Category: Art

Connections

Funny how things flow at times.

In yesterday’s post about the cleverness of chickens, John Zande, a long-time friend of this place, left this remark:

I have a marvellous blogging friend in New Mexico who has Rufina, a chicken who was shot in the head, sealed in a plastic bag, placed in a freezer for 24hrs, and lived! (albeit now blind).

I have a framed poster of Rufina up in my living room, and even one her feathers perched in one of my many, many, many St. Francis’s

Here’s the Huffington Post article on her

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/zombie-chicken-freezer-alive_n_5675615.html

And here’s Laura’s first post on this gorgeous creature.

https://liveclayart.com/2013/06/24/the-undead-chicken

Then in response to me wanting to republish that story replied: “Contact her, she’s wonderful, and her pottery is to die for.

So I did and, with Laura’s permission here is that story of this most remarkable chicken.

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The Undead Chicken

by Laura Bruzzese, June 24th, 2013

rufinaThis is Rufina. She’s new to our household.

She’s quiet and doesn’t take up much space, mostly sits on her perch or in her ceramic nest all day. She moves around slowly. If you are really gentle, she lets you pick her up.

We sit by the pond together in the morning, before everyone else gets up.

rufina1Last Thursday, I answered a friend’s call on Facebook for someone to take this chicken. Isabella and I drove to my friend’s house in the South Valley, put her in a bin, and brought her home. I didn’t think she’d actually still be alive today.

My friend had posted this story Thursday morning:

The neighbor gave us fresh chickens last night for cooking up. He shot them in the head with gun and handed them over the fence. We bagged them and put in freezer for today. Evan gets home, opens freezer and one bird is perched fully alive, very cold, and pissed off.
Chase ensues… !! We now have a blind undead chicken in our yard.

Anybody want it?

I’m not sure why anyone would shoot chickens in the head.

But when I read the story, I couldn’t help but admire this chicken’s tenacity. She is courageous. She made her way out of a plastic bag inside a freezer and survived for thirty-six hours. After being shot in the head.  I figured any animal that fought that hard to live deserved a little help, if only for a day or two.

The chicken hasn’t made any effort to eat like a normal chicken. Because, of course, she can’t see where to peck. (There isn’t much point in force-feeding a blind chicken.) But she does drink, so I’ve started blending up borrowed chicken food and water and giving her that. She seems content, grooming herself sometimes, showing no signs of pain or anxiety. And still, she will die.

But until then, we will enjoy each of her borrowed mornings by the pond, the sound of birds and running water, the sun on her feathers, expecting nothing.

I’m not sure why I have a blind, undead chicken in my studio. But here is one of my favorite poems, by Laura Gilpin.

The Two-Headed Calf

Tomorrow when the farm boys find this
freak of nature, they will wrap his body
in newspaper and carry him to the museum.

But tonight he is alive and in the north
field with his mother. It is a perfect
summer evening: the moon rising over
the orchard, the wind in the grass. And
as he stares into the sky, there are
twice as many stars as usual.

[Epilogue]

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Now if you think that was remarkable then let me share what Laura posted a few weeks later, linked to via her Epilogue above.

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The Miracle of Re-Birth

by Laura Bruzzese, July 11th, 2013

Good news: it’s been three weeks since the attempted murder of Rufina, and she continues to dwell among the living!

rufina2After loads of eye care, foot washing, antibiotics, food and vitamins, she has gained weight and is learning to find food and water by herself. Her remaining eye looks normal again but is still blind (I was hoping for a miracle), and the place of its former pair seems to have reached its majority in terms of healing–no eye, but no skin, either. Just a weird,  green spot surrounded by red skin that looks not unlike a tiny sun-dried tomato.

But that does not prevent her daily forays into the garden where she walks around with her head craned forward to “feel” where she’s going, and from exhibiting other persisting chicken qualities that seem to evidence a contented life.

rufinaagainI’m still surprised, and slightly in awe of this traumatized chicken who is satisfied to reside indefinitely on my studio porch. Shiny, happy chicken.

And so far, Velma the Rascally Whippet has not been the nuisance I was afraid she might be, but instead, a proud example of a bird-dog in defiance of her own natural instincts (save for one minor incident involving a tail feather. That was still attached to Rufina.). Perhaps Velma knows they are kindred spirits, she herself having survived a scary encounter with the Great Beyond earlier this year.

velmaThanks to everyone who has contributed free chicken advice, food, ER and vet consults, and even a couple of adorable, surprise chicks* (!) to keep Rufina company.

chicks*Chicks will unfortunately be dispatched to some other venue because they are exploiting their sighted advantage: stealing food out of Rufina’s mouth, crowding the water dish, and mocking her by constantly blinking and sticking their tongues out.  Also, they are filthy little creatures that walk in their own poop and then jump on me.

