Posts Tagged ‘pets’

Dogs Make Good Neighbors

Four-legged Neighbors

Ruthie and Happy sure know how to be good neighbors.  They’re polite and respectful to one another.  They always greet each other with a bark or if there is time, several dogkisses!  They are good friends.

Happy has a busy schedule of walks, playing and sleeping, but she enthusiastically remembers Ruthie on her way home from her morning walks.  Ruthie is always happy to see her friend and neighbor, the dog, Happy!

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A Dog Smile

Thanks for the hike Mom! by Rosa Blue
Thanks for the hike Mom!, a photo by Rosa Blue on Flickr.

Dear Human Mom,

Thanks for the hike!  I had a great time.

Love,

Your friend,

Sweet Ruthie.

The Dogs I’ve Loved ~ Poochie

Poochie

one cute dog

Poochie was my first four-legged friend.  He was a small dog with sandy blonde hair.  I was three years-old when I knew and loved Poochie.

Memories of my third year are short snippets of time sketched in my mind.  Poochie curled up in a little ball, basking under the sun in our front yard is an image that never faded.  My love for him is a feeling I’ve never forgotten.

I was temporarily in a wheelchair from a childhood bone disease when Poochie was my dog.  I’ve always wondered if I was confined to the little chair when Poochie met his last day on earth.

I’ve always thought it rather odd that I remember anything at all about my third year, but it makes sense now that I’m an adult, considering all that happened and the way things were.

We had plenty of love in my family, but from what I understand, my third year was much like the rest of my childhood.  Our lives were chronically hardened with strife.   On occasion and unpredictably, fear from violent emotional explosions that led to all sorts of trouble visited our family, yet we were familiar with unfortunate circumstances and that each time could have ended much worse than it did.

I had a boyfriend when Poochie was my dog.  He was also three years-old.  We spent a fair amount of time sitting on my front porch steps together.  I remember the way I felt being around him.  I know I loved him.

According to my mother, the little boy and I had deep conversations about life.  “Lord, I couldn’t believe the things the two of you talked about.  I used to stand there at the door listening and just shake my head,” she says.

A child in our neighborhood had thrown a rock that hit my head and knocked me unconscious.  Afterward, even as my mother had made it clear to everyone that nobody would ever hit me with a rock again, my boyfriend and I didn’t play on the days when the child who had thrown the rock was outside.  

Upon reflection, the accident may explain memory problems I had for the best of my childhood and maybe to this day, but I was hit in the head again during fifth grade.  I had decided to play baseball, but the boys didn’t want girls on the team. 

“Easy Out!  Easy Out!,” the boys shouted enthusiastically.  The pitcher tried hitting my head with the ball every time I approached the batter’s box.   Finally, he succeeded, and I quit playing baseball.

The brain is amazing and so is the human spirit.  I later found ways to cope with what I thought was normal, like my less than good memory and, “the bad things,” my grandmother said I had seen.  “You were too young to see what you saw,” she would later tell me.

My third year was in the late sixties.  The place was in the heart of the North Carolina Blue Ridge mountains.  We were not poor by the standards of the day and perhaps we were Middle class.  The stories I’ve heard about medical treatments I endured during those years sound like we came from a time I thought was in history books before I entered this world, which reminds me of the way I met my first boyfriend.

He and I were born minutes apart, in the same hospital room, delivered by the same doctor, separated only by a thin hospital curtain, which the doctor had left open for the laboring hours preceding our births. 

“We talked the whole time we were in labor,” my mother tells me.  “The beds were side-by-side.  Nurses came in to prep us and that’s when the doctor pulled the curtain closed, but we still went on talking.”

The boy’s mother and mine were best friends.   I was due several weeks before her child was, but as it happened, we were born on the same night.  The boy came first.  His mother, lying in her hospital bed, told them to open the curtain again, which they did. 

“What’s wrong over there?”  she asked my mother.  “Why haven’t you had that baby yet?” 

Looking over at my mother, still in labor, the woman noticed that Mother was still wearing her teeth.  “Lord God!,” the woman shouted to the doctor.  “She can’t have that baby ’til she takes out her teeth!”

The doctor ordered my mother to take her teeth out.  “You were born just as soon as I took them out,” she tells me. 

“Why did you have your teeth in?” I asked my mother, many years later as she told me the story.

“Well, I can’t remember, but I guess I didn’t want that doctor seeing me without my teeth,” she said.  “He was a good-looking doctor.”

I realized I was born in pure vanity, but I come from a long line of women who expect good-looking doctors when they get to a certain age in life.  I recently noticed that my doctor is pretty cute.  I’ve seen him for years and have never once thought about his physical appearance.  I wonder if this means I’m getting to that certain age.  Alas.   I’ve truly regressed, if that’s possible in this piece of writing.

