Posted tagged ‘Boxers’

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”… “It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”

February 17, 2018

This morning I had a home visit from a woman and her boxer.  She was from Boxer Rescue and was checking to make sure both my house and I were perfect for one of their rescue dogs. We are now on the list for a dog. She said puppies were coming from Puerto Rico, and I was going to get one. Her two boxers had also come from Puerto Rico. I had put Maddie in her crate because of the dog but it didn’t lock it so Maddie came sauntering out, looked at the dog and just kept walking. That was perfect. Even Maddie passed the dog test.

Today is a beautiful day with lots of sun. It is a bit chilly but warmer than it has been. I think that winter makes the coming of spring all that more delightful. The first warm days pull us all outside to have a bit of sun on our faces. We exult in the changing of the seasons. About this time of year when I was a kid, I got rid of winter and wore my spring jacket. I never admitted how cold I was.

I finally got to that wash  from a few weeks back. I had moved it to the cellar thinking out of sight out of mind, but I couldn’t take it any longer. I needed some off those clothes. It was three full loads with lots of sweatshirts and flannel pants, my stay at home outfits; however, with my bad arm, I couldn’t move anything upstairs. All that laundry is sitting in the basket in the cellar. I’ll ask Leandro, half of my cleaning couple, to bring it upstairs when he comes on Thursday. Until then, the cellar will be the annex for my closet and bureau, and I’ll got down and pick from the pile.

When I only had a little money, I used to buy comic books at the 5&10 or at the drug store. Each had racks of comics in the fronts of their stores. Classics Illustrated were the best comics of them all. They had these great covers, and inside, I got glimpses of novels I couldn’t wait to read. I knew all about Moby Dick before I even turned the first page. I had seen all the action in the panels of my Classics Illustrated which left out the boring part, the chapters in the middle about the kinds of whales. I read Hamlet and Les Miserables, both in easy to understand English. Kidnapped was another favorite comic of mine, and it led me to read the book. A few years ago, in her stocking, I gave my sister the Classic illustrated Treasure island, one of her favorite books. Of course, I read it first.

I have a few errands today, but I don’t mind. I love riding in the car on a sunny winter’s day. It seems to lift my spirits above the cold and thoughts of snow.

“Don’t allow your life to become just a dead ritual. Let there be moments, unexplainable.”

April 24, 2017

The house was cold when I woke up. I needed my sweatshirt so I had to dump poor Maddie off. She had slept on it last night. Gracie and I went to get the papers. It was warmer outside than the house. I wanted to cheer. It’s a sign of spring.

When I was a kid, my dog was named Duke. He was a boxer, a fawn boxer. In those days there was no leash law. Duke was a wanderer. Some mornings he’d follow us to school. My father would see him, call him and then go crazy when Duke ignored him so my father would hop in the car and go get him. Duke used to visit my aunt and get Sam to go play with him. Sam was his son. My favorite Duke story is when he followed my grandmother uptown. She wasn’t a dog lover. To try and get away, my grandmother went into Woolworth’s. Duke followed. Once inside, he lifted his leg on the comic book carousel. My grandmother was asked if he were her dog. She said no which was technically true. She left quickly. Duke, not her dog, followed right behind her.

I am not a lover of daily rituals yet I have a few. I take Gracie into the yard first. I start my coffee. While it is perking, I feed the cat, fill the water bowl and, after she comes inside, I give Gracie her treats. I drink a cup of coffee with each of the two papers. I thoroughly read each paper though I admit I only read baseball news on the sports pages and articles which catch my attention in the business section. I check my e-mail then hope for divine inspiration when I open WordPress. I have been writing Coffee for 12 years. Divine inspiration is all I have left after all this time.

The rest of the day is open. When I worked, I went to the dump on Sundays. Now I usually go on Thursdays, a quiet day at the dump, but any day will do. If I have any errands, I make a list and do them all in one day in geographic order hopping from village to village. Sometimes I get that favorite sandwich of mine at Buckies in Dennisport. I consider it a reward for doing all those errands.

