I never had a dog growing up. The family dog was given away when I was born–that’s in a much earlier blog. I don’t know if my brother ever forgave me for that. I wasn’t nearly as cute as the Scotties that were so popular back then. My younger sister had a short-lived turtle named Tillie and a shorter-lived parakeet she named Budgie. Miracle of miracles, I did get a cat when I was in eighth grade but I never had a dog.
But George had grown up with dogs. When he was in seminary, his sister gave him a puli, which is a Hungarian sheep dog. She raised them. Smart creatures, smarter than their owner plus prehensile paws. She could wrap my arm in her paw and drag it to exactly where she wanted me to scratch. She was grey and furry and just a darling. (But she looked nothing like the gorgeous picture of a beautifully groomed puli at the beginning of this blog.) My first dog–and I had no idea what one did with a dog. This is a picture of twenty-five year old George with his dog.
Andy–her real name was something fancy like Andromeda of Sunny Brook Farm but she was just Andy, the runt of the litter. Because I’d not had a dog before, I was amazed at her loyalty. She wanted to go wherever I went. She wanted to sleep with us. She loved me unconditionally.
We had a double bed. Andy took up a great deal of it. One stormy night, Andy work me up. I thought she needed to go out so I put on my rain coat, snapped the leash on her and took her outside. She looked at me with confusion on her fuzzy face but did her business. An hour later, she woke me up again. The same thing happened: I got up, took her out, she looked confused but was a good dog. I got little sleep that night because she woke me up every hour. Remember, I had no experience with dogs. I just knew I was worn out. George explained the next morning that she was probably afraid of the storm. She didn’t want to go outside. She wanted to be loved and protected–inside but, nonetheless, she went out into the storm because I wanted her to.
Andy had one friend, a dachshund. the two of them would run around the parsonage full steam. However, the dachshund had little short legs, so Andy would lap him. I still remember Andy’s romping, happier than any creature who’s ever lived.
Being a lovely, sweet creature, she forgave me all my sins. She adored me. She followed me everywhere. Since then, we’ve had Bridgette, Ginger, Pepper, Daffy, and Dream, but Andy was the first. Now I live in a apartment and miss everyone of them. I’ll be remembering them and sharing their stories every now and then.
Do you have a story about a pet you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it.
We had the carpet taken up and replaced by wood a few months ago. I had no idea how dull and dark and bare the room would look without the lighter carpet. So I bought a rug. Before I could unroll it and put it down, Scooter–the fuzzy boy cat–walked to the middle of where I’d planned to put the rug, started hacking, and threw up. I took the rug back because, obviously Mr. Scooter made it very clear he doesn’t want one. The first thing I did for love. Of course, I didn’t want to have to scrub it either.
When we got our first dog many, many years ago, George and I had a double bed. The dog took up one third, George took up half which left 1/6 of the bed for me. I demanded a queen-sized bed. That lasted until we got three cocker spaniels. Small dogs but even three small dogs take up a lot of room on the bed. We bought a king. The second thing I did for love: give up half of my side to whatever dog we had. Fortunately, the cats don’t demand that much.
My sister-in-law called a few minutes ago and asked why my Tuesday blog wasn’t up. I explained I’d forgotten today was Tuesday (please see earlier blog on this subject) because yesterday was a holiday. To calm her, I told her I had a title and an idea and promised it would be up soon. She said that what she does for love is take her dog for a walk when it’s raining or snowing. I’m impressed by that.
How do you spoil your pets? Please share. It always makes me feel so much better to know I’m not alone.
In reference to my blog, major doesn’t mean spectacular. It’s like the prophets in the Bible which are divided into two categories: major prophets and minor prophets. How does a book become major? It’s all based on length. The longer books are major. The short are minor. That’s a lot like my blog posts. The longer one is on Tuesday; the shorter, on Friday.
The reason I’m madly searching for a topic to writer this major post is that I had one ready to go but needed an okay which I haven’t received. Maybe next week.
