On The Occasion Of Master Bogart’s 1st Birthday

Well, the Boge-meister turned a year old this week.  We’ve been looking forward to this day for about ten months now, confident that with each passing month, Bogey would mature a little, learn a bit more and begin to show signs of the amazing young guy he is destined to be.  By his first birthday we were sure he would be knighted as the third “Sir” of the Round Table.

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Let’s just say some puppies advance more quickly than others.

His Aunt Lori calls him ‘her little nugget’ – her love for him is one of his redeeming qualities.    The truth is that there are nuggets rolling around in Bogey’s brain, like the numbered orbs in a power ball machine.  Very few thoughts translate into a logical sequence of actions with this little guy.  Jo has offered to put together a behavior management program for him.  I’m thinking of taking her up on it.

He occasionally knows his name, although this is a variable occurrence unless treats are involved.

We think he hears voices.

None of them are ours.

There is something under the bed (the carpet) that inspires low growls and threats.  The ripple created by the pool filter is reason enough to howl menacingly into the darkness (from behind my legs – one mustn’t take unnecessary risks after all).  He debates with golems in his sleep; the golems win.

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He has finally potty-trained us – as long as Andy remembers the 9:00PM walk.  Should he forget, all bets are off.

I will say that Bogey is highly verbal, engaging in various conversations with real and/or imagined characters whether awake or asleep.  He has learned that if he whines incessantly (and it really is a whine), the Sirs will forego any toy with which they are playing, and let him have it, so that they may enjoy a little peace.  He may be a little short of brain cells, but he knows how to manipulate a crowd.

He is ridiculously cute – despite his apparent lack of smarts.  And he adores Andy.  In truth, wherever Andy goes, Bogey is right there.  Andy is besotted and looks at Bogey adoringly while often commenting, “he’s going to be a terrific dog when he grows up a bit”.  Um…ok sweetie, whatever you say.

When we drive up to the mountains, Master Bogey sits up front with Andy.  I sit in the back with the Sirs.  Never looking out the side window, or sticking his little head out to catch a breeze, he sits straight and looks at the road ahead, focused on…well, nothing probably.  Occasionally he checks in with those of us in coach, sniffing with a certain snobbery I don’t find all that becoming.

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Earlier this week, we sang “Happy Birthday” to our baby dog, and as he began jumping up and down, I felt this urge to break into “You’ve Got To Fight For The Right To Party”.  He is definitely a party dude.  I’ve always been a James Taylor kinda girl.  Sigh…

And yet, as I write this he’s asleep on my foot.  He leaps and pounces with a complete lack of grace.  He loves everyone he meets – arguably more than they may want to be loved.  Teddy cleans Bogey’s face with affection and Bogey in turn licks Archie’s face diligently.  They’re a pack.  They’re my fur-guys.  And I guess we were due for a little crazy.

with one of our grand-dogs Henry...

with one of our grand-dogs Henry…

Hiding In Plain Sight

Hi everyone,

It’s good to be back – though I was never really gone.  I tinkered a bit under the hood of the karma truck, checked all its levels and kicked the tires.  And since I know absolutely nothing about cars, I’m assuming we’re good to go..

Live and Learn (davidkanigan.com) gave me a figurative kick in the butt the other day with a post containing this cartoon from Calvin and Hobbes.

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I get it – there are some who feel it could always be better.  Life is acknowledged first and provided with a caveat after (‘everything’s ok – but…’).  But.  Dangerous word I think, and one I consciously seek to avoid in my thoughts and actions.  Of course things could be better, but how flippin’ self-indulgent to diminish the reality that in and of itself it’s pretty damn good.  This morning I listened to the unscripted conversation between the trees as the wind traveled through their leaves, watching how one would nod, and another shake its leafy head.  I am sitting outside as I write to you, looking for bears from my safe perch (haven’t seen any yet) and laughing to myself as I wonder just what I’d do if in fact I really did encounter one.  The Sirs and I have been exploring the road, the foliage, the wildflowers, before returning to our aerie for a nap (them) and a bunch of books (me).

Is it perfect?  Of course not.  I can provide you with an impressive list of things that are not okay.  I’m just not sure why I would want to do that.  There are people who spend an enormous amount of time considering what wrongs have been visited upon them by others, listing shortcomings and offenses with righteous indignation.  I’ve started to re-frame the thought – what kind of person am I to others?  Am I bringing a little bit to the table that is more about others than it is about me?  I’m trying.  Because if I intend to live a good life – and I am and I do – it’s less about the injustices or pain that I have known – and far far more about the good stuff that happens every time I step outside myself.

