But, But! What, What? No, No! Wait, Wait! Oh, Never Mind.

braydon-anderson-105552

Don’t you hate those episodes when you momentarily lose all mental rationality over something you think important, clucking amok like a chicken running in circles with feathers on fire, only to realize too late that you are totally misunderstanding the simplest of things?

Oh, don’t say it’s never happened to you.  Admit it, you most certainly have unnecessarily freaked out at least once so far in your life, and it’s a safe bet that it will happen again at least once more before your life is over.

Even dogs do it, so we’re all in good company.

Cases in point.

  • The dog thinks you’re taking him to the vet. You’re really going to the dog park.
  • While the tub is filling up with water, you walk out of the bathroom looking for your robe. The dog runs away and hides because he thinks you’re looking for him.
  • It’s time to wash your dog’s toys (‘cause they need it!). He thinks he’s never going to see them again. Ever. And. I. Mean…Ever.
  • You leave your dog home alone for a few errands. You’ll be right back. Problem is that he can’t tell time. You’ve been gone so long. Thirty minutes is the equivalent of eight whole days from your dog’s point of view. He has no choice but to panic and take it out on the trash can. And the blinds. And the cushions. And your favorite new sweater that smells just like you. He only comes back to reasonability when he hears your car in the drive and then the sound of the door opening. “Oh there you are. Have you been gone? What mess?”

Ever think that your spouse is turning to drive the wrong way on a one-way street, but in actuality, it’s all cool? That quick second when you put on the imaginary brakes for him or her from your side of the vehicle, bolt forward in your seat and start to yell, “NO!  Don’t go that way!”, then sit back calmly and quietly as you realize, “Oh.  Yeah.  Go that way.”  Yeah, that kind of jolted rush and then sudden realization-turned-embarrassment is what I’m talking about.

I’m sure that we could all share stories just like these about ourselves and our dogs. And that just happens to be part of the saving grace of it all.  Once it occurs, you can hopefully laugh at yourself and enjoy the ribbing that you’re getting from family and friends who have witnessed your freakish outbreak against sensibility.

Take it from an expert who is also the former owner of a dog who was expert. It’s easy to misunderstand, not hear right, not see clearly, jump to conclusions and such.  It’s also easy to apologize, correct yourself in speaking, redirect, get back in the groove, and to just laugh it off.  After you’ve gotten past the “But, but!  What, what?  No, no!  Wait, wait!” part, just move quickly to the “Oh, never mind” portion, and carry on.  There is no need to run to the nearest exit or to don a disguise.  You’ve already made yourself well-known.

Feel free to comment and share your favorite “But, But!” stories. I’d love to hear them.  You know…so I don’t feel all alone.

Enjoy and God bless.

pink paw

Photo credit: braydon-anderson-105552

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Water Up Your Nose

It’s summer!

Dog in pool

Summer means lots of fun things, like getting ice cream treats from the ice cream truck, swimming at the pool, wearing cute shorts and sandals, and smelling like coconut oil (or Noxzema).

I distinctly remember a certain summer when I was a kid where I was not allowed to go swimming at the pool for a while. The end of my second grade school year found me in the hospital with pneumonia.  Unfortunately, when you climb the ladder on the playground slide while facing the ladder backwards, you make the perfect target for rock throwers on the playground.  Yep, a rock hurled from the mean, grubby hands of a certain boy (that I did NOT like) made direct and solid impact with my chest as my chest was bowed out so that my arms could reach behind me crab-style whilst climbing said ladder…yes, backwards.

The sound of the impact can still be recalled. Even in my small eight year old mind I knew that the way the impact both felt and sounded meant something bad, and that someone besides me needed to know what happened.  So, once at the top of the ladder, I turned around rightways-like and slid my way down to the earth of the playground and proceeded to find the teacher who was punished, I mean privileged, with playground duty that day.

“Oh Teacher. (Name of boy that I did NOT like) threw a rock and hit me in the chest,” I stated so that she would know and understand that I should be sent to the nurse.

“Well, did the rock hit you on purpose?”

Me then silently looking and blinking at the teacher for several moments. Why is she not sending me to the nurse? Why is she asking me if the rock did it? 

“Um, I think (name of boy that I did NOT like) meant to throw it, and it hit me hard in the chest.”   Now she’ll surely send me to the nurse.

“Well, if he hasn’t done anything wrong, then you just need to go play.”

Me then silently looking and blinking once more for several moments. What is wrong with this teacher? Why isn’t she taking me to the nurse?  Have I not told her two times now that I’ve been hit in the chest… with a rock…HARD? 

