#992-Monday, End of Month.

It’s almost noon already, and I’m just getting started on today’s blog. I had a terrible scare with Goldie. She is a big, big girl. She weighed 98 pounds last time we had her at the vet. We’re going this afternoon to a new vet, closer to home, and a friend of our family.

At any rate, I opened the front door, telling her to stay back, which she usually does. Not this time. She almost knocked me over, and ran out the front door and bolted across the street. I was panic-stricken. It’s been nearly three years since we lost Roxie to a car accident, and it’s all I could think of. I was petrified. And I still had my pajamas, slippers, and robe on. Oh dear!

I kept calling her name, hoping she’d come to her senses. She was too interested in sniffing out the bottom of a light pole, where all the boys stop on their walks. I was in luck. She didn’t run, thinking I was playing. She reversed as I reached for her collar, and I was able to catch her then. Whew! She started to pull; I knew if I held on to her, she would pull me down onto the concrete. Oh dear!

I told her she needed to be a good girl and come into the house. I’d opened the overhead garage door before crossing the street. I let go of her collar and kept telling her, “Be a good girl, and let’s go inside for a treat.” Food-motivated dogs are the best. We crossed the street, no cars, and she started sniffing mailboxes.

I’m praying, “Please, don’t run away!” She turns from sniffing and follows me, and I hurry to keep pace with her, right into the garage. I caught up with her at the door to the house. She does in the door, and I followed, so very grateful. I’ve been consciously thanking God all day that she didn’t encounter a car and wasn’t hurt at all. I don’t think our hearts could have taken that a second time.

Took a short break to view a training/marketing pitch from a famous author to be successful at writing a non-fiction book. Not surprising, you have to be a storyteller first. True story or one you make up, it makes sense you’d need to be a storyteller.

Have you ever listened to someone spin a yarn and by the time they’re finished, you aren’t sure if the story is true or not? The Babe is a great yarn-spinner. Usually in a joking way, to tease me or someone else. After his quadruple bypass seven years ago, when he finally started making jokes and telling stories, I knew he would get well. It took a long time for that to happen. It was a great concern. We’re blessed for sure.

Our appointment for the girls with their new vet is now only a couple hours away. It should be a good visit and good for them. Less of a trip by car. I need to go finish up a few things here before we do that. Hope you have a beautiful afternoon and have some time outside where it’s beautiful today. See you tomorrow.

The Fifth of July, 2019; A Look Back

Two years ago, the most terrible thing happened. It tore my heart out. But it led me to blogging every day to deal with the pain. The guilt. All the things that go with losing a pet whose time was nowhere ready.

And now? Nearly 700 blog posts later, we have over 300 followers. And that sad happening is about to become my first book. Cartney’s and my first book. I’ve seen her first drawing of Roxie, and it’s perfect. Cart, you outdid yourself already and it was just the cover! I can hardly wait to see the rest of the illustrations.

That said, I’ll just share that first post on my blog that started all the storytelling. It was a huge step, and I owe it to grief. I owe it to that naughty, inquisitive, barky, loving, crazy little white puppy. She was so sickly and tiny (less than four pounds!) when she came to live with us. Her mama was sick. Her sister Lexie was ony four pounds. And so it began. Lots of naughty puppy stories, but she loved our Gavin like nobody’s business. Maybe because they both could be naughty. Together. They were best of friends.

Read on, friends. And have a beautiful day. Read about The Little White Puppy right here. Thank you for being here with us today. Hug your pups. And your people. See you tomorrow!

Independence Day, 2021

Freedom is the right to choose; the right to create for yourself the alternatives of choice. Without the exercise of choice, a man is not a man, but a member, an instrument, a thing. Archibald MacLeish

Archibald MacLeish was an American Poet and Writer. I believe he held many positions in his life, from WWI soldier to Secretary of State for Public Affairs under FDR. During WWII he assisted with development of the Office of Strategic Services, a precursor to the CIA. He was a very intelligent man, and worked to promote the arts, culture, and libraries. I love this quote; it’s not only true, but necessary for us to understand the meaning.

As a kid, Mom made all of our decisions. That is perfect when you’re under a certain age. When you get to be a teenager and Mom decides on your clothes with no input, how are you supposed to learn? Gosh, I didn’t get to pick out anything until I bought my own things. Once I learned to sew, I was on my own. No more old lady stuff – at least that’s how it was set in my mind. No freedom, no rights. Once I attained the freedom, the responsibility became mine also. I enjoyed that very much.

I was raised under the idea the man is the head of the house, the woman was the heart. Mom disciplined us, and did pretty much everything a “housewife” did. Dad was the provider and the handyman. I carried that idea with me, along with some kind of antiquated ideas and silly fantasies perpetrated by movies, songs, and television shows, that didn’t serve my first marriage any good. We both thought little of me. By the time I wanted to get life insurance on myself and he said, “No, it’s my money. I don’t need it on you. Your mom will watch the kids.” I knew things would never be the way they should be. No freedom there. Lots of responsibilities, but no gratitude shown by the other grown up in the relationship. I invited him to leave, and the kids stayed with me. Free at last, thank God Almighty! Free at last. And more responsibility. But I craved the freedom.

