Sunday, October 20, 2013

ROTTWEILER SNEAK, Don't Tell Me Dogs Aren't Smart, by Mary de la Pena

Hi, All:
This is Tara, my beloved Rottweiler, and senior citizen.  She's going on eleven at the end of November, old for a Rottie, but now old enough to believe she had special privileges--including sneaking cat food off a table.

Prince Charming and I need to feed the two cats, Boo Bear and Samantha on a small table we have in the kitchen.  Obviously with three large dogs, Tara, Scruggs and Fina, we can't feed the cats on the floor, or there would never be any food left in their dishes. This has worked well for many years, until now.

It seems that Tara has learned that she is tall enough to rest her nose on the small table, and if the dishes are close enough to the edge, she can use her tongue to scoop the food out of the dishes, or use her nose to push the dry food onto the floor.  However, until today, we never knew she was doing it--we just thought the cats were getting fat eating too much.

It appears, that she has learned to sneak.  Yes, my Rottweiler has learned to redirect our attention away from the table to the water dish on the floor.  She knows the prince hates it when she drinks water then rubs her face on his jeans. Now she goes to the water dish, takes a drink, and turns around to see if we are looking.  If we are, she veers away and comes back to the dish.  Today,  the prince caught her act out of the corner of his eye.  When Tara thought he wasn't looking, she swiped her tongue across the table, and walked away munching on goodies from the cat's table.

Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky dog!  But how can you not love a dog like that?

Lots of Rottweiler love,

Mary de la Pena

To learn more about the dogs and cats it my house visit or purchase the book on Amazon by following this link,

Courtesy and Customer Service by Mary de la Pena

Hi, all:

This is a Target Store, and this about a Target Store.  More importantly, this blog is about something as simple as a cashier not putting bags into a cart for a customer, and how that lack of courtesy can alienate a Target store customer FOREVER!

Today is Sunday, and it is late afternoon.  After a delightful weekend I went to Target to find a couple of things advertised on sale.  None of the items I wanted could be found, which is a bummer in of itself, but there is more. . .

My cupboards are bare at the house and I needed a few things for dinner so I decided to try the store's market and deli section.  Mind you, there is a perfectly wonderful Stater Brothers in the same shopping center, but that would have required me getting in the car a driving over to it, knowing full well that this time of afternoon it would be crowded.  So, I made the decision to stay a look to see what the Target store had in its deli and grocery section.

Much to my delight I did find several items that I could scrounge around for an acceptable dinner, and really, I was very pleased with the purchases.  But, when I got to the checkout stand, the young man working as a cashier did not know the prices of some of my grocery vegetables since they did not have a bar code. He depended on me to know the price of my grocery items, which thankfully I did, and I didn't cheat, either.

When he finished ringing me up,he bagged my items, then LEFT THEM ON THE COUNTER and WALKED AWAY!  He didn't even ask me if he could help me place them in the cart!  I was stunned at his indifference to me.  More importantly, as I lifted the one of the bags, he had loaded it with too many heavy items and the bag tore!  Had he stayed and lifted the bag he would have known the bag was filled with too many heavy items and corrected it.  If he had stayed he would have known I had a torn bag.

What!!!!????? When I grumbled about his indifference the cashier at the next stand just shrugged and did not help a man who had an infant in his cart and definitely needed help.  I could see him begin to fume at her lack of professionalism.  In a space of minutes, Target Stores potentially lost two customers.

So, what can we learn from this?  Courtesy, even if unexpected, will win customers, even if it's not in the job description.  Indifference will send customers scurrying to somewhere else to shop.  I know I WILL NEVER, EVER, NEVER go back to Target's market section or deli again.  And, maybe, just maybe, I won't go to that store again.

Readers--what how would you handle this problem if faced with it?

