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Walking with Lucy

30 Jun

The first walk comes early
out the back door
just as the sun is coming up.
It is followed by breakfast
and a nap.

The second walk comes later, still early,
as the street awakens with
cats, dog walkers,
and neighbors beginning
the journey to work.

The third walk comes mid morning
sometimes against her will,
mostly for my benefit.

The fourth walk comes after lunch.
On a sunny day
she might lay down on the sidewalk
taking a sunbath.

The last walk comes after dinner
her tummy full we take
one more turn around the street
before returning to the house
and she puts herself to bed.

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The selfie struggle was real

27 Mar

The request came early Thursday morning telling us that we

will work to put together a short video clip of Stoller teachers to send a greeting to our families/students. The goal is a bit of a positive boost for our students.

Short turn around looking to make it in the next 2 days and piece it together. The underlining message is we miss you, take care of yourself, cant wait to see you again.
Please take a picture or a 10-15 second video with your kids, pet, in your kitchen, with pj’s on it doesn’t matter. We are just looking for a Stoller cares video.
Have you ever tried to take a selfie with a sleepy senior basset hound? The slideshow below shows the best I could get. I didn’t even attempt a video.

 

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Lucy’s nicknames

23 Mar

When I adopted Lucy at age three, I didn’t change her name, despite the hundreds of other dogs named Lucy. I t doesn’t matter because I very rarely call her by her name. There is no real rhyme or reason to the name I choose to call her at any given moment, except for the way it trips off my tongue or works in a sentence.

Here is a list of names I have for her, in no particular order.

Lucy_BathLucy_6th GotchaDayLuce
Miss Moo
Moo Muffin
Little Muffin
Babu
Pinouche
Moufette
Mi Amor
Popo
Stinker
Potty Pants
Princess Potty Pants
Pokey Pants
Princes Pokey Pants
Pook
Miss Poo
Pook Muffin
Poppet
Punkin Butt
Bum
Miss Bum
Bumskaya
Popalicious
Poopmeister
Bobo
Precious Punkin
Honey Bunny
Bunny Butt

 

 

Stealth packing

9 Mar

Lucy has issues. She is a worrier and starts trembling the moment she realizes we are on the way to the vet. She gets especially trembly when the suitcase comes out, so, to the best of my ability, I try to pack without her knowing.

Usually, I drop her off where she’ll be staying the night before a trip, and pack once I am home alone. That isn’t always possible, like this week. I leave Tuesday morning for four days at Outdoor School. I will drop her off at Sniff Dog Hotel on my way to work. But that means that I have to get the suitcase out while she is still home. What’s a dog-mom to do?

Sunday morning, I decided that there would be too much to manage Tuesday morning. I would pack Sunday and bring my bag to school on Monday. That way, all I’d have to wrangle Tuesday morning was Lucy’s bag, my “carry-on” (we are travelling by school bus, not plane), and Lucy herself, who will be a nervous wreck.

Adrienne, you are a genius, but how will you get your bag packed and to the car?  I asked myself.

Lucy presented me with the answer.

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At almost 14, Lucy sleeps very deeply. While she was sleeping on the living room sofa, I went to my bedroom and packed. She was still sleeping when I carried the bag to the car, carefully closing the back door so she wouldn’t wake up and realize what I was doing.  When she finally woke up, I was sitting, pretending nothing had happened while she slept.

When I get her in the car Tuesday morning, she will know something bad is about to happen and the trembling will begin. until then, though, she will live her happy life, oblivious to the terror the future holds.

 

All that and there’s a basset hound, too!

4 Apr

It’s only been a month, but it feels like forever since I’ve written about books. After floundering around thinking about which book I’ve read in the last month, I finally settled on one that has a basset hound, because what’s better than books and bassets, right?

The basset hound in Jeff Zentner’s Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee  is not the main character. He does make several appearances though and provides both comic relief and comfort.

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Publisher’s Summary: Every Friday night, best friends Delia and Josie become Rayne Ravenscroft and Delilah Darkwood, hosts of the campy creature feature show Midnite Matinee on the local cable station TV Six.

But with the end of senior year quickly approaching, the girls face tough decisions about their futures. Josie has been dreading graduation, as she tries to decide whether to leave for a big university and chase her dream career in mainstream TV. And Lawson, one of the show’s guest performers, a talented MMA fighter with weaknesses for pancakes, fantasy novels, and Josie, is making her tough decision even harder.

Scary movies are the last connection Delia has to her dad, who abandoned the family years ago. If Midnite Matinee becomes a hit, maybe he’ll see it and want to be a part of her life again. And maybe Josie will stay with the show instead of leaving her behind, too.

As the tug-of-war between growing up and growing apart tests the bonds of their friendship, Josie and Delia start to realize that an uncertain future can be both monstrous…and momentous.

I’m going to be honest here, the story takes a bizarro turn when the girls meet the producer they think will change their lives. However, it also does a great job tackling how friendships evolve as young people grow older, the complex feelings around parental abandonment, and the excitement and uncertainty as high school ends and teens prepare to move on to the next phase of their lives.

 

Helping Howard

19 Feb

The message from the Oregon Basset Hound Rescue president  came Friday night: Could someone get to the Humane Society on Saturday to take a look at a dog? Howard had been returned to OHS a second time and they were asking for OBHR’s help finding him a new home.

I’d been planning to do my taxes Saturday morning, then spending the rest of the day knitting. But, I live closest to OHS, so I said I’d do it. I was told to wear black (Howard was reported to be afraid of people in black) and  arrive before OHS opened. I was to go right in once the doors opened  and let them know who I was – they’d be expecting me.

