Author: Paul Handover

What on earth?

I guess this story is real!

I am not normally a sceptical person.

But when I read the latest article from The Dodo about a corgi that freaked out when she saw a bush made to look like a dog I did wonder. But whatever it makes a nice story.

ooOOoo

Corgi Freaks Out When She Sees A Bush That Looks Just Like Her

“She looked confused and concerned” 😂

Lily Feinn
Published on 8/28/2020.

Luna isn’t usually scared of other dogs — in fact, she’s kinda bossy.

“Luna, like a lot of other corgis, has a big dog attitude in a smaller package,” Matt, Luna’s dad who asked that his last name not be included, told The Dodo. “She loves policing other dogs at the dog park.”

INSTAGRAM/LELUNABERRY

So it came as a surprise when the little dog freaked out when she met a larger, greener version of herself.

Luna and Matt were visiting a friend earlier this year when they spotted an adorable topiary in the neighbor’s yard. “I just thought it was hilarious ’cause I instantly thought it was a corgi-shaped hedge,” Matt said. “Maybe that’s just what my brain defaults to ’cause my dog is a corgi.”

INSTAGRAM/LELUNABERRY

Matt placed Luna in front of the hedge for a photo and it became clear she was not interested in making friends.

“I think she was afraid cause it was so large and maybe the way I reacted to it,” Matt said. “She looked confused and concerned.”

Matt was surprised to learn that his tough dog is actually a bit of a scaredy cat — when it comes to large plants, at least. “She has a pretty expressive face so it feels like I know what she’s thinking,” Matt said.

INSTAGRAM/LELUNABERRY

Matt snapped the photo of Luna and posted it to Twitter, with the caption: “Neighbors are a big fan of Luna apparently.”

People were so impressed by the likeness that the post quickly went viral. However, all the attention didn’t change Luna’s mind when it came to topiaries.

After eight years of living with Luna, Matt appreciates her now more than ever.

“She’s been great to have around,” Matt said. “The neighbors love her as well and I’m glad I can appreciate her more right now, having to stay home more often.”

But, to keep Luna happy, they haven’t walked by the bush since.

ooOOoo

It takes all sorts!

The California Wildfires

And now also closer to home.

This is a post about dogs being of comfort to the Californian firefighters. A post presented on The Dodo that I am republishing.

But yesterday afternoon came news that here in Oregon we have a blaze. As the Washington Post reported it, in part:

An unusually expansive outbreak of large and fast-moving wildfires threatens communities in three states Wednesday, with the greatest risks focused on Medford, Ore., and Oroville, Calif., as large fires advance in those areas.

In Oregon on Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced that four towns have experienced significant damage, and she warned residents to expect news of fatalities.

“Oregon has experienced unprecedented fire with significant damage and devastating consequences for the entire state,” she said. Brown said the communities of Detroit, Blue River, Vida, Phoenix and Talent are “substantially destroyed.”

But back to those Californian firefighters.

ooOOoo

Dog Helps Comfort Firefighters Fighting The California Wildfires

Her hugs help them so much ❤️️

By Caitlin Jill Anders

Ever since she was a puppy, Kerith has been the bubbliest, most joyful dog, and her mom always knew that she was born to help people.

HEIDI CARMAN

Kerith was originally being trained to be a guide dog for individuals who are blind, but ended up changing career paths to become a therapy dog instead. For the past year she’s been working with local firefighters, providing them comfort in times of need — and with the recent wildfires spreading across California, they need her now more than ever.

HEIDI CARMAN

“Kerith has been going to base camps where the crews start their day before they roll out to fight one of the many wildfires in CA,” Carman said. “She lightens the mood first thing in the morning. We walk around to visit all the crews while they are getting ready for their day of fighting fires. Everyone wants to see her to get some love.”

HEIDI CARMAN

As the fires rage across California, the firefighters’ jobs become more and more stressful as they work hard every moment of the day to save homes and lives. Kerith provides them a moment of relief and joy from the realities of their job — and when many of them see her, they can’t help but envelop her in a huge hug.

