Posted tagged ‘dog fight’

“The earth tucked herself in for the year with winter’s cold, white scarf of snow.”

March 10, 2017

When I woke up this morning, I ran to the window. It was snowing though the ground didn’t look as if the snow had started in the wee hours when they predicted it would. The brick walk in front of my house and the street were still uncovered. They were wet. The deck stairs had a bit of snow, but it was easy going for Gracie and me. She ran into the yard. I swear she was smiling. She loves the yard. I checked the news: no school. It was a decision based on what might be not what was. They were right. In the nearly three hours I have been awake, the snow on the tree branches has more than doubled in height and the street is starting to disappear. I keep looking. I am drawn to the window by the quietly falling flakes and the beauty of the snow.

In the two years I was in Ghana, I never missed snow though on the hottest of days I did miss winter. I missed seeing my breath and bundling in clothes to ward off the cold. I missed the comfort of a warm house on a snowy day. Only during the night and the early mornings at the beginning of the harmattan, in December, did I ever feel cold. It was wonderful to have my windows open to the cold and to snuggle under a wool blanket to stay warm. It was in the 70’s on those nights. I still have my wool blanket.

Gracie probably has arthritis in her left back leg. She is now on three new medicines. The pain med will last two weeks while the other two are for every day and should improve her overall leg joint movement.

When I was a kid, Duke, our dog, never had regular vet visits. He did get a rabies shot as it was required but the town used to give them, not the vet’s. The only other time I remember him going to the vets was when he was old and was mauled by a dog down the street. His neck was torn open. My dad said Duke would be fine taking care of it himself. My mother said nothing. My dad, who was working in Maine until we could move, only came home for weekends. While he was gone, my mother sneaked the dog to the vets who took care of the neck and gave him antibiotics. By the time my dad got home, Duke’s neck was looking better and was healing. My dad told my mother,”I told you so.”My mother, the wisest woman I knew, said nothing.

“Taste is the most unexplored sense”

January 16, 2015

When I got up during the night, I swear I saw stars, and was delighted, I stood at the window a while just looking. When I woke up, it was cloudy, and I wanted to scream. Right now, though, the sun is making an appearance, and off to the west are patches of blue sky. I can barely contain my excitement.

Gracie woke me up around 6:30. She wanted out, but when she got on the deck, she couldn’t get down the stairs. They had a topping of ice from the dusting of snow we got yesterday. I put on my shoes and walked her to the yard down the stairs step by step. If the poor dog only knew. Here I was her safety net, and I fall all the time. Luckily this time I didn’t. Before I went back to bed, I threw safety paws de-icer on the steps and also noticed where Gracie had been sick a few times. I won’t get into a description, but I think whatever had been bothering her was on her crate blanket which is now washed and in the dryer. Gracie is back to her always happy self.

In the old days we didn’t take our dog to the vet’s except to get the rabies shot required by law. There was no well dog visit back then. Duke, the boxer we had while I was growing up, was a terror to other dogs, but he met his match once and his neck was torn open. My dad said nature would take care of it. My mother sneaked Duke to the vet’s who took care of it. The dog’s wounds healed, and my father gloated a bit with his I told you so. We all just looked at each other and said nothing.

We pulled many fast ones on my poor dad. My mother would come and visit me, and we’d shop. She’d fill her trunk with boxes and bags. When she got home, she’d bring in two or three packages and show my father what she’d bought. He’d nod but actually be totally uninterested. Shopping was hell on Earth to him. When my dad went to work on Monday, my mother would empty the trunk. My dad never noticed anything new in the house. His spot was at the end of the couch next to the table. That was his little kingdom and nothing there ever changed. He was content.

We knew never to tell my dad some of the ingredients in the dishes he was served for dinner. He would refuse to eat them if he knew. Garlic, according to my dad, was to be used for garlic bread and shrimp scampi. It had no other uses. Little did he know he often ate it in a variety of dishes. He did catch my mother putting it in slits in a pork roast and was horrified. My mother took out all the garlic. My father had eaten that pork roast with garlic several times. He just didn’t see it.