There were two small crowds out front when I arrived. The crowd closest to the doors were clearly potential adopters, eager to find their furry soulmate. They were older that the crowd further back. I initially assumed these were volunteers, but, using my excellent powers of eavesdropping, I learned they were veterinary students coming for a tour.

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When the doors opened, I queued up and waited my turn. they were expecting me and before I knew it I was being escorted to a meeting room. It wasn’t the sort of meeting room you might imagine. this was a room designed for an intimate meet and greet.

When Howard came in he showed no fear of my black clothes. In fact he was sweet and curious, sniffing all over to get to know this new room.

He came when called and demonstrated how well he could sit (and wait) for a treat. he also demonstrated his excellent climbing skills.

Howard came to Oregon from a kill shelter in California in the Second Chance program. He had been picked up as a stray a few times and the last time, his owners declined to come and get him. The shelter thought he might be adoptable in Oregon so he was sent here.  Apparently, Howard is such a devoted family member he is very vocal if left alone, and so he was adopted and  returned to OHs. Twice.

Despite his sad early life,  Howard is a lover. He is such a lover that he has a big old heart on his side. He is a model canine and OHS staff use him to model leash-walking for new arrivals. Maybe that’s why he has a gold star beside his heart.

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If I didn’t have to work, and if Lucy were friendlier to other dogs, I’d have taken him home myself.

I was a little sad to see him go, but hopeful we could spread the news about Howard to the OBHR community.

I am hopeful that Howard will soon be in a home with a retiree or a new friend works from home. Maybe I’ll have a good news update during our March Slice of Life Challenge.

 

Canine good citizenship

29 Mar

My hands were empty when I arrived home. Lucy was with me, but the poop bag I’d been holding was no longer with me.

Literal and figurative CRAP! I thought. I, who rail against people who don’t pick up after their dogs had left, had left my own pick-uppage behind.

There was nothing else to do. Poor Lucy looked confused as we went out once more, retracing the path we had just taken. Fortunately, the sun was out and there were sniffs to be sniffed and her perplexity was soon replaced by curiosity and interest at each blade of grass.

Before too long, a flash of pink appeared up ahead on the sidewalk.

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Ironic that I dropped it near someone’s trash cans.

With my goal in sight I urged Lucy forward a little more quickly until I picked up the offending bag. At that point, Lucy and I slowed down, enjoying a more leisurely pace as we completed our walk around the neighborhood on this beautifully sunny Spring Break day.

Life with Lucy

27 Mar

Lucy's Nose

Lucy is a pretty low maintenance dog.

Although she doesn’t enjoy it, she will let me give her a bath.

She doesn’t enjoy nail trims either, but she will let me clip her toenails. All my other dogs tried to pull their paws out of my hand when I tried to trim their nails. Lucy keeps hers there and likes to eat the clippings. I let her. I figure it is the canine equivalent of biting her nails and it is her reward for cooperating.

The only thing she really hates is getting her ears cleaned.

As soon as I go to the cupboard where the ear cleaner is kept, she starts paying attention. When she sees the container, she tries to hide, so I generally try to act nonchalant, hiding the bottle behind my back. I will do a few other things before sidling up to her, ear cleaner, cotton rounds and hands still behind my back.

As soon as she realizes that I tricked her again, doggone it, she tries to bolt. But, I am a stealthy ear cleaner. I have her literally cornered on the sofa. There is no escape. She bears the indignity on the first ear and I can see the little wheels turning in her brain as I switch to the second. I block her so she can’t escape before she gets the other ear done.

When the ordeal is over she runs away, shaking her head and rubbing her ears on the floor and sofa. At this point I usually offer her a treat, followed by a walk. By the time we get home, I have been forgiven.

Lucy’s Seven

8 Mar

I’ve never had a dog that liked any kind of citrus, but Lucy loves mandarin oranges. She has mastered the art of getting what she wants à la Steven Covey.

1. Stephen Covey says: Be proactive.

Lucy says: Always be in the room where the mandarin is being eaten.

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2.Stephen Covey says: Begin with the end in mind.

Lucy says: Visualize that tiny morsel of deliciousness sliding down your throat and into your tummy.

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3.Stephen Covey says: Put first things first.

Lucy says: It is important and urgent that I get a slice of that mandarin.

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4.Stephen Covey says: Think win-win. 

Lucy says: A piece for Mommy, a piece for Lucy. Sounds like a win-win, to me!

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5.Stephen Covey says: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Lucy says: You want me to to sit. Look, I am sitting for the next slice.

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6. Stephen Covey says: Synergize.

Lucy says: Together, Mommy and I can polish off that mandarin in no time.

IMG_0020

7.Stephen Covey says: Sharpen the saw.

Lucy says: We’ve had a snack, let’s take one more walk before bedtime.

Lucy's Nose.jpg

 

Revisiting grief unexpectedly

2 Mar

After a great day at school, an exciting first day of the Slice of Life Challenge, and a quick and uneventful drive home, tears welled in my eyes. I had just opened the mail to this:

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Fiona’s license renewal.

You think your heart has had enough time to heal and then this arrives in the mail and the wound in your heart opens again.

Fiona went to the Rainbow Bridge on November 10, 2015 – two and a half years ago. She was a sickly girl with chronic ear infections and skin issues, but she left a huge hole in my heart when she left.

Tomorrow I will write something happy or funny. Today, I will just remember my lovely girl.

Fiona-Grass3

 

 

Randy Ribay

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