When George was associate minister at First Christian Church in Louisville, KY–which is really in Prospect, KY, but that’s not our discussion for today. He felt a donkey should lead the procession on Palm Sunday. It’s not easy to find a donkey without connections to the donkey set but he did and was so excited. Everyone at church was excited until late Saturday evening, the owner of the little creature called and said, “Your donkey has the flu.” I cannot describe how disappointed George way. He said if he ever wrote an autobiography, the title would be, “Your Donkey Has the Flu.”
The next year, he found a healthy creature, We processed at the Christian Church, then the donkey walked across the highway to the Episcopal Church to lead their procession.
In the church in Burnet, TX, George found a donkey named George. Palm Sunday mornings were a little confusing. Shout “George” and who knew who’d turn up? The donkey George seemed like a placid little animal. He allowed children to rub his nose and adults to wander around it–at least, until James, who was playing the part of Jesus, tried to sit on top of him. Then the donkey George reacted. Not happy with someone on his back, he took off with James hanging on.
If you’ve read my book THE MATCHMAKERS OF BUTTERNUT CREEK, you know that I used this scene. In reality, the donkey only moved a few yards before he was captured and James was saved. I made it a lot worse but that’s what writers do.
After that, Palm Sunday was celebrated with only waving palms. No more donkeys.
Actually, what I wrote in the title isn’t true. I have much of it set up but still have some glitches. I was on the phone for an hour this morning with MOZY to get my files transferred from one to the other and need to talk to them more, then AOL, and then the Apple store. Maybe by next week I’ll figure out how to do everything on the iMac.
The reason for the change is that my PC is sooooooooooo slow loading and was freezing up all the time and I had to restart two or three times a week, usually completely wiping out the most beautiful sentences ever written in the English language. My friends with Macs tell me they never freeze.
George was always pushing me to upgrade. Without him, I still would be using an Apple IIE. We started in 1981 with a TI (Texas Instrument for you young ‘uns) which save to a tape recorder. No pictures only words on the screen. A few years later, we started on Apples but by 1993, we’d switched over to PCs because of the software. And I fought George every step because I was comfortable with the previous models.
And now I have an iMac which I don’t now how to use.
But I’m sure I’ll be a much better writer. Perhaps now I can work on that proposal and first twenty-five pages my agents has requested with out cursing (but only in the nicest, least nasty words) because I can’t finished the sentence without restarting. I hate to pretend that’s the reason I haven’t done the proposal but it’s as good an explanation as any. I can only hope she’s note reading this.
I’m writing this blog on the old PC because I can’t figure out how to get into the backdoor on my blog on the new computer. Someday I will. Nor can I figure out how to save pictures–someday I will.
Which do you prefer? A PC or a MAC? Why? Please tell me all the hassle with the iMac is worth it. I’d feel so much better.
Knowing how much I love University of Louisville basketball and that George and I used to watch every game together, two lovely couples from church each invited me to watch the Louisville/Wichita State game with them on Saturday. I do have wonderful friends and want to express my deep appreciation to Rhonda and Drew, Karen and Bob. However, I turned both couples down.
I’m a terrible person to watch basketball with. Much of this comes from my father who was a huge University of Kansas fan. He took me to nearly every KU basketball and football game from the time I was three or four until I left for college and Kansas State. He was the most pessimistic fan I’ve ever known. When the Jayhawks were thirty points ahead and the opponents hit a basket, he’d say,”Oh, we’re going to lose this one. We’ve blown it.” Heredity or nurture, I don’t know but I’m the same way. I don’t know why I want my Cards to do well because the better they do, the farther they go in a tournament, the more miserable I am during the game. Close games are nerve wracking. There are no leads big enough to calm me. I go outside. I move to another room. I play computer games or do crossword puzzles. I change channels and watch House Hunters International for ten minutes before going back to check the score. And, when Payton steals a ball or Russ drives, I will rewind and replay that, even four or five times so I can see how the play happened.
No one wants to spend a few hours with a person like me. And, to tell you the truth, I don’t want to watch with anyone because then I’d have to behave. When George and I watched together, I did behave. Oh, I still moved around and did crossword puzzles, but he held on the the remote so I couldn’t watch a play over and over . He did NOT allow me to change channels.
So, again, thank you, dear friends. I hope you’ll watch and cheer for Louisville but you truly do not want me around.