When I get home, I put on my comfy clothes. The rest of the afternoon is for reading, maybe napping, doing chores like the laundry and if something is going on, watching the news on MSNBC. I check Facebook.

Dinner is whatever I have on hand which is sometimes as simple as an egg sandwich or cheese and crackers.

I go to bed, actually on the couch, whenever I’m tired. I seldom go early. Gracie sprawls at one end. I try to get comfortable around her.

That’s it. That is sort of my day every day.

 

““I love raw cookie dough, right out of the tube. The other thing I eat is marshmallow fluff.”

February 6, 2017

Sorry for the lateness of the hour. I slept in as I was up late watching the hoopla after my Pats won the Super Bowl in spectacular fashion. They overcame the biggest scoring deficit in history and won in the very first overtime. At the start of the second half, I was despondent at the score: 21-3.

I was able to coax Gracie down the back steps by holding her as she went from step to step. As soon as she hit the bottom, she ran around the yard happy to be off the leash I’d been using to take her out into the front yard. I will take her into the back yard one step at a time from now.

When I was a kid, there was no leash law and dogs roamed freely. Duke, my boxer, was all over town. Sometimes he was with his son Sam who was my aunt’s dog. My father had given Sam to my aunt as she had given us Duke when I was 5. Sam and Duke were notorious. People complained all the time. The dogs would stand outside a house howling if there was a female in heat. Boxers look fierce so people were afraid to leave their houses. We knew how silly that was as both of those dogs were wonderful. Sam was funny, even silly at times. He even seemed to smile. When Sam got into a fight, Duke watched until Sam was pinned then he’d step in and save Sam. Duke was also super-protective of us. He’d growl to warn people not to mess with us. That’s what boxers do for their families.

I love hot dogs. We ate them every Saturday night when I was a kid, and I never tired of hot dogs and brown bread. Baked beans were also part of the meal, but I passed on those. Just about every friend I had ate that same Saturday supper. It was a New England universal.

Marshmallow Fluff is 100 this year. Between 5-7 million pounds of it are sold each year. If you know how light Fluff is, this number is mind boggling. Half the supply is bought by New Englanders and people in upstate New York.

I loved fluffernutters. On Wonder bread we’d slather one side with peanut butter and the other side with Fluff. The mixture would sometimes ooze out of the side of the bread or one or the other would tear the bread when it was spread across a slice. Eating that sandwich was seldom neat, and it was usually the Fluff which was left on my face or fingers. I still kept Fluff in the house, and I have been known to make a fluffernutter. I have also been known to lick the Fluff off my fingers.

“Our pets are our family.”

September 12, 2016

The den is my refuge from the summer heat. The windows face north and west so no sun hits the room until late afternoon. Until then, the room stays relatively cool. Today, though, the room was cold. It needed a bit of the sun. I had left the windows open, and the cold night air had lingered. My arms were cold so I put on my sweatshirt. I love needing a sweatshirt.

I have no obligations today, no chores and no lists. For the sake of hygiene, I will take a shower. I might even change my bed, but that may be going a bit overboard.

Yesterday was sit on the couch and watch sports day. First were the Red Sox who beat Toronto to go up 2 games. David Ortiz hit another crucial home run. I clapped and cheered. It’s a good think I have no neighbors. The Patriots were without Brady and were not favored to win. They did win 23-21, a squeaker. It was a good day for Boston sports.

I saw vultures in Ghana. They were big, and they were ugly birds. They used to walk around the open courtyard of the family compound. Nobody seemed to care so I didn’t. Once there were two of them. Toddlers walked around them and were totally unafraid. If I had gone near those toddlers, they would have screamed. They would have been totally afraid of my white skin. It gave me pause.

My pets are old. Fern and Maddie are almost 18, and Gracie is almost 12. They sleep a lot. The cats sleep the most as cats are wont to do. Gracie is the most active. She goes out her dog door, does her business then runs around the yard. She comes back with spit on her muzzle from opening her mouth when she runs. That sounds gross, but it isn’t or maybe it isn’t because Gracie is my dog. Boxers drool when food is around. Gracie makes bubbles. That takes talent.

