Henry the Unicorn

Henry was just released from the hospital and I am thankful he’s going to be okay. He spent a few days there. That first night when I brought him in, I almost lost him, and had to make that life and death decision, which only caused me to burst into tears. Continue reading

Happiness is a Warm Puppy…

…and a Cool King


photo credit: Monica Medina

Oliver Twist, our Maltipoo puppy, is almost three months old! And, in case you’re wondering how the little tyke is getting along with the Master of the House, aka, Henry, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who descends from royalty, you need wonder no more.

Turns out, these fellows are as happy as can be. Two peas in a pod. Actually, more like, two pigs in a pen. In other words, they’re getting along just peachy!

Or, as Henry would say, “We are treating each other with the respect and civility befitting a royal of good standing. That would be me.”

So herewith, some recent photos of the dynamic duo in action, showing how they spend their day. After all, the proof is in the pudding!


photo credit: Julienne Aquino


photo credit: Julienne Aquino


photo credit: Julienne Aquino


photo credit: Julienne Aquino


photo credit: Julienne Aquino


photo credit: Julienne Aquino


photo credit: Monica Medina

Until next time!

Meet Oliver Twist

Editor’s Note: Lightning in a Jar will return. In the meantime, you can catch up on the installment series by visiting the High School Years page.
This week, Henry, my Cavalier King Charles who descends from royalty, has written a post about our new arrival.

Oliver Twist is so much healthier now, which is good news for Henry. Or maybe not.

Cook says I’ve been remiss in not revealing something of significance, but if truth be known, I saw no point. After all, why stir up news of a troubling nature?

Yet, Cook says it’s not troubling at all. It’s wonderful news, she adds, a tad too happily.

Ahem. I beg to differ.

It seems we have a new addition to our household. A Maltipoo, of all things. Of course, as a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is the only descendant of royalty (and of sound mind) residing in this abode, I ought to have had the power to veto bringing in a new soul, even if the soul in question is an orphan, rescued from the ravaged streets of our fair city.


When Oliver Twist arrived, he was underfed and ridden with Sarcoptic mange and roundworms.

But alas, Cook seems to have forgotten that little fact of my lineage, and left me unceremoniously out of the loop the day she decided to take the imp into our home. Make that, my home.

Naturally, I would be delighted with the arrival of said dog had Cook brought him here to serve as my footman. One can never have enough, you know, particularly when one has none at all. Thus, that would have made sense, especially when you consider the rascal is always underfoot.

But, there you have it. That is our, ahem, splendid news. Oh, did I say splendid? I meant disastrous.

Oliver Twist is the name he bears. Cook says it’s an homage to a hooligan from a Charles Dickens novel.  I wonder if that other Oliver would have given me a case of mites. I’ll never know.

Young Oliver Twist arrived to our familial tableau weighing a mere 1.75 pounds, about the same amount as one of my meals. Hmm. Not that I’m getting any ideas, mind you.

Cook says a man of questionable circumstances, no doubt, with a nefarious look in his eye, was selling the ragamuffin on the streets–practically in the gutter. Feeling bad for the scamp, she took him in, only to discover Oliver, at four weeks (not eight weeks old, as she’d been told), was undernourished and laden with a slew of ailments. One of which was passed on to me. Bloody mites.

Thus, Cook was duped and royal that I am, I had no choice but to suffer in silence as I took the medicinal cure that awaited me.

Feeding time!

Feeding time!

And now, it’s been nearly four weeks since his arrival, and–blasted!–he now seems to be thriving. Nothing like a little R&R I’ve always said, which is something I myself strive for every hour of every day.

The rapscallion is slowly gaining weight, and getting perkier by the day. Confound it. I despise perky. He’s rather a bit of a bloody nuisance, too, and insists on playing with my handsome, feathery tail, and on pulling at my leash.

Oh, the things a royal must bear. Noblesse oblige, I suppose.

Not a word to Cook, but first chance I get, I’m teaching young Oliver how to be my footman. That is, once I figure out precisely what it is a footman does. There’s still hope for him yet.

Incidentally, speaking of Cook, she has added two videos here of the boisterous lad, so that you can see what a bother he can be. Frankly, I don’t understand what Cook sees in the little fellow. Perhaps you can tell me?

From the Animal Shelter to Dog Beach

On Saturday, Henry, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who descends from royalty, awoke with a start, and announced in his usual, kingly fashion, “Cook, we must prepare for our walk!”

“What walk, Henry? We take walks everyday!”

“No, Cook. I mean the Walk. The San Diego Humane Society and SPCA 2013 Walk for Animals, of course! We must practice at once!”

“Why do we need to practice, Henry?”

“For starters, there’s bound to be legions of my fans and followers, so I need to be ready.”

“Ready for what?” I demanded.

“Ready to give my royal wave and ready to discourage autograph seekers, and anything else that might slow us down. We are on a mission, after all.”

“Hmm…” I mutter. Then, changing the subject, I say, “How about, instead of practicing, we go take a trip down to the Humane Society and visit the dogs there. We can let them know all we’re doing and see how they’re doing. What do you think?”

“A formidable idea, Cook. Let’s do it!”

So,we climbed into the car and headed to the Humane Society’s main branch in San Diego. This is what we saw:  Sweet-faced dogs needing a family to love them.


Afterwards, Henry was woefully crestfallen. “Dash it all, Cook! I feel helpless, seeing my brethren looking so crushed and despondent. We need to make sure they find good homes soon.”

I gave Henry a hug, wanting to hold him close, and thanked him for doing his part. Then, to give his spirits a lift, I suggested we head to Dog Beach, one of his favorite spots. Here’s what we saw:

Joyful dogs, roaming and playing freely in the sand!

DSCN6926 IMG_0342








And one more: In the midst of all these dogs running around, this little girl kept trying to dig a hole. The dogs would poke their noses in it, but she kept trying to work around them.

As we drove home, Henry, curled up in the back seat, and asked,

“Why can’t all dogs be as happy and free as my friends and I were today on Dog Beach?

Good question.

Friends, it’s not too late to help our team, Clifford’s Crew.  Henry and I have reached our personal goal, but our team still needs to raise $435. If you make a donation this week, of $10 or more, you’ll be automatically entered into my opportunity drawing to win a Kindle copy of Little Boy Blue, the true story of a puppy’s rescue from death row and his owner’s journey for truth, written by Kim Kavin. The winner will be announced next Monday, March 4th.

Remember, your gift will help provide food, medical care and a safe haven for thousands of animals in need. And, it’s tax-deductible (for U.S. residents, anyway).

You can make a donation by clicking here, or mail your contribution to the address listed below. Whatever you give will help—every dollar makes a difference!

Please send checks, including team name (Clifford’s Crew) to:
San Diego Humane Society and SPCA
Attn: Walk
5500 Gaines Street
San Diego, CA 92110

To all those who’ve already given to this walk or to helping animals in shelters, thank you!