I’m Moving!


Hello readers,

You know how much I love dogs. Well, I have started a new blog about them. Actually not any old dogs. It’s about dogs you know. It’s about Pippa and Henry, dogs you know well. It’s going to be a challenge because I’m going to try to post every day using the Daily Prompts as inspiration.

So, it’s Erin Tharp, signing off, at least for now.

I almost forgot! The new blog is ThePoochPlaceblog.wordpress.com. I can’t wait to see you there!

Margaret Elizabeth Tharp, June 6, 2005-March 21, 2017

As soon as Dad got back from the vet, any mementos of Maggie were put away. For now… Things like her bed, made by Serta. Yes, Serta. It was made for arthritic dogs, with memory foam and a short step up.

Her bed was next to the head of mine. That’s why I needed my white noise machine. If she were human, Maggie would definitely have needed a C-PAP machine! But last night: Silence.

It was almost eerie. I kept thinking I saw the shadow of something stocky. And I could swear I heard snoring.

It’s funny how your mind plays tricks on you. I had accepted the fact that my daughter was gone, but I guess my heart hadn’t.

Here is a post from “Pizza and Peonies,” my sister’s blog. I’d like to introduce you to the extremely goofy/quirky/sweet/devilish Maggie. Actually, there are tons more adjectives depending, on who you ask. Not all post appropriate!!

They MUST Have Dogs in Heaven


I’m expecting to get lots of comments for this post as the subject is religion based and it’s a controversial topic. You don’t agree with me? That’s perfectly fine. Maybe we can start a dialogue. You list your reasons against and I will list my reasons.

Maggie’s health is rapidly declining. She has always been prone to skin issues. She went to the vet with yet another skin issue a couple weeks ago, but the vet couldn’t identify it. On the blood work, though, he found something else. My sweet dog is in liver failure.

I know a vet’s goal is to save animals, but when he found a problem with her liver, he had a huge list of treatments. Maggie is eleven! After my soul searching by me watching her, my parents and I have decided that it’s time for the one last trip to the vet L. But it’s for the best. Besides the skin issue, she hasn’t been eating and there has been a stinky mess in my room when I wake up almost every day this week.

With all of our pets, it is Dad who always gets that job but he’s on a business trip right now. It will have to wait three or four days—just enough to spoil her rotten.

Now my question to my readers: Do dogs go to heaven?


My opinion? Heaven is paradise where everything is perfect, right?


How could a place be perfect without our canine friends?


So, it will probably be in fifty or sixty years (Mom’s side of the family lives forever), but I know I’ll be reunited with my sweetheart.

A Walk To Remember

Since the black runt (Pippa, this name for you is used only in love), Maggie’s life has changed dramatically. Although I was only three when Sarah was born, and don’t remember it well, and I felt the same way. Kind of left out.

My aide (who comes four hours morning) and I have been taking Maggi for walks. So she can have some Pippa-free time. The walks have gotten shorter. Maggie is eleven.

This is our usual route: down Garretson, our street, to the elementary school, probably a quarter mile, and back. Although the runt has aged her, Maggie still enjoys sniffing every bush and tree.

This picture was taken Friday. The air was crisp and it was probably 65 degrees. It had rained the previous night, and as you can see, things are extremely pretty afterward. You can’t see Big Bear Mountain, but it’s now covered with snow.


I complain about California, but I guess it beats blizzards in January!


Let Them Eat Whipped Cream!

When I first saw the prompt “cake,” I was going to take a pass on a post. Sure, I like cake, but you can’t write an entire post on how much you enjoy something.

Isn’t it odd how post inspirations come out of nowhere? It’s like some blog genie swoops down and plants an idea into your head. Although sometimes he is MIA, but this morning he was on duty.

Let me set scene. Pippa has enjoyed a couple of what Starbucks calls puppachinos, which is literally whipped cream in a cup. This morning Maria, my aide who helps me in the morning, and I decided that Maggie needed a treat. Sweetie would get a puppachino, too.

But me describing the event wouldn’t do it justice.

Here’s my girl, enjoying a well-deserved treat.


Although Honey will probably need a walk every day this week to burn off the calories, and if there are any vets reading this, they are cringing, doesn’t everyone deserve an indulgence now and then?

Hey, it’s kind of like cake!!

P.S. When it was gone, Maggie was looking for more. Like Mother like daughter.

Full-Sized Required

At the risk of offending some of my readers, I agree that some things are just better miniaturized. Hershey’s miniatures and miniature golf, for example. But on the other hand, I can think of one thing where the full-sized version is definitely preferred (at least by me): Dogs!


I’d be annoyed, too. Courtesy: images.petbestcom

What am I talking about? Toy dogs. In my humble opinion, to classify as a dog the animal must be 25 pounds or larger.

This leaves out “dogs” such as Pekinese, Hairless Chihuahuas, and Toy Poodles. I wouldn’t go as far as Dad to call them rats, but they are definitely not on my dog bucket list. Forget anything “teacup.”

