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Posts Tagged ‘dog’

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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Poo on the Pathway

*this is a re-post from 2011 … but I still am right!

I am a bit … anal (catch 20140608-160321-57801031.jpgthe pun?) when it comes to what comes out of a dog. But I am okay with that, because … I am right!

There is nothing that can get my knickers in a knot like poo on the path! I always feel as though my eyes (and nasal passages) have been violated when I see that! Seriously, how hard is it to bend your body down and scoop up that warm, stinky, bacteria-breeding matter, then dispose of it in the nearest garbage can? Heck, if you forget your ‘poo baggie’ you can at least take a stick and move it out of sight. Oh, my aching nasal passages!

So, one night (when the sun FINALLY decided to show it’s face in my life, while hubby sends me daily emails, with statements from a Southern Eden that say “Oh, it’s a bit chilly today, only 80 degrees” … let me tell you, he can take his 80 degrees and … lets just say, another pun) I took the beast for a walk (and wished I had brought mittens, and a toque).

We had a great walk. The weather was dry, mostly (when it started to rain, I started my ‘I hate rain dance’, and, for a change, it worked! The weather gods probably didn’t want me dancing in public anymore … it was probably quite a site … kind of a mix of something tribal, and a two-year old having a hissy fit). The beast was thrilled to be relieved of her cabin fever (cabin fever definition for my beast – any movement, by any of her ‘persons’ in the household ‘could’ mean she gets to GO, and so she will leap from wherever she is when she hears any movement beyond breathing). I was thrilled to be relieved of my cabin fever (cabin fever definition for me – sighs, whenever I hear or see rain, followed by frantic searching of real estate ANYWHERE else … Winnipeg has not be omitted! Can you sense my desperation?).

By the time we were in the home stretch (aka, the point of the walk that I start thinking about all the calories I just burned, and how that means I can now give myself a ‘treat’ … solid thinking!), I was feeling like a million bucks, and was starting to have ‘west coast’ thinking (aka. it rains for two weeks straight, then the sun comes out, and so do the west coasters, who all say the same things; “why isn’t this the best place to live?”, “It is so great to live here.” and “I love where I live.” … but where do their memories of the previous two weeks go? … and don’t tell me it’s optimism, it’s downright delusion!).

Then my beast did what she NEVER does … she pooed … on the gravely trail! My beast only poos on green … my fashionista daughter thinks it’s because her poos are yellowish and the green of the grass bring out the lighter, brighter hues … Oh crap (another pun), please don’t tell me you were falling for that!

Truly, she really never poos on anything that isn’t green. Why, last summer we has a dry spell (some time I need to tell you about the insanity of limiting water use … here!), and I thought our beast might be contemplating bulimia to avoid having to poo on brown grass. Heck, the kids are so infrequent at doing the ‘poo pick-up’, our grass is always brown anyway! But, I digress.

So, she poos on the the gravely trail. After my shock at her irregular (ha! ha! another pun) behavior subsides, I reach into my pocket for a baggie (praying the whole time that it didn’t fall out), and there it is, phew! At least I didn’t have to stand there looking around, wondering if anyone was looking at us, so I could skulk off, poo still on the path, because I didn’t have a baggie.

I go to ‘scoop the poop, in one fell swoop’, but, I am inexperienced in scooping poop from a gravely pathway, so one fell swoop just isn’t going to do it! I go in for the second swoop, but, again due to my inexperience, I apply too much downward pressure (this could be a pun ..), and my baggie (made out of the thinnest plastic available), shreds against the gravely pathway.

I am now so feeling the pressure (more puns) to get this mess wiped (pun) off the seat (pun) of my existence. I look at the shredded side of the baggie, I look at the remaining pooh still on the gravely path, I look at the beast, and give her a look that communicates ‘this is your fault’, and she looks at me and communicates ‘GO?’ (another, but much more unintentional, pun).

So, I reposition the poo in the baggie (don’t think for too long, of how I might have done that), so as to create the best possibility of one last (complete) successful swoop, avoiding any … skid marks … on my hand. But there’s just so many little pieces of poo strewn throughout the gravel! I am perplexed.

I swoop quickly, so quickly that the little pieces of poo, along with the gravitational (downward) pull, fly through the air, creating a much larger area strewn with the stinky stuff. I am left with a decision to make; do I even try to ‘finish the job’?

But, I have standards, and poo-lluting the pathway cannot go unwiped!

I bend, I swoop, and … it’s a clean sweep! I’ve bagged the poo! So, I tie the baggie up, and toss it into a nearby garbage can (when does that ever happen … usually I carry the full baggie so long, I forget about it until I start to toss it in the garbage in the van … imagine the sweet smell of success that could produce?).

This post, although greatly enhanced, is true, and I dedicate it to my 11-year old son, for whom there is no humor like potty humor! (and for whom, there is no greener color you turn, than when you are picking up poo).