My father used his eyes to determine whether or not a dish could be eaten. Hummus was wallpaper paste. He knew that without trying it. Just looking was enough. It was a huge no on potstickers and anything my mother made for my brother, the vegetarian. My father was the original meat and potatoes man with a few vegetables tossed in like carrots, canned asparagus and corn, either fresh or canned. My dad actually ate a huge variety of things. He just never knew.

“Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry.”

March 3, 2014

It was a put a mirror under her nose to see if she is breathing sort of morning. I woke up at 8 and decided I didn’t want to get up so I went right back to bed. Around 10:30 I finally got up, had time for one cup of coffee and one newspaper then got dressed as Gracie had her senior dog check-up at noon. She loves going to the vets. She is so active the vet said without the gray around her muzzle she would have guessed Gracie was far younger than eight. Because Gracie gets a little excited, they take her out back for her shots, blood drawing and nail cutting. Strangely enough, she is quiet while everything is being done to her. She weighs exactly the same as she did 6 months ago during her last senior dog physical. The vet said she seems great. Right now she is sleeping on the couch and resting from her ordeal.

When I was a kid, we had a boxer named Duke. He never had yearly check-ups. I think he only got rabies shots, but I can’t attest to that as I don’t remember. I’m just assuming. After Old Yeller I think all the dogs got rabies shots. Duke was a fighter. During one fight, a massive dog tore Duke around the neck. My dad said time would heal it. My mother sneaked Duke to the vets where he got shots and the wound taken care of. In those days my dad was away all week as he had been transferred, and we were waiting for school to end before we moved. He was home only on weekends. When he saw Duke and how well the wound was healing, he made mention of I told you so to anyone who would listen. We had been sworn to secrecy so we just nodded and let him think he had been right.

We lived by the motto that what my father didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him. My mother was usually a co-conspirator. We could tell her anything, and she’d pick and choose what to tell my father. It made life so much easier. We also learned how to look repentant when he yelled. Most times we were just blocking him out and nodding our heads as he yelled at us for whatever, but we always looked sorry and a bit sheepish. The four of us perfected that look. He never figured it out.

“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”

August 19, 2012

The sun appeared for a few minutes then went into hiding behind the clouds. The day is overcast but still light, none of the darkness of the last few days. A damp chill is in the air and a breeze is blowing. It’s an okay day.

Gracie’s panting was so heavy that she shook the bed and woke me at 1:30. She was gulping so I knew her stomach was upset. It happens every now and then. We went downstairs, and I let her out to hunt for grass to eat to settle her stomach. She came back inside about 20 minutes later, and we went back to bed. In not too much time, the bed began to shake again so downstairs we went and out she went. She came in and we went to bed but she kept moving around as she was unable to get comfortable and then came the panting. By this time it was 2:30, and I had yet to fall back to sleep. I went upstairs and brought down a sheet and pillow and went to try to fall asleep on the couch. Gracie joined me. Neither of us slept. She started panting again. This time she was out so long I went out on the deck to make sure she was okay. It was around 3:30. When she came back in, I fed her some fronds from the spider plant. She ate everyone and then went back outside. When she came in this last time, she went into her crate and stood looking at me. That is the universal sign for a treat so I gave her one which she ate then another. Gracie was just fine. It was 4 o’clock when we both went back to bed.

My dog Duke, when he was pretty old, got into a horrible dog fight with the huge dog down the street. Duke got the worst of it. He had really bad wounds on his neck where the dog had grabbed him. This never happened when Duke was in his younger days, when he was the scourge of the dogs in the neighborhood but age had slowed him down. My mother wanted him brought to the vets; my father said he’d be fine.

In those days, my dad worked on the Cape all week and came home only on weekends. We were moving there but not until after school was finished for the year. When my dad left the Monday after the dog fight, my mother brought Duke to the vet  who took care of the bite wound with a few stitches and a shot or two. By the time my dad got home at the end of the week, the wounds were well on their way to healing. My dad checked out Duke when he got home and said to my mother, ” I told you nature would take care of it.” None of us ever mentioned the trip to the vet’s.


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