My sweet boyfriend wasn’t there the day when I was sitting on the porch steps and saw our neighbor back her car out of the driveway, running over Poochie in the process.  I wanted to help Poochie, but I couldn’t.  I don’t know if it was because I couldn’t walk or if the accident simply happened too fast. 

Later, my mother said the woman wanted to apologize and that she had made me cookies.  I wanted nothing to do with her cookies and doubt if I understood what an apology meant.  My dog was gone.  In my three year-old mind, I fully believed it was the woman’s fault for backing out of her driveway at a speed that I was sure had been too fast.  By the time she heard me screaming, it was too late to save Poochie.

Mother said my boyfriend and I sat on the steps and talked about what happened for days afterward.  “The two of y’all came up with the idea that you would go to her house and poke her eyeballs out like she had done to Poochie’s.”  Mother says I pointed two fingers to show her what I had in mind.

My family and I did go to the woman’s house.  Apparently, I behaved well, but I didn’t like her house any more than I liked her car.  From my point of view, both were way too big for one person.

I did not eat her cookies.  I was sad for a long time. 

For years, it hurt to remember what I had seen and I did remember.  I also missed Poochie in a terrible way.  I’m glad the images of the accident finally faded and that today, my memories only include him basking in the sunshine, and how it felt to love a dog.

The next dog that came into my life was a long funny looking Wiener dog.  I’ll tell you about him, and my life when he lived with us, in an upcoming post about, “The Dogs I’ve Loved.”

 

12/30/12 Post updated to allow ‘Likes’ 🙂

 

Our dear friend, Tiny

A man named Happy named Tiny.  I used to get their names confused all the time.  Happy was my son’s first roommate when my son was only a teenager and decided to live on his own.  He wanted to take our dog, Free, with him.  Of course, I said no.  

I lived twenty miles outside of town in the hills of the beautiful Blueridge mountains of North Carolina when my son left home.  I took Free to spend the night with him two, maybe three times.  Each time I had left her with him, I woke up around 2am hearing Free’s footsteps in the house, only to realize she wasn’t there.  I couldn’t stand the feeling, so I drove into town, knocked on my son’s door and demanded that Free come home with me.

My son was quite serious about her living with him, which I couldn’t believe, but the bigger surprise came when he called one night to tell me he had gone out and found himself a dog. 

“I got a Rottweiler,” he said.

My heart sank.  He was not ready for the responsibility and I was especially concerned about the breed.  Images passed through my mind that I never wanted to see realized.  Fortunately, they never came to pass.  I don’t know how much my prayers had to do with the way Tiny turned out, but I prayed every day about it.

“Please God,” I asked.  “Please don’t let Tiny be a really big dog.”  I remember saying this prayer many times, until Tiny was about a year old.  I knew then that he would never be the Rottweiler my son had expected.  Also as fortunate, is that my son loved the dog Tiny became.

Tiny love here

You can scroll down to the end of this post to view Tiny’s photo gallery.

It turned out that the Basset Hound in Tiny is the predominate trait.  His little legs are somewhat bowed.  As a youngster, he always slept nearly upside down on the end of a bed or sofa , with all four legs in the air and his giant head falling toward the floor.  He hunts like a Basset Hound.  He plays like one.  And of course, he has those eyes!  He howled like a hound dog when he had a girlfriend, and he had several until he moved to the country.  He met Ruthie when he was five years old and she’s been his only girl ever since. 

Tiny recently had his eleventh birthday, which makes him the elder in our home.  He’s also the cutest member of my family.  His soft floppy hound-dog ears and big brown eyes melt most people’s heart at first sight.

Tiny licks his nose!

As you can see, Tiny isn’t so tiny. 

My son was going to name him Wilbur, which would have fit his personality.  The vet once suggested “Hoover,” to honor the power of his large and terrific nose.

For most of Tiny’s life, even with his relatively short legs and cute features, his large head and a healthy dose of Rottweiler has caused men to walk backwards down my front porch steps.  They were repair men who worked for the landlord and didn’t know us.  “He won’t bite,” I told them through the open window by the door where Tiny’s big head was visible.  Most of the time the men left and never returned.

Off the top of my head, I can think of only three times that Tiny has jumped on people’s lap (each were men), after they sat down on my sofa.  He went straight for their throats to smell their necks, which caused me tremendous anxiety.  He learned to play like that in the mornings when he was a puppy.  Every morning he would ‘search’ for my son’s neck under the covers.  Boy those were the days.  I had forgotten about so much, until I started writing this blog post.  Tiny’s life is full of interesting stories.

Other than those few times when he jumped on those men, Tiny has been a sweetheart to every person he met.  He has been and is tremendously adored! 