And finally, what’s in a name? When it became clear that chicken might live, I thought I should name her, and Rufina was the first thing that popped into my head. A few days later, I googled it to see what came up. This is what I found on Wiki:

Saints Justa and Rufina (Ruffina) (Spanish: Santa Justa y Santa Rufina) are venerated as martyrs. They are said to have been martyred at Hispalis (Seville) during the 3rd century.

Their legend states that they were sisters and natives of Seville who made fine earthenware pottery for a living, with which they supported themselves and many of the city’s poor. Justa was born in 268 AD, Rufina in 270 AD, of a poor but pious Christian family. During a pagan festival, they refused to sell their wares for use in these celebrations. In anger, locals broke all of their dishes and pots. Justina and Rufina retaliated by smashing an image of Venus.

The city’s prefect, Diogenianus, ordered them to be imprisoned. Failing to convince them to renounce their faith, he had them tortured on the rack and with iron hooks. This method also having failed, they were imprisoned, where they suffered from hunger and thirst.

They were then asked to walk barefoot to the Sierra Morena; when this did not break their resolve, they were imprisoned without water or food. Justa died first. Her body, thrown into a well, was later recovered by the bishop Sabinus. Diogenianus believed that the death of Justa would break the resolve of Rufina. However, Rufina refused to renounce her faith and was thus thrown to the lions. The lion in the amphitheatre, however, refused to attack Rufina, remaining as docile as a house cat. Infuriated, Diogenianus had Rufina strangled or beheaded and her body burned. Her body was also recovered by Sabinus and buried alongside her sister in 287 AD.

Old Master Paintings Sale Sotheby's, London - July, 4 , 2007 Velazquez (1599 - 1660) Saint Rufina Estimate: 6,000,000 - 8,000,000 Copyright in this image shall remain vested in Sotheby’s. Please note that this image may depict subject matter which is itself protected by separate copyright. Sotheby’s makes no representations as to whether the underlying subject matter is subject to its own copyright, or as to who might hold such copyright. It is the borrower's responsibility to obtain any relevant permissions from the holder(s) of any applicable copyright and Sotheby’s supplies this image expressly subject to this responsibility.
Saint Rufina, by Velázquez. See the likeness?? She’s even carrying a giant feather!

Just another name? Perhaps. Or: a dark-haired Spaniard and a Italian-New Mexican, two Christian potters separated by centuries, a saint, a chicken, and an ordinary human united in an extraordinary coincidence of the undead.

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Follow that!

Well I can’t but John Zande can.

For he was the first to leave a comment to Laura’s Rebirth post:

Here, i feel this song is in order. Listen carefully to the words, and who is singing them.

Including the following in his comment.

Revisiting the language of love.

That is the language of love spoken by our beautiful dogs.

The present unreliability of our internet connection prompted me to think about re-posting whatever I had posted exactly a year ago. It only took me a minute to look it up and, bingo, what a perfect topic for these wintry days.

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As our dear dogs speak it.

You will recall that last Friday I featured an item under the title of Private First Class Lingo. The item had been brought to my attention by Constance Frankland.

Well here’s another really special story that Constance came across on a website called Arditor and I wanted to share it with you.

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The Language of Love

love8 Ways Your Dog is Saying I Love You

Although dogs don’t speak our language, they are constantly trying to tell us that they love us and always showing love through their actions. Unfortunately, many shrug their shoulders or get annoyed over their dogs’ love gestures.
Here are 8 ways your dog is saying “I love you”…

waggingTail Wagging

Similar to a cat, a dog’s tail is a communication tool. In fact it is sometimes more accurate in translating its emotions than barking. Held at different positions, a dog’s wag could communicate excitement, fear, threat or submission. If your dog’s tail is held in a relaxed position and wagging all together with its entire butt, it means it is very happy to see you.

lickingFace Licking

Warm, sticky, wet and stinky! We know this can get annoying but licking a person’s face is a love gesture from a dog. Dogs lick faces for a few reasons. Mainly, if your pet dog is licking your face, he is trying to groom you! Grooming is an intimate gesture only done after a strong connection is made between dogs (so now you know he sees you as one of his kind). On the other hand, if a stranger dog licks your face, it is simply trying to say that he is harmless and friendly.

following3Following You Wherever You Go

This is another behaviour that can get on your nerves, especially when your dog attempts to follow you to work! However, it is only a dog’s way to show his love, devotion and loyalty to you. Wherever you are, that is where your dog wants to be. Dogs are extreme social creatures and unlike humans, there is no need for solitude.