It was frightening yet exhilirating. I named my slavery and accepted the only way it could change. It took fourteen years for me to meet the Babe; God wasn’t ready for us to be mates yet. Once we were, I looked long and hard at the questions; Would I lose my freedom? Would I become dependent again, and lose my say in decisions? Would this man be offended if I made more money than he?

I gathered the courage to ask the Babe those things out loud. He may have thought I was nuts. But I needed answers. We talked and he was very kind to me when he said, “Why would I do that to you? We are a couple, and I want you for my wife, and I would not take away any freedom from you!” As for being offended if you made more money, he said (in his best Sam Elliott voice), “Have at it, Sweetheart.” I’ve enjoyed my freedoms, hard fought and earned.

Name your slavery. It could be a bad marriage, alcohol, drugs, being a control freak, whatever. Whatever causes you lack of freedom, let it go. Divorce it, go to rehab, go to therapy, set yourself free! Life is meant for us to live freely. We are lucky to live in a nation where we can practice all the inalienable rights set forth in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

Your naming your slavery is your truth that will set you free! I shudder to think where I’d be if I hadn’t named mine. Life is so amazing, I’m so grateful. We have blessings to many to count. Life as a free woman is beautiful and fulfilling.

As you ponder your own personal freedom today, be grateful for the American Soldier, who have fought for centuries to keep us free from aggression from other countries. Our civil liberties are ours just by being American citizens. Let’s give thanks for what we have; thank a soldier. Be kind today. Remember many soldiers with PTSD are dealing with problems from the noise. Be aware many pets are dealing with trauma from the noise also. Two years ago tomorrow, we lost one of our beloved pets from a fireworks related response. Someone left out gate open, Roxie and Lexie ran out, and only Lexie came back. Roxie was killed in traffic two blocks from home.

The grief was crippling. I started blogging regularly to deal with it. I told her story. You listened. And now, we are close to 700 blog posts later. Thank you for reading. We lost Roxie, but we gained all of you. See you tomorrow!

Happy National Dog Day!

This is a day we crazy humans invented to give us a day among others to celebrate our best friends. I’m sure a marketing person somewhere must have had a hand in it, but why not? Just in the 68 years I’ve been on this earth, I have seen a tremendous change in how we treat our pets.

Nine out of ten people from a large family or a farm will tell you the dogs were pets, but weren’t allowed in the house. When we did have a dog, it lived in the basement. She walked outside through the kitchen, and that was it. Those who had pets didn’t visit the vet with them unless something might be really wrong, and if it was terminal, often they took them to the woods and did away with them. I never understood that. But people I know did that. I suppose the expense was an issue? I can’t say. I didn’t like to hear of it.

And then, there was the issue of dogs roaming neighborhoods. They did when I was growing up. Our neighbor, two houses away, had a beautiful Black Doberman Pinscher. Susie was a beautiful dog, but I was scared to death of her. She was so big, and I was afraid of being bitten by any of the loose dogs. I’m glad dogs don’t do that anymore, I was even afraid of stray dogs while walking my babies in the stroller. They would run up and I had nightmares of them mauling my child in the stroller before I could intervene. My ex husband was a letter carrier, and the only dog bite he “suffered” was from a little dog, a bite to the calf. I believe he brought it on himself, but that’s another story.

We had a dog briefly, and it was on a chain tied up, inside our fence, because our mom feared her jumping over the fence and biting a neighbor kid who teased her constantly. One day, she broke the chain, and wouldn’t come in the house. I finally got her in, put her in the basement, Mom called the Humane Society and they came to pick her up. Dutchess, a beautiful German Shepherd, was no longer our dog. I’m sure she was euthanized. Mom had an elaborate ruse she would go to the Army and be a Military Dog in Vietnam. I doubt that happened.

Fast forward a few years, and one day, when Mom went to pick up my brother from work at our uncle’s Auto Parts Yard, Tom came to the car with a puppy in his shirt. Someone brought the pup in, and we were supposed to raise the dog until he reached full size, then give him back to the Auto Parts Yard. He would be one of the Junk Yard Dogs.

Our dad named him Charlie Brown. I didn’t like the dog. I acted like Lucy does with Snoopy. My dad loved him. Since it was a male, he did what male dogs did, and I liked him even less. Ugh! He reached full size alright. About six inches off the ground. Although he was touted as a Collie/German Shepherd mix, they forgot to mention there must have been some Beagle in him. He howled like one. Looked like a Collie, but had Beagle legs, was six inches off the ground. I never bonded with him.

After that, I left home, got married at 18, we bought a house, and I still wasn’t a dog fan. Once my husband left when I was 30, the kids wanted a dog. The neighbor’s dog had pups. Best $10 I ever spent. They had a new responsibility, and they loved Shadow. She lived 16 1/2 years. Just after the Babe and I married, we had to put her down. It wasn’t a month later, the Babe decided my daughter Becky and I needed a dog. We adopted Mocho.