Tiny hasn’t always lived with me.  For the first five and a half years of his life, he lived with my son, who Tiny remains loyal to in his heart, but he has always communicated with me.  In the most amazing ways, he has told me where he was when he needed help and where my son was when he was not well and for the most part, living on the streets.  He and Tiny both were young and resilient, thank God.

Sadly, Tiny was recently diagnosed with intestinal Lymphoma.  I’ve tried writing about it before now, but my heart hurts too much.  There are a few things in my life that I simply can’t write about. 

I’ve nursed him for several weeks.  My sweet seven year-old girl, Ruthie, has been a good nurse too, which is a big part of her nature.  She has always been a good little friend to Tiny and honestly, I fear the sadness she will feel when that day that I don’t want to think about inevitably comes. 

Alas.

I do think about it.  In fact, not many moments have passed since I found out that Tiny has cancer, that I haven’t been aware of this approaching time.

Over the course of several weeks, Tiny went from having foul-smelling gas to explosive vomiting and diarrhea, which meant an emergency veterinary visit.  After x-rays and an ultra sound, the vet and radiologist said his lymph glands were inflamed and the walls of his intestines are, “thickened.”  With this information, along with his symptoms, they concluded his diagnosis of intestinal cancer.

They said the diarrhea would never go away, but it did.  As I write, he is eating well, but he is taking a steroid, which I’m not sure is working out too well.  He is so hungry.  I can’t stand seeing him starve, so I’ve cut the night dosage in half. 

I don’t know how long the steroid will work.  The vet said maybe two months, and possibly three.

Note: A week or so later, after first starting this post, I realize that each time I come back to it, things have changed.  No day has been the same.  The steroid makes him too hungry.

For the most part, at least during the day, Tiny acts like most older dogs, but with less than his usual amount of energy.  He isn’t taking the bone or dog toys from Ruthie when she holds them in front of him, hoping as she always has, that he will chase her, catch her, finally taking whatever it is she teases him with.  He does enjoy chewing what he loves most, which is a tennis ball, but they don’t last long before he rips them apart.

He Wants my Sandwich

I think I’ll have some Mom.

Tiny is a very loved dog.  He has given us many, many happy times.  He has saved my son’s life several times.  He has telepathically communicated with me when danger was impending and as a result, I was able to intervene just in time.  Tiny is a special dog indeed, and very special to me.  I call him my grand-boy.

In the process of diagnosing Tiny we discovered that he had a Tape worm.  I’m not sure what role this has played in his level of illness.  Part of me wishes (no, all of me wishes) that it was only the worm that made him so sick, and that he would be okay if I stopped the steroids.  I may indeed have to stop the steroid sooner than I had hoped or expected, but I do not think Tiny will be okay.  I can tell.  I’ve known for a while that something was wrong.

Tiny.  Our boy.  Our dear friend.  Ruthie’s mate.  My big guy who protects me.  My son’s loyal companion.  Tiny.  We Love You!

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A wise chew…

I was not in the nieghbor's garbage Mom!I knew I didn’t have much time left when I spotted it on her sparkling clean desk.  A pen was lying on top of it.  I’d seen her use it many times crossing off things she thought she needed to do.

As soon as she left, I’d inspected the place.  I had to search more than usual after all those hours she spent cleaning, but there were still a few things I could chew. 

There were some shoes, one of which smelled pretty good and a tennis ball that I had hidden under the sofa months earlier.

It had to be something different this time.  Something that would definitely make her stop and think. 

She had worked and worked and worked.  I had waited and waited and waited!

I put my front legs on the chair and swept the list off the table with my muzzle.  Perfect!

I thought for a second, maybe two, was it going to be a good chew?  How would I know if I didn’t try?

More importantly than a good chew, I had to save my human mistress from a time warp of never-ending indoor chores!

I would have to choose my chew wisely.  I can get away with just about anything.   She loves me a whole bunch! 

As far as things to chew, it was rather tasteless and boring, but that didn’t stop me.

I chewed the paper into as many pieces as possible.  I spit out the remains, which created a tidy, but easily visible thick pile on the floor.

I didn’t have time to jump up in my chair when I heard the car pulling into the driveway.  I lied down, pretending to be asleep.

She opened the door carrying as many groceries as she could.  She was always doing more than she should.  She put the bags on the counter and shut the door.

“Hi Free! I’m finally home,” she said.

I didn’t move. I waited.

“What are you doing lying there like that?” she asked.  She put away the groceries.  Normally, I would have greeted her at the door.

She walked over to check on me.  She looked around to see if I had damaged anything.  I’ve had to in the past to get her attention, but not in a long time and only as a last resort.

Finally, she spotted my work.  She picked up a few pieces of the paper.  What had been words were now little blotches of ink.

She looked perplexed.  She glanced at her tidy little desk and then back to the floor.  Leaning over, she inspected the small pieces of paper again.