Sheltie sleeping with her ownerSleeping with You

Similar to wild wolve packs, wild dogs curl up together to sleep in the night. Rather than sleeping alone in his designated corner, your dog prefers to snuggle right next to you in your bed. If you catch your dog sneaking onto your bed or falling asleep next to you in your couch, it implies that you are his family.

smilingSmiling

It is no surprise when you see something like a smile on your dog. Dogs do smile too! Research has found that dogs can also show and use facial expressions similar to how humans do. A dog’s smile is another way of showing his love and joy to his owner. Having said that, most of us are guilty of not recognizing our dog’s smile.

crotchCrotch Sniffing

Argh, this is an embarrassing one and how we wished our dogs can quit going around sniffing crotches. But before you start screaming at your dog, try to understand it. This behaviour is in fact a dog’s perculiar way of greeting. More importantly, apart from a hello, it allows the dog to understand and remember you through your scent.

sickTaking Care of You When You are Sick

Does your dog stay by your bed and watch you the whole time while you are nursing a flu? This is its natural instinct to care for a sick or wounded family member, just as they would in the wild. A dog extends its love and care to its sick or injured owner by quietly and patiently watching over him/her. But make sure you hide any superficial wounds away from your dog! It might actually lick your wound as its form of first aid.

leaning2Leaning on You

Whether you are sitting or standing, your dog is leaning on you and wouldn’t budge. You can’t move and you can’t get on with your daily routine. While you are wondering what they are up to, your dog has already got what they needed: your attention. Getting your attention and giving you their attention by leaning on you is their way of showing affection. Next time this happens, stop what you are doing and reciprocate with some love.

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This turned out to be more of a Sunday Picture Parade but it seemed too special to hold it from you until the weekend.

No, our dogs don’t speak a language that we humans would recognise as such but, nonetheless, our dogs communicate in ways that still are as magical and special as our human poetry.

Speaking of poetry, let me close today’s post with this.

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Wherever you are in the world, with or without a dog in your life, please embrace the power of love.

Resolutions

In twenty-four hours time it will be January 1st, 2017.

I saw the following recently on the Care2 website and thought that at many levels it would make a wonderful closing post for 2016.

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Seven New Year’s Resolutions to Protect Animals in 2017

3197109-largeBy: s.e. smith December 29, 2016

We’re about to turn over a new leaf on a new year — something I think we’re all pretty excited about — and it’s a good time to sit back, take stock, and think about what we want to do for ourselves, and the world, in 2017.

New year’s resolutions don’t have to be big and fancy, and sometimes they work best when they’re small and manageable, so I rounded up seven totally free ways you can help animals next year, from something you can do weekly (like writing letters) to bigger projects (like fostering animals).

1) Keep an eagle eye on upcoming animal-related legislation.

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Photo credit: Anthony

Chances are that there’s some animal-related regulation coming your way in 2017 on the local, state and even federal level. This includes laws and ordinances as well as rules, regulations and executive orders. You can make a big difference by weighing in on these issues — sometimes, surprisingly few members of the public comment!

You can take advantage of resources for animal welfare groups and sites like Care2 to keep track of big upcoming government actions. You may want to call or write to support legislation, to ask that it be more robust, or to oppose it, depending on the contents. For legislation, you need to contact your elected official to explain how you feel and provide a concrete action to take, like “Please cosponsor this bill” or “please vote against this bill.” Rules and regulations are opened to public comment by the agencies making them, allowing you to speak at public meetings or submit written comments.

The Federal Register is a great place to search for upcoming regulations — it’s a little bit intimidating at first, but don’t let that put you off!

2) Don’t be sheepish — speak up about nonlethal solutions to predators and pests.

Photo credit: Lennart Tange
Photo credit: Lennart Tange

No matter where you live, there’s probably a battle brewing over feral cats, mountain lions, raccoons, coyotes, skunks, alligators, or someone else from the non-human world who’s getting squeezed by human incursion into its habitat. Historically, many areas have favored a lethal response to animals deemed “pests.” You can change that — and you already are, across the country. When you see animals on the agenda, speak up to request investigation into a nonlethal solution to a problem.