Two years later, in 2000, I became disabled, and we got Mollie. They lived long and were my quilting buddies. They loved my basement studio at our old house. I did too, but it had no window. No good! They were with us until about 2013. Wet then were dog-less until the summer of 2014. Adopted Lexie and Roxie. They had a difficult time, as we were engaged in a lot of health problems with the Babe. They were pretty untamed. Our fault. They still were pretty good pets. They loved moving here to Gretna, where they have a huge yard, fenced-in. I have dubbed it “Raabe Ranch.”

How skinny and little they were at 4 weeks. Mom was sick, so we took them early.

We’ve lost our beloved Roxie, and now keep out gates locked to make the yard more secure for Lexie and our beautiful Goldie. Lexie suffered greatly when Roxie was killed by a car. It was unbearable. Despite another health issue, the Babe decided Lexie needed a companion this time. Goldie is now a year old, and such delightful dog. She’s a handful, but we needed her. She brings a lot of joy. The header photo are a family of wild turkeys who passed through the neighbors yard this morning. Our purebred, Yellow Lab Retriever, stood behind me on the deck and barked. She’s one heckuva bird dog, folks! Worth every cent!

Goldie, like me, loves the Babe to pieces. I, however, do not lick his chin. Just sayin’.

So while we continue our love of man’s and woman’s best friends, join us to be happy with our furry friends. It just gets you outside of yourself to care for a pet. I’m happy to watch our girls love their home and Raabe Ranch, and for little Josie to make her mark on Addison’s and Gavin’s hearts. It’s the best experience when they’re healthy, and the worst experience when you lose them. No one, not even your mom can love you that unconditionally their whole life. Let’s hear it for our best friends!

Thank you for reading and celebrating with me today. I appreciate it so much. Keep the mask up, the hand washing continuous, and be kind, courteous, and helpful to everyone around you. We will get through all of this. We need each other. Be careful out there! See you tomorrow.

Silent Sunday

Well, judging by the way the street looks, some folks had fun last night. It wasn’t our dogs, that’s for sure. Lexie spent the night in our closet the past two or three nights. She wasn’t afraid of fireworks until last year. One year ago today, Roxie and Lexie got out of our yard. One of the neighbors must have entered our yard to retrieve a firework or something. They left the gate open. Both dogs escaped, someone lit a firecracker, and Roxie (who was petrified of them) ran into the highway and was killed by a car. Here’s the tribute to her, such a naughty girl but such a lover. We miss you, Sweetie. Wait for us at the Rainbow Bridge with Shadow, Mocho, and Mollie. You’ll be in good company.

A year later and we still miss her. The Babe’s heart was breaking the rest of last summer. In September, he had a heart cath that didn’t heal properly. Wound Vac time, complete with Visiting Nurse every other day. In the middle of that, he decided we needed a friend for Lexie. She was just laying around all the time, sleeping. She wouldn’t go outside without us. The Vet said he’s seen dogs mourn for years. (Dab at my tears in eyes right now). How she must have missed her sister!

2014. Roxie and Lexie. Beautiful Blue Eyes!

So now, we have this beautiful Yellow Lab. She’s about 50 pounds by now. Big paws that carry her up and down the steps on the deck to play fetch. First dog we’ve had that would fetch. Must be the breeding in her. The old dogs would just stand and stare at us. “Get it yourself!” was their attitude. She used to have a taste for landscaping cloth, didn’t eat it, just tore it up. Hope she’s over that by now. She still needs to remember to go potty, but she’s filling a void. A big void. I think Roxie would have liked her.

Goldie, with her favorite pastime.

Gavin loves her. He tells us frequently how he misses Roxie. I’m printing all the pictures from all the dogs we’ve had since Gavin has been alive. I’m going to put them in a photo album for him. He’ll be able to look at the pictures and be happy. He’ll get his own dog sometime probably soon. He is just such a dog lover, and I applaud that. Kids need pets. They really need dogs. Something to take care of, to learn responsibility.

Right now, I love how quiet it is on the street. It will hopefully stay that way all day long. There are some strange cars parked all over the place. Lots of people had house parties and didn’t socially distance. I’m going to wear a mask when I go to the store, so maybe that will help this pandemic resolve and I can go to Colorado to meet our new grandson. He was born in January, how I wish we could go now!

Today is the day I dot i’s and cross t’s to make sure my works are ready for my book coach, Sam. I need to send them off to her tonight for tomorrow’s deadline. We have a Zoom meeting on Thursday, and I can’t wait! I will do book stuff today and tomorrow is a Gavin day. We’ll have fun, we always do.

Enjoy the quiet today – except for the leaf blowers the pyromaniacs are using to clean up the street now. So many people can’t operate a broom anymore. They’d rather lose hearing than do sweep. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. Tomorrow, I’ll see you back here again. Stay safe. Wear a mask. Wash up. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be empathetic. Someone might really need you to be. And that, it will be good for both of you.