Archive for the ‘dogs’ Category

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

Good food, family, dogs, love, a little art and a digital camera…  Sounds like home to me.

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one of my son's several childhood-art-trees

I LIKE THIS TREE

 

The Daily Post, Weekly Photo Challenge theme — “Home.”

Thanks for visiting Dogkisses’s blog.

Funny pet note

write your dogs a letter explaining the house rules! Pet lovers will love this!

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE PETS, THIS IS A TRUE STORY.

FOR THOSE THAT DON’T, IT IS A TRUE STORY.

The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.

Dear Dogs and Cats: The dishes on the floor with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate does not mean that is is suddenly your food, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the top of the stairs is not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space that you are taking up, is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years – canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat’s butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:

TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT AND LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PETS:

(1) They live here. You don’t.

(2) If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That’s why they call it ‘fur’-niture.

(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people..

(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don’t speak clearly.

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:

(1) eat less,

(2) don’t ask for money all the time,

(3) are easier to train,

(4) normally come when called,

(5) never ask to drive the car,

(7) don’t smoke or drink,

(8) don’t want to wear your clothes,

(9) don’t have to buy the latest fashions,

(10) don’t need a gazillion dollars for college and

(11) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children…..(*_*)

This “pet note” came in as an email from my friend, Rosemary, who has a wonderful health blog about living with chronic pain, Seeking Equilibrium.

Thanks for sharing Rosemary!

 

Who deserves more credit?

a dog that deserves more credit than he gets

One of the topics in The Daily Post “PostAWeek”  challenge is, “Who deserves more credit than they get?”

I couldn’t decide between bloggers, dishwashers or dogs, because they all deserve more credit than they get.

Dogs deserve more credit than they get for giving people companionship and unconditional love.  Dogs are particularly important to people living with chronic illness or a disability that has caused isolation and often alienation from family, friends, community and society.

Many people I know who live with chronic illness have a dog.  They are our four-legged friends who are there for us no matter what.  A dog can make us smile when we are in pain.  They’ll get up with us in the wee hours of the mornings when everyone else is sleeping.  They give us a reason to take walks or get outside for fresh air.  Their fur is soft and petting them calms us.  Their spirits are overflowing with sweetness.  Dogs give.  That’s what they do.  They give and they keep on giving.

Sometimes, and this is one of the greatest gifts that I get from the love of a dog, they offer a reason to keep on living.

“They can’t be nurses, doctors or teachers!” a desk attendant working at a hospital said to me one time.  We had struck up a conversation while I was waiting on a relative.  She became upset when I told her about my dog who was receiving medical care for bone cancer.

“There are children starving!  I can’t believe people spend money on a dog’s health care, while there are children who do not have the things they need,” she said.

I wondered how many of the nurses or doctors had dogs.  I knew the woman wouldn’t understand about spending money on a sick dog no matter what I said so I changed the subject.

Personally, I think dogs can help people be better nurses, doctors or teachers.  Plus, mine are all that and more.   Dogs can also make these jobs easier by giving love and companionship to patients and students.

I’ve been pretty sick for the past six months.  Recently, there have been times when I thought I would have to call for emergency help.  My dogs have been vigilant caretakers.  The older dog hasn’t left my side in over two months.  If I get up at 3am, so does he.  He knows I’m not well.  He is simply amazing.  I’ll be thinking the worst thoughts and he gets as close to my body as he can.  He doesn’t usually give kisses but lately, out of the blue, he’ll give me a quick little kiss as if to remind me they are here.

My dogs love me and they need me.  In this way, they literally save my life, over and over.

We hear about enormous amounts of money some people spend on their pets.  It’s true that veterinarian bills are expensive, but that isn’t the same thing as extravagant amounts of money spent for things like diamond covered collars, fur coats and all sorts of weird things a dog certainly doesn’t need and likely doesn’t care about.