HEIDI CARMAN

Kerith loves all her firefighter friends so much, and is more than happy to let them hug her close. She seems to know that what she’s doing is important, and that the hugs she’s getting are more than just hugs. She’s helping to bring comfort when the firefighters need it most.

“Kerith clearly loves what she is doing,” Carman said. “When she sees a fire engine she gets so excited because she knows she is going to see her firefighter friends.”

HEIDI CARMAN

Hopefully the wildfires will be under control soon, but until then, Kerith will continue to give her firefighter friends as many hugs as they need.

ooOOoo

I find it amazing that there are dogs such as Kerith who love to be loved. Now plenty of dogs fall into that category but Kerith is part of a team; the rest of the team are human and working their backsides off fighting fires.

I will leave you for today with a random photograph I found from the ABC News website of one of those fires in California.

Roll on the rain!

And a photograph taken at 11am PDT today of the hills to the East. It includes our own property.

It shows the extent of the smoke; the nearest run of trees across the photograph are on our property.

Dogs are amazing!

This is a short story but still endearing!

The instinct of dogs to come to the aid of us humans, friends and strangers alike, never fails to impress.

Here’s a recent story on The Dodo that endorses that in spades!

ooOOoo

Stray Dog Interrupts Performance To Comfort Actor Pretending To Be Injured

“I was very touched. He was like an angel who wanted to help me.”
By Stephen Messenger
Published on 9/3/2020

During a recent theatrical performance in Turkey, the script called for actor Numan Ertuğrul Uzunsoy’s character to get hurt — but, of course, it was all pretend.

The adorable reaction of one furry audience member that day, however, was not.

İZMIT BELEDIYESI

“The character I played was injured and in great pain,” Uzunsoy told The Dodo. “He’d fallen off a horse, and was breathing hard.”

As Uzunsoy lay on the ground, his pretend suffering didn’t go unnoticed. From the wings, a concerned stray dog made his entrance — interrupting the play to offer the “injured” stranger comfort.

Uzunsoy didn’t see it coming.

“I felt warmth on my face. First, I thought my costar was approaching me,” Uzunsoy said. He was wrong.

Realizing the truth, Uzunsoy couldn’t help but break character. His face gave way to a smile.

“I was very happy when I felt the dog’s kisses,” Uzunsoy said. “I was very touched. He was like an angel who wanted to help me. It was a very emotional moment for me. I was not expecting it.”

No one seemed to mind that pause in the action. Rather, the reaction to the pup’s interruption was quite the opposite.

“My castmates loved the dog, and the audience was very happy,” Uzunsoy said. “Everyone cheered.”

İZMIT BELEDIYESI

A crew member eventually escorted the sweet dog offstage, where he remained awhile before strolling away. Uzunsoy, however, hopes their meeting that day is just the first of many acts to come.

He wants to reunite with the pup and help him find a home — returning the favor for the kindness he’d shown Uzunsoy.

“The next day I went to the same place, looking for him. People told me he usually hangs out there. I went again today,” Uzunsoy said. “I’ll look for him until I find him. I’ve always loved animals.”

ooOOoo

Here’s a video of the incident (but unless you understand Turkish it will be eyes only).

Beautiful!

Dogs truly are amazing!

Yet another dog food recall!

This time the same provider; Sunshine Mills.

Here’s me admitting that yesterday’s post was a little late and, bingo, into my email inbox yesterday came another food recall.

ooOOoo

Sunshine Mills Recalls Multiple Dog Food Brands Due to Aflatoxin

September 2, 2020 — Sunshine Mills, Inc. is issuing a voluntary recall of multiple dog food products due to elevated levels of aflatoxin that are potentially above the acceptable limit.

Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring mold by-product from the growth of Aspergillus flavus and can be harmful to pets if consumed in significant quantities.