For example, maybe a feral cat colony is causing controversy in the community. You can talk about how responsible colony management should control numbers and limit annoying smells. You could also discuss how research shows that TNR can be more effective at long-term colony management than just trapping and removing cats — in Florida, they found that doing this just allowed other predators to move in, creating an even bigger headache!

Come backed with research and evidence, rather than emotion. You can look to advocacy groups for their data, but also explore scientific papers, and see how other municipalities are dealing with the same problem, because they may have tips to share.

3) Lend a paw at a local animal welfare organizations.

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Photo credit: Chris Perriman

Animal welfare groups can always use volunteer help. At the shelter, they don’t just need a hand with cuddling cats, walking dogs, and handling other species. They need all kinds of help, from more boring stuff like cleaning and filing to web design, social media management, legal counseling, accounting, event planning, and much more. Even something as simple as taking your camera (or your photography class) to the shelter once a week to photograph everyone who’s looking for a home can make a huge difference. It turns out that great shelter photos save lives!

Advocacy groups that don’t run shelters or don’t have one in your area also need help. Lots of mundane office stuff is time consuming, and volunteers can make it go more smoothly, whether you’re stuffing envelopes or answering phones. If you have special training or skills, offer those too, especially if you’re willing to get into a long-term relationship with the group. Pro-bono legal services, for example, are incredibly valuable. Your graphic design skills could help them relaunch an impressive, gorgeous website. You get the idea!

4) Don’t duck the issues — teach youth about animal welfare issues.

Photo credit: Danny Chapman
Photo credit: Danny Chapman

Many kids love animals, and the best time to hit people with humane messages is when they’re young. Some organizations actually offer humane educator training to help people learn about how to communicate with children about animal welfare issues. Humane educators can lead classes and mentor kids in the community, whether they’re taking people on bird walks and teaching them about ecology or working with kids who are learning to ride horses to teach them how to handle their mounts respectfully and kindly.

If you already are an educator, consider working humane topics into your curriculum. If you’re not, look into what might be required to teach classes at a community center, mentor students in programs like 4-H and FFA, lead educational sessions at a local museum (another great volunteer opportunity!), or come into classrooms with presentations. You may need some training and a background check to work with youth, but once you’re squared away, you can establish lasting relationships with teachers and schools to introduce humane coursework to the classroom and beyond.

5) You’ve goat mail — or at least, someone will after you write a letter on behalf of animals!

Photo credit: Holly Occhipinti
Photo credit: Holly Occhipinti

Once a week — or every two weeks, or once a month — resolve to sit down and write a letter. It doesn’t have to be an epic, and you can establish a template, but pick a specific person to target, and go to town. Maybe you want to write a letter-to-the-editor once a month about an animal issue in your community that you’re concerned about. Perhaps you want to write a letter to a corporation to ask them to stop, or start, a practice related to animals — like dropping animal testing, or introducing tougher humane standards to the supply chain.

Keep your letter concise, polite and actionable. Explain why you’re writing, the basis for your concern, the solution you’re recommending and why. You can appeal to issues like cost efficiency, making your town more attractive for visitors, compassion for animals (that’s why we’re here, after all!), falling in line with industry-wide practices, setting an example for others, or any number of other things. Present a clear case for what you’re arguing so that the person reading your letter is moved to act, and has something to bring to other people while trying to convince them to get involved.

6) Be a mother hen — foster somebody in need.

Photo credit: normanack
Photo credit: normanack

If you can’t adopt more animals or don’t have room for a full-time friend in your life, consider fostering. Fostering saves lives, getting animals who can’t handle shelter stress or who need a little extra care to a safe place where they can unwind and grow into themselves. Some shelters have foster programs, and many animal welfare groups do — some run almost entirely on fosters, in fact!

Generally, participants in a foster program are provided with food, medication and veterinary expenses to keep things low-key for you. If you have a spare room, fostering can be a great fit for your life, although watch out for foster fail! (When that kitten you swore you were just fostering is still lying on the living room rug ten years later, you are definitely a victim of foster fail.)

When fostering, be honest about what you can and cannot take on: For example, if you have a barn, you might be able to handle horses and sheep, but not notoriously mischievous and curious goats. You might not be able to take a kitten who needs constant feeding, or a dog that has aggression issues.

That said, if you can stretch your comfort zone, do. Some animals need a little extra care because they’ve had a hard life. That makes them vulnerable to euthanasia, and a foster can make all the difference. Things like giving animals fluids or medications, managing diapers, or handling other vet stuff might sound scary, but it’s pretty easy to get the hang of it.

