The last few days have been sidetracking me from writing the blog. Apart from editing my third book The One We Feed and dealing with critical fire conditions and hoping with all our hearts for the rain due on Friday night to materialise, and … You get the message!
Anyway, The Dodo came up with a lovely snippet on the 20th August. Here it is:
Diner Spots A Guy Out On The Sweetest Date With His Dog
The other day, Gemma Colón stopped by a restaurant in New York City to grab a bite. But the visit ended up satisfying more than just her appetite.
“I was presented with one of the most unexpectedly heartwarming views,” Colón told The Dodo. “I noticed this dog seated across from his owner, perched up on a chair, acting like an absolute proper gentleman.”
The dog and his owner were apparently on a date.
Colón was fortunate enough to be seated in view of the adorable pair — basking the sight of the good thing they have going.
“[The man] was doing a crossword puzzle and sipping a glass of red wine with his meal. His date (the dog) was enjoying his own bowl of water, which he slurped politely,” Colón said. “It was really amazing how well-behaved the pup was. I saw better table manners displayed by this dog than I’ve seen from some humans.”
While the man and his dog dined, Colón saw other patrons smile at the sweet scene as well. No one had the heart to interrupt their meal to comment on their cuteness, but Colón did overhear an exchange with their server — revealing that this wasn’t just a one-off outing.
“I heard a waitress comment on how good the dog was at one point, and the man replied saying he brings the dog with him everywhere,” Colón said. “It definitely seemed like a very pleasant date, with lovely company.”
This is really a delightful story but it isn’t surprising. Because dogs that are loved and cared for by us humans are so loving and caring in return. As the waitress heard the man brings his dog everywhere. He is never separated from the dog.
For the first day of September I wanted to change the topic to an item that was recently published by The Conversation.
Space has always been fascinating to me. One of my enduring memories was standing on the roof of my Land Rover in 1969 during a long journey around the interior of Australia. We were in the Nullabor desert and it was flat, and lonely, for miles and miles. This particular night I clambered up onto the roof and just took in the night sky. There was not a single spot of human-caused light pollution and the night sky was beautiful beyond words.
Later on when I was sailing I used to regard the North Star as my friend.
Above the atmosphere is space. It’s called that because it has far fewer molecules, with lots of empty space between them.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel to outer space – and then keep going? What would you find? Scientists like me are able to explain a lot of what you’d see. But there are some things we don’t know yet, like whether space just goes on forever.
Planets, stars and galaxies
At the beginning of your trip through space, you might recognize some of the sights. The Earth is part of a group of planets that all orbit the Sun – with some orbiting asteroids and comets mixed in, too.
You might know that the Sun is actually just an average star, and looks bigger and brighter than the other stars only because it is closer. To get to the next nearest star, you would have to travel through trillions of miles of space. If you could ride on the fastest space probe NASA has ever made, it would still take you thousands of years to get there.
If stars are like houses, then galaxies are like cities full of houses. Scientists estimate there are 100 billion stars in Earth’s galaxy. If you could zoom out, way beyond Earth’s galaxy, those 100 billion stars would blend together – the way lights of city buildings do when viewed from an airplane.
If you could watch for long enough, over millions of years, it would look like new space is gradually being added between all the galaxies. You can visualize this by imagining tiny dots on a deflated balloon and then thinking about blowing it up. The dots would keep moving farther apart, just like the galaxies are.
Is there an end?
If you could keep going out, as far as you wanted, would you just keep passing by galaxies forever? Are there an infinite number of galaxies in every direction? Or does the whole thing eventually end? And if it does end, what does it end with?
One way to think about this is to picture a globe, and imagine that you are a creature that can move only on the surface. If you start walking any direction, east for example, and just keep going, eventually you would come back to where you began. If this were the case for the universe, it would mean it is not infinitely big – although it would still be bigger than you can imagine.
In either case, you could never get to the end of the universe or space. Scientists now consider it unlikely the universe has an end – a region where the galaxies stop or where there would be a barrier of some kind marking the end of space.
But nobody knows for sure. How to answer this question will need to be figured out by a future scientist.
Mikayla Sengle and her boyfriend, Anthony Noto, weren’t planning on adopting a dog. But when Wylie suddenly came into their lives, it seemed meant to be.
Last month, Noto was on his way home from work when he passed by a dog park near an apartment complex. In the back of the park, a white and brown pittie sat all alone, looking confused.
As Noto approached the dog, he noticed that he wasn’t wearing a collar and looked a bit banged up.
“He looked lost, but at the same time, he seemed like he was on a mission to find something,” Noto told The Dodo. “When I walked over towards where my work truck was, he came up [to me] all innocent with his head down, seeing if I’d accept him.”
“Maybe I was what he was looking for,” he added.
Noto slipped a loose rope around the pup’s neck and walked him around the area trying to find his owner. But when no one recognized the dog, Noto put him in his truck and drove him home.