“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”

November 17, 2015

I seem to be apologizing every day for the lateness of the hour. This morning I awoke close to lunch time. It was just one of those nights, fitful and restless. I’m sure Gracie was annoyed by my moving around. Her head was on the other pillow when I woke up which, I suspect, minimized her discomfit from my moving all around. Fern was lying right beside my legs. I do remember her meowing at me during the night as I wasn’t sleeping deeply. I also remember ignoring her.

The hunt for Gracie’s Christmas digs continues. I am not having a whole lot of success. One kennel told me to call back today. I’m hoping they have space. (SUCCESS!!!!!!-Gracie will be staying at that kennel!!!!)

Duke, the boxer of my childhood, was the most stubborn of dogs. Usually he came on vacation with us, but I remember one time my grandparents took care of him while we were away. I’m sure Duke wasn’t all that thrilled as they weren’t animal people; in fact, they weren’t people people either (I know this wording sounds odd, but I tried several different versions, and this one despite the repetitive words was the best). Anyway, they’d let Duke outside, no leash laws back then, and he’d take off and go home. My grandfather had to fetch him several times which made my grandfather annoyed which eventually morphed into angry. When we went to pick Duke up, my grandfather told my Dad never again would he dog sit. I think Duke was relieved.

Every day is colder now. It gets dark far too early. The trees look naked without their leaves, and I can again see my neighbor’s houses through the branches of the trees. The sun slants a different way than in summer. I’ve added socks do my daily ensemble. There’s no denying it now. The season has irrevocably changed.

 

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

November 6, 2014

Today is rainy but a dripping rain without any wind. It is the sort of day I’ve always loved. When I was a kid, I’d get home from school, take off my uniform and put on my pajamas as I knew I didn’t need my play clothes. I’d get cozy in bed and read the whole rest of the afternoon because upstairs was always quiet before dinner. The TV held everyone else’s attention. It was a wonderful alone time for me and my book.

Yesterday I had quite the scare, actually I am still worried. I was in the den when I heard something fall then I heard it again so I ran into the living room. Gracie was lying on the floor. Her eyes were wide with fright. I immediately grabbed her around the belly and picked her off the floor holding her so her feet were on the floor but I was keeping her standing. If I needed to, I was ready to carry her to the car, all 60 pounds of her. I was talking to her the whole time. She was shaking, and I told her to stop. She did. I walked her still holding on so she would know her legs could hold her. She started walking by herself. I checked and saw nothing wrong with her face, as in a stroke, or her legs and feet. I called my vets, and they told me to bring her right away. I ran upstairs to get dressed and Gracie followed and jumped on the bed to wait. She came downstairs on her own when I did. We went to the car. The vet saw nothing wrong but was keeping her for a while to do some tests. We speculated, the vet and I. The rug was a mess so she might have been going too fast and slid on the wooden floor to the rug. I’ve seen her feet slide before when she is fast-moving. The vet gave me a few other optimistic reasons. They did three tests, and the vet had the results of two: blood work and x-rays were fine. She’ll call today with the results of the third test.

My friend Tony, Uncle Tony to Gracie, knew I was supposed to go to dinner with some other friends so he volunteered to stay here with Grace to make sure she was okay. I couldn’t have been more thankful. When I got home, both he and Gracie were asleep: Tony in the chair and Gracie sprawled on the couch. He said she was fine all evening.

This morning was like every other morning. Gracie waited while I opened the front door so she could check the neighborhood, she then went to the back door and waited again. I opened it and she went out. When she came back in via the dog door, she wanted her morning treats. She is now having her morning nap on the couch snoring away with her head on a pillow. The vet hasn’t called yet.

Gracie will be nine in two weeks. My other boxers had just turned 8 when they passed away. I keep a close eye on Miss Gracie. I hope the last test is as good as the first two.

Today is a wait for the call day, but if we have time, we’ll go to the dump. Gracie will like that.

“To lose the approbation of my dog is a thing too horrible to contemplate.”