What’s Being Recalled?

Here are images of the products affected by this recall:

oooo

oooo

Here are the lot codes and dates of the products affected by this news:

What Caused the Recall?

The potential for aflatoxin levels above the acceptable limit in these products was discovered by routine sampling performed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry showing that a sample of a single 4-pound bag of one lot of the product contained elevated levels of aflatoxin.

No illnesses have been reported in association with these products to date, and no other Sunshine Mills, Inc. pet food products are affected by this announcement.

While no adverse health effects related to these products have been reported, Sunshine Mills, Inc. has chosen to issue a voluntary recall of these products as a precautionary measure in furtherance of its commitment to the safety and quality of its products.

About Aflatoxin

Pets that have consumed any of the recalled products and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.

The affected products were distributed in retail stores nationally.

Retailers who received the recalled lots have been contacted and asked to pull these lots from their inventory and shelves.

There are no other Family Pet, Heartland Farms, or Paws Happy Life products or other lot codes of these products affected by this precautionary recall.

This is a voluntary recall being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

What to Do?

Consumers who have purchased the recalled products should discontinue use of the product and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumers may contact Sunshine Mills, Inc. Customer Service at 800-705-2111 from 7 AM to 4 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday… or by email at customer.service@sunshinemills.com for additional information.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to the FDA’s “Report a Pet Food Complaint” page.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

ooOOoo

It was very kind of Emily Blunt to leave a message in response to yesterday’s post. This is what she said.

Thank you SOO much for posting this. I work in veterinary and there are recalls like this EVERY day and nobody knows.

That makes it all worthwhile! Thanks Emily!

Sunshine Mills recall

Yet another dog food recall!

This came in 9 days ago. I put it in my ‘blog’ file and then got waylaid by other stuff.

Here it is:

ooOOoo

 

Sunshine Mills Recalls Nature’s Menu Dog Food

August 24, 2020 — Sunshine Mills, Inc. is issuing a voluntary recall of Nature’s Menu Super Premium Dog Food with a Blend of Real Chicken and Quail because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

What’s Being Recalled?

The recalled Nature’s Menu dog foods were distributed in retail stores nationwideand can be identified with the following UPC 7015514363 and UPC 7015514365.

The product comes in a 3-pound bag with the following lot codes:

TE1 20/April /2020, TE1 21/April/2020, TE1 22/April/2020, TE2 20/April /2020, TE2 21/April/2020, TE2 22/April/2020, TE3 20/April/2020, TE3 21/April/2020, TE3 22/April/2020.

The product comes in a 13.5-pound bag with the following lot codes:

TB1 20/April /2020, TB1 21/April/2020, TB1 22/April/2020, TB2 20/April /2020, TB2 21/April/2020, TB2 22/April/2020, TB3 20/April/2020, TB3 21/April/2020, TB3 22/April/2020.

There are no other Nature’s Menu® products or other lot codes of the Nature’s Menu® Super Premium Dog Food with a Blend of Real Chicken & Quail affected by this precautionary recall.

No illnesses, injuries or complaints have been reported to date.

About Salmonella

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.

Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.

Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.

If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

What Caused the Recall?

According to the company…

The potential for contamination was noted after the firm was notified by the Georgia Department of Agriculture when a sample of a single 3-pound bag of the product was collected and tested positive for Salmonella.

The firm conducted testing of multiple samples of the same lot which all tested negative for Salmonella.

Salmonella may not be evenly distributed throughout a lot which is why it could have been found on one sample and not on multiple other samples of the same lot.

However, out of an abundance of caution, Sunshine Mills, Inc. has chosen to issue a voluntary recall of the above-referenced lots of Nature’s Menu Super Premium Dog Food with a Blend of Real Chicken and Quail in furtherance of its commitment to the safety and quality of its products.

What to Do?

Retailers who received the recalled lots have been contacted and asked to pull these lots from their inventory and shelves.

