Tag: Alabama

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.

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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.

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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.

It’s amazing what your bladder will do for you!

This is a delightful story.

It was published on the Majestic Animals website and I hope republishing it is OK.

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Dog accidentally runs half-marathon after being let out for pee, finishes 7th

Sports are great for the health and running is the best way to keep you in a good shape. But I just can’t imagine to train hard for a 13 miles marathon, only to have a dog beat you. Well, that is exactly what happened with most of the Elkmont Trackless Train Half Marathon runners, in Alabama.

Ludivine, a 2 years old Bloodhound was out for a pee when she spotted all those guys running. And since there wasn’t any rule to say that only humans re allowed to participate, the quick thinker pup joined the marathon. Surprisingly, that wasn’t all as the doggy not just finished the run, but she even got a medal.

The adorable dog who finished seventh in the race, even had some pit stops!

She finished in just over an hour-and-a-half. Her owner April Hamlin said:

“All I did was open the door, and she ran the race on her own accord. My first reaction was that I was embarrassed and worried that she had possibly gotten in the way of the other runners. She’s laid back and friendly, so I can’t believe she ran the whole half marathon because she’s actually really lazy.”

Jim Clemens, who finished fourth in the half marathon said, “Every time I thought she had dropped off to go back home, I would hear her coming back up to me and she would race past me up to the two leaders. She would run off to romp through the streams and into yards to sniff around for a while.”

After the week I’ve had, I so needed this story! Check the video below!

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Again and again our love for dogs comes across!

Pets finding their people

Linking yesterday’s amazing story with Dr. Sheldrake’s work.

Many of you will have read the account published yesterday about little Mason, the pet dog that was picked up by the recent tornado in North Smithfield, Alabama.  Here’s a recap of what happened.

Mason, a terrier mix, now rests inside the Vulcan Park Animal Care Clinic where he’s waiting to find out what kind of surgery he will need to repair 2 badly broken legs. This is only the 2nd night he’s spent under any kind of roof in the last 2 weeks and the story of how he got there is almost too amazing to believe.

On April 27th, Mason was hiding in his garage in North Smithfield when the storm picked him up and blew him away. His owners couldn’t find him and had about given up when they came back Monday to sift through the debris, and found Mason waiting for them on the porch.

Dr. Sheldrake's book

I have also previously written about Dr. Sheldrake, my most recent item was when I highlighted his book, Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home.

In that book, there are several references to both incredible journeys undertaken by pet dogs and the science believed to be involved.  The book is much recommended.

Chapter 13 of Sheldrake’s book is called Pets Finding Their People Far Away.  Here’s how it starts,

In 1582, Leonhard Zollikofer left his native St. Gall, Switzerland, to go to Paris as ambassador to the court of the French King Henri III.  He left behind his faithful dog, aptly named Fidelis.  Two weeks later the dog disappeared from St. Gall.  Three weeks after that he rejoined his master at the court in Paris, exactly at the time when the Swiss ambassadors were being led in to an audience with the king.  The dog had never been to Paris before.  How did he find his master so far away from home?

There are other ‘mind-blowing’ examples in the book.  In Chapter 10, Incredible Journeys, Dr. Sheldrake explores many aspects of this wondrous ability of many animals.

Animals bond not only to members of their social group but also to particular places.  Many kinds of animals, both wild and domesticated, can find their way home from unfamiliar locations.  This attachment to places depends on morphic fields, which underlie the sense of direction that enables animals to find their way home over unfamiliar terrain.

The sense of direction also plays a vital role in migration.  Some species, like swallows, salmon, and sea turtles, migrate from breeding grounds to feeding grounds and back again over thousands of miles.  Their ability to navigate is one of the great unsolved mysteries of biology, as I discuss in the next chapter.  Here too I think that morphic fields, and the ancestral memory inherent in them, could provide an explanation.

If you have read this and are curious, then these videos will give you a little more to mull over.  The first is a little ‘alternate’.

Just amazing dog power!

Watch this video – any chit-chat from me is superfluous.

Smithfield, Alabama

If a tornado picked you up, threw you across the sky, and set you down in an unfamiliar place far away from home, and you broke two legs in the process, could you find your way back? That’s exactly the incredible story of Mason, a terrier mix in Alabama.

Credits.

I first saw the item as a link in the daily digest from Naked Capitalism.  As ever, I am indebted to the fantastic work that Yves and her team does in scouring the world for interesting news items.

The link went to a website that was just loaded with ads but in the article was another link to Fox 6.  There was the story as well, as this extract explains,

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) –

Update**:As of Wednesday night, Mason has been x-rayed and put on an IV. His vets at the Vulcan Park Animal Clinic plan to operate on his two broken legs Friday. They will use plates and maybe pins to help realign his bones. Doctors think it will be a long, but ultimately successful recovery.

Amazing stories of survival from the April 27th tornadoes don’t just include people. There are some amazing 4-legged tales of endurance being told including the story of one dog who just returned home yesterday. He is clearly battered, but alive.

Mason, a terrier mix, now rests inside the Vulcan Park Animal Care Clinic where he’s waiting to find out what kind of surgery he will need to repair 2 badly broken legs. This is only the 2nd night he’s spent under any kind of roof in the last 2 weeks and the story of how he got there is almost too amazing to believe.

On April 27th, Mason was hiding in his garage in North Smithfield when the storm picked him up and blew him away. His owners couldn’t find him and had about given up when they came back Monday to sift through the debris, and found Mason waiting for them on the porch.

Do support the Fox 6 website by reading the story in full.

Finally, the original link, as mentioned above, did contain this great news update,

Because of the generosity of Vulcan Park Animal Care in Birmingham, a center that volunteered their services to help the ailing pup, Mason is now on the mend — and needless to say, being showered with affection. Last Friday, Mason underwent surgery to fix metal plates to both his broken limbs, which will keep them stabilized as they heal. Mason will remain at Vulcan Park for about six more weeks, as his family works to restore some sense of order to their shattered home.

Just another account of how remarkable man’s best friend truly is.

Brave, lucky, sweet Mason