September 10, 2013

The weatherman said sunny and warm today, mid 70’s. Right now, though, it is damp, dark and chilly with a strong breeze. Later Gracie and I have to go to the dump, but that’s it for chores. At the vets yesterday, I found out Gracie has gingivitis. We knew she had gum issues but it hadn’t gotten to gingivitis before this. Now she is on antibiotics which only cost me $110.00. The other choice was surgery to cut away then cauterize the gums. Before my eyes flashed a bill well over a $1000 so I went with the lesser of two financial evils. The vet said Gracie is in good health and has plenty of energy. She got her ears cleaned and her nails cut as well. Despite being a crazy dog, she abides getting those done quite calmly. I think it always surprises the toe cutter.

When I was a kid, our dog was a boxer named Duke. The only shot he ever got was his rabies shot every couple of years. There were no well dog visits back then or heart worm treatments or Advantix against fleas. My father would douse him with flea powder periodically or give him a bath. He ate horse meat, a component of dog food back then. There were no natural or healthy foods for dogs. Leash laws didn’t exist back then either. Duke was a roamer, and he knew his way all over town. You might have heard this before, but it’s a great story worth retelling. Duke was uptown and found my grandmother. He followed her right into Woolworth’s and while inside he lifted his leg on the comic books. The manager wanted to know whose dog it was. My grandmother said not a word as Duke really wasn’t her dog, but when she left the store almost immediately, Duke followed, a dead giveaway, but my grandmother never looked back. She wasn’t an animal lover, and I can only imagine the embarrassment she felt. To the rest of us, it was just a funny dog story. Duke lived to be fifteen. He was a great dog, stubborn as they come but protective and loving.

I can’t imagine being without a dog. Gracie is always happy to see me. That boxer stub of a tail goes so fast back and forth it reminds me of helicopter rotors, and I half expect her back-end to go air-borne. Sometimes she puts her head on my arm, looks at me and gives me her please eyes, the look which says a treat would be nice. I seldom refuse. She and I are in constant battle for alpha dog. I always win, but she is never happy about it. She sits then talks back to me. There is no mistaking her tone, and it always makes me glad dogs don’t talk.

“…at morning, I’m unruffled – I’ll sit with my tea and Muse Cat beside me and listen to the soft chime of the grandfather clock…”

April 22, 2013

The sun streaming through the front door is hot. Fern has taken possession of the rug in front of the door and is, as usual, sprawled in the sun. Maddie and Gracie are here on the couch with me. Gracie is having her morning nap. After all, she has been awake for a couple of hours and must be exhausted. Maddie just wants a few pats.

All of us have morning rituals. Fern and Gracie sleep on my bed so when I wake up, they jump up and wish me a good morning. Gracie wags her tiny Boxer tail so much I expect it to become a rotor and for her tail end to take flight the way a helicopter does. If my morning ever becomes a cartoon, that’s exactly what would happen. Fern rolls all over the bed and sometimes has to grab the sheet or she’d roll right off. I pat her and she bumps me with her head to let me know she expects more. After the morning greetings are done, I feed the cats and Gracie and I go downstairs. Maddie is usually on the table in the sun. She gets her morning pats after which I let Gracie out and put on the coffee then I go outside to get the papers, and most mornings I stop to admire the new flowers. This morning there were two yellow and white daffodils which had just bloomed. After admiring my garden for a while, I go back inside, fill Gracie’s dry food dish so she can munch during the day, leave two biscuits in her crate then grab my coffee and go into the den to read the papers. That is my morning just about every single day except Sunday when I go out to breakfast, the only break in my routine.

Soon enough it will be warm, and I’ll be on the deck with my coffee and papers. Gracie will take her morning nap spread out on the lounge, and I’ll stop and watch the birds at the feeders. Sometimes I bring my laptop outside where I’ll write Coffee.

I love my mornings.

“Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.”

March 5, 2013

It is, as my mother would have described it, a raw day, the sort where you feel chilled to the bone from the cold and damp. Right now there is a snow shower with small flakes being blown about by the wind. It won’t amount to anything, but its mere existence is beyond the pale. “Too much, too much,” I whine to no one but myself.

