK. I just go into my room for some quiet time to myself and I come out much happier. My eyes are clearing up and looking great. They don’t get gooey anymore, which has been great. Today, I got to go to Lowe’s. I love Lowe’s. I get lots of pets from people and I get to ride in the cart, like any other queen. Oh, and I can’t forget about the awesome car ride… listening to music and relaxing. The car is my favorite place to be! I hope everyone has a great week.  Love, Aretha, the Queen

11/20/19 Update:   Aretha loves this fall weather and the extra time it allows her to spend outdoors. She continues to open up and show us her silly, sweet self even more each day. She loves mealtime, squeaky toys and belly rubs. She adores her foster dad and gets along great with our bunch. They have shown her how to table beg with them and with her sweet face looking up at you, how can you resist? She just loves attention and we so enjoy giving it to her. She loves to try and chase the cats and it cracks us up because she is so determined and with her limited vision, the cat is already three rooms away while she is still patiently looking… LOL! She does do eye meds twice a day, and is really good about it. She also has arthritis in her back legs and didn’t walk well when she came to stay with us, but now she is walking around the cul de sac! It’s the small victories! We love this precious little girl and admire her for her inner strength and determination. She is beautiful and loving and so deserving of the best life possible. While she is with us, we will be sure that’s exactly what she gets!

1/10/20 Update:  Aretha is thriving in her foster home now and is such a silly, special girl.  She has her own daily routine and special spots to hang in the house.  Mealtime is her favorite time and she has single-handedly turned it into what we call a bark-a-thon of excitement in anticipation of her meal.  No matter where she is at when mealtime prep begins, she runs to the kitchen and starts bossing.  Callie, Boomer and Harley the pug all eventually bark with her and run in circles and act like goobers.  It is a good time for them, but we are going deaf now!  LOL!

We also found out that Aretha likes to swim!  Yes, I said swim.  We are uber-careful with the bullies around the pool area, but this squirmy girl got the best of me, literally walked right over my feet and onto the first step in the pool.  Got right in like she knew what she was doing!  Then, before I could bend down and grab her, she dove in and starting swimming towards the other side!  I almost simultaneously had a coronary and a stroke, but had no choice but to suck it up and go in after her, and let me tell you it was COLD!!!   But she didn’t seem to care.  She was very proud of herself!  She now does not get to go in the backyard AT ALL until summer and even then she will be wearing a life jacket for her swimming adventures.

This little girl is a gem to be treasured.  She is loving, quirky and playful and loves a good tummy rub.  She is STILL on cat patrol and the score is now at CATS 1 – ARETHA 0.  But it’s something to strive for!

2/8/20 Update:   When you are a senior girl and the sun is shining….soak it up! That’s exactly what foster girls Mabel and Aretha did this last Sunday. While Mabel was content to just lay there and relax, Aretha got a little more creative and chose to go “funny side up!” They certainly know how to enjoy a nice day. Golden Girls love golden days!