Musings, reflections, wisecracks from a somewhat creative mind

Posts tagged ‘good dog’

Stuff I am grateful for

I’ve seen several posts this morning where folks have listed things they are thankful for. Now I feel obliged to do the same. Here’s the short list:

My house with a roof that doesn’t leak (anymore)

My job which is part of a joyful, service-oriented enterprise, and my manager who leads me well

My Mom from whom I continue to learn (but she doesn’t realize it)

The rest of my family including my friends (you know who you are) from whom I continue to learn and who are vastly entertaining

My co-workers from whom I continue to learn and who are also vastly entertaining

Old friends and new friends

My neighbors – Xtreme entertainment (and fine folks and friends)

I am relatively healthy considering I’m barely trying (I ought to)

My car which is fun to drive and still runs despite my ignoring basic maintenance lately

My new kitten, Gracie, who is simultaneously a trial and a joy – she makes me laugh!

My sainted dog, Chloe, who is loyal and loving and mindful of my wishes including the one that says “Don’t hurt that gremlin kitten!”

The public library

Alarm clocks (really)


The sun and the clouds and the sky, the breeze and the odor of sea water

Birds chattering


Fans (the blowy kind)

Generosity and generous souls

My Mother’s handyman


Downtown Dunedin

Being an American



The guy who mows my yard (even though he butchers the honeysuckle by my mailbox)

Humor, most kinds

There’s plenty more. Just can’t think of them.


The Many Hats of Kitteh

Now at 4½ months, Gracie Lou is discovering (or revealing) her many talents, abilities and, yes, jobs. She’s practicing for a career in something. I’m not sure what. Some possibilities:

A career in home décor – She appears very motivated. I’m not sure she’ll go very far with this since she seems to like most things on the floor. For example, kitteh décor dictates that towels do not belong on towel racks: they belong on the floor. Other “floor should be’s”: pillows, eyeglasses, phones, magazines and hairbrushes. Also, contrary to what I thought I knew, window blind slats do not need to align and pet toys SHOULD litter the floor, the location changed often and without warning. As she matures a better career move for Gracie might be to move toward window treatments and, hopefully, away from this “floor thing”.

Massage therapist – I believe the instructions to other kittehs would read “While the subject lies facedown, walk up the subject – from foot to neck and head – gently extending the claws so as not to injure but certainly to hurt a bit and annoy. The subject comes awake very quickly after this procedure.”

This won't hurt a bit ...

House cleaner – I only mention this potential career because kitteh is adept at finding dust bunnies. Her follow through is poor. She does not throw them away. Perhaps she needs a small dustpan with a tiny wastebasket.


Just a cute shot.

Dog herder – This requires the saintly cooperation of Chloe, the perfect dog. Gracie accomplishes dog herding by utilizing her kitteh claws and teeth, wrapping her kitteh “arms” around Chloe’s leg and gnawing on it. Chloe moves the leg. Kitteh persists. And so on. Kitteh becomes very enthusiastic about this at times which requires my intervention because Chloe gives me the “Make! It! Stop!” look.

Athlete / Gymnast – This is hardly unusual for a kitteh but I must mention it. Among her best feats: climbing a bare wall.

Magician – Kitteh is especially good at the disappearing and reappearing act where you are looking for her frantically because you are afraid she somehow escaped the house. She must be in “thin air” because I can’t find where she hides.

These aren’t her only career choices but they certainly are “the big six”. Stay tuned.

Schweet kittehs

So the kittehs are not all bad, you know. A friend today remarked at how I had been referring to “the kittens” as pests, homewreckers, a nuisance … He kindly didn’t use those words yet it is true. He was not mistaken. So let me set the record straight.

It’s my humor which misleads. It is my way of blogging – usually. My thoughts are also true. But this is not all.

The kittehs are precious and sweet and they make me joyful MUCH more than they make me anything else. The are a privilege to care for.

(They are also going to be gone by this weekend if I’m to host the houseguests I intend to host next weekend. No kitten wants to be squashed underfoot and no human wants to smell litterbox.)

So here, therefore, are some phrases and vignettes:

  • The other evening as I left them for the bedroom, each one in turn came to me for a scratch and a smooch.
  • Pepe has sat on my shoulder and purred into my ear. (DARling.)
  • Spot follows me around the house.
  • One of them reaches for me under the door in the morning.
  • They all trust and seek out Chloe.

And so here, therefore, are some photos of the little ankle biters in their most angelic aspects.

Kitten Urchins …

… Elves, Gremlins and Scamps

When I first brought home this box o’ kitties, I referred to them in a high pitched voice as little darlings, “so cute!”, and “so little!”. Chloe was clearly delighted to have these small bundles of entertainment in the house.

