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Posts Tagged ‘Beast’

Oh, I so love to wonder! (like you didn’t know that by now)

But, once in a while, I come across a thing (like snakes ... well, most of the time), or a place (like the dentist’s office), or an event that really steals the wonder from my day.

One day, while walking in the beautiful sun, with my beast, Shiloh, I walked by two women. One woman was pushing an infant (I peeked, and ‘it’ was definitely an infant) in a stroller, and the other walking along side of them.

They looked to be mid-late twenties, attractive, and nicely dressed (I noticed all of this because I am a female, and WE notice EVERYTHING about people). But, they didn’t notice my beast (everyone notices my beast, she is a beauty. When we walk, she makes eye contact with everyone, looking for positive attention … she hears, “oh, pretty puppy” so often, I have had to push her into the van after the walk, due to the swelling of her head … but I digress). I do not think they noticed me either, but that is not uncommon, as I walk with a beast who gets all the attention.

Just as my beast and I were passing the trio, the lady (?) pushing the stroller, says to her friend, ” … and I said, that was F#@$ing rude …”

Ouch! My ears were hurting. Then I thought of the the infant in the stroller, and my heart was aching for him/her (no color definition in the child’s clothing to indicate the gender). I may be a purist, but a new little bundle should not start life hearing such cold language. Man, what will that child hear (at home) when the ‘newness’ of infant becomes the ‘awkwardness’ of adolescence, or the independence of teenage?

Sadly, I expect more of the same. And as I walked by, feeling the sense of wonder of nature, and of life ebb from my being, I also predict that the child, sleeping peacefully in his/her stroller, may grow up hearing such caustic-ness directed ‘towards’ him/her.

I felt deflated! I felt angry! I felt violated!

What I felt most was a desire to turn around, catch up with the classy-looking ‘ladies’ and give them a piece of my mind!

But, instead, shoulders hanging low, I prayed. I prayed that God would inject, as only He can, himself into the life of that child, and the lives of those two women. I prayed that the child would never hear such nastiness, at home, when he/she is old enough to mimic what is heard.

Then, I prayed for forgiveness. I may not use the same word I heard from that lady on the path (I tell my kids that only people who have no creativity of language use such words, so loosely, and that I know they are creative people, so I expect more from them). But, my kids have surely heard the same cold, hard, unrighteous anger from me.

That day on the path reminded me that if wonder is so important to me, then I need to be more conscious to not steal it from those around me with my words … and my attitude.

“Watch the way you talk.

Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth.

Say only what helps, each word a gift.

Don’t grieve God.

Don’t break his heart.

His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you,

is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself.

Don’t take such a gift for granted.

Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk.

Be gentle with one another, sensitive.”

Ephesians 4:29-31 (Message)

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I know all (2) of my readers are dying to hear the story of how our dog got out of her crate without the crate being unlocked. Well, so am I!

The real ‘bones’ of the story are that we leave the house, with our beast locked into her crate. We are happy. We come home to find our beast outside of her crate. Our beast is happy. The crate is still locked. We are mystified (and really p.o.’d because she has been nibbling on the door moldings … hope hubby doesn’t decide to read this entry …).

But how does she escape? Is she part hamster? Are her bones made of rubber?

This latest escape goes back to the beginning, almost seven and a half years ago, when we adopted our, then one and a half year old, beastMy Beast from a local shelter. I saw her picture on the internet, and fell in love with her big brown eyes.

WAIT … I’ve gotta go back further. About eight years ago our kids started doing and saying what all kids eventually do, “can we get a dog? We will look after it all by ourselves. You will never have to do anything.” Oh, I remember those words well … probably because they ring in my ears whenever I am feeding her, walking her, brushing her, or … scooping her poop! For any reader who has children, or will one day have children, they will eventually say the same promises to you … they LIE! But I digress.

