Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘dogs’

HIDE AND SEEK

By now, if you read many of my thought rambles you know that our family loves dogs. I have had quite a few in my lifetime. In fact, Robin numbers #14. We have had many dogs, of many different breeds, so it is easy to say Robin is definitely unique. That description is an understatement. Now her breed is probably also unique. I like to say that her mother was a lady of the night and her father was a traveling salesman — an explanation if any was needed. We have determined that she has some rat terrier, and possibly border collie. A number of people think she has blue heeler also. The rat terrier explains the digging for moles and chasing squirrels. The border collie explains her need to know where her family members are. Her genes do not explain her need that we accompany her to the back yard or take her for walks on three to four times a day basis. Maybe that is explained by her being a rescue. She also won’t eat by herself, needs to be kept company while eating and DON’T give her plain dog food. It must at least have shredded cheese.

I have written that she seems to be a specialty dog. Taking care of our needs — exercise, sleep, companionship. She seems to know when my husband’s sugar is low. She takes it upon herself to interrupt our son when she feels he is working too hard. Needs some exercise — her walk, or needs to play. Our son plays an extremely important part in her life. Since she only likes fresh water out of the downstairs toilet, he is very obliging when he is up on the third floor and she is thirsty.

Robin was LOST when he was gone for a week. She spent many hours perched on a warm radiator cover watching for him out the window. She sat on the landing guarding the stairs. She went out into the yard during the night accompanied by one of us just in case he was coming home. In fact, the night he came home she must have known since she was more nervous than usual. Happy is to small of a word to describe her joy. Crying, trying to melt into his body, running like a crazy dog through the house and of course, making the extreme effort to share his food.

Robin sleeps in the back bedroom, where she has taken many of her toys. Our floors are as littered with toys as when our children or grandchildren where small. When I get up, she likes to join my husband in bed. Sometimes I have a hard time getting her up to go for a walk in the morning. If I’m not successful, she will decide that my exercise time needs to stop. As soon as she gets home, she runs upstairs to keep my husband company again.

Hide and Seek — Robin DID NOT want to get up when I called her. Since I was a pest, she finally gave in. More rest WAS NOT an option. Lovely morning for a walk. Reaching home, she ran upstairs to go back to bed. Something was WRONG! My husband was not in bed, nor was he in the bathroom, nor was he in his office, nor was he in the back bedroom. We heard her running back and forth — WHIMPERING, CRYING! My husband was hiding in the downstairs bathroom. I finally called her downstairs when she didn’t hear his call to her. She finally FOUND HIM! There is no way to describe the joy of that dog.

Wishing you peace and love — a belated Happy Valentines Day.

VIEW FROM THE PORCH

When we bought our property at the campground, we knew we were on the edge of the property. We didn’t realize how lucky we were. In the early days of the campground, cows were in the pasture across the road. I often walked across to visit. Various dogs of ours also crossed the road to visit the cows. I don’t think the cows were impressed. Time has passed and the cows are gone. Market conditions might have been the cause. Now the fields are planted with crop — grass, corn, beans, hay depending on the season and year. Our resident deer love to cross the road to graze on the various offerings. This year a mother and two fawn are going out for dinner.

Sometime along the way, a small park was installed across from us. Even though it is very small, it is a gathering place for many of the children. Last year when the tornado struck and demolished many trees, the second day we were allowed to return, I heard children’s voices coming from behind the trees. I wrote a speak up sheet asking that the park be replaced. I learned that the park hadn’t been in their plans but the speak up sheet worked. The park is even smaller — only a baby swing and a bigger swing, with a slide set. Last weekend 10 children were there at one time followed by other various groups. A red haired teenager took advantage of the swing and the quiet to have some quiet time of her own.

