humor, life lessons, love

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…
friendship, life lessons, mindfulness

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.

anxiety, humor

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.

humor, love

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).

 

anxiety, discretion, friendship, humor, life lessons, love, mindfulness

Testing The Waters

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The Sirs…my fur-kids.  They look adorable do they not?  Sweet and docile, playful and affectionate.  I love them, spoil them and they reciprocate in dog-kind.  Wherever I go, there they are.  As I write this, Teddy is sharing my chair, fast asleep despite the fact that half of my body is no longer on the seat.  It’s ok – he’s comfortable and I think it’s cute.  Archie is snoring with his head on my left foot.  True, my foot fell asleep about twenty minutes ago, but why disturb him?  In my efforts to live in the moment, this is one of those times when my attention is drawn to the comfort of their presence, the clickety-clack my nails make on the keyboard, the hum of the dishwasher.  It’s all good..

Without defining it as a New Year’s resolution per se, I have decided that I need to be more conscious of being in the moment.  Anticipating the future and re-assessing the past are exercises in mental frustration, and frankly leave no part of me more firm and toned as a result.  ‘Shoulds’ and ‘coulds’ permeate my internal running monologue, punctuated with “what were you thinking?”, “what are you going to say?”, “are you crazy-stupid or just crazy?”.  The absolute, breath-taking awesomeness arrives when I invite myself to shut up and just notice the moment in which I find myself.  And on the rare occasions when I do, I feel really, really good.  So I’m trying – which includes those times when trying just doesn’t work…

I usually bring the dogs into the bedroom when I take a shower.  Archie comes into the bathroom and wedges himself between the toilet and the wall (don’t ask me why for it involves a lot of grunting and contorting on his part) and sleeps, well, like a dog – from the moment the shower spray is turned on through all other activities until the moment when the hair dryer is turned off.  Sir Theodore sleeps on the bed (I usually put cnbc on for him, for it could put the most alert being to sleep after a while).  Such machinations buy me peace, for if Sir Archibald is in repose, he does not see the leaf blowing by the window which elicits excited, contagious barks.  Ted starts barking too (though he doesn’t know why).  Typically they’re not big barkers – but when they see something that has the potential to be transportive, forget it.  We’ve got a cacophony of headache-inducing proportion.

But yesterday was such a quiet day, and I was feeling so out of sorts (have you ever wondered what ‘in sorts’ means?  Sorry, there I go again), I just turned the shower  handle all the way to ‘hot’ and waited for the heat and steam to ease the chills that were alternately visiting my body after the dripping sweat cooled on my skin.  “A perfect moment”, I thought to myself.  “Just take in this delicious sensory experience, the feel of the water on your skin” (hot enough to feel like pin pricks but not so hot to be considered pin pricks of torture), “even if you can’t smell your shampoo, enjoy the luxurious lather on your hair – go ahead and make a mohawk”…I was getting as into the moment as a flu-infected person could.  I even began to sing “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do”.  The acoustics are fantastic.

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And then all hell broke loose.

Archie fought his way out from his self-imposed wedge and charged downstairs barking as if he was the welcome committee for the Martians who just happened to pull into the driveway.  Teddy, less intrepid but definitely supportive of his buddy, began jumping all over the bed (after all, it is far safer to bark from a reasonable distance until you determine if whatever-it-is is friend or foe).  To paraphrase a different song – I had let the dogs out.

“Let it go Mimi, be in the moment”, I insisted.  Archie was bordering on the apoplectic – whatever was there, it was big.  In response, I opened my eyes just as a cascade of shampoo fell into my eyes. Teddy came running into the bathroom insisting that without my intervention the world as we know it would cease.  “Breathe deep..if this was Andy he wouldn’t even notice – take your time.”  My heart began to beat more quickly.  I began racing to rinse my hair (an impossible task), scrape the razor across my knees (don’t try this) and complete this soothing experience which had quickly turned into a clip from a Three Stooges movie.  With blood dripping from my leg, eyes abraded from shampoo and a chorus of enthusiastic barks telling me to hurry up, I grabbed my robe and tore downstairs leaving a trail that would make it easy for CSI to figure out what happened when they ultimately found me sprawled at the bottom of the stairs.

UPS delivered a pair of sneakers.  The box was left in the garage.

Of course, the boys settled down as soon as I retrieved the package.  They resumed their original positions and were blissfully dreaming in puppyland before I pulled myself back upstairs.  “Ah Grasshopper”, I thought, “You blew this big time”.