Don’t get me started on clothes for dogs! If God had intended on dogs wearing outer garments, they would have been born naked.

Okay, I will get off my soapbox now. I just saw the prompt and had to get that off my chest.

Room, Sweet Room

According to Merriamwebster.com, a sanctuary is “a safe place where someone or something is safe and protected.” My bedroom has become a sanctuary.

Who is being protected? Maggie, from a certain black puppy.

My room is what we call “the Pippa-free zone.” Maggie is free to chew bones or take naps undisturbed. Occasionally the runt sneaks in, heading right for Maggie’s grimy stuffed animals, but she is promptly ushered out. Maggie always looks grateful.


Doesn’t Maggie look happy?

Maggie and Pippa have fun playing, but for my canine daughter, sometimes enough is enough. She is eleven, after all. It makes me sad because she doesn’t act like an eleven-year old dog. Ever since Miss Pippa entered our lives, Mag just seems old. I guess it’s the same with people: Maggie will enjoy her senior years. The walks my aide and I take her on to get her out of the house, the part of our backyard where Pippa isn’t allowed to go (there’s a swimming pool)—these are Maggie’s greatest pleasures right now.

These, and time in her sanctuary with me. Away from Pippa.

I know exactly how Maggie feels. After all, I have two younger sisters.

The Birthday Girl



Sorry–Maggie wouldn’t hold still for a birthday photo.

Today Maggie is 11. Though she doesn’t act it, technically she is 77. Although she would have qualified for an AARP card 23 years ago and countless other senior discounts long ago, my daughter doesn’t act her age. Sure, she has gray on the tips of her ears, but if I didn’t know, I’d never guess her age. She plays with Pippa, often instigating the play like she were still a puppy herself.

How fast 11 years have gone. I was a child of 22 when I got her. Both she and her brother were available. The breeder put both dogs on my wheelchair tray. Sweetie climbed my shoulder, and that was that. I was smitten.

Happy Birthday, Maggie. You’ll always be my pup.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

When you think of buddies, you think of human friends. The Ricardos and the Mertzes, Doug and Deacon from “The King of Queens.” The cast of “Friends.”

But do all buddies need to be human? Not even a week ago (oh my gosh) our family got another dog since we lost Wayne in December and Maggie is technically mine. The new puppy is a mutt, although a cute mutt. I forgot about how mutts could be. And how, let’s say, exuberant, all puppies are.

Pippa (named after Kate Middleton’s sister; my sister who absolutely loves the Royals) is definitely into absolutely everything and finds entertainment in anything. Anything that isn’t a dog toy is fair game for one. This could be my shoes (more than once I have felt sharp puppy teeth on my toes) or the tassels of my backpack.

On imagining how the two dogs would get along, I thought being 11, Maggie would have no patience for a puppy. But I was wrong. I’m sure Pippa presses her buttons because she just doesn’t take “no” for an answer. Although Maggie takes it and takes it, you can sure tell when she has had enough. There is a warning bark and Pippa calms right down.


What I imagined. Courtesy 1.bp.blogspot.com


What we got. Courtesy screenrant.com

Here’s a sample of their thoughts about the situation:

Maggie: One question: When does she go back? I thought I would spend my senior years in peace and relaxation. I don’t ask for much; naps in my favorite corners. My ratty stuffed animals. My people.

Pippa: I LOVE IT HERE…. Wait… I see something fun….a sort of jug. It says “MILK”. It’s empty so I beg my parents to toss it here. They do. That’s some fun. For now. Wait! I didn’t see that rug by the front door! Let’s go see…

Stay tuned. Hopefully Pippa and Maggie can reach a middle ground.

Me In A List


Courtesy 0.s3.envato.com

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know some things about me. You know that I’m disabled, that I have two younger sisters, and that I have a canine daughter named Maggie. For this post, I thought I’d tell you a little more about myself.

  1. Pansies are my favorite flower (they look like they are smiling).
  2. I took two years of French in high school, but other than merci and bonjour, the only thing I remember is pig. (Not very useful in a conversation. Unless you were talking about sandwiches. Or farm animals.)
  3. My 13/14-year-old “celebrity” crush was Prince William (that was pre-bald).
  4. I think about 95 is the perfect temperature.
  5. I think hobos are scary. Clowns too.
  6. I have never seen “Star Wars.”
  7. I have done several 5ks.
  8. I need a white noise machine to sleep (it drowns out Maggie’s snoring).
  9. Our family has never been without a dog.
  10. My favorite pizza topping is pineapple.
  11. I never learned to whistle.
  12. I think I’ve seen “Toy Story” at least 100 times.
  13. I love tiny houses, but couldn’t ever live in one.
  14. My family and I were guests at the White House.
  15. I could live in Target.
  16. I love “Say Yes to the Dress,” but don’t get how anyone could pay $10,000 for a dress you wear once.