They've breached the wall!!!

However, once they breached the X-pen “wall” into my living room I began to realize just how mistaken my characterizations might be. I learned over the next few hours that the only thing which can stop an inquisitive and determined kitten is a bonafide door and one that latches tight.

They may be little but size does not matter. Nothing is sacred to these little dickens. One has gotten itself tangled in my hair. Another squirt has dangled from a window drape. *grrrr*




Evil kitteh TOGO

The scamps have chewed (unsuccessfully, whew) wires in my office. I put up a baby gate and looked at them saying “I know this is a mere suggestion to you …” At least I hear when they climb it and can intervene.







Ginny, Hell on Wheels

One of them, Ginny, is a holy terror who attacks her litter mates and bites and chews them! If I hear squealing it’s probably Ginny gnawing on Spot or TOGO.








Then there are the little claws …

Pepe le Pew

Ankle biter Spot and Chloe the Giantess

Many lovely moments remain though:

They love to nestle with Chloe or let her maul them with her snout.

All four of the little waifs were waiting for me outside my bedroom door this morning.

The floor show is always a hoot.

You should be dancin' - YEAH!!

I loved my Amber-poodle

Letting you all know (because I suspect you’d want to know) – I’ve had to send my darling and brave Amber-girl to heaven. I’ll not distinguish between human and doggie heaven, partly because I’d like to end up in both.
She was a 17 years-old, still gorgeous, still noble … an insolent 12 pound, fluffy and curly-white bundle of dog. I believe she could have tamed lions, given the chance. In the 70’s, Helen Reddy would’ve been proud. Amber was a true feminist.
Aging: Most of us will end up in a place with which we are not familiar. That place is indistinct, confusing, frustrating, frightening … because we are unable to recognize it and process it due to our failing vision and hearing, thought processes, ability to move comfortably, and probably more that I can’t know at my tender age.
I finally realized Amber was THERE. Standing, swaying, and staring at the wall without a purpose is not dignified. Amber was, if anything, dignified – and defiant – during her life. The Vet agreed. We wanted to give her a Viking funeral.
We gave her what we could – a shot in the “arm” and a loving farewell.
Amber will remain a legend in my memory. She was … a true Princess.

HRH Princess Amber

A Dog Never Lies About Love

What can one say about a dog like Max?

  • He was first and foremost utterly devoted to me. He jumped into my arms the first time we met. (He was 6 years-old then.) He never wavered. Ever.
  • He was a tenacious protector of his home. You couldn’t stop the barking barking barking. Once he lost most of his hearing … well … he was still the protector. He just didn’t perceive the threats. Like the mail truck, the squirrels, the stray falling leaf …
  • He ADORED his treats. He would get nearly apoplectic when treat time rolled around.
  • He knew how to spit out the food he didn’t want a leave it all over the house.
  • He knew where I was at every moment – followed me around the house. OR he preceded me, creating a potential fall accident.
  • He was always moving – licking, pacing – unless he was sleeping.
  • He snored.
  • He would tuck his head up under my chin and press his little body up against mine. It was so affectionate and endearing.
  • He was a breast man. He loved to sit in my lap and “brundage”. Snort snort.
  • He was happy! Joyful!
  • He was curious, inquisitive. How many times did he stand in a lap with his little head 2 inches from the face and stare into the eyes with this look of total curiosity. Those dark, sparkling eyes were beautiful.
  • He was a spark, a bright light, a star.
  • He was the moon to my earth. The earth to my sun.

I had him put down this afternoon. He had suddenly gotten old. He’d been terminally ill but maintained with medications. Then the cataracts surfaced and bloomed. He couldn’t handle not seeing well. He was confused and frustrated. It was his time.

The veterinarian, Kathy Murphy, and her staff were WONDERFUL. Very understanding and caring. Kathy snipped a lock of his hair for me. I loved his scent. Now I’ll have it when I need a dose.

He’ll live in my heart forever.

Rest in peace, Boy-o. 

Becoming acquainted with your tennis ball toy

Nonchalantly wait for the ball to play with me.

Nonchalance aside, stare at the ball.

Address the ball(?)

Kiss the ball! MWA!

Touch ...

... rub and otherwise molest ball.


Fun ball!

Run with ball! Fun!