The pup didn’t seem to want to upset his new friends and was determined to show Sengle and Noto that he had the best manners.
“With people, he would wait for them to give the OK to lick and pay attention to people,” Sengle told The Dodo. “He seemed extremely relieved and happy. He got a bath and some treats as soon as he came home.”
“He instantly would look at my boyfriend for permission for everything,” Sengle added. “When he got home and ran in the yard, he was thrilled. It seemed like he never experienced the opportunity to be free and fun.”
The first night, Wylie slept in bed between his rescuers, as if to make sure they wouldn’t leave him. And he’d never been more comfortable and happy in his life.
Sengle posted on social media searching for the dog’s family, but when she finally received a response, it broke her heart.
“A young girl reached out to us and basically said that it was her friend’s dog and [her friend] had seen the post and said she no longer wanted him anymore because he was annoying,” Sengle said. “She even begged us not to give him back if they did reach out to us because they used to hit him and were not nice to him.”
Sengle and Noto kept Wylie for the five-day stray hold, giving the owners time to claim him. But when the week was up, there was no question that he was staying with them — forever.
Sengle and Noto thought their family was complete, but now they can’t believe that they got so lucky.
“He is a very sweet dog and a great companion,” Sengle said. “My boyfriend and him grew a bond almost instantly. He slept right in between us the first night we got him and from then on, we knew in our hearts he was our dog.”
All photographs by Mikala Sengle.
It shows again how quickly a dog can open up the heart strings of us humans. As Single and Noto remarked above, they now can’t believe they were so lucky. It’s how we feel about our dogs. It’s how countless others feel about their many, many four-legged loved ones!
I was sorting through some papers over the weekend and I came across something that I wrote on the 14th September, 2007.
Let me explain.
2007 was a very important year for me. I had barely got over the fact that my ex-wife had walked out on me the previous December 20th but had been given the revelation that my fear of rejection had been brought into my conscious state after having been unconscious for 50 years. This was a fantastic outcome from just one visit to a local psychotherapist.
I had been out to California in the summer to see Dan. His sister, Suzanne, had called by and invited me to come to Mexico for Christmas. I was unaware that this trip to Mexico was to change my life for the better in every imaginable way!
Anyway, back to my writings.
I am your dog and have something I would love to whisper in your ear. I know that you humans lead very busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise, some have to do this alone. It always seems like you are running here and there, often too fast, never noticing the truly grand things in life.
Look down at me now. While you sit at your computer. See the way my dark, brown eyes look at yours.
You smile at me. I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? A soul inside who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a single moment of moment of your time. That is al I ask. To slow down, if even for a few minutes, to be with me.
So many times you are saddened by others of my kind passing on.
Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, so suddenly that it wrenches your heart out of your throat. Sometimes, we age slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract-clouded eyes. Still the love is always there even we must take that last, long sleep dreaming of running free in a distant, open land.
I may not be here tomorrow. I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when the grief fills their souls, and you will mourn the loss of just ‘one more day’ with me. Because I love you so, this future sorrow even now touches my spirit and grieves me. I read you in so many ways that you cannot even start to contemplate.
We have now together. So come and sit next to me here on the floor and look deep into my eyes. What do you see? Do you see how if you look deeply at me we can talk, you and I, heart to heart. Come not to me as my owner but as a fellow living soul. Stroke my fur and let us look deep into the other’s eyes and talk with our hearts.
I may tell you something about the fun of working the scents in the woods where you and I go. Or I may tell you something profound about myself or how we dogs see life in general. I know you decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share things with. I know how much you have cared for me and always stood up for me even when others have been against me. That gift from you has been very precious to me. I know too that you have been through troubled times and I have been there to guard you, to protect you and to be there always for you. I am very different to you but here I am. I am your dog but just as alive as you.
I feel emotion. I feel physical senses. I can revel in the differences of our spirits and our souls. I do not think of you as a dog on two feet; I know what you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.
So, come and sit with me. Enter my world and let time slow down if only for a few minutes. Look deep into my eyes and whisper in my ears. Speak with your heart and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow but we do have now.
The anniversary of Pharaoh’s death in 2017 in this Friday, June 19th. He is still missed badly.
You don’t want me waffling on so I’m going straight over to Bela’s poem. It is called River Thoughts and was published on Bela’s website on the 24th May, 2021. With Bela’s permission, I should add!
The river thunders, to no applause in particular; rolls along, rippling and eddying without thought or expectation of feedback, though I can’t help but think all of nature thrives under an appreciative gaze;
We once watched endangered river otters cavorting in plain sight just under the bridge of a much larger river, we told no one; fishermen dislike that they are forced to share with these sleek creatures we thought dolphins, when first they caught our eyes, out of context, having come from Hawaii only recently;
Our smaller Vallecitos river is magnificent in its own right, rushing lifeblood to this struggling ranching community, altitude too high to receive much precipitation in liquid form, preferring the snows of winter, and those have been in shortfall for years now, water levels everywhere having dropped precipitously, and with the decline comes the invariable unrest in people dependent on the bounty of the land;
And so this rainy day is particularly welcomed while the dampness is in marked contrast to the bone dry of the region, and as a fire blazes in the hearth, ranch dogs lie fidgety like grammar school children forced inside for recess in inclement weather.
