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Wally's typist likes weird music :)

The Country Cousins


If you are a host to your guest, be a host to his dog also. ~Russian Proverb

Wally here...the Country Cousins have been visiting for a couple of weeks. Lucy is the big curly haired blonde girl, and Rocky is the shaggy blue haired boy with the blue tongue. I like Rocky pretty well. He gets along with everybody; my sister Josey, brother Bud, and me. But Lucy, well, she is a whole nuther dog.

For one thing, she's a brown-noser. I didn't know anything about Goldendoodles before I met her. If you want to see Lucy, just look in the dictionary under brown-noser and you'll see her picture. She won't get out of range of The Mom for any length of time. And let one of us try to get The Mom's attention, and Lucy grumbles and growls.

It was great seeing Lucy and Rocky again. It had been a long time since their last visit. We romped and played, and greeted each other for going on two whole days. Then it seemed the honeymoon began to sour a bit.. at least where Lucy and Bud are concerned. Bud is my 130 pound Great Dane brother. But Lucy doesn't seem to see size. She thinks she can bully him around, and so far, she pretty much has. I hate to say it, but I never thought my big bro would let a girl boss him around this much. Why, when he tries to get to The Mom for pets, Lucy gets in between and snarls. Poor Bud backs right down, except the other day when The Mom was letting us sniff a box turtle. Lucy didn't want Bud to have a turn, so she snapped at him.. that was one moment when Bud said "nope, not this time!" and he said his piece. But that didn't change anything, and the next day, things were back the way they were; Lucy in charge.

As for Josey, nobody bosses the Queen of the house around, not even Lucy. From the first meeting a few years ago, Josey went right to the subject and read her the riot act. Since that time, a few disdainful looks have passed between them.. all right, more like "if looks were daggers, I'd stab you in the heart" looks.. but so far, no down and dirty fights between them have occurred. Rocky, on the other paw, is enamored with Josey, and one of his favorite things to do is wash her ears. I think Rocky has a friend for life.

Me, well, I'm a dog to myself. I take the road that Robert Frost wrote about in his poem, The Road Not Taken. He wrote:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

That's me.. I take a different road, one with the best scents.. the roads that go where you have never been before. And so, most of the time when the others are being dogs, playing, running through the backyard like banshees, I'm sitting on the bottom step, watching the tree tops, scouting for squirrels, or digging at the bottom of the fence, trying to get out again.

I'll close for now.. gonna grab me a nap after dinner and dream of roads not taken.. or, was that toads?....

I'll leave ya'll with a few thoughts about visitors who have not quite mastered the fine art of knowing the appropriate time to leave.

Visits always give pleasure - if not the arrival, the departure. ~Portuguese Proverb

I always feel that I have two duties to perform with a parting guest: one, to see that he doesn't forget anything that is his; the other, to see that he doesn't take anything that is mine. ~Alfred North Whitehead

To our friends Evelyn and Sadie

Heartbreak...sadness... tears...We lost two precious furry friends in the short span of a week. To their grieving Dad, we can only be there in spirit for him. We cannot be there in person to give him a hug. We found the following quotes that speak to the heart about those wonderful beings we know as dogs.

"If there is a heaven, it's certain our animals are to be there. Their lives become so interwoven with our own, it would take more than an archangel to detangle them."~ Pam Brown

"Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives." ~John Galsworthy

"If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness." ~Marjorie Garber

"I think God will have prepared everything for our perfect happiness. If it takes my dog being there [in Heaven], I believe he'll be there." ~Rev. Billy Graham

"For the soul of every living thing is in the hand of God." ~Job 12:10

"The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master." ~Ben Hur Lampman

"There's a stone I had made for Luke at the top of the hill road, where the pasture opens wide and the setting sun highlights the words carved into its face. "That'll do, Luke, that'll do." The words are said to working dogs all over the world when the chores are done and the flock is settled: "That'll do dog, come home now, your work is done." Luke's work is done too. He took my heart and ran with it, and he's running still, fast and strong, a piece of my heart bound up with his, forever."
~Patricia McConnell, For the Love of a Dog

"The dog of your boyhood teaches you a great deal about friendship, and love, and death: Old Skip was my brother. They had buried him under our elm tree, they said — yet this wasn't totally true. For he really lay buried in my heart." ~Willie Morris,
My Dog Skip

Tallness envy

If there is one thing I envy about my big goofy Great Dane brother, Bud, it is that he is about a foot taller than I am. I guess you could say I have tallness envy. This tallness Bud possesses allows him to partake in the fine art of counter surfing, an ability to which I could aspire all day, and never attain. Just call me Shorty.