I’d rather pay for a dog to get medical care than pay for my hair to be colored, manicures, an expensive car or the expensive things plenty of people spend money on.  This is a personal choice and comparably, I must admit, I think a dog is a heck of a lot more fun than what non-dog owners spend money on.

I don’t think it makes sense to criticize pet owners for spending money on pets, while people are in debt because they wanted a big screen television in every room of their house.

I’ve been judged and criticized for spending money on a dog and I find this pretty absurd.

A landlord I called once about an apartment got so angry when I told her that I live on a fixed income and have a dog, that I thought she was going to have a heart attack.  No joke.  She was ready to rent me the sweetest little cottage in the mountains.  She was praising me for raising a son alone and going to college.  I was all this and that, until I told her about my dog.  She started screaming at me over the telephone about how she was paying for my dog’s food via her taxes.

“I can’t believe you have a dog!” the woman shouted.   “It ought to be against the law for people who get help to have a dog.  I can’t believe it!”

I told the woman how little the dog’s food cost, but that didn’t matter.  I hung up on her because she wouldn’t stop screaming at me.

Magically, the next day I met the greatest landlord a dog owner could hope for.  She kept asking if I was sure the place was good enough for my dog.  We ended up being nice friends.

Fortunately and just as magically, the landlords I rent from now are wonderful and love my dogs.  I was afraid they wouldn’t allow me to have the bigger dog but when they saw him one of them said, “You are lucky to have him.  He’ll protect you out here.”

My family used to make remarks about how I could have a better place to live if I didn’t have dogs or that I would be free to come visit them since they won’t allow dogs in their homes.  After years gone by, I believe they recognize more the value of my dogs, but they still don’t let my dogs come inside and as a result, I hardly ever get to visit them.

Dogs help people in so many ways.  Being there for a sick person when everyone else is waiting on her to feel better is a great deed.

Their companionship and love make people feel happy.  I read once where being lonely is the number one reason for suicide.  I believe the love of a dog can help prevent this.

As I write, my son is visiting for the holiday.  He hasn’t felt so great lately either.   He has some serious health challenges in life.  After dinner this evening he suddenly got the biggest smile on his face.  His dog was lying on his back with his short legs up in the air.  He rests like that (he’s part Basset Hound) and he looks very funny when he does it.

My son went over and lied down beside him to rub his belly.  I guess most dogs like to have their belly rubbed.  Our younger dog was in on the scene shortly after.  It was such a wonderful moment.  My son looked happy and this made me feel good.  Both dogs were smothering him with love.

I asked him how he felt around his dog.  I like to use words to express my feelings and experience.  I think it’s good to have a way to talk about things.

He could barely talk without laughing when he tried to respond.  “Loyal, he’s so loyal.”

My son continued on, “He’s my protector.  Awww.  He loves me.  Look at him,” and he laughed again while he rubbed his best friend’s soft belly.  “He wants me to hug him.  Awww.  He’s so sweet!”  My son let out a deep breath of air.  He looked content and lied back on the sofa to rest.  I’ve always said, and definitely believe, that dogs are good medicine.

Earlier today the dog jumped from the back seat to the front and was out of the car as soon as the door opened when I arrived at my son’s apartment.  The dog is getting old, but so far this hasn’t slowed him down when he sees his true master.

This dog is a very special dog.  He has saved my son’s life several times.  He definitely deserves more credit than he gets.

Some people used to remark that this dog is a burden to me.  He is stronger than I am, which makes walking him a creative and carefully planned task.  He has seizures that break my heart, but not so many that they lessen his quality of life.  He is no burden.  He is a gift, a blessing and like all dogs, a teacher.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

dogkisses.


 

My little drop of heaven

She sees everything, hears everything, and feels everything.  I can’t hide anything from her.  She feels what I feel.  I often wish she didn’t.  I don’t always want her to feel what I feel, but I can’t hide from her.

Her sensitive nature is part of what makes her so incredibly adorable and lovable.  Its part of what brings joy to children and any person whose heart has a place where tenderness can be felt.