I am going to republish it. Please help if you can.
Tell the USDA to protect puppies
Dogs suffer horribly in puppy mills. What’s worse is that over the last four years, The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is charged with monitoring, citing and revoking licenses of these breeding facilities if they sell to pet stores, brokers or online, stopped taking their job of puppy mill enforcement seriously and the agency did not take all the necessary steps to make sure that standards of care are improved to ensure that puppy mill facilities meet the basic needs of happy and healthy dogs.
Enforcement has plummeted at USDA since 2017 and citations for violations are down more than 65%. But we have a new Administration leading the United States Department of Agriculture, one that has already promised that they are going to take animal care seriously. Now is our chance to send a message loud and clear: you must protect dogs and puppies and take puppy mill enforcement seriously, and you must ensure that standards of care are improved in puppy mills to meet the needs of the thousands of dogs living in those facilities.
TAKE ACTION Please send a brief, polite message to the USDA using the form provided.
I have a folder where I put items that I think would make a good post. I have 1,139 items at present. Now many of them have been shared with you but by no means all of them. They are a constant reminder of the many ways in which the dog has, and is, the perfect companion for us humans.
Take this story that was published in The Dodo in March.
This Boy’s Reunion With His Dog Will Totally Make Your Day
They never thought they’d see each other again ❤️
By Lily Feinn, Published on the 26th March, 2021
Earlier this month, a 10-year-old boy named Tyler Bandy got the best present he could ask for. As he walked in the door, he was immediately overwhelmed by love and kisses from an old friend — his dog, Bruiser.
In January, Bruiser, a gray and white pit bull, was on a walk when he ran after a rabbit and got lost.
The Bandy family did everything they could to try and locate Bruiser. They posted fliers around their Florida neighborhood, posted on Facebook, put out old clothes in front of their home so he could smell them and repeatedly checked their local animal control.
But as the weeks passed and no leads were found, the family was “starting to lose hope,” according to Tyler’s mom, Jamie Bandy.“
That’s when the phone rang,” the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. “Turns out their dog had been picked up by somebody on their way to Highlands County and, after a couple of months, it wound up in the hands of our animal services folks.”
A staff member at animal services thought the pup looked familiar and, after some digging on social media, she found out why. Bruiser was returned to his parents, but they kept his arrival secret so that they could surprise Tyler.
“To say Bruiser had a joyous homecoming would be putting it lightly,” the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office said.
You can watch the emotional reunion here:
Tyler was shocked when he came home and saw Bruiser, and both were overjoyed. Tyler immediately started sobbing and hugging his best friend, while Bruiser showered him with licks, wagging his tail as hard as possible.
“[Tyler] was simply overcome when his parents surprised him with his best friend,” the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office said. “The two have been inseparable since.”
Just another account of a young boy reunited with his dog. But then so much more than that. In this young man’s mind he had lost the one dear creature in his life. Perhaps made worse because Bruiser just disappeared one day. It was what we adults call unfinished business.
Then after a number of weeks fate stepped in and Bruiser was returned and Bruiser and Tyler were reunited. I am going to repeat that sentence towards the end of the piece which shows the response of Bruiser and Tyler. It just doesn’t get any better. “Tyler immediately started sobbing and hugging his best friend, while Bruiser showered him with licks, wagging his tail as hard as possible.”
Avon has always been a very hyper dog, but recently she’s gotten a little calmer — and that’s because she suddenly realized that her mom is pregnant.
“I think she first noticed I was pregnant when I was around 14 [to] 15 weeks because she would normally jump around so much, but she started being more gentle,” Shea Haugen, Avon’s mom, told The Dodo.
Now, Avon loves to rest her head on her Mom’s belly — because she loves listening to her baby brother moving around inside.
“She definitely lays her head down to listen to him and she gets really excited when he kicks,” Haugen said. “Typically that’s when her tail starts wagging uncontrollably.”
The dog who used to be so hyper and moving around all the time could now lay with her head on mom’s belly and listen to her baby brother forever, and that’s what true love looks like. Avon can’t wait to meet the newest member of her family, and her mom has a feeling he can’t wait to meet her, too.
“Funny enough, my baby boy seems to like [giving] her a good kick whenever she lays her head on my tummy,” Haugen said.
Very soon, Avon is going to be a big sister. In the meantime, she’ll keep following Mom around and laying her head on her belly, proving to everyone what an incredible big sister she’s going to be.
There’s no question at all that the bond between dogs and humans is so, so special.