The weather in today’s Cape Times predicted the rest of the week much like today. Each day has the possibility of rain or snow showers. Saturday will be the first sunny day, if the paper’s prediction is correct. I went out earlier and filled the bird feeders. Gracie didn’t even bother to get off the couch until she heard me drop something. She then came to the deck, checked out what I was doing and then went right back inside the house, back to the couch.

Last night I was so tired I went to bed around 9:30, unheard for me, the night owl. I slept through until 8 and stayed in bed under the covers a little bit longer. I was too warm and cozy to face this day. I could see the sky through my window and nothing about it was inviting. When I came downstairs, Gracie went right outside. That surprised me as usually I have to open the door. Not this time: I never closed the back door last night. I guess I didn’t force Gracie out one more time but, instead, just shut off the light in the den and went upstairs to bed.

My legs are still wobbly from the vet bill yesterday. It was closer to $400 than $300, and this was a well dog visit, but the outcome couldn’t have been better. Gracie is healthy, and the vet said she is beautiful. If she didn’t have some grey on her muzzle, the vet said she’d think Gracie is still a puppy. She told me whatever I’m doing is working well as most boxers she sees tend to be overweight, but not Miss Gracie. She also got her nails done yesterday, like a sort of mini-spa.

When I was a kid, we had a boxer named Duke. He never had a well dog visit. He got rabies shots I think but nothing else. My father used to douse him in flea powder periodically. He ate canned dog food with horse meat. He was free to roam anywhere he wanted, and he did. He wasn’t supposed to get on the couch, but he always slept there when we weren’t around, and we could hear him get off the couch in the mornings when we’d go downstairs. Duke lived a long, long life for a boxer though he wasn’t pampered, didn’t eat all natural foods, ate Oreos my sisters fed him and anything else left on our plates. I don’t know if there is a lesson in that. I know we people are less immune to germs because our lives are so antiseptic. Maybe it’s the same with dogs.

I had an idea to do a couple of errands today but that thought disappeared with the first flake. I’m not even going to bother to get dressed. I will out-sloth a sloth today! Maybe I’ll pay some bills so I can claim a bit of industry.

“The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind”

May 24, 2012

The day is brighter than the last few and the sun is just biding its time behind a cloud. It’s expected a bit later. It’s a long sleeve day which I found out when I investigated Gracie’s intruder bark. She was standing on the rail by the deck stairs, and the hair on her back was raised from her neck to her tail, never a good sign. I looked but saw nothing. It must have been the rabbit which just stands and stares at the dog. While Gracie was standing on the rail, I noticed the border along the side of the rail is in pieces held together by only a single wire; the bamboo has seen its last. I got her inside before she leapt that rail. This time she’d have hurt herself as the rail borders the holly bush. I put wire across the spot for the meantime as I do have a woven screen I bought yesterday. While I was attaching the wire, I noticed a spot near the driveway where she’s started digging under the fence. I put a board across it. Gracie is an escape artist, and when she’s on the run, she’s quick and won’t come to me. Neighbors come out, and she goes right to them. My yard is huge but obviously Gracie prefers the wider world.

When I was a kid, there were no leash laws. Dogs roamed. I never saw one hit by a car as the dogs were wary on the streets and car smart, and I think the cars were slower on local roads back then. Duke, our boxer, was quite the traveler. He’d follow us to school or follow the neighbors to their school. My father would yell for him, Duke would turn around to acknowledge he’d heard my father, then he’d keep going. My father got so angry he’d jump in the car to get the dog. My mother had a different  strategy. She’d hold out a piece of bologna and call Duke. He’d come and eat the bologna leaving a small piece in my mother’s hand then he’d run on his way. Duke and his son Sam were notorious for prowling the neighborhoods. Sam was my aunt’s dog, the aunt who gave us Duke, and he lived three or four blocks away. The two would meet up and travel together. They looked fierce but Sam was the gentlest of dogs. Duke was stubborn and protective. They scared people.

We moved to the cape and their days of roaming together were over. I swear the entire town let out a sigh of relief.