Doggie Tale

Where do phobias originate? While my ambivalence for dogs probably doesn’t rise to the level of phobia, I’ve often chided myself for what I think of as a defect in my character. I am unlike the hordes of people who view YouTube pet videos and fawn over the cute things they see. These videos rarely amuse me. A FaceBook posting recently noted:  this video is guaranteed to warm your heart. (Nope, didn’t happen.)

cutedogEarlier in the week, my Beloved called me to join him as he watched an AFV segment where dogs and birds were “talking.” I was reminded of David Letterman’s Stupid Pet Tricks episodes that have predictably left me cold. Sure enough, these talking dogs and birds failed to impress me. Continue reading “Doggie Tale”

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Flea Treatment

Back in the 1960s, author Charles M. Schulz (of Peanuts cartoon fame) wrote a book called Happiness Is A Warm Puppy. Humph! Mr. Schulz didn’t know me.

People who know me well are aware I’m not a dog lover. I often explain that when I married my beloved, he wasn’t a dog lover either. I always thought we were a match made in heaven and I never expected that aspect of our compatibility to change.DSC_0354

Through the years of our marriage, we’ve had several dogs so our children could enjoy the companionship. But these were never long-term relationships; the first dog (Snoopy, a beagle) ran into the street, the second (Moonshine, a border collie) walked into our yard one day and stayed … until the day she walked away, a third (Daisy, a mongrel) got mean and unpredictable (and chased the mailman), a fourth (J.R., a sheltie) barked all night, and another (Baron, a chocolate lab) needed space to run so we gave him to a family that lived on acreage.

Then our older son adopted Booker (another chocolate lab) from his best friend’s litter. Under older son’s tutelage, Booker had exceptional training, growing from pup to obedient adult dog. (I tolerated his presence in our home.) When older son married, Booker moved out, too. And since our daughter-in-law had a yellow lab (Dixie), it wasn’t long before Booker and Dixie delivered their own offspring.

That’s when things changed. Son and daughter-in-law wanted to “keep” one puppy from the litter, but already having Booker and Dixie, they figured a third dog in the family might be unworkable and costly … two adult males and one female lab have ravenous appetites! Alternatively, they prevailed upon us, and a black lab named Tank (pictured above with my beloved) joined our family. (That was almost ten years ago!)

No doubt about it, Tank is an excellent pet and a great companion to my husband. The man I married has become a dog-lover (Tank exclusively) and I acknowledge I’m now one-half of a “mixed” marriage. Most days, Tank goes to work with my man … which is more than fine with me!

Anyone who owns a dog can probably sympathize with a problem we encountered with a couple of our dogs − fleas. These pests are beyond annoying, and we’ve endured horribly unpleasant infestations. Fleas always seem especially attracted to me (while others in the family appear to be immune), so I can tell you, I completely understand a modicum of how the dog suffers when flea-afflicted!

But what’s a writer to do? Why of course, turn my misery into a poem! That I did a number of years back. Though the poem didn’t bring relief, it was an enjoyable distraction. (In retrospect, eliminating the fleas was harder than writing the poem!)

Sang-Froid-Odium, dogs, fleas, flea bites, light verse, poetry, poem
Poem: Sang-Froid Odium

Wouldn’t it be fun if wordplay (such as this poem) could effect change?! Can you imagine it? Maybe you can suggest other words and playful “solutions.” Your comments are always welcome!

There Was Blood

I’m not a dog-lover. I tolerate the black, four-legged creature (BL) who lives under our roof because he is a devoted friend and companion for my husband.

BL is the offspring of my son’s chocolate Lab (CL) and my daughter-in-law’s yellow Lab (YL). So, we have a mutual understanding:  when they (or we) go out of town, we (or they) watch over the critters. (It gets more complicated when there’s a family outing where we’re all leaving town.)

Out-of-town happened this week. They left town to help a relative suffering from cancer. The dogs came to our house, and with the temperature blazing and little shade in our yard, there was no choice but to shelter the animals inside. (I may dislike animals, but I’m not totally heartless.)

When keeping the dogs inside, they usually remain in or close to the laundry room (tiled floor, air-conditioned and out of the way). The laundry room is down a long hallway that leads to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Continue reading “There Was Blood”