Each morning, the Mom, as is her routine, feeds Josey, Bud, and I our breakfast, then she eats something, like oatmeal or toast, and washes it down with strong, hot chuck wagon coffee. This morning, she was going to have an extra special breakfast; a leftover biscuit from McDonald's. She had hoarded the big, fluffy biscuit, nurtured it, and had great plans for it; to heat it up, then slather it in butter and strawberry jelly. As it has been said by some in the Mom's family, her mouth was all set for that biscuit.

I watched from where I lay on the cool hardwood floor, as she poured her coffee, mixed in some cocoa, stevia, and cinnamon. Then she opened the fridge, explaining to us that this was going to be an extraordinary pleasure in foregoing the usual breakfast fare. She savored that biscuit, and had looked at it several times the night before, and been tempted to eat it then. But she had saved it for morning.

She removed the biscuit, still wrapped in a napkin, to a spot on the kitchen counter beside the cup of coffee. Then as is her nature, she became a bit distracted when she heard the ding of an email arriving, and went to the computer room to check it.

That's when I saw the light bulb go off in Bud's brain. He didn't waste any time and sauntered over to the counter, snarfed up the biscuit, still in the napkin, and carried it to the sunroom. He lay on the rug, and basically swallowed it whole. My mouth drooled watching him devour it with such gusto.

The Mom, finished with the email reading, returned to the kitchen. She looked at the freshly poured coffee, but didn't see the biscuit. Feeling strange, and wondering if she had indeed not taken it from the fridge yet, she opened it to look. It was not there.

That is when I saw the Mom's light bulb go off. She walked straight to the sun room rug and picked up what was left of the slobbery napkin. Bud was nonchalantly standing at the back door, asking to go out. Good timing on his part. Act as though you need to potty and make the Mom forget that you had just removed her food from the counter and eaten it.

Although the Mom had a very strong opinion about what Bud had done, she said nothing. It was too late for harsh words. The biscuit was in Bud's tummy digesting, and there was no way to bring it back.

If only I was a foot taller.....