Consumers who have purchased Nature’s Menu® Super Premium Dog Food with a Blend of Real Chicken & Quail from the recalled lots should discontinue use of the product and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumers may contact Sunshine Mills, Inc. customer service at (800) 705-2111 from 7 am to 4 pm Central Time, Monday through Friday… or by email at customer.service@sunshinemills.com for additional information.

This is a voluntary recall being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to the FDA’s “Report a Pet Food Complaint” page.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

ooOOoo

As always, please share this if you can!

That ‘D’ word

And I don’t mean dog!

Still continuing with another dog-free day because this is a supremely important topic: Dementia.

I’m well into my 75th year and have poor recall. I do everything to fight the loss of memory. We are vegan, or technically pescatarian, we both go to the nearby Club Northwest twice a week and I ride my bike every other day.

In the current issue of The Economist magazine there is a special report on Dementia:

As humanity ages the numbers of people with dementia will surge

The world is ill-prepared for the frightening human, economic and social implications

Recently we took delivery of a REDjuvenator because it holds out hope, and is claimed, to offset the more disastrous aspects of ageing.

It’s early days but there are indications that it is doing some good.

So it was with great interest that I read the other day the following article and even more grateful that it comes with permission to republish.

ooOOoo

Does forgetting a name or word mean that I have dementia?

Your medical team should determine whether you have dementia or just normal memory loss due to aging.
Fred Froese via Getty Images

Laurie Archbald-Pannone, University of Virginia

The number of cases of dementia in the U.S. is rising as baby boomers age, raising questions for boomers themselves and also for their families, caregivers and society. Dementia, which is not technically a disease but a term for impaired ability to think, remember or make decisions, is one of the most feared impairments of old age.

Incidence increases dramatically as people move into their 90s. About 5% of those age 71 to 79 have dementia, and about 37% of those about 90 years old live with it.

Older people may worry about their own loss of function as well as the cost and toll of caregiving for someone with dementia. A 2018 study estimated that the lifetime cost of care for a person with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, to be US$329,360. That figure, too, will no doubt rise, putting even more burdens on family, Medicare and Medicaid.

There’s also been a good deal of talk and reporting about dementia in recent months because of the U.S. presidential election. Some voters have asked whether one or both candidates might have dementia. But, is this even a fair question to ask? When these types of questions are posed – adding further stigma to people with dementia – it can unfairly further isolate them and those caring for them. We need to understand dementia and the impact it has on more than 5 million people in the U.S. who now live with dementia and their caregivers. That number is expected to triple by 2060.

First, it is important to know that dementia cannot be diagnosed from afar or by someone who is not a doctor. A person needs a detailed doctor’s exam for a diagnosis. Sometimes, brain imaging is required. And, forgetting an occasional word – or even where you put your keys – does not mean a person has dementia. There are different types of memory loss and they can have different causes, such as other medical conditions, falls or even medication, including herbals, supplements and anything over-the-counter.

Older people wonder and worry about so-called senior moments and the memory loss they perceive in themselves and others. I see patients like this every week in my geriatric clinic, where they tell me their stories. They forget a word, get lost in a story, lose keys or can’t remember a name. Details vary, but the underlying concern is the same: Is this dementia?

A doctor looks at images of a brain scan.
Your doctor may want to do a brain scan to determine if there are any issues.
Andrew Brookes via Getty Images

Normal memory loss

As we age, we experience many physical and cognitive changes. Older people often have a decrease in recall memory. This is normal. Ever have trouble fetching a fact from the deep back part of your “mind’s Rolodex”? Suppose you spot someone at the grocery store you haven’t seen in years. Maybe you recognize the face, but don’t remember their name until later that night. This is normal, part of the expected changes with aging.

What’s more of a potential problem is forgetting the name of someone you see every day; forgetting how to get to a place you visit frequently; or having problems with your activities of daily living, like eating, dressing and hygiene.