So, I fell in love with her big brown eyes (ever heard the phrase ‘don’t buy a book by it’s cover’?). I went to the shelter to ‘pick her up’. In reality it was more like the great inquisition! And the paperwork would rival what you have to sign and fill out to adopt a real live human child! And, despite being completely honest in all I wrote (except maybe the part about ALL household members wanting to adopt her … a certain male occupant of this house and family was not, and will never, ever admit to wanting to adopt her, except to adopt her to someone else), they let me have her!

I went to the shelter that day, and fell even more in love with this beast’s motherly instincts than her eyes. I had brought my son with me (he had been having a tough year at school on the playground and I really wanted him to connect with the beast, with hopes that they would become great friends) so, while I was writing the equivalent to novelettes of why our family ‘needed’ to adopt the beast, my son sat at a table and drew pictures, and the beast laid at his feet. Whenever someone walked near the table, the beast sat up, at stayed between them and my boy.

That beast was Shiloh, and she became ours that day, because SHE adopted US.

We had done our reading about dogs … by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’. We had bought all the tools and gadgets … by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’. And our beast would be crate trained … by ‘our beast’ I mean ‘we’. It was more of a magic show, and she the master illusionist. You see we would put the beast in her crate (not the hard plastic type, but the wire ones … that look more like a cage … a certain male occupant of the house prefers the word ‘cage’), then go off to work, school, etc. Then we would come home to the beast happily meeting us at the door, and the crate still locked.

We realized that the metal bars could be bended out of place (and her bones may, indeed, be made of rubber), so carabiners were added … everywhere! Hubby took on the task of ‘securing’ the crate … and when testosterone is added to any job, overkill is bound to occur. This crate is more carabiner than it is crate! And, until yesterday, that was good enough.

I should mention that the crate was also carabinered to the two walls it is near … we had discovered that if she couldn’t get free ‘of’ the crate, she would free herself ‘and’ the crate, and both would be many feet from where we left them in the morning.

So, back to the fiasco.

One day, when I placed the beast in her crate she had ‘the look’. Now our beast, whose eyes drew me to her in the first place, also communicates wholly with those eyes. After years now of her ‘eye whispering’ I think I am starting to catch on to her language. That day she looked at me and communicated “I miss three of MY people, I’m lonely, I’m not happy with the rainy forecast for the week (because I know YOU are a wimp and won’t walk me in the rain, like HE would), and I’m going to show you who the Alpha female is in this house.” And I shook in my perfectly practical shoes. Because I ‘knew’ she would escape her cage.

When we got home I asked my daughter to humor me, and get out of the vehicle, and wait by the garage door, ready to catch the dog escaping (her crate is in the garage … don’t get your knickers in a knot, we leave the light on, and … hubby’s choice … she listens to sports radio … I think he does that as a torture tactic). As soon as the door started to rise, out she came! But we … and by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’, were onto her!

So, off to the hardware store for more carabiners … but, whose the alpha female now, beastie?

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Being home in the summer gives me good opportunity to see life from a different perspective.

My alarm clock does not often get set (yet I still often awaken at nearly the same time), meals during the day are replaced by a constant grazing (and, in some cases, I might just look like a cow by the end of summer), evenings are often spent outside around the propane fire pit, laundry is minimal, and there is simply no reason to leave the house most days.

One thing that has not changed, but has become more obvious to me, is that I have a stalker … in my house.

I awaken in the morning, and he lays near my chair, while I pound on the computer keys.

I move to the kitchen to fetch my desperately desired coffee, and he follows me there.

I move to my bedroom to dress, and he moves his repose to the mat outside our bedroom.

I move out to prune back the roses or the grape vines from the entrance to our deck, and he is awaiting my on the other side of the screen door.

I go to the basement, and he follows.

I come in from the garage, and he is napping on the other side of the door.

I feel as though our theme song is the one below:

And, by the way, my stalker is NOT hubby!

What my faithful stalker/guard dog keeps reminding me of what Moses shared in Deuteronomy, then was shared again in the book of Hebrews, that God said:

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake (give up/abandon)  you.”

Just like my fluffy, fun-loving beast, God is always there … over-seeing, protecting, being a presence. And, just like my beast, nothing will take His attention away … He is always faithful … even when I am not.