So the universe brought me a lesson along with my new sneakers.  Keep the canine distractions locked in the room with me?  Well, duh.  But more importantly, if you really want to be in the moment you have to work at it.  You have to keep your eyes closed when shampooing your hair (which is another way of saying that a moment is best savored when you don’t disturb it). And you really do have to acknowledge that serendipity, UPS delivery people and happenstance can test your best efforts.  Don’t let it deter you – give the present it’s due and if you get distracted, you might as well laugh and try again.

 

 

 

friendship, humor, love

More Chairs At The Round Table

Well the Sirs have their cousins visiting for the next few weeks.  We had a meeting the other day to talk about how they were to host their guests..As you can see, they were being quite attentive, if not revealing their enthusiasm about expanding the neighborhood reach that two new members may afford.  It was early.

Part of the Knights’ code involves graciousness and impeccable manners to all who enter their kingdom.  The arrival of Sirs Harpo and Otis of Manhattan, NY proved no exception.  There was a lot of “Hail fellow, well met”, sniffing of armor (so to speak) and conversation about news from the North.  Harpo is the most venerated of the Sirs, lively yet weary of child-like folly at the age of fourteen.  Otis on the other hand is eight going on two.  With no disrespect intended, this is not a gathering of the canine equivalent of Mensa.  But each is of grand heart and cheer, so all else can be forgiven.  After all, there are few national security issues taking place here, and most certainly no lands left to conquer (although Maid Molly the Golden Retriever next door  is definitely our equivalent to Lady Guinevere).  And she’s an equal opportunity flirt, though her heart is clearly devoted to Sir Theodore.  Unfortunately, Molly is quite big; Teddy is quite small – and they have yet to figure out how to slide each other their phone numbers.

So…meet Sirs Otis and Harpo..Being our city cousins, adjusting to life in the suburbs is a little bit of a challenge.  But my hunch is that within the next few days, this will be a posse to contend with – and hopefully good buddies.


“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend.  Inside a dog, it’s too dark to read” — Groucho Marx

friendship, humor, love

National Dog Week

I have spent quite a few minutes this morning apologizing to the Sirs for my oversight – as I write this, they are still looking at me with disdain.  I didn’t realize that this is National Dog Week.  Truth be told, I didn’t even know there was a week dedicated to the celebration of dogs (I’m whispering this, I really don’t want to be heard, ok?  It’ll just make the chill in the air even worse).  I could say that yesterday was Yom Kippur, and I was involved in more life-affirming activities, answering if you will to a ‘higher calling’.  The plumber was here Monday for the greater part of the day, Tuesday just got away from me…

I’m going to buy some Frosty Paws later today.

In the interim, for all the dogs who work like…well, dogs and read this blog on your way to or from the office – these are for you.  For all of us who are totally canine-crazy enjoy..

friendship, humor, life lessons, love

Monday Morning

 

This morning, one of our local weather forecasters said, “Today will be remembered for being very bright..”.  I found this very insulting to the other days of the week.  Certainly yesterday was exceptionally bright too.  And for all I know Tuesday will be just as intelligent.  Clearly this woman has a glaring bias (pun intended), and it concerns me that Tuesday through Sunday will remain forever undervalued and seen as somewhat dim.

In the climate workplace, I would say that the other days of the week have a credible claim of discrimination.

Ironically, the news stations here have decided that doppler radar images and assorted predictive computer applications really don’t serve the public as well as .. a window.  So now the forecasters have an outdoor set with lots of cameras, and they give the weather report from there.  “Look at the sun rise”, “It’s a cool morning – have the kids where a jacket if they’re waiting for the school bus”…I think I would like a job where I can stand outside and speak the obvious and/or provide a seven-day outlook with confidence –  and be wrong half the time.  How comforting to be able to shrug one’s shoulders and blame an unforeseen dip in the jet stream for any errors and remain employed.  I could do this job well.

Yet as Mondays go, this one is pretty spectacular.  Certainly far too cool and clear to be inside, so the Sirs and I are bracing for a serious nature walk.  I’ll be breathing deep and feeling the sun tickle my skin; the Sirs will be marking every tree as we go, crisscrossing their leashes around my legs with thoughtless abandon, oblivious to the beauty around them and the precarious position in which I am being placed.  I have no worries though, for I have been assured, that today is very bright.  With that kind of wisdom around me, I feel pretty sure I won’t fall over my feet.