Mary [still grumbling] de la Pena, 

Thursday, October 10, 2013


                       NEW TOYS and the JOY OF SHARING
                                      BY MARY DE LA PENA

Who knew that colored tennis balls could make someone's life so happy?  Evidently, if you are part golden retriever, and all love wrapped in a fuzzy golden dog's body, they can make you VERY HAPPY!

Yesterday I needed to go to my local PetSmart to again restock the cupboard for my three dogs, Tara--the Rottweiler; Fina--the semi-Rott; and Scruggs--my beloved shelter dog; as well as the two cats, Samantha and Boo Bear.  It seems that the three large dogs and two finicky cats can go through food faster than a teen-age athlete, and the cupboard was bare!

While I was at the store I found Halloween colored tennis balls for 99 cents each.  How could I go wrong?  Of course I scooped up three, one for each dog, and happily carried them home.  But, as so often happens, after carrying the bags of food into the house, I was distracted with phone calls, and the bags of food and toys were soon forgotten.

That didn't stop Scruggies!  He sniffed through the bag, carefully nosing aside the cans of food and found the balls.  Then, with a happy snuffle, he made sure I saw how happy he was with each ball!  

One, by one he rooted the balls out of the bag and brought them to me to show me how happy he was--tail wagging, smile as wide as Texas, and proud prancing steps. He made sure I knew he loved each and every ball by showing me every ball, then throwing each one into the air so I could catch it, and throw it for him.  After I threw each ball for him to retrieve, he then carried them to the other dogs and invited them to play.  Soon, Tara, Fina, and Scruggs were playing with their new toys, sharing, and happy.

So, the lesson for the day?  No matter how simple the toy, when you have joy in your heart, and love in your soul, each toy is a jewel to be treasured, but also shared for maximum joy.

So says Scruggs, my God's angel wrapped in golden fur.

To read more about Scruggs the shelter dog, visit my website to preview Scruggs and Samantha, How a Shelter Dog and Kitten Saved Cinderella's Marriage.

Or visit to download a free copy of chapters from the same book.

Monday, October 7, 2013




This year the United States Supreme Court is taking up multiple issues that have incredibly thorny side-issues, such as States rights to use percentages for determining fair disparity of races at their universities (long thought to be settled); the rights of people 19 and 20 to purchase guns (also thought to be long settled); the right to use “Religious Freedom” by companies seeking to deny women health coverage for reproductive services (really?  You white guys still harping on this?); and the right to use prayer to open public meetings.

These are just a few of the issues the Supremes are focusing on this year, but there are more.  Let’s see if they can F***-up our political process any more than they did by dismantling our voter rights laws and our election finance laws.  It appears that they are ready to do more damage to our Republic by doing just that by taking up McClutchen v. FEC, which questions the limits on individual donors to a campaign or candidate.  Think the Koch (I originally typed--Kock--was that intentional?) brothers and their willingness to spend MILLIONS(!) on candidates and causes.  They will soon own the process—SCARY!

Actually, I agree with the city leaders of Greece City, New York in their desire to open their meetings with a prayer!  For God’s sake, we need guidance from a power much higher than what we have from our elected officials.  We NEED MORE PRAYER.  It doesn’t have to be denominational of any kind, just ask for a Higher Power than who is sitting in the chairs to guide them and lead them into some kind of wisdom—obviously they have none of their own most of the time.

I really don’t care if 19 or 20 year-olds can buy guns.  Most of my clients who are 13, 14, 15, have guns—can anyone say stolen?  I just don't want AK-47’s on the street, and God forbid 50 Caliber rifles!

For the rest of you old white guys consumed with women’s bodies—get over it!  Just because you haven’t had any of it in years doesn't mean you get to control our bodies now.  That means you Scalia, Alito, and Roberts!  Leave our bodies, our reproductive systems and our choices ALONE!

I will stay on top of this throughout the upcoming sessions.  It really is an obsession of mine.  Stay tuned for my over-blown opinions and some legal analysis.


MARY DE LA PEÑA, esq. and true independent.

to read more, go to and to order my books,