The teacher doesn’t bat another eye at me as she takes her arm and motions me away to once again, “Just go play”.

Yeah, the next day I was taken to the hospital with a 103 degree temperature and no desire to move at all.

Fast forward to when I was finally released from the hospital (missing about the last two weeks of school) and all my friends were doing fun summer things. You know, like going to the pool!

I begged my mom to let me go. But no, the doctor said the pool was not an option for me for another month.  Tick tock, tick tock.  Oh, the agony!  It was horrible!  The days just dragged on.  You know, playing ball, riding bikes, vacation bible school, catching fireflies.  But if you can’t go swimming too, geesh, what’s the point of summer?

Finally, the doctor let my mom know that yes, I could go to the pool! Yippee!  I couldn’t wait and ran to put on my swimsuit right away.

Then off we were to go to the pool. I was so happy.  Nothing was going to ruin my first day at the pool!

I met some friends and we jumped in and splashed and played and it felt so good! Yes, my summer was finally here and I was making the best of it.

Only, what is it with mean, grubby-handed boys at the age of eight or nine? Here came another one, not the same rock-throwing one, and at least I could tolerate this one a little, but his purpose once he saw me in the water was to dunk me under and keep me there by force.

It’s a vivid memory, after my initial panic at being dunked upside down and not being able to come up for air, that there was this massive volume of air bubbles whirling to and fro. I could see it all whirlpooling around me amongst the arms and legs of my friends in the water.  I could tell by swimsuits who was who and knew exactly where their heads were above the water line.  My head was still under though, held down by the arms of a goobery boy.

Once I finally scratched my way to an escape and came up for a gasp of air, he dove sideways and swam off. Laughing.  ‘Cause you know, to him it was fun.

Besides the memory of the underwater whirlpool of bubbles, there’s also a distinct memory of water going up my nose. You know that burning your nose gets when chlorinated water is introduced to your nasal passages?  Yeah, that burn.

But you know what? It may seem strange, but I was glad to be feeling that burn.  I was glad that water had gone up my nose.  Tears were coming out my eyes, but hey, I knew it would stop soon.  It meant I was swimming.  It meant I was having fun.  It meant so many good things to me that I couldn’t help but to be happy.  The sun was shining, the day was warm, the water was cold, I was no longer sick, and my friends were there and we were swimming and having summer fun.

After I got my dignity back and fixed my hair from being spewed all over the front of my face and then swatted the boy with a splash as he swam off laughing, I turned to my friends and we all laughed too. It was a good day.

Nope, there’s no Molly the dog in this story. It would be many years before Molly and I would meet for the first time as special little soul mates.  But each year of my life, including (or especially) childhood years, had special occurrences in them that make me who I am today.  They made me who I was when I met Molly.

So, live a little and get some water up your nose. Let the sting help you focus on what’s really important:  Enjoying life, and maybe even enjoying life with a dog.

God bless to each of you.    pink paw

photo credit: odonata98 (Kimberly Reinhart) <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/29820142@N08/26882980564″>Dog Days of Summer</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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Up Close and Personal

Up close and personal

Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately? Yeah, me neither.  At least I don’t look at myself for very long.  If I were to take too long, I would surely find things that I don’t like.  So, I take the safe route and just work quickly and move on.

I was contemplating why I don’t enjoy mirror time so much, and I realized that heck, I even walk away from the mirror while I’m brushing my teeth! I’m just brushing my teeth; there’s no reason to walk away, yet I do.

What’s my aversion? I wouldn’t describe myself as obsessed with my image at all (obviously), yet can’t I stand there for two minutes?  I’m also not a materialistic person, but my high standards for personal hygiene and overall fitness would seem to require more than just a passing glance at my reflection.

Is my hair okay? Do I have something stuck in my teeth?  Does this make my butt look big?  Sadly, even for these questions, I will only stand at the mirror for about two, maybe five, seconds and then it’s on to other things.

Flashback: Once when I was taking Molly for a walk, a neighbor saw us and hollered out a friendly and boisterous hello.  All cool, right?  Except this particular neighbor is one of those people with whom you shouldn’t make eye contact.  Ever.  If eye contact is made, you’re stuck.  Your best bet is to wave without looking and keep right on walking.

What does Molly do? She halts to a firm stop and looks…directly…at…the…neighbor.  Dang!  That meant I had to stop and look too.  Less than a second later, here comes the neighbor, in a hurried pace to reach me, all smiles and arms waving, and out of breath to let me know again, “Hi!”