Nov. 19th, 2009

My little brother, Bud, (Great Dane) is a big doofus. He's gullible, believing anything I tell him. He keeps me in snickering under my breath. The Dad's plan of action when he is 'organizing', is to take all the things he doesn't want and put them in a huge mound in the middle of the bedroom floor. The Mom has not said anything yet, but I can feel her nerves sticking out as she maneuvers around the pile to get to her closet. She would rather put a match to it. In my ongoing efforts to keep the Mom's stress levels manageable, I decided to take matters into my own paws, and hone the mountain of old pants, holey boots, belts, etc., down bit by bit. My aim is to eventually whittle the pile until it gradually disappears, thus, making the Mom less grumpy, thereby resulting in a more harmonious environment for us furry ones, and more COOKIES. I'm always thinking; that's what I do best. Last night, I tiptoed up stairs in the darkness to stand before the vastness of unwanted manly objects, and to chose the first one to remove. It was as if Christmas morning had arrived. The allure of the scents and objects was too much for me to resist. In my effort to be helpful to the Mom, I chose one item, a sort of rubbery, flat thing; I believe it fits into a shoe, as it was embrued with the Dad's feet smell on it. I picked it up and took it into the upstairs hallway to see how well it chewed. It was marvelous! The texture and taste of the tough rubber satisfied my jaws need to chew. Plus, I was fulfilling my need to be helpful by deftly removing the object. After careful and precise chewing off of the ends of it, I took it downstairs with me. The Mom was in her studio painting on a commission of a Corgi named Harry. She had been so focused on the painting that when nighttime arrived, her little studio had become an island of light in the midst of the dark house. Oftentimes, when the Mom becomes entirely embroiled in a project, us furry ones take turns in making forays into her space, such as when one of us needs to go potty, or we desire a snack. Bud had already made several commendable, but futile attempts at averting her attention from the painting onto us. His usual tactic is to enter the studio, tail wagging, with a goofy look on his face. His first mode of vying for attention is always the same. Being a Great Dane, he can reach heights with his nose that I can only dream about. Being able to reach the Mom easily as she sits in her tall chair, he sneakily places his massive muzzle under her right arm making a quick upward motion, so that usually an unwanted stroke of paint is left on the painting. This does not make the Mom happy. We had to find another method of attention getting. Thus, Bud and I huddled outside her studio door, in the darkness, to formulate a new plan of attack. Since I am the brainiac of the pack, I told Bud I'd found a treasure that would make the Mom happy, and I dropped the rubbery object onto the floor and whispered, "take it brother, take it to the Mom. It will make her happy. And then she will give us cookies!" This would not only give us the reward of her attention, but it would also allay my sudden pang of guilt of having taken the object. My attempts at helpfulness had backfired in the past; for instance when I clean up papers by eating them, chew up flower pots into little pieces so they blend with the landscape, or like the time I ate the thing the Dad calls an earbud, and once when I remodeled prized pair of his boots. Thus I thought, if Bud would take the rubber object to the Mom, she would think he had taken it. I would be off the hook, the demolition of the mountain of manly discards had begun, and we would still get our cookies.
Without hesitation, Bud the gullible, snarfed up the rubber object and gleefully entered the studio, tail wagging, eyes glistening with mischief. But there was a problem. When Bud carries any object that is smaller than a basketball in his mouth, the object cannot be seen. His ample lips covered and hid the rubber object clenched between his teeth. As I watched from the shadows of the hallway, I thought, "d'oh! we'll never get our cookies this way!" But for some inexplicable reason, the Mom cannot resist that big knothead. She noticed right away from his demeanor, the look in his eye, and his body language, that there was something in that cavernous mouth of his. The Mom took his big head in her hands, and took the object from him gently. He just wagged his tail back at her, happy at giving her the treasure. I don't know how she always seems to know more than we do. She didn't chastise Bud at all, but I thought I heard her mutter something about me being a little Dennis the Menace, whoever that is. The Mom immediately blocked the stairs. So no doggie demolition until further notice. But we did get our cookies.

Squirrels...only in your dreams fella

I remember when I saw my first fluffy tailed critter. It was in my backyard. As I ran out the door that morning to take care of personal business, it ran across my path, and disappeared up the walnut tree. It was lightening fast and smelled good enough to eat. At first I didn't know if I was just seeing things. I asked Josey the Princess Great Dane about it. She said "yup, you weren't seeing things. It's for real, but ya can't catch'em."

Since Josey threw down that challenge, I've been trying to 'catch'em'. I'm beginning to think she may have been correct. If anybody could catch'em, it would be that big yellow girl. She must weigh in around 115 pounds. You don't mess with Josey Princess. She is the boss of these here parts. She's knocked me on my buns more than once, and stood over me threatening to go for my throat if I touched her toys again. I don't touch her toys, or any other parts for that matter. She's a big, beautiful girl alright, but tough as nails. Why, she rules over my brother Bud with an iron paw. Bud is no light weight either, coming in at around 130 pounds, I reckon. And he is not even filled out all the way yet. He's a big golden colored Great Dane too. But I rule over him. Funny how those things work; the pecking order. The Mom calls it Dog Politics; Josey is the President, I'm her V.P. and Bud is our flunky gofer dufus boy.

What is with the dark liquid?

The Mom stumbles down the stairs each morning, blurry eyed, giving us, her canine crew pats as she makes her way into the kitchen. She fumbles around opening the cabinet doors, and fiddles with the noisy machine on the counter. What is with that noisy machine anyway? Before we can go out, and before we are served our breakfast, she has to tend to the thing that makes disgusting dark brown water. I guess she has an obsession with it, sort of like my obsession for eating cardboard. Each to his or her own, I reckon. Which is to say that each piece of cardboard has a different color and taste to it. I prefer the kind that I can take out into the yard, take under a shrub and destroy at my leisure. If Bud, my big dufus of a Great Dane brute brother, wants it, that makes it taste even better.

What is a Holiday anyway?