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shiloh on dandelionsRecently as I was spending quality time with my beast out on our trail, I realized that there is so much I can learn from her.

She loves to walk! Even though she is my fair weather walking friend, rain will rarely keep her from exercise in the fresh air. I could really learn from her in this. She could be a mail carrier, because neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen my beasty from their appointed rounds an exercise walk. If I was not such a conditional walker, and was more like the beast, I would be more fit, and probably more relaxed.

Then I started to think about other beastly activities and how they reveal her approach to life.

My beasty has herder blood coursing through her veins, and we, her family, are her herd. She follows us from room to room, resting in the doorways of the rooms where we rest, cook, eat and spend time together. She barks when anyone (flies included) steps one foot onto our property. She always lays between us and guests, until she has reached the point that she accepts their presence with us as safe. She struggles to relax when one of us does not return home for the night, pacing from door to door, sniffing the air, and listening with the greatest effort to discover why her person has not come home. I admit that I too easily forget how important time with my herd is, how my presence with them does not have to be about what we are doing together so much as just being together.

From those who adore the beasty to that certain one or two who wish she would go for a long walk, and not be able to find her way home, whenever any family member returns home she greets us joyfully. It does not matter if we pat her head, speak to her, or walk right past her with no acknowledgment at all, she follows us, wearing the look we call the ‘happy dog look.’ If we have been gone for a number of days, she greets us with excitement, pawing and noises that sound like cries of joy. Her love for us is not dependent on anything … not how we smell (and some of us smell), not how well we respond to her needs, not how often we take her for walks. Her love for us is only dependent on one thing …

we are hers, and she is ours.
(sounds like
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”
Song of Solomon 6:3)

That is the meat and potatoes of why she loves us … she is committed to us … it is her job, and she would fight to the death to protect any and all of us.

Imagine how our world would be different if we humans took on that perspective with those who are ours, and whose we are? I think we could all learn from such commitment.

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It wasn’t my fault … really!

Like a good girl (can I still call myself a girl, while hiding gray hairs under regular highlighting treatments?), I packed a poo bag into my hoody pocket, before heading out on a walk on the trail with my beast. But, something so unexpected, so terrible happened …

The day started out so perfectly! The sun was shining (a miracle really, as the monsoons and cooler April weather, had gone on for over a week straight), there was fresh snow on the mountains (cooler weather and monsoons down here equal fresh snow up there), it was cool (but not so cool that I needed my toque), the beast was excited (she’s a dog, she’s always excited to walk … well, except during the monsoons … we are kindred spirits!), and I was ready for a brisk exercise (so I could burn calories, and, therefore, eat more later).

And off we went. I walked the regular distance in record time! (probably had something to do with the fact that my beast, literally, pulls me up the hills … I love her!)

Then, about three quarters of the walk done, she starts pulling to the side (where the grass was). So, I loosen the leash so as to allow her the freedom to find her perfect ‘port-a-potty’ site.

She squats.

I put my hand in my pocket to retrieve ‘poo bag’.

I frowned.

I put my hand, further into my pocket (there was no ‘further’).

Nothing.

Panic set in.

Dog is still squatting.

I hear voices, in the distance, coming closer.

I break into a cold sweat.

What will I do … with the poo?!

I yank the leash attached to squatting beast.

No poo on the ground.

I sigh, relief!

We walk for almost twenty minutes more. The beast in distress with each step (remember she had been in squatting position, so, she is now spending 20mins. ‘turtling’ … you know how a turtle’s head moves in and out … enough said).

We reach the van. I grab another poo bag out of the glove compartment (I think of it more as a catch all compartment). I take beast to fresh, green, lush grass.

Beast sniffs grass.

Beast looks up at me.

I say, “poo beast”.

Beast looks up at me.

Beast sits on fresh, green, lush grass.

Crises averted!

20 Hours Later …

Beast finally poos, in our backyard …

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My beast is a delightful creature (just don’t ask my hubby about her), and she delights and entertains the kids and I regularly.

imagesSomething that has been happening more frequently as she gets older (hum, reminds me of someone else in the house who is getting older and having the same issue) is gas … flatulence … farting.