That’s it? Hi?  Maybe I can get away quickly after all!                  

Yeah, no. She immediately went into a barrage of meaningless babble to which I had to nod in understanding and insert monosyllabic responses here and there as if I cared.  Realize it’s not that I didn’t care per se, it’s just that it wasn’t important in my mind to spend ten minutes talking about nothing with someone I hardly know when I could be using that same ten minutes to walk my dog.  I’m all about priorities.

But here’s the kicker and the reason for the flashback on this “up close and personal” topic. Mixed within her meaningless babble was a distinct and purposefully placed pause to stop talking for a moment, look at me carefully in a curious scrutiny, and then say, “You know, you’re a very attractive person up close.”  Once said and I replied with an awkward, “Um, thanks”, the meaningless babble would recommence, to once again be followed with a pause, a look, and a “Now that I actually see you in the light, you really are quite pretty”.  And so it went for another ten minutes or so.

To which it makes me wonder today why I’m such an uncomfortable ninny with my reflection in the mirror.

It’s so obviously my appearance from a distance that I need to be concerned about.

If it’s time for you also to wonder what you look like to others, either up close or from a distance, take a deliberate, pause-filled moment and reflect with your image in the mirror.  Even if it’s just while you’re brushing your teeth.  It may be the best two minutes you can do for yourself.

God bless.

pink paw

photo credit: ::: M @ X ::: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/71337499@N00/13551447414″>knock knock … guau</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

 

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Whoa! is Me

Dog in car - photo pin

Have you ever noticed the drivers that hurry in a speeding fashion just to beat you to the red light? Those silly people make no sense to me, particularly when my pace was already more than likely over the speed limit anyway.

Yep, sir you beat me to that red light over the distance of a quite-sizable half a block. Good for you!  The congratulatory remarks will only be rescinded if you then quickly decide to make me stop behind you so that you can maneuver a left-hand turn.  Grrr.

If dogs were allowed to drive vehicles, it wouldn’t be that way at all. Picture it:  a doggy complex complete with bumper-style cars driven by dogs across a 100-acre park.  Wouldn’t that be fun? That would be so fun!  We could include a doggy-drive-in at the complex so that they could watch doggy movies.  And they could order their vittles from the doggy-stand.  Coney dogs and hush puppies will be on the menu.  It would be delivered to the doggy cars and served to the doggies by St Bernards, and then picked up by Retrievers when the doggies are finished.  Hee hee.

But I got completely off topic. Sorry.  The real topic here is the hurry that seems to always corrupt those of us in the human race.

I offer myself up as my own example. It’s been quite a while since my last blog entry.  (If you hadn’t noticed, no worries; I won’t be offended.)  And why has it been a while since my last blog entry?  Because I’ve been busy!  (Pay attention!)  I’ve been in too much of a hurry for other things and I’ve let those other things consume me.

So this blog entry is my simple way of trying to get back in the swing of things. To put a little more normal back into my life.  Even to just offer to readers this simple suggestion:  stop and smell the roses.  And please don’t forget to take your dog with you when you do.

God Bless.

pink paw

photo credit: Marji Beach <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/28493890@N07/3765700615″>DOGGLES FOR THE WIN</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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How does one write a second book when one never intended to write the first book?

outside-of-a-dog

The book that I never meant to write is just a sweet, little collection of memories of my dog, Molly. When it was time to say goodbye to Molly, which was very hard, I was more than a little consumed with making sure that I would not forget all of the special little things about her.  (All dogs are special, I know.  But when there is a real connection like what Molly and I shared, man that is just over-the-top-special.  And that’s what fueled my need to keep her memories close.)  The best way for me to do that was to sit at the keyboard and tap out the thoughts, feelings, emotions, remembrances, and all of the tears and heartbreak.  A hundred and eighty-some pages later, there it was.  A book.  All because I kissed a dog and I liked it.

Now fast forward a few years, and it seems that it may be appropriate to follow-up my unintended book with an intentional set of Molly stories. More than one suggestion has been delivered to me that a children’s series of Molly antics is a perfect idea.  I’ve been slow and reluctant to the advice; resistant even.  A children’s series is a pretty big commitment.  There are drawings and caricatures and storylines and covers and more that have to be created all from scratch.  Don’t these people know that I already have a full-time job?  Plus I know I will need help with a lot of this.

So in the interest of at least dipping my toe in the water, I’ll be using the blog to post some basic ideas and give them a trial run. Honest feedback will be very much appreciated.