Our property faces south from which a breeze comes on most days. Thanks to the tornado, many of the trees are gone — the breeze isn’t blocked. When the temperature was in the 90’s, the breeze was a very welcome addition. Another advantage for us is that we are not close to the pools or the lakes. Even on busy weekends, our place is not crowded. Not having other campers across the road is also a blessing. Since it is so open, we can watch the lightening and the storms further south. Farmers cutting their crop. Once or twice a summer we are treated to crop dusting planes.

Recently we had the opportunity to purchase a self propelled used lawn mower. We have a service cut our lawn but not our son’s. The weed whacker my husband used was becoming too much work — equipment was needed. In the course of our conversation at the store, we learned that an antique tractor run was scheduled for the next day. Imagine our surprise when we saw the tractors on the back road, right across from our porch. I didn’t realize what I was seeing at first, so I didn’t count until 10 tractors had passed but I did get my camera for a couple of close shots.

DRIP DRIP

DRIP — before going out to the camper, I retrieved some food from my shelves in the basement. Only to discover we had an uninvited guest who had helped itself to Robin’s dog food. Of course I wasn’t pleased. I moved assorted packaged edibles into hard plastic storage bins and placed some tasty treats in their place.

DRIP — DRIP Robin discovered a tiny skunk who was living under our room addition at the camper. Not quite nose to nose but too close for comfort, Robin got her first bath. Then she discovered a ground hog that stayed just out of her reach. It also is living under our room addition. Roommates or Condo?

DRIP — DRIP — DRIP Uninvited guest in the basement does not like the green treats I put out. It was trying to eat Lipton tea. More stuff packed. Personnel at Ace Hardware said rodents get used to poisons after a month and ignore them. I had not picked up the poison left from our last guest — my mistake. Old fashioned trap with peanut butter provided a tasty last meal.

DRIP — DRIP — DRIP — DRIP I needed brown rice for a soup I was making. I keep both short grain and long grain brown rice in separate glass jars. I must have had my glasses on because I saw clumps of rice in the jar. Further investigation confirmed the fact that both jars of rice were infected by bugs, even though I had placed bay leaves in each jar. It must have been the day or the week — Robin’s Milk Bone biscuits were also infected by black bugs. ALL RICE AND BISCUITS WERE REMOVED, JARS WASHED. I’ll wait until the fall, and cooler weather before I replace the rice and biscuits.

DRIP — DRIP — DRIP — DRIP — DRIP Enough already! A squirrel chewed through the screen in our kitchen. Luckily my husband saw it as it entered and the squirrel left the same way it had entered. My fault again — I had cleaned out the fridge and left the bag of stuff on the kitchen counter near the open window. It must of been very fragrant to attract the squirrel. We have lived in our house over fifty years and never had a squirrel in the kitchen before. I picked up ammonia at the store and plan to put some between the new screen and window to discourage further entrance — at least for a while. I’m glad my husband came into the kitchen when he did, it would have been more fun than we needed if Robin had seen the squirrel. She is ALWAYS chasing them.

We might try ammonia on rags under the room addition at the camper to discourage our occupants. The last thing we need is skunk perfume.

I’m hoping the DRIPS have stopped for awhile. This is more fun than I really want to have. My energy has left with the high temperatures and high humidity. Listening to the news, I learned that the corn crop is partially responsible for the humidity. Because of new farming practices, more corn is being planted, yielding higher yields, and releasing more moisture into the air. Good for the farmer and the people of the world. Not necessarily good for the climate.

RESCUED

Before 8 AM at the camper, Robin and I headed out for our morning walk. I just turned onto the nature trail when I glanced back to the road and saw two dogs, running without an owner in sight. Both dogs were large — a German shepherd and a yellow Lab or Golden Retriever. I was concerned that they were not on a leash.

Returning an hour later from our walk, I met a man in a car, looking for two missing dogs. He said that the yellow dog often runs away, the shepherd kept him company. I shared the little bit of information that I knew — which wasn’t much, and an hour late.