My friend Ellen assures me that pets feel the emotion of their owners and react.
Okay, I accept that about dogs. Our Pepper would run whenever she thought George and I were about to argue because she could feel the tension between us. Many a fight ended before it started because we laughed when she took off down the hall. Our Dreamer would get on my lap and quiver when I cried. She never did any other time.
But cats? Ellen assures me they do and I might believe her now.
We have two incredibly spoiled tuxedo cats (I may have mentioned them before). Maggie hasn’t slept with us for years and Scooter only bothered George at night. But during the last weeks of George’s latest and last illness, both cats slept with me. It wasn’t a matter of there being more space on the bed. They cuddled with me. Scooter used my legs as a pillow and Maggie slept against my side. This lasted for two weeks after George died when they quit.
So what do you think? Did the cats pick up on my sadness and worry? Were they comforting me? I think so. I believe they were using their warm little bodies to keep me warm, to keep me company. It helped.
On January 31, George had surgery. Afterward, he could not breathe. He had pneumonia. After a week of treatment, he was released to a skilled nursing center which didn’t take care of him. When he returned to the hospital six days later, he was admitted into ICU on life support, very sick.
People say to me, “He’s the finest man I know.” He is. Please keep prayers and loving thoughts headed toward Texas.
When George is sick, he likes me to read the funnies to him. In Austin, we have two pages devoted to the funnies which is better, in terms of reading them to another person, than Houston which had FOUR pages. I don’t know WHY he likes me to read them. Sometimes it’s because he’s really sick and doesn’t have the strength to hold the paper. Other times, the surgeon has told him to lie flat so the incision will heal. However, I think the real reason is because it amuses him. I’m all for cheering him up when he’s not well.
What makes him laugh–silently because he doesn’t dare to chortle if he wants me to continue–are the voices I use. So he can tell who’s speaking without being able to see the pictures, I use a high voice for Blondie and a gravelly tone for Dagwood. I tried a hip-hop speech pattern for one guy. I don’t do it well. I’m really a failure on accents. In Get Fuzzy, before Satchel speaks, I say, “Woof”, so George knows a dog is commenting.
I don’t know why I’m telling you all this but George felt this was worth blogging about so, to make him feel better, here it is. Also, I’m available to read to you–for a small charge.
Why do I mention Fiorello, the “little flower”, La Guardia, mayor of New York City from 1934-1945? In 1945, the newspaper delivery drivers went on strike so no one could get the paper. On the first Sunday of the strike, when the mayor was preparing to do a show, he decided it would be nice to read Dick Tracy to the kids. Every Sunday from then on, he read the comics to children on the radio and made them happy.
Okay, I don’t read to a city full of children who missed their favorite cartoon characters. No, I read to George which cheers him up. That’s a pretty good reason.,
Anyone else have a favorite Fiorello La Guardia story you’d like to share?
I have probably the best, wittiest, and most intelligent husband in the world. I would say “sexiest” but I write the sweet books and don’t want to shock anyone with that word. ANYWAY, he is also, as I mentioned in my last post, wonderful at choosing gifts that I’d never have thought I needed. He’s also creative, choosing gifts I’d never have guessed what they were before I opened the package. For example, one Christmas he gave me a stuffed animal–a cocker spaniel because we had several live ones as pets-with a radio in its tummy.
But I’m terrible at thinking of great gifts for him. He has plenty of T-shirts and has told me to buy him no more University of Louisville or Houston Texans shirts. We’re retired so his supply of ties from when he was a minister is sufficient to last until at least 2050, should we–and the earth–still be around. He orders and reads whatever books he wants on his Kindle. He’s not a smoker or a drinker and has plenty of Bibles and commentaries and meditations. He refuses to wear those onesies retired men wear and prefers sweatpants. He plays games on his computer and hates puzzles and does make stuff. Keep in mind we live in an apartment and have little space.
He does like chocolate but there’s a limit to how much I can get him. The one present I give every year is food. I go to a store with a nice display of gourmet foods and get him cheese and pickled treats and sardines. He has mentioned he’d like a new mattress but that’s not very Christmas-y and it’s hard to wrap.
Time is getting short. Please help me or George may find no packages for him under our tree!