Here’s a rundown of some titles/plots that have been initially started.

  • Molly Eats Her Vegetables
  • Molly Learns to Cross the Street with Her Mom
  • Molly Learns to Play Nice
  • Molly Learns to Potty

Be on the lookout for future postings to provide the trial run for each one of these stories. Again, your honest feedback will be very much appreciated.  Anything from content, style, subject matter, network connections for artists, been-there-done-that advice, and opinions…all of it will be welcome.

Many thanks, fellow bloggers. As always, God Bless.  tiny paw

photo credit:  “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” by Bruno at https://www.flickr.com/people/brunobib/ – creative commons license

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The Dog in the Blog

dr-seuss

Well, isn’t this special?  I’ve got a blog and I don’t know what to blog.

My blog was inspired by my dog.

But now my head is in a fog.

Can you help me with my blog?

My dog’s name was Molly.

She was cute and jolly.

Oh, I still love her by golly.

Molly was a Yorkie.

She was not a porky.

Oh, this post isn’t going to work-y.

Molly barked like Dino.

Everyone thought she was keen-o.

What else rhymes with the sound ‘ee-no’?

This is all very elementary.

It’s not the work of the century.

But you’re still reading it, aren’t ye?

Such writing style is done much better by Dr. Seuss.

And this post is cooking my goose.

It needs much more; it’s not profuse!

Alas, I fear I have failed my blog.

My heart is broken over my dog.

Dear Reader, please forgive me and this cog.

Next year will be better.

I’ve got ideas! I will deliver!

Wait for them.  This is just a sliver.

Love, Molly and me.

photo credit:  “Dr Seuss” by marshillonline in 2010 under Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Holidays, Traditions, Memories, and More!

christmas-decorations

This time of year is always good at bringing back wonderful childhood memories.

Playing outside in the snow on cold winter days, then coming inside (snow and all) and drinking warm mugs of yummy cocoa. Watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas and other Christmas movies on tv.  Picking out a live tree and stringing popcorn to decorate it.  Singing Christmas Carols all day and night to practice for the school play.  (Well, actually it could be the middle of summer and I was singing Christmas songs.  Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Away in a Manger, The First Noel…I sang ‘em all regardless of what the calendar or the weather was like.  My brothers didn’t seem to appreciate it, but that’s another set of childhood memories for another blog!)

Memories are good. They ground us.  They make us who we are.  A song, a scent, a word, anything can trigger the brain to transport you back to another place and time, and in that special moment you get to relive it all, even if it’s just for a fleeting second.

While decorating my own Christmas tree this year, many of those childhood memories came back to me. Remember bubble lights?  Man, I’ve got to find me some bubble lights!  It made me wonder too, just what happened to my mom’s Christmas decorations.  She made some of the most beautiful hand-made ornaments.  I always loved helping her put them on the tree, working hard to find the perfect spot for the special orbs of silk-threaded beauty bedazzled with sequins, ribbons, pearls, stones and gems.

A lot of memories of Molly came flooding back to me too. Just how is it that animals know when there’s something special that’s going to happen before it happens?  It’s kind of tradition at my house that the tree comes up the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Maybe figuring out that it was Thanksgiving Day and then counting two days forward was Molly’s clue.  But you can bet that on Saturday morning she would be eagerly anticipating the ritualistic retrieval of totes and boxes in order to put up the tree.  Each box and tote had to be sniffed and inspected before I could open them.  Then each ornament had to be officially Molly-approved before I could place it where I wanted it.  She always made putting up the tree and getting it decorated a fun time.  Then of course, we’d snuggle and just gaze at the tree all night.

This is where you can imagine my deep, contented sigh. And where, if you listen carefully, you just might hear my heart break a little bit.  I miss my mom.  I miss Molly.  I miss being a kid singing Christmas Carols with careless regard for the calendar.

My memories of all of these things are cherished pieces. As long as I have my memories, I still have my mom; I still have Molly; I can still be that kid shouting at the top of my lungs, “All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth”.

My hope for all of you is that you have wonderful, cherished memories too. I also hope that the holiday season will not be too busy and inundated with too many other things that you don’t have time to reflect on those memories.

If by chance you don’t have memories worth remembering, then fret not. It’s easy to make new ones, starting today.  Sing a song.  Go to your local shelter and volunteer to help decorate or do something special for the animals that are there for the holidays.  Foster or adopt.  There are a whole lot of magnificent and delightful memories just waiting to be made for you.

Happy Holidays to everyone and God Bless!

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