Some Catching Up To Do

Another birthday came and went. Birthday cakes aren’t large enough to hold the required number of candles.

The younger set is impatient to age, the older set wishes aging would slow down.

Visited with friends over a long weekend. Many enjoyable highlights. Scars from last year’s tragic fires were still present in Gatlinburg and Smoky Mountain NP.

Ridges covered with bare trees, stark skeletons of burned-out homes and cabins. Hilltops bulldozed over–some decided to rebuild, others took insurance settlements, and left.

Went deep undercover in Tennessee Vols country Saturday.  No one was the wiser.  Faithful fans cheered for positive yardage; fell silent during penalties in a very lackluster game with UMass.

The two mutts were glad to be released from incarceration at the kennel on our return.  Their lockup due to their incompatibility with felines.

One morning in the restroom, I was startled when one of the male cats jumped from behind the shower curtain.  The other, growled from concealment.  Thankfully, the conflict didn’t escalate, while I was in a compromised position.

Max and Maggie would be disappointed to know, while they were kenneled, we were visiting with cats.  It will remain a secret.

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I’ll Take the Fifth (Of July)

For selfish reasons–I’m glad the Fourth of July is over. Last night, fireworks explosions carried on, till almost midnight.

Max scratched on the bedroom door, to get out, till it was over. There wasn’t anywhere else to go. Why couldn’t he rationalize the same as humans? “Max, settle down, go to sleep.” My spouse slept through all of it.

All five dogs were affected to some degree. Great-grand-dog Dexter, Greta, Bogart, my grand-dogs, and Max and Maggie, hung out in the basement till bedtime.

I don’t begrudge anyone’s Fourth of July festivities. From this pet owner’s perspective–I’m glad it’s over.

One Of the Good Guys

I’m still shocked, in disbelief, that a neighbor and good friend passed away last night.  He was within a year or two of my age.

Rick and I were retired communications workers–for the same company in adjoining states.  We could fall back on telling telephone “war” stories.  Rick always lent a helping hand when needed.

Because of Rick, I have buried telephone service to my workshop.  It’s an old-fashioned landline.  How else were my antique telephones going to work?  With ringers as loud as firehouse gongs, they’d refuse to operate on wireless–the very idea.

Every good thing that will be said, Rick deserves.  He was one of the good guys.  Me and the dogs will miss him.  We couldn’t pass by Rick’s house on walks without Max putting on the brakes.  Max loved to see Rick–go back to his workshop.  I know it was an interruption.  Rick refurbished golf carts.  Rick always found the time.

 

Can You Dig It?

“You have a small mouth,” Said the dental hygienist.  My sarcastic nature went to work.

“Maybe I missed my calling?  I should have joined the circus.”  Her comment was off-the-wall–or at the very least, tactless.

“Sorry, I’m just a mouth monitor–would you look at the size of that mouth!  Now, there’s a mouth I could work with.”  She didn’t say it–was she thinking it?

A neighbor, given to spontaneous bombastic bouts of unsolicited advice, had this to say about preventing my dogs from digging holes in the backyard.

“Well, you fill the hole up with water.  Then, grab the offending dog by the nose; stick the dog’s head and snout underwater, until he squirms and gasps for air.  Repeat, if necessary, and by gosh they’ll get the message or drown.  Either way–no more holes!”

“Thanks for the information, neighbor.  I’ll get back to you on that.”  There was no way in heck, I was going to do that.

Most holes were discovered after the fact.  When it was too late to yell at the offender.  Collecting dog excrement and depositing it in the hole before filling it was semi-successful.  The worst holes were under the privacy fence.

At this point, I don’t think the dogs wanted to escape–they were just curious about neighborhood activities.  And, I can dig that.

 

Giving Away the Throne

One of two overstuffed chairs to be given away.  Many pleasant memories there–the chair nearest the front window was from where our beloved Dillon watched the world outside.

Dillon left us a short five years ago.  The sense of loss never went away.  Pets hold special places in our hearts.  That’s how I will always remember our German Shepherd mixed breed–sitting in that same chair, like he was king.

 

THOUGHTS AT FOUR AM

Oh, the thoughts that trample through my head when I can’t sleep.  Max, one of my furry children, limped last night before going to bed.  It was his surgically repaired leg.  This pet parent worries about his two charges.

Then, the rain started.  Not much thunder-rain fell in torrents.  Morning dawned, towering thunder clouds dotted the horizon.  No morning walk today–It will be a good day for reflection.

Maggie, my other dog insisted on going outside in pouring rain.  The purpose–to hunt frogs and toads.  She hates to be dried off with a towel–so I had to chase her down.  Max loves it–because it’s like being petted.

After that it was a spirited game of catch-me-if-you-can.  Max chased without the slightest sign of a limp.  Could he be limping for attention?  He fooled me.  And, it’s going to rain all day.