When you have troubles with memory – but they don’t interfere with your daily activities – this is called mild cognitive impairment. Your primary care doctor can diagnose it. But sometimes it gets worse, so your doctor should follow you closely if you have mild cognitive impairment.

You want to note the timing of any impairment. Was there a gradual decline? Or did it happen all of a sudden? This too you should discuss with your doctor, who might recommend the MoCA, or Montreal Cognitive Assessment test, which screens for memory problems and helps determine if more evaluation is needed.

Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists problems in these areas as possible signs of dementia:

  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Communication
  • Reasoning, judgment and problem solving
  • Visual perception beyond typical age-related changes in vision

[Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]

More severe issues

When memory loss interferes with daily activities, see your doctor about what to do and how to make sure you’re safe at home.

There are numerous types of severe memory loss. Dementia tends to be a slow-moving progression that occurs over months or years. Delirium is more sudden and can occur over hours or days, usually when you have an acute illness. Depression can also cause memory changes, particularly as we get older.

A computer illustration of amyloid plaques, characteristic features of Alzheimers disease.
A computer illustration of amyloid plaques among neurons. Amyloid plaques are characteristic features of Alzheimer’s disease.
Juan Gaertner/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Dementia and other brain issues

Alzheimer’s dementia is the most common type of dementia, followed by vascular dementia. They have similar symptoms: confusion, getting lost, forgetting close friends or family, or an inability to do calculations like balance the checkbook. Certain medical conditions – thyroid disorders, syphilis – can lead to dementia symptoms, and less common types of dementia can have different kinds of symptoms. Alzheimer’s has a distinct set of symptoms often associated with certain changes in the brain.

Focusing on safety and appropriate supervision, particularly in the home, is critical for all people with dementia. Your doctor or a social worker can help you find support.

It’s also important to be aware of two other things that can lead to decreased mental functioning – delirium and depression.

Delirium, a rapid change in cognition or mental functioning, can occur in people with an acute medical illness, like pneumonia or even COVID-19 infection. Delirium can occur in patients in the hospital or at home. Risk for delirium increases with age or previous brain injuries; symptoms include decreased attention span and memory issues.

Depression can happen at any time, but it’s more common with aging. How can you tell if you’re depressed? Here’s one simple definition: when your mood remains low and you’ve lost interest or joy in activities you once loved.

Sometimes people have recurring episodes of depression; sometimes, it’s prolonged grieving that becomes depression. Symptoms include anxiety, hopelessness, low energy and problems with memory. If you notice signs of depression in yourself or a loved one, see your doctor. If you have any thoughts of harming yourself, call 911 to get help instantly.

Any of these conditions can be frightening. But even more frightening is unrecognized or unacknowledged dementia. You must, openly and honestly, discuss changes you notice in your memory or thinking with your doctor. It’s the first step toward figuring out what is happening and making sure your health is the best it can be.

And, as with any disease or disease group, dementia is not a “character flaw,” and the term should not be used to criticize a person. Dementia is a serious medical diagnosis – ask those who have it, the loved ones who care for them or any of us who treat them. Having dementia is challenging. Learn what you can do to support those with dementia in your own community.The Conversation

Laurie Archbald-Pannone, Associate Professor Medicine, Geriatrics, University of Virginia

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

ooOOoo

Please, if you are of the age where this is more than an academic interest then read the article carefully and especially that piece of advice towards the end:

But even more frightening is unrecognized or unacknowledged dementia. You must, openly and honestly, discuss changes you notice in your memory or thinking with your doctor. It’s the first step toward figuring out what is happening and making sure your health is the best it can be.

As is said growing old is not for cissies.

None of us can put off the fateful day when we will die and in our case we do not believe in any form of afterlife, in other words we are confirmed atheists, so all we can do is to live out our remaining years as healthily as possible and loving each other and our precious animals.

But having said that I know that all of us want to live out our lives with healthy, active brains and it’s clear that we can’t leave it to chance.