She’s a little slow, but she soon realized that it was true.

Of all the things to chew, it was her list if things to do!

I saw a glitter in her eyes.  She gave me a great hug and started laughing.

Right away she grabbed my collar and even though I’m Free, she put me on a leash.

She says this protects me from the Momma bear who recently became our neighbor.  I’m not afraid of bears like she is, but I admit my powerlessness over my highly sensitive olfaction, as well as my penchant for stealing neighbor-dog toys.

“You’re a funny dog Free,” she said as we set out for our walk to the grassy meadow where I graze and she relaxes on the wide flat rock with a view of the sunset.  “I sure do love you,” she tells me in a way that makes me know I did the right thing.

I am Free.  I’m teaching my human mistress to be a little more like me.

In Memory of Free. “A happy dog” she was always called.

She Lived and Loved from 1993—2006, Forever in my heart and memories.

Taken from my journal, Lessons from Free, May 8, 2006.

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Eight legs walkin’

we love mom

Eight legs ‘a walkin’

Walkin’ round my home.

All just so,

I don’t walk alone.


Eight legs ‘a walkin’

Walkin’ round my home.

Oh, don’t you know?

I love you so!


My sweet little Ruthie,

You hold your head high,

Your spirit made strong,

Furry tail up,

wagging all the time!

Now that you know,

I love you so!


My sweet little Ruthie,

I remember you then.

Your head was down,

Furry tail drawn in.


Sweet little Ruthie,

I remember you then.

Jumping in my car,

Never looking back.

How did you know?

We would love each other so?

I know you were kissed,

From the angel I missed.

She waited ’til she knew,

I found you.


Every moment since,

You’ve celebrated your life.

Yes!

Hallelujah!!!


Your head is in the air,

high and mighty strong!

You are a big girl now!

So you be certain,

I am very proud!


Tiny…

He puts his large head,

so soft…

gently on my leg.

He knows where it hurts.

His big deep brown eyes,

gazing into mine.

Mine with fears,

loneliness and tears.


Oh, how I love YOU!

This is what Tiny tells.

He always knows when to tell,

Oh yes, he knows!

I’m amazed every time,

He lays his head next to mine.


He hears my heart call,

his little legs start walkin’

lovin’ is a dog’s law.

Tiny knows…

He knows when it’s time to tell.


Right when I was thinking,

It was too late for me,

Tiny comes closer.

Oh, can’t you see?

Oh, don’t you know?

We do love you so?


Yes, I say,

I can see!

I can surely see!

 

My sweet little Ruthie,

My dear boy Tiny,

I have not forgotten.

I hope you know,

I do love you so!


I don’t understand,

why took the two-legged left.

Oh no,

I don’t understand.


I cry and wonder why.

Why does it have to be this way?

Every silent day,

Every silent moment,

I wonder why.


I always end the silence,

Saying Yes,

I remember!

I remember that you’re here.

Yes,

I remember!


Eight legs ‘a walkin’

Walkin’ round my home

All just so,

I don’t have to walk alone.


I don’t know how to make it,

I don’t know what to do.

I only know,

I sure do love you.


I thank Lord Jesus.

I thank Great Spirit.

Praise Jah!

For the Dogs!


Thank You for the Dogs!!!

These dogs You have given me.


Love renews my spirit,

moving through my body,

healing my wounds.


These dogs,

they keep saying,

We are eight legs ‘a walkin’

Walkin’ round this home,

All just so,

You never walk alone.

 

Yes!

Hallelujah!!!

These are my blessings,

These eight legs ‘a walkin’


I always know,

I don’t have to walk this road alone.

big hound dog eyes says I sure do love you

Dogs give...

In Memory of my sweet Free…

Perched on the wood,

Crow spoke.

You can’t walk this road alone.

Not anymore…

You can’t walk this road alone.

From Free,

Crow spoke.

Thank You Free!


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A friend with paws

A lovely poem by a young girl who loves a dog

 Ruthie Mae

She’s as beautiful as a bay

She loves to play

She loves it when I tell her to sit and stay

She gets mad when I don’t say hey

She loves to drink lattes

She was born in May

She loves to run and walk on a beautiful day.

Golden fur like Autumn leaves

When we run together we feel the breeze

I’ll chase the dragonflies

She’ll chase the bees

She gives me her paw

when I’m on my knees

She gives me her paw

Then I know

She’ll be there with me through it all.

Ruthie Mae,

Ruthie Mae.

A lovely poem written by and offered as a gift from my sweet and dear friend about her relationship with and her love for my dog, sweet Ruthie. 

“She gives me her paw when I’m on my knees.  She gives me her paw, then I know she’ll be there with me through it all.”  –by a girl who loves a dog!

Image via Wikimedia Commons (File: Joshua Reynolds – A Young Girl and Her Dog.jpg)

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