She doesn’t ignore the moment.  She pays close attention.   She’s intensely affected by her environment.

I wouldn’t change a thing about her.  I love her just the way she is and I love the way she is.

I’ve tried to change in me the same traits I love so much about her.  Maybe, if I pay attention, she will teach me that being sensitive and showing feelings is an okay way to be.  In her, it’s a beautiful way to be.  She’s honest and refreshingly expressive.  Maybe, if I listen, she will teach me to embrace what is so.

Today she came to me when I called for her.  I’ve known her and loved her almost five years and she finally walked straight to me without turning around half way to rethink things.

She walked towards me with more confidence and without fear.  I saw a trust in her eyes that felt new.  I can’t believe she is still learning to trust, but she is.

Her trust is a gift.  I felt it when she gave it.

She doesn’t owe trust to any person.  I don’t know what happened to my girl in her seven months of living before I met her.  I don’t want to know.

I understand her cautiousness, even though I don’t know the details of her early life.  I understand her and she understands me.  Neither of us knows what happened to each other before we met.  We just know things happened.

She and I are a lot alike.

She took me outside twice today.   She took me where the early morning sun warmed my face.  A cool crisp air reminded me of the changing season.

She has a lot to teach me, if I listen.

She’s my little drop of heaven who walks on four legs.

she takes me into the morning light



Horse pills and little angels

she calls me an angel and gives me sweet treats when all I do is what I do best.

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.”  ~Gilda Radner

“What’s your pain level?” the nurse asked.

“Nine,” I quickly remarked.  I was too tired to say nine and a half and would have said ten, but that’s reserved for pain that sends a person to an emergency room.  If I hadn’t had a doctor see, then it would have been an emergency.

My blood pressure was high, which for me means severe pain.  The doctor said I needed another round of the horse pills I had taken.

“I don’t know why I feel this bad,” I told my good friend after the appointment.  “It’s a simple bladder infection,” I said, but my whole body ached.

“You started out on the edge of good health,” he gently responded.   “Now your body has to use all it’s energy to fight the infection.”

My friend didn’t have much time to spare, but he made me a wonderful egg sandwich.  It was no ordinary egg sandwich.  It came with such tenderness in his heart, that I felt like the most special person to him in the world.  That right there is healing.

I went home and straight to bed.  My beloved canine companion, little Ruthie, woke me with a gentle kiss on my arm around seven o’clock.  She knows exactly when dinner time arrives.  Ruthie is such a tender dog.  She always asks for what she needs in the sweetest little ways.

Our other dog heard me stirring around and came into the bedroom.  They both wanted to eat and go outside. 

The first thing Ruthie did when we walked outside was spot a rabbit.  Holding her back was hard and it made me irritable.  I raised my voice, which made me feel guilty, but I knew I couldn’t take being pulled by her.   I brought them back inside, fed them and returned to bed.  They both settled on the floor beside my bed, like little angels watching over me.

The dogs don’t sleep in their usual places when I’m sick.  They are more protective of me.  They’re vigilant little guardians.

Living with chronic pain and exhaustion is hard.  Getting sick on top of being sick is depressing.

I decided to rent movies to make it through the next dose of horse pills.  I hoped depression wouldn’t get the best of me, but then I have these little creatures walking on four legs.  They are the best medicine in the world!  Dogs really do rule.

 

A dog named Free

A dog who loved the river, resting after a swim.

Free, In her element by the mountain creek.

I was a young mother and at times, when I look back, I think I grew up with my son.  Sometimes I’d get strange ideas.  Like with getting a dog.  I told him if we were supposed to have a dog (as if everything is predetermined, which I don’t believe is so), that one would probably just come to us.  I told him if the opportunity arose before school started, which was only about ten days later, then I’d think about it.

“$25.00” read the sign on the side of the large cardboard  box. 