7) Don’t have a cow — on your plate or anywhere else.

Photo credit: Nicolas Vigier
Photo credit: Nicolas Vigier

We saved the easiest for last, because chances are that you’re already well on your way with this one. When it comes to what you eat, consider cutting animal products — or at least meat — out of your life. You’ll save a ton of suffering, and also, a ton of money, if you’re trying to cut back in 2017.

If you can’t cut animal products out entirely, consider moderating: Meatless Mondays are popular, for example! Something else that really works for me is a soup exchange — a group of us make huge batches of vegan soup and share them out once a month, so there’s always a go-to vegan meal hanging out in my fridge or freezer when I need it!

While you’re at it, think about what you wear and use, too. Leather is an obvious source of animal suffering, but some people also like to avoid fibers like wool and cashmere (cashmere also comes with a big environmental price tag). You’d also be surprised by where animal products sneak in, from bodycare products to that goop you waterproof your shoes with. (No really. Go look.)

And, of course, cutting animal testing out of your life is valuable too. Growing numbers of cosmetics are produced without the use of animal testing, though it’s always a good idea to independently verify to see if a company is skirting labeling conventions. For example, some companies say “made without animal testing” because they don’t test ingredients on animals, but third party contractors do. Ugh!

If you take medication, you’re caught in the animal testing trap — but it’s worth writing the manufacturer, as well as the FDA, which governs drug testing, to push for alternatives to animal testing so that you have cruelty free options for your health care needs.

You can also make your preference for cruelty free medical supplies clear to your health care providers as well, as they may be able to recommend alternatives if they’re aware that this is a concern for you. (For example, some sutures are made from animal products, which is weird and creepy, and pig valves are used in some valve replacement surgeries. Gross, right?)

Photo credit: Tracy

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All that is required from me is to hope that every one of you has a peaceful and healthy New Year.

A Very Happy Christmas

To all of you and your families and loved ones.

I saw this post below on a blog site that was new to me. It was just called Lady Fi. It simply reached out to me in the most beautiful and peaceful manner and seemed like the perfect re-posting (with LadyFi’s permission) for today: December 25th.

Can’t add anything more to who LadyFi is other than what she writes on her About page.

So, you want to know who I am? Well, you’ll get a pretty good idea from reading my blog. But, in brief:

A Brit living in Sweden since 1996. Came here as a so-called love immigrant.

Have got two small kids and good supply of ear plugs.

Husband is like a third child and the dog is like the fourth.

Blessed with an ironic sense of humour.

Scriptwriter, textbook writer and translator (Swedish into English).

Here’s that post.

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Paws for thought

13 December is Lucia – one of my favourite times of year.

Lucia is all about children dressed in white and carrying candles

To symbolize hope and light in the darkness.

ablazeThe dawn that day didn’t disappoint either.

It blazed with light and colour,

So that dogs (and people) seemed small and humble

Under the huge lilac sky;

dogsinpurpleAnd paw prints were etched across a purple

Canopy of snow – leading the eye

To that glorious sky of hope.

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(I believe these pictures came from the Skywatch site.)

Trusting that for all of us your Christmas period and the whole year to follow offer endless visions of such stillness, peace and beauty.

In recognition of our mothers.

A month ago this day my mother died.

Not long before my mother died we contracted with a local landscaper, Leif Monchallin, to do quite an extensive improvement to the area of land that is to the front of the house. One of the improvements is putting in a dry-stone wall at the top of the driveway just before it splits into a turning circle. The photograph below shows the early stages of that wall.

p1160682Anyway, Jeannie came up with the idea of putting in some sort of engraved stone right in the centre of the wall. Leif knew of a local stone mason, Oregon Valley Sign Company, and off Jean and I went to meet Bryan Schram, who with his wife, run the business.

Bryan Sch at work
Bryan Schram at work.

Between the three of us we came up with a form of words that seemed highly appropriate.

But first off Jean and I had to locate a suitable stone for the engraving and take it over to Bryan’s premises.

Once that was done then it was about a week before we went to collect the engraved stone with the lettering also painted (that was Bryan’s wife’s area of expertise).

Finally, Leif placed the engraved stone in the wall after taking meticulous care to ensure it was perfectly positioned.

Here’s the result.

p1160722My mother was a musician and music teacher for most of her life and Jeannie’s Mum, Florence, was a great lover of music and dancing. Hence the clefs either side of the wording.