This has been shocking to our delicate, female, beasty … as well as to us.

For some members of the family this is great, because now that she is participating in this bodily function more frequently, it is more feasible to blame her when she didn’t create the aroma wafting around the room … if you know what I mean (“who did that”? would be responded to with “the dog”).

Not that long ago the beast was snoring near me, while I sat weaving a tale for my blog (snoring is also something new and more frequent as she is getting older). All of a sudden a familiar noise broke the silence … and it did not come from me! Immediately the beast awoke, head up, looking at me with that trying to blame someone else for your own sins, kinda look. When I returned her stare with ‘the look’ she then sniffed her lower extremities, causing a shocked look to appear on her furry face! She immediately got up and ran up the stairs as though fleeing from a killer. Seconds later, I had personal understanding of what she was running from!

We have not changed her food or her routine, and she just got a clean bill of health from the veterinarian. The only other excuse left is that she is aging, her digestive process is slowing down.

And that is aging, isn’t it? It is not just the slowing down of the digestive process either. Our reflexes slow, our eyesight changes, the elastic nature of our skin does not spring back into place, the healing process slows, memory slows (or, as I like to think of it, our memory takes mini holidays). The only thing that does not slow down is the rate of hair growth on my legs!

Our hearts slow down too.

In our 20’s, our heart can beat up to 180 and 200 beats per minute. But at 80, it is more like 145 beats per minute. Although our heart is the engine of our bodies, most of the reasons it slows as we age are related to the heart responding to the the slowdown, misuse, poor health of other body systems and parts. If our diet is too high in fat, we might get buildup in our arteries, forcing our heart to work harder to push the blood through the more narrow passages.

As yesterday was Valentine’s Day, there are many happy hearts. But some hearts are a little heavier than happier, maybe some awaken today to feeling like the heartbeat of love has slowed to a snails pace.

Keep beating! The process of maturing in marriage can be as stinky as a dog’s farts! But, the heart is the engine of marriage, and if it feels as though you are just responding to the slowdown in your relationship, remember it is still your responsibility, your job, to keep beating.

Bad noises and bad smells, that is the reality of real marriage … can we choose to keep beating even when the air is rancid? Or, like my beast, will the smell drive you away?

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It was a miracle! It was a weekend AND it was sunny and beautiful!

With hubby and all three of our kids gone, and with our two from China opting for retail therapy, the beast and I were free to do whatever we desired on that gorgeous day. So we chose a brisk walk on the trail.

People were out in droves. There were the young teenage couples who couldn’t keep their tonsils eyes off each other, and the older couples who walked arm in arm for both physical and emotional support. There were the single walkers, with or without a beast, briskly marching along, and the families with little ones, walking at a snails pace to take in every bit of wonder around them.

I am never really sure of the real reason that beast loves to go for walks. Oh, she loves the actual walk, but deep down the thing I think she likes most is the people we meet. There is nothing like a comment like, “oh what a pretty dog” to make her ears soar, and then she will prance down the path … head swelling bigger by the moment! If the passing compliment is not enough to excite her, there is also the adoring “puppy!” from a small child! Often we will stop, and allow her adoring little admirer touch and see her up close. If there is a child’s cry or screech within earshot of our beast, I am at risk of shoulder dislocation! She immediately wants to fly into action in the direction of the cry.

For me the walks encompass so much more than just the exercise, which is beneficial, of course. It is the opportunity to be still (I rarely ‘plug in’ on my walks, but I have been known to stop and quickly email a blog post idea to myself) mentally. It allows all of the cells in my body to inhale fresh, oxygen-rich air, that can clear my mind like nothing else. I am enabled by the combination of fresh air, beauty of creation, and physical activity to become more creative, and despite that fact that I have walked this path frequently, these walks “still take my breath away and offers so much scope for imagination!” (Anne of Green Gables)

What a gift the exercise, the fresh air, the sun shining brightly in the sky were to the beasty and I … cheaper and more effective than any other therapy!

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