In closing, I recently purchased the book Outsmart Your Brain written by Dr. Ginger Schechter (and others). It was just $9.99 and contains much advice regarding the best foods and exercise for a healthy brain. I recommend it!

The Last Chapter

A poem by Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

I have been given permission by Elizabeth to share this poem with you all.

It is profoundly and beautifully written.

ooOOoo

The Last Chapter

Life past, present, thoughts about the future, and ever changing world.

The Last Chapter

Life is a mystery novel, chapter after

Chapter, words painting every scene;

Leaving the mind filled with anticipation.

Each day viewed with the trusting mind

Of a child, innocence shades the memory,

Memories hide in the mind.

Can time change one’s past…No, and the

Future is unknown.  Life is a sailing ship

Upon the waves of what is soon to be

Tomorrow.

Where dreams may be lost upon turbulent

Seas, disparagement rains unkindly upon the

Unaware.  The guilty accepts no fault or

Responsibilities for a life that they may have

Brought fear and tears.

They do not have remorse, nor do they care.

Chapter after chapter, existence torn and

Ripped apart; the guilty never feel shame, nor

Show that they have a heart.

When one reaches the last chapter and the

End draws near, one’s mind returns to a

Childlike place, a place without tears and

Peace replaces the old fears.

No need to grieve that no one cared, no need

To be sad or try to bring back the good times in

Your yesterdays; the grieving will soon end and

One will no longer yearn for the love never there.

Now one’s heart beats alone and yet sometimes

Briefly filled with grief for those hearts that were

Long ago stilled.

Did sacrifice of the one-heart change how the

Guilty chose to live when the space they occupied

Is empty and the one-heart moved on; do the spirits

Of the guilty wander forever questioning where they

Went wrong.

With the last page read and the book closed

Shut, the one-heart watch page-by- page, chapter-

By-chapter many lives unfold; and the one-heart is

Left to wonder if re-written would a new story be

Told.

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

ooOOoo

Beautiful, if also poignant, and it speaks of the journeys we are all taking.

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree.

For the last day of August a very special post.

I came upon Elizabeth when she left a comment to my post on the 26th August, The science of dog learning.

This is what she wrote:

Reblogged this on The Last Chapter and commented:
Please visit Paul’s website, something new to read and learn each day. Thank you Paul for bringing your site to the blogging world.

Naturally, I replied:

Elizabeth, thank you for leaving your response, and thank you so much for your republication of my post. I read a little about yourself and, I must say, found it fascinating. And your poem The Last Chapter – wow!

Now I will hopefully republish The Last Chapter for another day. (And I have now heard that I have permission to republish it!)

But today, I want to publish the words of Elizabeth in writing about her dear, dear, recently departed dog.

ooOOoo

Mason Murphree

A tribute

Mason Murphee

Mason Murphree was born on January 31, 2012; what can one say about Mason, I bought him off the back of a pick-up truck, only two pups left out of the litter I held both in my hands as they lay upon my chest; one yellow and the other white.  I did not see their mother or father; I was told that the father was Bichon Frise and his mother Shih Tzu.  The white one instantly begins to crawl into my sports bra, nuzzled himself against my warm flesh and I was instantly in love.

I did not believe that he was six-weeks-old he was still wobbly on his feet when trying to walk.  I made him what the old folks call a “Sugar Tit”, a rag rolled on the end tightly and the tip soaked in warm sweet milk.  I fed him laying on his back in my hand for a week, the second week I started him on baby food.  Then, what I thought to be the seventh-week, he begins to walk with unsteady confidence and I thought was ready for the big world around him.

I found quickly that he had a set of razor-sharp teeth, yep, time for the hard bits of puppy food.  I took him to the Vet when I brought him home, and he was given an “A” in health.  But, I am getting ahead of myself.  When I brought him home I sat him on a potty pad he used until he was six-months-old, then he discovered grass.  I might add that in the nine years he was with me he never did his business in the house.