The Mom has been painting Christmas scenes, and feeling nostalgic. I can tell she is thinking about her Mom and missing her. Sometimes, her eyes leak, and she stares out the window. That is my cue to walk over, wag my tail and smile. It usually helps her eyes to stop leaking.  In my three years of experiencing Christmas, it is that time of year when two leggers go a bit wonky, or should I say, nuts. It's the only time of year when we get indoor plumbing; a fragrant tree is brought into the house and set up in a corner. BUT, we are not allowed to use the tree as nature intended.  Now, tell me, what good is indoor plumbing if it is not utilized? Then the Mom gets boxes of delicate things she hangs on the tree's branches. She won't let us doggies touch the tree or the things hanging on it, and oh, some of those things look so delicious, so very chewable, so delectable. But she will not relent, no matter how hard I implore.

My Bliss

The definition of Nirvana = a. Hinduism Emancipation from ignorance and the extinction of all attachment. b. An ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability, or joy.  c. Buddhism The ineffable ultimate in which one has attained disinterested wisdom and compassion. d. the other side of the fence.

As a canine of influence but sadly, since I was born without pockets, poor in the realm of finance, I ascribe to the above definition of Nirvana as d.

My passion in life is to find Nirvana. I have found my bliss more than a few times. There is a certain technique that I use to find it. It is to find a weak chink in the fence, where it meets the ground. Then, while digging furiously, I push the fence with my head, then push under it. It's a tight squeeze but worth it. As I pop out on the other side, the scents are incredible. The air is fresher, the grass is indeed greener. And what do you ask pushes me beyond super canine abilities, driving me to find Nirvana?

It's all in the NOSE. I am driven by the millions of scent cells that inhabit the end of my muzzle. My cells are pink, whereas most canine nose cells are black or even liver colored. Those of us with pink cells have special powers. We are led with that special guidance system made up of millions of pink cells. They point us to Nirvana.

My two legged Mom, the one that rescued me from the streets when I was 8 weeks old, doesn't understand this obsession of mine to find Nirvana. She tends to take my escapes from the backyard personally; as if I could ever by unhappy with the room and board, and the good company of canine friends that she provides for me. No, it is not that I am unhappy. My nose is a radar-guided, surface-to-air, intercept missile, capable of sorting through thousands of scents in a nano-second, to find the one that is the most appealing. The needs of the nose are not to be refused, rejected, or abandoned. Indeed, I must obey it's command. It is my mission to obey the nose.  There was in history, one human who understood the power of the snout. Thus, on this Tuesday, as I dream of my next escape to Nirvana, I leave you all to ponder Edmond Rostand:

  • "My nose is Gargantuan! You little Pig-snout, you tiny Monkey-Nostrils, you virtually invisible Pekinese-Puss, don't you realize that a nose like mine is both scepter and orb, a monument to my superiority? A great nose is the banner of a great man (canine), a generous heart, a towering spirit, an expansive soul--such as I unmistakably am, and such as you dare not to dream of being, with your bilious weasel's eyes and no nose to keep them apart! With your face as lacking in all distinction--as lacking, I say, in interest, as lacking in pride, in imagination, in honesty, in lyricism--in a word, as lacking in nose as that other offensively bland expanse at the opposite end of your cringing spine--which I now remove from my sight by stringent application of my boot!"
    - Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Act 1

Sunday ramblings

Why is it that humans get so preoccupied with doing stuff? Stuff you say? You canines know what I mean. Stuff that has nothing to do with us. When my people are busy with stuff, I can give the biggest, saddest eyes possible to no avail. The human presses on with doing stuff.  Don't they know that the world revolves around me and my needs? Stand up fellow K-9's for our rights as furry citizens to have our bellies scratched when necessary. An itch will not wait until the stuff is completed. An itch must be obeyed immediately. If only humans could learn to live in the now, not in the next day or in yesterday, maybe we'd have more belly rubs.  They would be happier. We would be happier. Like that old song says, don't worry, be happy. A dog must  have written that song. Probably an island dog; probably a poodle with dreadlocks, swinging in a hammock between two palm trees, a slight warm breeze warming  her coat as she reaches for one of those drinks with an umbrella in it.  I wish my humans would take more time for belly rubs and less times for stuff.
I'm gonna go catch some zzzzzs. Woof at ya'll later.