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Happy 10th Gotcha Day, Lucy

17 Jan

Ten years ago yesterday, I drove out to Sherwood to pick up Lucy from the foster home where she’d been staying. In honor of this auspicious occasion, here are three of my favorite books featuring basset hounds.

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan

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Publisher’s Summary: Jake Semple is notorious. Rumor has it he managed to get kicked out of every school in Rhode Island, and actually burned the last one down to the ground.

Only one place will take him now, and that’s a home school run by the Applewhites, a chaotic and hilarious family of artists: poet Lucille, theater director Randolph, dancer Cordelia, and dreamy Destiny. The only one who doesn’t fit the Applewhite mold is E.D.—a smart, sensible girl who immediately clashes with the defiant Jake.

Jake thinks surviving this new school will be a breeze . . . but is he really as tough or as bad as he seems?

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

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Publisher’s Summary:

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:  Debate Club.  Her father’s “bunny rabbit.”  A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:  A knockout figure.  A sharp tongue.  A chip on her shoulder.  And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend:  the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Landau-Banks.  No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer.  Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society.  Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.  Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them.  When she knows Matthew’s lying to her.  And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:  Possibly a criminal mastermind.  This is the story of how she got that way.

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

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Publisher’s Summary: Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

The Creep

7 Jan

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Lucy starts the night on her side of the bed. This is usually on the side closest to the wall because I read or knit in bed before going to sleep and like to be near the light and the side table.

At some point during the night one of us has to get up. Whether it is just me, or both if us, Lucy usually takes the spot where I’d been sleeping. If I was the one to get up, Lucy steals the warm spot I left behind. If we both get up, I like to switch to the wall side because I know the creep will happen soon.

The Creep starts in the middle of the night, when the bedroom is colder than it had been when we first went to sleep. We are both blessed with the innate ability to fall back asleep quickly. In this second round of sleep, Lucy decides she wants to get closer. My heart thinks it is love. My brain knows it is all about body heat because Lucy is a heat vampire.

She wedges herself closer to me. I adapt. More wedging. More adaptation. Until I wake up and she is in the middle of the bed and I am relegated to the mattress quarter nearest the wall. Fortunately, I know this is coming and have a secret strategy to ensure I get the majority of the bedding. It’s a win-win.

 

 

 

 

Lucy’s Haiku Series

24 Mar

Lucy’s nails had grown long. Because her nails are black, I can’t see the quick.  I am afraid to cut them they way I confidently cut her predecessors’ nails. So, Saturday, we made a trip to the vet for a professional trim. Here is a haiku series I think she could have written.

Lucy's Paws

 

We are in the car
Should I feel worry or joy
I start to tremble.

Shake shake shake shake shake
Drool drool droll drool drool drool drool
Shake shake shake shake shake

The door of doom looms
We have come to the place where
They torture me

I don’t like other dogs
But I hate this place more so
I ignore the others

The mean girl bribes me
Back, to the torture chamber
She cuts off my toes

Finally back to Mom
I will stare out the front door
Until we can leave

The drive home is short
And I am soon home, sweet home
Time for a nap.

Lucy's Paw

 

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.

 

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.

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7.Stephen Covey says: Sharpen the saw.

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

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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.

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