I sent up a prayer for the missing dogs and the searching owner. Sadly we have been there — looking for dogs that escaped. Many years ago, we went to town to listen to the fireworks, leaving our shepherd in a locked camper. The campground was quiet when we left, sadly it didn’t remain quiet. Our shepherd flew through a tiny screened window in our door. We looked for her for hours, finally finding her outside of the campground, in the farm fields. We were very relieved.

A few years later, I ran after my husband. Our Irish setter and our Shepherd, ran out of the camper after us. I caught up to him at the comfort station, the dogs didn’t see where we went and kept going. Our children were still living at home and went looking on bicycles, with walkie talkies for communication. The dogs were discovered laying by a sun bather at the lake. Both of the dogs liked the water. I don’t remember if they were wet or dry. We were glad they were found.

Late Saturday morning, my husband and I left the campground to go out for breakfast. Three to four miles down the back road, we saw movement ahead of us on the road. As we drove closer, I recognized the missing dogs. My husband opened the back door of our car and invited them to join us. They must have been tired, they did not hesitate to climb in. Both were wet and dirty. The Lab laid down immediately, the shepherd still had energy, sitting up alert, head out the window.

We called security at the gate and asked them to contact the owners. Mission accomplished.

NO ICE

I am EXTREMELY THANKFUL this morning. I will admit that I was very stressed yesterday. The forecast was for rain, snow, than dropping temperatures — into the teens with below zero wind chills. Two weeks ago, we had rain, sleet and temperatures that dropped into the twenties. After two weeks, we still have remnants of that mess on sidewalks, streets and alleys. I was grounded for a day — (advised to stay inside) pavements were very icy and restricted for a few more days. I was very worried that we were repeating that mess. And when I am stressed I nibble continually.

I’ve written how I must be extremely needy since I receive HELP on a regular basis. Yesterday was a good example. In the morning I opened the bible to Psalm 146 — Trust in God the Creator and Redeemer. Queen of Angels reading was titled From Sickness to Health. Did that stop me from worrying? NOPE! It wasn’t only the weather, family matters were also causing their own concerns. But looking back on the day, I have to admit that I wasn’t nibbling from morning to night. I made a pot of chili, I took Robin for two walks while the pavement was wet but not icy. I walked to the store to get something I needed.

Today, the wind chill was below zero. I dug out my heavier coat and put on my boots. Robin got to wear a coat too. My husband had put salt on our outside steps the night before. I didn’t know how far I would be able to walk — staying upright, not falling was a concern. As soon as I stepped onto out sidewalk, “THANK YOU!” exploded from my mouth. NO ICE! The storm went further north so we didn’t get as much snow as forecast. The wind must have dried the streets, sidewalks, and alleys. There was still some ice, but not as much as I feared. Robin and I were able to take our normal walk.

This morning when I opened the bible I read from Psalm 84: “happy are those who trust in the Lord.” Queen Of Angels — repeated the theme “to trust God totally.” AND I DO but I also know that it is God’s plan, not mine! He/She could easily have planned that I would wake to a city covered in ice. And I would TRUST that I would survive the mess — hopefully not falling and causing damage to body parts.

STUMPED

There are times when everything I try DOES NOT work. Today is one of those times. Years ago, when I first wrote To Pap, With Love — I filed for a state tax number. I thought that I would sell some of the books myself. Actually I did, but the number that was sold was less than 50, possibly much less.

Years have passed and I have made no personal sales but I still needed to file the sales tax form. Since the amount of money I owed was zero, I was informed to file electronically. Trying to do that today wound up with nothing but frustration. I finally got to the right screen, after many tries but my user name and password didn’t agree. If this was supposed to be easy, I missed a step. I will have to get help from a real person. But since this is the weekend, I will have to wait until Monday. I’m hoping that since I’ve had so many challenges I no longer need to file. Wouldn’t that be lovely!