 

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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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I am a bit … anal (catch the pun?) when it comes to what comes out of a dog. But I am okay with that, because … I am right!

There is nothing that can get my knickers in a knot like poo on the path! I always feel as though my eyes (and nasal passages) have been violated when I see that! Seriously, how hard is it to bend your body down and scoop up that warm, stinky, bacteria-breeding matter, then dispose of it in the nearest garbage can? Heck, if you forget your ‘poo baggie’ you can at least take a stick and move it out of sight. Oh, my aching nasal passages!

So, tonight (when the sun FINALLY decided to show it’s face in my life, while hubby sends me daily emails, with statements from a Southern Eden that say “Oh, it’s a bit chilly today, only 80 degrees” … let me tell you, he can take his 80 degrees and … lets just say, another pun) I took the beast for a walk (and wished I had brought mittens, and a toque).

We had a great walk. The weather was dry, mostly (when it started to rain, I started my ‘I hate rain dance’, and, for a change, it worked! The weather gods probably didn’t want me dancing in public anymore … it was probably quite a site … kind of a mix of something tribal, and a two-year old having a hissy fit). The beast was thrilled to be relieved of her cabin fever (cabin fever definition for my beast – any movement, by any of her ‘persons’ in the household ‘could’ mean she gets to GO, and so she will leap from wherever she is when she hears any movement beyond breathing). I was thrilled to be relieved of my cabin fever (cabin fever definition for me – sighs, whenever I hear or see rain, followed by frantic searching of real estate ANYWHERE else … Winnipeg has not be omitted! Can you sense my desperation?).

By the time we were in the home stretch (aka, the point of the walk that I start thinking about all the calories I just burned, and how that means I can now give myself a ‘treat’ … solid thinking!), I was feeling like a million bucks, and was starting to have ‘west coast’ thinking (aka. it rains for two weeks straight, then the sun comes out, and so do the west coasters, who all say the same things; “why isn’t this the best place to live?”, “It is so great to live here.” and “I love where I live.” … but where do their memories of the previous two weeks go? … and don’t tell me it’s optimism, it’s downright delusion!).

Then my beast did what she NEVER does … she pooed … on the gravely trail! My beast only poos on green … my fashionista daughter thinks it’s because her poos are yellowish and the green of the grass bring out the lighter, brighter hues … Oh crap (another pun), please don’t tell me you were falling for that!

Truly, she really never poos on anything that isn’t green. Why, last summer we has a dry spell (some time I need to tell you about the insanity of limiting water use … here!), and I thought our beast might be contemplating bulimia to avoid having to poo on brown grass. Heck, the kids are so infrequent at doing the ‘poo pick-up’, our grass is always brown anyway! But, I digress.

So, she poo is on the the gravely trail. After my shock at her irregular (ha! ha! another pun) behavior subsides, I reach into my pocket for a baggie (praying the whole time that it didn’t fall out), and there it is, phew! At least I didn’t have to stand there looking around, wondering if anyone was looking at us, so I could skulk off, poo still on the path, because I didn’t have a baggie.

I go to ‘scoop the poop, in one fell swoop’, but, I am inexperienced in scooping poop from a gravely pathway, so one fell swoop just isn’t going to do it! I go in for the second swoop, but, again due to my inexperience, I apply too much downward pressure (this could be a pun ..), and my baggie (made out of the thinnest plastic available), shreds against the gravely pathway.

I am now so feeling the pressure (more puns) to get this mess wiped (pun) off the seat (pun) of my existence. I look at the shredded side of the baggie, I look at the remaining pooh still on the gravely path, I look at the beast, and give her a look that communicates ‘this is your fault’, and she looks at me and communicates ‘GO?’ (another, but much more unintentional, pun).

So, I reposition the poo in the baggie (don’t think for too long, of how I might have done that), so as to create the best possibility of one last (complete) successful swoop, avoiding any … skid marks … on my hand. But there’s just so many little pieces of poo strewn throughout the gravel! I am perplexed.

I swoop quickly, so quickly that the little pieces of poo, along with the gravitational (downward) pull, fly through the air, creating a much larger area strewn with the stinky stuff. I am left with a decision to make; do I even try to ‘finish the job’?

But, I have standards, and poo-lluting the pathway cannot go unwiped!

I bend, I swoop, and … it’s a clean sweep! I’ve bagged the poo! So, I tie the baggie up, and toss it into a nearby garbage can (when does that ever happen … usually I carry the full baggie so long, I forget about it until I start to toss it in the garbage in the van … imagine the sweet smell of success that could produce?).

This post, although greatly enhanced, is true, and I dedicate it to my 11-year old son, for whom there is no humor like potty humor! (and for whom, there is no greener color you turn, than when you are picking up poo).

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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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