Thanks for waiting for me to get the truck in gear – we’re heading to points north, south, east and west – though which way first, I have no idea.  There’s no GPS in this thing.  Have a great day – see you soon.

If The Mountain Won’t Come To The Sirs…

…one brings the Sirs to the mountains.  We came up here last night to check on a heating system which I left in a questionable state on Wednesday and a pending installation of shades and blinds.  Up here, you leave a house key at the lodge and people come and go whether or not you’re around.  A little strange for me, but a little instructive too.  No one trashed the house, took anything, scratched any walls.  They do their thing and they leave.  I like being a part of a community that trusts that much.

True, I felt a bit like the theme from “Deliverance” should have played when I stopped at a guns and ammo shack last night to pick up some milk. No, there’s no Seven-Eleven.  Two guys dressed in camo behind the counter, one needing dental work, the other needing a haircut.  “Can we get somethin’ for ya, ma’am?”  They were really very sweet, despite my discomfort with standing in the midst of a veritable arsenal of hunting stuff and snuff with one quart of milk behind multiple six packs of beer.

Anyway, other than Bogey throwing up in my lap, Teddy shaking and panting for the first hour of the trip (even though he had on his Thunder-Shirt) and Archie desperately trying to figure out the benefits of lying down, no, standing up..no, lying down…um, standing up, it was a decent trip.  Now these guys are not exactly urban dogs – our house sits on a bit of land, they have chased their share of deer (well, Bogey hasn’t – he barks and then runs behind my legs), smelled the unmistakable markings of a fox, rolled in enough strange animal excrement to make dog shampoo a staple under the sink.  But now we’re in the mountains – bears, deer that are far larger than the ones back home, bobcats – probably tigers and rhinos too. “Mutual Of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” meets “Robin Hood”.

They jumped out of the car and into the leaves – noses down, tails up and ears on high alert.  I was just imploring them to stay where I could see them and do their business.  They were tentative for a nanosecond, but their curiosity prevailed – where the hell were they?  These smells, the sounds – they needed to go in and out of the house at least ten times before settling down to a thorough exploration of the house.  Bogey – Bogey, the juvenile delinquent of puppies if ever there was one, proceeded to look for something to get into or chew that would guarantee a chase around the house (he chose one of my shoes).  Happily, he soon discovered himself in a mirror, which captured his attention far longer than any other activity of the evening.  If he wasn’t so ridiculously cute, I would be looking into canine reform schools.

The sun is rising in a pink and blue sky, the Sirs are currently sleeping after a couple of vigorous explorations of the great outdoors and the coffee is burning my tongue.  So far, so good.  Bogey hasn’t found any desiccated frogs to bring into the house, Archie hasn’t run off in an intrepid search of the neighborhood and Teddy with his characteristic maturity is just stickin’ close to me.  If the day continues to unfold this way, I think it’ll be a far better introduction to the mountains than either Andy or I anticipated.  Of course, it’s still early.

A Royal Birth

While the world has been waiting to hear of the birth of the future Queen or King of England, there have been very exciting happenings here at the castle.

The Knights have been in deep discussions with the King about the prospect of adding another member to the Round Table.  The King was initially quite indisposed to the idea – let’s just say he exercised vigorous veto power.  Our kingdom didn’t need more royalty, the round table seated everyone comfortably.  Then the Sirs assumed a position that could not be debated – they made room for one more.

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I will say, that I spent a fair amount of time convincing the King that this was a good idea.  True, he called me ‘relentless’, ‘one-tracked’ and thankfully, ‘cute’.  I also received tremendous support from the Regal In-Laws, who prevailed upon their son to be a bit less stubborn when faced with his beloved’s meager request for one more knight..

So without further ado – please meet Sir Bogart – known around the palace as Bogey.  His name is a testament to the King’s love of golf and my insistence that any Knight that joins our round table be above par.  For they are all in my view, way above average.  

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Bogey won’t be ready to come home until late August, but in the interim, we will be visiting him and taking pictures to forward along.  Given the enormity of this announcement, I frankly think that Wills and Kate’s baby is now a second page story  (at least in Vienna, VA).