You know you are a hopeless dog owner when:

  1. You never move your chair without first checking the floor around you for dogs. Same with recliners.
  2. You check the floor for poo/pee/vomit/toys before walking.
  3. You check the lawn for poo/pee/vomit/toys before walking.
  4. You hoard plastic grocery bags.
  5. You own stock in your favorite paper towel company.
  6. GetOutoftheWay is one word.
  7. You can’t remember the last time you slept through the night.
  8. You know your dogs keep you on a schedule, not the other way around.
  9. You know which of your friends play tennis because they give you their used tennis balls.
  10. You always know what the weather is in your neighborhood, especially rain and thunderstorms.
  11. Dogs smell great.
  12. Dogs smell great until they joyously roll in poo/dead animal/some-other-disgusting-smelly-thing.
  13. You’ve given a dog an emergency bath outside with a hose, using rubber gloves and an entire bottle of shampoo.
  14. Most nasty smells don’t bother you that much anymore.
  15. You know that your dog’s feet smell a little like Fritos.
  16. You know dogs seem disappointed after you’ve bathed. (Dogs think you stink best at your stinkiest.)
  17. You can tell the difference between a mosquito bite and a flea bite.
  18. You’ve tested the pavement with your bare foot to make sure it’s not too hot for paws.
  19. You’ve considered booties for your dog to keep their paws safe from heat/cold.
  20. You own at least one piece of doggy apparel.
  21. You have two collars for your dog – everyday and dress up.
  22. You’ve shoveled snow just so your dog would have an outdoor place to pee.
  23. You know a LOT of people because of your dog. It’s like a club.
  24. You identify neighbors by their dog’s name (Sophie’s dad/mom/house/yard).
  25. You’ve had entire conversations with strangers and/or friends entirely about your dogs.
  26. You will never name another pet Sam or Max (unless you adopt him/her with the name already).
  27. You’ve cleaned a dog’s ear.
  28. You’ve stuck your hand your dog’s mouth to retrieve a stolen piece of food.
  29. You’ve been to a dog party.
  30. You know a dog can smell a can of tuna being opened from the other side of the house.
  31. You know a dog will look the most adorable when he or she might get some “tuna juice” from that can.
  32. You understand the concept of perpetual motion because of your dog’s tail.
  33. There is nothing that can be eaten, chewed, swallowed or otherwise molested by a dog on your tables or counters. Same if you have a Lab except add “anything that can be swept off the surface by a tail.”
  34. You use baby gates, even though you don’t have babies/kids.
  35. Your file cabinet has more information about your dog’s health than your own.
  36. You have a picture(s) of your dog on your desk at work – in a nice frame.
  37. Your screen saver on your computer is a picture of your dog.
  38. You have approximately 1,000 pictures of your dog.
  39. You know the names of oft-used drugs for dogs, know what they are for and how to administer them.
  40. You’ve stayed up all night with a sick dog.
  41. You’ve hand-fed your dog (but will share that tidbit only with other dog lovers).
  42. You know your dog thinks that, by barking he or she is chasing away the leaves/birds/postal worker/squirrels/etc. thereby protecting you and his/her territory. (Good dog!)
  43. Dogs do so have facial expressions! And you know what your dog’s mean.
  44. Your favorite sounds include doggy snores.
  45. You keep an old towel or two in your car “just in case”. A water bowl, too.
  46. You have multiple names for your dog and some just aren’t real words.
  47. You are ready to cuddle/scratch/kiss/hug at a moment’s notice.
  48. You’ve made special trips home just to be greeted by your dog, and know you will feel better immediately.
  49. You occasionally wonder what you ever did to deserve the unconditional love of your dog – and you feel grateful.
  50. You can’t imagine living without a dog.

The Chloeminator

Chewalicious! Chewtastic! Chewrific! These are words that may have been going through Chloe’s head as she chewed a large and treasured hardcover book to pieces while I was at work.

This book was treasured by the person who lent it to me.

Chloe could’ve chosen the books in the bookcase – that are mine – the magazines on the coffee table – that are mine – even the library books since they are replaceable. (Did I mention the book wasn’t even mine?) I felt horrible.

I looked at Chloe and … well, what can you do? Yelling won’t help. Correction: Yelling won’t help her. It helped me a little but I kept it to “Why?? Why did you choose THAT book? Why?” She just looked at me, curiously. “Gee, Ma. You seem excited. Wanna play fetch? Huh? Ya wanna?”

The book’s front cover (which is entirely gone) was a blue-ish-green so, in the “end stage”, post digestion, it blended nicely with the meadow that is my lawn. *sigh*

My friend, a dog lover, was understanding, bless her. However we now refer to Chloe as Chewy. She does look a bit like Chewbacca from the Star Wars movies. I’ve also located another copy of the book and am replacing the chewed-up mess. (Whew!)

Lesson learned. Even good dogs will chew.

Let's play!