OFTEN when I’m blocked, I’m not supposed to do what ever it is I’m trying to do. Maybe I’m cooking and nothing is going right. It is aggravating when I ruin the dish, or burn or cut myself. Maybe I’ll spill stuff all over the counter or floor. Sometimes I can determine the reason for the mishap. Often it just becomes one of the great mysteries.

Recently I was trying to phone a friend — the call didn’t go through — twice. Then I tried a different person and received their answering machine. Not giving up, I tried a third only to learn that I was calling at a bad time. I finally decided that I wasn’t supposed to be on the phone. I don’t know why — it is another of the mysteries.

I have written a couple of thought rambles about our dog, Robin. We have had many dogs in our lifetime, Robin’s personality beats all of them. She is definitely unique. I think that I wrote that she lead our son upstairs because he came down without his shoes. He needed his shoes to take her for a walk. I had been closing our bedroom door to keep the noise of my TV from disturbing anyone else. Robin got mad at me, she thought I was keeping her out. It took a few days before I was forgiven. She opens the bathroom doors to see who is inside. Just checking! Recently she got mad at my husband — he is her person. He took her for a walk and wouldn’t let her eat something she found. When they got home, she turned her back on him. He tried to give her a favorite treat but she turned her face away. It took some time before she forgave him.

Life is busy. My husband has enrolled with the Veterans Administration and that has added more appointments to the calendar. Many of the appointments are at the hospital, 30 miles from home. We had a lovely, warm winter. IT IS CHANGING. Rain, turning to snow, turning to temperatures in the teens will turn to ice. Of course, none of the appointments are life threatening and we can always cancel. The next two weeks we will be gone more than we will be home. Our Christmas tree is still up and I don’t know when I will have the time to take it down. Valentines? Easter eggs?

My “friends” edit my rambles — if I share something that shouldn’t be said — the ramble isn’t saved. I guess this one is okay — no trouble posting it.

TOUCH

I’ve read that Mother Theresa had one visitation that so impressed her that it influenced the rest of her life. I guess I have to admit that I’m challenged or very needy. Either that or my current job is that I’m supposed to write — extremely challenged to come up with a topic or a title so I receive LOTS of HELP. For which I’m EXTREMELY grateful — most of the time. I’ll admit that GROUNDED was challenging.

What am I ranting on about now, you may ask. I’ve learned that often when I share a story, it awakens a memory with another that they were afraid to share, keeping it a secret, afraid they will be thought of as NUTS. Well here I go again.

I’ve often admitted that for the most part, I neither see nor hear “my friends in high places.” Occasionally something occurs where I experience a presence. Right after TO PAP, WITH LOVE was published, I was downtown, planning an advertising campaign. I thought of going back to a store that I had passed that advertised a sale. I felt a touch on my shoulder, urging me to go forward, skip the store. It was good advice — TO PAP never became a best seller but it helped many people. The book is still available on line.

After my husband retired — his plan was that we would sell our home and move to the country. I was walking down a main street by our home when I felt my feet root into the ground. A message that we should remain in our home for the time being.

Recently I felt a dog brush against my thigh. Looking down Robin was no where around. I have MANY four footed friends on the other side. Trying to guess which one paid me a visit is impossible. I’m sure that one or more wander with me on a regular basis. After Cuyler passed all of a sudden I was the Pied Piper of dogs. Dogs that were strangers wanted my attention. They often distressed their owners by the way they carried on. And that might explain Robin’s behavior. Before she always wanted to play with dogs we are passing. Now she growls and barks — protecting me? She isn’t happy when strange dog scents are on my hands when I come home after wandering without her. Dogs are able to sense many things that are mysteries to two footed humans. Recently a service dog at the hospital indicated that I was his friend. The owner finally agreed that I could pet him after he saw how his dog was acting. A neighborhood poodle also thought I was his long lost friend.

We live in a good neighborhood but sadly the world is changing — and not for the better. I’ve learned that I’m NEVER ALONE and I must admit that it is a comforting feeling. I will also admit that I’m not about to wander were my “helpers” are challenged.

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