Alas, it was his six-month birthday, and his first time to the groomer, which I found that he had to be calmed down by medicine to get groomed.  It was not too long until the Vet announced that he was out of this world’s atmosphere with anxiety.  He had “MaMa” withdrawal big time when he was not with me.  He would bark for half-an-hour before settling down to wait for me to come back from the store, gym, or anywhere I had gone!  He disliked children, anyone less than teenagers.  He loved every adult he met.  He begins life attached to my hip and me to his.

Mason loved paper products; he would wait patiently to see if anyone would drop a Kleenex, paper towel, or napkin.  The pursuit would begin chasing a four-legged speed demon around the floor, me never winning.  We called him the Tasmanian devil, and he looked like it when he tried to defend his catch of the day.  It was impossible to go on vacation without him; he would stay with one of his two-legged siblings.  Of course, that was only for one day, he would accept his situation for about twenty-four-hours, then once again turn into the Tasmanian devil, the telephones would ring trying to find him another place to stay, he traveled back and forth from house to house until my return.  A chore to his brothers and sisters, but finally he must have thought he had caused enough trouble for me to return home, and he did.

He loved everyone he met except children, let me explain; when he was six-months-old I took him to the park.  On the playground were about a dozen small children, when they spied him, they came running.  He jumped up for me to protect him, and that was that.  He loved his favorite human friends and his family.

He was the best companion anyone could have; his personality was so individual those who would see him thought he would start talking at any moment.  He look intently at you when you were talking, always smiling.  He thought he was a Great Dane when in his protection mode, but a clap of lighting and boisterous thunder would send him under my feet.  He loved to walk; he loved all the trees on his block and several other blocks.

I won’t describe Mason’s death other than it was quick and painless, he got to spend one day saying good-bye to his two-legged brothers and sisters.  We covered our faces and our tears and sadness until we walked away, he knew.  As his MaMa, I watched him go from a lively, wonderful, sweet little dog to one that was holding on to every minute waiting for his family to arrive.  There are not enough words for me to describe the heartache and loneliness with him gone.

My heart feels much like a patchwork quilt, many little pieces sewn back together after being shattered.  Saying good-bye, he took a piece of my heart and soul with him.  I know that I will see him again, that is the only thing I have to hold on to this moment.   And, that is how I am living my life one moment at a time until I see my four-legged fur baby again.  He loved and he was loved.

Sweet dreams little boy.

ooOOoo

How we become so attached to our dogs. Elizabeth not only was beautifully attached to Mason but also wrote perfect words in her tribute.

So who is Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree?

This is her biography but it doesn’t really tell me who she is; in a feeling, living, emotional sense. I suspect one has to read her writings to learn more.

Born in Alabama to a Native American father and an emotionally absent mother.
Raised by her father, her Native American Great-grandmother, her Aunt, and an African-American woman, all magnificent storytellers.  Her childhood was filled with listening to the stories her great-grandmother would tell about the grandfathers and grandmothers that perished on the Trail of Tears, of she and the grandmother living in the slave quarters in northern Alabama.
Aunt Francis needed a home when her son went to prison, she would tell the stories of her parents being slaves and how she survived the Civil War.  Aunt Vina, her father’s sister a fantastic storyteller; she could bring together characters and build a story that would have you at the edge of your chair, only to find it was all fiction.
As a child, Elizabeth ran free in the woods, fields, and the caves below Burleson Mountain where she grew up.  Elizabeth has been writing all of her life, seriously since 2010.  She has published a memoir about her daughter who passed in 2010; a small coffee table book filled with pictures of her precious Mason, and ten books of poetry.  Her poetry is filled with happiness, sadness, spirit, and anger. The memoir is the private life of her daughter, living with bipolar, and schizophrenia.  The books of poetry range from light to darkness that appeared during the creation of each book.

That is a special post, as I said at the start.

I look forward immensely to sharing with you Elizabeth’s poetry.