 I don’t know how my son spotted it since we were across the street eating , but he did.  We were at the Apple Chill festival downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

“Mom!  Look!”  And he ran.  He ran fast to the other side of the road and then I heard, “Mom, come here and hurry!”  

Approaching the box I had no clue what was inside.  My son had already spoken with the nice woman standing beside of it.  She was smiling.  He leaned down and came out with a small but fat black furry puppy.  It was the ninth day since I’d said what I had and unknowingly to me,  he had counted the days. 

“It’s the ninth day Mom!”  He placed the puppy in my hands and looked into my eyes.  Very quickly he said here let me take that one and he put it back in the box.  “There she is,” he said.  He picked up another puppy, gently placing  her in my hands.  A smile came across his face instantly and right then tears flowed from my eyes.

I didn’t know why.   I felt something deep inside me.  I knew she had come to us.  I knew too that we needed an extra family member.  Two was not enough.  We needed three and there was our third member, curled up in the cup of my hands just like she had fallen from heaven.

“Can we take her home now?” my son asked.  He hadn’t tried to hold her but instead he wanted me to keep holding her.  “You like her don’t you Mom,” he said with great confidence, and I most certainly did.

“I have some cash in my car,” I told the nice woman selling her puppies at the festival.  “I’ll go and get it.” 

My son’s face glowed. The woman’s eyes teared up.  “You don’t have to pay,” she said.  I can tell you guys are going to give her a wonderful home and that means so much to me.  I can tell you both already love her!”

“Here is eight dollars,” I told her, which was all the cash I had on me.  I offered to pay more but she insisted that we not pay anymore.  She thanked me saying this would cover the puppy shots she had paid for.

Free lived with us as our third and necessary extra family member for 12 years, which is not much time in my time, but a bit in hers.

Most people think she was free, but we named her after a horse from Texas.  Free always reminded me of horses.  She grazed in fields of grass as a pastime and almost always never got sick. 

I’m thinking about Free a lot lately.  Free lived every moment to the fullest.  She engaged in life with every fiber of her being, even in the end she still wanted to experience life, mostly the fresh air outside.  

Free passed with as much glory as she had come to us with, leaving her love and teachings with me forever.

I found a note I wrote shortly after she passed on.  I know it is sad to think about our pets who had to leave Earth, but for me, I cannot forget.

I spent three amazing days with Free shortly before she left this earth.  I spent every day with Free during her life,  but those three days were special.  I stayed with her the entire time.  I lied down as close as I could get with her in the corner.   The Thunder beings came, which always scared Free and I held her close.  I stared into her eyes and I told her all that she meant to me.

People think you’re crazy when you say you can communicate with your dog.  I think people who can’t are kind of strange.

Free sure shared a lot with me.   She was my teacher.  Those three days –Free showed me the world from her view.   I could see life from a place of complete forgiveness, peace and a knowing that it is all okay.

I came across this note I’d written in my diary shortly after Free passed on.

She remains an angel.  

A gift from God

I am humbled 

  My face towards the ground, my head hanging low

I reach for the earth,  the roots run deep

I return to the sky,  the trees stand tall

And this is Free

She is everything beautiful.

Pretty flowers grew and beauty appeared in the woods where no other flowers grew. A healing garden in memory of my best friend, a furry four-legged girl.

A Healing Garden, In Memory of Free

The love of a dog

dogs make great nurses and caretakers

whose there?

Okay, my first day using my left hand and it is slow going.  Today, after a long day with medical professionals, I come home and realize how blessed I am to have two of the dearest, most loving beings on the planet right here with me!  ME!

Whew… done with left hand now.

I look into their eyes.  I know I’m lucky.  I’m honored to have them in my life and am truly humbled by their presence.  I believe they are straight from heaven.

My luck doesn’t seem so great in many ways lately, but in doggie land and up in doggie heaven somebody must really like me!

I wish everyone could see in dogs what I see.  I wish everyone loved dogs.

I’m glad I know, the love of a dog.

she's a beauty and she loves me

Egyptian BeautyHound