A rather special reminder of our mothers; don’t you think!

Pure, unconditional love.

Giving from the heart; in this case a dog’s heart.

As many readers know we have nine dogs here at home, divided into the ‘kitchen’ group (Paloma, Casey and Ruby) and the ‘bedroom’ group (Pharaoh, Brandy, Cleo, Sweeny, Pedy and Oliver). Inevitably the latter group are closer to us because they share the bulk of the home with Jeannie and me, and sleep in our bedroom. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the kitchen group are any less affectionate than the bedroom group it’s just that, for me especially, I am able to be emotionally and physically closer to our bedroom group because for most of the hours of each day they are close to me.

Brandy, Cleo and Oliver seem to be incredibly sensitive to Jeannie’s and my feelings. If something makes me cry then one of them will be next to me in seconds. When Jeannie and I hug, Oliver will stand on his rear legs, place his front legs on our bodies above our waists and act as if he is hugging us. Even the mention of the word “out” has Cleo running to the front door.

So many more examples but you get the drift!

Last Friday The Washington Post published a heart-breaking story. It concerned a young man, just 33-years-old, who was dying from a brain hemorrhage. Here’s an extract from that story:

Ryan Thomas Jessen had gone to the hospital for what he thought was a migraine, but it turned out to be a brain hemorrhage, his sister, Michelle Jessen, wrote on Facebook earlier this month.

The hemorrhage, which doctors believe may have been brought on by high blood pressure, would prove fatal.

But before Jessen died, the 33-year-old Californian’s family wanted to let his dog, Mollie, see him one last time.

Michelle Jessen filmed that last visit by Mollie and, as one might expect, the video has been shared right across the world.

So very often words come so difficult when one wants to reflect on what we have just watched.

Which is why I’m allowing Jimmy Stewart to make it easier.

He never came to me when I would call

Unless I had a tennis ball,

Or he felt like it,

But mostly he didn’t come at all.

When he was young

He never learned to heel

Or sit or stay,

He did things his way.

Discipline was not his bag

But when you were with him things sure didn’t drag.

He’d dig up a rosebush just to spite me,

And when I’d grab him, he’d turn and bite me.

He bit lots of folks from day to day,

The delivery boy was his favorite prey.

The gas man wouldn’t read our meter,

He said we owned a real man-eater.

He set the house on fire

But the story’s long to tell.

Suffice it to say that he survived

And the house survived as well.

On the evening walks, and Gloria took him,

He was always first out the door.

The Old One and I brought up the rear

Because our bones were sore.

He would charge up the street with Mom hanging on,

What a beautiful pair they were!

And if it was still light and the tourists were out,

They created a bit of a stir.

But every once in a while, he would stop in his tracks

And with a frown on his face look around.

It was just to make sure that the Old One was there

And would follow him where he was bound.

We are early-to-bedders at our house — I guess I’m the first to retire.

And as I’d leave the room he’d look at me

And get up from his place by the fire.

He knew where the tennis balls were upstairs,

And I’d give him one for a while.

He would push it under the bed with his nose

And I’d fish it out with a smile.

And before very long He’d tire of the ball

And be asleep in his corner In no time at all.

And there were nights when I’d feel him Climb upon our bed

And lie between us,

And I’d pat his head.

And there were nights when I’d feel this stare

And I’d wake up and he’d be sitting there

And I reach out my hand and stroke his hair.

And sometimes I’d feel him sigh and I think I know the reason why.

He would wake up at night

And he would have this fear

Of the dark, of life, of lots of things,

And he’d be glad to have me near.

And now he’s dead.

And there are nights when I think I feel him

Climb upon our bed and lie between us,

And I pat his head.

And there are nights when I think I feel that stare

And I reach out my hand to stroke his hair,

But he’s not there.

Oh, how I wish that wasn’t so,

I’ll always love a dog named Beau.

There is no love without pain,

But to have lived without the love of a dog in one’s life would be not to have lived at all.

Our dear, dear dogs!

The poetry of love.

Happy Birthday to my darling Jeannie.

A million stars up in the sky
one shines brighter I can’t deny
A love so precious a love so true
a love that comes from me to you
The angels sing when you are near
within your arms I have nothing to fear
You always know just what to say
just talking to you makes my day
I love you honey with all of my heart
together forever and never to part.

Million Stars over Ayers Rock (Uluru)
Million Stars over Ayers Rock (Uluru)

(Poem source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/from-my-heart)